Monday, October 12, 2015

Eli Follows Up

Eli took a peek at the interactive review for the Hansen, et al paper on sea level rise, remember, the one that found that if global temperatures rose more than 2 C, the carrot patches near the water, like Miami and Venice were soggy toast.  The editor, Frank Dentener,  has closed the open discussion and thrown the paper into the second stage of review
The authors are now expected to publish responses to the comments and reviews. Based on reviewer and contributed comments the authors will provide a revised manuscript and a detailed overview of how the comments were addressed. The editor will then decide to accept, or reject the paper, or ask for further revision, with the possibility to solicit further reviewer’s advice. This procedure is more in-line with the traditional peer-review process.
Dentener also provides a few remarks about the food fight.  First the issue of which journal the paper should have been submitted to
The multidisciplinary aspect of the paper made it difficult to chose the journal for this work, that covers paleo-climate, modern observations and climate modelling. Indeed ACP does not have strong roots in paleo-climate, while the sister journal ‘Climate of the Past’ does not address modern climate modeling.
Peter Thorne had raised the issue most strongly in his review.  The editorial judgement was that this was not a major issue by itself but required soliciting the views of expert referees across fields, which was done.  Interestingly Dentener says that the authors wanted an open discussion and review.  The motive for that, well Eli is very Fox News on that.

Of course, this gave rise to a number of comments which were not "scientifically sound".  Dentener's advice to the authors was to reply to such comments simply by referring to a textbook.  More interesting to Dentener and to Eli was the approach of six reviewers who submitted a combined review.  Dentener finds this very useful as a new model for long and complex papers and an advantage of the open discussion reviews.

The serious six, S. Drijfhout, M. Helsen, R. Haarsma, R. van de Wal, J. E. Williams and B. van den Hurk, did not much like the paper as set forth in their opening paragraph
This manuscript submitted by Hansen et al. has drawn considerable attention in both the media and among peers and scientists across disciplines. This is not a surprise, given the importance of this topic for the planet. However, to our opinion the paper and its framing in the public arena sometimes tend to cross the thin line between opinion and scientific evidence. On one hand, the evidence compiled by Hansen et al. to conclude that global warming is highly dangerous is based on rational arguments. The analysis does not contain any process that is physically impossible (albeit sometimes unlikely), nor present principally flawed interpretations of the paleo data (albeit often biased to the upper end of uncertainty measures). As such we can support the conclusions that the scenarios sketched in this paper could be interpreted as an extreme high‐end scenario that describes the upper bound of what one might expect in the coming centuries to happen with our current climate if carbon emissions continue at present‐day rate. The philosophy on which the construction of this “upper‐end” scenario is funded does not fundamentally differ from the previously released “Delta‐committee” scenario that was published by Katsman et al. (2011),  with the notion that the Hansen et al. scenario is even more extreme and unlikely to occur, that is, it resides in the end of the tail of the probability distribution of future climate change.
Anybunny interested can follow the link.  Reading between the lines Eli judges that the editor will pay serious attention to these arguments and Hansen, et al, will have to meet their challenges.

Those looking for a twist of the knife are referred to the authors response to Rud Istvan


Kevin O'Neill said...

"Those looking for a twist of the knife ..."

I'm scoring that one: Game, Set, & Match to Hansen :)

Hank Roberts said...

But that picture is one I've had in mind for years now, and it's purely terrifying.

I can see it appearing to be tempting as a future for oligarchs to create for themselves, if they could only find some way to leave the rest of us behind. Big fresh water lake, last fresh water on the planet, right? I mean, besides that aquifer in South America the Bushes bought. Same basic idea: trim off the bad parts and keep only the best.

cRR Kampen said...

"... that is, it resides in the end of the tail of the probability distribution of future climate change."

Crucially, how fat that tail is remains unmentioned.
The Big Black Swan thus created remains invisible but for Hansen et al, apparently.

Hank Roberts said...

Luxury Bomb Shelters for the Billionaires Afraid of Doomsday |

Bernard J. said...

In terms of back doors for the rich, Ben Elton got it pretty much right with 'Stark'.

William Connolley said...

> I'm scoring that one: Game, Set, & Match to Hansen :)

Clearly not, given what has now happened.

EliRabett said...

Evidently today the editor has decided not to approve

------This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). A final paper in ACP is not foreseen.---------

There is something strange here.