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Because the world needs another opinion

Just in — Fletch outed as anonymous reviewer in Environmental Research Letters

Posted by Jeff Id on May 16, 2014

Steve McIntyre highlighted a response from the Institute of Physics (Publsihers of Environmental Research Letters) to a UK Times article reporting the suppression of a global warming paper submitted by Dr. Bengtsson.  A paper which again attempted to document the less than supportive evidence observed temperatures provide for climate models.  The paper was written by a well known climate scientist who chose the unfortunate path of publishing TRUTH rather than Real Climate dogma necessary for success in today’s Climate Science™ field.

The article caught my attention because the reasons given for rejection are wholly unscientific and truly indefensible yet they are expressed as boldly as can be.   No really!  The author of the reply, Dr. Nicola Gulley, literally used the actual bold herself:

Summarising, the simplistic comparison of ranges from AR4, AR5, and Otto et al, combined with the statement they are inconsistent is less then helpful, actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics media side.

I am literally gobsmacked by the comment.

The reason Nicola Gully highlights for rejection is unique.  Even though numerous papers showing the like have been suppressed,  apparently everyone is already aware by now of the massive failures of climate models to represent observed temperatures, so observing said failure in a journal is NOT innovative enough.

“As the referees report states, ‘The overall innovation of the manuscript is very low.’ This means that the study does not meet ERL’s requirement for papers to significantly advance knowledge of the field.”

Since models have obviously failed, someone should phone Gavin Schmidt.

If you live in a climate cave, here is an example of models vs temperature (failure) — exhibit # 1,134,207.   McIntyre et blog: observed temp trend is shown as the red line.



We are promised the potential for more enlightening reviews in the coming days but in the meantime, this quoted section from a rejection review gives much for consideration:

One cannot and should not simply interpret the IPCCs ranges for AR4 or 5 as confidence intervals or pdfs and hence they are not directly comparable to observation based intervals (as e.g. in Otto et al).

In the same way that one cannot expect a nice fit between observational studies and the CMIP5 models

So models and observations are not to be compared.   Got that folks!! STOP EXPECTING CLIMATE MODELS TO MATCH ACTUAL OBSERVATIONS YOU IDIOTS!  Clearly the gufuflesmirts, pdfs and johnson rods are not congruent with the michleson factor!!!  Any MORON knows that!

What a riot.

Apparently the lead editor is unable to parse that kind of high tech review himself so, well, um….

We will stay tuned in the coming days for the continuing saga as yet another climate scientist experiences public flogging for noting that modeled temperature trends are not consistent and way over observations.

The whole episode remided me of Chevy Chase in Fletch:

Willy: What the hell you need ball bearings for?
Fletch: Awww, come on guys, it’s so simple. Maybe you need a refresher course.
[leans arm on hot engine part]
Fletch: Hey! It’s all ball bearings nowadays. Now you prepare that Fetzer valve with some 3-in-1 oil and some gauze pads. And I’m gonna need ’bout ten quarts of anti-freeze, preferably Prestone. No, no make that Quaker State.



For those who think this comparison is over the top.  Noted Climate modeler and mathematician Gavin Shmidt this year authored a truly silly paper where he compared observations to climate models.  Unlike Bengtsson, his paper was published even though it included the following opposite and scientifically unsupportable claim:

We see no indication, however, that transient climate response is systematically overestimated in the CMIP5 climate models as has been speculated, or that decadal variability across the ensemble of models is systematically underestimated, although at least some individual models probably fall short in this respect.

Compare that to our quote highlighted above:

In the same way that one cannot expect a nice fit between observational studies and the CMIP5 models






37 Responses to “Just in — Fletch outed as anonymous reviewer in Environmental Research Letters”

  1. John Ritson said

    Funny you say Michelson factor. If the same reviewer had the Michelson-Morley results in front of him he might have said, “Sure you’ve shown that classical electromagnetism doesn’t match experimental results but that’s not enough to get published here mate”.

  2. BoyfromTottenham said

    ERL sounds more like AIW (Alice in wonderland) every day!

  3. Jeff,
    I think Nicola is a she.

    As said, the observational about Otto et al not matching models is unoriginal, and in the literature. Otto et al say:
    “Our results match those of other observation-based studies and suggest that the TCRs of some of the models in the CMIP5 ensemble10 with the strongest climate response to increases in atmospheric CO2 levels may be inconsistent with recent observations — even though their ECS values are consistent and they agree well with the observed climatology. Most of the climate models of the CMIP5 ensemble are, however, consistent with the observations used here in terms of both ECS and TCR. We note, too, that caution is required in interpreting any short period, especially a recent one for which details of forcing and energy storage inventories are still relatively unsettled: both could make significant changes to the energy budget. The estimates of the effective radiative forcing by aerosols in particular vary strongly between model-based studies and satellite data. The satellite data are still subject to biases and provide only relatively weak constraints (see Supplementary Section S2 for a sensitivity study).”

    So a paper saying, yes they are different, is redundant.

    As to why models aren’t expected to predict weather, I wrote a couple of comments at CA (responding to this) which appeared for a while and then vanished, as did one I was replying to. If I may, I’ll put them here – I think they are relevant:

    GCMs emulate natural variability. You can think of them as numerical weather prediction programs being operated beyond the stage where that weather is related to initial. It’s random, but responds to forcing as real weather does, variably.

    So by suitably averaging this random weather, you can see how the climate will change. But you can’t expect prediction of real weather, even on a multi-year scale.

    2.“That sounds potentially interesting for generating null hypotheses about climate change, but doesn’t seem very useful for predicting climate trends.”
    GCMs generally run with no dependence on initial conditions. In fact, they usually go out of their way to avoid that by winding back several decades to start well before the period of interest. They generate random weather that responds to forcings. You can extract trends on the scale of the forcing change. That’s why, when you see model based predictions, it’s usually over a century or so. There’s a game played locally where people say, well if you’re saying 2° in a century, why didn’t we get 0.2&deg’S last decade. But that’s weather.

    You can see what they do and don’t do in this GFDL SST animation. It shows surface currents etc. There are many eddies etc. None of these are predictions. They will not occur when and where stated. But the patterns, which come just from PDE’s plus bottom topography etc, are all there. ENSOs, gulf stream, what you might call the climate of the ocean.

    • Neil said

      So they are wound back prior to the period of interest, says Nick.

      Taking this scenarioor trend based approach, then surely they need to be centred on an expected outcome? Otherwise what inference can you draw from them? A trend, but relative to what and from when?

      If they consistently ‘trend’ outside of observations and don’t even match the trend in observations, then what value are they?

      I know you are trying to obfuscate with the weather/climate game Nick, but surely you can’t have it both ways. Climate is the long term sum of weather, so therefore the long term trend in weather is climate, is it not?

      So back to my point that the forecast/scenario must over some timeframe be centred on actual observations or expectations.

      If the expectations are subsequently wrong then there is something wrong with the model.

    • hunter said

      Good luck trying to peddle that bit of bs. You climate obsessed kooks have written thousands of papers claiming that the models predict we are in climate hell with more to come. You and your fellow hypesters are painted into the corner.

    • clivebest said


      When papers support higher climate sensitivity like that of Sherwood et al. somehow that is NOT redundant, whereas those that support t lower sensitivity are redundant. Can’t you see the hypocrisy of your argument ?

    • Clive,
      “When papers support higher climate sensitivity like that of Sherwood et al. somehow that is NOT redundant, whereas those that support t lower sensitivity are redundant”

      Do you have any evidence that LB’s paper support’s lower sensitivity? Or makes any contribution there at all?

      The reviewer says (why can’t we see the paper?) that he just points to a discrepancy. Otto et al said that such a discrepancy would be no surprise. That’s why it’s redundant.

  4. tallbloke said

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Heh, the cognitive dissonance is worsening.

  5. I see the business of controlling publishing companies persists. So does employment of AGW staff in science depts’ within universities and AGW staff a requirement in meteorological bureaus. The New World order is proceeding as planned.. B’$#ll S*&T …INC
    Controlling the masses
    These scientist rely on their publications for their bread and butter ,and mortgage repayments. The sooner these publication companies are shamed and tamed the better

  6. Jeff Id said

    Ross McKitrick pointed out the hard-line editorial board at ERL. I note that Gleick, well known for falsifying emails and attributing them to conservative groups, is on the board.

    Talk about a stacked deck. They also highlight a propaganda piece as their first best paper of 2013: Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literatureJohn Cook, Dana Nuccitelli, Sarah A Green, Mark Richardson, Bärbel Winkler, Rob Painting, Robert Way, Peter Jacobs and Andrew Skuce

    The authors of SKS blog are the stars of that POS.

    I wonder if it would be possible for them to be any more transparently advocates. There is simply no pretense of science at this rag anymore.


    Daniel M Kammen University of California, Berkeley, USA
    Energy science and engineering, renewable energy, energy efficiency, risk assessment, climate change and energy futures, energy systems in developed and developing nations
    Executive Board

    Myles Allen University of Oxford, UK
    End to end climate change, from emissions to impacts, and its implications, global climate simulations of the future, human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and extreme weather risk, climate change mitigation and remediation policy, including geoengineering

    Michelle L Bell Yale University, USA
    Air pollution, ozone, climate change, environmental health, epidemiology, climate policy

    Peter H Gleick The Pacific Institute, Oakland, USA
    Climate and water, freshwater, human right to water, water-use efficiency, conservation, water supply and sanitation, water conflicts, soft path to water

    José Goldemberg Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
    Nuclear physics, environment and energy

    Giles Harrison University of Reading, UK
    Physics of atmospheric aerosol particles, development of instruments for physical atmospheric measurements

    Tracey Holloway University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
    Air pollution chemistry, atmospheric models, energy use, public health assessments, climate policy

    Jakob Mann Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
    Renewable energy, wind energy, turbulence and modelling

    Stefan Rahmstorf Potsdam University, Germany
    Climate change, past, present and future climate change, role of oceans in climate change

    • hunter said

      Any group that allows Gleick in on its decision making process is disreputable by that fact alone.
      Seeing how the ERL publishes far weaker pro-climate hype papers with no problem at all and then trumps up excuses to round file this paper simply underscores the effect of the Gleick rotten apple.

    • stan said

      Hmmmm, Rahmstorf …. that wouldn’t happen to be the same Rahmstorf who is subject to a court injunction in Germany ordering him to cease and desist from any more of his lying about a skeptical journalist? Surely we should expect him to be impartial. Not.

  7. M Simon said

    observing said failure in a journal is NOT innovative enough.

    My take is a little different. The warmunists have a PR problem. It is one thing for sceptics to be howling in the wind. It is quite another for them to break the propaganda curtain by getting published in a “respectable” journal. That would seriously detract from the narrative.

  8. M Simon said

    nitpicky non-sense:

    johnson rods

    I had always heard that as “johnson bars”. But with the lightening of everything mobile these days maybe they are only rods these days. Heh.

  9. lorne50 said

    Reblogged this on leclinton and commented:
    Sometimes you just go HUM M !!!!

  10. lorne50 said

    Thank’s Jeff been awhile glad your back to bad it to this POS to bring you back just couldn’t resit though could you ? ;>)

  11. The reviewer warns of oversimplified claims of error and — Voila!


    Not to be mentioned though are:

    -The comparison between observation based estimates of ECS and TCR (which would have been far more interesting and less impacted by the large uncertainty about the heat content change relative to the 19th century) and model based estimates is comparing apples and pears, as the models are calculating true global means, whereas the observations have limited coverage. This difference has been emphasised in a recent contribution by Kevin Cowtan, 2013.
    – The differences in the forcing estimates used e.g. between Otto et al 2013 and AR5 are not some “unexplainable change of mind of the same group of authors” but are following different tow different logics, and also two different (if only slightly) methods of compiling aggregate uncertainties relative to the reference period, i.e. the Otto et al forcing is deliberately “adjusted” to represent more closely recent observations, whereas AR5 has not put so much weight on these satellite observations, due to still persisting potential problems with this new technology
    – The IPCC process itself explains potential inconsistencies under the strict requirement of a simplistic energy balance: The different estimates for temperature, heat uptake, forcing, and ECS and TCR are made within different working groups, at slightly different points in time, and with potentially different emphasis on different data sources. The IPCC estimates of different quantities are not based on single data sources, nor on a fixed set of models, but by construction are expert based assessments based on a multitude of sources. Hence the expectation that all expert estimates are completely consistent within a simple energy balance model is unfunded from the beginning.
    – Even more so, as the very application of the Kappa model (the simple energy balance model employed in this work, in Otto et al, and Gregory 2004) comes with a note of caution, as it is well known (and stated in all these studies) to underestimate ECS, compared to a model with more time-scales and potential non-linearities (hence again no wonder that CMIP5 doesn’t fit the same ranges)

    No, we should gloss over these specific concerns all of which are well known, but disregarded by Bengtsson. And others 🙂

    • PeterB in Indianapolis said

      “model based estimates”… followed by, ” the models are calculating true global means”.

      So… we are supposed to believe that even though the models are producing estimates, and the estimates are clearly too high, somehow, MAGICALLY, AT THE SAME TIME, the models are calculating true global means….

      What a load of horse $hit….

  12. So reality is unpublishable, but fantasy is now the mainstream in climate.

    Got it.

    • I see people fantasising about a paper the author won’t let us read. No reality there.

      • clivebest said

        I agree that he should publish his rejected paper on the Internet for others to judge. However, it really does say something about the toxic environment within Climate Science when a previous head of research at ECMWF is treated to with such vitriol by his so-called “colleagues”.

      • What vitriol?

      • RomanM said

        Do you not think that they might be given a chance to resubmit the paper elsewhere first? Publishing it on line could make the acceptance later in a new journal more difficult.

        • Publishing the reviewer’s comments is probably more damaging.

          • RomanM said

            Only in that part of the world dominated by the same type of reviewers as the one whose “science” we just saw – those who see themselves as gatekeepers for the cause…

      • That merely acknowledges there is more than one fantasy. And hardly any reality. Which is what I said.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis said

        …the Author won’t LET US READ…. ?????

        Clearly, the author intends for us to read his paper, as he has tried to get it published in a journal. Equally clearly, it is those who WILL NOT PUBLISH IT who are not letting us read it… it is no fault of the author!

  13. j ferguson said

    Maybe this wasn’t the best journal for Bengtsson et al. to have submitted to.

  14. […] nor the review report justifies this claim. Steve McIntyre highlights this inconsistency, while Jeff Id ridicules the reviewer’s suggestion that climate models should not be expected to match […]

  15. Skiphil said

    re: Bengsston Affair

    One aspect which has surfaced occasiovnally is whether comparisons of observational data with models, etc. are significant or worthy for a journal. The flashiest journals such as Nature and Science seem most given to favoring what seems hype-worthy, “innovative” and “original” “novel” etc. so long as it serves a favored messaging. We have now seen ERL do the same in disparaging interest in model-observation comparisons.

    If I may repeat some observations I made at CA, I think scientists in various fields (especially climate-related) need to look for ways to push back against the shallow tyranny of novel-innovative-original.

    To make a couple of broad observations about how many scientific journals, including ERL, seem to operate:

    There seems to be (often) far too great an emphasis upon innovation and originality in determining what gets published.

    While there are evident appeals to original and/or innovative papers which (may seem to) help to advance a field,

    the very first requirement for any journal and any work of science should be ACCURACY and PRECISION. Congruence with known EMPIRICAL data should come before all attempts at innovation and originality.

    Thus, a paper comparing empirical observations with models and/or hypotheses and/or theory should, in general, be regarded as a potentially valuable contribution. Whether a paper finds a good fit or a bad fit between model/theory and data (or anything debateable in between), this kind of comparison needs to be regarded as valuable and worthy of the space in any journal claiming to be scientific.

    Similarly, this kind of issue also arises when people like Steve Mc and Ross, et al. seek to publish comments and criticisms regarding published papers…. any paper or COMMENT(s) providing criticism and corrections for a paper already published should be considered MORE important not less, if the corrections or updates are accurate.

    How can editors and reviewers be brought to see that maintaining an accurate scientific record is the FIRST responsibility of any journal?

    …. and if a journal has already published a certain paper then they have the highest responsibility to bring into the published record any corrections, controversies, or updates about said paper.

    • j ferguson said

      Yours is an important comment. The latent hazard of all of these publications untested or countered either by replication or even checking, is that later on some poor graduate student will base his/her dissertation on some collation of them, the fault in their premises will be discovered by someone else, and years of effort will be down the drain. The grad student’s advisers may say to take an MS and run or start over, or as happened to a friend of mine many years ago be told, “You should have discovered the error yourself, so here’s your MS and begone”.

      I would suggest another test than innovation. Is the thing useful?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis said

      You can bet your bottom dollar that if the observational data DID ACTUALLY MATCH the model projections quite well, each and every “scientific” climate-related journal would be publishing stories about it like crazy…

      However; since reality and the models don’t match worth a crap, the journalistas don’t want to publish anything having anything to do with real, observed, empirical data whatsoever.

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