Peer review is dead, long live blog review

By Marc Hendrickx writing in ABC’s The Drum

In January 2009, Nature splashed its front cover with the results of a new study titled ‘Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year’.

The article was accompanied by a glowing editorial from Nature and was widely reported on in the media.

A very short time after the paper was published, a number of factual errors were found in the paper, along with significant issues with the methodology used to obtain the surprising results. The errors and the methodological problems were reported and discussed by climate change blogs Watts Up With That, The Air Vent, Climate Audit and Real Climate.

Imagine if at this stage Nature’s editor in chief looked at the reported blog commentary and decided the journal had published a paper, which while it had gone through the normal peer review processes, based on some of the blog commentary, was basically fundamentally flawed and should not have been published.

Furthermore, the original reviewers may have shared some of the climate alarm notions of the authors, bringing the veracity of the original review into question. Media coverage also sensationalised aspects of the results. The editor in chief is so embarrassed by the publication of the erroneous paper, he decides to resign.

Sounds farcical? In fact Nature’s editor did not resign. Indeed there was no need to resign, there was no expectation on the part of the scientific community that a resignation was called for, regardless of the issues with the paper.

Subsequently Nature published a correction by the authors that dealt with some of the factual errors. And later, the blog commentary dealing with the methodological problems, ended up being published as a peer reviewed paper, by Ryan O’Donnell, Nicolas Lewis, Steve McIntyre and Jeff Condon, in the Journal of Climate.

Unlike the original paper however, this received very little media attention. Perhaps the long time the paper spent in peer review (10 months) and the less sensational results dulled the media’s interest.

This is just one example of how the peer review system works. Papers are written, reviewed, rejected accepted, acclaimed, criticised, corrected, refuted and debunked. When they are significantly in error they may even be retracted. The process of science, and the reason why it works so well, is because it is one of continual correction and revision. Theory stands until a better theory comes along to replace it. Peer review acts as a general screening tool, but it is by no means perfect, and it is ridiculous to expect it to work perfectly every time.

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Read the full article at ABC’s The Drum

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54 Responses to Peer review is dead, long live blog review

  1. multisciencepublishing says:

    It is one of the deceits of the Warmists that “peer-reviewed = good, correct” etc. No it doesn’t and its not meant to. Except in the special case of medical publishing, before the Warmists came along with their tendency to change commonly acccepted meanings, what ‘peer reviewed’ did was answer the question, ‘is this paper OK to publish’? And generally the reviewers are in the business of screening out glaring errors, ensuring the author makes a coherent case, is au fait with recent work in the field etc etc. If the paper gets hammered post-publication thats neither their business nor their responsibility: its the author’s work, not the reviewers. Its the Warmists who have quite deliberately given the false impression that reviewers in effect re-do the authors work and, having re-done it, can vouch for its being correct, and that anyone who subsequently disagrees with the paper will have to take them on too, because they’ve ‘guaranteed’ the paper’s OK-ness, haven’t they?. Well, no, because thats not what reviewers do. But it suited the Warmists very well to create the impression, by changing the meaning of peer review, that their work was flawless, guaranteed OK and attacks necessarily came only from cranks and crackpots. And when a contrarian paper popped up which they couldn’t immmediatley rubbish, they made sniffy remarks about ‘standards of peer review’ in whatever journal not being good enough, ie if they and mates had been doing the reviewing, any such paper would have been kept out of the literature. All around Warmism there is a smell of intellectual dishonesty.

  2. jonjermey says:

    It’s an instructive exercise to visit the stacks at a university library and dig out some New Scientists and Scientific Americans from more than a decade ago. By my rough estimate at least 50% of the claims published there have turned out to be wrong, and another 45% have simply been dropped as unrewarding. And these are the findings deemed to be of international importance!

    Science is a shotgun. It fires off a couple of hundred pellets, and if you’re lucky one or two of them will leave a mark. But betting the farm on the findings of any one paper — or any dozen or hundred papers — is stark lunacy.

  3. Fred Bloggs says:

    I regularly referee papers in my field and it is a necessary part of modern academic publishing. However the stuff I deal with is rarely contentious. So the system works well at making good papers better and killing the rubbish. It is an OK system. The main gripe is that it can slow down to publication process. However with the use of the internet and working papers, this is not necessarily a hindrance to just getting the new stuff out there.

    However when the field is contentious and as politically riven as climate science, then peer reviewers can become blockers of new research as shown in the Remote Sensing case – ok the paper was not blocked but the point is that with hindsight the editor wishes he had blocked it for spurious reasons despite having following the journal’s review policy to the letter. Shame on him.

    But we must ask ourselves why do we need peer review. Most scientists would not care about journals and would be happy to just put a pdf online. The reason is that scientists are evaluated by funding bodies on the number of publications/citations they get in journals which are themselves ranked. It is how funding bodies rate their researchers. As long as this is the case we are stuck with this problem. So there is no easy way out.

  4. Tom Harley says:

    This is a joke, right? The Drum? No, it’s not April 1st. Must have been an earthquake or something. Wow. Warmists will not be happy to be found out here.

  5. The climategate emails showed that they would “keep it out … if they had to redefine what peer review meant”. We thought the media would get the hint … start investigating the corruption, but no. Now we have a clear public case of that corruption. The concerted pressure put on editors to toe the line, the protracted obfuscation tactics to keep contrary evidence from being published and the obscenely fast track system which allows supposedly pro “evidence” (and I can’t see how it can be described as such) to get published in days.

    And this is not just a question of notches on the bedpost. Science now seems to be a “publishocracy”. Those who get published get the kudo to get promotions, get grants, get to be reviewer and editors. Those who don’t end up in dead end careers, not getting promotion, not getting onto the grant bodies and not getting those all important editorships.

    We wouldn’t accept a political system whereby the government were able to so skew the electoral system that only they would get on the TV shows, only they would have the funding, etc. so that only one party had any realistic prospect of getting into power. We value debate in democracy, we should also value debate in science.

    Science, and particularly climate “science” seems to have lost its way. It’s doesn’t value debate, it doesn’t value diversity. It brooks no contradiction, it ruthlessly pursues those who disagree, and as as I know given the lack of any real science the main occupation of climate “scientists” seem to be running attack sites like (un)realclimate and Wikipedia.

  6. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    I found the piece well balanced, good reading.

    The comments are running 95%:
    A. The author is not a CLIMATE SCIENTIST, only a lowly geologist, thus is completely unqualified to speak of such matters.
    B. The author is an Anti-Science DENIER (“serial climate change denier”?) thus his words are beneath consideration.
    C. S&B was garbage, completely and fatally flawed, the reviewers were all biased, Dessler 2011 in GRL already soundly rebuked it [note: I thought "Dessler 2011" was merely commentary, not a paper], thus the editor in chief of Remote Sensing was right to resign for allowing this travesty to be published. Indeed, it was the only proper thing he could have done!

    I’d be taking offense to many of those comments, if they weren’t so laughably predictable.

    Oh, I didn’t read all of the comments, too repetitive with too many anonymous names resembling a bot attack rather than actual thinking humans attempting an actual discussion. Likely the final percentage for all comments will be higher than 95%. ;-)

  7. Disko Troop says:

    This summary misses the point of the article in the Drum. It is specifically about the Spencer/Braswell paper which is not mentioned here.

  8. Tom Harley says:

    Just read through comments on the site, this article brought out the hornets, and are lashing out at anything, especially the author. Pass the popcorn, I’ve run out again.

  9. Climate Nonconformist says:

    The ABC published this? I’m absolutely stunned. Maybe there is hope for the organisation afterall.

  10. Lawrie Ayres says:

    Even the editor of the Drum may be alarmed by the amout of contra evidence to the AGW hypothesis. The world itself is not helping their cause the sea level hypists are having a hard time of it as are the collapsing ice sheet alarmists. JUdge by the audience for the recent Gorathon. Not one mention anywhere in the press here that a. it was on and b. what the results were.

  11. John Marshall says:

    I remember IGY 59. Mind you I was at school but that year of geophysical research did confirm a long held but ridiculed theory. Plate tectonics, or Continental drift as it was then called.

    Magnetometer readings across the Atlantic showed a bar code like change in magnetisation of the ocean bed rocks. This proved two things, polar magnetic switching and fact that the Americas and Europe/Africa were slowly drifting apart.

    The rest is history as they say.

    Can we now get some sanity into ‘climate alarmism’ which is at present riding on the claims that climate is fixed, rather like the old geologists who shouted down the Plate Tectonic theory of continual slow change which is also what climate does without any help from us.

  12. A better title: “Peer review is dead; long live the Climate Clergy”

    Kurt in Switzerland

  13. Streetcred says:

    Wow, the cult members are out at The Drum defending their beliefs … not a shred of facts produced.

  14. otter17 says:

    >> “The errors and the methodological problems were reported and discussed by climate change blogs Watts Up With That, The Air Vent, Climate Audit and Real Climate.”

    Uh, I’m confused why the author linked to the Real Climate posting. It didn’t discuss errors or methodology problems, but explained what the results were capable of showing or not showing.

    >> “Subsequently Nature published a correction by the authors that dealt with some of the factual errors.”

    The Nature correction indicates that the corrected confidence levels did not change the significance of trends nor any of the primary conclusions. I don’t see much in the way of factual errors, just minor mathematical ones.

  15. jimmi_the_dalek says:

    There are a lot of people who seem not to understand what the phrase ‘peer review’ actually means. What it does not describe is the process of getting a paper published, despite the regrettable tendency of some journals to use the phrase. Getting a paper past a referee is only the very first and least important step in ‘peer review’ , which continues after publication – well after in most cases – as other people working in the field read and comment on the article. So Spencer’s paper is part of the peer review of Dessler’s earlier paper, and Dessler’s reply is part of the review of Spenser’s etc etc. And yes, blogs can be part of the review process, provided that they actually provide facts.

    The whole process can take years however, so the current rush to instant judgement (on both sides) is unhealthy. Come back in 2 or 3 years and it may have reached a conclusion.

  16. SteveW says:

    “Theory stands until a better theory comes along to replace it.”

    No, no, no, no, no.
    Theory stands until evidence is identified which disagrees with/refutes the theory, there’s no requirement to come up with an alternative at the same time. It’s fine to simply say “We don’t know” and leave space for new theories to develop at their own pace.

  17. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Have you forwarded this to the erstwhile Editor of the Remote Sensing journal who resigned recently?

    There is after all a new Nature Climate Science journal which will I am sure, be in need of staff in future……….

    He could use this as a bit of coercive bribery, couldn’t he??!!

  18. Roy says:

    Even when it works, peer review can be expected only to ensure that a paper is worth exposing to wider, general scrutiny. Peer review is not proof of a paper’s veracity, still less its worth. By the same token when peer review fails the worst than can happen is that a worthless paper is offered for wider scrutiny, which is no more than a waste off the readers’ time.

    Wasting some time is not a resigning matter unless you make a habit of it.

  19. Frank K. says:

    Streetcred says:
    September 21, 2011 at 2:10 am

    “Wow, the cult members are out at The Drum defending their beliefs not a shred of facts produced.”

    It is highly likely that the majority of the negative commenters at The Drum derive some or all of their incomes from the CAGW climate industry. Climate science is about to collide head on with government budget realities, and the climate elites know it. If they lose public support for CAGW (and make no mistake, they HAVE lost support), then the game is OVER for them.

  20. klem says:

    I remember when that paper was published, the BBC picked it up and raved about the impending doom of humanity. However, included on the BBC page was a link to the authors website which I checked out. The authors explained that the reason they needed the website was to explain what their paper said in plain language, because the media was badly misinterpreting what they had actually written. When you read the authors explanation you realized that the BBC had cherry picked their paper and hyped the most sensational portion only, ignoring the parts which were not as alarmist in nature. It was this particular experience which helped me remain on the skeptic side of the debate. So kudos to the authors for trying to communicate with readers back in 2009, and a big thank you to the BBC for royally screwing up.

    cheers

  21. John Trigge says:

    Anyone want to offer odds on which papers will be used by the IPCC? What will be taken as the most appropriate to use in their next outpouring of catastrophe – the original paper, the errors or the corrections.

  22. Gary says:

    Science works when it functions as a meritocracy (the best stuff wins) and fails when it slides toward fascism (an authoritarian, governmental, political ideology). Peer-review has become a tool of the failure side of this spectrum, which thankfully, is giving way to technology-empowered, egalitarian popular-review. Yes, long live blog-review.

  23. Theo Goodwin says:

    Scottish Sceptic says:
    September 21, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Very well said.

  24. Multiscience has a great point. But it does extend to medical publishing. I am a PhD, not an MD, so I have been steeped in scientific epistemology to a much greater extent than most MDs, including those with “MPH.” I find it easier to get published in medical journals than in contingent fields where the researchers have PhDs (epidemiology, psychology, statistics, etc.).

    In medicine, people do change definitions and criteria. And, there is the naive adherence to statistical significance to the detriment of respect for clinical significance.

    I review papers. No, we reviewers do not get the documentation on the whole study, so we cannot vouch for the validity of the study. IRB can audit the study procedures, but that is abt it.

    There are calls for more open-ness in medicine if the data are publically funded. Fed-sponsored resch over 500,000 must somehow make the eventual data available to other researchers, which will clarify a lot of lousy analyses and funny business: overdependence on central tendency while ignoring subgroups, un-reported multiple testing, drop-outs/missing data, etc.

    When it is scientifically or politically relevant, I push for more complete info. I obviously can have my views trumped by the other reviewers, but I have been trumped by the editors who simply do not recognize the validity of some of these data/analysis issues.

    SteveW is right about theory not being accepted as the end of story until something obviously superior comes along. Any theory is a model, and always has weaknesses. Every study has its weakenesses. A theory can be terribly suspect simply because someone has a decent criticism of it, or because the methods of gathering data have not yet, by design, ruled out some source of bias.

    In an election, we have to pick the lesser of two evils, and someone has to “win,” and occupy the position, until a better candidate comes along. Science is not the same.

  25. James Sexton says:

    SteveW says:
    September 21, 2011 at 3:00 am

    “Theory stands until a better theory comes along to replace it.”

    No, no, no, no, no.
    Theory stands until evidence is identified which disagrees with/refutes the theory, there’s no requirement to come up with an alternative at the same time. It’s fine to simply say “We don’t know” and leave space for new theories to develop at their own pace.
    ==================================================================
    Thanks Steve, I thought it bore repeating. There is no requirement to present an alternate theory, only to prove or disprove the current one.

    To the general discussion, as the author of the opinion piece noted, the “peer-review” process for cli-sci at the least is dead. It has shown to be meaningless. Some papers get published that are of value, but I’m certain that’s entirely accidental.

  26. Mike says:

    The editor of RS resigned to make clear that the paper by S&B was fundamentally flawed and did not just require minor corrections.

  27. Rob Potter says:

    Thanks to medsvstherapy (September 21, 2011 at 6:42 am) for what I think is the money quote here:

    “In an election, we have to pick the lesser of two evils, and someone has to “win,” and occupy the position, until a better candidate comes along. Science is not the same.”

    For a while now I have bemoaned the application of legal theory to scientific problems: The presentation of supporting evidence for your theory instead of looking for refuting evidence. I think the point here is that a courtroom situation is like an election in the you have to ‘pick a side’, whereas science does not require you to do this and should not be used in that respect.

    The corruption of science with this viewpoint (I don’t mean with money) can probably be traced back to non-scientists wanting to have a get-out clause for implementing a policy which will be unpopular. By saying that “scientists say we must….” they are abdicating their responsibility for the outcome, as well as being cowardly and lazy about making a proper case. This seems to have culminated in scientists themselves becoming activists/politicians and adopting this legal approach.

    Although we are talking about this corruption in the case of contentious issues, such as climate change, my biggest worry is what is this doing to the rest of our scientific establishment. Too many scientists in other fields are seeing the rewards (in terms of fame if not fortune) in being an advocate and this bodes ill for the future.

  28. Theo Goodwin says:

    Mike says:
    September 21, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Such action has never been and will never be a legitimate part of editorial function in science. The purposes of a scientific journal or an editor of one do not include “rendering judgement as to what is true or false in genuine debate among scientists.” Warmista should learn this.

  29. Theo Goodwin says:

    I read the comments on Hendrickx’s paper. Once again, Warmista are unwilling to debate. Of course, it makes sense that they are unwilling to debate because they embrace principles that are completely indefensible. Principle One is that the output of computer models (simulations) count as empirical evidence. Principle Two is that empirical evidence obtained in the real world cannot be used to criticize simulations. Need I continue? You cannot debate scientific points when you have tossed scientific method to the winds.

  30. Fred Bloggs says:

    Multiscience is correct. As they promised in the climategate emails

    “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” – Phil Jones 8/7/2004

    By resigning from his post, Wagner has redefined what peer review is. He and Trenberth have intentionally and implicitly attempted to tell reviewers that they should only allow the publication of papers which fit with the current narrative. My description of Wagner for doing this would not be allowed on this blog.

  31. Ed_B says:

    Mike:

    The editor of RS resigned to make clear that obedience to the Team trumps science every time.

  32. jimmi_the_dalek says:
    September 21, 2011 at 2:46 am

    said “Come back in 2 or 3 years and it may have reached a conclusion.”

    Now, that would be the normal course. But, here the Editor-in-Chief resigned, spouting all kinds of garbage about the paper, the authors, reviewers. That is the kind of tactics by the warmistas that make them science community’s equivalent of mafia hitmen. Disgrace. Kevin Trenberth, the suspected hoodlum here, is on govt payroll. a bigger disgrace

  33. Mark says:

    But nobody can hijack blog comment review. I think blog comment review is a significant leap forward.

  34. James Sexton says:

    Mike says:
    September 21, 2011 at 7:09 am

    The editor of RS resigned to make clear that the paper by S&B was fundamentally flawed and did not just require minor corrections.
    ===================================================
    lol, Mike that’s funny, because I’ve got both Dessler’s and Trenberth’s responses and in neither do they show any fundamental flaws. Are you warmistas keeping it a secret? If you’ve got some proof of some fundamental flaws, bring them out and we can discuss them.

  35. Septic Matthew says:

    Mike says: The editor of RS resigned to make clear that the paper by S&B was fundamentally flawed and did not just require minor corrections.

    Had the paper (SB11) been shown to be “fundamentally flawed”, the journal would have published a retraction. Instead, it was too important to stifle or ignore, it was debated (on line and in break rooms everywhere), and Dessler published a rebuttal (D11) in another journal. The SB11 and D11 papers will doubtless be elaborated and rebutted in the future. Dessler’s 2010 paper in Science, like SB11 and the Nature paper addressed here, presented a weak result that was hyped.

    Hendrickx wrote an excellent article comparing and contrasting two cases. It deserves a wide readership.

  36. Owen says:

    James Sexton,

    I can not prove a theory with an experimental result, only support it. I can however refute it by showing one experimental case (to which the theory applies) in which the theory fails. We get sloppy in our language all the time in this regard. Much as the eclipse photos only supported general relativity, but had the measurements been different would have disproven it completely. We never really prove a theory, we only show an ever growing set of cases for which the theory works.

    Other than that I agree wholeheartedly.

  37. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Septic Matthew on September 21, 2011 at 9:47 am:

    Instead, it was too important to stifle or ignore, it was debated (on line and in break rooms everywhere), and Dessler published a rebuttal (D11) in another journal. The SB11 and D11 papers will doubtless be elaborated and rebutted in the future.

    Stop the disinformation campaign, now. “Dessler 2011″ does not exist. It was a comment published at GRL, not a paper, not peer-reviewed. Functionally it was just Dessler shooting off his mouth with GRL posting the scatter pattern. Even then, the earlier-appearing draft version was heavily blog-reviewed with Spencer et al garnering significant revisions before the posting of the final version.
    ===

    Mark said on September 21, 2011 at 9:21 am:

    But nobody can hijack blog comment review. I think blog comment review is a significant leap forward.

    Perhaps on the whole, no hijacking. But it has long been hijacked, if it ever really existed, with the abusive censorship at (C)AGW-pushing sites like ReallyRealClimate(models) and SkepSci, with skeptical sites that are trying to do balanced reviews condemned as anti-science untrustworthy “denier” hangouts.

    The complete hijacking of blog review hasn’t been accomplished, the internet is too big to accomplish such, but the fight to keep blog review viable and free is an ongoing never-ending battle. And history has shown it’s best to not forget there’s a war underway when you’re either a combatant or possible collateral damage. ;-)

  38. manicbeancounter says:

    The consensus folks there are missing the real significance of SB11. Even if Dessler 11 can overturns it (which it does not) it is at the expense undermining the evidence for strong positive feedbacks. Established science has strong verification. The favourable evidence is extremely weak.
    Put it another way. Do you think a criminal conviction would be possible on such evidence?

  39. rstritmatter says:

    This may be a bit off topic, but I wonder if we might get as much or more traction by doing some promoting. It sure would be nice to see a groundswell campaign for Henrik Svensmark to get a Nobel Prize. And it seems to me that anyone who has been following this story for a reasonable length of time must by now realize how due such an honor must be. This is in no way to diminish the incredibly important work of other independent scientists, especially those who have worked tirelessly to combat the cliches of the majority, but I hope that most people would agree that Dr. Svensmark’s role in promoting a history changing re-evaluation of the assumptions of the current academic status quo has been and will doubtless continue to be of unique importance. I posted the idea on my facebook page — http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?sk=wall — I hope that link takes you there and you can look at how we might spread the campaign on social media. I would think that with a little energy such a thought might go wildfire on the internet. Well, big brushfire anyway….:)

  40. Brian H says:

    Re: choices of conclusions re theories and hypotheses:
    “We don’t know, and know that we don’t know” is the fundamental overarching H0.

  41. Steve Short says:

    But here’s someone who got it DEAD RIGHT!

    As poor Obama struggles with poor polling, persistent high unemployment, possibly a primary challenge within his own party and a stagnant economy saddled with massive deficits and debts, one area where he can claim success is his prediction he would slow sea level rise.

    In similar fashion to baseball legend Babe Ruth calling his home run during the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, Obama called it successfully on sea level rise! You betcha!

    Obama declared on June 8, 2008 during his St. Paul victory speech for the Democratic Party nomination that his presidency will be “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

    It’s now official. Earlier this month, the European Space Agency’s Envisat monitoring, global sea level revealed a “two year long decline [in sea level] was continuing, at a rate of 5mm per year.”

    In August 2011, NASA announced that global sea level was dropping and was “a quarter of an inch lower than last summer.” See: NASA: ‘Global sea level this summer is a quarter of an inch lower than last summer’

    Surprisingly, despite Obama only saying he would “slow” the rise of the oceans, his presidency has presided over what some scientists are terming an “historic decline” (i.e. one that’s, uh, impossible to hide).

    Obama appears to have underestimated his powers.

    More impressive is the fact that just six months into his presidency, sea level started its historic reversal. In July 2009, sea level was already showing a “slowdown and was “still flattening.”

    So now I’m waiting breathlessly (i.e. winding back my CO2 emissions), for this amazing President to explain to me how this latest two year decline in sea level, which can only result from a contraction of the world’s oceans (noting the ice caps and glaciers are still melting and polar bears are still , uh, declining) fits in with Kevin’s 10 year loss of heat into the deep ocean.

    If he can pull that one off then I reckon it just has to be….President for Life!

  42. mike g says:

    This article gives short shrift to any suggestion that the drop in sea level is due to cooling: http://climate.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=570&Print=Yes

    I notice the article studiously avoids mention of any of the water accumulating on land being at high latitude and/or high altitude, meaning year/round snow/ice, and a long interval before it flows back into the sea.

  43. Septic Matthew says:

    Kadaka says: “Dessler 2011″ does not exist. It was a comment published at GRL, not a paper, not peer-reviewed.

    Not peer-reviewed? OK ( unless his friends helped him to write it).

    Non-existent? Not OK. It exists, it will appear in print. It will be cited.

    Most importantly, the main points raised by S&B and D will continue to be debated.

  44. JimF says:

    That Drum article is interesting, especially the comments. In my reading (not all, but a long way into the commentary) it seems the Skeptics are pounding the Alarmists about the head and shoulders (and that lot don’t have much in their arsenal but snark, ad homs and True Belief). How refreshing.

  45. Steve Short says:

    So here’s the global mean sea level data from December 2003:

    ftp://ftp.aviso.oceanobs.com/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_E

    Very easy to plot in Excel etc. Looks pretty clear cut to me.

    Sea level rose about 1 cm (only) from late 2003 to mid 2009 and now it has gone down about the same amount over the last 2 years We are now back where we were in late 2003 (in terms of global mean sea level). In theory we should now be 1.5 cm higher than where we were in late 2003.

    So if Kevin Trenberth et al. is correct (in his modeling) and for the last 10 years the so-called ‘missing heat’ (which even he admits has ‘gone missing’) has been hiding down in the deep ocean (below 700 m) AND the polar ice caps and continental glaciers have also continued to melt, where is the evidence of thermal expansion of the deep ocean (much less all the melt water)?

    To have your cake and eat it too, first you have to produce the cake. Sorry, no cake and no cigar for Kevin.

    No cigars for his crappy ‘peer reviewers’ either.

  46. phlogiston says:

    Mike says:
    September 21, 2011 at 7:09 am
    The editor of RS resigned to make clear that the paper by S&B was fundamentally flawed and did not just require minor corrections.

    Wagner the editor of RS in his suicide note actually spelled out his agreement with the message of this post. What he said was effectively, journal peer review accepted the S&B paper but the warmist blogosphere review rejected it. The former was wrong, the latter was right.

    So Mike do you agree with Wagner that blogosphere commentary has more authority than journal peer review?

  47. AusieDan says:

    teve Short
    Hi there!
    This is an error onthe reference that you gave:
    ftp://ftp.aviso.oceanobs.com/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_E

    It may be at th end where there are three full stops.
    Is there something missing?

  48. James Sexton says:

    Owen says:
    September 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    James Sexton,

    …………. We never really prove a theory, we only show an ever growing set of cases for which the theory works.

    Other than that I agree wholeheartedly.
    ====================================================
    Yes, we can prove theories. We can and do prove theories. If an instructor states,

    “If BD is a perpendicular bisector of AC, prove that ΔABC isosceles.”
    and the response is…….

    “To prove that ΔABC is isosceles, show that BA ! BC . We can
    do this by showing that the two segments are corresponding
    parts of congruent triangles.
    Since BD is perpendicular to AC , m∠BDA = m∠BDC = 90°. Since BD bisects AC , AD ≅ CD . With BD≅ BD (reflexive property), ΔADB ≅ ΔCDB by SAS.
    Finally, BA ≅ BC because corresponding parts of congruent triangles are congruent.
    Therefore, ΔABC must be isosceles since two of the three sides are congruent.”

    Then, a theory is proved. Bonus given to name the theory proved. We’ve proven theories often. The ones we can’t, is because they are flawed.

    Related thoughts……. I don’t have to be a pitcher in order to be an umpire.

    James

  49. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    James Sexton says:
    September 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Yes, we can prove theories. We can and do prove theories.
    <<

    You’re confusing mathematics with science. In mathematics, the universe of discourse is defined. Therefore, it’s possible to prove a conjecture correct for all cases. In science, the universe of discourse is unknown. Therefore, the best we can do is not find a case that disproves our hypothesis/theory/law.

    Owen’s point is correct.

    Jim

  50. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From James Sexton on September 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm:

    Yes, we can prove theories. We can and do prove theories. If an instructor states,

    “If BD is a perpendicular bisector of AC, prove that ΔABC isosceles.”
    and the response is…….

    Does D lie on AC? Seriously, that’s one of those trick questions you have to watch out for. Your proof assumes that it does. If what you presented was all I had to go on, I’d assign E as the intersection of BD and AC and go from there.

  51. James Sexton says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    September 22, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Nice catch…… the graphics didn’t make the c/p.

  52. RockyRoad says:

    Mike says:
    September 21, 2011 at 7:09 am

    The editor of RS resigned to make clear that the paper by S&B was fundamentally flawed and did not just require minor corrections.

    No–the paper was only considered “fundamentally flawed” by The Team. The rest of the science community finds the paper to be in line with the facts.

    This is just another blatant example of undue influence being exerted on those dissenting from the orthodoxy. I promise you there will be many more such articles until the orthodoxy finally gives up, gives in, or goes home.

  53. woodNfish says:

    Peer review, along with credability, died at Nature, SiAm, and many other so-called “science journals” a long time ago.

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