The Spencer and Braswell story goes viral

Earlier today I checked in to the WUWT dashboard and was surprised to see that WUWT had the #1 story on all of WordPress.com this morning:

Tonight, checking in again, I discover not only is WUWT still near the top with a follow up story, but the Spencer and Braswell story is dominating the top 10, labels mine:

The last time I’ve seen anything like this, where climate blogs dominated the top ten, was just after Climategate broke. And it’s a significant feat, as these numbers from the wordpress.com home page illustrate:

The best of 367,768 bloggers, 338,405 new posts, 290,328 comments, & 78,762,938 words posted today on WordPress.com.

I’ll bet the editor Wolfgang Wagner of Remote Sensing had no idea this sort of viral reaction would happen. On the downside, it’s a bad move for them and for the integrity of the peer review process, because IMHO, this was handled almost as badly as CRU/UEA handled Climategate itself. As Dr. Roger Pielke Senior says:

The place to refute a published paper is in peer-reviewed papers, not in blogs (or the media). If the paper is not robust, it appropriately should be responded to by paper, not by the resignation of the Editor. In my view, he made a poor decision which has further damaged the scientific process of vetting new research results.

On the upside, this debacle has placed thousands more fresh eyes on the Spencer and Braswell paper, as well as on the folly of the “failed peer review” process claim by the resigned editor of Remote Sensing.

And yet, we have no peer reviewed rebuttal or comment, just a lot of hand waving and noisemaking and claims the paper is “flawed” without any peer reviewed rebuttal to back up those claims. Pielke says:

Moreover, if there is a fundamental flaw in their work, then publishing a Comment in Remote Sensing would have resolved the issue. That is how science is supposed to work. As it is, Wagner has further politicized climate science.

I have a feeling that this won’t end the way Wagner thought it would.

Pielke Sr. has a new post up on an exchange between him and Peter Glieck of the Pacific Institute. It is well worth a read to get some perspective on how the other side thinks.

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91 thoughts on “The Spencer and Braswell story goes viral

  1. I think most sane Warmist are concerned. I had a science editor in my office yesterday that merely talked about energy delivery systems versus the nut cases who want …..nothing. That is right. The left is against every form of conduction of electricity.
    The discussions used to be about measuring .1 degree temperature increases in Wisconsin and tides that seem a bit high (cat5astrophic sea rise).

  2. The peer review process has been destroyed by the climate science “team” (echoes of climategate) and so it can no longer be viewed as a method to ensure scientific integrity. Real scientists will at some point, have to rebuild this process. The damage to the reputation of science by the “team” has been like the effects of a hurricane.

  3. From Dr. Spencer’s response to Wagner’s resignation

    “But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point! We dealt with specifics, numbers, calculations…while our critics only use generalities and talking points. There is no contest, as far as I can see, in this debate. If you have some physics or radiative transfer background, read the evidence we present, the paper we were responding to, and decide for yourself.”

    I didn’t study S & B in great detail, but i did give it a fairly thorough read and my impression was that they did indeed layout the propositions that they were challenging adequately. Does anyone have a list of the contrary papers that they are supposed to be guilty of ignoring?

  4. “Does anyone have a list of the contrary papers that they are supposed to be guilty of ignoring?”

    The New York Times,
    The Washington Post,
    and
    The LA Times.

    Those are the only papers I can think of off the top of my head but I’m sure there are others.

  5. Another note from the “typo police”: Bracewell…

    If this story had “legs” before, now it has “wings”, it seems. Any way to get an updated “download count”?

    Havin’ a good “weekend off”, Anthony? :) Go shoot some skeet!

    Best,
    Frank

  6. I have a prediction on the format of the “debunking” which will be offered by Dessler in GRL next week. If he follows true to form for “consensus” debunkers it should go something like this

    You morons attempted to challenge the rock solid modelling of our our colleagues and broheims with your feeble observational data, but we asked them and they still say they’re right and you are wrong. So there!
    We await your response in a year or two if you can find anybody to publish it. And don’t bother sending us a prepublication copy ’cause we’ll have one already.

  7. From a layman’s point of view, I can not understand this resignation. It openly and blatantly counter the whole idea of peer review. If a paper was reviewed and found appropriate for print (Mr. Wagner admits that), then it should (and could) only be refuted in the same way. If not – retract it! Simple as that.
    What Wagner is actually saying is what skeptics are saying for a long time: this is politics, not science. No other way to see it.

  8. “Does anyone have a list of the contrary papers that they are supposed to be guilty of ignoring?”

    While Wagner doesn’t explain in what way the open discussion and his reference refutes the work, or even link to the discussion so we can see for ourselves, it’s easy to recognise it as a description of the RealClimate article by Trenberth and Fasullo (T&F).

    “The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.”

    is a description of

    “To help interpret the results, Spencer uses a simple model. But the simple model used by Spencer is too simple. We have already rebutted Lindzen’s work on exactly this point. The clouds respond to ENSO, not the other way round [see …]”

    This is apparently referring to S&B’s paper where it says:

    “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced. We hypothesize that changes in the coupled ocean-atmosphere circulation during the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover, which then modulate the radiative balance of the climate system. […] What this might (or might not) imply regarding the ultimate causes of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena is not relevant to our central point, though: that the presence of time varying radiative forcing in satellite radiative flux measurements corrupts the diagnosis of radiative feedback.”

    So S&B say ” the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover”, T&F rebut this with “The clouds respond to ENSO, not the other way round”, and Wagner effectively complains that S&B hypothesised that ENSO affects clouds without citing or responding to the scientific counter-argument that ENSO affects clouds.

    If you can follow that, you’re doing well.

  9. Phil Jones: “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

    And now we have the ‘redefinition’.

  10. Strange how Gleick is very willing to give comments on Realclimate the same status as peer reviewed research despite the fact they in no way actual meet these standards . I wonder if he extends that idea to comments on other blogs too?
    Stranger still that he know the paper in GRL will be brilliant but he admits he knows little on the subject and may have no even have read it , so how does it he its going to be any good ?
    Like Wagner his making lots of nose about ‘other papers ‘ but as with Wagner he can’t name them and just like Wagner he claims Spencer did not address the problems but can offer no idea of what problems it was Spencer was to supposed to have ignored.

    Pielke’s point that the normal procedure should be followed is as very good one , although it may not work in the court of public opinion, those in the scientific community are well aware of how these things should work and why GRL as opposed to Remote sensing is being used , becasue it restricts Spencer ability to deal with the rebuttal of his paper. Although they may have largely kept their mouths shut over the behavior seen in climate science, to some what their shame , I don’t think the wider science community are at all happy about what is going on and what damage it could do to the public perception of science general.

    Worst case situation for the warmest , the GRL paper turns out to be poor and is seen to be so outside of Gleick and his fellow travelers. Spencer papers stands and Wagner’s resignation looks even stranger in reality . Although there is a worst than worst case situation for the warmists , GRL paper supports Spencer , given the front loading we seen about it form Gleick and friends who must be getting their info from somewhere, I can’t see this being the case.

  11. @Cinbadthesailor: Nah, peer review has failed everywhere. This isn’t unusual. In fact, peer review only “works” where it’s not needed. In engineering and (to some extent) in medicine, real lives are at stake so researchers actually stick to the facts and do good science.

    They don’t stay honest because of peer review. They stay honest because people will die, and huge lawsuits will result, if their work is definitely bad.

    Sort of like the US “education” system, which only “works” when it’s not really used. The “education” system does a fine job with smart kids who learn so well outside of school that they aren’t completely ruined by the ferociously counterproductive time spent in school. For the kids who need a public school, it fails completely.

  12. One way to repair the Peer Review Process would be for those publications that refuse to publish papers that disagree with the current political word on climate science to actually start to publish and get the peer review process back on track.

    The science is never settled.

  13. This is all part of the same pattern that has characterized the warmists’ approach to climate “science” since the last century. They come up with models and use these to produce predictions which are then baptized as sovereign truth. In real science, they would have been required to demonstrate the predictive validity of their models before their predictions would be granted any confidence – and when observations contradicted predictions, they would have been expected to revise their models instead of beating the data until it fit the model outputs. Instead, thanks to Algore, Hansen, left-wing politicians looking for regulatory and legislative mechanisms to control the polity and extract more tax dollars, and a compliant left-leaning media hungry for “imminent disaster” headlines, the burden of proof has been shifted to those who challenge the modellers instead of being left where it belongs: with the modellers who still have not demonstrated the validity of their models. I simply cannot believe we are still discussing a theory that, 20 years after it went mainstream, has yet to produce a single scrap of confirmatory empirical evidence.

    The extent to which the AGW true believers have warped the scientific method to serve their pecuniary and political ends is simply breathtaking. Climate science represents the greatest perversion of the scientific method since the Enlightenment. It is phlogiston, phrenology and Lysenkoism all rolled up into one big, fat, corrupt boil desperately in need of lancing.

  14. Polistra

    “Nah, peer review has failed everywhere”

    As a professional scientist I disagree, in many areas of science Peer Review has in the past worked well, albeit in some cases there have been difficulties. On the whole it has worked well, certainly not well in medicine! There is no doubt that Peer Review in recent times has become somewhat outdated, but the way it has been corrupted in climate science has now left it in tatters.

  15. Nullius in Verba: many thanks for that. I had read the paper through looking for the methodological faults and the errors that Wagner complains of and was resigned to reading back through the sources. You have at least simplified the job. If that is the sum total of the problem then I cannot see how that omission in the paper justifies a resignation.

  16. It’s not a journal editors job to assert anything. So he has quit his job and had his say. Fair enough, but I think he’s wrong about a lot of what he says, and that’s what is under debate. Anyone wanting to take a swipe at Spencer and Braswell’s paper need to address that paper. If they want what they have to say taken seriously, they need to get their critique peer reviewed and published. Spencer and Braswell’s paper was critiqued, amended and finally approved for publication by, as Wagner said, three well qualified people with good publication records.

    Who has peer reviewed Wagner’s editorial? No-one. It is a prerogative someties given to people who quit their job to get a resignation letter published. It’s an opinion piece.

    The team is up to its usual shenanigans, redefining the peer review process because its “shaky nag” of a hypothesis can’t stand up to proper scientific debate.

    They are losers, further undermining the pre-eminent position as a knowledge system science held in the eyes of the world before overarching considerations of money, politics and status started to destroy the trust people had in it. Shame on them.

  17. Peer review is corrupt throughout the physical sciences, as most clearly shown in the garbage (unsupported and nearly thoughtless speculation) that they all put before the public as fact, and vehemently defend. Wagner has done science a distinct service in making this obvious in the case of climate science. Consensus scientists will of course disagree.

  18. “this was handled almost as badly as CRU/UEA handled Climategate itself”
    Who handled what badly? Prof Wagner, who is not a climate scientist, resigned from his role as Editor-in-Chief of Remote Sensing, which is not a climate science journal. He wrote a resignation letter in RS. As far as I can see, the only climate scientist involved was Spencer.

    • Nick Stokes,

      Despite the fact that Tallbloke answered you, I struggle to find any logic or relevance in your statement. Seriously, what has:

      ….the only climate scientist involved was Spencer

      got to do with:

      this was handled almost as badly as CRU/UEA handled Climategate itself

      Perhaps you heard of the concept of “comparison”. It is not the same as “identity”.

      The fact that you responded to Tallbloke is not a tangent you can use against my comment by the way.

  19. Bob,
    “If that is the sum total of the problem then I cannot see how that omission in the paper justifies a resignation.”

    You’re welcome. But my point was that there was no omission. Spencer said exactly what T&F claimed he had not said. They actually supported Spencer’s hypothesis, claiming to be refuting it.

    Obviously, it doesn’t justify a resignation. What I think happened was that T&F didn’t read the paper properly and just threw out some scientific-sounding “refutations” to kill the paper in the eyes of non-experts, these got cited by other blogs, Wagner saw this discussion, fell for RealClimate’s line, and didn’t bother to go and ask Spencer for an explanation or defence. He just assumed RC knew what they were talking about.

    There may be other objections/problems that Wagner didn’t mention that could be valid, but the only one he did mention, the clincher that decided him and presumably the best example, was an internet blog post supposedly refuting a completely different paper by means of an argument that Spencer had actually referred to and used himself. It’s bizarre.

  20. slow wit here… the guy resigned as a political statement: the science is yet to be bought by politics. you are talking to the wrong people. it doesn’t matter what anyone reads, says, or does.
    the real deal is illiterate, deaf dumb and mute. just as well as english is their 3rd language.
    you need to get politics and the banks on your side.
    I go for an expansion of households – solar hot water, electricity grid solar powered additives, wind next to the rubbish bin. as an oz, water is a passive heat sink. there is 20 % on the cost of a mortgage.
    Tesla was about free electricity. is this what you want? what is driving you?

  21. it’s a bad move for them and for the integrity of the peer review process

    Understatement of the year!!

    It’s the same as a judge resigning because a jury found someone guilty — I told them to find them guilty and did they listen to me? Did they do what I told them? No … so I’m resigning!

    What does it tell you about impartiality of the judge? Everything! Moreover it tells you not only that the judge had no respect at all for the jury, and that he was highly partisan in the case, but that because he is so open, its symptomatic of a whole system that has no respect for the jury, is totally partial and totally biased.

    You may as well have judges standing of picket lines (any example would just tar judges as being climate “scientists”).

  22. If the models are so accurate, why are they off by so much in their predictions so far.

    The earlier model predictions (Hansen 1988 and IPCC FAR) are at about +0.9C today with the prediction starting around 1984-1989.

    The later models (IPCC TAR and AR4) are at about +0.65C today with the prediction starting around 2000-2004.

    Temps are only at about +0.4C.

    An objective scientist has to ask why and then publish the results. And many have, not just Spencer.

    Ocean Heat Content (and Land and Ice) are only accumulating energy at about +0.355 W/m2 per year while this is expected to be +0.9 W/m2 or so (before any feedbacks are taken into account).

    The theory is off by a lot in the last ten years. Obviously, it is either wrong or natural variability plays a bigger role. That is all Spencer’s paper really said. On its face, it is accurate. Why the fury.

  23. I think the reason we’re seeing all the histrionics over this and the prior Lindzen and Choi paper, is because they’re finally getting kicked where it hurts – in their climate sensitivity hypotheses.

    Up to now, they’ve been able to hide behind these when all else is failing. But now, with these papers it becomes apparent that they were plucking the figures from the air, and their “models” have been shown to be 70 year old crones. Unless they can refute those papers with observations of their own, then they’re just blowing more smoke.

  24. Perhaps the Law of Unintended Consequences will kick in here? If a critical mass realizes Peer Review is a publishing technique vs. an intrinsic part of the Scientific Method and if Peer Review drops in importance, perhaps “publish or perish” will become less dire. Then university professors could spend more time on other valuable pursuits, like, I don’t know, professing.
    Might that not have a beneficial effect on the runaway cost of a college education?

  25. I haven’t spent too much time watching the site stats so I could be missing an interesting tidbit even if it were biting me on the nose.

    I looked at the “Referrers” section thinking that some popular site had links to the story, but the top referrer, climateaudit.org, was responsible for only 430 referrers and none of the links were to this debacle. So it appears that the interest is largely among WUWT regulars.

    There seems to be a moderate surge in page views starting on Aug 21, stories from around then include arresting pipeline protesters, the VA earthquake, Row to the Pole photo caption contest, and Irene was beginning to get interesting. I assume Irene drove most of the surge after that.

    Yesterday seems unremarkable – only 69 kViews. Last Saturday it was 112, two weeks ago it was 65. That was the day before the surge. Of course, we’re in the midst of a major US holiday, so maintaining the pace from two weeks ago is impressive.

    The Wagner story is by far the most popular here, “Breaking” and “Redefining” had 7,899 and 6,412 views, far ahead of “Tropical” 1,895.

    One reason for the high ranking has to be few people are following the non-climate blogs this weekend. Still, it is gratifying that so many people who follow blogs that take scientific method seriously are following this story closely. I don’t think we can call this viral, the interest isn’t coming from people who brought into the story from elsewhere. We can call it a wakeup call for the IPCC – I think there’s going to be a lot of people checking every claim in their next report. Why, we might have to redefine peer review!

    REPLY: Ric, not sure where you got your numbers, but the “Breaking” story at the top of WUWT has 23,625 views since Friday. And truly, it has gone viral, try to find a climate blog that doesn’t mention it. It has also seen several MSM press stories and a Slashdot story. For Slashdot to post it is exceptional. – Anthony

  26. I mean, really, Gleick is a lucky fellow, like the average canine he can see and adore his Gods (at RealClimate, in his case). And they even talk back to him.

    I wish we all had his Faith! What a happy bunch we would be!

  27. “I have a feeling that this won’t end the way Wagner thought it would.”

    Maybe this is what he wanted to happen….

    Wagner has to be a smart guy, and I’m sure he was under tremendous pressure from the AGW establishment to “get rid” of this paper or else. Doing the things that Roger Pielke talked about would have made that happen, but as it stands now, only the editor has resigned, and the paper still stands. Remember “Peer reviewed” is what the AGW establishment clings to. Although I’m sure there will soon be soon be a study based on “The Models” that will be “Peer Reviewed” that refutes Spencer Brawswell because the models say so.

  28. The cutoff date for IPCC AR5 references is fast approaching. The IPCC-approved grey literature is not a problem, as the NGO’s for whom many of the IPCC authors work, are all busily preparing their policy, err, sciencey, documents.

    This paper by Spencer and Braswell will need to be addressed in AR5 unless the following pre-emptive steps are taken:

    1. Use IPCC-certified blog sites to condemn the paper as having more errors than an early Mets game.
    2. Quickly fire off a rebuking placeholder in the peerreviewedliterature, the contents of which do not matter.
    3. Blast press releases through the reliable media conduits to soundly dismiss the S&B paper, using Climate Change Cult Propaganda (CCCP).
    4. If S&B decide to respond with a submission, circle the wagons and delay publication until after the AR5 cutoff date.
    5. In AR5, only reference the placeholder rebuttal paper.

    Mission accomplished, comrades. The climate change cult remains intact.

  29. Here’s a telling part of Warner’s editorial:

    “But trying to refute all scientific insights into the global warming phenomenon just based on the comparison of one particular observational satellite data set with model predictions is strictly impossible. Aside from ignoring all the other observational data sets (such as the rapidly shrinking sea ice extent and changes in the flora and fauna) and contrasting theoretical studies, such a simple conclusion simply cannot be drawn considering the complexity of the involved models and satellite measurements.”

    The nature of the water vapour feedback would change the magnitude of anthropogenic Carbon loading of the atmosphere significantly. But notice the examples Warner uses.

    He talks about sea ice extent which is a product of it getting warmer since the satellite record measured sea ice extent. But Spencer’s own Satellite record measures it getting warmer in the last 30 years and Spencer doesn’t refute that.

    Secondly, changes in flora and fauna are expected with extra warmth and a boosting of CO2. So again, no news there.

    So what about Spencer’s paper, and not what someone in the media might or might not say, ignores all the other data sets? Could Warner just not come up with better examples?

    It is still amazing to me that supposed real scientist, let alone the media, can’t learn enough about opposing views to understand that the arguements of most ‘skeptics’ are about magnitude and attribution not whether its a little warmer, that there is a little less ice, or that CO2 grows plants.

  30. DN says:
    September 4, 2011 at 2:46 am
    There is just no improving on your words, and no refuting them, either. ‘Nuff said.

  31. tallbloke says September 4, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Wagner commented that the paper had been downloaded 56,000 times in the last month. I bet it’s been downloaded quite a few times more now!

    I think that’s a pretty safe bet. Whatever their “goal” might have been, it seems to have boomeranged.

    Meanwhile – speaking of numbers and “going viral” … the fallout from Wagner’s ludicrous resignation seems to have buried any scrutiny of Al Gore’s latest and greatest attempt to “win the conversation” using (according to Matt Nisbet) “a potentially innovative if not also troubling strategy” to spread the gospel word during his planned Sept.14 “climate crisis” propaganda blitz.

    Gore’s “friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your account keys” plea is tantamount to a plan to spam via Twitter and Facebook using the accounts of his

    As Charlie Martin wrote (Aug. 26):

    Gore is planning a spam attack to take up at least a quarter of Twitter’s highest load, and run it for 24 hours.

    YMMV, but this strikes me as being a highly unethical “strategy” on the part of the Gore machine that deserves some MSM attention and scrutiny.

  32. @Dave Wendt September 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Dr. Spencer’s response to Wagner’s resignation

    “But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point!

    It almost sounds as if Wagner never really read the paper.

    Their reviews had an apparently [based on the reviewers’ POVs?] good technical standard and suggested one “major revision”, one “minor revision” and one “accept as is”. The authors revised their paper according to the comments made by the reviewers and, consequently, the editorial board member who handled this paper accepted the paper (and could in fact not have done otherwise). Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process.

    THIS from Wagner is as b.s as you can get:

    The use of satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important part of our work. But it should not be done in isolation by the remote sensing scientists. Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required in order to develop a joint understanding of where and why models deviate from satellite data.

    No, no. no. The satellite researchers don’t need to “develop” anything vis-a-vis the modelers, not if develop means fudge the data to fit the models. It is the modelers who need to tweak the models to fit the real world data from the satellites. You don’t take real world and massage it to fit the models. If we did, quantum physics would be based on Archimedes. For many centuries scientific inquiry was fitted around Archimedes’ “model” of how things worked. It was only in freeing science from Archimedes’ ideas that science ever took any steps forward. And what led the way? Empiricism. The ideas/paradigms/models are not the driving force – empirical observations are. Except in a politicized academia.

    It is SO obvious that Wagner was “gotten to” – as in leaned on. And buy whom? It sounds like the peer review process has been redefined, as the Climategate email writers asserted they should do. When someone threatens something and then that something comes to pass, where would YOU point the finger?

  33. The issue of skeptics peer reviewing the paper is an interesting one.

    I think that a well informed skeptic should peer review every warmist paper and a warmist should peer review every skeptical paper.

    Like the judicial truth often emerges from the conflict of views.

    I seem to remember a debacle concerning DR Mann which could have been avoided by a skeptical peer reviewer or two.

  34. You would think a business that is based on selling subscriptions and advertising based on those subscriptions, would have a better business model.
    If they would open up the flood gates, turn it into a real debate……their business would boom

  35. @Harry Dale Huffman September 4, 2011 at 3:11 am:

    Peer review is corrupt throughout the physical sciences, as most clearly shown in the garbage (unsupported and nearly thoughtless speculation) that they all put before the public as fact, and vehemently defend.

    This was one of the very first things that alarmed me about AGW – the number of articles with nasty headlines and then in almost every case the scientists’ quotes (deep in the articles) had lots of “we think”s, “possibly”s, “maybes,” and other qualifiers. When the scientists did not immediately correct the misleading headlines, it was obvious they were plenty happy at the shrillness being purveyed.

    As was said to Tailgunner Joe McCarthy, “Sir, have you no shame?”

    Yes, Harry, so much garbage – fed to an unsuspecting public, and done knowing the public trusts the word of scientists. If anything, Climategate and Wagnergate have cured many of that trust. If it ain’t continually earned, it ain’t worth much, no how.

  36. What Wagner said is incongruous.

    Might a hypothesis that he did so for the purpose of bringing light to the usurpation of the review process then bring congruity? He was pressured by the system and this was the only way out, perhaps?

    (just throwing it out there)

  37. Nullius in Verba (September 4, 2011 at 1:43 am) :

    So S&B say ” the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover”, T&F rebut this with “The clouds respond to ENSO, not the other way round”, and Wagner effectively complains that S&B hypothesised that ENSO affects clouds without citing or responding to the scientific counter-argument that ENSO affects clouds.

    If you can follow that, you’re doing well.

    You have a way with words, Nullius. :-)

    DN (September 4, 2011 at 2:46 am) :

    The extent to which the AGW true believers have warped the scientific method to serve their pecuniary and political ends is simply breathtaking. Climate science represents the greatest perversion of the scientific method since the Enlightenment. It is phlogiston, phrenology and Lysenkoism all rolled up into one big, fat, corrupt boil desperately in need of lancing.

    Well said indeed!

    /dr.bill

  38. @KnR September 4, 2011 at 2:21 am:

    Like Wagner his [Gleick] making lots of nose about ‘other papers, but as with Wagner he can’t name them, and just like Wagner he claims Spencer did not address the problems…

    This is a valid and important point about Wagner. How can an editor of a peer-review journal be so unspecific on this? If he says there are prior papers, and he seems to be paraphrasing them, what in God’s name is he doing not quoting and sourcing them? This is what scientific journals DO, for Pete’s sake.

    THIS was an editor? Oy vey!

  39. The response to G&T will be that if you take the actual measured data and then they will take all the models and chop them into sections, they will compare each section against the measured data and test the fit.
    They will present the best 20 fits, out of 10^9 different combinations and permutations of modeled data they actually tested, against the real data. This comparison will show that these 20 modeled periods correlate with the actual data at a p<0.001, hence the models are robust and fit the data perfectly.
    They will conclude that G&T could not get a good fit because they used a simplistic model, where as the complex models used by REAL Climate scientists produce fantastic fits and so we should kick G&T into the curb and give wealth and power to the 'Team'.

  40. A scientific article goes viral (56,000+), gets attention across the MSM … and the responsible editor complains about it? Is the world upside down now?
    Then he’s obviously forced to step back, irrationally, and what happens?
    Even more publicity for Spencer & Braswell.

    The good news: Sceptics don’t need a PR department.
    The AGW PR machine works well for us.
    Thanks guys from over there. Keep going.

  41. FYI, a conservative blog call Power Line has a story on this issue so it is getting out in the bloggosphere. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reference WUWT.

  42. Well the good old Beeb have now weighed in with it’s standard bias and an ad hominem attack on Spencer at the end.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574

    I particularly like the “Publishing in “off-topic” journals is generally frowned on in scientific circles, partly because editors may lack the specialist knowledge and contacts needed to run a thorough peer review process.” statement.

    Isn’t the journal concerned the one that deals specifically with subject in hand?

    As per the MSM response beggars belief whilst at the same time being entirely and depressingly predictable.

  43. How does Wagner like having what’s left of his fragile credibility resting in the hands of a future Dessler paper.

    I bet Andrew mentions Venus cloud cover.

  44. The scientific implications of Spensor and Lindzen’s papers is that planetary clouds increase and decrease to resist forcing changes rather than to amplify forcing changes.

    The extreme AGW hypothesis assumes the planet amplifies forcing changes.

    Lindzen calculates based on an analysis of top of atmosphere radiation changes that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in 0.7C warming as opposed to the IPCC’s predicted 3.5C warming.

    If Spencer and Lindzen are correct a significant portion of the 20th century warming was due to something else besides CO2.

    The something else that caused the 20th century warming is ironically solar wind bursts that remove cloud forming ions via the mechanism called electroscavening.

    Now the solar wind bursts have abated and the sun is moving towards a deep multi decade magnetic cycle minimum which reduces the strength and extent of the solar heliosphere. The solar heliosphere deflects cosmic rays which create cloud forming ions. There are cycles of long term climate change that correlate with changes in cosmogenic isotopes that are produced by the cosmic rays in the paleo climatic proxy record.

    So what will happen now to the planet’s climate based on what happened in the past is the planet will cool.

    I am curious what type of back peddling will occur if the planet cools, How does one hide the decline?

    Will Gore retract the comparison of climate skeptics to racists? Will the general press stop comparing climate skeptics to Holocaust deniers? Will scientific journals publish scientific papers that explain scientifically why cooling is occurring?

    http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~dougla…ress_final.pdf

    Recent energy balance of Earth

    Recently Lyman et al. [1] have estimated a robust global warming trend of 0.63 ± 0.28 W/m2 for Earth during 1993–2008, calculated from ocean heat content anomaly (OHC) data. This value is not representative of the recent (2003–2008) warming/cooling rate because of a “flattening” that occurred around 2001–2002. Using only 2003-2008 data, we find cooling, not warming. This result does not support the existence of a large frequently-cited positive computed radiative imbalance (see, for example, Trenberth and Fasullo [2])

  45. The resignation report was in Saturday’s Toronto Globe and Mail. Straight report, no editorial conclusion either way. I’d say the MSM doesn’t know what to do about it, another sign that technically they are still light-weight. As always.

  46. tallbloke says:
    September 4, 2011 at 3:00 am

    “They [the team] are losers, further undermining the pre-eminent position as a knowledge system science held in the eyes of the world before overarching considerations of money, politics and status started to destroy the trust people had in it. Shame on them.”

    Brilliant post. However, keep in mind that this phenomenon is not new under the sun. Stalin did it with Lysenko. So, science under a communist system had lost its lustre by the 1940s. Science, like democracy, is a fragile little sprout. In my humble opinion, science in the free world is now suffering for the first time since the Enlightenment in the same way that science suffered under Stalin.

  47. @ Viv Evans, indeed Davidmhoffer’s comment is brilliant!

    @ Doug Proctor, usually the Globe and Mail will editorialize this with a green spin that would make your 1200rpm washing machine envious… LOL

  48. I admire the many insights into THE defrauding of the scientific method via the biased academic(?) journals, debased peer review processes, and models that are knighted(sainted) to be equal to or above experimental or observational data. All unforgiveable and worthy of extensive discussion.

    In addition to the scientific problem, the political is at least as important and political timing seems everything here. “Getting rid” of Roy Spencer’s (e.a.), and any other critical papers, by any method approved by apparatchiks, gives them the “right” to deny this science for the IPCC AR5 review, I understand. AGW triumphs once again. (Wish I could link to the commenter who mentioned this purpose. Sorry)

    Commenter Latitude brings up another aspect of the issues: September 4, 2011 at 7:05 am “You would think a business that is based on selling subscriptions and advertising based on those subscriptions, would have a better business model. If they would open up the flood gates, turn it into a real debate……their business would boom.”

    Unfortunately, we know it is not business (subscriptions) they are about, or the business of scientific journals — advancing science through the scientific method. It is about crony (not capitalism) bureaucratism (professors who defraud science for political purposes are just one cog in the bureaucratic-control wheel) They are willing to sell their souls for high salaries, grant packages, perks, never having to scientifically prove their “research”, pensions (often based on invested “funds” in cap-n-trade like schemes or “green energy”), etc.

    Who “owns” these fraudulent journals, who is on the Board of Directors or Editors, who can require an editor to resign? Follow the money. When there are institutions involved, to whom do they make their political-lobbying contributions? (I believe all institutions of higher education should be forbidden in this area.) How much do they receive in the way of “scientific” grants (kick backs,) the majority of the funding of which is allocated to General Operating Funds, not to the “science”..

    It is time not only to “air the scientific truths”, but to name names and to identify those who refuse to abide by the scientific method. We need additional information to the important focus on an editor who “chooses to” resign. Osrtracism can be a powerful tool.

  49. My question is : Did he jump or was he pushed?

    The Climategate emails referred to getting rid of editors who did not perform adequately in support of AGW. It certainly seems out of proportion to resign over such a matter as this.

  50. The problem is not really peer review. It is what Pachari and his accomplises have tried to portray peer review as, in the media and public eye.

    Peer review was never more than a preliminary fact check to try to stop ridiculous papers and catch a first round of obvious mistakes. It was the climate boosters that tried to paint it as the ultimate standard of scientific robustness. It never was and never will be anything like that. They did this only because they were fully aware they controled most of the climate journals. Over time they have lost control on occassion or had to deal with new journals. But incidents like this show the world just how agressive their campaign to control “peer review” is.

    I have to wonder if Wagner simply penned this rant as a protest to being strong armed by the climate mafia. He practically spelled out exactly what happened in the piece, and he would have to be dense to not realize this would create a fire storm of outrage. He may have fired a very effective shot at the people who forced him out.

    He just wrote a piece saying:
    “we had high quality reviewers, the paper can’t be retracted on errors, and we followed all rules……but I’m still now not the editor, and the only real issue I can point to is the reviewers might have agreed with the “denier” author…”
    He is spelling it out. I think he is very pissed he was told what to do and started this controversy as a protest. Or he is a complete idiot. But even an idiot should have seen this coming.

  51. Anticlimatic
    “…..My question is : Did he jump or was he pushed?……”

    A simple exercise, look at the climategate emails when then are trying to discredit the other journal and paper. Now apply those tactics to a this journals’ editor and board, and think about how they would react to the pressure Mann and company were planning. I don’t think there is any doubt that they were pressured. I also don’t think Wagner went willingly. He could have easily written this editorial and remained editor, so why resign? He walked the plank. And I think he tried to tell the world exactly what happened without upsetting his career.

  52. With all the attention this paper is getting, I hope maybe some neutral scientific society, or some scientific elder statesmen, can weigh the claims and issue a verdict.

  53. See Roy Spencer’s followup: A Primer on Our Claim that Clouds Cause Temperature Change September 3rd, 2011 …and Why Dessler, Trenberth, and the IPCC are Wrong

    it’s quite common to ignore previous papers that are not relevant to your own paper. :) Also, Trenberth sat next to me during congressional testimony where he confidently asserted (as I recall) “clouds don’t cause climate change”. . . .
    Are Clouds Capable of Causing Temperature Changes?
    At the heart of this debate is whether cloud changes, through their ability to alter how much sunlight is allowed in to warm the Earth, can cause temperature change.

    We claim they can, and have demonstrated so with both phase space plots of observed temperature versus Earth radiative budget variations here, and with lag-regression plots of the same data here, and with a forcing-feedback model of the average climate system in both of those publications. . . .
    Dessler and Trenberth believe causation between temperature and clouds only flows in one direction :
    Temperature Change => Cloud Change,

    whereas we and others believe (and have demonstrated) it flows in both directions,

    Temperature Change Cloud Change.
    .. .
    Why is this Important?

    Because it affects our ability to find the Holy Grail of climate research: cloud feedback. . . .Sufficiently positive cloud feedback could cause a global warming Armageddon. Sufficiently negative cloud feedback could more than cancel out any other positive feedbacks in the climate system, and relegate manmade global warming to the realm of just an academic curiosity.

    So, How Can We Know the Difference in these Two Directions of Causation?
    causation in the opposite direction [cloud change => temperature change] gives the illusion of positive cloud feedback, even if negative cloud feedback really exists. . . .

    the large time lag involved in clouds-causing-temperature change can be demonstrated with either lag regression, or phase space plots of the data. There is no other explanation for this behavior we have published.

    But Why Does it Even Matter Which Direction the Causation Takes?
    The existence of very low statistical correlation coefficients in all of the previous studies attempting to diagnose feedback in the traditional manner is, by itself, evidence of this effect. . . .
    But Couldn’t the Cloud Changes Have been Produced by Some previous Temperature Change?
    . . . First, I believe the simple answer is “no”, because temperature-causing-cloud changes (cloud feedback) occurs very rapidly

    Second . . .if he really believes that is happening, then he should do LAGGED regression to estimate feedback…. . . when he does that, his weak positive cloud feedback diagnosis will suddenly turn into a negative feedback diagnosis.

    But What Else Could Cause Clouds to Change, Besides Temperature?
    . . . Cloud formation is influenced by countless processes…the presence of cloud condensation nuclei, the temperature lapse rate and temperature inversions, wind shear, the presence of fronts, changes in ocean upwelling, to name a few.. . .
    What it All Means
    This cloud issue has become very contentious because, if we (or those working on the cosmic ray effect on clouds) are correct, it means Mother Nature is perfectly capable of causing her own climate change. . . .
    it then begs the question of whether climate change — both past and future — is more natural than anthropogenic. . . .
    the dirty little secret is that there is still no way to test the IPCC climate models for their feedback behavior, . . .
    The very fact that the 20+ climate models the IPCC tracks still span just as wide a range of feedbacks as climate models did 20 years ago is evidence by itself that the climate community still can’t demonstrate what the real cloud feedbacks in the climate system are. . . .
    global warming-related policy decisions are being guided by models which still have no way to be tested in their long-term predictions.
    Finally, the fact that the media and pundits like Al Gore have been so successful at convincing the public that the climate models are reliable for forecasting the future shows that IPCC scientists have a much, much bigger problem with the media misrepresenting their work than I do.

  54. I came across this quote by Rosie Redfield regarding the poorly done work on arsenic-incorporating bacteria which seems also to apply in the present controversy…

    I don’t know whether the authors are just bad scientists or whether they’re unscrupulously pushing NASA’s ‘There’s life in outer space!’ agenda. I hesitate to blame the reviewers, as their objections are likely to have been overruled by Science’s editors in their eagerness to score such a high-impact publication.

    No Science editor that I know of resigned over this, but it’s interesting that an editor would overrule reviewers, or that a first-rate researcher would believe they would do so, in order to garner publicity. The present instance is nearly a mirror image of what Dr. Redfield refers to–an editor actually resigning over not over-ruling reviewers. What I find as the most interesting parallel of the two stories however, is the apparent extent to which an agenda of a funding agency skews the science. We are warned endlessly about this and “Big Pharma”, but NASA?

  55. YMMV, but this strikes me as being a highly unethical “strategy” on the part of the Gore machine that deserves some MSM attention and scrutiny.

    Not just unethical but potentially illegal; it at least violates Twitter’s terms of service, I suspect.

    And thanks for noticing that post btw.

  56. Hey, I know I’m way late to the conversation, but kudos to DN (September 4, 2011 at 2:46 am). That is the most succinct and best written synopsis of the whole climate science thing I think I’ve ever read.

  57. Seems to me Wagner got scared from some tough pressure from the other side. Sure would like to see Wagner’s emails from them.

  58. Don’t know if anyone has seen this, but Roger Pielke Sr. has castigated Kevin Trenberth, John Abraham, and Peter Gleick for posting a “hatchet job” on Roy Spencer and John Christy.

    The essay of Trenberth, Abraham, and Gleick is little more than willful character assassination. Even the title of their piece, “In his bid to cast doubts on the seriousness of climate change, University of Alabama’s Roy Spencer … (bold added)” tries to miscast Roy Spencer as dishonest and biased. The authors are beyond shame.

    In his commentary, RP Sr. mentions that Tom Karl, head of the NCDC, led a committee whose apparent “major goal … was to discredit [Spencer and Christy].” It’s hard to understand how such corruption could have spread so far, so fast, among scientists. In subverting science, these people are willfully attacking the very foundation of rational thought and liberal freedom.

  59. Brandon:

    “He just wrote a piece saying:
    “we had high quality reviewers, the paper can’t be retracted on errors, and we followed all rules……but I’m still now not the editor, and the only real issue I can point to is the reviewers might have agreed with the “denier” author…”

    Hi Brandon. Where did you find this comment?

  60. Nick Stokes says:
    September 4, 2011 at 3:35 am

    “this was handled almost as badly as CRU/UEA handled Climategate itself”
    Who handled what badly? Prof Wagner, who is not a climate scientist, resigned from his role as Editor-in-Chief

    That’s true, he’s a climate modeler.

  61. Prof Wagner resigned from his role as Editor-in-Chief of Remote Sensing He wrote a resignation letter in RS. Semantic analysis of that letter evaluates to: ‘it is intolerable because it contradicts the CAGW narrative’.
    As many here have remarked, resignation seems an inappropriate action – but also, the letter itself conveys disapproval but in a half-hearted way – it is singularly devoid of ‘passion’ for such a dramatic gesture.
    Conspicuously, there is no rational justification for wagner’s resignation. Conspicuously there was no attempt to explain it as a rational action. The ‘reasons’ he gives for resigning are basically none.
    If he was not motivated by the contents of the paper, he was motivated by some other influence.
    I just wonder whether which category of motivator it was. It appears not to be idealism or ego – lack of passion (his letter was hardly a rant) suggests it’s a kind of mask for something else that won’t be mentioned..
    The other common 2 are money and compromise.
    Was he paid to do this or was he blackmailed or both?
    He didn’t do it out of concern for virtue. He makes that pretty obvious.
    It really smells like he was ordered to resign under penalty…

  62. I don’t think Wagner was mostly pushed. I think the warmists who contacted him convinced him that they were right, and he quit mainly because he didn’t want to be in the conflicted position of having to defend what RS had done while privately disagreeing with it. And also because he was embarrassed that he’d helped to de-marginalize the skeptics and thus hurt the chances of controling CO2 emissions–so he figured quitting would be an act of contrition.

    I can see how this could have happened. The warmists have a marvelous way with the bafflegab–they’ve pulled the wool over many eyes. They SEEM to have all the answers.

    (It would be tough for Wagner if he later gets unconvinced, or if some neutral panel rules in favor of S&B. Faked out!)

  63. Stu

    Sorry for the mix up, I was just paraphrasing the basic tenants of the rant from wagner to make a point, I should have left out the quotation marks, my mistake. Duh.

    He did say the reviewers were respected, he never actually suggested retraction or pointed out any error and he did say they followed the rules for submission to the letter. He also really only laid out that the reviewers might have shared a similar view with Spencer as the real problem. I think he is pissed he resigned/got fired. But that is just my opinion. It would be hard to write a letter that would be better designed to trip the radar and outrage of the “denier” community.

  64. Ric Werme says:
    September 4, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Anthony notes:

    REPLY: Ric, not sure where you got your numbers, but the “Breaking” story at the top of WUWT has 23,625 views since Friday. And truly, it has gone viral, try to find a climate blog that doesn’t mention it. It has also seen several MSM press stories and a Slashdot story. For Slashdot to post it is exceptional. – Anthony

    The numbers I saw were on the “site statistics” page (note to readers – this requires posting privileges to see), in particular the top posts for today and yesterday, I reported just the yesterday (Saturday) figures. I also looked at the “Referrers” section to see how people were coming here. There may well be things I can’t see – ah, I can click on the individual bars in the daily summary graph and get to the details for that day – “Breaking” has 13,583 + 7,899 + 3,740 = 25,222 views now.

    I hadn’t realized it had reached Slashdot, that’s pretty much instantly viral. So, shouldn’t more of these sources be linking here? :-)

    Hmm, I wonder if I can conveniently scrape the stats pages and track how many views each page have. Not this weekend….

  65. gnomish:

    Nah, he was simply embarrassed that the Journal he was chief editor for published Dr Roy’s paper which trashes the climate models of all his colleagues. He works at Vienna, as an environmental modeler you see.

  66. gnomish, “It really smells like he was ordered to resign under penalty…

    That would make his behavior cowardly. Wolfgang Wagner is a physical climate modeler and Prof. of Remote Sensing at the Vienna University of Technology, with a full title of a complexity only Germans can assign (or revere): “Univ.Prof. Dipl.Ing. Dr.techn..” Given his position, there is little anyone could do against him, apart from making grant money harder to get. This is a problem already faced by honest academic climate scientists, such as Demetris Koutsoyiannis, who has commented at Roger Pielke’s blog on his reception by the larger climate science community, here.

    So, it’s not as though Wolfgang Wagner didn’t have a role model for how to behave honestly and how to meet the consequent challenge of prejudicial opprobrium by his erstwhile friendly colleagues.

    It doesn’t seem likely, therefore, that Univ.Prof. Dipl.Ing. Dr.techn. Wolfgang Wagner could readily have been forced into resigning his position because the consequences of principled scientific integrity would not have been mortal to his career. He must know this.

    We’re left with the supposition that he resigned out of some sort of conviction of rectitude. In paragraph 2 of his editorial, after all, Prof. Dr. Wagner wrote that he, “[agrees] with the critics of the [Spencer – Braswell] paper. He immediately after goes on to give his reason for resignation: “With this [resignation] I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements…” This is a principled rationale. He resigned to emphatically dissociate himself from the Spencer – Braswell paper in view of the claims that were made in its name. It’s not that the claims were factually or scientifically wrong. it’s that Prof. Dr. Wagner disagreed with them on principle.

    He goes on to defend his modeling arena with the following scientifically incorrect statement, “But trying to refute all scientific insights into the global warming phenomenon just based on the comparison of one particular observational satellite data set with model predictions is strictly impossible.

    But, of course, refuting climate model validity with one particular observation strictly is possible. It can be no other way in science. There have been many instances of a ‘beautiful theory refuted by one ugly fact.‘ The theoretical beauty of a static eternal universe was refuted by the (theoretically) ugly fact of universal redshifts, for example. This principle of science falls under Einstein’s observation that one scientist is enough to refute Relativity Theory, discussed here in a larger context.

    The way I see it, having focused on being a physical modeler, Univ.Prof. Dipl.Ing. Dr.techn. Wolfgang Wagner never gained the deeper perspective needed by a fully fledged scientist, namely that science is the ruthless interplay between repeatable empirical observations and falsifiable predictions from theory. He says that, “The use of satellite data to check [models] … should not be done in isolation by the remote sensing scientists.,” but rather that, Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required…” But this, to use a term Prof. Dr. Wagner will recognize, is quitsch quatsch mit sosze (nonsense with gravy). Science is not a waltz of theory with result, a Viennese view notwithstanding.

    Remote sensing scientists have every right to publish their critical work without consulting modelers. They also have every right to point it out when their empirical results contradict the evident predictions of the models. Empirical scientists have no obligation to consult modelers before publishing critical results. Nor do they have any obligation to work with modelers to attain a joint consensus on the points of deviation. It’s up to modelers themselves to notice the problem and correct the failures of their models. Doing so is an expression of their scientific integrity.

    It’s only in the now normative corruption of modern climate science where Prof. Dr. Wagner’s distorted view of science can garner any sort of acceptance.

    So, I see Univ.Prof. Dipl.Ing. Dr.techn. Wolfgang Wagner’s resignation as a honest expression of his hurt feelings, of his personal dismay, and of his entirely lop-sided and crippled understanding of what science is and how science works. It’s also an expression of his attempt to rescue climate modeling now in the present, and to protect it into the future, from the blows of a properly ruthless empiricism. Although his letter is principled from his point of view, its subtext is all about fear of experiment; of the shock of refutation.

    I also have to observe that the orotund style of the resignation letter, full of portentously couched ambiguities, is an embodiment of educated Euro-double-speak.

  67. Nick Stokes says:
    September 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    tallbloke says: September 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    That’s true, he’s a climate modeler.

    Prof Wagner is not a climate modeller either.

    http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/index.php/staff/187-biography-of-wolfgang-wagner.html

    Yes he is.

    From the link you provided:

    From 2006 to 2010 he was also member of the Senate of the Vienna University of Technology…
    The main research interest of Wolfgang Wagner lies in physical modeling and geophysical parameter retrieval from remote sensing data….
    His main interest lies in physical modeling and calibration of full-waveform laser scanner data, applied to the problems of improving the terrain models, quantitative vegetation retrieval and object modeling…
    Using C-band scatterometer data his research group has produced the first global remotely sensed soil moisture data set in 2002….
    In 2009 he became co-chair of the Land Product Validation Subgroup on soil moisture within the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation. http://www.ceos.org/

    I agree with Pat Frank’s assessment above.

  68. jeez says: September 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm
    Jeez,
    I didn’t make a statement. I asked a question. Who handled what badly? Do you have an answer.

    And because everything here is laid at the door of climate science, I pointed out that that would be hard to do here.

    And TB, it’s nonsense to say that Wagner is a climate modeller. The sort of terrain modelling that he does could equally be done for satellites orbiting the Moon (if there were soil moisture there).

  69. Nick Stokes:

    I am often amused by the complete lack of logic combined with flights of fantasy in your posts.

    I now write to thank you for the laugh you have given me in your post at September 5, 2011 at 1:57 am where you say;

    “And TB, it’s nonsense to say that Wagner is a climate modeller. The sort of terrain modelling that he does could equally be done for satellites orbiting the Moon (if there were soil moisture there).”

    That is really, really funny! Thankyou.

    Richard

  70. Nick Stokes says:
    September 5, 2011 at 1:57 am

    And TB, it’s nonsense to say that Wagner is a climate modeller. The sort of terrain modelling that he does could equally be done for satellites orbiting the Moon (if there were soil moisture there).

    Further to Richard Courtney’s mirth, which I share, I’ll add what as I see it is the underlying point.

    Wagner works for organisations whose funding would suffer if it was admitted that AGW is not identifiable due to the reasons Spencer and Braswell (correctly in my view) outline in their Paper. Having been involved in the production of a global dataset for soil moisture, he is a de facto part of the GCM ‘team’. He has stated that he believes remote sensing experts must run their results by modelers before publishing any conclusions about the logical deductions which can be made from the data. His allegiance is to them. He joined their tribe.

    He believes Trenberth’s model trumps the logical outcome of Spencer and Braswell’s study of the data coupled with a simple model suggested by Isaac Held.

    It’ll be fun to see Dessler diss Held tomorrow don’t you think?

  71. It can take months and years, sometimes for my SLOW mind to figure out why something someone does or says…raises the hair on the back of my head. This one finally clicked for me. While I was doing my MS work in Mechanical, with a heat transfer specialty, one quarter…in the conduction heat transfer class, our major project was to take a “journal paper”, disect it, apply the method used in the paper to another real world heat transfer problem, and make a 45 minute presentation on the result.

    I was given what seemed to be a consice, 4 page paper. I walked into the class, 6 weeks later, with 40 pages of “overheads” (sorry, dating myself)…and spent 55 minutes presenting the method. I did NOT have time to apply it to a problem.

    What I discovered was the PRESENTATION was so “compact” that it took 6 weeks to figure out how to use the information.

    The alarm bell ringing in my head is that all these “Climate Scientists” are so BRILLIANT they can assess the validity of something such as the S&B paper in a day or two?

    Of course not! Only R.P. comes close to being contemplative and deliberate. The rest of it is all drama queen emotional reaction. And shows the utter arrogance of the “Climate Scientist” clique.

    We need more Willis E.’s around and less “hoity toit” climate scientist with powdered wigs, and flowing robes.

  72. “He may have fired a very effective shot at the people who forced him out.”
    That’s what I see too. A clever, indirect way to publicly expose the peer review flaw to the public. Sort of like suicide by cop.

  73. IT’S OBVIOUSLY A VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY, funded by Big Oil and promulgated by their stooges in the skeptical media.

  74. “Richard S Courtney says: September 5, 2011 at 4:07 am ”
    That is really, really funny! Thankyou.

    Well, Richard, here’s a test for your funny bone. Can you say with a straight face that Prof Wagner is a climate modeller?

  75. Nick Stokes:

    At September 5, 2011 at 10:00 am you ask me:

    “Well, Richard, here’s a test for your funny bone. Can you say with a straight face that Prof Wagner is a climate modeller?”

    I only bother to reply because there may be some onlookers who do not understand why I and e.g. tallbloke thought your comment was so hilarious.

    As Viv Evans points out at September 5, 2011 at 10:21 am, Wagner is a climate modeller.

    Wagner models soil moisture on the basis of remote sensing from satellites.
    The satellites cannot measure surface moisture with precision for various reasons. One notable problem is that clouds obscure the satellites’ observation of surface moisture, and another is that local geography affects how the surface obtains moisture and retains it in the soil. Therefore, Wagner has to model a terrain and its associated climate to determine how moisture arrives at a surface region, how that surface loses moisture, and how the moisture is replenished.

    But you said;
    “And TB, it’s nonsense to say that Wagner is a climate modeller. The sort of terrain modelling that he does could equally be done for satellites orbiting the Moon (if there were soil moisture there).”

    The reason there is no moisture on the Moon is because it has no atmosphere and no climate.
    And that reason is why your comment is so funny: indeed, your comment is Pythonesque.

    Richard

  76. Nick Stokes on Sept, 4th, 2011 at 1:43pm and again 6:06 pm and also on
    Sept. 5th at 10:00am:

    Nick,

    You’ve reiterated the link to Professor Wolfgang Wagner’s short bio page from
    his real day job employer, the Vienna University of Technology:

    http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/index.php/staff/187-biography-wolfgang-wagner.html

    However, a much fuller picture of Professor Wagner’s activities and modeling
    expertise can be garnered from the publications and presentations year by year
    from 2002 through 2011 that he’s listed on another set of Vienna University
    of Technology pages:

    http://www.ipf.tuwien/ac/at/index.php/publications.html

    He’s been the lead author or coauthor of a great many modeling papers
    that cover many more topics than just soil moisture.

    Victoria’s Secrets should have so many models to their credit !

    Vienna University of Technology:

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