Two years ago Matt Ridley, adviser to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), published an erroneous post on WUWT about the work of two Greek colleagues, Steirou and Koutsoyiannis. I had already explained the errors in a three year old blog post and thus wanted to point the WUWT readers to this mistake in a polite comment. This comment got snipped and replaced with:
Now the same happened on the homepage of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).
To make accurate estimates of how much the climate has changed, scientists need to remove other changes from the observations. For example, a century ago thermometers were not protected as well against (solar) radiation as they are nowadays and the observed land station temperatures were thus a little too high. In the same period the sea surface temperature was measured by taking a bucket of water out of the sea. While the measurement was going on, the water cooled by evaporation and the measured temperature was a little too low. Removing such changes makes the land temperature trend 0.2°C per century stronger in the NOAA dataset, while removing such changes from the sea surface temperature makes this trend smaller by about the same amount. Because the oceans are larger, the global mean trend is thus made smaller by climatologists.
Selecting two regions where upward land surface temperature adjustments were relatively large, Christopher Booker accused scientists of fiddling with the data. In these two Telegraph articles he naturally did not explain his readers how large the effect is globally, nor why it is necessary, nor how this is done. That would have made his conspiracy theory less convincing.
That was the start for the review of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). Christopher Booker wrote:
Paul [Homewood], I thought you were far too self-effacing in your post on the launching of this high-powered GWPF inquiry into surface temperature adjustments, It was entirely prompted by the two articles I wrote in the Sunday Telegraph on 24n January and 7 February, which as I made clear at the time were directly inspired by your own spectacular work on South America and the Arctic.Not a good birth and Stoat is less impressed by the higher powers of the GWPF.
This failed birth resulted in a troubled childhood by giving the review team a list of silly loaded questions.
This troubled childhood was followed by an adolescence in disarray. The Policy Foundation asked everyone to send them responses to the silly loaded questions. I have no idea why. A review team should know the scientific literature themselves. It is a good custom to ask colleagues for advice on the manuscript, but a review team normally has the expertise to write a first draft themselves.
I was surprised that there were people willing to submit something to this organization. Stoat found two submissions. If Earth First! would make a review on the environmental impact of coal power plants, I would also not expect many submissions from respected sources.
When you ask people to help you and they invest their precious life time into writing responses for you, the least you can do is read the submissions carefully, give them your time, publish them and give a serious response. The Policy Foundation promised: "After review by the panel, all submissions will be published and can be examined and commented upon by anyone who is interested."
Nick Stokes submitted a report in June and recently found out the the Policy Foundation had wimped out and had changed their plans in July:
"The team has decided that its principal output will be peer-reviewed papers rather than a report.To which Stokes replied on his blog:
Further announcements will follow in due course."
"So...no report! So what happens to the terms of reference? The submissions? How do they interact with "peer-reviewed papers"?"The review team of the Policy Foundation now walked back. Its chairman, Terence Kealey a British biochemist, wrote this Tuesday:
"The panel has decided that its primary output should be in the form of peer-reviewed papers rather than a non-peer reviewed report. Work is ongoing on a number of subprojects, each of which the panel hopes will result in a peer reviewed paper.That sounded good. The review panel focussing on doing something useful, rather than answering their ordained silly loaded questions. And they would still take the submission somewhat seriously. Right? The text is a bit vague so I asked in the comments:
One of our projects is an analysis of the numerous submissions made to the panel by members of the public. We anticipate that the submissions themselves will be published as an appendix to that analysis when it is published."
"How many are "numerous submissions"?I thought that was reasonably politely formulated. But these questions were removed within minutes. Nick Stokes happened to have see them. Expecting this kind of behaviour by now, after a few years in this childish climate "debate", I naturally made the screen shot below.
Any timeline for when these submissions will be published?"
Interesting. I think such a response tells you a lot about a political movement and whether they believe themselves that they are a scientific movement.
[UPDATE. Reminder to self: next time look in spam folder before publishing a blog post.
Yesterday evening, I got a friendly mail by the administrator of the GWPF review homepage, Andrew Montford, better known to most as the administrator of the UK mitigation sceptical blog Bishop Hill. A blog where people think it is hilarious to remove the V from my last name.
He wrote that the GWPF newspage was not supposed to have comments, that my comment was therefore (?) removed. Montford was also so kind to answer my questions:
2. This depends on the progress on the paper in question. Work is currently at an early stage.
Still a pity that the people interested in this review cannot read this answer on their homepage. No timeline.
Related readingMoyhu: GWPF wimps out
And Then There's Physics: Some advice for the Global Warming Policy Foundation
Stoat: What if you gave a review and nobody came?