date: Fri, 11 Jan 2008 08:55:57 +0000
from: Phil Jones <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Fwd: Re: Update on response to Douglass et al.
I spoke to Ben last night. He elaborated a bit on the email below.
In the light of this, can you send an email to Glenn to see if he
will agree to a few conditions. Could say can we clarify a few things?
1. Can the paper be considered as a new submission and not as a
comment on the Douglass et al paper? Ben will likely go for GRL if
Glenn won't agree to this. The issue is that he doesn't want Douglass
to have the last say. Ben happy for Douglass et al to respond, but
he then gets the final say in any reply.
2. There are several reasons for point 1. Ben believes probably rightly
that Douglass et al said they didn't want a whole list of people reviewing
their paper - those involved in the CCSP Report and also his 2005
The Douglass et al paper had done earlier rounds of submission. It was
rejected by GRL at least twice - reviewers Ben, Myles and Peter. Ben
spent a long time on one of these and pointed out most of the points that
will be in his paper! None of these were followed up.
3. Ben knows who the reviewer was who said editor's discretion. They told
him - they weren't involved in CCSP nor his Science paper - so I can figure
out who it is. There were two iterations for this, and the reviewer wasn't
happy with their response, but Glenn accepted it.
4. This person could be a reviewer again - they are fully up to speed. Just
need one other - completely not involved. Still think Kevin could be this
Ben would like to submit fairly soon, so will likely go for GRL
if there is no
response from Glenn in a week to 10 days.
>X-IronPort-AV: E=McAfee;i="5100,188,5204"; a="6387429"
>Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 13:00:28 -0800
>From: Ben Santer <santer1atXYZxyzl.gov>
>User-Agent: Thunderbird 126.96.36.199 (X11/20070529)
>To: Tim Osborn <t.osbornatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
>CC: "'Philip D. Jones'" <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
>Subject: Re: Update on response to Douglass et al.
>Thanks very much for your email. I greatly appreciate the additional
>information that you've given me. I am a bit conflicted about what
>we should do.
>IJC published a paper with egregious statistical errors. Douglass et
>al. was essentially a commentary on work by myself and colleagues -
>work that had been previously published in Science in 2005 and in
>Chapter 5 of the first U.S. CCSP Report in 2006. To my knowledge,
>none of the authors or co-authors of the Santer et al. Science paper
>or of CCSP 1.1 Chapter 5 were used as reviewers of Douglass et al. I
>am assuming that, when he submitted his paper to IJC, Douglass
>specifically requested that certain scientists should be excluded
>from the review process. Such an approach is not defensible for a
>paper which is largely a comment on previously-published work.
>It would be fair and reasonable to give IJC the opportunity to "set
>the record straight", and correct the harm they have done by
>publication of Douglass et al. I use the word "harm" advisedly. The
>author and coauthors of the Douglass et al. IJC paper are using this
>paper to argue that "Nature, not CO2, rules the climate", and that
>the findings of Douglass et al. invalidate the "discernible human
>influence" conclusions of previous national and international
>Quick publication of a response to Douglass et al. in IJC would go
>some way towards setting the record straight. I am troubled,
>however, by the very real possibility that Douglass et al. will have
>the last word on this subject. In my opinion (based on many years of
>interaction with these guys), neither Douglass, Christy or Singer
>are capable of admitting that their paper contained serious
>scientific errors. Their "last word" will be an attempt to obfuscate
>rather than illuminate. They are not interested in improving our
>scientific understanding of the nature and causes of recent changes
>in atmospheric temperature. They are solely interested in advancing
>their own agendas. It is telling and troubling that Douglass et al.
>ignored radiosonde data showing substantial warming of the tropical
>troposphere - data that were in accord with model results - even
>though such data were in their possession. Such behaviour
>constitutes intellectual dishonesty. I strongly believe that leaving
>these guys the last word is inherently unfair.
>If IJC are interested in publishing our contribution, I believe it's
>fair to ask for the following:
>1) Our paper should be regarded as an independent contribution, not
>as a comment on Douglass et al. This seems reasonable given i) The
>substantial amount of new work that we have done; and ii) The fact
>that the Douglass et al. paper was not regarded as a comment on
>Santer et al. (2005), or on Chapter 5 of the 2006 CCSP Report - even
>though Douglass et al. clearly WAS a comment on these two publications.
>2) If IJC agrees to 1), then Douglass et al. should have the
>opportunity to respond to our contribution, and we should be given
>the chance to reply. Any response and reply should be published
>side-by-side, in the same issue of IJC.
>I'd be grateful if you and Phil could provide me with some guidance
>on 1) and 2), and on whether you think we should submit to IJC. Feel
>free to forward my email to Glenn McGregor.
>With best regards,
>Tim Osborn wrote:
>>At 03:52 10/01/2008, Ben Santer wrote:
>>>...Much as I would like to see a high-profile rebuttal of Douglass
>>>et al. in a journal like Science or Nature, it's unlikely that
>>>either journal will publish such a rebuttal.
>>>So what are our options? Personally, I'd vote for GRL. I think
>>>that it is important to publish an expeditious response to the
>>>statistical flaws in Douglass et al. In theory, GRL should be able
>>>to give us the desired fast turnaround time...
>>>Why not go for publication of a response in IJC? According to
>>>Phil, this option would probably take too long. I'd be interested
>>>to hear any other thoughts you might have on publication options.
>>Hi Ben and Phil,
>>as you may know (Phil certainly knows), I'm on the editorial board
>>of IJC. Phil is right that it can be rather slow (though faster
>>than certain other climate journals!). Nevertheless, IJC really is
>>the preferred place to publish (though a downside is that Douglass
>>et al. may have the opportunity to have a response considered to
>>accompany any comment).
>>I just contacted the editor, Glenn McGregor, to see what he can
>>do. He promises to do everything he can to achieve a quick
>>turn-around time (he didn't quantify this) and he will also "ask
>>(the publishers) for priority in terms of getting the paper online
>>asap after the authors have received proofs". He genuinely seems
>>keen to correct the scientific record as quickly as possible.
>>He also said (and please treat this in confidence, which is why I
>>emailed to you and Phil only) that he may be able to hold back the
>>hardcopy (i.e. the print/paper version) appearance of Douglass et
>>al., possibly so that any accepted Santer et al. comment could
>>appear alongside it. Presumably depends on speed of the review process.
>>If this does persuade you to go with IJC, Glenn suggested that I
>>could help (because he is in Kathmandu at present) with achieving
>>the quick turn-around time by identifying in advance reviewers who
>>are both suitable and available. Obviously one reviewer could be
>>someone who is already familiar with this discussion, because that
>>would enable a fast review - i.e., someone on the email list you've
>>been using - though I don't know which of these people you will be
>>asking to be co-authors and hence which won't be available as
>>possible reviewers. For objectivity the other reviewer would need
>>to be independent, but you could still suggest suitable names.
>>Well, that's my thoughts... let me know what you decide.
>>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
>Benjamin D. Santer
>Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison
>Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
>P.O. Box 808, Mail Stop L-103
>Livermore, CA 94550, U.S.A.
>Tel: (925) 422-2486
>FAX: (925) 422-7675
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk