Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Global warming academics as playground bullys?

Jillian Kay Melchior at Commentary gets into the "tribal" aspects of ClimateGate:

The leaked e-mails did not surprise [Ross] McKitrick [of Guelph]. He told me that scientists closely interacting with the IPCC had resorted to “playground bullying, intolerance of dissent.” People at the IPCC are “very insular, very defensive, they don’t like being criticized, and what I mean by that is, if a paper comes out that they disagree with, they’re less likely to grapple with the content [and instead] will attack.” Richard Lindzen, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Harvard and a long-time skeptic, says of the e-mails: “These are not ambiguous. They’re talking about suppressing other scientists. But there’s no surprise. Those of us who are in the field have seen this. The only surprise is that someone actually got hold and sorted these documents.”

IPBiz notes that, as a general matter, if a paper comes out criticizing one's theory, the proper first step is to prepare an objective response for publication in the same journal, laying out the basis for the disagreement so that third parties may analyze the situation.

Sometimes the journal won't publish the response, and other steps may be required.
[LBE had direct experience with this situation with the Journal of the American Chemical Society as to the structure of poly (carbon monofluoride). Similarly, people were criticizing the work of Jan-Hendrik Schon published in Nature, but the editors of Nature would not publish the criticisms.]

The journal Nature is involved in ClimateGate issues. From the Guardian:

The Guardian has learned that of 105 freedom of information requests to the university concerning the climatic research unit (CRU), which Jones headed up to the end of December, only 10 had been released in full.

The temperature data from the Chinese weather stations measured the warming there over the past half century and appeared in a 1990 paper in the prestigious journal Nature, which was cited by the IPCC's latest report in 2007.

Climate change sceptics asked the UEA, via FOI requests, for location data for the 84 weather stations in eastern China, half of which were urban and half rural.

The history of where the weather stations were sited was crucial to Jones and Wang's 1990 study, as it concluded the rising temperatures recorded in China were the result of global climate changes rather the warming effects of expanding cities.

The IPCC's 2007 report used the study to justify the claim that "any urban-related trend" in global temperatures was small. Jones was one of two "coordinating lead authors" for the relevant chapter.

The leaked emails from the CRU reveal that the former director of the unit, Tom Wigley, harboured grave doubts about the cover-up of the shortcomings in Jones and Wang's work. Wigley was in charge of CRU when the original paper was published. "Were you taking W-CW [Wang] on trust?" he asked Jones. He continued: "Why, why, why did you and W-CW not simply say this right at the start?"

Jones said he was not able to comment on the story.

Wang said: "I have been exonerated by my university on all the charges. When we started on the paper we had all the station location details in order to identify our network, but we cannot find them any more.

Also on ClimateGate:

Katie Couric does "Hide the Decline" on February 4


Blogger Mr. P said...

This page goes to a climate science spoof video and a link to an old article on the Gore effect:

You can go straight to the video here:

but you'll miss the striking thumbnail photo and set up:

"As chief operating officer for the cabal of Billionaires who control the global warming scam, Hitler quickly realizes the long range implications of "Glaciergate"."

7:31 AM  

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