The Guardian — Climate Scrum: Document on the CRU Emails

The Guardian is creating a public document letting anyone who wants, anonymously or not, edit it.

In a unique experiment, The Guardian has published online the full manuscript of its major investigation into the climate science emails stolen from the University of East Anglia, which revealed apparent attempts to cover up flawed data; moves to prevent access to climate data; and to keep research from climate sceptics out of the scientific literature.

As well as including new information about the emails, we will allow web users to annotate the manuscript to help us in our aim of creating the definitive account of the controversy. This is an attempt at a collaborative route to getting at the truth.

Here is the website announcing this project.

Here is their website coverage of Climategate.

I suppose this is just their way of hopping onto the bandwagon created by Wikipedia. Of course, this will devolve into a battle over which text gets authority in the overall document. This is prime evidence for a paper or research project on discourse analysis and the climate wars…

I hope DC and others ensure that there is a lot of context provided on the attack on climate science by the denial industry. I note that there is some coverage on the denialist industry’s attempt to create a “climate of doubt”.

In 1998, I revealed in the Guardian leaked documents showing that the powerful American Petroleum Institute (API) was planning to recruit a team of “independent scientists” to do battle against climatologists on global warming. The aim was to bolster a campaign to prevent the US government ratifying the Kyoto protocol.

The API’s eight-page Global Climate Science Communications Plan said it aimed to change the US political climate so that “those promoting the Kyoto treaty on the basis of extant science appear to be out of touch with reality”.

The leaked document said: “If we can show that science does not support the Kyoto treaty … this puts the US in a stronger moral position and frees its negotiators from the need to make concessions as a defence against perceived selfish economic concerns.”

Its first task was to “identify, recruit and train a team of five independent scientists to participate in media outreach”. It is not clear if the plan went ahead, but the policy objective was achieved.

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41 Responses to “The Guardian — Climate Scrum: Document on the CRU Emails”

  1. Susann,
    This sounds like an interesting experiment. Wikipedia has lots of edit wars. It will be interesting to see how this proceeds.

    Also, there are a couple of very interesting posts over at WUWT. I want to discuss the most important one first.

    In any scientific debate, you know one side has categorically lost when the philosophers of science come out in opposition. On Feb 9, 2010, WUWT published a guest post by Jerome Ravetz. Dr. Ravetz is a professor of philosophy of science at Oxford University in the UK. The post is titled “Climategate: Plausibility and the blogosphere in the post-normal age.”

    I cannot say Ravetz has completely turned on the AGW camp, so I am not declaring the debate over, but his sharpest criticism is of the AGW supporters and their failure to uphold the standards of science. He closes by offering some useful tools “to improve the management of uncertainty and ignorance.” And he seems to welcome the role of the blogosphere in the “extended peer community of science.” It is about time.

    The second really interesting blog post was about the review comments of Hansen colleague, Dr. Andrew Lacis. The blog post is at

    Here are some of his comments regarding AR4 Executive Summary:

    “There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department. The points being made are made arbitrarily with legal sounding caveats without having established any foundation or basis in fact. The Executive Summary seems to be a political statement that is only designed to annoy greenhouse skeptics. Wasn’t the IPCC Assessment Report intended to be a scientific document that would merit solid backing from the climate science community – instead of forcing many climate scientists into having to agree with greenhouse skeptic criticisms that this is indeed a report with a clear and obvious political agenda. Attribution can not happen until understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Once the facts of climate change have been established and understood, attribution will become self-evident to all. The Executive Summary as it stands is beyond redemption and should simply be deleted.”

    “‘Anthropogenic warming of the climate system is pervasive…’? The quantity being measured is temperature (of the surface, atmosphere and ocean). Temperature has no identifying label that would make it possible to identify any given temperature change as being ‘natural’ or ‘anthropogenic’ in its origin. The term ‘anthropogenic warming’ is yet to be properly defined. In any case, it is hardly a scientifically credible description to be attached to observational data.”

    This is a good point. No one knows how much of late 20th century warming was natural and how much was man-made.

    “Just how does ‘anthropogenically influenced’ atmospheric circulation differ from ‘non-anthropogenically influenced’ circulation?”

    To this question the LA responded “We don’t understand the reviewer’s point.” Pretty funny stuff!

    Here’s another
    “It would have been more convincing to first demonstrate that the ‘natural’ hydrological cycle and its natural variability is actually understood before venturing opinions about whether the impact of external influences is emerging.”

    This has been one of my points for a long time. Many of the comments in the press indicate climate scientists do not understand the natural variability of the hydrological cycle or other cycles and oscillations.


    • Ravetz isn’t a professor at Oxford. He is an Associate Fellow.

      Of course, he criticises certain scientists, hails the blog science, and does so on the one blog that is known for getting it wrong so many times, it almost looks like a mass conspiracy to be stupid.

      The Lacis comments and the others you cite are the typical comments on language of scientists. Observations do not allow attribution, it’s the analysis of the observations that allows attribution. Thus, while everyone knows what is meant, the language is criticised anyway. To add injury to insult, WUWT doesn’t note that Lacis’ criticism to the next draft was a lot milder, and that he thinks the final version is a very good effort. Can’t have those kind of facts!

      P.S.: when will you answer the question I asked you three times already?

      • Hmmm. I see an ad hoc attack on Ravetz without dealing with any of the criticisms he raises.

        Then comes a comment on Lacis saying he thinks the second version of the Executive Summary was much better than the one he criticized. I wonder how that can be when the LA rejected almost all of his comments, especially when it contained the idea “this is so bad it should be deleted?”

        What question did you ask me?

        • The question I asked is whether you think
          * flat earthers
          * HIV=AIDS deniers
          * creationists
          * anti-vaccination groups
          should be invited to co-author documents related to e.g. studies of the earth (including evolution) and WHO policy documents. And if not, why should climate science be completely open and include ‘skeptics’?

          • Marco,
            I would not put all of these into the same group. Flat earthers are more of a comedy team, I think. There is no chance they would ever come up with any valid papers worthy of publication. Anti-vaccination groups have some support in the history of science. Some vaccinations have been problematic. So it is possible these groups could have valid science and it should be published. I won’t comment on the others.

            Just so you know, John Christy has been a lead author of IPCC assessment reports. And there is a good chance he will do it again. There is also a good chance Roger Pielke Sr will be a lead author in the future. Although, from what I have been reading the next assessment report may not come from the IPCC but from some new entity which will hopefully have more credibility. Did you see this blog post?

      • willard,
        Thank you for posting this link. Here is the comment I left on Andy Revkin’s blog:

        The headline “Does an old climate critique still hold up?” is the proper question to ask. In comments here, Andrew Lacis seems to say he thinks the final version is much better than the draft he criticized. But is it? it seems to me the final version has all of the same elements Lacis so eloquently condemned in the draft version. In fact, the LA rejected almost all of Lacis’s comments.

        So the question then becomes, did new science make the criticisms by Lacis outdated? I think the answer is no. If Lacis can point us to papers, published after 2005, which do a better job at attribution than earlier attempts, then I would change my view. It is my opinion no one knows how much of late 20th century warming was natural and how much was man-made. Lacis’s criticisms here are well-founded. As far as I know, nothing has changed in the science. Climate science has still not demonstrated an understanding of natural variability of the hydrological cycle or several other cycles or oscillations which might be named.

        Lacis’s recent embracing of AR4 appears to be driven more by pressures at work than by any advance in the science. In some ways, I feel bad for the guy. He tries to tell the truth and make the ES a better document and he gets hammered for it. You know the saying. No good deed goes unpunished.

        • “Lacis’s recent embracing of AR4 appears to be driven more by pressures at work than by any advance in the science.”

          Geez…contrarians have a really hard time admitting their beloved messengers are wrong. This is a common theme.

          1. Badly distort facts and/or misrepresent the views of a scientist.

          2. When caught red-handed, such as the scientist who’s being misrepresented setting the record straight, claim it’s the scientist who is changing the story.

          It might be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. Small children usually take better responsibility for their mistakes and careless behavior than climate contrarians.

      • willard,
        Yes, it appears Lacis’s view is quite nuanced. In 2000, he co-wrote a paper with James Hansen which contains this in the abstract:

        “But we argue that rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as chlorofluorocarbons, CH4, and N2O, not by the products of fossil fuel burning, CO2 and aerosols, the positive and negative climate forcings of which are partially offsetting.”

        Interesting, no? It seems Hansen changed his view by 2005, but possibly Lacis had not.

        • The full range of forcings is in Figure 1 – CO2 being the largest single forcing but partially offset by manmade aerosols from the same source (fossil fuel burning). This makes collectively, the other manmade forcings greater than CO2 minus aerosols during this period.

          More from the study:

          “CO2 will become the dominant climate forcing, if its emissions continue to increase and aerosol effects level off.”

          “Combined with a reduction of black carbon emissions and plausible success in slowing CO2 emissions, this reduction of non-CO2 GHGs could lead to a decline in the rate of global warming, reducing the danger of dramatic climate change.”

          “In the near term (2000–2025) this scenario can be achieved by
          improved energy efficiency and a continued trend toward decarbonization
          of energy sources, e.g., increased use of gas instead
          of coal. Technologies for improved efficiency exist (ref. 52;
          available at, and implementation can be driven
          by economic self-interest, but governments need to remove
          barriers that discourage buying of energy efficiency (53). Business-
          as-usual scenarios often understate a long-term trend toward
          decarbonization of the energy supply (figure 8 in ref. 54),
          but the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (9) includes
          a subset that is consistent with our CO2 scenario.

          In the longer term (2025–2050) attainment of a decreasing
          CO2 growth rate will require greater use of energy sources that
          produce little or no CO2. Some renewable energy systems will be
          developed without concern for climate. But if such systems are
          to play a substantial role by the second quarter of the century,
          it is important to foster research and development investments
          now in generic technologies at the interface between energy
          supply and end use—e.g., gas turbines, fuel cells, and photovoltaics

          Virtually all qualified scientists agree we need to significantly decarbonize, which includes curbing CO2, which also has the much longer-term problem of residing in the atmosphere for a long time. Opinions vary on the precise strategies needed, short-term and long-term. It would be nice if the public debate moved on to this. There’s hope, but certainly not if the denial crowd and coal/oil industry has their way.

    • Actually Cram, Lacis was just fine with the ES for chapter 9:

      See here. Apparently that comment was on a draft version and was not related to the final content.

      Another FAIL for the denialists.

      • Rattus,
        The final version contains all of the elements Lacis so forcefully condemned in the draft version. All of his comments were rejected by the LA. See my comment above.

          • This is what he says:

            First, let me state clearly that I view the IPCC AR4 Report as a very successful and useful scientific summary of our current understanding of global climate and global climate change. The IPCC authors had a very difficult task of pulling together an enormous amount of scientific data and analyses into one coherent document, and also to prepare the so-called Executive Summaries incorporating sufficient political posturing to cater to the interests/concerns of policy makers from a hundred different nations. The whole effort required orchestrating on an international scale several hundred author/contributors and reviewers. My contribution to this document was that of reviewer.

            I will say he speaks as a true scientist with disdain for the needs and interests of politicians. 🙂 I understand this disdain and I felt it and feel it quite frequently as I am told to simplify my briefing materials and summaries more and more to sound bites and key messages that are politically palatable. That’s politics. If you don’t like it, change the system of politics. I think the system of science is pretty sound, for the most part.

        • Ron, it seems from my reading that at first, Lacis failed to appreciate the purpose and design of the summary for policy makers — it is not the place for literature citation.

          Policy makers (politicians) don’t give a rat’s ass about who said what.

          They want the facts, man.

          They don’t have the time or expertise to read all the literature or detail. They rely on their science advisors to ensure that the facts presented in the executive summary are backed up in the actual reports.

          I work for politicians and I write up summary documents, executive summaries, and briefing material every day. The politicians do NOT WANT detail. They don’t want citations. They don’t want footnotes.

          They want a high level summary indicating the level of certainty in the findings or recommendations.

          That is why the summary is so high level and so devoid of references, other than those that refer to the pertinent section in the report where the information is described in detail and where the references and citations exist. All that is supposed to be kept out of an summary for policy makers/executive summary on purpose.

          It’s not meant to deceive but to make it readable to politicians who don’t have the expertise. In fact, it’s the rare politician who has specific expertise in an area and actually reads the reports, at least in my experience. Politicians rely on advisers who have actual specialist expertise to do that for them and advise them.

          Just today, I received a report on my desk that I was supposed to read and be ready to provide a high level summary for my “policy maker”/ politician, should the media ask questions. If they did, I would write briefing material for the politician summarizing the key findings and take home lessons so that he could answer questions on the issue. He would only read what I write, not the actual report which is far too long for a politician to read, given the number of issues they have to manage on a day to day basis. The briefing material I will write will contain NO CITATIONS or references. It will be high level, two pages or three at most.

          I understand this is what the summary for policy makers is for and that similar reasoning guides its crafting.

          From my reading of the pieces in question, Lacis did not understand this. At first.

          • Susann,
            You are not taking one thing into account.

            In 2000, Lacis co-wrote a paper with James Hansen which contains this in the abstract:

            “But we argue that rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as chlorofluorocarbons, CH4, and N2O, not by the products of fossil fuel burning, CO2 and aerosols, the positive and negative climate forcings of which are partially offsetting.”

            It appears to me Lacis was still of the mind the warming was not caused by CO2 when he wrote these comments in 2005.

            • Ron’s been corrected before, but like any stuck record (remember those?) keeps repeating the same words.

              “It appears to me Lacis was still of the mind the warming was not caused by CO2 when he wrote these comments in 2005.”

              No, he said it wasn’t the *main* driver of warming over the last few decades of the 20th century.

              In 1950-2000, CO2 concentrations were lower than today, and much lower than they’ll be in 2100.

              Therefore in the coming century CO2 will play an ever-growing larger part in driving warming.

              There’s nothing contradictory in understanding that as the CO2 concentration increases, its role as a GHG will also increase.

              You’ve been told this many times. Why do you persist in claiming he’s contradicting his past work which, after all, was about the past, not the future?

              Uniformitarianism only applies when things are uniform, not when you’re pouring CO2 into the atmosphere …

  2. Here’s another interesting story about gatekeeping in climate science. Geez. You have to wonder if this is really good science, why would people be so stupid as to try to have the paper blocked from publication. The truth will out. It makes me wonder if it is bad science and the article is only telling part of the story. Time will tell.

    • Ron, your desperate ABAGWNMHS (anything but anthropogenic global warming no matter how stupid) is really amusing.

      I read the article. I’ve also studied a bit about the history of science. There are examples of scientists on the fringe being right while the majority are wrong, but they are few and far between for a reason. Most of them are just wrong. They’re contrarians and crackpots.

      The reason no reputable scientist will step forward to try to discredit his work is that they can tell it’s a load of bunk. Why waste their time?

      Gatekeeping is a valuable service — it keeps the dreck out and keeps the sound science in. There has to be evaluation and judging — even rejection — or else every yokel would try to publish their whacko theories and clutter up the journals. Other scientists who are expert in the areas judge the papers to see if they have merit and if they are plausible and if they add anything to the science etc. They are the best able to make those decisions and I trust them and the process. Yes there can be mistakes but overall, science has had an amazing track record of achievement after achievement with only a very few hoaxes and mistakes along the way. I trust this process and there is good reason to do so.

      I suspect this fellow is just a crackpot like all the other ABGW types. If his findings were so straightforward, why would all the other scientists not come to the same conclusion? If it was so sound, it would have been lodged at AGW theory before and defeated it.

      What about the PETM? If Earth’s climate is self-regulating so as to prevent the greenhouse effect from causing disequilibrium, how do you explain the massive release of methane clathrates and the warming of the PETM?

      Yes, under normal circumstances, during the pleistocene, the carbon cycles up and down in response ot warming induced by the Milankovic cycles, with CO2 decreasing when we go into a colder glacial period as it is absorbed into the oceans, and then increasing when we go into a warmer interglacial as the oceans warm and release CO2 and other GHGs.

      Today, in the holocene, we are adding carbon into the atmosphere that has been trapped in fossil fuels under the ground, sequestered, for hundreds of millions of years. It is a greenhouse gas. It has to have some effect on the carbon balance in the biosphere, affecting the greenhouse gas balance in the atmosphere, and thus on temperature.

      If temps could increase by a significant amount in the PETM because of massive methane releases, why not when humans add in all that formerly sequestered CO2 from fossil fuels?

      Explain this to me — I really want to know.

      • Susann,
        This paper may be a load of bunk, I don’t know. But I do know a great many very worthy papers by eminent scientists like Roger Pielke Sr and John Christy have been kept out of the journals by gatekeeping, not standard peer-review.

        I linked to this story because the author thinks this paper has value and it seems the guy’s employer wanted him to stay. Maybe that is untrue. Maybe the story is sour grapes because the guy got canned for cause. Maybe there is nothing worthwhile in the paper, but I thought it was an interesting story. In any case, I expect the truth will out.

        I know all about the increase in atmospheric CO2 in millenniums past. The increase in CO2 always followed the rise in temps. It did not precede it. If the theory in this paper is true, then something else is causing the temps to rise and the increase of CO2 is not a positive feedback causing temps to rise further.

        It is an interesting theory. Someone will have to take the time to refute it sometime.

        • Please provide a list of the worthy papers by eminent scientists that have been kept out of journals by gatekeeping — papers that you can show were kept out, not because they lacked merit, but because they were impolitic. Please provide evidence that the rejection was improper.

          Otherwise it’s just one man’s opinion.

          As to the tired canard about CO2 following warming, yes, at first, the evidence appears to suggest that the CO2 rises due to warming caused by Milankovic changes in solar insolation, but then the CO2 acts as a feedback and increases the warming beyond that from the earth’s orientation to the sun alone. This is basic science. CO2 is a feedback, that leads to enhanced warming.

          Please point to peer-reviewed literature that disproves this well-founded bit of science.

          • Skeptics have been successful in publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Anthony Watts published a list of 450 skeptical papers in the literature. See

            But there are also papers which have been rejected on purely ideological grounds. Some skeptical researchers, such as Craig Loehle, are willing to publish in E&E if a paper is rejected in a higher impact journal. But other researchers are not. Per your request, I have gathered some links to stories about some of these papers.

            * John Christy

            * Roger Pielke Sr

            * Demetris Koutsoyiannis

            * Auffhammer, Yoo and Wright

            Click to access auffhammer.pdf

            This last paper is one that was specifically mentioned in the CRU emails as one they had blocked from publication.

            As to your final request for peer-reviewed literature “that disproves this well-founded bit of science,” I can only point you to the paper we are discussing. As I said, it may or may not be a good paper. I do not know anything about the author. But it is an interesting theory and I would like his concept to get a hearing. We are supposed to live in an open marketplace of ideas. If he cannot publish his paper beccause of ideological gatekeeping, the paper will never be discussed.

            • Seriously Ron, you should check those 450 articles. It includes loads of E&E references (not peer-reviewed, some even openly admitted to not have been peer-reviewed beyond a reading by the Editor, who is a sociologist), but especially hilarious, a paper by Zeebe et al. The latter explicitely discuss the requirement for an extra forcing during the PETM, because the 3 degrees climate sensitivity is *too low* to explain the observed warming! TOO LOW! And that’s being skeptic of AGW?

              And to prevent making it all too long: referring to Auffhammer’s paper is laughable. Laughable because Aufhammer wasn’t in the paper until *after* the review discussed in the e-mails. In 2005 they resubmitted with Auffhammer as co-author, and the paper was (one positive comment, the other had valid some concerns according to Auffhammer) rejected by *the editor*. The fact that the editor did not send it to the most critical reviewer (again, according to Auffhammer) tells you the editor was not hostile.
              So, let me add a little lesson: papers are rejected. Good papers are even rejected. Not because they are deemed bad by reviewers, not even because they are deemed bad by the editor, but because of page limitations. Nature and Science have enormous rejection rates. Many of those rejected papers are excellent.

              And then there are the papers that *are* crap, get rejected when they get into the hands of good reviewers, and still get published and loads of citations. I’ve recently thrashed about 50 papers in the literature, showing fundamental errors in textbook science. Several of these papers have loads of citations.

              Finally, Koutsoyiannis quoting several of the mails out of context shows he’s not nearly as skeptic as he claims to be. He *could* have read Trenberth’s papers first, rather than blindly copy what the deniosphere has been throwing around, as a *real* skeptic would do.

              • Marco,
                We have gone over this. E&E is peer-reviewed, it is just not a science journal. When they publish a science paper, they get scientists to peer-review it but the editor is not an earth scientist.

                I will attempt to defend all 450 papers in the list. I didn’t make this list. Most likely, a number of papers I think support the skeptical position are not in the list because they were not written by skeptics. I haven’t checked, but did you see papers by Schwartz? or Chylek? or Bratcher and Giese?

                Regarding Auffhammer comments on the paper, do you have a link? I haven’t seen that.

                Of course I know good papers are rejected because of page limitations. I also know editors can use limitations on papers and comments to prevent getting the whole story out. You should read some of Steve McIntyre’s experiences dealing with Nature.

                I have no idea what your criticism of Koutsoyiannis is about. I am certain he did read Trenberth’s papers and Trenberth’s comments about his emails. What exactly is your point?

                • I hate when I accidently leave out a word. I meant to write “I will NOT attempt to defend all 450 papers in the list.”

                  Sorry about that.

                • Ron, E&E has published articles that were not even reviewed, the editorial noting that “no suitable reviewer could be found” (one of which is Willis Eschenbach’s article about Tuvalu in 2004). And the term “peer-review” needs to be taken really broadly when E&E is involved.

                  Many of the papers on the list are also critical of some minor aspects, several of which are not even related to AGW. ALL criticism of the hockeystick is, e.g., not very relevant to AGW. Some articles are just other reconstructions, and not even criticisms.

                  I also can’t see why you refer to Schwartz:
                  He even warns vehemently of taking his data out of context, by pointing to the fact that we’d have to have exponential emissions indefinitely (including of aerosols) to offset the warming by CO2 we release today. His climate sensitivity comes to about 2 degrees. Maybe at the low end of the IPCC scale, but still very disconcerting.

                  Regarding Auffhammer’s comments, he notably commented on climateaudit!

                  Koutsoyiannis blindly quotes Trenberth, without putting it in any context. This is typical of non-skeptical people: remove the context, take things as literal as possible, and then claim something is wrong.

                  • Marco,
                    I’m certain that many of the 450 skeptical papers were about minor aspects of AGW, but that is to be expected.

                    Schwartz does not identify himself as a skeptic but two of his papers, 2007 and 2010, are very supportive of skeptical views. His climate sensitivity of less than 2C is based on CRU temp series. If the CRU temp record has a warming bias, then his sensitivity comes down significantly. Schwartz’s paper in 2010 addresses the issue of why the earth has not warmed as much as expected. It lays out the issue in very clear terms and suggests uncertainty about aerosols must be reduced to improve understanding.

                    Thank you for the link to Auffhammer’s comment. It was interesting that it showed no ill-will to those who blocked the paper from publication. I am certain it will eventually be published and will cause a great deal of heartburn for Michael Mann and others associated with CRU.

                    • Funny you’d mention a supposed warming bias in CRU, considering it leaves out the fastest warming area of the earth: the arctic. And there’s no evidence there is a warming bias in CRU (in fact, if you would refer to the supposed Russian data manipulation, I’d like to point out that the discrepancy that was pointed out *only* was observed prior to 1950).

                      Besides that, Schwartz 2010 does not contradict anything that hasn’t been said before. What is of greater importance is Schwartz’ comments I linked to, and which are also in the paper: aerosols are the big unknown. Take them away, and you’re in big trouble (even with the ‘low’ end climate sensitivity of 2 Kelvin). Since aerosols are short-lived (perhaps weeks), whereas CO2 is not (many years), you have to constantly increase aerosols in the air to offset CO2 warming *and* increasing CO2 concentrations… then we’ll all be living in a Mexico City by 2050.

                      An interesting thing is also the question why Schwartz’ analysis is some kind of golden standard, whereas all others must be flawed when they give higher climate sensitivity. Perhaps you can explain that.

                    • Sheesh…Schwartz again. There have been multiple peer-reviewed refutations of Schwartz’s approach, which apply to both the original estimate and largely to his upward correction. Since there are so many, I probably should bookmark these references under a Schwartz folder.


                      Click to access knutti08jgr.pdf

                      Click to access comment_on_schwartz.pdf

                      Click to access 503939_2_merged_1208357713.pdf

                      The last one is fairly surprising, since Scafetta is somewhat of a skeptical type, or at least is spun that way by the political crowd. But Scafetta, like nearly every qualified scientist, understands the climate is sensitivity to CO2 forcing.

                      This is how scientific consensus develops. Contrarian views needs to be able to withstand scientific scrutiny. Papers by Schwartz (his revised paper not, still flawed, but not really “contrarian” to begin with) and Lindzen haven’t.

                      For a broader view of climate sensitivity…

                      Click to access knutti08natgeo.pdf

                    • Ron, you have to revise your thinking here. Schwarz does not support skeptical views. Skeptics see his work as supporting their views. There is a difference. It’s subtle but oh so important.

                    • “I’m certain that many of the 450 skeptical papers were about minor aspects of AGW”

                      Some aren’t skeptical of any aspect of human-caused warming, minor or major.


                      Pielke Jr. on E&E:

                      “On our Energy and Environment paper from 1999, had we known then how that outlet would evolve beyond 1999 we certainly wouldn’t have published there. The journal is not carried in the ISI and thus its papers rarely cited. (Then we thought it soon would be.) ”


                      When a Pielke strongly condemns a skeptic article, it says quite a bit.

                      E&E Editor: “I’m following my political agenda — a bit, anyway. But isn’t that the right of the editor?”

                      E&E is the equivalent of a contrarian blog with regards to science.

                      Many other references in the list are not peer-reviewed at all.

                      So yeah…junk list – as is generally the case when political types attempt such things.

                • I do not trust E&E any longer after reading some comments from its editor about the role of editors and the whole publication process.

            • Ron, as Marco says above, there are a lot of “good” papers that get rejected that are in the AGW camp if one wants to use that terminology. The ratio of rejection to publication is probably very high just because there are far more submissions than can be published in the peer-reviewed literature. Academics go through a whole process of learning how this system works from the time they are in grad school and start submitting papers to conferences and journals. Is it a perfect system? Of course not. Some good papers get rejected. Some bad papers get published. All in all, given the immense productivity of science over the years, I think it works pretty well. I am working on a post on “Post-Normal Science” that addresses a bit of this so stay tuned.

              • Susann, I agree with the statement that some good papers get rejected and some bad papers get published.

                But it is also true that the more prolific and highly cited authors do not have a problem getting published. Journals normally would stand in line to publish something by Pielke, just like they would for James Hansen… unless Pielke’s paper happens to to give aid and comfort to skeptics. Then suddenly Pielke doesn’t know how to write a good paper. Same with John Christy.

                • Ron, thus it is in the world of publishing. When an area of research is of interest to the majority of readers, journal editors and publishers know where their bread is buttered. Other scientists see an area is cutting edge or contains important insights or moves the science forward, they acknowledge it, promote it, and want to read it.

                  The system is not perfect. It’s not totally open — many published articles are never available for free, because the market intervenes and that is another consideration. Journal editors and publishers want to keep market share, etc. and so only publish those articles that will keep readers subscribing.

                  This leads to certain papers and certain authors from getting published. As I said, its not perfect, but it has so far worked pretty well. You pointing to your favorites not getting published says to me that their work is deemed just not good enough or interesting enough or worth enough to the editors and reviewers to see it published.

                  C’est la guerre.

  3. Another response by Dr. Lacis:

    “There is a great deal of irony in this basically nonsensical stuff, some of which I find rather amusing. The global warming denier blogs, where this issue first came up, seem to think that I was being critical of the I.P.C.C. report in the same way as seen from their perspective, and, as a result, I have received e-mails from the denier crowd hailing my remarks and commending me for “speaking up” on this important topic.

    Little do they realize that the basic thrust of my criticism of the I.P.C.C. draft was really to register a clear complaint that I.P.C.C. was being too wishy-washy and was not presenting its case for anthropogenic impact being the principal driver of global warming as clearly and forcefully as they could, and should.”

    “Had I been asked to write this chapter (which I wasn’t), I would describe “understanding and attributing of climate change” as simply a problem in physics, which it actually is. I would have started the Executive Summary with:
    Human-induced warming of the climate system is established fact.”

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