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Slashdot: Journal Editor Resigns Over Flawed Global Warming Paper


Larry

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OK, this story contains so many links that I think I'm gonna have to just post the slashdot post, with the links.

"Remote Sensing Editor-in-Chief Wolfgang Wagner resigned earlier today (PDF) over a global warming study published in his journal that was said to cast doubt on global warming models but was later found to be flawed. Wagner stated that the paper most likely contained fundamental methodological errors and false claims. He further expressed dismay over how 'the authors and like-minded climate skeptics have much exaggerated the paper's conclusions in public statements.' The author of the paper, Dr. Roy Spencer, has responded to the resignation."
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Most likely contained errors?

He needs to resign if he can't say for sure

Yeah, I noticed that, myself.

From the third link in the OP:

But Wagner [the editor] says he now accepts the subsequent criticism from other climate scientists that the peer-review process used to test the paper's findings was flawed. "As the case presents itself now, the [peer review] editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors … 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, 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."

----------

Roy Spencer again.

And, of course, Spencer is claiming that evil forces in the great global warming conspiracy are what pushed this guy to resign, not professional embarassment over having published Spencer's crappy paper. :ols:

Yeah, his web site (the final link in the OP) contains the conspiracy-theory claims, and what I thought was a valid point.

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.

Which kind-of dovetails with the following, from the third link in the OP:

Next week, Prof Andrew Dressler of the department of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, is due to publish a paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters offering a detailed peer-reviewed rebuttal of Spencer's paper.
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Next week, Prof Andrew Dressler of the department of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, is due to publish a paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters offering a detailed peer-reviewed rebuttal of Spencer's paper.

And when that paper destroys Spencer's paper, sceptics will point to the controversy as proof that the "science is unsettled." :)

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And when that paper destroys Spencer's paper, sceptics will point to the controversy as proof that the "science is unsettled." :)

Is assuming facts not in evidence a good thing? :)

I read the ThinkProgress article,which left more questions than answers....plenty of speculation though.:silly:

the comments were amusing and full of the suggestion the burden of proof is (or should be) higher for skeptics.......friggin circus

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This is actually something I think a lay person at some level can understand pretty simply. If you look at Spencer's paper, he shows lines of how the averages of different climate models do. I understand that the average person might not understand that a single climate model can produce variation so normally would be represented by the average, and then some sort of indication of what the variation would be.

But certainly most people, I think, understand that looking at an average of different things (like the results of 3 climate models), doesn't make any sense if you don't know what the variation of the data is- that normally when you are talking about an average, you also want to include something like the standard deviation.

Really simply, if I have two sets of numbers, and the average of one set is 5, and the average of the other is 10, you can't say one is bigger than the other w/o some idea of what the spread of the data is.

If, the numbers are 4.9, 5, and 5.1 vs. 9.9, 10, and 10.1, they are likely different. If they are 0, -5, and 20 vs. 0, -5, 35, then you really can't conclude they are different.

The editor should have ABSOLUTELY known that he had bad reviews when the reviewers didn't point out that averages were being shown w/o any indication of what the variation was, even if he didn't have a good understanding of climate models, and the paper clearly states the lines are averages of multiple climate models.

**EDIT**

http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Spencer_Misdiagnos_11.pdf

Figure 3

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When I see science fighting science I normally feel more comfortable.

I worry when they agree we are the smartest species in the multiverse.

Being 100% correct doesn't mean we cant fix the wrongs.

Science is wrong 100% of the time but it's

Trying hard to rework the problem with each new generation.

1+1=2 until Morgan Freeman throws wormholes at us.

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When I see science fighting science I normally feel more comfortable.

I worry when they agree we are the smartest species in the multiverse.

In my experience and awareness it's unlikely that most scientists would say such a thing about our species in that manner when speaking precisely, though they'll acknowledge it is a common perception on a populist level and part of our normally used social framing in casual conversation and use it in that fashion like anyone else. :)

And while all scientists and researchers, and credentialed professionals of other fields, that I know would say that being credentialed should be noted and given due respect, it's never some universal and absolute guarantee of competence of a high order, or freedom from errors of both professional or personal.

And of course, one's personality make-up---or individual psychology/development (the "personal")---often affects the other (the "professional"), since they're human too. Their profession just has dramatically more rigorousness checks and balances and demands on them to minimize such things compared to other (I'd say almost all) jobs/professions and asks for (but doesn't always receive) constant practice of that skill set.

Spencer is just easily arguable as one good case study as an example of strong personal beliefs directing his work instead of being held in abeyance as he seeks as true an understanding of matters as possible. And a lot of work he did does stand up to scrutiny---unsurprisingly, it's the work where he had minimal personal belief systems heavily influencing him or was in the past where his filtering and managing of bias was more actively engaged instead of deliberately given the lead or simply put in charge. :)

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I would make all sorts of comments but there is no point.

The people who don't think the earth is getting warmer never will.

And there are several hundred brilliant scientists much smarter than you at some of the most respected instititutions in the world that believe it's a myth. But of course, you must be right.

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And there are several hundred brilliant scientists much smarter than you at some of the most respected instititutions in the world that believe it's a myth. But of course, you must be right.

The post you responded to was indeed pretty vapid and pointless. I was going to type something a bit harsher (but still not meany-pants harsh :D) to that poster than I am typing now. :)

But since you just joined (and for youngeston, too), allow me to recommend that If you're going to engage in a more meaningful level in these conversations you might want to spend some time reading what's already been posted on the matter just in the couple threads active now, let alone the many that have come before, so you don't just step into conversations with one-liners that have been thoroughly given the back-n-forth already, and instead work to add something with more meat. Not slamming you, just trying to give you a useful tip for best participation in this forum. :)

And, to be fair to both of you, know that what I am advising to not do, is the meat-n-potatoes of some posters here that have actually been around for awhile and should know (or care to do) better. :ols:

---------- Post added September-3rd-2011 at 09:52 AM ----------

man...I am just too good at this sometimes...right after I posted I had a hunch..and sure enough..yet ANOTHER (and different) dupe acct...buh bye sonnysam&frank.

Like many have said, nothing says "pwned" like the apparently driven need to opine on some internet open-topic message forum you've already been banned form.

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man...I am just too good at this sometimes...right after I posted I had a hunch..and sure enough..yet ANOTHER (and different) dupe acct nutter...buh bye sonnysam&frank...while you're out, get a life. ;)

Like many have said, nothing says "pwned" like the apparently driven need to opine your little belief systems on some internet open-topic message forum you've already been banned form...:ols:

The part that really gets to me is that I bet, (obviously don't know), that if they'd sneak back in and behave themselves, they'd likely get away with it.

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The part that really gets to me is that I bet, (obviously don't know), that if they'd sneak back in and behave themselves, they'd likely get away with it.

But he didn't misbehave in this case and that's not what got him noticed--in fact, he's made some decent posts. Few puntees are entirely devoid of worth, and some who have lasted a long time almost are guilty of that ranking. :D :evilg:

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Well, obviously, if it ever happened to me, I'd have to completely disavow underlining.

(I doubt I could do it.)

May I suggest the substitution of orange bold.

Coupled with an obnoxious sig and the unnecessary editing of existing posts for trivial reasons, one really can't go wrong.

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