Thursday, August 20, 2009

Comment (not mine!) on Roe and Baker

This Papers in Press thing is quite interesting. Here's another one:

"Hannart, A., J.-L. Dufresne, and P. Naveau (2009), Why climate sensitivity may not be so unpredictable, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2009GL039640, in press."

This I recognise as a write-up of the talk I mentioned here. It basically shows that the much trumpeted Roe and Baker result is purely an artefact of their odd definition of "uncertainty". Use a standard definition (like standard deviation, or interquartile range...) and they've nothing left to talk about. Of course we will learn about climate sensitivity through new observations (some would say we have already learnt quite a lot) and this will reduce uncertainty.

So, I assume this was originally sent to Science but rejected, however GRL is happy to publish it. Similarly, GRL couldn't be bothered with our Chylek and Lohmann comment but it sailed through review at CP. Personally, I think the original journals in question should consider themselves morally obliged to clear up their own messes. I'd also like to see R&B's defence in this case (I already saw C&L's attempt, no comment necessary).

Talking of comments, this is doing the rounds at SB. I haven't had it quite that bad myself, but do think the system could do with a bit of a shake-up. From the second link:
Indeed, Trebino expresses the central concern pretty calmly:
Nearly everyone I've encountered who has written a Comment has found the system to be heavily biased against well intentioned correcting of errors--often serious ones--in the archival literature. I find this quite disturbing.
The idea that the journal here seems to be missing is that they have a duty to their readers, not just to the authors whose papers they publish.

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