BREAKING: Editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing resigns over Spencer & Braswell paper

UPDATE: Sept 6th Hot off the press: Dessler’s record turnaround time GRL rebuttal paper to Spencer and Braswell

(September 4) Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. continues his discussion at his blog: Hatchet Job on John Christy and Roy Spencer By Kevin Trenberth, John Abraham and Peter Gleick. And I’ve added my own rebuttal here: The science is scuttled: Abraham, Gleick, and Trenberth resort to libeling Spencer and Christy

Dr. Judith Curry has two threads on the issue Update on Spencer & Braswell Part1 and Part2  and… Josh weighs in with a new cartoon.

UPDATE: Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. weighs in with his opinions on this debacle here, additional updates are below from Dr. Spencer.

UPDATE: Dr. Spencer has written an essay to help understand the issue: A Primer on Our Claim that Clouds Cause Temperature Change  and an additional update Sept 5th: More Thoughts on the War Being Waged Against Us

September 2nd, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

SCORE:

IPCC :1

Scientific Progress: 0

It has been brought to my attention that as a result of all the hoopla over our paper published in Remote Sensing recently, that the Editor-in-Chief, Wolfgang Wagner, has resigned. His editorial explaining his decision appears here.

First, I want to state that I firmly stand behind everything that was written in that paper.

But let’s look at the core reason for the Editor-in-Chief’s resignation, in his own words, because I want to strenuously object to it:

…In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal

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.

If some scientists would like do demonstrate in their own peer-reviewed paper where *anything* we wrote was incorrect, they should submit a paper for publication. Instead, it appears the IPCC gatekeepers have once again put pressure on a journal for daring to publish anything that might hurt the IPCC’s politically immovable position that climate change is almost entirely human-caused. I can see no other explanation for an editor resigning in such a situation.

People who are not involved in scientific research need to understand that the vast majority of scientific opinions spread by the media recently as a result of the fallout over our paper were not even the result of other scientists reading our paper. It was obvious from the statements made to the press.

Kudos to Kerry Emanuel at MIT, and a couple other climate scientists, who actually read the paper before passing judgment.

I’m also told that RetractionWatch has a new post on the subject. Their reporter told me this morning that this was highly unusual, to have an editor-in-chief resign over a paper that was not retracted.

Apparently, peer review is now carried out by reporters calling scientists on the phone and asking their opinion on something most of them do not even do research on. A sad day for science.

(At the request of Dr. Spencer, this post has been updated with the highlighted words above about 15 minutes after first publication.- Anthony)

UPDATE #1: Since I have been asked this question….the editor never contacted me to get my side of the issue. He apparently only sought out the opinions of those who probably could not coherently state what our paper claimed, and why.

UPDATE #2: This ad hominem-esque Guardian article about the resignation quotes an engineer (engineer??) who claims we have a history of publishing results which later turn out to be “wrong”. Oh, really? Well, in 20 years of working in this business, the only indisputable mistake we ever made (which we immediately corrected, and even published our gratitude in Science to those who found it) was in our satellite global temperature monitoring, which ended up being a small error in our diurnal drift adjustment — and even that ended up being within our stated error bars anyway. Instead, it has been our recent papers have been pointing out the continuing mistakes OTHERS have been making, which is why our article was entitled. “On the Misdiagnosis of….”. Everything else has been in the realm of other scientists improving upon what we have done, which is how science works.

UPDATE #3: At the end of the Guardian article, it says Andy Dessler has a paper coming out in GRL next week, supposedly refuting our recent paper. This has GOT to be a record turnaround for writing a paper and getting it peer reviewed. And, as usual, we NEVER get to see papers that criticize our work before they get published.

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September 2, 2011 9:53 am

Be careful what you write, above all, be careful what you think. The thought police are everywhere.

AndyW
September 2, 2011 9:55 am

You knew where you stood 500 years ago with science and the catholic church .. no longer it seems
Andy

Dennis Wingo
September 2, 2011 9:55 am

His resignation sounds much like the defenders of the aEther theory of the fluid that the Earth rides in after the results of the Michelson-Morely experiment.
All it takes is one fact to deconstruct an entire edifice of science.

Mark Nutley
September 2, 2011 9:56 am

He complains that the reviewers may have been sceptical? No loss reall to see him go, another gatekeeper out of the way.

September 2, 2011 9:59 am

Very sad day indeed ;-(
Common sense science has been replaced by corruption, power and politics.

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta
September 2, 2011 10:00 am

7. Trenberth, K.E., Fasullo, J.T., O’Dell, C., Wong, T. Relationships between tropical sea surface temperature and top-of-atmosphere radiation. Geophys. Res. Lett. 2010, 37, L03702.
Nuff said.

Mailman
September 2, 2011 10:02 am

Hmmm…interesting letter of resignation. Seems he has based his “opinion” one two things, 1. Some of the reviewers might hold some heretical thoughts and 2. a lot of other scientists have published papers saying otherwise.
I think the direct implication of point to is that minority views should never be published.
If that is the case then today is a sad, sad day.
Mailman

Elizabeth (not the Queen)
September 2, 2011 10:03 am

From Wagner’s letter, “Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the
review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”
I thought reviewers are impartial? Isn’t that what they always say when reviewers who share AGW notions reject papers that conflict with their personal views?

glacierman
September 2, 2011 10:03 am

I wonder what his new position in the IPCC will be.

Jarmo
September 2, 2011 10:05 am

In his editorial Wagner puts blame on selection of reviewers who apparently shared heretical notions of the authors:
“But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three
reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”
What is needed is an IPCC version of Act of Uniformity to keep heresy at bay:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Uniformity_1662

pat
September 2, 2011 10:05 am

So the stated reason is the suspicion that the 3 peer reviewers may have shared a bit of AGW skepticism. Good thing that never happens among Warmists. Where a scientist speculating things like extra-terrestrials are going to destroy mankind so the planet can be pristine again or that AGW causes kidney stones can be published after a review by a panel that resembles the three stooges. Using the word ‘stooge’ in both senses.
The fact that upsets these people is the paper is devastating to their hypothesis of an ever warming planet. It demonstrates that the modeled assumptions regarding heat retention are simply wrong by a factor of 2 or so.And that shit cans a whole lot of climate models and explains why they have dramatically failed to predict either weather or ‘climate’.

Greg
September 2, 2011 10:07 am

“I can see no other explanation for an editor resigning in such a situation.”
Well, I’m impressed.

RobW
September 2, 2011 10:08 am

“But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three
reviewers who probably share some climate “Warmists” notions of the authors.”
But this is OK for science??????????

Bernard J.
September 2, 2011 10:08 am

Here’s an idea – Spencer & Braswell 2011 was and remains crap, and Wagner is calling it.
Ockahms razor gentleman. It just happens to cut you the wrong way.
REPLY: Heh, your argument reminds me of the many that pronounced “plate tectonics” to be “crap”. Oh and it is Occams razor– Anthony

September 2, 2011 10:09 am

Different standards I guess when you want to point out the emperor’s nudity, than when you want to compliment him for the millionth time on his fine threads.
Would be great to find out whats behind all this. Could be another scandal if there were threats or intimidation.

Louise
September 2, 2011 10:09 am

I think this is also quite pertinent “I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions”
Surely that wouldn’t have happened here?

K
September 2, 2011 10:10 am

Can you link to the paper(s) you are alleged to have ignored?

Dave L.
September 2, 2011 10:13 am

AGW has become a major business entity with powerful political tenacles pulling strings in the background. The science of climatology has been totally corrupted. Time to turn off the federal money faucet.

John W
September 2, 2011 10:15 am

“In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents.”
It’s not ignoring them, it’s challenging them.
How could one paper be so disastrous to science as to require a career to be sacrificed? Even if it’s dead wrong, there are plenty of dead wrong peer-reviewed science articles, it makes no sense. Cult nut stuff!
What you ignore will become more.
What you tolerate will take over.
What you challenge will change.

DJ
September 2, 2011 10:15 am

“…the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”
I see. The editorial team didn’t run it by the Pope first. Odd, when you consider how in the previous paragraphs the reviewers receive praise for their scholarly and scientific prowess, a showing that their “sceptic notions” may well be with foundation.
As Dr. Spencer advocates, let the science of the arguments be played out in public.

September 2, 2011 10:16 am

Future public statements are nowadays part of the editorial process in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Who would have guessed.

Editor
September 2, 2011 10:18 am

Wagner’s editorial is just about the most cowardly thing I have ever seen. Here he finds it scandalous how many people are actually reading his journal:

Unfortunately, their campaign [Spencer and Braswell’s campaign to publicize the availability of their paper] apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication.

Wagner’s actual objection is not to anything in the paper, but to the way Forbes Magazine and others have promoted the paper as “blowing a gaping hole in global warming alarmism.” The meat of Wagner’s protest, to the extent that there is any meat, is to deny that the paper does what these statements that are not in the paper say it does:

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.

Ludicrous. I want to ask, “how could someone with such a livid yellow streak ever become editor of a journal”? But then it’s obvious isn’t it? Nobody can make editor of a climate journal today unless they are yellow.

Editor
September 2, 2011 10:18 am

Prediction time — who out of the mainstream climate establishment will stick up for Spencer — or will they pile on — since it’s apparently safe to do so because Abraham has come down from on high?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/02/journal-editor-resigns-climate-sceptic-paper

September 2, 2011 10:19 am

This reminds me of the fact that almost immediately after publishing Lindzen’s 2001 “Iris” paper, the Editor of BAMS was replaced, and the new editor immediately had published a separate paper (not a comment!) “rebutting” the paper, mainly making an argument which Lindzen et al. showed to be wrong quite easily.

Paul
September 2, 2011 10:19 am

Makes you despair! Let’s face it, we’re fighting a losing battle. Reality doesn’t count any-more the politicians aren’t going to change the course they’ve embarked on. We’ll just have to put up with our friends and family members being reduced to superstitious simpletons.

September 2, 2011 10:20 am

Once again we see the attacks on our 1st Amendment; a continuation of demonizing truths, in an organized and deliberate effort to silence any who attempt to enlighten us ignorant uneducated morons. How dare you appose the findings of such political powers as the all knowing IPCC!
Next will be pressure to sensor the internet, cleansing and punishing those who are not in step with the global agenda Mesiters political gain. Big brother government oversight designed on the premise to “protect the innocent.” Agency powers driven by political goals.
A sad day for all of us.
Support truth in science, and stand for a higher road of ethics. Stand together in exposing those who sensor truth of any genre.

Alcheson
September 2, 2011 10:22 am

In my opinion, good riddance to the editor. He basically is saying in his letter of resignation that as “Gate keeper” he let a skeptical paper get through and he accepts responsibility for that and resigns. I also find it interesting he makes this very telling remark in his letter. “Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required….” Basically, he is saying that in order to get published, the data has to agree with the models and in this case it doesn’t.

Louise
September 2, 2011 10:22 am

Ryan Maue – why on earth should the climate establishment stick up for Spencer if they think the work was crap too?
[Ryan: some think it has flaws — but i see how censorship is the new tactic of the left to quash dissent.]

Andrew30
September 2, 2011 10:24 am

[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.]
Translation:
Trying to refute computer model output by using observational data is strictly impossible.
OK, we completely understand your belief system:
“Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.”

Nuke Nemesis
September 2, 2011 10:25 am

What are the odds it was an offer to resign or else?

September 2, 2011 10:28 am

Anyone can get something wrong. It is telling the truth that is unforgivable.

September 2, 2011 10:28 am
Scottish Sceptic
September 2, 2011 10:30 am

Almost every day now I’m hearing of yet another academic who couldn’t get their work published because they made the fatal mistake of finding evidence that counters the hysteria about scaled up CO2 warming.

September 2, 2011 10:34 am

If a paper is “crap”, it is retracted. Since Wagner didn’t retract it, the paper is NOT “crap”.

Alcheson
September 2, 2011 10:36 am

Another interesting thought….. if 98% of scientists agree that man is primarily responsible for climate change… how did three randomly selected scientists all happen to be skeptics? The odds of that would have been less than 1 in 100000. Lucky day for us of the more skeptical persuasion I guess :-).

September 2, 2011 10:38 am

Mechanical engineer John Abraham to the Guardian: “It is commendable that Wagner has reacted responsibly to the situation“.
Be afraid, be very afraid…

R. Shearer
September 2, 2011 10:39 am

I thought the ratio of warmists to skeptics was on the order of 100,000 to 1. How is it even possible that 3 reviewers shared some AGW skepticism?

Neo
September 2, 2011 10:41 am

In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents.
They said the same thing about Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren in regard to bacterium causing ulcers.

FerdinandAkin
September 2, 2011 10:41 am

Hockey team fires goalie for allowing score.
Film at 11:00.

D. Holliday
September 2, 2011 10:42 am

Doesn’t this really fall under the old Einstein axiom, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
In this case, the computer models are the theory, the observational data disproves them. Game over!

Editor
September 2, 2011 10:48 am

From the resignation letter:

In hindsight, it is possible to see why the review process of the paper by Spencer and Braswell did not fulfill its aim. The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently 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. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors. This selection by itself does not mean that the review process for this paper was wrong.

Hmm, perhaps there are more skeptical academics out there than I thought. Is this a warning to future editors that they have to look more carefully to ensure they find reviewers without “climate sceptic notions” (and the proper level of alarmist notions)?
BTW, to fully appreciated the context of the letter, you have to read the rest of the paragraph that I didn’t quote. Wagner goes on to explain why he no longer thinks the paper is worthy of publishing, but his reasoning seems to be more over-reaction than logic. I wouldn’t be surprised if more is happening behind the scenes than appears in the letter, but I’ll leave that to the conspiracy theorists.

September 2, 2011 10:48 am

Same process with Galileo, 500 years ago…
History repeating itself…
Ecotretas

Viv Evans
September 2, 2011 10:49 am

Cross-posted at Climate etc:
“I am absolutely staggered by the reasons Mr Wagner proffers for his resignation.
He says that the authors and other sceptics ‘exaggerated’ the findings in the MSM – as if no other paper by any scientists supportive of AGW has ever been exaggerated in press releases in the MSM.
In fact, anybody who hasn’t been living in a cave these past few years cannot have failed to notice the daily horror stories about the terrible effects of AGW we’re given, based on ‘new research’ – pushed by the PR departments of the various universities and colleges.
Then he complains that ‘the sceptics’ were so successful in their ‘campaign’ that in a month the paper was downloaded 56,000 times! So why is that bad? How does he know that only sceptics downloaded this paper?
He then has the effrontery to suggest that the three scientists, invited to review this paper by the managing editor, who gave the paper their thumbs up, were somehow sceptics themselves, insinuating that they did not do their job properly.
There have been too many examples of ‘pal review’ by The Team not to grasp what Mr Wagner is complaining about, namely that only The Team should have the right to review and reject papers, especially those which do not comply with their take on AGW.
I am sickened by this resignation letter, the reasons given therein, and can’t help wondering why Mr Wagner choose to resign rather than embrace open dialogue between sceptics and warmists.”

September 2, 2011 10:49 am

Has anybody else noticed, the end result of this brouhaha is that BLOGS (“various internet discussion fora“) are considered at the same level as peer-reviewed papers. So when the usual brainless warmist pops around saying “you haven’t published your results!” we have a ready-made example that blogs are enough, to answer peer-reviewed papers.
In fact, the idiotic twitter bot now answers my tweets with references to SkepticalScience, no less.
Congratulations to all and especially to Anthony. A new era has begun.

September 2, 2011 10:50 am

This resignation is completely over the top.to the point where it can only be contrived. What Editor-in-Chief complains that an article in his journal has been downloaded TOO many times? Is the goal of scientific journals for publish articles for a readership of zero?
That’s just the beginning.
He states clearly that the peer review process was in no way circumvented, and the process was conducted with integrity. So why resign?
He then claims that the reviewers “may” have shared the views of the authors. He presents no evidence that this is so. So why resign?
Further he explains, there are publications out there that supposedly refute this paper, and that he only became aware of them after publication. Again, so why resign? IF the argument had merit, any merit at all, it would be the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief to conduct an impartial investigation, and if circumstances warranted, recommend a retraction.
The only way that an Editor-in-Chief, or anyone else in a position of authority for that matter, resigns a prestigious position is when they attempt to impose their will on the organization, and fail. Had he demanded of his staff a retraction and been refused, that would be cause for resignation. Had the process been shown to lack integrity of which he was aware and did nothing about, that would be cause for resignation. But this explanation?
This explanation should read:
AGW theory shown by artifical models is correct. We accidently publisherd a paper that showed the opposite from actual observation of the real world, after subjecting it to thorough and rigorous peer review processes that confirmed the observational science, and we cannot provide sufficient or logical reasoning to justify retracting it, and so, our Editor-in-Chief is resigning, protesting as he does the number of people who have read the paper when clearly they should not have been allowed to see it because it refutes the artificial models. We repeat, AGW theory shown by artificial models is correct.

Roger Knights
September 2, 2011 10:56 am

This is what happens when someone offends the PC brain police.

John in L du B
September 2, 2011 10:57 am

None of this makes any sense. In fact, for mainstream cliamte science, it only makes matters worse. I sense another climategate coming on here.

Beesaman
September 2, 2011 10:59 am

It all sounds very odd. What the chap is basically saying is that if it had been reviewd by warmistas and thrown out that would have been alright as that’s the majority view. If we used that logic then we’d still have the inquisition and the world would still be flat.
I wonder where he will pop up next, no doubt the warmistas will welcome him with open arms, well he is one of them with out a doubt.

Bernard J.
September 2, 2011 11:00 am

Omnologos.
Wagner resigned because it became apparent to him that the review process was flawed by letting through work that had previously been shown to be crap. He probably sees his primary responsibility as giving up his position as editor, and that it is either Spencer’s & Braswell’s responsibility to retract their own paper, or for it to be scientifically refuted by peer review, as will happen next week in Geophysical Research Letters, in a paer by John Abraham.
Wagner is after all just the editor. He’s not the arbiter of all science – or are you now suggesting that science be conducted soley by editorial primature and prescription? It would certainly cut out that inconvenient nastiness of experimentation, replication, and peer-review…

mark t
September 2, 2011 11:00 am

Sounds like a legit libel case. Discovery would be interesting.
Mark

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 11:01 am

“In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it
essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal.”
Somebody put the fear of Gaia in old Wolfgang. Imagine that: three reviewers missed the fact that the paper “ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents.” I guess those three reviewers must be first year graduate students, right? But Wolfgang elaborates on the point in his letter as follows:
“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. Only through this close cooperation the complex aspects involved in the satellite retrievals and the modeling processes can be properly taken into account.”
Now, this is a truly novel step in the history of science and the history of peer review. Data that contradicts some model cannot be accepted for publication in an article whose authors are not modelers because only modelers understand the “complex aspects” involved in “modeling processes.” In plain English, what this means is that data that contradicts model results must be pre-approved by approved modelers before it can be submitted for publication.
So, in the case of this one journal, it is clear as a bell that modelers have succeeded in suppressing all criticism of their work that is based on data. You must think about this for a while and let it sink in. It is a clear, robust, and successful example of some scientists acting to suppress criticism of their work. If you had any doubt that publication in climate science has been corrupted by power, then you have clear evidence to remove that doubt.
Of course, Wolfgang’s description of position taken by modelers undermines their argument for rejecting Spencer’s work. The burden lies on the modelers to state for all to see the “complex aspects” that data folk cannot understand and to explicate them in the context of scientific method. The number one sin of modelers is that they refuse to explicate their work in the context of scientific method and insist on treating each of their models as the product of a unique and new genius who cannot be understood by the unwashed Phds, but who must be treated as absolute authority. (My guess is that Wolfgang shares this view of the matter; otherwise, the points would not be so clear in his resignation letter.)

Reed Coray
September 2, 2011 11:02 am

A quote from Wolfgang Wagner’s Remote Sensing editorial explaining why he is resigning as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal.
Only through this [the use of satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models] close cooperation the complex aspects involved in the satellite retrievals and the modeling processes can be properly taken into account.
Color me confused. I thought the “science was settled”, which implies that climate models are close to perfect if not perfect even when they disagree amongst themselves. Isn’t it redundant to “cooperate” with perfection? What other choices are there–criticize, disdain, ignore, mock?

Keith
September 2, 2011 11:02 am

You just watch the new EIC, Franny Armstrong, get the paper retracted so that the AR5 team can pretend it never existed.
Unbelievable. Still, it’s a massive own-goal. If EVER anybody wanted proof of the central pillar of Climategate, that the peer-review process has been completely subverted by the Team and their acolytes, here it is in fluorescent 20-foot-high lettering.

September 2, 2011 11:04 am

This is the funniest damned thing I’ve seen in a while. Buhhhbye Wolfy. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!
He’s resigning because 3 well qualified scientists agreed with 2 well qualified scientists and that one paper contradicts another paper……..
Here’s some things we’ve learned…….
Consensus? Well, there appears to be one…… reviewers of Remote Sensing are in agreement.
The peer-review process is flawed…….. ahahahhahhaha!!! No doubt.
We need to make sure not all reviewers are of the same mind set …… ROTFLOL Wolfy, baby, I couldn’t agree more.
News media sensationalizing science papers? Oh my, well we mustn’t have that! It just won’t do!
I just hate it when stuff like this happens! It’s a miscarriage of science!!! ROTFLOLPMP!!!!
Maybe we should just let the travesty be the editor-in-chief or permanent reviewer. Wolfy seems to think he’s the arbiter of science.
It seems we’ve finally got the shoes on the proper feet.

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 11:11 am

Bernard J. says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:08 am
“Here’s an idea – Spencer & Braswell 2011 was and remains crap, and Wagner is calling it.”
Totally irrelevant. After a lifetime of peer review, I can assure you that 80% of what is published is crap.
Warmista should have responded to Spencer by explicating (look up the word) their objections to the data and doing the explication in the context of scientific method. Warmista adamantly refuse to discuss scientific method and they always appeal to their own authority to override scientific method. That is what happened here. In the future, data must be approved by the modelers criticized. Can you read it a different way?

Disko Troop
September 2, 2011 11:11 am

davidmhoffer: right on the button. I agree with your analysis. I see this as a more carefully worded resignation than some are seeing. The contradictions are deliberate. He is saying that he did his job, the respected peer reviewers did theirs, but that he is being forced to deny this fact by agencies or persons beyond his control. His response is to resign rather than retract what he sees as a perfectly justifiable publication of Spencers Observations.
The nett result will be another 56,000 people downloading the paper to see what the fuss is about . Team fail.

Bernal
September 2, 2011 11:15 am

I doubt, John W, that the Editor is sacrificing anything at all. It will be interesting to watch his career path from here. I expect he will go from strength to strength.

SteveSadlov
September 2, 2011 11:17 am

Anyone who has dealt with electronic systems or systems engineering in general will immediately recognize the main themes in Spencer and Braswell. Of course, unlike the somewhat discoverable parasitic terms and unintentional feedbacks that can wreak havoc in an electronic system, here such terms are still a bit mysterious and not all of them are known or easily knowable.

mike sphar
September 2, 2011 11:17 am

Gapping hole in the good ship global warming, who would have thought ?

Steve from Rockwood
September 2, 2011 11:17 am

“The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently 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.”
Sounds good so far, but then…
“the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents.”
If you go on to read his response the former editor-in-chief is really upset about the response to the paper and not to the paper itself. “which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media”. Unless he is silly enough to believe the Spencer and Braswell paper was the only one ever published in Remote Sensing that had some problems.

James M
September 2, 2011 11:18 am

…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…
Unlike the like-minded ‘warmists’ that have much exaggerated their claims in public statements? But, correctly stated, neither side should be pushing exaggerated claims – but, similar to politics, even if the claim is exaggerated, it appears that only one side gets called on it.
Unfortunately, their campaign apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication.
So, it’s a bad thing that people would want to download and read the paper and make their own inferences and conclusions based on that paper… versus, what? Blindly taking the word of someone?
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.
I don’t beleive you need to refute all of them – especially when only one will suffce. Performing a million experiments with the same result will never prove it right. It might lead everyone to the conclusion that it is right, but it only takes one example to prove it wrong.
In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view … but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents.
I’ll answer with another quote from a different source (http://tinyurl.com/3fztvor):
Since scientific theories are tested by observation, they are true if and only if each and every event they describe and predict, from the beginning of the universe to the end, in fact occurs exactly as expected. Theories, no matter how solid they might seem, must be discarded as false the very first time they fail to describe real events.
{Hoping my quoting and formatting worked correctly.}

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 11:19 am

omnologos says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:16 am
“Future public statements are nowadays part of the editorial process in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Who would have guessed.”
Yes, this is disgusting. However, my take is that Wolfgang put that material in the letter to embarrass the Warmista and to let the world know just how badly he had been beaten.

Chris B
September 2, 2011 11:19 am

AndyW says:
September 2, 2011 at 9:55 am
You knew where you stood 500 years ago with science and the catholic church .. no longer it seems
Andy
____________________________
Andy,
Please clarify your statement.
Thanks
Chris

RockyRoad
September 2, 2011 11:20 am

The problem is the science is now falling from “human-caused” to “man-made”. There’s a huge (and essentially criminal) difference.

Doug in Seattle
September 2, 2011 11:20 am

It very curious that Wagner did not fully recant the S&B heresy by retracting the paper as well as resigning. Perhaps his editorial board refused to retract and that is why he resigned.
Whatever the reason for not retracting, the letter is very telling regarding the pressure that the team can exert on editors.

dp
September 2, 2011 11:27 am

If Mr. Wagner’s career can be preserved by the flawed act of accepting peer reviewers who have the consensus view only then it is fitting and good that his career is now ended. A person who is not a skeptic is also not a scientist. This process needs to be repeated at other publishing organizations.

Tony
September 2, 2011 11:29 am

(Posted this over at JCurry’s blog)
Why should it matter to scientists if the media overhype results in the creation of metascience?
Only if those scientists are also involved in the creation of metascience, apparently.
Personally, if the average person can detect hype (aka BS), and so can detect metascience ( aka BS), what have Proper Scientists to fear?
Ergo; Wagner is no friend of proper science. And I suspect that this realisation is the cause of his resignation.

Elftone
September 2, 2011 11:31 am

Check his back for hand-prints…

jd
September 2, 2011 11:32 am

Look at the whole leftosphere in any activity. The end justifies the means. There is little room for science, policy, law, economics if it does not further the end. The heretics are attacked via PR, via attorney’s, via falsehood, via slander etc. It’s a battle of illusions versus common sense. The leftosphere can not stomach having their illusions shattered by science etc.
It looks like Science journals and blogs need to make a pledge that they will adhere to the scientific method. And get a a sticker for it. As much as I hate pledginess.

Steve from Rockwood
September 2, 2011 11:32 am

To quit over one paper? He obviously isn’t getting his own way anymore.

Sundance
September 2, 2011 11:32 am

Respect for climate science just dropped another notch. Let’s hope this gets as much press coverage as the original paper and becomes a vehicle to further push for defunding of the IPCC here in the USA.

Beesaman
September 2, 2011 11:39 am

Maybe Wagner saw himself as some sort of Pope Urban VIII to Galileo? Pretending to be fair and neutral but utimately answering to a higher authority, in this case the IPCC, not science.

Bill Illis
September 2, 2011 11:40 am

The Climategate emails explain exactly what has happened here and it is the same approach as with the Von Storch, Climate Change journal editorial board resignation and the Soon and Baliunas paper.
I’ve read comments recently that the Team was going take another approach with respect to Spencer’s paper rather than just bang out another dismissal/contradictory paper. Well, here it is except it is an old “____”, “_____” tactic. (the blanks are not gentlemanly terms).

Hugh Pepper
September 2, 2011 11:41 am

I think you missed the real reason the editor resigned Anthony. He states his point clearly: “trying to refute all scientific insights into the global warming phenomenon just based on the comparison of one particular satellite data set with model predictions is strictly impossible.” He continues: ” Aside from ignoring all the other observational data sets (such as 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.”
This makes sense to me.
REPLY: I think you missed who the author of the post was – Anthony

Matt
September 2, 2011 11:41 am

Good Wolfgang resigned with the wrong reason. He is not the right guy in that position. If that is all, a good day for those who oppose dogmas. One team player less as gatekeeper. The wording of the resignation letter indicates that he was wrong all the time – there is no such thing as a forcing obligation to consult with climate modelers before, if the peer review was done properly. This resignation, if done on the course of “poor peer review” was overdue a long time – but this was his camp. How strange is all that.

Ken Harvey
September 2, 2011 11:42 am

“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.”
For my money, the use of the definitive “the” before the words “global warming phenomenon” says all that we need to know about Mr. Wagner’s prejudices.

David
September 2, 2011 11:43 am

Sounds like he needed to resign. There is only one question that matters: Did the paper meet the necessary criteria for being included in the journal? Is his letter, he answered that question as “yes”. It shouldn’t matter if Fox News and Forbes did stories on the paper. So why does he mention it?
It really sounds like he got mad that this paper got through, started trying to get some changes made to the submission criteria (which contained phrases like “the right people” and “think of the children”), got shot down, got madder, and resigned.

HankH
September 2, 2011 11:43 am

In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal. This regrettably brought me to the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief―to make clear that the journal Remote Sensing takes the review process very seriously.

Translation:
The problem brought to my attention by the “team” is that the paper didn’t meet their majority view. It kicked against the pricks of consensus. It offered a scientific observation that did not agree with their models and that really angered them. Then the media really rubbed it under nose. Boy did the excrement hit the fan for letting this paper see the light of day! Of course, I was reminded that models trump observation in all cases where climate grant funding is involved. Silly me to forget, leaving that point to be missed in our review process. Just as Pharoah Horemheb struck the name of Akhenaten from obelisks and records of history for insulting the gods, I too face a similar fate, relatively speaking. This regrettably brought me to the decision to quit before they have me fired. Perhaps in doing so, I shall redeem my career somehow but obviously not as a journal editor. Everybody took this so seriously.

Viv Evans
September 2, 2011 11:44 am

“Keith says, September 2, 2011 at 11:02 am:
You just watch the new EIC, Franny Armstrong, get the paper retracted so that the AR5 team can pretend it never existed.
…….”

I’ll not be the only one who will be extremely interested in how this unfolds.
As for this paper making it into AR5 – no chance. ‘The Team’ has form …

Vince Causey
September 2, 2011 11:46 am

Bernard J,
“Wagner resigned because it became apparent to him that the review process was flawed by letting through work that had previously been shown to be crap. He probably sees his primary responsibility as giving up his position as editor, and that it is either Spencer’s & Braswell’s responsibility to retract their own paper, or for it to be scientifically refuted by peer review, as will happen next week in Geophysical Research Letters, in a paer by John Abraham.”
If the paper refuting Spencer and Bradwell will not be published until next week, on what basis is Wagner concluding that the paper is crap? Or is that merely a reflection of your own wishes?

John T
September 2, 2011 11:48 am

He blames the reviewers???
Why would any scientist ever review an article for this journal again?

DanB
September 2, 2011 11:52 am

From the letter –
“But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”
Probably?? He resigns over a “probably”? Sounds like he is taking his ball and going home cause he does’nt like the score of the game.
HE needs to grow a pair, and stand behind his words – especially if he is calling someone out. He should take a lesson in his conviction of his own analysis from Dr. Spencer.

Anything is possible
September 2, 2011 11:52 am

The whole thing is farcical, a sick joke. “Climate Science” has become an oxymoron.
A pox on all their houses.

son of mulder
September 2, 2011 11:54 am

Did the editor get a redundancy payment? Did he sign a compromise agreement? Is there a scientific paper debunking the Spencer paper?

Latitude
September 2, 2011 12:02 pm

How does a person become editor and chief of an English print magazine….
…and not be able to read and comprehend English

rw
September 2, 2011 12:04 pm

Bernard J:
Do you even know what Occam’s razor is? Or is “Ockahms razor” some exotic idea that I hadn’t heard of?

Frank Kotler
September 2, 2011 12:04 pm

“This paper is wrong, and thanks for all the fish.” 🙂

glacierman
September 2, 2011 12:05 pm

I think FOIAs would be in order, but I am sure the TEAM has learned their lesson. Of course GMail, etc. are within the reach of discovery.

jack adams
September 2, 2011 12:05 pm

Maybe I am missing something, but it seems that the paper was flawed because it did not incorporate opposing views. If that is the criteria to be used, every paper written, submitted and reviewed by warmsist is flawed as they do not incorporate the views of the skeptics.
Maybe the hidden message in the resignation was that skeptics need to use the rejection and resignation as the new standard for ALL papers, including those of the warmists. A pretty big drum to beat, and crafted by someone who lost his job by violating it, no matter how idiotic the result.

Sun Spot
September 2, 2011 12:06 pm

This act of resignation will bring more MSM light to shine on the Spencer & Braswell paper. His resignation will show how corrupt cAWG is and the MSM will carry it hahhh hahhh hahhhh.

DirkH
September 2, 2011 12:10 pm

Bernard J. says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:08 am
“Here’s an idea – Spencer & Braswell 2011 was and remains crap, and Wagner is calling it.
Ockahms razor gentleman. It just happens to cut you the wrong way.”
If I were a warmist I would be VERY careful with the name William Of Occam. Ferenc Miskolczi says
“If the system energetically could increase its surface temperature, it need not wait for our anthropogenic CO2 emissions, since another GHG, water vapor, is available in a practically infinite reservoir, in the surface of the oceans.”
The system dynamics can already be described with the water vapor GHG effect. CO2 only displaces some of the water vapor but can’t change the dynamics.

rw
September 2, 2011 12:10 pm

Well, the consensus gets harder to manage every day …
Seriously, this whole things keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

Luther Wu
September 2, 2011 12:14 pm

AndyW says:
September 2, 2011 at 9:55 am
You knew where you stood 500 years ago with science and the catholic church .. no longer it seems
Andy
_______________________
In my view, there has been a role- reversal. The AGW community in support of the IPCC position has assumed the role of the Church vis a vis Galileo’s troubles. Anyone with viewpoint not aligned with the orthodoxy is subject to the fury of the new church of AGW.

Nuke Nemesis
September 2, 2011 12:17 pm

So when papers supported AGW are submitted for peer reviewer, will the reviewers to screened so none will have any bias towards that position?

Joe Bastardi
September 2, 2011 12:20 pm

One thing I was right about.. as the Sept 14 Gore-a-thon approaches, the agw army is stepping up their campaign to isolate, demonize and destroy any idea that runs contrary to their drumbeat of bologna that their lemmings march to. Fortunately, the truth shall win out in the end.

September 2, 2011 12:25 pm

The Warmists seem to be one-trick ponies. They need to consult Mafia types or possibly Mexican gangs if they want to step up their intimidation game. The “science” they practice is not the one I signed up for.

MikeN
September 2, 2011 12:27 pm

So now they can’t afford to lose Remote Sensing?

Interstellar Bill
September 2, 2011 12:30 pm

17th Century headline:
Geocentric epicyclist resigns the presidency of the Astrologers Guild,
in protest of Kepler publishing heliocentric ellipticalism:
‘Our astrolabe models of the heavens require close cooperation by properly filtered naked-eye observations. Galileo’s newfangled telescope has no place in proper astrology.
We protest the unlicenced publication of Kepler’s anti-scientific rants. For two-thousand years the smartest scientists in the world have established the skilled prediction capability of epicycle models. The consensus is against Kepler’s ugly ellipses.’

Viv Evans
September 2, 2011 12:32 pm

Joe Bastardi says, September 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm:
One thing I was right about.. as the Sept 14 Gore-a-thon approaches, the agw army is stepping up their campaign to isolate, demonize and destroy any idea that runs contrary to their drumbeat of bologna that their lemmings march to. Fortunately, the truth shall win out in the end.”

(My bold)
Alinsky rules used by AGWers – now there’s a surprise!

September 2, 2011 12:33 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
September 2, 2011 at 11:11 am
Bernard J. says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:08 am
“Here’s an idea – Spencer & Braswell 2011 was and remains crap, and Wagner is calling it.”
Totally irrelevant. After a lifetime of peer review, I can assure you that 80% of what is published is crap.
======================================================
I’m beginning to think most of our warmista friends don’t actually read any peer-reviewed papers. Do they not follow the myriad of contradictory papers published in the journals? Do they not recall that our floating polar bears was a peer-reviewed paper? Or the constant blathering about the Amazon was derived from peer-reviewed papers? Or that Antarctic temps debacle was from peer-reviewed papers? Aliens, mental disease, plankton, algae……. all are from peer-reviewed sources. How anyone ascribes any sort of validity to a paper simply because it was peer-reviewed is beyond me.
Bernard, you can’t say Spencer&Braswell is crap. You’ve hitched your wagon to the peer review process. It is really an all or nothing prospect. Either peer-review is a euphemism for accepted science or it isn’t. I think it has become obvious that the warmista believe peer-review is accepted science only when it agrees with their world view. Me? I find the peer-review as a laughable bastardization of the scientific process. Its magnificent, but it isn’t science.

Alcheson
September 2, 2011 12:37 pm

I think the score IPCC 1, Scientific Progress 0 was the score at halftime. I think the final score is more likely to be IPPC 1, Scientific Progress 2. The more interest this story generates the better it is for the skeptical side.

mpaul
September 2, 2011 12:39 pm

I wonder if Ben threatened to ‘beat the crap out of him’ if he didn’t resign?

Green Sand
September 2, 2011 12:39 pm

“There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.”
Brendan Behan
Well, nobody died not even the paper. But the resignation has lifted the issue to a far greater level.
Get the feeling that this “has legs”, if you really want to bring to peoples attention that there is an issue to be resolve then this is one sure way to go.

Beesaman
September 2, 2011 12:40 pm

A bit odd how Richard Black of the BBC finds it necessary to highlight Dr Spencer’s faith so much in his article. Also odd how he likes the term ‘mainstream scientists’ now if that’s not evidence of ‘his’ bias what is?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574
Pity really, the BBC used to pride itself on its impartiality.

September 2, 2011 12:42 pm

Apparently there’s people like Bernard J unaware of the fact that papers are usually retracted without any editor losing its job. A chance to learn something new, uh?

Jack Greer
September 2, 2011 12:43 pm

Joe Bastardi says:
September 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm
One thing I was right about.. as the Sept 14 Gore-a-thon approaches, the agw army is stepping up their campaign to isolate, demonize and destroy any idea that runs contrary to their drumbeat of bologna that their lemmings march to. Fortunately, the truth shall win out in the end.

And what will you do for a living when the truth finally overwhelms the real bologna, Joe? Full-time Arctic ice forecasting?
REPLY: Always with the snark, Jack Greer’s signature trademark for lack of substance – Anthony

Jay
September 2, 2011 12:45 pm

Seems that Wagner feels that he let his journal and the peer review process be misappropriated for political ends.
It’s a wedge tactic. An attempt to be able to say ‘published in a peer reviewed journal’ when the material was only marginally related to the area where the journal and review panel had expertise and familiarity with established knowledge – ie not really peer review at all.

ChE
September 2, 2011 12:50 pm

Sniff, sniff. Sniff, sniff, sniff. Salmon are running.

Commander Bill
September 2, 2011 12:53 pm

In my own small way I have been an outspoken skeptic IRT the speculative hypothesis of Man-Made Global Warming. I have always been shocked at the vehemence of the alarmists. Early on this excessive emotionalism on what has been characterized as science betrayed it as a religion camouflaged with science. As any new wave fanatic religion it has core militants (defenders of the faith) that believe because they have faith and rationalize from there on. Anyone that opposes their set of beliefs are blasphemous and are denying god. This appears to be a central human inclination amongst certain types of people.
I use to use my real name in AOL environmental blog posts. However AOL apparently received enough threats that my name was banned from posting. I was forced to use a pseudonym of forever be banned from AOL blogs.
I once thought we lived in a world of enlightnment. I now realize nothing has changed from the days of the Middle Ages of intellectual intolerance.

Economic Geologist
September 2, 2011 12:54 pm

glacierman beat me to it. I’d like to know who he got phone calls and emails from since publishing this paper. But this is probably not FOIA’able. Too bad.

Ockham
September 2, 2011 1:08 pm

From this story, the BBC and the CAGW community have re-framed the issue surrounding the reason for this resignation: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574
“Mr Ward described the tactic of publishing in off-topic journals as a “classic tactic” of scientists dismissive of man-made climate change. “Those who recognise that their ideas are weak but seek to get them into the literature by finding weaknesses in the peer review system are taking a thoroughly disreputable approach,” he said.”
Warmophiles have wrestled complete control of the process from the hands of anybody skeptical of CAGW. There is no place left but the blogs. They have gamed the peer-review process and when lapses occur they will now use the ‘off-topic journal’ dismissal.

Paul Deacon
September 2, 2011 1:09 pm

Keith says:
September 2, 2011 at 11:02 am
Unbelievable. Still, it’s a massive own-goal. If EVER anybody wanted proof of the central pillar of Climategate, that the peer-review process has been completely subverted by the Team and their acolytes, here it is in fluorescent 20-foot-high lettering.
***************
Agreed. Hopefully the media will also stumble on the fact that since 97% of scientists are supposed to agree with the consensus, that gives a 0.0027% chance of finding 3 out of 3 peer reviewers who do not share their views.
********************
dfbaskwill says:
September 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm
The Warmists seem to be one-trick ponies. They need to consult Mafia types or possibly Mexican gangs if they want to step up their intimidation game.
********************
Be careful what you wish for. The Warmists know that the game is up, and that intimidation and suppression of dissent are their only hope. Anything is possible.

Mariwarcwm
September 2, 2011 1:10 pm

Bullying and censorship. Very ugly. Fight on.

RockyRoad
September 2, 2011 1:10 pm

Anything is possible says:
September 2, 2011 at 11:52 am

The whole thing is farcical, a sick joke. “Climate Science” has become an oxymoron.
A pox on all their houses.

I sarcastically call it “climsci”–why waste any more breath on it than it deserves?

September 2, 2011 1:12 pm

Staggering!!!
Nort only has the good ship CAGW been torpedoed below the waterline, but now the crew are busy burning the lifeboats and jumping into the shark infested waters.
Things just aren’t the same since Climategate revealed the IPCC “good ol’ boy” peer review network… LOL

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 1:16 pm

dfbaskwill says:
September 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm
“The Warmists seem to be one-trick ponies. They need to consult Mafia types or possibly Mexican gangs if they want to step up their intimidation game. The “science” they practice is not the one I signed up for.”
Clearly, they operate as a mafia, just a highly incompetent mafia. Like their science.

KnR
September 2, 2011 1:19 pm

If the reality is that as a result of having published a poor paper , taken this for granted , the editor feels he need to resign . If this was the norm there would be no one working on any journal for long as its not at all unusual . Indeed you could say the ‘Teams’ favorite journals should have the personnel turn over of a call center if this was the case . That he should cite the problem is the coverage other areas have given this paper, with these having nothing to do with this journal and making no claims to be peer reviewed but news organization, seems odder still.
What may get interesting is if the paper reviewers get involved, if one or all of them call Wagner out over this and demand to be told what was wrong with their review or in what way they where not suitable to review the paper , it could get very nasty . Whose hopping that will be the case ?

Sean Peake
September 2, 2011 1:22 pm

@Joe Bastardi:
the agw army is stepping up their campaign to isolate, demonize and destroy any idea that runs contrary to their drumbeat of bologna that their lemmings march to.
——-
True. But I relish the fact that the agw army will climb out of the their trenches and go over the top (in every sense of the phrase) because they will be easy targets on open ground. And now as General Obama starts to waver on his green plan, this is likely their last real push—I see it akin to the Spring Offensive of 1918 that led to the collapse of Germany. Bayonet fixed.

wsbriggs
September 2, 2011 1:23 pm

Follow the money – the journal is published in Basel, Switzerland. The University of Basel isn’t exactly an bastion of anti-warmist sentiments. Check out how much money the Swiss Chemical industry contributes to “green” causes, and the path is pretty clear.

September 2, 2011 1:24 pm

I don’t know how a person could reach any of these conclusions. Spencer and Braswell’s paper(s) (not just the last one) clearly spells out what is wrong with other methods and why other researchers reach erroneous conclusions. This was the PURPOSE of the paper! I admit I had to read it more than twice, but once you get your arms around what they are describing, it is quite clear to me that they are using a good approach at analyzing the data, and it is a very convincing argument that the other (mainstream) researchers conclusions are grossly exaggerating feedbacks to the + side.
I agree with Spencer on this one. If you have an argument, bring it on!
It’s a good thing this guy resigned, he’s chained to the rails of the Titanic.

September 2, 2011 1:24 pm

I think skeptics should be grateful that the thorough corruption of the peer review process is so open and easy to see in climate science today; just be advised, it is not limited to climate science, and it is indeed a fundamental problem, pointing to an across-the-board failure of modern physical science, particularly the earth and life sciences. I remember Dr. Spencer specifically announced some time ago he was only going to be using the peer-review system, and not blog sites, to press and defend his work; now all can see what it has gotten him, and no one at this late date should be surprised. No one, even skeptics (even Dr. Spencer), is listening to anyone they don’t want to listen to — there is no scientific debate on climate science, it is all a lot of on/off switching of attention, according to one’s biases and pet theories. The result is a complete lack of focus upon the definitive evidence, which I have brought forward, and which no one on either side of the debate wants to admit. So it is not just a fraudulent gang in climate science; it is the prevalence of dogmatic bias on both sides of every debate today, against a background of general incompetence rampant among all scientists. The reigning scientific paradigm is failing, apparently inexorably. And I know most of you don’t want to hear that, but it is the unvarnished truth.

Gary
September 2, 2011 1:25 pm

The former-editor sounds kind of wussy. Resigning because of a little heat? If he thinks that the final answer everybody agrees with is all that’s worthy enough to be published, he was not editing a journal. My guess is that the Journal will now go so plain-vanilla worrying about reactions that it loses readership.

neill
September 2, 2011 1:27 pm

I detect the stench of a culture decomposing,

Robert of Ottawa
September 2, 2011 1:30 pm

Wow – vicious street fight underway !!

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 1:31 pm

HankH says:
September 2, 2011 at 11:43 am
“The problem brought to my attention by the “team” is that the paper didn’t meet their majority view. It kicked against the pricks of consensus. It offered a scientific observation that did not agree with their models and that really angered them. Then the media really rubbed it under nose. Boy did the excrement hit the fan for letting this paper see the light of day! Of course, I was reminded that models trump observation in all cases where climate grant funding is involved. Silly me to forget, leaving that point to be missed in our review process. Just as Pharoah Horemheb struck the name of Akhenaten from obelisks and records of history for insulting the gods, I too face a similar fate, relatively speaking. This regrettably brought me to the decision to quit before they have me fired. Perhaps in doing so, I shall redeem my career somehow but obviously not as a journal editor. Everybody took this so seriously.”
Hank has this right. The journal editor, Wolfgang, is giving the world information to use against the CAGW-thugs who used the immoral and unprofessional techniques described by Wolfgang. The thugs succeeded in pressuring Wolfgang and he is resigning rather than retracting the article. Wolfgang has given the world wonderful ammunition to use against the CAGW-thugs. I believe that he is advertising his willingness to testify before Congress. Surely, this matter must cause a Congressional investigation. If you happen to live in the district of a Congressman who has expressed a criticism of CAGW then call him, tell him about Wolfgang’s letter, and tell him to act.

Gary Hladik
September 2, 2011 1:32 pm

Buh-bye, Wolfgang Wagner. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!

Robert of Ottawa
September 2, 2011 1:33 pm

Wagner says: “I was right until I was told I was wrong”.
After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.

Ellen
September 2, 2011 1:34 pm
Henry chance
September 2, 2011 1:34 pm

Number one. The reason he says he quit is not the real reason.
Religion. In Islam they have honor killings. The honor of the male has been violated.
This pal has had his religion violated. He doesn’t have the tools to cope with it. His pretend outrage is a little too dramatic. The real reason could have been industry or board member pressure and he does this story to save face.

Roger Knights
September 2, 2011 1:36 pm

mpaul says:
September 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm
I wonder if Ben threatened to ‘beat the crap out of him’ if he didn’t resign?
…………
Economic Geologist says:
September 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm
glacierman beat me to it. I’d like to know who he got phone calls and emails from since publishing this paper. But this is probably not FOIA’able. Too bad.

I suspect that the journal (one that is just getting started) received many subscription cancellations and cancellation-threats from college libraries and warmists, and the editor resigned to head them off and keep his publication afloat.

September 2, 2011 1:41 pm

Apparently according to Richard Black of the BBC, white males from the Bible Belt should not be allowed to publish in scientific journals, especially if they attack other faith based belief systems such as CAGW.
As he notes about Dr Spencer “an advisor to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, an evangelical Christian organisation that claims policies to curb climate change “would destroy jobs and impose trillions of dollars in costs” and “could be implemented only by enormous and dangerous expansion of government control over private life”.”

Roy
September 2, 2011 1:45 pm

“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !” –Phil Jones, in an email.
The editor was quite right to say that the review process failed. As far as climatology is concerned, peer reviewed literature = papers supporting CAGW.

stephen richards
September 2, 2011 1:45 pm

Disko Troop says:
September 2, 2011 at 11:11 am
davidmhoffer: right on the button. I agree with your analysis. I see this as a more carefully worded resignation than some are seeing. The contradictions are deliberate. He is saying that he did his job, the respected peer reviewers did theirs, but that he is being forced to deny this fact by agencies or persons beyond his control. His response is to resign rather than retract what he sees as a perfectly justifiable publication of Spencers Observations.
This is the most likely analysis of this letter. The contradictions, the teeth gritting criticisms and the visible pain in the words says it all. Been there, done it, got the tee shirt.
I think he was told to go with the promise of a career to follow OR stay with no prospects. The hope of the inquisition was that his resignation would ACT like a retraction even though no retraction has been made.

220mph
September 2, 2011 1:45 pm

If the paper (and process) was as flawed as the Editor claims he should have been (and would have been justified), retracted the paper. That was not done. This is nothing more but a weak and transparent attempt to denigrate and demean an admittedly properly peer reviewed paper – primarily because it was favorably received

Andrew30
September 2, 2011 1:57 pm

Jay says: September 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm
[..when the material was only marginally related to the area where the journal and review panel had expertise]
Were the sensors working correctly?
Were the sensors sensing what they were designed to sense?
Was the data collected correctly?
Was the data collected presented as observed data?
Were the sensors local or remote?
Remote sensing is actually the basis for the observed data in paper.
[…not really peer review at all.]
Does publishing available observed actual physical data always require that climate scientologist do the peer review?
P.S. CLOUD

Scottish Sceptic
September 2, 2011 1:58 pm

I read this entirely differently: “extremist warmist editor can’t stand not getting his own way so throws a tantrum issues resignation note expecting a massive cry of horror and demands such an important man should come back”.
I THINK NOT!

September 2, 2011 1:59 pm

This is known as taking one for the team.
he is trying to pull a von storch.
hans has way more class than this buffoon

pat
September 2, 2011 1:59 pm

Peter Gleick in Forbes:
2 Sept: Forbes: Peter Gleick: Paper Disputing Basic Science of Climate Change is “Fundamentally Flawed,” Editor Resigns, Apologizes
There is a famous saying in science: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” In this case, the arguments for climate change are backed up by such an astounding degree of science and evidence, that one, or even a few, papers that claim to refute the science of climate change deserve careful scrutiny…
The Spencer and Braswell paper fails in these requirements. But this is also the way science works: someone makes a scientific claim and others test it. If it holds up to scrutiny, it become part of the scientific literature and knowledge, safe until someone can put forward a more compelling theory that satisfies all of the observations, agrees with physical theory, and fits the models…
http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2011/09/02/paper-disputing-basic-science-of-climate-change-is-fundamentally-flawed-editor-resigns-apologizes/

RichieP
September 2, 2011 2:04 pm

Well said Joe!
eppur si muove …

Claude Harvey
September 2, 2011 2:06 pm

“If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” Wolfgang Wagner appears to have fallen on his sword because he couldn’t stand the disapproval of many in the “climate community” rather than as an act of contrition for “mishandling” the peer review process. If peppering a peer review panel with known opponents of the author’s fundamental scientific direction were a routine requirement, a high percentage of published pro-AGW papers would never have seen the light of day.

Scottish Sceptic
September 2, 2011 2:10 pm

There is a saying: “all publicity is good publicity” and “let sleeping dogs lie”.
So, this is the most bizarre turn of events. I for one had almost forgotten about the paper … indeed I’ve just realised that I left it off my growing list of evidence against the GW scam.

Ben of Houston
September 2, 2011 2:10 pm

It sounds like the editor took a bullet for you. I can think of no other explanation why he would resign over a paper but not retract it. I could see him retracting the paper and then resigning over the hoopla. I could see a very honorable man retracting the paper and then resigning immediately (This sort of thing is sometimes done by military men who put the lives of their people in jeoapardy).
However, the only way I can see this occurring is that someone of power said “the paper goes or you go” and Wagner stuck by his principles. Moreso, he resigned in a very open and public way clearly stating that it was over this paper while giving blatantly nonsensical reasons as to why it was unacceptable. It seems slightly reminiscent of Mark Antony’s speech in Julius Casear where he does not praise Caesar or blame Brutus
I quote
“The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently good technical standard and suggested one “major revision”, one “minor revision” and one “accept as is””
That isn’t a resignation in shame sort of letter.

richard verney
September 2, 2011 2:12 pm

HankH says:
September 2, 2011 at 11:43 am
//////////////////////////////////////////////////
Not surprising since Akhenaten was a real heretic challenging the world order; the first recorded person in history to believe in one god rather than the multitude favoured by most (to explain the workings of the world).
One should always be very comcerned and on ones guard when one sees revisiomists re writing history; remind anyone of the disappearing MWP.

Jimmy Haigh
September 2, 2011 2:15 pm

Paul says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:19 am
“Makes you despair! Let’s face it, we’re fighting a losing battle.”
Ah but we have mother Nature on our side.

JamesD
September 2, 2011 2:18 pm

“The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently good technical standard”
Yep, you sure don’t want them reviewing for your Journal. No wonder he resigned.
/sarcasm.

Gary Pearse
September 2, 2011 2:19 pm

Wagner: “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.”
This is unbelievable! Why should remote sensing scientists or any scientist presenting a paper on interpretation of hard data have to cooperate with modelers to determine why and where models deviate from the data? Surely it is up to modelers to deal with deviation from data. This whole science has become a playschool complete with bullies – I hope it doesn’t go too far beyond climate science. I predict as the synod unravels, there will be mass resignations from most scientific journals.

gacooke
September 2, 2011 2:21 pm

“…the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors…”
All I had to see was the word “notions” used to denigrate AGW skepticism, to understand where Dr. Wagner’s loyalties are.
When all is said and done, it is the perversion of the peer review process that will be the undoing of the entire field of “climate science”.

tom T
September 2, 2011 2:25 pm

It has been a sad day for Science for the past decade and a half, ever since James Hansen started claiming what he was doing was Science.

September 2, 2011 2:25 pm

Come on guys, wake up. All scientific journals are owned by the same people who own all TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Wagner was just fired by his bosses, after first accepting the paper for good scientific reasons. The excuse he now offers is just a whitewash for his bosses who drive AGW everywhere.
Could all the journals’ biases in peer review originate from the wishes of their bosses? Think about it. The circle is closed.

Paul
September 2, 2011 2:31 pm

At times I think the existence if Richard Black blog is a useful didactic for the entire AGW hypothesis. He is a single issue lobbyist with no pretension to impartiality, his platform is on a state run broadcaster, the BBC. This state run broadcaster is controlled by government appointment. This state run broadcaster boasts its own impartiality while following a distinctly biased agenda. Indeed you could add that this state run broadcaster is shaping public opinion at the state’s behest. People feel assured by the impartiality of the state run broadcaster therefore do not question AGW. The people who rely on the state run broadcaster are denied any information which contradicts AGW. And the Richard Black blog, in his lobbyist platform, smears any anti-AGW position, but when doing so it will be the first time the people will have encountered that view, thereby reinforcing the the BBC, ahem, the State’s view. Just imagine Winston Smith denying all his thoughts in a new tool called the BBC blog…
If people want to understand climate science they should not bother reading any science but should read George Orwell’s 1984, cause it is happening before our eyes.
It occurred to me that if people want to understand wind farms they should just see it as a transfer of wealth. Because that is all they are!!!

September 2, 2011 2:32 pm

“They said the same thing about Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren in regard to bacterium causing ulcers.”
Discovery period: 1980-1984, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 2005…a mere 20 year lag! I suspect the same with regard to “Climate”. I hope Dr. Spencer survives to pick up HIS N.P.

Peter Miller
September 2, 2011 2:36 pm

This stuff makes me realise we need a new Thesaurus, here are some suggestions:
Peer review = a review of grant funded, dubious, scientific papers which can always be relied upon to approved by one’s pals.
Climate science = ‘climate science’, an increasingly discredited cult belief promoted by those needing government financial support to spread their faith.
Climate scientist = ‘climate scientist’, or another expression for someone prepared to secretively manipulate raw data, but not prepared to debate his beliefs with non-believers.
IPCC = Irresponsible Practitioners of the Climate Cult.
The Team = A typical group of professional climate data manipulators.
“The Science is Settled = The mantra of career politicians, desperately seeking additional tax revenues to fund either welfare dependence schemes and/or their own pension funds”.
Natural Climate Cycles = An obvious natural sequence of events seen by the Climate/Alarmist cult as a great heresy.
Integrity = An alien concept in ‘climate science’.
Carbon Dioxide = A gas defined by ‘climate scientists’ as a great evil destined to doom all humanity and totally undesirable in the atmosphere.
Climate Change = Something natural which has been going on for hundreds of millions of years, but which the climate cult faithful insists on being stopped right now.

Chris B
September 2, 2011 2:43 pm

Luther Wu says:
September 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm
AndyW says:
September 2, 2011 at 9:55 am
You knew where you stood 500 years ago with science and the catholic church .. no longer it seems
Andy
_______________________
In my view, there has been a role- reversal. The AGW community in support of the IPCC position has assumed the role of the Church vis a vis Galileo’s troubles. Anyone with viewpoint not aligned with the orthodoxy is subject to the fury of the new church of AGW.
_____________________
Luther,
I don’t think the Church expressed any “fury” towards Galileo, in spite of his obnoxious insistence that his partially correct theories were without error.
I think there are better analogies to be made vis a vis adherence to the AGW religion, than the tired Church versus Galileo myth.
Chris

John W
September 2, 2011 2:44 pm

Paul says:
Makes you despair! Let’s face it, we’re fighting a losing battle.

No, the war isn’t over. They sense their own demise coming and will try every “trick” to “hide the decline”.

David S
September 2, 2011 2:46 pm

Would be interesting to use FOI to find out whether any publicly funded employees either side of the ocean have been hassling the ex-editor,,,

Frank J. Tipler
September 2, 2011 3:00 pm

Most people have a misconception of the relationship between general relativity. Einstein believed (as did Lorenz and Eddington) that general relativity was a form of aether theory. See http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ether_and_the_Theory_of_Relativity for Einstein’s lecture asserting this.
Most people also have a misconception of the relationship between Galileo and the Church. According to the leading Galileo scholar Stillman Drake, Galileo was a “Roman Catholic zealot,” whose problems with the Inquisition were due ENTIRELY to university professors of physics (natural philosophy) who were manipulating the Inquisition, rather than to theologians. See Drake’s book Galileo: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press). Galileo was convicted only because he pleaded guilty to the charge against him, even though he was innocent of the heresy charges, and had a letter from Cardinal Bellarmine (a SAINT no less!) proving his innocence. Read Drake for details, in particular for a conjecture on why the innocent Galileo pleaded guilty. Urban VIII told the Tuscan ambassador to the Vatican during Galileo’s trial that he (the Pope) was Galileo’s friend who was trying to protect him (Drake again).
The true parallels between Galileo and people like Anthony, Spencer, and Singer, are obvious. Perhaps Wagner also, as several commentators have suggested.
Finally, most people have a misconception of the Flat Earth Hypothesis. No educated person in Europe at least since Aristotle (384-322 BC) has believed in a flat Earth. See Thomas S. Kuhn’s book The Copernican Revolution: Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought (Harvard University Press) for a discussion. The claim that in ancient times (after the beginning of the Christian era), people believed in a flat Earth, is a myth invented in the 19th century. The Wikipedia article on the history of the Flat Earth Myth is fairly accurate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth Anyone who calls anyone a “flat Earther” is thereby demonstrating himself to be a “flat Earther,” which is to say, an ignoramus.

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 3:02 pm

Chris B says:
September 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm
“I don’t think the Church expressed any “fury” towards Galileo, in spite of his obnoxious insistence that his partially correct theories were without error.”
Cardinal Bellarmine, who would become Pope, told the Inquisitors that they could show Galileo the instruments of torture but not use them. He was placed under house arrest without medical care and forbidden to practice science. That is pretty damn tough, maybe furious.
But this is not the place to debate this matter. As much as I favor discussion of religion, this very important post is not a place to re-fight the Galileo wars.

DR
September 2, 2011 3:04 pm

Did Nature ever retract Mann’s “error”?

Jeremy
September 2, 2011 3:07 pm

Am I the only one thinking, “Good Riddance” ???

Mac the Knife
September 2, 2011 3:07 pm

Remote Sensing Editor-in-Chief Wolfgang Wagner has resigned, ostensibly because “…the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors…”
Well…. put him in a sundress and call him ‘Suzy’! He really DID screw up didn’t he?! He failed to stack the review committee with AGW proponents and some science crept in to the Remote Sensing journal. Oh, the HORRORS! For dereliction of duty, off with his Editor In Cheat head!!! /sarc
From my little knot hole, this looks like a ‘win-win’ situation to me…..

Ravensclaw
September 2, 2011 3:08 pm

There is some extra news coming out over this. From Retraction Watch that presents some additional insight with this discussion.
In Geophysical Research Letters there WILL be a refutation by Prof Andrew Dressler of the Spencer-Braswell paper next week.
As Geophysical Research Letters did not publish the paper initially, they don’t need to give Spencer and Braswell the last word (a rebuttal).
As Remove Sensing now says the Spencer-Braswell paper is a bad paper (but did not retract it) either Remove Sensing will deny Spencer and Braswell a response to “criticism” from Geophysical Research Letters or allow a limited response under a disclaimer that Remote Sensing says this is a bad paper or some such.
Cheers

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 3:09 pm

At his website, Roger Pielke, Sr., writes:
“Also, if Spencer and Braswell “essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents”, they would be clearly (and easily) refuted in a Comment in Remote Sensing. This would be an embarrassment to Spencer and Braswell, but that is how the scientific method works.”
The normal procedure would be for some Warmista to publish a comment in Remote Sensing. Warmista are anything but normal and anything but scientifc. Check out Pielke’s essay. It is good.

Richard Hill
September 2, 2011 3:13 pm

There have been a couple of comments alluding to one explanation. The good editor may have recvd a credible death threat against himself or his family. How could this conspiracy theory be refuted?

Allen63
September 2, 2011 3:14 pm

A “resignation” certainly gets one’s attention. But, it was an overly drastic action, in this case. Heck, if you think you made a mistake (as we all do occasionally), you own up to it and promise to do better next time.
At best, maybe he was “tired” of being editor. This was an “opportunity”. At worst, it makes the pro-AGW movement even more suspect as a “racket” that uses “muscle” to “punish” transgressions rather than ” objective science” to “edify” the ignorant.

Keith
September 2, 2011 3:19 pm

Might have known that Richard Black would leap on this with a complete train-wreck of an article for the BBC (note, it’s not his blog, but the lead story in the Science/Environment section of the BBC website).
Something else that speaks volumes: any story on the BBC site has a “Related Articles” section, linking to similar, connected, or back-story articles. There is no article on the release of the original paper.

TomRude
September 2, 2011 3:20 pm

To Ravensclaw, then if these are the options it looks like a set up so Spencer et al. cannot reply.

Beesaman
September 2, 2011 3:24 pm
TomRude
September 2, 2011 3:25 pm

Pielke Sr. got it right. This looks as if Wagner is a Ring leader (pun intended)

Keith
September 2, 2011 3:28 pm

Of course, the usual suspects (in this and other fields) don’t see this as being an own-goal, because they have that peculiar mental illness known as doublethink. In their minds, everything their opponents do is unacceptable because their views, opinions or just facts presented by them are plain wrong. On the other hand, any manipulation, deceit, stonewalling, cover-up or out-and-out lie is completely justified by being right. In fact, it’s not even that it’s justified; they see it as normal.
Means to an end.

J. Felton
September 2, 2011 3:29 pm

Something is very wrong here.
Not only is every single one of Wagner’s points incredibly wrong, ( eg. He complains about the ” exaggeration of the paper in the media” yet he has no problem with left-wing MSM constantly bombarding us with nonfactual information supporting AGW,) but the whole letter is written in such a style that to someone like me, ( who has personally been involved in investigations in determining credibility and motive, as a result of my occupation in law enforcement,) that I’m fairly confident that the entire letter, and subsequent resignation has been STAGED.
glacierman said
” I wonder what his position in the IPCC will be.”
An excellent point, I’m sure he will reappear somewhere soon.

Agwardian Spuckle
September 2, 2011 3:31 pm

A classic case of offering the patsy a ceremonial revolver to “do the right thing.” It could reverberate back to the days Wagner spent as a fellow at Goddard Space Flight Centre.

Robert of Ottawa
September 2, 2011 3:34 pm

“Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the
review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

Ha! The were no errors with the review proecess, therefore there must have been errors with the reviewers! For not holding to the Dogma! Heretics!
I am reminded of the early days of Christianity, after it had gained ascendency – the countless meetings of the high and mighty to declare the dogma and the anathema. On a more modern note, I am reminded of Lysenko and his academic aparatchiks.
Isn’t this the second journal editor to be forced out by the team?
grrrr###

Robert of Ottawa
September 2, 2011 3:46 pm

I am really ticked off with this. Seriously.
this is how I see it:
Innocent magazine editor (the editor, not the magazine) publishes Anathema; he is brought down by the Dogmatics and forced to recant. By doing so, he is allowed to keep A job, and probably continue to receive the mercey of Funding. No other scientific journal will now dare publish Spencer again. QED. Mission Accomplished.

Robert of Ottawa
September 2, 2011 3:48 pm

glacierman says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:03 am
I wonder what his new position in the IPCC will be.

Prone.

tallbloke
September 2, 2011 3:51 pm

So one of the reasons Wagner resigned is because 56,000 people downloaded the paper last month??
Here’s the link.
http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf
Even if you already have a copy, download it again, and again and again.
Let’s make a statement.

Robert of Ottawa
September 2, 2011 3:55 pm

Ryan Maue at September 2, 2011 at 10:18 am
The only high in Guardian readers and writers is grass induced. Hence the quality of their thinking. I know. 🙂

Follow the Money
September 2, 2011 3:58 pm

Felton: “Something is very wrong here … I’m fairly confident that the entire letter, and subsequent resignation has been STAGED.”
Eggscellent observation.
It is an act. There was an American pilot captured by the North Vietnamese. They used him for a propaganda film. He participated, but tricked his masters by communicating the word “torture” in morse code using his eyelids.
Here, the good editor, under the forces at one side cultic, another very dependent on money, had to take the fall. To much money goes to NASA and other rent takers. The resignation letter is brilliant (I think!). He uses the typical calumny and illogic of standard warmist agit-prop, yet communicates through it, to the aware public, that something is not straightforward with the story,that there is a subtext to be examined. A brilliant subversion of warmist sentimentalities and self-money-serving reasoning. When the AGW bubble finally bursts in the future and he applies for a job or grant and is asked about the resignation business he can joke, “hey, don’t you see what I was really saying?”

SSam
September 2, 2011 4:00 pm

A resignation with no seppuku.
It must have not been that big of a deal.

Jacob
September 2, 2011 4:06 pm

Hmm, curious. Seems to me after having done some research that Dr. Wagner is heading up what could be called a “new” scientific journal. As it has yet to establish itself in the scientific community, it has a fragil place in getting and publishing papers, especially anything that tries to contradict the dominant paradigm in any given field (in climatology, it is the Greenhouse Paradigm). As such, having published a controversial paper by a skeptic with a well known streak for going against the mainstream (not a knock on Spencer, but he is not part of the IPCC mainstream) and having recieved the full criticism from the non-silent majority, he sought to direct the lightning elsewhere so that his “baby” would not be so ridiculed as to be snuffed out of the peer review process before it even had a chance to get in. Heck, even the established journals have a hard time after these sorts of debacles (Journal of Climate, anyone?). I don’t think it is political (he doesn’t seem to be a strong alarmist about AGW) nor do I think he seriously dislikes S&B2011. He is afraid that if he stands by them even in the face of the ever growing criticisms (whether true or not by the likes of Trenberth, Abraham, Bickmore, ect) that the journal will suffer. It may not be the most brave and intrepid stance he could (or should) have taken, but it is what he opted for, given the real world and its various shortcomings. This probably isn’t an IPCC-run conspiracy, it is a sociologically (psychologically?) predicted outcome within the broader sociopolitical realm of science. The best thing Spencer can do is to continue to make his claims and defend them the best he can. It may be unfair, but the world is unjust – are we really at all surprised?

September 2, 2011 4:06 pm

A comment about this, from Professor Jonathan Jones, stolen by me commenting at Bishop Hill. (Professor Jones, finally won the FOI battle recently with CRU/UEA over Crutem data)
in the comments:
http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/9/2/journal-editor-resigns.html?currentPage=2#comments
Professor Jonathon Jones (quantum Physics Oxford University)
“This is truly bizarre, and just shows how profoundly warped the climate science community has become. I make no judgement here on the correctness of the paper, but editors just don’t resign because of things like this.
Nobody resigned at Science when they published that utter drivel about bacteria replacing phosphorus with arsenic; they just published seven comments (IIRC) back to back with a rather desperate defence from the original authors.
Nobody resigned at Phys Rev Lett when I trashed a paper (on the evaluation of Gaussian sums) they had selected as one of the leading papers of the month: indeed nobody has formally ever accepted that I was right, but remarkably all the later papers on this subject follow my line.
I have been up to my neck for over a year in a huge row with Iannis Kominis about the underlying quantum mechanics of spin sensing chemical reactions, and either his papers or mine (or just possibly both) are complete nonsense: but nobody has resigned over Koniminis’s paper in Phys Rev B or mine in Chem Phys Lett.
Sure, my two controversies above never hit the popular press, but the arsenic stuff was discussed all over the place, far more than Spencer and Braswell.
What sort of weird warped world to climate scientists inhabit?
How have they allowed themselves to move so far from comon sense?
What is wrong with these guys?

tallbloke
September 2, 2011 4:06 pm

The arm twisting will have been to try to force Wagner to retract the paper.
By resigning, he has ensured the paper will not be retracted, but instead will gain more publicity and the alarmists are painted into a corner where they have to attempt a rebuttal of the science Spencer and Braswell have presented.
Well done Wagner!

Robert of Ottawa
September 2, 2011 4:07 pm

Good one Tallbloke. I had previously downloaded it when first possible; I did so again just for fun. 🙂 This will probably become The Most Popular Scientific Paper Ever – TMPSPE

ChE
September 2, 2011 4:11 pm

Götterdämmerung. The twilight of the Team. Such Wagnerian drama…

JC
September 2, 2011 4:11 pm

Not that many will read this comment as it is #177 (or so), but …
Does anybody else consider it improper for an editor-in-chief to even mention MSM reaction in a resignation statement? Am I “out there” on that?
It seems very telling to me. FWIW, my opinion is that Mr. Wagner is not in The Team’s good graces right now. I think that comments along the line of “he’ll probably now have a cushy job in the IPCC” miss the mark. I read this resignation as a mea culpa for crimes against The Cause: I screwed up allowing this paper to be published, the resulting bad press is my fault, and now I’m falling on my sword as is my duty.

Robert of Ottawa
September 2, 2011 4:16 pm

So, Tallbloke, your position is not that Wagner is a Wanker, but, rather, that he is sly. I can only hope so. But, he needs funding in whatever he does.

Brandon Caswell
September 2, 2011 4:17 pm

A minority view……a large body of work that disagrees………exaggerated by the media…….passed review by like minded reviwers….
He is surely talking about the “hockey stick” right?
Every single issue he has applies perfectly to the publishing of the hockey stick. Perfectly!
But lets be honest, he only resigned because he wanted to slap the paper with negative press and he was pretty sure he couldn’t get the paper retracted. It is a well planned move to give the media something negative to say about the paper without actually having to come up with any real science to back it up.
These clowns are reaching a level of ridiculous that is becoming delusional. There is probably a youtube clip of this guy yelling
BULLS—T over and over.

tallbloke
September 2, 2011 4:19 pm

Robert of Ottawa says:
September 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm
glacierman says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:03 am
I wonder what his new position in the IPCC will be.
Prone.

Prostrate is more like it. 😉

September 2, 2011 4:20 pm

My take if you don’t mind Anthony:
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/345-4/

Sirius
September 2, 2011 4:20 pm

Obviously M. Wagner doesn’t really know the complexity (refinement) of the “scientific basis” of the “consensus” about AGW or he did not carefully read the Roy Spencer’s article. Poor Bishop Wangner, you are a really nut. By your auto-exclusion, you wins the Darwin’s Price of the year (2011)…

DanDaly
September 2, 2011 4:22 pm

Keep up the great work Dr. Spencer. Tell the truth as you know it. You’ll be a happy man and the world will be better for your efforts.

phlogiston
September 2, 2011 4:22 pm

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:00 am
7. Trenberth, K.E., Fasullo, J.T., O’Dell, C., Wong, T. Relationships between tropical sea surface temperature and top-of-atmosphere radiation. Geophys. Res. Lett. 2010, 37, L03702.
Nuff said.

So Spencer is castigated for not citing the activist high priest Trenberth? It would be curious to observe how many times Trenberth cites Spencer in his (automatically peer-review rubber stamped) papers.

Nullius in Verba
September 2, 2011 4:22 pm

A lot of people are condemning Wagner, and not without cause. But I’d like to offer an alternative scenario for consideration.
The journal is a relatively new one, hoping to make its reputation and get in the big indexes so it’s “impact” goes up. Journals are businesses, with an eye on the profits.
So maybe the editor publishes it for good scientific reasons – which he points out by saying it passed the normal peer-review – but all of a sudden they find themselves at the centre of the global warming political storm, with angry, semi-deranged letters flooding in condemning them for publishing it, and big names in science rubishing the journal. No doubt it’s the sort of thing that will come up in the decision to promote the journal (or not) up the impact ladder. No doubt it’s the sort of thing that already has – somebody having a word in somebody else’s ear, suggesting that it’s a problem. The process may have been followed to the letter, but nevertheless it is hurting the business.
The editor agrees to act as scapegoat and resign, penning a grovelling apology to try to mollify the attackers, in the hopes of defusing the threat to the journals ambitions. Wagner possibly knows it was the right decision to publish (he must have thought about it, at the time), and that the objections to publishing the paper are scientifically invalid, but business comes first, and as an employee his first duty is to his employers profits.
It’s clear he’s not a warmist – or he’d never have published it, and he doesn’t take a position in his letter. It’s clear he got these arguments from somewhere else since publication – he didn’t come up with them on his own. I think the most likely place for him to have got them is quoting the letters of protest, which the journal is caving in to. Whether he is persuaded of their validity or not – and there are hints in the letter that he might not be – is an open question.

Scottish Sceptic
September 2, 2011 4:29 pm

ANTHONY, I think you should highlight the difference in treatment between the 2001 paper reported by Scientific American as More Proof of Global Warming and by the BBC as “evidence which they say proves unequivocally that global warming is real.”
As far as I can see this research is very comparable with Spencer, but is chalk and cheese in quality, but of course by the standard being applied by this editor it would have been utterly condemned by the warmists not trumpeted from the rooftops.
For what it is worth my twopence is here:
http://scottishsceptic.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/he-threw-the-rattle-out-the-pram/

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 4:34 pm

JC says:
September 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm
“Does anybody else consider it improper for an editor-in-chief to even mention MSM reaction in a resignation statement? Am I “out there” on that?”
It is shocking! It is completely inappropriate. It is like mentioning that the author of a paper is one bodacious babe.
I think that the editor was beaten over the head by the Warmista. He published his complaints in his resignation letter. He saw no choice but to resign. As Pielke, Sr., has pointed out, the correct response would have been to publish some critical comments from some Warmista. But it is likely that the Warmista do not want to publish comments; rather, they insisted on retraction. In other words, they would settle for nothing less than smashing Spencer.

Matt
September 2, 2011 4:36 pm

No. The editor’s main reason is not as suggested here by the author. The main reason is cleary stated rather at the top of the explanaition, where one would expect it. It says the following:
“Their aim is to achieve highest scientific standards by carrying out a rigorous peer review that is, as a minimum requirement, supposed to be able to identify fundamental methodological errors or false claims. Unfortunately, as many climate researchers and engaged observers of the climate change debate pointed out in various internet discussion fora, the paper by Spencer and Braswell [1] that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects and should therefore not have been published.
After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.”
So the main reason is that a bad paper had slipped through, for which the editor assumed responsibility.

September 2, 2011 4:39 pm

Frank J. Tipler says:
September 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Beautiful! Nice to see a comment about Galileo and the Catholic Church by someone who has actually taken the time to acquaint himself with the history.
I wish I had an insight to add re this appalling resignation. All I can do at this point is to marvel at the breadth of insight as to motives provided here – especially those of Theo Goodwin and Hank H, who see Wolfgang Wagner’s resignation as being forced. Floor Anthoni also probably has a point about pressure coming from wealthy and powerful publishers, who want to preserve their stakes in this crooked global warming scheme.

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 4:42 pm

Jeff Id says:
September 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm
My take if you don’t mind Anthony:
http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/345-4/
Interesting post, Jeff. I posted at your place.

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 4:48 pm

Barry Woods says:
September 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm
“What sort of weird warped world to climate scientists inhabit?
How have they allowed themselves to move so far from comon sense?
What is wrong with these guys?”
Well, it is a pure power struggle and they are going to keep some papers from being published, or get them retracted, even if they have to redefine “peer review.” Some are money hungry, but most are the standard issue power hungry socialists and communists from faculty lounges all over the world. They are desperate. They cannot allow themselves to be forced into a discussion of scientific method because that would collapse their house of cards. Spencer’s work is so threatening because he presents pristine data that conflicts with the models. They are trapped in a discussion of scientific method. They have to destroy the paper.

September 2, 2011 4:56 pm

I just downloaded the paper. Haven’t read anything but the abstract yet, but what I did read aligns with my own view of the issue: if the sensitivity question was resolved, the debate would be settled.
The current climate peer review system is as corrupt as anything in government. A self-selected, self-serving clique of grant-sucking charlatans have set themselves up as the gatekeepers of what gets published, and woe betide anyone who allows a skeptic’s paper to be published – as the editor-in-cheif found out. The only exceptions are climatologists at the pinnacle of their carreers like MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen, who at 70 and with hundreds of publications to his credit, is difficult for the Team to keep out. Not that they don’t still try.
Dr Spencer gets tremendous credit for his persistence. And going by his abstract, he has exposed a glaring weakness in climate alarmism. No wonder they’re upset.

Fred from Canuckistan
September 2, 2011 5:04 pm

And the Dr. Floyd Ferris award goes to the IPCC.
Again.

TimTheToolMan
September 2, 2011 5:08 pm

Wow Wolfgang is a fool if he cites papers such as
Relationships between tropical sea surface temperature and top‐of‐atmosphere radiation
Kevin E. Trenberth,1 John T. Fasullo,1 Chris O’Dell,2 and Takmeng Wong3
…with no supporting statement as reason to refute Spencer and Braswell. By the looks of it, the Trenberth paper was written to refute Lindzen and Choi’s earlier paper where they only considered data from the tropics. The Trenberth paper specifically says “This paper explores the meaning of results that use only the tropical region.”
Now unless I’m missing something, that paper seems pretty much irrelevent to the Spencer and Braswell paper and if it is relevent, there ought to be some very specific reason stated as to why.
Wolfgang’s logic is all wrong about whether Spencer and Braswell need to take into account previous mainstream results because that is precisely what they’re refuting themselves.
Pielke said it best when he said “The ultimate arbitrator of the Spencer and Braswell analysis and conclusions will be in the peer-reviewed literature not on weblogs, or whether or not the Chief Editor of a journal decides to resign over a paper.”

jorgekafkazar
September 2, 2011 5:11 pm

Disko Troop says: “davidmhoffer: right on the button. I agree with your analysis. I see this as a more carefully worded resignation than some are seeing. The contradictions are deliberate. He is saying that he did his job, the respected peer reviewers did theirs, but that he is being forced to deny this fact by agencies or persons beyond his control.
You’re trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense, and you may be right. The letter is total gibberish, a veritable dog’s breakfast of illogic. Wagner may have been made “an offer he couldn’t refuse,” and reacted the only way he dared. But there’s also the possibility that the nonsensical nature of the resignation instead reflects the fact that Wagner’s enemies edited it.
From the resignation letter: “…In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view…but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents…
But at the relevant point in the publication process, the only thing that is supposed to matter is the opinion of the reviewers. Imposing a post facto requirement of obeisance to the very arguments the paper was “essentially” intended to analyze is ludicrous.

Latitude
September 2, 2011 5:34 pm

“the Editor-in-Chief, Wolfgang Wagner, has resigned”
Was he given a choice?

Ron
September 2, 2011 5:44 pm

Why, then, was Wagner first appointed Editor of this journal, if not to make decisions and then to stand behind them? What kind of journal is this? Have we a mouse or a man in charge?

September 2, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Trenberths paper.
[15] The tropical SST time series lags Niño 3.4 SSTs by a few months, is correlated 0.71 at zero lag [Trenberth et al., 2002b] and exhibits about 22% of its amplitude (the standard deviations of tropical SST is 0.21°C and for the Niño 3.4 region 0.95°C). Trenberth et al.’s [2002b] correlations between global mean temperature and Niño3.4 SST for 1950 to 1998 were 0.53 with global temperatures lagging by 3 months.
The dominant interannual variations in TOA radiative fluxes in the tropics occur with ENSO, which involves a buildup of heat during La Niña and a discharge of heat during El Niño [Trenberth et al., 2002a, 2002b].
During El Niño, the warming of the tropical eastern Pacific and associated changes in the Walker circulation, atmospheric stability, and winds lead to decreases in stratocumulus clouds, increased solar radiation at the surface,
Murphy et al. [2009] address changes in the energy budget with surface temperatures for a much larger domain and present a much more complete analysis and discussion of issues, and show that recent observed variability indeed supports a positive shortwave cloud feedback.

correlations between global mean temperature and Niño3.4 SST for 1950 to 1998 were 0.53 with global temperatures lagging by 3 months.
“buildup of heat during La Niña”
“During El Niño…..decreases in stratocumulus clouds, increased solar radiation at the surface,”
a positive shortwave cloud feedback
How did this paper get through peer review? Lots of internal contradictions.

Chris B
September 2, 2011 5:51 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
September 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Chris B says:
September 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm
“I don’t think the Church expressed any “fury” towards Galileo, in spite of his obnoxious insistence that his partially correct theories were without error.”
Cardinal Bellarmine, who would become Pope, told the Inquisitors that they could show Galileo the instruments of torture but not use them. He was placed under house arrest without medical care and forbidden to practice science. That is pretty damn tough, maybe furious.
_______________________________
Theo,
See definition below.
fury [ˈfjʊərɪ]
n pl -ries
1. violent or uncontrolled anger; wild rage
2. an outburst of such anger
3. uncontrolled violence the fury of the storm
4. a person, esp a woman, with a violent temper
5. (Myth & Legend / Classical Myth & Legend) See Furies
like fury Informal violently; furiously they rode like fury
[from Latin furia rage, from furere to be furious]
According to Wikipedia:
“After a period with the friendly Ascanio Piccolomini (the Archbishop of Siena), Galileo was allowed to return to his villa at Arcetri near Florence in 1634, where he spent the remainder of his life under house arrest. Galileo was ordered to read the seven penitential psalms once a week for the next three years. However his daughter Maria Celeste relieved him of the burden after securing ecclesiastical permission to take it upon herself.[55] It was while Galileo was under house arrest that he dedicated his time to one of his finest works, Two New Sciences. Here he summarized work he had done some forty years earlier, on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials. This book has received high praise from Albert Einstein.[56] As a result of this work, Galileo is often called the “father of modern physics”. He went completely blind in 1638 and was suffering from a painful hernia and insomnia, so he was permitted to travel to Florence for medical advice.[57][58]”
Apparently AGWism isn’t the only belief subject to exaggeration.
Chris

1DandyTroll
September 2, 2011 5:51 pm

What communist did to people of character was to make ’em balls-less, but what they did to people without balls to boot was easy neophytes.
That that editor lacks character and balls is one thing, but to so easily become a neophyte for the crazed climate communist hippie circus? Bleh.

sorepaw
September 2, 2011 5:51 pm

Spencer & Braswell 2011 was and remains crap, and Wagner is calling it.
Yeah, sure.
If the Editor in Chief thought the paper was “crap” before his journal published it, it was his responsibility to tell the action editor not to accept it.
Who did Wagner hear from, and what kinds of threats did they make?
It is extremely unusual for an editor to resign over an article that was not retracted and that he did not object to prior to publication.

jimmi_the_dalek
September 2, 2011 5:52 pm

The editor should not have resigned. It it not up to the editor to accept or reject papers, that is the job of the reviewers and if they said accept, then so be it.
As for the quality or otherwise of the paper itself, the decision on that will be provided by peer review in its proper sense, not newspaper articles and blogs. By “peer review” I mean what happens after publication – too often the phrase is used just to describe the process of getting published, but that is actually the start of peer review not the finish – it is what other workers in the same field say of the paper that ultimately matters, and can sometimes take years to work through.

Bill Illis
September 2, 2011 5:54 pm

I can guarantee that Dessler’s upcoming paper in Geophysical Research Letters (appears to be “Are clouds causing climate change?”) will contain enough twists and turns of the data that you will not be able to see what was really done or that the data actually shows the opposite effect.
Let’s get our teeth into it when it comes out because he has been given a free pass so far.
We owe this to Dr. Spencer and to all the editors out there who are even more afraid today to publish skeptical papers because their jobs are on the line.

sorepaw
September 2, 2011 6:01 pm

So the main reason is that a bad paper had slipped through, for which the editor assumed responsibility.
No.
First, Wagner makes no real effort to demonstrate that it was a “bad paper.”
Second, when a bad paper does slip through at a journal (and they do, sooner or later, at every journal), how often does the editor in chief resign?
It shouldn’t be difficult to find out how often official retractions at journals, over the past decade, have been immediately followed by the departure of the editor in chief.
And how often the publication of unretracted but controversial articles has been immediately followed by the departure of the editor in chief.

John Andrews
September 2, 2011 6:01 pm

Sounds to me like his resignation is good for science and for the journal.
— John Andrews, Knoxville, Tennessee

ferd berple
September 2, 2011 6:02 pm

“…the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”
The operative phrase is “who probably share”
So, the editor resigned not because of something he knows to be a fact, but because of something that he believes might be true. It might be true, it might not. So rather than make sure of the facts, he resigned.
Modern science in action. Act on what you believe, rather than investigate to determine the facts. Once upon a time that was called superstition.

anon
September 2, 2011 6:04 pm

All hail the One World Government! The Scientific Dictatorship is here. And it’s for Your Own Good, citizen!
I used to think that Alex Jones was just crazy and was just ranting about Cass Sunstein and his merry band of commies, but now I’m convinced Alex is on to something very real.

phlogiston
September 2, 2011 6:11 pm

Richard Black of the BBC has this article:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574
In it he states that “Dr Spencer is a committed Christian as well as a professional scientist”
In the culture of the BBC and the UK ruling elite, outing someone as a Christian is directly analogous to someone being outed as Jewish in 1930’s Germany.
Roy if you’re listening, stay away from the UK.

mike g
September 2, 2011 6:13 pm

@Bernard J
So, warminsts have actually started doing science (experimentation, replication), now. I wasn’t aware of this. Up until now it has just been models and gang-repudiation of any actual data refuting the models.

Bill Illis
September 2, 2011 6:30 pm

The simple fact backing up a skeptical position is that the climate is only warming at less the half the rate that is predicted in the theory (even including a number of unsubstantiated negative forcings such as aerosols).
There is very little warming in the tropics and especially in the tropics troposphere where the effect is supposed to be easy to detect by now.
Where is the warming?
Make editors resign. Publish a thousand its worse than we thought articles. Show me the fracking warming and all these feedbacks that are supposed to be there instead and then there is no debate. Its just not there (or, more accurately, only a small fraction of it is).

peter stone
September 2, 2011 6:39 pm

Mr. Spencer,
Your paper was deemed flawed and not worthy of publication by the editor of Remote Sensing.
He felt “Remote Sensing”‘s error was so egregious in accepting your paper for publication, that he should take the unusual step of resigning.
If your paper was scientifically flawed, please don’t be so defensive about it. If your scientific research is robust and worthy of publication, prestigious peer reviewed scientific journals should be happy to publish them.
I seriously doubt there is some global conspiracy or vast cabal of scientists who are out to make your research look sub-par. It is simply not professional or mature to complain about some vast global cabal out to get you. That’s not even worthy of serious consideration.
Cheers.

Mooloo
September 2, 2011 6:42 pm

Some people are speculating rather too wildly about Wagner’s motivations. For example suggesting that he fell on his sword for accepting the article. Please don’t speculate like that, without some evidence.
Perhaps Wagner fought long and hard to get the journal to retract the article, but the editorial board would not permit that. So he had to go.
Perhaps the journal’s owners are realising that their readers tend to be sceptical of the AGW position (being hard physicists) and find themselves in a tough position: they want to be taken seriously by all in the climate fraternity, but cannot retract without pissing off half their punters so they will not retract (or even publish rebuttal) leaving Wagner the door.
So many possible reasons are possible.

Frank K.
September 2, 2011 6:43 pm

Looks like the overpaid government-funded climate thugs have struck again. I really don’t care any more – climate science has been soiled by “the team” and will never again be taken seriously by the public. I just hope we have enough sense to chop off the funding before these people can waste more of our tax dollars…

Paul Deacon
September 2, 2011 6:44 pm

I wonder if the 3 reviewers can now sue Wagner and/or the journal for reputational damage. I’d certainly consider it if I were them.

APACHEWHOKNOWS
September 2, 2011 6:45 pm

Anthony,
Not to worry, you have made it inside their wire, now that your in you in fact have them surrounded from the inside with facts. Retreat now by them will not help as the facts will expand in all directions as they attempt to flee.

Sean
September 2, 2011 6:50 pm

Someone here suggested that this has all the hallmarks of a staged event, considering the speed with with the Guardian and BBC were able to publish articles on it. It seems logical. I Know the Europeans don’t really understand us and we certainly don’t understand them but they’ve got to realize the next election in the US might usher in Republican control of both houses of congress and if a Republican president gets elected, it will likely be with the enthusiastic support of Christian evangelicals. Shenanigans like these are more likely to make doubters of the consensus climate science into despisers. That’s not a smart position to put yourself when budget cutting will most likely define the next congress as opposed to spending.

September 2, 2011 6:53 pm

The biggest problem with any peer review system is that it is intrinsically censorious. It’s used in academic disciplines that can’t complete the third leg of the scientific method stool – physical experiment. In this case the physical experiment is replaced with rhetorical experiment, and he who convinces the majority, the peers, wins the argument.
However this is not science, and this lamentable state of affairs started decades ago when the West’s education systems started the deleterious process of in course assessment and expected students in the social sciences to do hard physical science subjects. No prizes for guessing which subjects those gravitated to – human geography in which climate science could be associated with.
Peer review in the physical sciences is about ensuring no plagiarism occurs, otherwise the hypothesis is tested by physical experiment from which there is no argument – it passes or fails, no ifs or buts.

Steven Kopits
September 2, 2011 6:54 pm

The resignation letter speaks to coercion:
“The political views of the authors and the thematic goal of their study did, of course, alone not
disqualify the paper from entering the review process in the journal Remote Sensing. As I stated in my editorial at the launch of this new open access journal [6] one of the premier goals of remote sensing as a discipline is to better understand physical and biological processes on our planet Earth. 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. Only through this close cooperation the complex aspects involved in the satellite retrievals and the modeling processes can be properly taken into account.”
He is insinuating that he was criticized for allowing in a skeptic paper and for not “coordinating” with the modelers. This must really hurt, as he seems to be suggesting that satellite data cannot be discussed on its own–the very antithesis of stated purpose of the journal above. He is signalling, I think, a willingness to blow the whistle and get the whole episode off his chest. That’s my read. Perhaps Anthony or Steve McIntyre should give him a call or pay him a visit–he may have a story he wants to tell.

J. Felton
September 2, 2011 7:10 pm

Peter Stone said
“Your paper was deemed flawed and not worthy of publication by the editor of Remote Sensing.
He felt “Remote Sensing”‘s error was so egregious in accepting your paper for publication, that he should take the unusual step of resigning. ”
* * *
Peter, I’m afraid you’re not looking at the story with a critical eye, and are just taking it as face-value. Whether this is intentional or accidentally, only you know the truth to it.
Not only did Wagner contradict himself several times in his resignation letter, but his arguments offered within for said resignation are strawmen, and paltry ones at that.
Several studies over the years have proven to be ” not worthy of publication” ( Mann’s hockey stick being one of the best examples) yet you never saw any editors resigning after it was proved he forgot entire periods.
You also fail to mention, ( purposely?) that the resignation letter specifically references a paper by Trernberth et al , with Trernberth being famous for wanting to ” re-define peer review.” Add the fact that the paper referenced has nothing to do with the Spencer-Braswell paper, ( presumbly, since it came out a while ago, and seems to be a rebuttal to Lindzen and Choi’s paper), and you have not only a perplexing paper, but a misleading one as well.
The world is best viewed with open eyes, Peter. ( If you want to open them, anyway.)

William
September 2, 2011 7:14 pm

I am curious at what point the scientific community will standup for the scientific process. It is ironical that those in the climate community have not thought through the implications of negative feedback, the solar cycle 24 Maunder minimum, and the validation of Svensmark’s mechanism. The planet will cool. Sea level is falling. Another La Nina. The late 20th century warming is over.
Planetary cooling, followed by a Republican president with a Republican congress. Likely there will a couple of changes in government funded climate research.
http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf
On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise. We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.
However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1oC (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of wellmixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007). This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5oC to 5oC and even more for a doubling of CO2. Model predictions depend on the ‘feedback’ within models from the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds. Within all current climate models, water vapor increases with increasing temperature so as to further inhibit infrared cooling. Clouds also change so that their visible reflectivity decreases, causing increased solar absorption and warming of the earth.

Ian W
September 2, 2011 7:19 pm

If you don’t like the message kill the messenger

Rational Debate
September 2, 2011 7:23 pm

I’d be hard put to say it any better than Viv Evans says: September 2, 2011 at 10:49 am and davidmhoffer says: September 2, 2011 at 10:50 am. (I’ve many comments yet to read)
Talk about convoluted logic tho, in so many different ways.
Is he really trying to support the idea that a single well designed study can’t ever knock the linchpin out from under some particular hypothesis or theory?
Perhaps he ought to cosider the following: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-09-bizarre-optical-phenomena-defying-laws.html

Researchers create bizarre optical phenomena, defying the laws of reflection and refraction September 1, 2011
The discovery, published this week in Science, has led to a reformulation of the mathematical laws that predict the path of a ray of light bouncing off a surface or traveling from one medium into another—for example, from air into glass.

I guess he’d best hop right on letting the physics community know to ignore this new research and stop re-writin’ them thar laws, because this paper overturns a boatload of existing studies!

peter stone
September 2, 2011 7:37 pm

J. Felton,
I am looking at it with a critical eye.
I do not believe, nor is there any substantive evidence, that a global conspiracy of scientists faked data to fool the world public (ClimateGate), nor to I believe there is a vast, worldwide cabal of scientists who are out to get Mr. Spencer.
I don’t believe conspiracy theories. It’s not science. I might as well believe the conspiracy theories of Birthers and 9/11 truthers.
There’s is not vast global cabal of lying scientists who are perpetrating a hoax, or working furiously to “get” Mr. Spenser. That’s tin foil hat stuff.
Occam’s Razor is something I put a lot of weight in. Roy Spencer’s paper was deemed flawed and not worthy of publication because it was probably just that….flawed and not worthy. “Remote Sensing” is not even a top notch, prestigious science journal that deals with climate. If Mr. Spencer can’t get a legitimate paper published there that stands on its on, his credibility and competence as a top notch climate change expert is highly suspect. And its ridiculous when anyone who complains that people are out to get him. That’s an excuse children use.

September 2, 2011 7:56 pm

peter stone,
You should really read The Hockey Stick Illusion [available on the right sidebar]. You will be disabused of your notions concerning ‘tin foil hat stuff’.
Here is a short article along the same lines, showing the corrupt peer review shenanigans practiced by the Warmist crowd:
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html
The peer review gatekeepers are not honest; they don’t abide by the scientific method, and they are emitting propaganda, not scientific inquiry. Only the naive or ignorant believe otherwise.

RockyRoad
September 2, 2011 8:03 pm

peter stone says:
September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Occam’s Razor is something I put a lot of weight in. Roy Spencer’s paper was deemed flawed and not worthy of publication because it was probably just that….flawed and not worthy. “Remote Sensing” is not even a top notch, prestigious science journal that deals with climate. If Mr. Spencer can’t get a legitimate paper published there that stands on its on, his credibility and competence as a top notch climate change expert is highly suspect. And its ridiculous when anyone who complains that people are out to get him. That’s an excuse children use.

I’m surprised your comment didn’t get snipped for being completely OT–that’s how far from reality you are on this one, peter stone.
Fess up–you’re just carrying water for a person or organization that wants to completely obfuscate and deviate from the real issue at hand here. That, sir, is tragically transparent. But you’re free to put your name on whatever you want to write–nobody else here has to sleep on the consequences but you.

Alan Wilkinson
September 2, 2011 8:05 pm

Question: was there a timing reason the Spencer paper didn’t reference the Trenberth paper?

September 2, 2011 8:06 pm

Dr. Spencer wrote a paper, someone did not like it; some other guy has to resign!

September 2, 2011 8:07 pm

In fact Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wagner blames Mr. Elvis Wang, Managing Editor of Remote Sensing for selecting the wrong reviewers. Interesting.
“The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from
renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record”.

Managing Editor
Mr. Elvis Wang
MDPI Beijing Office, Liyuanbeijie Road 186, Suite 307, Liyuan Town, Tongzhou District, 101101 Beijing, China
Tel. +86 10 59011009; Fax: +86 10 59011089
E-Mail: elvis.wang@mdpi.com

J. Felton
September 2, 2011 8:07 pm

Peter Stone said
“I do not believe, nor is there any substantive evidence, that a global conspiracy of scientists faked data to fool the world public (ClimateGate), nor to I believe there is a vast, worldwide cabal of scientists who are out to get Mr. Spencer.
* * *
I agree with you on this point. I’m not saying there is some worldwide conspiracy worthy of an X-Files episode, but I am saying that it is fairly evident, as shown by the actions of a few, that there are those at the top of the climate science food chain who are attempting to hijack and stifle intelligent debate and the basic fundamentals of science.
The actions of the CRU, and several others have proved that ” those that make the rules” ( when it comes to the IPCC anyway) that rational debate is not on their agenda.
You do make a good point about if Spencer’s paper is credible, then peer-review science will vindicate it, ( or condemn it), and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be. This is how science should be done.
Wagner’s resignation mentions a follow up paper, and I will be extremely interested to read it.
That being said, Wagner’s resignation and reasons for doing so, along with what else we know at this point, does not seem to be a simple matter of Wagner disagreeing with the paper and resigning over it.

observa
September 2, 2011 8:12 pm

I cannot fathom for the life of me gentlemen, how on God’s earth the gatekeepers of the Royal Antediluvian White Swan Society could possibly allow this clearly fake Black Swan into the Club and as a result I’m tendering my resignation as Chief Chookchaser before all the white feathers start rolling up in the post. I need a complete rest from all this controversy and so my good Lady and I will shortly be undertaking a long therapeutic sea voyage to Perth in the Antipodes to get away from it all. I wish you all God speed.

Theo Goodwin
September 2, 2011 8:12 pm

vigilantfish says:
September 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm
Thanks. I always enjoy reading you.

David Corcoran
September 2, 2011 8:23 pm

peter stone says:
September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Have you avoided reading the Climategate emails, and all the back-and forth in them about subverting the peer-review process?

Peter Wilson
September 2, 2011 8:52 pm

Wagner states “But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three
reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors”
Apart from the obvious comment that reviewers sharing the alarmist views of authors has never presented any apparent problem – indeed, it is deemed essential by Jones, Trenberth et al – the proposition that, by random chance the editors may have selected 3 sceptics strongly contradicts the widely circulated claim that 97% of climate scientists agree with CAGW. Surely finding 3 sceptical scientists, and no alarmists, in a random (or any) sample of 3 should be next to impossible if only 3% of qualified scientists are “sceptics”

Amino Acids in Meteorites
September 2, 2011 8:55 pm

FerdinandAkin says:
September 2, 2011 at 10:41 am
Hockey team fires goalie for allowing score.
Nice!
Did captain Mann lead the pack?

G. Karst
September 2, 2011 9:07 pm

In between waves of nausea and disgust, I keep hearing the words of Phil Jones of the CRU climategate scandal (where he promises to keep out two research papers from the IPCC report):

“I will keep them out somehow, even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is,”

The team has certainly demonstrated their prowess and a willingness to subvert for ideological purpose. Only the agenda is important and the end justifies the means. Saving the planet justifies all atrocity. Soldiers of gaia, must crush the infidels and burn the heretics. To fail gaia is to fail god. Reality must conform to model output… (beep) Reality must conform to model output… (beep) Reality must conform to model output… (beep) Reality must conform to model output… GK

R.S.Brown
September 2, 2011 9:30 pm

Peter Stone, et al.,
Mr. Wolfgang Wagner, the articulate former editor-in-chief of the journal Remote
Sensing
just couldn’t/can’t/won’t find or share the words to describe or pinpoint
exactly where the Spenser & Braswell study went wrong.
He can’t and hasn’t faulted the NASA-collected remote sensor data or the database
encompassing that data.
He seems to be at a total loss to direct our individual and the scientific community’s
collective attention to what constituted the “fundamental technical errors” that
are buried so deep in Spenser & Braswell and which the three reviewers and the entire
Remote Sensing editorial board allowed to slip by after the paper had been
revised as per the reviewers’ requests.
He can’t be bothered to advise the world on the specifics of what he alleges to be
“false claims” within the Spenser & Braswell paper which he felt would
justify a retraction of the paper by either the journal or the authors. He can’t even
tell us where or how he found the “proof” he felt documented anyfalsification
in any single instance in data handling, statistical treatment or conclusions in the
Spenser & Braswell paper.
He leans heavily on what several unspecified non-peer reviewed blogs and bloggers
have written about Remote Sensing, the Spenser & Bradwell paper, or the authors,
or all in combination.
2011 A.D. seems to the year the vineyards of AGW orthodoxy have produced a great
deal of robust whine.
Persons such as Dr. Wolfgang Wagner seem destined to have their unfortified spirits
crushed and blended into the vat to create the public relations equivalent of MD 2020.
It’s popular in some places and among some segments of the public. For others,
many slighlty more discriminating palates, when AGW support is bottled and sold
this way it just leaves a nasty aftertaste.
Drink up me hearties, yo ho!
Have a safe holiday weekend.

Goatweed
September 2, 2011 9:32 pm

Did the office of Attorney General for Wales open up again?

PiperPaul
September 2, 2011 9:39 pm

Has anyone deconstructed Wagner’s statement to read every second line? There could be code there…
http://www.notboring.com/jokes/work/2.htm

Bernard J.
September 2, 2011 9:42 pm

Mooloo said (2 September 2011, at 6:42 pm):

Some people are speculating rather too wildly about Wagner’s motivations. For example suggesting that he fell on his sword for accepting the article. Please don’t speculate like that, without some evidence.

Oh, there is evidence. Try reading the first two paragraphs of Wagner’s resignation letter:

Peer-reviewed journals are a pillar of modern science. Their aim is to achieve highest scientific standards by carrying out a rigorous peer review that is, as a minimum requirement, supposed to be able to identify fundamental methodological errors or false claims. Unfortunately, as many climate researchers and engaged observers of the climate change debate pointed out in various internet discussion fora, the paper by Spencer and Braswell [1] that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects and should therefore not have been published.
After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.
[My emboldened emphasis]

Mooloo also said:

Perhaps Wagner fought long and hard to get the journal to retract the article, but the editorial board would not permit that. So he had to go.

Erm, to use your own words, “[p]lease don’t speculate like that, without some evidence”.
Anthony Watts (edited reply at 2 September 2011, 10:08 am):

Heh, your argument reminds me of the many that pronounced “plate tectonics” to be “crap”. Oh and it is Occams [sic] razor- Anthony

Actually, “Ockham” is the precedent version of the spelling, and is almost exclusively used in the area of England where the village is located. The village was known as Bocheham at the time of Domesday, and in some quarters for a time afterward as Hockham, but neither version is associated with the Razor. The spelling Occam is the most recent variant and the least relevant to the context, and for this reason I do not use it.
Yes, I mixed up the ‘h’ and the ‘a’, but given that is was about 3:00 am in my time zone when I typed that post it’s only puerile churlishness on the parts of those commenters who think that that typo has any bearing on anything.
But getting back to plate tectonics for a moment. My understanding was always that this theory was developed in the middle of the 20th century, when science had already tested and accepted elements of Wegener’s separate continental drift theory. Part of Wegener’s problem was that some of the mechanisms that he proposed – astronomical precession and “Polflucht” (quod vide) – were demonstrably wrong.
Interestingly it was the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and a number of individual prominent geological types who most vociferously opposed Wegener. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same… Personally, I’m surprised that the geology discipline was so slow to investigate Wegener’s ideas, as there is nothing particularly amazing about the observation of the pattern of continental tessellation. Heck, even at the age of six and never having heard of continental drift, I used to look at my parents’ globe and wonder if all of the land masses used to fit together…
However, the comparison of the Wegener case with Spencer’s take on global warming is instructive. Spencer’s notions are akin to Wegener’s Polflucht speculations, which were quickly demonstrated as nonsense, and the final understanding of plate tectonics is similar to the current understanding of ‘greenhouse’ gas action, both of which were arrived at using decades of basic physics understanding and careful observation and experimentation.
As with the Galileo metaphor, the denialist camp is somewhat muddled in its revisionist interpretations of scientific history and progress.

Philip Shehan
September 2, 2011 9:55 pm

The real problem for the editor was not the views of the referees but this:
“This selection by itself does not mean that the review process for this paper was wrong. In science, diversity and controversy are essential to progress and therefore it is important that different opinions are heard and openly discussed. Therefore editors should take special care that minority views are not suppressed, meaning that it certainly would not be correct to reject all controversial papers already during the review process. If a paper presents interesting scientific arguments, even if controversial, it should be published and responded to in the open literature. This was my initial response after having become aware of this particular case. So why, after a more careful study of the pro and contra arguments, have I changed my initial view? 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. In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal. This regrettably brought me to the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief―to make clear that the journal Remote Sensing takes the review process very seriously.”
As far as the exagerration goes I had this to say on Andrew Bolt’s website using a screen name (real names are forbidden there)
Brian S replied to AS
Wed 27 Jul 11 (11:14am)
…As with yesterday’s section, it pays to read the actual paper rather than rely on the spin of the skeptic blog.
What this is about difficulty in determining the extent that feedback mechanisms play a part in temperature changes. The time lags discussed refer to this. The final sentence of the paper spells it out:
[O]ur central point, though: that the presence of time varying radiative forcing in satellite radiative flux measurements corrupts the diagnosis of radiative feedback.
It is important to note that the entire context of the paper is that of transient forcings such as variations in cloud cover and ocean layer transfers which increase and decrease over time.
This is not a feature of greenhouse gas emissions.
The paper says nothing about how the magnitude if the temperature rise depends on these uncertainties. Indeed it is not even sure that the sensitivity will be lowered.
From the conclusion:
Thus, we must conclude that time-varying radiative forcing exists in the satellite observations, as evidenced by the radiative gain/loss couplet patterns seen in Figures 3 and 4. Diagnosis of feedback cannot easily be made in such situations

September 2, 2011 10:00 pm

I’d like to ask a slightly tangential question.
What does the readership of Remore Sensing have to say?
I don’t know how large the circulation is, but one would think a journal on remote sensing would be of interest to a very Very VERY technical readership with much stronger than average (even amongst scientists, let alone the general population) understanding of remote sensing instrumentation and the interpretation of the resulting data as it applies to the real world. These aren’t people designing curtain rods!
I wonder what THEY would have to say about the article itself. But I wonder still more about this:
How does the readership of Remote Sensing feel about being told that the data they collect from the instrumentation they design and test and put into production in real world scenarios is, according to the past editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing, meaningless, unless in agreement with purely theoretical models? I’m certain the readership of Remote Sensing would be very surprised to learn that there is no point in them building sophisticated instrumentation to measure much of anything as the answers are already known via theoretical models.
This thing is so confusing that I’m not even sure if that last paragraph should have a /sarc at the end.

Colin in BC
September 2, 2011 10:11 pm

peter stone says:
September 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm
I am looking at it with a critical eye.

No, sir. You are not, for reasons others have already cited.

Alan Wilkinson
September 2, 2011 10:12 pm

Peter Stone: “nor to(sic) I believe there is a vast, worldwide cabal of scientists who are out to get Mr.(sic) Spencer”
Unlikely to be vast but it most certainly exists so your beliefs are self-evidently formed without an elementary basis of knowledge.

September 2, 2011 10:14 pm

I find it very interesting that Mr. Wagner never says that the paper is wrong, or untrue. He implies it many times, but never says it.

Rational Debate
September 2, 2011 10:21 pm

reply to: Matt says: September 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

No. The editor’s main reason is not as suggested here by the author. The main reason is cleary stated rather at the top of the explanaition, where one would expect it…. So the main reason is that a bad paper had slipped through, for which the editor assumed responsibility.

Well, I’ve just gotta say that if a ‘bad paper’ happening to ‘slip through’ were any sort of justification for an editor in chief to take responsibility by resigning, there’d be a whole lotta turnover, a massive amount of The Peter Priciple at work, and very very rapidly few if any remaining candidates for editor in chief. Or worse – no one would be willing to retract even the rottenest of papers anymore. So I’m not buyin’ the ‘my bad, let me take reasonable responsibility by promptly resigning with a very public justification letter’ rational. Especially when one considers that problems with this paper didn’t even rise to the level of being retracted before the resignation.
See these recent articles on the escalating number of retracted science papers. An Aug 2011 Wall Street Journal article, http://tinyurl.com/3z5gthr notes:

Since 2001, while the number of papers published in research journals has risen 44%, the number retracted has leapt more than 15-fold, data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by Thomson Reuters reveal.
Just 22 retraction notices appeared in 2001, but 139 in 2006 and 339 last year. Through seven months of this year, there have been 210, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science, an index of 11,600 peer-reviewed journals world-wide.
…”The stakes are so high,” said the Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton. “A single paper in Lancet and you get your chair and you get your money. It’s your passport to success.”
Retractions related to fraud showed a more than sevenfold increase between 2004 and 2009, exceeding the twofold rise in retractions related to mere error, according to an analysis published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

The following article http://tinyurl.com/3okrdm6 mentions several different studies of scientific paper retraction. Consider the very disconcerting statistic in one of those studies:

[Professor] John Budd’s research …spent years studying why publications are retracted. He found that between 1997 and 2008, 47% of the articles were pulled because of “misconduct or presumed misconduct.” Errors accounted for 25 %; 21% were taken down because the authors could not get the same results consistently. The remaining 7% were unclassified.

Meanwhile, a Wired article speculates about whether fraud has increased, or if perhaps other factors might be contributing [emphasis added]: http://tinyurl.com/3qmt2de

…a newfound willingness by journals to issue retractions, increased scrutiny from the blogosphere and the ever escalating complexity of scientific research, which makes innocent mistakes more likely. (According to one analysis, 73.5 percent of retractions were due to error, not fraud.)
One additional possibility that hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere: I wonder if the newfound reliance on electronic tools for data analysis has blurred the line between innocuous “tweaking” and outright manipulation.

September 2, 2011 10:36 pm

This is getting ridiculous,
Editor-in-Chief of Remote Sensing agrees that Spencer and Braswell (2011) should not have been published; resigns (Tim Lambert, Deltoid, September 2, 2011)
Paper Disputing Basic Science of Climate Change is “Fundamentally Flawed,” Editor Resigns, Apologizes (Peter Gleick, Forbes, September 2, 2011)
Editor who published controversial climate paper resigns, blasts media (John Timmer, Ars Technica, September 2, 2011)
Journal editor resigns over ‘problematic’ climate paper (Richard Black, BBC, September 2, 2011)
Journal editor resigns over ‘flawed’ paper co-authored by climate sceptic (Leo Hickman, The Guardian, September 2, 2011)
Cool climate paper sinks journal editor (Richard Monastersky, Nature News Blog, September 2, 2011)
Journal Editor Resigns Over Contrarian Climate Paper (Richard A. Kerr, Science Insider, September 2, 2011)
Science Stunner: Editor of Journal that Published Flawed Denier Bunk Apologizes, Resigns, Slams Spencer for Exaggerations (Joe Romm, Climate Progress, September 2, 2011)
CloudGate: Denialism Gets Dirty, Reputations Are At Stake (Greg Laden, ScienceBlogs, September 2, 2011)

J. Felton
September 2, 2011 10:45 pm

Davidmhoffer says
“What does the readership of Remore Sensing have to say?…….”
* *
Excellent point David!
Obviously Remote Sensing has a readership ( or at least a few members) who have digested Spencer&Braswell’s paper. Whether or not they agree with it, ( or even Trernberth’s and Schmidts strawman objections to it) would be extremely interesting to read.

David Falkner
September 2, 2011 11:33 pm

So, if I can make an assessment:
Dr. Spencer publishes a paper. People don’t like this paper. They post about it on the internet, maybe send emails and letters to the editor. The editor resigns on the grounds of… the internet? Where is the refutation? Still in print. Still, allegedly, being peer reviewed. Were the errors that fundamental? If so, why did it get past the peer review process? And what keeps the rest of the peer review process from being tainted in this manner? I suspect my questions will fall unanswered, but I will see.

September 2, 2011 11:51 pm

The busted climate gate science says it all , they did delete the data ,they did fake the figures , and its impossible to predict chaotic theory with models or anything else for that matter ,the climate has been changing for billions of yrs with or without people , its the scam of the century , after all liquid c02 is dry ice they use it to keep water ice frozen longer , without it every living thing in the world would die .

Stephen Wilde
September 2, 2011 11:54 pm

The models say the system response to more CO2 is a positive feedback which is likely to lead to catastrophic consequences requiring a complete reordering of global civilisation to avoid those consequences.
Lots of evidence is accumulating to suggest that in reality it is heavily negative.
Roy’s paper gently points out that natural variations in cloudiness and ocean behaviour (not currently taken into account in the models) would frustrate attempts to establish the sign of any feedback process anyway.
Thus the entire AGW theory is flawed.
I think there should be a lot more resignations

Brian
September 2, 2011 11:57 pm

SCORE:
Copenhagen: 0
Fossil fuel industry: 10

David Conway
September 3, 2011 12:08 am

By the way please note that BBC World News is living up to its warmist reputation here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574 – (‘Dr Spencer is a committed Christian as well as a professional scientist’)

Paul Deacon
September 3, 2011 12:10 am

Very appropriately, the village of Ockham, in Surrey, near where I was brought up, has a pub called the Black Swan.
On another topic entirely, surely the secret star of the piece is actually the Managing Editor, Elvis Wang. If he is from the People’s Republic of China, I would guess that he is more or less untouchable, politically speaking.

Stephen Wilde
September 3, 2011 12:19 am

“SCORE:
Copenhagen: 0
Fossil fuel industry: 10”
Given that we could only move out of caves and avoid nasty brutish short lives with the aid of fossil fuels I think that should be:
IPCC: 0
Mankind: 100

Alex the skeptic
September 3, 2011 12:19 am

Could it be that Wagner just found an excuse to abandon the AGW bandwagon, seeing that te edifice is crumbling following all the predictions that never happened and now the CLOUD confirmation that climate is driven by natural forces and not anthropogenic?
There are many ways to jump ship.

tmtisfree
September 3, 2011 12:19 am

Pr Wagner will be reminded and acclaimed as one of the first climate martyr committing professional suicide in the name of Consensus.
It now has all the attributes of a religious war.

September 3, 2011 12:51 am

“Wolfgang Wagner” – Nobel laughingstock?
(Where does he go to get his male anatomy back again?)

Brian
September 3, 2011 12:56 am

SCORE:
Copenhagen: 0
Non-renewable fossil fuel industry: 10

Brian
September 3, 2011 1:06 am

SCORE:
Earth: 1
Population: 7 billion

Brian
September 3, 2011 1:31 am

SCORE:
Population – 1951: 3 billion
Population – 2011: 7 billion
Population – 2071: ?

September 3, 2011 1:32 am

Since no one else has taken umbrage at the insults directed at engineers by Dr. Spencer, let me be the first.
If I tally it correctly, engineers, geologists and meteoroligists are the three groups that most consistently call BS on global warming. It is the PhD class (and politicians) that is most determined in claiming that it is real. I suspect that the reason engineers so consistently mock global warming is because they are in general, the most practical of the scientifically minded.
So before you throw your indignation towards engineers Dr. Spencer, perhaps you should consider that they see through the AGW propaganda more clearly than your beloved class of scientists. It is exactly PhD scientists that created this entire mess in the first place.
As usual, it is up to the engineers to clean to clean up after you. Fortunately, we have lots of experience at it.

Jack Simmons
September 3, 2011 2:01 am

I thought AGW was settled science. Yet an editor resigns over a single article critical of an element of AGW?
Why not simply show where Spencer was wrong? Why can’t we see the data refuting Spencer?

Andrew Harding
Editor
September 3, 2011 2:03 am

True science is dispassionate and logical. Climate “science” based on AGW is neither.

September 3, 2011 2:05 am

Here is one explanation why Wagner resigned but the S&B paper was not retracted.
As a piece of science considered out of any context the paper is simplistic and its conclusions mundane, but not wrong. I posted when it first appeared and after quick skim –
“izen says: July 29, 2011 at 3:52 am Shorter Spencer and Braswell.
We could not match ten years of real world data with significant ENSO events with model data that makes the assumption that over longer timescales the ENSO effect is neutral.
Over a ten year period ENSO variations were larger than AGW forcings so it was impossible to measure the positive feedback effects that might amplify the radiative forcing from higher CO2.”
Undoubtedly it is a summary that could be improved, but I still think it stands as a defensible version of the extent of the claims made in the published PAPER.
The problem for Wagner as editor of Remote Sensing was that while the paper was relatively innocuous, subsequent publicity made it looked like Wagner and RS were credulous fools who had been scammed.
They had accepted a paper somewhat off-topic for their journal which did not appear to make any dramatic claims, but then found that publicity, the unkind might call it hype, and commentary about the paper went FAR further in its claims than is justified by the contents or conclusions of the paper.
It is this massive discrepancy between the content of the published paper and the claims made for it that resulted in Wagner concluding that the RS journal had damaged its reputation because of his decision to publish a paper that was then exploited to make claims beyond its range or remit. Either the journal and editor are complicit in this campaign of misrepresentation, or by resigning and directly referring to this campaign the editor can make clear his and the journals lack of involvement in this episode.
The fault he identifies that caused this error is that when ‘peer reviewing’ this paper that attacked the accuracy of models, little effort was made to see what the modelers might respond to the comparisons made between some satellite data and some models.
And whether the subject ALREADY had a literature – a scientific context – in which the S&B paper could be judged.
In a way this matches Dr Roy Spencer’s speculations about the IPCC/Team pressure, how many phone calls and emails would it take from the leading names in the field telling Wagner he had been made to look like an idiot by accepting a superficially mundane paper from known skeptics that was then used to make outlandish claims for the overthrow of a century of science on the climate ?

Disko Troop
September 3, 2011 2:05 am

As Mr Trenberth’s paper is the only one referenced by Wagner as a pre-rebuttel to Dr Spencers paper, should we not ask the FBI/Scotland Yard or someone to compare the footprint on Wagners arse with the tread pattern of Trenberth’s trainers?

September 3, 2011 2:20 am

In 1920s Soviet Russia, in the middle of the jockeying for power following Lenin’s death, Stalin emerges to address an expectant crowd. “Comrades!,” he says. “I have in my hand a telegram from Comrade Trotsky, which I think will resolve our current differences of opinion. Let me read it to you: ‘You were right and I was wrong. You are the true heir of Lenin. I should apologize. Signed, Leon Trotsky.’”
The crowd goes wild! But wait, there’s one man in the crowd signaling to get Stalin’s attention. “Yes, comrade?,” Stalin asks. “Comrade Stalin, I think you know Comrade Trotsky is Jewish.” “Yes, I do.” “Well, I’m Jewish, too, and I thought I might have an extra insight on what Comrade Trotsky was trying to say. May I read the telegram myself?” “Of course, comrade!,” Stalin asks.
The man gets up and starts reading: “You were right and I was wrong? You are the true heir of Lenin? I should apologize? Signed, Leon Trotsky.”

Julian in Wales
September 3, 2011 2:21 am

So often it is the cover up that brings the scandal to the fore. This is great evidence useful for the political fightback against the corrupt forces of CAGW.

Steve C
September 3, 2011 2:21 am

Frightening to see the power the alarmists have over someone who is – now obviously – one of their own people. It should be used as a warning to the world of what will happen much more widely if these agenda-driven power freaks are allowed to gain control over the rest of us.
For my part, I find it a little surprising that, out of all those 56000 downloads, not one seems to have been downloaded by a competent scientist who could find any obvious error. That’s less than two per hundred thousand. And before some troll jumps on the upcoming “Sceptical Science” “refutation”, may I suggest that you consider the difference between:
[a] a refutation (a logically sound derivation, from proven premisses, of a conclusion which is impossible to reconcile with that which has been refuted – including, in science, a demonstration of the resulting, incompatible observations)
and [b] a rebuttal (basically, repetition of “No, it’s not!”, a technique usually referred to by its practitioners as a “refutation”, notwithstanding its lack of either logic or evidence).
I’m guessing that all we’ll see on “Sceptical Science” will be the latter (as usual), doubtless referring to any number of papers about the outputs of the alarmists’ partial and inaccurate models. Much more informative will be the warning telegraphed by the reappearance of Wagner in some other post, now that his own bias has become so transparently obvious.

DirkH
September 3, 2011 2:32 am

With regard to Richard Black’s article, i find it pretty sensational.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574
Again, the BBC acknowledges the existence of skeptics! And again, they call them skeptics instead of deniers!
Surely this is only a change of tactics; but the futerra strategy of “treating climate change as fact” and ignoring the skeptics clearly has failed.
It is still not a factual discussion (Richard Black could have explained WHY Spencer’s paper is wrong by pointing to one of the refutations of his argument); but it looks like we are halfway back to the possibility of a debate.
AND: Richard Black LINKS to Spencer’s blog!
People: The only links Black gives to complicated sciency stuff are to Spencer’s paper and to Spencer’s blog! NO link given to the alleged “refutations” or to AGW consensus sciency stuff! I sense a disturbance in the Force…

DirkH
September 3, 2011 2:45 am

“UPDATE #3: At the end of the Guardian article, it says Andy Dessler has a paper coming out in GRL next week, supposedly refuting our recent paper.”
That will be fun. Dessler will not be able to deliver anything coherent in that time.

Peter Miller
September 3, 2011 2:50 am

John Kehr says it in one with: “If I tally it correctly, engineers, geologists and meteorologists are the three groups that most consistently call BS on global warming. It is the PhD class (and politicians) that is most determined in claiming that it is real. I suspect that the reason engineers so consistently mock global warming is because they are in general, the most practical of the scientifically minded.”
The AGW cult is led by academics and unscrupulous politicians. For those who don’t know, one of the golden rules of business is never to let academics anywhere into the management structure, or the results are guaranteed to be disastrous. There are occasionally a few notable exceptions to this golden rule.
So the bottom line is this: the AGW cult is a multi-government funded organisation run by unscrupulous politicians and management incompetents, adept in data manipulation and distortion. Yep, that’s definitely something to believe in!

September 3, 2011 3:08 am

This is really, really bad. Anthony, thanks for this excellent coverage and concentration of people who care.
Still, I wonder: how many stories of this kind – or worse stories – you will have to see in order to admit that e.g. Lord Monckton has a point in his comparisons?

Scottish Sceptic
September 3, 2011 3:16 am

Stephen Wilde says: September 2, 2011 at 11:54 pm
Thus the entire AGW theory is flawed.
The theory that CO2 causes warming is fairly well supported by the science, but on that flimsy hook of 0.5 to 1C of warming they hand up to another 5C of warming which they quite literally make up.
There is absolutely no evidence for this massive scaling up (i.e. fabrication) of real science except that the models have to fit the temperature curve … but if they have to fit the past temperature, they have to fit the future temperature curve, and the very fact they don’t fit the 21st century pause in warming is proof beyond all doubt that they are wrong and it was wrong to scale up in the way they did.
Never in the whole of science has a theory that is so widely believed been so thoroughly discredited!

Philip Shehan
September 3, 2011 3:37 am

Petyer Miller:
The PhD class whose scientific discoveries of how the natural world works underpin almost ever aspect of modern life.
Engineers are great at engineering, and management great at…well awarding themselves huge bonuses until the excrement hits the fan and the public has to foot the bill for the fiaso because they are “too big to fail.”
Actually a number of my researcher friends went into management roles. One said he could not understand why they though he was so wonderful (he did turn the company around) as because as far as he was concerned it was all common sense.

Patrick Davis
September 3, 2011 3:42 am

“Brian says:
September 3, 2011 at 1:31 am”
Whats your point? The current global population could stand on the Isle of Wight. All emissions of methane are DWARFED by emissions of methane from termites. Emissions of aCO2 are DWARFED by emissions of methane and CO2 from forrests. The entire weight of the biomass of humans is also DWARFED by the biomass of insects (Actually, this is an insect/bacteria/virus world weight for weight).

mwhite