date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 13:26:33 -0000
from: "Glenn McGregor" <glenn.mcgregoratXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: RE: Update on response to Douglass et al.
to: "Tim Osborn" <t.osbornatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
thanks for your comprehensive response
I have no problem treating the Santer et al contribution as a full paper. I
just assumed that they wanted to publish a comment. So if you would like to
relay this to BS I would be grateful. Needless to say my offer of a quick
turn around time etc still stands
Yes you are correct about the forecast - tried to do a mountain flight for
the 2nd time today but cancelled due to cloud cover over Everest and
From: Tim Osborn [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 11:25 AM
To: Glenn McGregor
Subject: RE: Update on response to Douglass et al.
Hi again Glenn,
I emailed Ben Santer to say that his submission would be dealt with
as quickly as possible. He thanked you for offering to expedite it.
However it turns out that there is a second reason for his reluctance
to submit to IJC, which is that if the submission is treated as a
comment on Douglass et al., they may get the last word with a
response to his comment. He says that this would be unfair because
(these are Ben's arguments, not mine):
(1) Douglass et al. was essentially a comment on his previously
published work (Santer et al., 2005, Science) and yet wasn't treated as
(2) He has done a substantial amount of new work that will be
included, hence it is more than just a comment on Douglass et al.
(3) The Douglass et al. paper had done earlier rounds of submission.
It was rejected by GRL at least twice - he knows this because Ben and
two others reviewed it and it never appeared. Ben spent a long time
on one of these reviews and pointed out most of the points that will
be in his new submission! None of these were followed up by Douglass
et al., so why should they get the last word in a comment/response
when they've had previous opportunity to correct errors.
(4) Based on his years of experience dealing with Douglass, Christy
and Singer, he expects that their last word would attempt to
obfuscate rather than to admit any serious scientific errors.
Ben will submit it to IJC only as an independent contribution and not
as a comment on Douglass et al. This would leave Douglass the
opportunity to submit a comment on Ben's paper; if he chose to do so,
then Ben would be able to respond with a reply to the comment.
However Ben is unsure whether you would want to treat his submission
as an independent contribution, since it will clearly be directly
critical of Douglass et al. Obviously he would like to know how it
would be treated prior to final preparation and submission.
Personally I get less worked up than some people do when occasional
papers turn out to be in error (if this is the case here)... the
scientific record will become clear in time, in my view, and this
will be so wherever the Santer piece gets published and whoever has
the last word in this particular exchange. Nevertheless, Ben is
quite clear that he will submit to IJC only if it is treated as a new
contribution... and that's up to you (I appreciate it may be a
difficult one to answer without actually seeing his submission!).
Regarding reviewers, I could certainly help out by finding some
willing and available... Francis Zwiers might be willing to look at
it, and I there are various other people quite independent from
either Santer or Douglass.
Hope Kathmandu is fun (weather forecast looks somewhat cloudy!)
Dr Timothy J Osborn, Academic Fellow
Climatic Research Unit
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia
Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
phone: +44 1603 592089
fax: +44 1603 507784