Monday, September 28, 2009

Yet another comment on Schwartz

Via the perennial wikipedia editing wars, I find that yet another person has gutted that awful Schwartz paper:

On the diagnosis of climate sensitivity using observations of fluctuations by D. B. Kirk-Davidoff.

It appears to have been written a little later than the other comments, although overlapping such that Kirk-Davidoff didn't seem to know of our work before the initial submission (it is useful that ACP/ACPD has the old manuscript and reviews on line so the full history can be checked).

The comment is a more thorough investigation than we or Knutti et al could fit into the tight page limit of JGR comments, but I don't think there is anything materially different. As well as looking at the IPCC database (and concluding that the analysis method does not usefully indicate the equilibrium sensitivity of these models) Kirk-Davidoff investigated a slightly more complex model than the simple energy balance we used, and found that the method was useless for that too (or to be precise, in principle it would work given a long enough time series of observations, that is not available for the real climate system). I presume the reasons are much the same for the more complex model as for the simpler model we analysed, but there is probably no easy analytical solution in the more complex example.

There is no response from Schwarz in the review process (or as a separate paper, which I believe is possible through the ACP/ACPD system). I hope (and expect) that the editor, and indeed the author, contacted him about it. Of course he has already basically admitted it is wrong in his reply to us.

Odd, therefore, that the Schwartz stuff continues to get pimped on the Wikipedia page...


William M. Connolley said...

What do you mean Odd? I ripped it out, as your diff shows:

crandles said...

I was also thinking what do you mean odd?

One moment you were saying if 'you can't beat them join them' which I took to mean that however much you beat up the denialosphere with scientific argument you don't win because they are playing a different game of spreading uncertainty and doubt and making it appear as if the arguments aren't settled. But maybe you didn't mean that and were just jesting ;)

Leaving that comment aside, why would you think it odd unless you think the the denialosphere has already been beaten so comprehensively that thay have given up?

Martin Vermeer said...


you realize of course that by calling this paper 'awful' you are pushing a veritable universe of really awful papers off the scale... perhaps you should be getting out more ;-)

James Annan said...

Obviously too cryptic, sorry - I was only amusing myself by drawing attention to the way that "Steve1941" has been occasionally pimping the discredited research of Steve Schwartz (b. 1941) even though he basically admitted it was wrong in the reply to our comment.