Friday, January 20, 2012


cc: Otto Kinne <>,,
date: Sat, 26 Jul 2003 13:53:27 +1200
from: "Chris de Freitas" <>
subject: Re: Draft CR editorial

Dear Hans

I do not believe your editorial is necessary. In fact, I feel it will
be counterproductive.

Controversy is nothing new to the global warming theme. Strong
disagreement is what drives the debate. The journal literature is
full of it. Indeed, papers occur in all science journals on a whole
range of topics that, from time to time, one or another scientist
disputes. Science is the battleground of ideas. The editorial is an
overreaction. Moreover, by suggesting that there were procedural
oversights, when there were not, and by naming people for using
�questionable� methods, when this is a matter of opinion, takes the
whole thing too far. It will damage the integrity of the journal.

I believe Otto Kinne�s recent editorial in CR is sufficient.


Chris de Freitas

On 24 Jul 2003, at 20:22, wrote:

Date sent: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 20:22:57 +0200
Subject: Draft CR editorial
Copies to: Otto Kinne <>

> Folks,
> if there shall be an editorial in the next issue of Climate Research,
> this editorial must be completed until Monday noon time. It would be
> about 1 page, not more than two. Not much time, but I think we should
> try it. This editorial would also be sent to this person from the US
> senate who was inquiring about the reivew process at CR. I have
> prepared a draft now, and I ask you to read it and come up with
> constructive comments.
> For me it is important that we admit that the result of the review
> process of Soon & Baliunas was insufficient, without "damaging" the
> reponsible editor. We should have been more vigilant after we had seen
> that actually two critical comments were written on the first Soon
> paper.
> On the other hand I want to avoid the perception that we would police
> controversial articles. Quite the contrary, we should be proud of
> having such articles, but it should be made explicit that the material
> IS controversial and that other quarters look at the evidence
> differently. One way of doing so would be to invite comments to be
> published together with the original article.
> Obviously, English is not my native language. I am sure that some
> helpful people at Inter-Research will help me to straigthen nout to
> clumsy formulations - but I would appreciate aour help also in this
> respect.
> Regards
> Hans
> Editor-in-Chief, Climate Research
> ------------------------------------------------------
> Hans von Storch; Institute for Coastal Research, GKSS Research Centre,
> Geesthacht, Germany
> ph: + 49 4152 87 1831, mobile +49 171 212 2046 fx +49 4152 87 2832
> presently: Kaspervej 2, 4673 Roedvig, Denmark, ph 0045 5650 6760
> ---------------------
> Draft editorial
> Until now, Climate Research had a rather liberal procedure of
> processing submitted manuscripts. A group of several editors operated
> independently. Manuscripts dealing with "basic and applied research
> devoted to all aspects of climate - present, past and future; effects
> of human societies and organisms on climate; effects of climate on the
> ecosphere." were and are welcome. Before publication they were
> subjected to a formal peer-review: "Manuscripts are critically
> evaluated by at least 3 reviewers. The editor decides on acceptance or
> rejection. Acceptable manuscripts are usually returned to the author
> for consideration of comments and criticism." (
> This approach
> worked out mostly fine, with a broad range of interesting and good
> articles. In fact, CR has managed to become a leading journal in
> interdisciplinary climate research.
> However, in recent months the procedure did function less well. In
> particular one article, by Soon and Baliunas (CR 23: 89-110), has
> caused considerable discussion. In fact, it was not the first article
> by these authors, which was perceived by different readers as
> methodically questionable (CR 18:259-275; CR 22:185-186/177-188;
> CR24:91-92/ 93-94). Also the recent article draw severe critique,
> which was made public by a thorough analysis of the results in the
> Transaction of the AGU, EOS (vol 84, No. 27, 256). I find this
> critique well-taken. The major conclusion of Soon and Baliunas paper
> "Across the world, many records reveal that the 20th century is
> probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the
> last millennium." can not be concluded from the evidence presented
> in that paper. The statement itself may be true, but the methodology
> used to arrive at this conclusion was flawed. On the other hand, the
> review process at CR was formally in order. Four different reviewers
> were involved. Thus, the editorial board of CR had to admit that the
> formal review rules are not sufficient to guarantee the required
> quality control of the review process. In particular, when
> controversial manuscripts have to be processed, the responsibility
> should not be placed on a single editor. Therefore the editorial board
> and the publisher have decided to change the routine. In particular
> the office of an Editor-in-Chief has been created, who shall supervise
> the quality of the review process and help individual editors with
> controversial manuscripts. I have been asked to take on the
> responsibility as Editor-in-Chief of Climate Research and I have
> accepted per 1. August 2003. An immediate consequence is that authors
> are requested to send manuscripts to the Editor-in-Chief; requests of
> authors to have their manuscript processed by a specific editor are
> welcome, but are not necessarily fulfilled. Only naïve people think
> that climate science has only to do with facts and truth. In fact
> climate science is to some extent a social process, with many
> extra-scientific influences. Climate science is definitely in a
> postnormal stage, and we have to make sure that publications are not
> just reconfirming preconceived concepts, or concepts we have gotten to
> be used of. Ludwig's Fleck remarkable analysis "Genesis and
> Development of a Scientific Fact " describes this syndrome, which
> eventually leads to a dogmatization and stand-still of science. Thus,
> we need a certain level of liberalism. Articles must be allowed to
> present additional to its hard, and reproducible facts a certain
> amount of creative speculation. However, papers must be explicit where
> facts end and where fantasy begins. Hans von Storch, 24 July 2003

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