Friday, August 19, 2005

More on Spencer and Christy

I'm feeling a little guilty, because my blog (and in particular this page) ranks very highly on a google search for spencer and christy - for reasons entirely unrelated to climate science. So I suppose even though it is not my speciality I should at least plot the new data and point to more useful urls.

But until I get around to that, you'll have to make do with this interesting snippet from an article by Roy Spencer on the Marshall Institute web-site, commenting on the 3 11 August sciencexpress papers:

I only hope that the appearance of these three papers together, with considerable overlapping of authorship, does not represent an attempt to make measurements fit theoretical models. For when this happens, actual measurements can no longer fulfill their critical role in independent validation of climate models. Ideally, measurements would be analyzed with no knowledge of what any given theory predicts they should be.
The only overlapping I noted was Mears and Wentz being co-authors on the Santer et al paper. I've not read any of the papers yet, as I do not have access to Sciencexpress, and do not know in detail what input they had. But in the absence of any evidence of malfeasance, it seems like a rather unnecessary slur. Talk of "actual measurements" and "theoretical models" also seems rather loaded terminology given the amount of processing that the "actual measurements" undergo - processing that has been shown to be faulty in the case of S+C's previous work, even if they have now got it right (which is still very much a matter of debate - Mears and Wentz get 0.19C/decade, versus S+C's 0.12C/decade).

Interestingly, this paragraph does not appear in the otherwise word-perfect TechCentralStation version.

Update (26 Aug)
This page is now well up the google rankings and being found by people who are probably hoping to find some interesting discussion. But I don't have anything much to say about the new data - it's not my speciality, and anyway Science has not yet seen fit to let us hoi-polloi see the papers (something I might grumble about in more depth later). I suggest any accidental readers go to Realclimate and Deltoid for more detailed discussion. Kevin Vranes thinks I am gleeful about the errors - well, whatever. I do like to see the gap between reality and perception narrow a little.

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