"Reviewer A" responds

The row over the issue of Antarctica warming continues. After a number of articles appeared at the Air Vent, Lucia’s, and Climate Audit, Dr. Steig responds at RealClimate with some accusations of his own. I offered Dr. Steig a guest post here, with no caveats, so that he could get maximum exposure, twice. He didn’t bother to respond.

This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own. This failure of peer review falls squarely into the lap of the Journal of Climate for allowing such nonsense in the first place.

But IMHO, Dr. Steig bears responsibility too, he should have said “no”, realizing what a conflict of interest this was.

He confirms in the latest RealClimate essay that he was in fact “Reviewer A”. He also complains that he wasn’t allowed to see the final draft. This is due to the fact that JoC had to bring in another reviewer to break the 88 page log jam created by “Reviewer A”.

The analysis of the difference between the 3rd and 4th (final) drafts at Climate Audit reveal this:

MrPete

Posted Feb 9, 2011 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

Here is a comparison of Rev 3 and Rev 4. All text changes are marked up — including totally minor changes. I hope this works for the reader. (Personally, I would primarily trust this to provide pointers to areas of change as it is not obvious how to reliably discern exactly what the old/new text was.)

To my admittedly inexperienced eyes, the changes appear relatively minor.

Perhaps one of the authors can speak authoritatively on a) whether Wm C’s question (about round 4 reviews) has any standing, and b) whether Eric Steig’s disclaimer (based on not having seen these changes) is appropriate.

So it seems Dr. Steig’s complaint is empty, and the situation mostly a result of his own doings. Still it points back to the failure of peer review at JoC. They should not have invited Dr. Steig to be a reviewer in the first place. had they not, this whole ugly row would be non-existent.

At CA, this commenter sums it up pretty well:

movielib

Posted Feb 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

Eric Steig has replied to Ryan:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/02/odonnellgate/

There seems to be a lot of arm waving about O’Donnell being wrong about… well, everything.

There is what I’d call a personal attack against “O’Donnell, Condon, and McIntyre,” comparing them unfavorably with such “legitimate, honest commenters” as “Susan Solomon or J. Michael Wallace, or, for that matter, Gavin Schmidt or Mike Mann or myself [i.e. Steig].” You see, he thinks people like O’Donnell and McIntyre are not legitimate honest commenters. The compulsory word “deniers” is also thrown in.

Steig claims O’Donnell is going to “retract [his] allegations” against Steig. It’s very vague and I sure don’t know what he’s talking about.

He says he was a reviewer for the first three drafts of the O’Donnell et al. paper but not for the “markedly different” fourth draft so he hadn’t seen it before publication.

Curiously, Steig does not address the point that is the subject of this thread.

I’ll carry ODonnell’s statement here when he completes it, including making whatever changes/retractions he sees fit.

In the meantime, the Journal of Climate editors should probably be made aware of the mess they created by allowing this conflict of interest to occur in the first place.

The bottom line that has been lost in the fog of this war is that Antarctica isn’t warming as much as is claimed, and most of the statistically significant warming is confined to the peninsula.

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Robert M

Whoops, It should be here, not hear… Here
The row over the issue of Antarctica warming continues. After a number of articles appeared hear at The Air Vent…
REPLY: stray word from an edit – removed -A

hunter

So he is in fact as cliamtegate and his later actions show him to be:
Deceptive and untrustworthy.

Brian H

Jeez. Being compared unfavorably to Solomon is pretty bad! I hope you considered the source …
😉

Hank Hancock

“Reviewer A”. He also complains that he wasn’t allowed to see the final draft.

He shouldn’t have been allowed to see the first draft either. I’ve had reviewers respond with one or two pages of critique or recommendations but “Reviewer A” responds with a total 88 pages? That wasn’t a review, it was a filibuster intended to stonewall the paper.

mpaul

The Team has created a myth that no one, save a small cadre of climate scientists, have the intellectual heft necessary to understand their complicated and sophisticated discipline. Sadly, the journal editors seemed to have largely bought into this canard. As a result, the editors feel a great deal of pressure to bring in one of the gifted minds anytime there’s a dispute regarding these insanely complex matters (or what statisticians would call, ‘everyday problems’).

Scott Covert

It looks like the Journal of Climate editors aren’t up to jury selection for a traffic ticket.
Does anyone believe this was not intentional?

Latitude

JoC knew what they were doing….
…they didn’t pull his name out of a hat

Anthony says …

“This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own.”

But this is how it has been … Nothing is real. The whole peer review process is being bastardized to promote the hoax. It’s how you develop credibility from none.
The real scientists need to stand up, NOW!

Dagfinn Reiersøl

I haven’t been following this dispute, but Steig does seem artfully vague. Steig claims that he’s been accused of dishonesty and duplicity, but does quote any such accusations, apparently since “it really isn’t worth trying to respond in any detail”. He also also accuses “deniers” in general of being dishonest. Apparently it’s OK for him to complain about dishonesty, but if the “deniers” do so, it proves they are evil. Hmm…

Athlete

Broccoli in the tank.

movielib

Anthony – Thanks so much for quoting me. I know I did something right if you like it.
I posted it here too:
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/10632327-post511.html
That’s where I do my little part for climate realism.

Ray

Their ego is certainly like their temperature model… it is anomalous.

Steig seems to be investing his entire reputation on that one paper. Either that, or it does call into question his other work and perhaps it should be re-reviewed as well.
He has made a mountain out of a molehill.

Gaylon

Interesting…Will Ryan publish a retraction of his previous allegations? From what I read at RC ES is considering sueing for libel (??) (See comment #4, reply from Stieg).
IMO Stieg simply attempts to exacerbate the row with his “denier” drivel.
No attempt is made to simply put the record straight (yes, I read the RC post and the first few paragraphs appear to me to be obligatory attempts to ‘get off the hook’), he goes way beyond that in the closing paragraphs:
“To those that still don’t get this — and who continue to believe that these people can be trusted to present their scientific results honestly, and who continue to speculate that their may be truth in the allegations made over the years against Mike Mann, Ben Santer, Phil Jones, Stephen Schneider, Andrew Weaver, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa, Gavin Schmidt, Darrell Kaufmann, and many many others, just because they ‘read it on a blog somewhere’ — I’d be happy to share with you some of the more, err, ‘colorful’, emails I’ve gotten from O’Donnell and his coauthors.” (RC post)
…which begs the question; Eric, and how have you and the above named responded to said “allegations? By being forthright and open, or obfuscating and closed? If you need help with the answer please refer to the recent goings-on with the UVA FOIA requests and the VA response…it speaks volumes on the Team’s intent and how the Team really operates.
In closing I see your “O’Donnellgate” comment at the end of your post as ludicrous: beyond ridiculous. Was it a vain attempt at redirection due to the heat the Team has taken over Climategate? How patheitic…

David Ball

He (Steig) has already achieved what he set out to do. Put out an alarmist paper, it gets accepted and shuffled through peer-review, it is trumpeted by the “team” and MSM, the damage is done, and we are relegated to the back of the hall to fight it out where the general public is unaware that there are any problems with the original S09 paper. I am sooo sick and tired of this BS happening over and over again. Will someone in authority please stand up and stop this crap from happening?

Sorry for cross-posting (Bishop Hill)
It just struck me, and has been touched upon several times before:
It seems quite conceivable to me that designated reviewer A (Eric Steig) indeed wrote and sent his review comments by himself, but that he communicated with other Team-members while doing so, possibly asking for their input and even help.
Both langage and delay-tactics and the multiple and inconsistent requests to address issues and moving goal posts at least suggest that as a possibility.
What I mean to say is that it is fully possible that Steig as reviewer both ‘recommenden to ues iridge instead’ and at RC cirticized the very same practice. But unaware of the contradiction (duplicity?). It has been suggested that this might have been a mistake, a memoryslip etc, and not intentional.
It might also have been the result of him relaying other persons opinions through his review comments, points that he did not completely understand himselft.
Again, this is his own responsibility, and he can blame noone else. But it also makes more sense.
Reading though the defence speech at RC, Steig does not strike me as to versed in statistics or at regarding methodology. In fact, my impression is that he still doesnät comprehend what O’Donnell et al is really about. He keeps talking about different points, about the warming he believes is to come, about O’Donnell not reafuting what he thinks was his ‘bigger picture message’ etc. And of course complaining about people not being nice enough to him.
I have read though his (their?) review comments and it is very hard not to get the impression that the main effort was to thwart the paper, and if that failed delay it as long as possible, and finally to minimze the harm it did to ‘the bigger picture’. Possibly even prepare it for an ‘easy rebuttal’, at least in the public eye.
It was obvious from the outset that this was a very hostile review, and obviously Steig is still more interested in toeing the party- (Team-) line, than conceding that O’Donnel et al have som valid points.
On the other hand, he also strikes me as quite human, with many responses more out of petulance and pique, as from somebody a bit out of balance, than adressing the criticism and defending his version of ‘facts’. Obviously he doesn’t have Gavin’s routine, and I think it shows to more than thos who already knew what is RCs main purpose …
And that is good!
Feb 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Jonas N
As to Eric Steig being chosen as a Reviewer:
I would actually expect that to happen, either him or somebody in his vicinity (eg former co-author). I don’t think this is a bad practice. Rather that it would be a bit naïve if the submitting authors expected to go free from scutiny from that side/camp.
But I would also expect the editor to be aware of this and treat it fairly. As Broccoli did here, finally. The criticism there is mainly that it seemed to take so long for him to get a fourth reviewer, and that he should have realiszed what’s going on much earlier. Well, maybe he did!? Actually I would be very surprised if he were completely unaware both of the Team, its reputation, and earlier controversies. And also would I expect him to have been pressured (or at least atempted to influence him) through other channels than the formal review process.
And I agree with those who said that he got it right in the end, and should be commended for it.
(And Steig’s pouting comment at RC, that it was a ‘lousy paper’ and more of the same, might in the end have the opposite effect, as it well should among decent and competent scientists)
….
As to Eric Steig being chosen as a Reviewer:
I would actually expect that to happen, either him or somebody in his vicinity (eg former co-author). I don’t think this is a bad practice. Rather that it would be a bit naïve if the submitting authors expected to go free from scutiny from that side/camp.
But I would also expect the editor to be aware of this and treat it fairly. As Broccoli did here, finally. The criticism there is mainly that it seemed to take so long for him to get a fourth reviewer, and that he should have realiszed what’s going on much earlier. Well, maybe he did!? Actually I would be very surprised if he were completely unaware both of the Team, its reputation, and earlier controversies. And also would I expect him to have been pressured (or at least atempted to influence him) through other channels than the formal review process.
And I agree with those who said that he got it right in the end, and should be commended for it.
(And Steig’s pouting comment at RC, that it was a ‘lousy paper’ and more of the same, might in the end have the opposite effect, as it well should among decent and competent scientists)

Luis Dias

I’m now very curious about the so-called “colorful” emails by O’Donnell. What a snakish move by Dr. Eric, to insinuate that Ryan has written him a very “misbehaved” e-mail, but without providing such e-mail, forcing Ryan to produce it in his defense.
I’m not bothered to see such… all too human behavior. We are, after all, human. I am bothered as to why are these people still being respected in a higher level, while the “deniers” being mistreated as they are. I bother to the fact that many intelligent people will be convinced by these RC shenanigans and just utter to themselves “Oh, look there go the deniers again, and RC have just burned them yet again, ha!”.
Until people actually get interested in the science, rather than in these shenanigans, we have little hope that climate science gets any credible traction towards good science.

Adam Gallon

I’ve just left the following comment.
In, Borehole or Oblivion?
Adam Gallon says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
10 Feb 2011 at 12:18 PM
Maybe this whole episode shows that a reviewer shouldn’t be selected, who has a profound conflict of interest with the material they’ve been asked to revue?
The O’Donnell et al paper, is statistically based, so wouldn’t it have been better for a statistician to be the reviewer.
The fact that Dr Steig’s review comments, appear to exceed the length of the paper, does suggest that it was rather more than a review to pick up grammar, spelling & mathematical errors

Walt

Does anyone know if the Journal of Climate has published guidelines stating who can review articles? They seem to state that authors can reply to comments on their papers. Reviewing comments on your paper before publication is a novel approach to replying to comments.
Hide the reply.

Crusty the Clown

Let’s see if I’ve gotten this straight: Steig looks for Antarctic warming using a flawed statistical technique and finds (presumed) warming. O’Donnell sees the flaw(s), analyzes the data with an improved technique which corrects certain spatial artifacts introduced by Steig’s somewhat naive approach, and his work still shows some warming, albeit with a markedly different distribution. Moreover, O’Donnell tests his method against a number of modified data sets and verifies that it performs as one would expect it to. Steig happily comments that they found warming as well.
But [Correct Answer]+[Wrong method] = [Bad Science]. (Well, unless you’re a post-modernist.) O’Donnell’s paper wasn’t about ‘climatology’ but rather the misuse of statistics in Steig 2009. Steig’s response at RC misses this crucial point and goes on about the ‘climatology’ as if methods didn’t matter, only results.
Steig states that he is not a statistician. Indeed, no one expects him to be. But we do expect that any serious researcher will consult with competent statisticians before attempting to analyse data (if not before collecting it) and will heed their advice. Apparently that was not done in this case. Anecdotal evidence leads one to suspect that, as a rule, climatologists do not feel a need to involve statisticians in their research – which strikes me as peculiar inasmuch as said research depends on statistics.
I’m only a clown and no one need listen to me, but it appears Steig and the rest of the climatology community should be thanking O’Donnell for pointing out a serious flaw which has the potential to invalidate a number of papers in their field.

pat

Yes that is the bottom line. Antarctica as a whole has not significantly warmed with the exception of the peninsula since 1950. And since the models say the poles will be the canary re AGW, the models are wrong because this canary ain’t singing.

Gaylon

“David Ball says:
February 10, 2011 at 9:13 am
“…the damage is done, and we are relegated to the back of the hall to fight it out where the general public is unaware that there are any problems with the original S09 paper. I am sooo sick and tired of this BS happening over and over again…”
I know exactly how you feel…but dude: ‘Finalist in the Bloggies!’, many, many people that never even post come here to stay current, laypeople. This is the best place for these discussions to take place. Public opinion on CAGW is low and I believe that Anthony, Jeff, Steven, and Willis et al (and that’s a BIG ‘et al’) are making the difference along with all the other pragmatic (skeptic? OK) people and blogs out there.
To quote an applicable phrase: Fight the Good Fight! Of course this means going beyond just blogging to educating our government leaders, communities, friends and families. An AMAZING amount of progress has been made, but still much more to do. We all have sphere’s of influence we circulate in and by asking one question, planting one fact, or exposing one falsehood is like dropping a pebble in a pond. The ripple expands out of our sphere and impacts (interference) with others. It’s unstoppable and we are watching / participating in the effects…IMHO; that’s a good thing!
Yea…I know, there are a multitude of arguements that might negate what I wrote above. A couple might be: human nature, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias but the ‘glass is half full’…from us…here…doing this.

James Sexton

Latitude says:
February 10, 2011 at 8:49 am
JoC knew what they were doing….
…they didn’t pull his name out of a hat
=======================================================
Damn right! Ryan didn’t want us to go after JoC, but they knew exactly what they were doing. I find it difficult to believe other journals would operate much differently. It simply shows “climate science” and “peer” review to be a closed club and the “scientific” papers being nothing but a collection of pal reviews in a most self-serving dishonest manner. They aren’t interested in discovery or perspective. They are not engaged in science but rather advocacy. From the team to all of the journals which publish their tripe. And this incident is simply further proof.
Throw the whole mess out and start all over…….wait forget about starting over, let’s just get back to saying we have weather that occurs and start doing something useful instead of wondering why sometimes it’s warmer than others.

Edbhoy

Don’t take your eye off the ball by engaging in debate over who should or should not be a reviewer. Focus on the flawed methodology employed by S09 and Dr Steig’s apparent inability to understand why it is important. The team have no defence for this and are trying to change the subject. See Bishop Hill’s pictorial explanation for excellent clarity on the subject.

James Evans

BTW, if any laypersons out there (like myself) want a quick and easy guide to what was wrong with the Steig paper, then try this:
http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/2/8/steigs-method-massacred.html
My understanding of the ensuing fracas is as follows: O’Donnell (et al ) submitted a paper that pointed out the errors in Steig’s paper. Steig was then selected as one of the (anonymous) reviewers of the O’Donnell paper. According to O’Donnell, Steig then made suggestions that certain changes should be made to the O’Donnell paper. Those changes were made. He then (while pretending not to be the anonymous reviewer) criticized the changes that were made – the very changes that he had asked for.

Peter H

“This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own.”
What, even Steven McIntyre?

StrongStyle81

“This is due to the fact that JoC had to bring in another reviewer to break the 88 page log jam created by “Reviewer A”.”
Got caught Logjammin’, the Dude does not abide.
Honestly though, how could he possibly think that tactics like this help his cause? We live in the Internet Age, this stuff is going to be exposed and dissected across forums, blogs and comment boards. They desperately want people to listen and believe in their message and yet their attempts at PR are often sad and embarrassing. They just keep shooting themselves in the foot. The whole subject of climate is getting harder and harder for me to take seriously. How am I, an average person supposed to take anything a scientist or academic tells me seriously when stuff like this happens? Most people have faith in science in general. They have faith that science will find the truth eventually and without bias. That faith is going to start eroding.

yguy

He confirms in the latest RealClimate essay that he was in fact “Reviewer A”.

I see no such admission in that article.

Alan

Flashback 25 years ago. I was then a graduate student in earth sciences, when the whole man-made CO2-driven global warming theory was building up within the field, as well as at my university (that’s where most of the grant money was). It reminds me of the nightmare… Cliques. Ideologies. Toxic competition. Personal grudges. All over the field. Nothing seems to have changed. Scientists are also humans, but the laymen don’t seem to know that and regard them as demigods. A little “consensus” with that?

sharper00

“But IMHO, Dr. Steig bears responsibility too, he should have said “no”, realizing what a conflict of interest this was.”
How is it a conflict of interest? It’s upto the editor to decide the merit of the reviewer’s comments and ultimately nobody is going to know the paper better than the original author. From the comments the editor paid special attention to issues where multiple reviewers agreed, this seems entirely sensible and appropriate.
“o it seems Dr. Steig’s complaint is empty, and the situation mostly a result of his own doings. Still it points back to the failure of peer review at JoC. They should not have invited Dr. Steig to be a reviewer in the first place. “
You keep repeating this but it’s not clear what you think the actual problem is.
“In the meantime, the Journal of Climate editors should probably be made aware of the mess they created by allowing this conflict of interest to occur in the first place.”
Again with the conflict of interest.
The central part of O’Donnell’s claims was that Steig was being “duplicitous” both by introducing and recommending a method as “Reviewer A” which he later criticised publicly and by asking for a copy of a paper which as reviewer he already had.
It’s now clear that “Reviewer A” suggested a method which was already being used by the authors as being something to try, the comment “Reviewer A” wrote was
“My recommendation is that the editor insist that results showing the ‘mostly likely’ West Antarctic trends be shown in place of Figure 3. While the written text does acknowledge that the rate of warming in West Antarctica is probably greater than shown, it is the figures that provide the main visual ‘take home message’ that most readers will come away with. I am not suggesting here that kgnd = 5 will necessarily provide the best estimate, as I had thought was implied in the earlier version of the text. Perhaps, as the authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling should be used instead. The authors state that this “yields similar patterns of change as shown in Fig. 3, with less intense cooling on Ross, comparable verification statistics and a statistically significant average West Antarctic trend of 0.11 +/- 0.08 C/decade.” If that is the case, why not show it? I recognize that these results are relatively new – since they evidently result from suggestions made in my previous review – but this is not a compelling reason to leave this ‘future work’2
It’s now clear (or at least claimed) that Steig never received a final draft hence the reason he had to ask for a copy later.
It seems now all that’s left is to make vague and unsubstantiated allegations of “conflict of interest” while blaming Steig and the journal editors for an incident that was created entirely by O’Donnell’s misunderstanding (to put it charitably)
The classy thing to do would be to retract the allegations and accept nothing untoward happened at all.

RockyRoad

mpaul says:
February 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

The Team has created a myth that no one, save a small cadre of climate scientists, have the intellectual heft necessary to understand their complicated and sophisticated discipline.

May I steal your words and make just one substantive change?
The Team has created a myth that no one, save a small cadre of climate scientists, have the intellectual heft necessary to understand their complicated sophistry.

Isn’t it “interesting” to see how people behave when there is $100 BILLION in government funded research rants at stake? That’s just the figure to date — more to come.
Of course, none of that pure-as-the-driven-snow science has been corrupted by politics — oh, NO — not at all!
All this, of course, is chump change compared to the $45 TRILLION in government slush funds proposed to “fix” a “problem” which is CLEARLY not a problem.

I think that you are being too hard on the Journal of Climate. Steig had a clear conflict of interest. Comparing his ‘reviewing’ with the other reviewers comments indicates that he ‘went to town’ (in the vernacular of the team) by an order of magnitude more than the other reviewers, in order to stymie and twist the publication of a paper critical of his own. Steig clearly had a conflict of interest, and ethically should have excused himself from the reviewing process.

James Sexton

Crusty the Clown says:
February 10, 2011 at 9:35 am
……… But we do expect that any serious researcher will consult with competent statisticians before attempting to analyse data (if not before collecting it) and will heed their advice……
I’m only a clown and no one need listen to me, but it appears Steig and the rest of the climatology community should be thanking O’Donnell for pointing out a serious flaw which has the potential to invalidate a number of papers in their field.
=======================================================
Apparently, they have an aversion to statisticians. I beginning to think it involves some cellular response related to IgE. But that’s just a working theory. In the Orwellian world in which the climatologists live, good news is the new bad. They’ve no desire to be correct, they simply have the desire to be alarming and churn out the next pal reviewed paper without the hindrance of someone actually checking their work. Evidently, it is easier to operate in this manner.

R.Connelly

What strikes me as strange in this whole mess is why did Steig comment again on the O’Donnell paper. Steig commented at RC when the paper was released. Steig et al 2009, S(09), was not damaged that much (IMO) by O’Donnell et al 2010, O(10)….
S(09) is remembered, thanks to the Nature cover, O(10) is mostly forgotten… why kick a sleeping dog? This whole mess gives more coverage to O(10) – not sure why Steig started this round.

sharper00 says:
“How is it a conflict of interest?”
The entire climate peer review system has been corrupted, as was made clear in the Climategate emails. It is rife with conflicts of interest. Michael Mann repeatedly threatened journals that didn’t toe the alarmist line. And sadly, they caved.
The result of the corruption is evident in Mann ’08, where his paper was hand-waved through peer review by his tame referees, despite his using an upside-deown proxy that he knew beforehand was no good.
If you naively believe climate peer review is on the up-and-up, read this:
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

sharper00

@Smokey
“The entire climate peer review system has been corrupted, as was made clear in the Climategate emails. “
Climategate eh? What is it about this incident that reveals a conflict of interest? O’Donnell’s claims of “duplicity” on Steig’s part were simply wrong so what’s left? Please be specific and reference either “Review A”‘s or Steig’s comments.

Robb

@yguy,
from the article…“Some months ago, O’Donnell cordially (though quite inappropriately) asked me if I was one of the reviewers, and also promised not to reveal it publicly if I didn’t want him to. I told him I was, but that I would prefer this not be public since the ‘opportunity for abuse’ was simply too great. Talk about prescience!
Sounds like an admission to me

JR

yguy: Steig himself says “Second, I was the reviewer of the first three drafts of O’Donnell et al submission.” in his O’Donnellgate post. The only reviewer that reviewed the first three drafts was “Reviewer A”. Therefore, he is admitting that he was Reviewer A.

Allen

sharper00 says:
“How is it a conflict of interest?”
There is none so blind as one who will not see.

I meant to say:
“government funded research grants
not:
“government funded research rants
But, my error may have been somehow Freudian. 😉

Leonard Weinstein

Peter H says:
“This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own.” “What, even Steven McIntyre?”
Peter, there is a difference between an external reviewer of a published paper writing a rebuttal paper (or blog), and a peer reviewer preventing publication of a paper they are reviewer of because it disagrees with their personal opinion. The external reviewers of published papers are how incorrect papers are corrected. Otherwise the published papers would be the last word even if they proved to be wrong.

sharper00

@Allen
“There is none so blind as one who will not see.”
It would help if you’d explain it – remember the purpose of peer review is to determine if a paper has any obvious flaws. If one paper is a critique of another then what’s exactly is wrong with using the author of the original as one of many reviewers?
Steig had no power to control the publishing path of the paper, he could only make his best case for flaws (if any) and then it was upto the editor to decide whether they had merit or not.

Policyguy

Some of the more recent comments makes me think that the Team is stepping in with a a can of white wash and a roll of wall paper to attempt to cover over Steig’s mess.

AJ Abrams

sharper00 says:
February 10, 2011 at 10:10 am
“@Smokey
“The entire climate peer review system has been corrupted, as was made clear in the Climategate emails. “
Climategate eh? What is it about this incident that reveals a conflict of interest? O’Donnell’s claims of “duplicity” on Steig’s part were simply wrong so what’s left? Please be specific and reference either “Review A”‘s or Steig’s comments.”
Please be current on events before trying smoke and mirror manure here. In the first review Eric strongly recommends that Ryan use iRidge. By the second submission Ryan had in FACT done so – he put the TTLS version in the supplemental section. Eric knew this…knew for a fact that his issues with the TTLS version where moot because the entire paper was no longer based on it and STILL went after the TTLS version in second and third review. Have to wonder why don’t we? Since it was his recommendation as review A, and his praise of the change, his then going on RC and criticizing it was duplicitous. Period.
It was not relevant that he never saw the final addition of the paper and he knows it. It was a red herring that you are now chasing because you are too obstinate to look at the actual exchange between the two of them yourself – instead believing everything that was said. Contrast that to myself upon hearing what Ryan said, I went to the evidence to see for myself. Some of what Ryan assumed was incorrect, but on this point, he has dead on.

James Sexton

sharper00 says:
February 10, 2011 at 10:10 am
@Smokey
“The entire climate peer review system has been corrupted, as was made clear in the Climategate emails. “
Climategate eh? What is it about this incident that reveals a conflict of interest? O’Donnell’s claims of “duplicity” on Steig’s part were simply wrong so what’s left? Please be specific and reference either “Review A”‘s or Steig’s comments.
=======================================================
He insists on a specific method to be in the study (as an anonymous reviewer) and then publicly criticizes the method at RC.
Duplicity—: contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially : the belying of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or action
Seems a pretty tight case for duplicity from where I’m sitting.

Dr. Dave

James Sexton says:
February 10, 2011 at 10:04 am
“Apparently, they have an aversion to statisticians. I beginning to think it involves some cellular response related to IgE. But that’s just a working theory. ”
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Pretty funny! Elevated levels of IgE are seen in allergic response or parasitic infections.
They may be allergic to statistical validity or respond to it as a parasitic infection.

James Sexton

sharper00 says:
February 10, 2011 at 9:54 am
How is it a conflict of interest? It’s upto the editor to decide the merit of the reviewer’s comments and ultimately nobody is going to know the paper better than the original author. From the comments the editor paid special attention to issues where multiple reviewers agreed, this seems entirely sensible and appropriate.
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Right, so lets see how this “entirely sensible and appropriate” situation panned out. Let me see……… an unheard of ……dare I say unprecedented 88 pages of obfuscation and handwaving from reviewer A. A fourth scientist being forced to mediate the logjam of obstruction. I’d never heard of anything like that either.
Here’s a question for you. Do you think science was best served in this manner? The way I see it, an alleged scientist hindered the furtherance of science. But then, truth and discovery aren’t in the “top ten” list of priorities for alarmists.

If any of these purely political scientists want to get me excited about Antarctic warming, they can start by replicating at measuring stations of their choosing the data already available via ice core studies and contemporaneous instrument measurements at Vostok — data which demonstrate an on-going, uninterrupted 10,000 year cooling trend wherein the latest warming is demonstrated to be not even close to being outside the bounds of natural variation.
I will, of course, expect them to fund all this useless crap through private donations — not through money stolen from taxpayers at gunpoint.

Sam Parsons

There can be no excuse for the editor of the journal. What he did in accepting a review of 88 pages is waaaaay out of the ordinary for an editor proves that he was making an accommodation for a reviewer who is a fellow fanatic. There can be no excuse for using a reviewer who is likely to write a rebuttal to what he his reviewing. Clearly, the peer review process for climate science has been captured as planned by Jones, Mann, and others. Steig is another participant in this capture and he is out there either pretending or delusionally protecting his sacred honor as scholar of climate science.