After a few years following some of the technicalities of discussions about global warming I’m glad to report that there’s FINALLY a really nice guantlet thrown and accepted by the authors of two of the key blogs in the discussion, Climate Audit and RealClimate.
Generally both blogs tend to discuss many of the technical issues in a way that makes it hard (for me at least) to identify clear and specific points of contention where somebody without a degree in math could conclude “this is wrong”.
However the latest round of attacks should lead to a richer discussion than usual regarding one of the key technical points of contention in climate – climate proxy selection and validity. Proxies are things like tree rings, ice cores, or sediment patterns that allow a reconstruction of past climate. If the proxies used in key studies are poorly representative of climate realities, as Climate Audit often suggests and RealClimate always denies, climate scientists have more than a little’ ‘splainin’ to do.
However the shoe’s on the other foot if ClimateAudit’s concerns are more along the lines suggested by Real Climate’s PhD and NASA crew:
… the conflation of technical criticism with unsupported, unjustified and unverified accusations of scientific misconduct. Steve McIntyre keeps insisting that he should be treated like a professional. But how professional is it to continue to slander scientists with vague insinuations and spin made-up tales of perfidy out of the whole cloth instead of submitting his work for peer-review? He continues to take absolutely no responsibility for the ridiculous fantasies and exaggerations that his supporters broadcast, apparently being happy to bask in their acclaim rather than correct any of the misrepresentations he has engendered. If he wants to make a change, he has a clear choice; to continue to play Don Quixote for the peanut gallery or to produce something constructive that is actually worthy of publication.
Now THAT is some hot science commentary that you can really sink your teeth into! Who ever said climate science was technical and boring – it’s almost a contact sport….. Gentlemen, put those Hockey Sticks UP!!
>climate science – it’s almost a contact sport…..
Science reporting often is a contact sport: you contact a lobbyist, then the lobbyist has someone contact your palm and then…
You stand up and give your speech about Nicotine Is Not Addictive… oops I meant you give your speech about tree rings. I keep getting confused between Tobacco Science and Weather Science. I wonder why.
This little technical debate about proxy selections and methodologies is probably going to become a major story.
It’s sure easier to understand the writing of the skeptics …
Than the scientists:
That doesn’t make anybody right or wrong but it raises more questions about why RealClimate (the science blog run by many of the key players in Climate Science), routinely fails to clearly address criticisms of the methodology used in papers. Calling for critics to jump into the climate science peer review process is ridiculous because one of the key points in the whole debate is that the peer review process has broken down. Fortunately there are now many online venues for discussion and review.
Unfortunately they will remain polluted by a lot of egotistical junk and science nonsense, but one can screen that out quickly enough.
I have created a petition on the UK Number 10 web site to gather signatures for an inquiry into this affair. If you are a UK citizen or resident please add you name to this petition.
Lost in all this are the hundreds of studies (Soon et al) that demonstrate the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than current warming and was globally wide spread. Given that the Warmists have created a history that doesn’t conform to the reality of the easily demonstrated Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, and previous periods of natural climate change, it is obvious that the Warmists are using outstanding methods to achieve mediocre results.
This challenge misconstrues the methods of science. Science is not school-boy taunts – Steve McIntyre does not have to come up with a climate change study to replace one he criticizes. The authors of the study being criticized have to prove their work has not been falsified by the criticism. As to McIntyre not being published in peer reviewed journals, reading the Climate Research Unit e-mails would lead to the conclusion that unethical means were used to discourage dissenters from being published.
Michael it’s going to be interesting over the next few years to see the debate over the MWP, especially in light of the (controversial but increasingly clear) current non-warming trend. At climate audit this is one of Mckintyre’s key points – that the natural variability that drove the MWP may also be driving the clear warming trend over the last century, with CO2 and humans playing only a minor role in that.