The Spencer and Braswell story goes viral

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Matti Virtanen

Warner – should be Wagner.
REPLY: Fixed, thanks

pat

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

CinbadtheSailor

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

Gleick is a good example on how “brights” can be the dimmest of the lot.

Dave Wendt

From Dr. Spencer’s response to Wagner’s resignation
“But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point! We dealt with specifics, numbers, calculations…while our critics only use generalities and talking points. There is no contest, as far as I can see, in this debate. If you have some physics or radiative transfer background, read the evidence we present, the paper we were responding to, and decide for yourself.”
I didn’t study S & B in great detail, but i did give it a fairly thorough read and my impression was that they did indeed layout the propositions that they were challenging adequately. Does anyone have a list of the contrary papers that they are supposed to be guilty of ignoring?

Roger Knights

Anthony: Typo in the 2nd line: “# story” should be “#1 story”

CinbadtheSailor

Is this Wagnergate?

Fred

“Does anyone have a list of the contrary papers that they are supposed to be guilty of ignoring?”
The New York Times,
The Washington Post,
and
The LA Times.
Those are the only papers I can think of off the top of my head but I’m sure there are others.

Frank Kotler

Another note from the “typo police”: Bracewell…
If this story had “legs” before, now it has “wings”, it seems. Any way to get an updated “download count”?
Havin’ a good “weekend off”, Anthony? 🙂 Go shoot some skeet!
Best,
Frank

Dave Wendt

I have a prediction on the format of the “debunking” which will be offered by Dessler in GRL next week. If he follows true to form for “consensus” debunkers it should go something like this
You morons attempted to challenge the rock solid modelling of our our colleagues and broheims with your feeble observational data, but we asked them and they still say they’re right and you are wrong. So there!
We await your response in a year or two if you can find anybody to publish it. And don’t bother sending us a prepublication copy ’cause we’ll have one already.

Eyal Porat

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

Nullius in Verba

“Does anyone have a list of the contrary papers that they are supposed to be guilty of ignoring?”
While Wagner doesn’t explain in what way the open discussion and his reference refutes the work, or even link to the discussion so we can see for ourselves, it’s easy to recognise it as a description of the RealClimate article by Trenberth and Fasullo (T&F).
“The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.”
is a description of
“To help interpret the results, Spencer uses a simple model. But the simple model used by Spencer is too simple. We have already rebutted Lindzen’s work on exactly this point. The clouds respond to ENSO, not the other way round [see …]”
This is apparently referring to S&B’s paper where it says:
“Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced. We hypothesize that changes in the coupled ocean-atmosphere circulation during the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover, which then modulate the radiative balance of the climate system. […] What this might (or might not) imply regarding the ultimate causes of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena is not relevant to our central point, though: that the presence of time varying radiative forcing in satellite radiative flux measurements corrupts the diagnosis of radiative feedback.”
So S&B say ” the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover”, T&F rebut this with “The clouds respond to ENSO, not the other way round”, and Wagner effectively complains that S&B hypothesised that ENSO affects clouds without citing or responding to the scientific counter-argument that ENSO affects clouds.
If you can follow that, you’re doing well.

A Lovell

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

KnR

Strange how Gleick is very willing to give comments on Realclimate the same status as peer reviewed research despite the fact they in no way actual meet these standards . I wonder if he extends that idea to comments on other blogs too?
Stranger still that he know the paper in GRL will be brilliant but he admits he knows little on the subject and may have no even have read it , so how does it he its going to be any good ?
Like Wagner his making lots of nose about ‘other papers ‘ but as with Wagner he can’t name them and just like Wagner he claims Spencer did not address the problems but can offer no idea of what problems it was Spencer was to supposed to have ignored.
Pielke’s point that the normal procedure should be followed is as very good one , although it may not work in the court of public opinion, those in the scientific community are well aware of how these things should work and why GRL as opposed to Remote sensing is being used , becasue it restricts Spencer ability to deal with the rebuttal of his paper. Although they may have largely kept their mouths shut over the behavior seen in climate science, to some what their shame , I don’t think the wider science community are at all happy about what is going on and what damage it could do to the public perception of science general.
Worst case situation for the warmest , the GRL paper turns out to be poor and is seen to be so outside of Gleick and his fellow travelers. Spencer papers stands and Wagner’s resignation looks even stranger in reality . Although there is a worst than worst case situation for the warmists , GRL paper supports Spencer , given the front loading we seen about it form Gleick and friends who must be getting their info from somewhere, I can’t see this being the case.

Leon Brozyna

… and all without the help of a lead-in from Drudge.

@Cinbadthesailor: Nah, peer review has failed everywhere. This isn’t unusual. In fact, peer review only “works” where it’s not needed. In engineering and (to some extent) in medicine, real lives are at stake so researchers actually stick to the facts and do good science.
They don’t stay honest because of peer review. They stay honest because people will die, and huge lawsuits will result, if their work is definitely bad.
Sort of like the US “education” system, which only “works” when it’s not really used. The “education” system does a fine job with smart kids who learn so well outside of school that they aren’t completely ruined by the ferociously counterproductive time spent in school. For the kids who need a public school, it fails completely.

John Marshall

One way to repair the Peer Review Process would be for those publications that refuse to publish papers that disagree with the current political word on climate science to actually start to publish and get the peer review process back on track.
The science is never settled.

DN

This is all part of the same pattern that has characterized the warmists’ approach to climate “science” since the last century. They come up with models and use these to produce predictions which are then baptized as sovereign truth. In real science, they would have been required to demonstrate the predictive validity of their models before their predictions would be granted any confidence – and when observations contradicted predictions, they would have been expected to revise their models instead of beating the data until it fit the model outputs. Instead, thanks to Algore, Hansen, left-wing politicians looking for regulatory and legislative mechanisms to control the polity and extract more tax dollars, and a compliant left-leaning media hungry for “imminent disaster” headlines, the burden of proof has been shifted to those who challenge the modellers instead of being left where it belongs: with the modellers who still have not demonstrated the validity of their models. I simply cannot believe we are still discussing a theory that, 20 years after it went mainstream, has yet to produce a single scrap of confirmatory empirical evidence.
The extent to which the AGW true believers have warped the scientific method to serve their pecuniary and political ends is simply breathtaking. Climate science represents the greatest perversion of the scientific method since the Enlightenment. It is phlogiston, phrenology and Lysenkoism all rolled up into one big, fat, corrupt boil desperately in need of lancing.

CinbadtheSailor

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

Bob Ryan

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

It’s not a journal editors job to assert anything. So he has quit his job and had his say. Fair enough, but I think he’s wrong about a lot of what he says, and that’s what is under debate. Anyone wanting to take a swipe at Spencer and Braswell’s paper need to address that paper. If they want what they have to say taken seriously, they need to get their critique peer reviewed and published. Spencer and Braswell’s paper was critiqued, amended and finally approved for publication by, as Wagner said, three well qualified people with good publication records.
Who has peer reviewed Wagner’s editorial? No-one. It is a prerogative someties given to people who quit their job to get a resignation letter published. It’s an opinion piece.
The team is up to its usual shenanigans, redefining the peer review process because its “shaky nag” of a hypothesis can’t stand up to proper scientific debate.
They are losers, further undermining the pre-eminent position as a knowledge system science held in the eyes of the world before overarching considerations of money, politics and status started to destroy the trust people had in it. Shame on them.

Wagner commented that the paper had been downloaded 56,000 times in the last month. I bet it’s been downloaded quite a few times more now!
Here’s the link to the full paper again:
http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf
Enjoy!

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

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

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

….the only climate scientist involved was Spencer

got to do with:

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

Perhaps you heard of the concept of “comparison”. It is not the same as “identity”.
The fact that you responded to Tallbloke is not a tangent you can use against my comment by the way.

Nullius in Verba

Bob,
“If that is the sum total of the problem then I cannot see how that omission in the paper justifies a resignation.”
You’re welcome. But my point was that there was no omission. Spencer said exactly what T&F claimed he had not said. They actually supported Spencer’s hypothesis, claiming to be refuting it.
Obviously, it doesn’t justify a resignation. What I think happened was that T&F didn’t read the paper properly and just threw out some scientific-sounding “refutations” to kill the paper in the eyes of non-experts, these got cited by other blogs, Wagner saw this discussion, fell for RealClimate’s line, and didn’t bother to go and ask Spencer for an explanation or defence. He just assumed RC knew what they were talking about.
There may be other objections/problems that Wagner didn’t mention that could be valid, but the only one he did mention, the clincher that decided him and presumably the best example, was an internet blog post supposedly refuting a completely different paper by means of an argument that Spencer had actually referred to and used himself. It’s bizarre.

William Martin

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

it’s a bad move for them and for the integrity of the peer review process
Understatement of the year!!
It’s the same as a judge resigning because a jury found someone guilty — I told them to find them guilty and did they listen to me? Did they do what I told them? No … so I’m resigning!
What does it tell you about impartiality of the judge? Everything! Moreover it tells you not only that the judge had no respect at all for the jury, and that he was highly partisan in the case, but that because he is so open, its symptomatic of a whole system that has no respect for the jury, is totally partial and totally biased.
You may as well have judges standing of picket lines (any example would just tar judges as being climate “scientists”).

Bill Illis

If the models are so accurate, why are they off by so much in their predictions so far.
The earlier model predictions (Hansen 1988 and IPCC FAR) are at about +0.9C today with the prediction starting around 1984-1989.
The later models (IPCC TAR and AR4) are at about +0.65C today with the prediction starting around 2000-2004.
Temps are only at about +0.4C.
http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/3434/ipcchansen1980to2020.png
An objective scientist has to ask why and then publish the results. And many have, not just Spencer.
Ocean Heat Content (and Land and Ice) are only accumulating energy at about +0.355 W/m2 per year while this is expected to be +0.9 W/m2 or so (before any feedbacks are taken into account).
The theory is off by a lot in the last ten years. Obviously, it is either wrong or natural variability plays a bigger role. That is all Spencer’s paper really said. On its face, it is accurate. Why the fury.

I think the reason we’re seeing all the histrionics over this and the prior Lindzen and Choi paper, is because they’re finally getting kicked where it hurts – in their climate sensitivity hypotheses.
Up to now, they’ve been able to hide behind these when all else is failing. But now, with these papers it becomes apparent that they were plucking the figures from the air, and their “models” have been shown to be 70 year old crones. Unless they can refute those papers with observations of their own, then they’re just blowing more smoke.

Matthew Schilling

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

I haven’t spent too much time watching the site stats so I could be missing an interesting tidbit even if it were biting me on the nose.
I looked at the “Referrers” section thinking that some popular site had links to the story, but the top referrer, climateaudit.org, was responsible for only 430 referrers and none of the links were to this debacle. So it appears that the interest is largely among WUWT regulars.
There seems to be a moderate surge in page views starting on Aug 21, stories from around then include arresting pipeline protesters, the VA earthquake, Row to the Pole photo caption contest, and Irene was beginning to get interesting. I assume Irene drove most of the surge after that.
Yesterday seems unremarkable – only 69 kViews. Last Saturday it was 112, two weeks ago it was 65. That was the day before the surge. Of course, we’re in the midst of a major US holiday, so maintaining the pace from two weeks ago is impressive.
The Wagner story is by far the most popular here, “Breaking” and “Redefining” had 7,899 and 6,412 views, far ahead of “Tropical” 1,895.
One reason for the high ranking has to be few people are following the non-climate blogs this weekend. Still, it is gratifying that so many people who follow blogs that take scientific method seriously are following this story closely. I don’t think we can call this viral, the interest isn’t coming from people who brought into the story from elsewhere. We can call it a wakeup call for the IPCC – I think there’s going to be a lot of people checking every claim in their next report. Why, we might have to redefine peer review!
REPLY: Ric, not sure where you got your numbers, but the “Breaking” story at the top of WUWT has 23,625 views since Friday. And truly, it has gone viral, try to find a climate blog that doesn’t mention it. It has also seen several MSM press stories and a Slashdot story. For Slashdot to post it is exceptional. – Anthony

DirkH

Wagner’s resignation makes Remote Sensing a better journal.

I mean, really, Gleick is a lucky fellow, like the average canine he can see and adore his Gods (at RealClimate, in his case). And they even talk back to him.
I wish we all had his Faith! What a happy bunch we would be!

Dave

“I have a feeling that this won’t end the way Wagner thought it would.”
Maybe this is what he wanted to happen….
Wagner has to be a smart guy, and I’m sure he was under tremendous pressure from the AGW establishment to “get rid” of this paper or else. Doing the things that Roger Pielke talked about would have made that happen, but as it stands now, only the editor has resigned, and the paper still stands. Remember “Peer reviewed” is what the AGW establishment clings to. Although I’m sure there will soon be soon be a study based on “The Models” that will be “Peer Reviewed” that refutes Spencer Brawswell because the models say so.

chris y

The cutoff date for IPCC AR5 references is fast approaching. The IPCC-approved grey literature is not a problem, as the NGO’s for whom many of the IPCC authors work, are all busily preparing their policy, err, sciencey, documents.
This paper by Spencer and Braswell will need to be addressed in AR5 unless the following pre-emptive steps are taken:
1. Use IPCC-certified blog sites to condemn the paper as having more errors than an early Mets game.
2. Quickly fire off a rebuking placeholder in the peerreviewedliterature, the contents of which do not matter.
3. Blast press releases through the reliable media conduits to soundly dismiss the S&B paper, using Climate Change Cult Propaganda (CCCP).
4. If S&B decide to respond with a submission, circle the wagons and delay publication until after the AR5 cutoff date.
5. In AR5, only reference the placeholder rebuttal paper.
Mission accomplished, comrades. The climate change cult remains intact.

jmbnf

Here’s a telling part of Warner’s editorial:
“But trying to refute all scientific insights into the global warming phenomenon just based on the comparison of one particular observational satellite data set with model predictions is strictly impossible. Aside from ignoring all the other observational data sets (such as the rapidly shrinking sea ice extent and changes in the flora and fauna) and contrasting theoretical studies, such a simple conclusion simply cannot be drawn considering the complexity of the involved models and satellite measurements.”
The nature of the water vapour feedback would change the magnitude of anthropogenic Carbon loading of the atmosphere significantly. But notice the examples Warner uses.
He talks about sea ice extent which is a product of it getting warmer since the satellite record measured sea ice extent. But Spencer’s own Satellite record measures it getting warmer in the last 30 years and Spencer doesn’t refute that.
Secondly, changes in flora and fauna are expected with extra warmth and a boosting of CO2. So again, no news there.
So what about Spencer’s paper, and not what someone in the media might or might not say, ignores all the other data sets? Could Warner just not come up with better examples?
It is still amazing to me that supposed real scientist, let alone the media, can’t learn enough about opposing views to understand that the arguements of most ‘skeptics’ are about magnitude and attribution not whether its a little warmer, that there is a little less ice, or that CO2 grows plants.

Although it’s not on wordpress, and so doesn’t show up in this look at the story going viral, Roy Spencer has put up an excellent laymans explanation of the core scientific issue on his blog here:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/a-primer-on-our-claim-that-clouds-cause-temperature-change/
This is the really important stuff, never mind petulant editors throwing their toys out of the pram.

Bigdinny

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

tallbloke says September 4, 2011 at 3:05 am

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

I think that’s a pretty safe bet. Whatever their “goal” might have been, it seems to have boomeranged.
Meanwhile – speaking of numbers and “going viral” … the fallout from Wagner’s ludicrous resignation seems to have buried any scrutiny of Al Gore’s latest and greatest attempt to “win the conversation” using (according to Matt Nisbet) “a potentially innovative if not also troubling strategy” to spread the gospel word during his planned Sept.14 “climate crisis” propaganda blitz.
Gore’s “friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your account keys” plea is tantamount to a plan to spam via Twitter and Facebook using the accounts of his
As Charlie Martin wrote (Aug. 26):

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

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

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

Dr. Spencer’s response to Wagner’s resignation
“But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point!

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

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

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

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

No, no. no. The satellite researchers don’t need to “develop” anything vis-a-vis the modelers, not if develop means fudge the data to fit the models. It is the modelers who need to tweak the models to fit the real world data from the satellites. You don’t take real world and massage it to fit the models. If we did, quantum physics would be based on Archimedes. For many centuries scientific inquiry was fitted around Archimedes’ “model” of how things worked. It was only in freeing science from Archimedes’ ideas that science ever took any steps forward. And what led the way? Empiricism. The ideas/paradigms/models are not the driving force – empirical observations are. Except in a politicized academia.
It is SO obvious that Wagner was “gotten to” – as in leaned on. And buy whom? It sounds like the peer review process has been redefined, as the Climategate email writers asserted they should do. When someone threatens something and then that something comes to pass, where would YOU point the finger?

NetDr

The issue of skeptics peer reviewing the paper is an interesting one.
I think that a well informed skeptic should peer review every warmist paper and a warmist should peer review every skeptical paper.
Like the judicial truth often emerges from the conflict of views.
I seem to remember a debacle concerning DR Mann which could have been avoided by a skeptical peer reviewer or two.

tchannon

Eric Calais is supposed to be taking over as editor at Remote Sensing…
Eric Calais is editor at GRL

Latitude

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

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

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

This was one of the very first things that alarmed me about AGW – the number of articles with nasty headlines and then in almost every case the scientists’ quotes (deep in the articles) had lots of “we think”s, “possibly”s, “maybes,” and other qualifiers. When the scientists did not immediately correct the misleading headlines, it was obvious they were plenty happy at the shrillness being purveyed.
As was said to Tailgunner Joe McCarthy, “Sir, have you no shame?”
Yes, Harry, so much garbage – fed to an unsuspecting public, and done knowing the public trusts the word of scientists. If anything, Climategate and Wagnergate have cured many of that trust. If it ain’t continually earned, it ain’t worth much, no how.

Garacka

What Wagner said is incongruous.
Might a hypothesis that he did so for the purpose of bringing light to the usurpation of the review process then bring congruity? He was pressured by the system and this was the only way out, perhaps?
(just throwing it out there)

dr.bill

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

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

You have a way with words, Nullius. 🙂
DN (September 4, 2011 at 2:46 am) :

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

Well said indeed!
/dr.bill

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

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

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

Talbloke
Thanks for that prompt to Dr Spencer. Went there and increased my understanding of this debate tenfold
Thanks again

DocMartyn

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

jaypan

A scientific article goes viral (56,000+), gets attention across the MSM … and the responsible editor complains about it? Is the world upside down now?
Then he’s obviously forced to step back, irrationally, and what happens?
Even more publicity for Spencer & Braswell.
The good news: Sceptics don’t need a PR department.
The AGW PR machine works well for us.
Thanks guys from over there. Keep going.