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Discussion > Zombie blog - what's the point?

Right, review boards are decimated every time a methodological error is found. This was unusual, alright; thanks for pointing it out, again.

Sep 6, 2016 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Just a little unusual yes, so why did the editorial staff do it? Why was the publication of what after all was a single PEER-REVIEWED paper a cause for mass sword piercing? To make a point? Mass hysteria? Propaganda for the CAUSE? Revenge? Or an amalgam. Tell us please Uncle Phil, lead us towards the light.

Sep 6, 2016 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

It was heresy, but you know that. Science, bah, this is false narrative wrapped in pseudoreligion.

Sep 6, 2016 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Clare Goodess, one of those who departed explained her reasons in the piece I linked to above,

and there was a reasonable contemporary write-up in SciAm. These were more than just poor methodological choices

The most significant criticism is that Soon and Baliunas do not present their data quantitatively--instead they merely categorize the work of others primarily into one of two sets: either supporting or not supporting their particular definitions of a Medieval Warming Period or Little Ice Age. "I was stating outright that I'm not able to give too many quantitative details, especially in terms of aggregating all the results," Soon says.

Specifically, they define a "climatic anomaly" as a period of 50 or more years of wetness or dryness or sustained warmth (or, for the Little Ice Age, coolness). The problem is that under this broad definition a wet or dry spell would indicate a climatic anomaly even if the temperature remained perfectly constant. Soon and Baliunas are "mindful" that the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age should be defined by temperature, but "we emphasize that great bias would result if those thermal anomalies were to be dissociated" from other climatic conditions. (Asked to define "wetness" and "dryness," Soon and Baliunas say only that they "referred to the standard usage in English.")

Moreover, their results were nonsynchronous: "Their analysis doesn't consider whether the warm/cold periods occurred at the same time," says Peter Stott, a climate scientist at the U.K.'s Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research in Bracknell. For example, if a proxy record indicated that a drier condition existed in one part of the world from 800 to 850, it would be counted as equal evidence for a Medieval Warming Period as a different proxy record that showed wetter conditions in another part of the world from 1250 to 1300

Sep 6, 2016 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Heh, Phil now shows us natural variability. Let's hope his dissonance resolves.

Sep 6, 2016 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Explanations for why the paper was thought to be poor, nothing about why it was a resignation matter. If I don't like something I might rant and rail, but I don't abscond.

Sep 6, 2016 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

A write up in SciAm. Really? The once fantastic science magazine that now should be referred to as SciScam?

Sep 6, 2016 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

kim. "Lets hope his dissonance resolves", or perhaps his "resonance dissolves"?

Sep 6, 2016 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

ACK & kim

add SciAm to Phil's list, somewhere beneath Gergis.

Sep 6, 2016 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Well yes, it was a little more nuanced than 'we published a piece of toilet paper so we need to go'. The fact of the publication of the scientific Andrex revealed fatal flaws in the quality control at the journal and most of the people who left did so after attempts to fix the process were blocked.

All in the linked articles.

Sep 6, 2016 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Oh dear, scatological references now, all linked to the imagery of little scampering puppy dogs that is today's climate science. Nothing to hide, move along now.

And all those poor editorial staff, totally unsupported by the publisher. But wait, slippery Phil has just told us the opposite. Who to believe, it's getting all so complex.

Even changing the data gets you the same result. No need for data, let's just resubmit an oldie but goodie that didn't get the right sort of peer review four years ago. No one will notice.

Sep 6, 2016 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

"....most of the people who left did so after attempts to fix the process were blocked"
Says it all doesn't it ? They resigned when they couldn't put the fix in.

Sep 6, 2016 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Or maybe they had a shred of integrity. I'm routinely accused of bad faith, but sheesh.

Sep 6, 2016 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Maybe, maybe not. Mayby they had a fit of pique. I asked if you know why they left, and you hit me with integrity. Sheech! Looks more like a conspiracy to get their own way, they threatened to resign and they were called to make good their threats. Altering the past is a skill set much admired in climate science.

Sep 6, 2016 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Wonderful piece in the Guardian by Dana Nuccitelli. He completely misses the point about falling levels of belief in Climate Science. Astrology went the same way, it is has made itself into an irrelevance with false claims, and has lost the public's trust. The UK Government has spotted voter fatigue, boredom and indifference, whereas the US public are going straight to loathing.

Sep 6, 2016 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Orthodoxy enforcement corrupted the publication editors into their resignation. Motivated reasoning keeps PC in line here.

Sep 6, 2016 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Phil Clarke has abandoned Gergis, and it really can be added to the list of funding failures.

It is 2 months since he promoted Gergis, and as he does not read Climate Audit, how did he work it out, unless another expert in Green Party Hockey Stickery read Climate Audit for him, and realised Steve McIntyre was right? Again

Sep 6, 2016 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Gergis needs no help from me. I have been known to read McIntyre, nose tightly pinched. On Gergis, in between all the usual insinuations and assumptions he says this

CA readers are familiar with this sort of truncation in connection with the trick to “hide the decline” in the IPCC AR4 chapter edited by Mann.  One can only presume that earlier values were also outside the confidence interval on the high side and that Gergis truncated the series at AD1600 in order to “hide” the discrepancy.

Nope. The Kauri proxy enters the network in 1577, prior to that there is a single proxy, useless for this method. What a twunt. He swings wildly but fails to land a punch.

McIntyre wrong. Again.

Sep 6, 2016 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Heh, up sticks!

Sep 6, 2016 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"McIntyre wrong. Again."

One has to ask why you don't tool over to ClimateAudit and give Steve McIntyre the low down on where he's going wrong? I doubt he'd get too upset if he's wrong. Could be a valuable lesson for you.

Sep 7, 2016 at 7:25 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Well Phil, has anyone suggested your(?) explanation over on CA? If so, what has been the response? If not, what are you waiting for? My limited experience of CA suggests that Steve has been shown to be wrong before and accepts it and/or makes suitable adjustments (always identified as such).

As you are so fond of saying, this inaccuracy (which is written in the form of a speculation, and is only an inaccuracy if you are proven to be correct), does not really impact the main criticism directed at this rehash of a paper.

Here you have been at pains to point out an unusual occurrence (resignations), isn't there another here? How often does a resubmitted paper go through NINE reviews (and still remain contentious)?

Sep 7, 2016 at 7:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Well Phil, has anyone suggested your(?) explanation over on CA? If so, what has been the response?

Yes, Brandon S. Ignored.

I see little point in engaging at CA, he's blown what little credibility he may have once had, and is clearly has no interest in making a positive contribution, preferring to snark from the sidelines to his diminishing, unsceptical and uncritical fanbase.

He didn't like Gergis's choice of proxies. Boo hoo. There are some other proxies he does like. Fine. He has the data and the skills to work up his own reconstruction. Now that might be useful, to deploy the man's own style, one can only assume he has done this and wonder why he hasn't shown it.

Sep 7, 2016 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

PhilC. You wrote "...his diminishing, unsceptical and uncritical fanbase"

What is your evidence for a diminishing fanbase? The comments section seems as healthy and divers as it ever was.
What is your evidence for an unsceptical fanbase? Most contributors seem to be highly sceptical individuals.
What is your evidence for an uncritical fanbase? I should pinch your nose again and read the comments. You will find many of them are critical (in the full sense of the word) expanding on what McIntyre has done or being negative on some aspects.

So, can you substantiate your calumies?

Sep 7, 2016 at 8:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

PhilC. Suggest you read the rest of Brandon S's post, and the others he wrote on the same thread. Yes, as you pointed out he gives a more reasonable explanation for the truncation than McIntyre's speculation, but is still highly critical of the procedures used in Gergis etal 2016. Perhaps Steve could have acknowledged his error, but it is such a tiny part of the overall mauling that the paper recieves, even more so from those who took his critique and analysed it further.

Can you do any better ?

Sep 7, 2016 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Kinda reverse hockey stick.

Of course Mr Mc has on occasions attempted to post up his own reconstructions, one such on Yamal drawing this reaction from a distinguished actual dendrochronologist

Steve, I’m horrified by your slipshod work. You did not define what you compare, what dataset used in each case, how data were processed, and what was the reason for that, what limitation there are, what kind of additional information you need to know. Why didn’t you ask me for all the details? You even aren’t ashamed of using information from stolen letters.

Do carelessness, grubbiness, dishonourableness are the necessary concomitants of your job?

With disrespect…

More here, including McIntyre claiming had been denied data when it was in his back pocket all along.

Amateur night.

Sep 7, 2016 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke