Huge roundup on bizarre journal editor resignation

Journal editor resigns over ‘flawed’ paper co-authored by climate sceptic

Prof Wolfgang Wagner says research was not properly peer-reviewed and wrongly accepted by Remote Sensing (Leo Hickman, Guardian)

Opinion: The damaging impact of Roy Spencer’s science
by Kevin Trenberth, John Abraham, and Peter Gleick

In his bid to cast doubts on the seriousness of climate change, University of Alabama’s Roy Spencer creates a media splash but claims a journal’s editor-in-chief.

The science doesn’t hold up. (Daily Climate)

Autumn fireworks testing – Josh 116

It is the story of the week – how Wolfgang Wagner may or may not have been pressurised to resign over the publication of Spencer & Braswell. I wonder how the Team feel now?

Cartoons by Josh (Bishop Hill)

+++Journal editor resigns+++

Wolfgang Wagner, editor of the open access journal Remote Sensing, has resigned over the journal’s publication of the Spencer and Braswell paper. (Bishop Hill)

Spencer’s Paper Reviewed; Remote Sensing Editor Wolfgang Wagner Resigns

In one of the most asinine, self-promoting, sniveling, absurd, nakedly political moves Wolfgang Wagner has resigned, with trumpets blazing, his editorship of Remote Sensing.

Why? Because the journal under his command dared follow its editorial guidelines, and follow them properly.

Because while adhering to procedure he allowed the Spencer and Braswell paper “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” to be published, as it should have been published. (William M. Briggs)

Critiques and responses

There is still huge interest in the Remote Sensing affair and quite what this means for the climate debate is still unclear. (Bishop Hill)

Retraction, Remote Sensing and Due Process

[UPDATE 9/4: A reader writes in to remind me of my own related posts here and here and here.]

[UPDATE 9/4: Pielke Sr. has some thoughtful comments here.]

[UPDATE 9/3: The circus continues:

Kevin Trenberth received a personal note of apology from both the editor-in-chief and the publisher ofRemote Sensing.

Why in the world would Trenberth need to be apologized to? Simply bizarre. (Roger Pielke Jr.)

Hatchet Job On John Christy and Roy Spencer By Kevin Trenberth, John Abraham and Peter Gleick

There is an opinion article at Daily Climate that perpetuates serious misunderstandings regarding the research of Roy Spencer and John Christy. It also is an inappropriate (and unwarranted) person attack on their professional integrity. Since I have first hand information on this issue, I am using my weblog to document the lack of professional decorum by Keven Trenberth, John Abraham and Peter Gleick. (Roger Pielke Sr.)

E-Mail Interaction Between Peter Gleick And I On Wolfgang Wagner’s Resignation

I was first alerted to Wolfgang Wagner’s resignation from the journal Remote Sensing from an e-mail to me from Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute . Peter has also published an article in Forbes on this resignation, and has graciously permitted me to post our substantive e-mail exchanges on this issue. They are reproduced below. (Roger Pielke Sr.)

Comment On The Resignation of Wolfgang Wagner As Editor-In-Chief Of The Journal “Remote Sensing” In Response To The Publication Of Spencer And Braswell (2011) (Roger Pielke Sr.)

The Dismantling Of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wagner

This being a blog of “unusual takes”, there won’t be much discussion about the self-immolation of a journal’s Editor for a paper that couldn’t be retracted. I also presume the average reader won’t need links to WUWT or Real-Science or the Bish’s blog to know about the aforementioned self-immolation. (OmniClimate)

Wolfgang! Wolfgang! What Have You Done?!

Here’s some commented text from paper 1 at pages 1 and 2 of issue 1 of Remote Sensing, Feb 20, 2009…yes, of course an editorial by brown-nosed Professor-with-little-to-teach Doctor-with-nowhere-to-guide-to Wolfgang Wagner, introducing the new journal with “A Better Understanding of Our Earth through Remote Sensing” (PDF) (OmniClimate)

Editor-in-Chief of Remote Sensing Resigns from Fallout Over Our Paper
September 2nd, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Scientific Progress: 0

[also see updates at end of post]

It has been brought to my attention that as a result of all the hoopla over our paper published in Remote Sensing recently, that the Editor-in-Chief, Wolfgang Wagner, has resigned. His editorial explaining his decision appears here.

First, I want to state that I firmly stand behind everything that was written in that paper. (Roy W. Spencer)

Journal Deliverance: The True Story of the Climate Hillbillies
Guest post by Les Johnson

(With apologies for lifting the Daily Bayonet tag line multiple times below).

“Interconnected” is the theme of this post. It starts of course, with the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, from the journal called Remote Sensing, over a paper that Mr. Wagner published. Wait, what?

The paper in question was by Spencer and Braswell 2011. This paper is about the clouds being a climate forcing, and using satellite data to show this. Whether this is true or not is immaterial to this discussion.

The Editor-in-Chief resigns, in protest of a paper he published? OK, that grabbed my attention. If he was the E-i-C, why did he did even publish the paper in the first place? Why not retract it? (WUWT)

A Primer on Our Claim that Clouds Cause Temperature Change
September 3rd, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

…and Why Dessler, Trenberth, and the IPCC are Wrong

After the resignation of the Editor-in-Chief at Remote Sensing over the publication of our paper in that journal, I thought it would be good to summarize as simply as I can what the controversy is all about. [I am also including Trenberth in this discussion because there is a misperception that the paper by Trenberth et al. (2010), which only dealt with the tropics, was ignored in our analysis. Believe it or not, it’s quite common to ignore previous papers that are not relevant to your own paper. Also, Trenberth sat next to me during congressional testimony where he confidently asserted (as I recall) “clouds don’t cause climate change”.] (Roy W. Spencer)

More Thoughts on the War Being Waged Against Us
September 5th, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

After having a day or so to digest some of what others have said about this whole mess, I’ve been trying to find better ways of expressing the science which is being disputed here. I’ve also gone back and tried to figure out exactly which part of our analysis was (supposedly) in error. (Roy W. Spencer)

How reaction to Spencer & Braswell underlines the corruption and politicisation of science

I want to tell you a story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

Once upon a time there was a big, shiny, expensive computer system upon which programmes were run. The programmes were written by very clever scientists to create projections of what things might be like in the future. They called these projections ‘models’.

Some places had got very dry over the years so the very clever people wrote a programme to see what the models said was going to happen. After the very clever scientists entered all the information and parameters they thought were important, they ran the models. When the models came back they suggested that unlike in the past, the rain would no longer make anything outside wet. (Autonomous Mind)

How to go out with a bang — score points for censorship — a poseur for honor!

An editor has resigned after committing the dastardliest of crimes: He helped publish a skeptical paper in a peer-reviewed journal. God-forbid, imagine a paper being reviewed only by people who have some sympathies with your results? It’s unthinkable. We all know that Nature and Science, for example, dutifully send all the papers by alarmists to at least one skeptical reviewer, and since 97% of 77 climate scientists are alarmists, that means the other two scientists who aren’t, are very busy people. (75 of 77 climate scientists “agree” that the world is going to hell because of CO2). And who knows where they found that third skeptic?

Naturally, lots of journal editors have resigned when they’ve realized that, accidentally, they’ve only sent alarmist papers to alarmist reviewers. (Jo Nova)


About six weeks ago Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama Huntsville (a center for lots of NASA activity and climate research) published an important new paper with William Braswell in the Journal of Remote Sensing entitled “On the Misdiagnosis of Climate Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance.” Translated from the scientific lingo, the paper essentially argues that discrepancies between what the climate models say should be happening and what we actually observe happening (namely, the pause in warming over the last decade) means we still don’t have a complete picture of cloud behavior. (This issue is closely related, though not identical, to the post I had up last weekend on Nature’s blockbuster cosmic ray paper.) As Spencer explains on his blog: “Even the IPCC admits the biggest uncertainty in how much human-caused climate change we will see is the degree to which cloud feedback [temperature change => cloud change] will magnify (or reduce) the weak direct warming tendency from more CO2 in the atmosphere.”

Well, you can imagine what happened next. Not content with attacking Spencer and Braswell for their heresy, the Climate Inquisition has forced the resignation of the editor of the Journal of Remote Sensing. Better still, they seem to have given him the full Rubashov treatment and forced a confession: (PowerLine)

Journal editor “apologises” to warmist for publishing sceptical paper

It really does beggar belief. Climate science reduced to the level of playground bullies, with journal editors feeling they have to resign for publishing a paper which the “consensus boys” failed to exclude by their cosy pal-review process. (ACM)

Even warmists should be appalled

Anyone who values the integrity of science and the scientific process should be appalled at the Spencer and Braswell/Remote Sensing debacle (see here and here).

You can disagree 100% with the conclusions of Spencer and Braswell, but you should still be horrified at the abuse of process and the corruption of the proper scientific method that has allowed chit-chat on warmist blogs to claim the scalp of the editor of a peer-reviewed journal, and force him to make an apology to a warmist scientist for daring to publish the paper in the first place. (ACM)

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