Well, James is having fun with McLean (Part II), deFreitas (Part I) and Carter (Part 0). For those who don't know, a comment on that mendacious nonsense appeared recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, authored by G. Foster, J. D. Annan, P. D. Jones, M. E. Mann, B. Mullan, J. Renwick, J. Salinger, G. A. Schmidt, and K. E. Trenberth, which pretty much takes MdFC apart at the seams. Tamino provides the blog version, showing how MdFC differentiated under the rocks. Still, there was one interesting paragraph in MdFC's response which they put up on Icecap. Supposedly this will be published by Princess Denial in Energy and Environment,
On November 20, a newly appointed, replacement JGR editor informed us that a group of scientists led by Grant Foster had submitted a critique of our paper for publication in JGR. To which a reviewer responded “But as it is written, the current paper [Foster et al. draft critique] almost stoops to the level of “blog diatribe”. The current paper does not read like a peer-reviewed journal article. The tone is sometimes dramatic and sometimes accusatory. It is inconsistent with the language one normally encounters in the objectively-based, peer-reviewed literature.”Ordinarily McLean would never see the referee reports on the submitted comment, but thanks to the majic theft of Emails from the CRU, we can read all three referee reports (go ahead, you google it, Eli is dirty enough from his trip down into the quote mine.)
The first referee said:
This paper does an excellent job of showing the errors in the analytical methods used by McLean et al. and why their conclusions about the influence of ENSO on global air temperature is incorrect.The second referee said:
I think this comment on McLean et al can be published more or less as is.But the f$#$%% third referee said
Accept pending major changes (mainly in style not scientific comment)and in the fourth paragraph, put in the zinger "
The real mystery here, of course, is how the McLean et al. paper ever made it into JGR. How that happened, I have no idea. I can't see it ever getting published through J Climate. The analyses in McLean et al. are among the worst I have seen in the climate literature. The paper is also a poorly guised attack on the integrity of the climate community, and I guess that is why Foster et al. have taken the energy to contradict its findings.
So the current paper (Foster et al.) should certainly be accepted. Someone needs to address the science in the McLean et al paper in the peer-reviewed literature. But the current paper could be - and should be - done better. That's why I am suggesting major changes before the paper is accepted. All of my suggestions have to do more with the tone and framing of the current paper, rather than its content.
But as it is written, the current paper almost stoops to the level of "blog diatribe"Eli, of course, is quite fond of blog diatribes, but in further proof of how blogs understand referees (see video above), the third referee closes with
2. Similarly, instead of framing the paper as "Taking down McLean et al.", why not focus more on interesting aspects of the science, such as the frequency dependence between ENSO and global-mean temperature (perhaps cross-correlation analysis would be useful); the importance of not extrapolating results from one timescale to another timescale; or the lack of trends in ENSO. That way, the current paper contributes to the peer-reviewed literature while also doing a service by highlighting the problems with McLean et al.Well, the third referee didn't much like McLean, de Freitas and Carter and nor did the editor
3. In general, the current paper is sloppy and needs tightening. I don't think the lead author needs 10 pages of text to make the main points.
Reviewer 3 is concerned with the tone on the writing; while I appreciate the value of "taking the high road", I do not object to emphatic statements that conclusions are incorrect. Strong language is needed sometimes when errors must be corrected.Excuse Eli, he needs to dig his way out of the quote mine.