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December 20th, 2009
The following article appears today in American Thinker, by David Douglass and John Christy, which tells their story of how scientists involved in Climategate did their best to protect the IPCC global warming party line through manipulation of the peer review process:
A Climatology Conspiracy?
by David H. Douglass and John R. Christy
“The CRU emails have revealed how the normal conventions of the peer review process appear to have been compromised by a team* of global warming scientists, with the willing cooperation of the editor of the International Journal of Climatology (IJC), Glenn McGregor. The team spent nearly a year preparing and publishing a paper that attempted to rebut a previously published paper in IJC by Douglass, Christy, Pearson and Singer (DCPS). The DCPS paper, reviewed and accepted in the traditional manner, had shown that the IPCC models that predicted significant “global warming” in fact largely disagreed with the observational data.
“We will let the reader judge whether this team effort, revealed in dozens of emails and taking nearly a year, involves inappropriate behavior including (a) unusual cooperation between authors and editor, (b) misstatement of known facts, (c) character assassination, (d) avoidance of traditional scientific give-and-take, (e) using confidential information, (f) misrepresentation (or misunderstanding) of the scientific question posed by DCPS, (g) withholding data, and more.
” *The team is a group of a number of climate scientists who frequently collaborate and publish papers which often supports the hypothesis of human-caused global warming. For this essay, the leading team members include Ben Santer, Phil Jones, Timothy Osborn, and Tom Wigley, with lesser roles for several others.”
READ THE STORY at American Thinker
This story involves the publication of:
Douglass et al. 2007 (DCPS)
31 May 2007 submitted to IJC
11 Oct accepted
1 Nov page proofs accepted
5 Dec 2007 published online
15 Nov 2008 print version (11+ months after on-line publication)
[reference in appendix B]
and the subsequent publication of
Santer and 17 team members
25 Mar 2008 submitted to IJC
18 July revised
20 July accepted
10 Oct published on-line
15 Nov print version (36 days after on-line publication)
[reference in appendix B]
This story uses various "CRU e-mails" and our own personal knowledge of events and issues. References will be made to items in an appendix that are arranged chronologically. The e-mails have an index number which comes from a compilation at www.eastangliaemails.com...
2. The story
Our record of this story begins when Andrew Revkin, a reporter for the New York Times, sends three team members an e-mail [30 Nov 2007] with the page proofs of the DCPS paper. This is a week before the online publication. The subject of Revkin's email --
sorry to take your time up, but really do need a scrub of singer/christy/etc effort
-- implies prior correspondence.
Team member Mears quickly responds with an e-mail to fellow team members Jones, Santer, Thorne, Sherwood, Lanzante, Taylor, Seidel, Free, and Wentz [4 Dec 2007]. Santer replies to all:
I'm forwarding this to you in confidence. We all knew that some journal, somewhere, would eventually publish this stuff. Turns out that it was the International Journal of Climatology.
Santer knows this because he reviewed and rejected the DCPS paper when it was previously submitted to another journal. Phil Jones responds to Santer:
It sure does! Have read briefly -- the surface arguments are wrong. I know editors have difficulty finding reviewers, but letting this one pass is awful -- and IJC was improving.
This exchange provides the first reference to the International Journal of Climatology.
The next day (5 Dec 2007 -- the day the DCPS paper appeared on-line), Santer sends an e-mail to Peter Thorne with copies to Carl Mears , Leopold Haimberger, Karl Taylor, Tom Wigley, Phil Jones, Steve Sherwood, John Lanzante, Dian Seidel, Melissa Free, Frank Wentz, and Steve Klein. Santer says,
Peter, I think you've done a nice job in capturing some of my concerns about the Douglass et al. paper ... I don't think it's a good strategy to submit a response to the Douglass et al. paper to the International Journal of Climatology (IJC). As Phil [Jones] pointed out, IJC has a large backlog, so it might take some time to get a response published. Furthermore, Douglass et al. probably would be given the final word. [TL1]
The most critical point throughout these emails is the goal of preventing DCPS from providing what is considered normal in the peer-reviewed literature: an opportunity to respond to their critique, or as they put it, "be given the final word." One wonders if there is ever a "final word" in science, as the authors here seem to imply.
The next day (6 Dec 2007), Melissa Free responds with a cautious note, evidently because she had presented a paper with Lanzante and Seidel at an American Meteorological Society conference (18th Conference on Climate Variability and Change) acknowledging the existence of a discrepancy between observations and models -- the basic conclusion of the DCPS paper.
What about the implications of a real model-observation difference for upper-air trends? Is this really so dire?
Santer responds (6 Dec 2007) with the key reason for attacking DCPS:
What is dire is Douglass et al.'s willful neglect of any observational datasets that do not support their arguments.
This "willful neglect" of "observational datasets" refers to the absence of two balloon datasets, RAOBCORE v1.3 and v1.4. (DCPS explain in an addendum that these data sets are faulty. See below.)
A further e-mail from Jones (6 Dec 2007) discusses options to beat DCPS into print. Wigley enters (10 Dec 2007) to accuse DCPS of "fraud" and that under "normal circumstances," this would "cause him [Douglass] to lose his job." We remind the reader that DCPS went through traditional, anonymous peer review with iterations to satisfy the reviewers and without communicating outside proper channels with the editor and reviewers.