Section 5.1 Responses

5. It is alleged that there have been improper attempts to influence the peer review system and a violation of IPCC procedures in attempting to prevent the publication of opposing ideas. It is alleged that there has been an attempt to subvert the peer review process and exclude publication of scientific articles that do not support the Jones-Mann position on global climate change. A paper by Soon & Balunias was published in the Journal Climate Research arguing that the 20th century was abnormally warm.An email from Professor Michael Mann on 11th March 2003 contained the following: “I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.”  The  allegation is that journals might be pressured to reject submitted articles that do not support a particular view of climate change. In an email to a fellow researcher in June 2003, Briffa wrote: “Confidentially I now need a hard and if required extensive case for rejecting (an unnamed paper) to support Dave Stahle‟s and really as soon as you can.” In an email to Mann on 8th July 2004, Jones wrote: “The other paper by MM is just garbage. […] I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer- review literature is!” The allegation is of an attempt to prevent ideas being published and the author being prepared to subvert the peer review process for a journal and to undermine the IPCC principle of accounting properly for contradictory views. 


1 Give full accounts of the issue in relation to the journal Climate Research, the June 2003 email, and the March 2004 email to Mann (“recently rejected two papers (one for Journal of Geophysical Research & one for Geophysical Research Letters) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town over both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised”.

8 Responses to “Section 5.1 Responses”

  1. jimchip Says:

    A related post to Daily Kos mentioned in Sec. 1.1

    “You incorrectly referred to a GRL paper article by the NCAR group as “rejected”. Actually, that original decision (made by the same editor who presided over the publication of McIntyre and McKitrick and Burger and Cubasch) was over-ruled by the new GRL editor-in-chief Jay Famiglietti, which is itself quite telling. Famiglietti’s comments on the ordeal, along with those of other leading scientists can be found here.”

  2. jimchip Says:

    1047388489.txt A key Soon/Baliunas email from Mann to Phil” and I just noticed that Mann is cc’ing himself, too (another topic for later)

    The Soon & Baliunas paper couldn’t have cleared a ‘legitimate’ peer review process
    anywhere. That leaves only one possibility–that the peer-review process at Climate
    Research has been hijacked by a few skeptics on the editorial board. And it isn’t just De
    Frietas, unfortunately I think this group also includes a member of my own department…
    The skeptics appear to have staged a ‘coup’ at “Climate Research” (it was a mediocre
    journal to begin with, but now its a mediocre journal with a definite ‘purpose’).
    Folks might want to check out the editors and review editors:

    In fact, Mike McCracken first pointed out this article to me, and he and I have discussed
    this a bit. I’ve cc’d Mike in on this as well, and I’ve included Peck too. I told Mike that
    I believed our only choice was to ignore this paper. They’ve already achieved what they
    wanted–the claim of a peer-reviewed paper. There is nothing we can do about that now, but
    the last thing we want to do is bring attention to this paper, which will be ignored by the
    community on the whole…
    It is pretty clear that thee skeptics here have staged a bit of a coup, even in the
    presence of a number of reasonable folks on the editorial board (Whetton, Goodess, …). My
    guess is that Von Storch is actually with them (frankly, he’s an odd individual, and I’m
    not sure he isn’t himself somewhat of a skeptic himself), and without Von Storch on their
    side, they would have a very forceful personality promoting their new vision.
    There have been several papers by Pat Michaels, as well as the Soon & Baliunas paper, that
    couldn’t get published in a reputable journal.
    This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the
    “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal!
    So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a
    legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate
    research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also
    need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently
    sit on the editorial board…
    What do others think?

    This last little bit from Phil is so typical of his diligence at analysis :
    At 08:49 AM 3/11/2003 +0000, Phil Jones wrote:

    Dear All,
    Apologies for sending this again. I was expecting a stack of emails this morning
    response, but I inadvertently left Mike off (mistake in pasting) and picked up Tom’s
    address. Tom is busy though with another offspring !
    I looked briefly at the paper last night and it is appalling – worst word I can
    think of today

    From: “Michael E. Mann”
    To: Phil Jones

    Subject: Re: Fwd: Soon & Baliunas
    Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 08:14:49 -0500

  3. jimchip Says:

    Category Archives: Peer Review

  4. jimchip Says:

    The search pulls up a lot wrt to 5.1-5.3

  5. Jimchip Says:

    1061298033.txt Wigley confessing “I have been closely involved in the CR fiasco.” going after De Freitas. S&B related. Also, 5.4 related.

    From: Tom Wigley
    To: André Berger
    Subject: Re: FW: Shaviv & Veizer in GSA Today
    Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 09:00:33 -0600


    I have been closely involved in the CR fiasco. I have had papers that I
    refereed (and soundly rejected), under De Freitas’s editorship, appear
    later in the journal — without me seeing any response from the authors.
    As I have said before to others, his strategy is first to use mainly
    referees that are in the anti-greenhouse community, and second, if a
    paper is rejected, to ignore that review and seek another more
    ‘sympathic’ reviewer. In the second case he can then (with enough
    reviews) claim that the honest review was an outlier.

    I agree that an ethics committee is needed and I would be happy to serve
    on such a committee. It would have to have endorsement by international
    societies, like Roy. Soc., US Nat. Acad., Acad. Europ., plus RMS, AMS,
    AGU, etc.

    Jim Titus mentioned to me that in the legal profession here people are
    disbarred for behavior like that of De Freitas (and even John Christy —
    although this is a more subtle case). We cannot do that of course, but
    we can alert the community of honest scientists to such behavior and
    formally discredit these people.

    The Danish Acad. did something like this recently, but were not entirely

    In the meantime, I urge people to dissociate themselves from Climate
    Research. The residual ‘editorial’ (a word I use almost tongue in cheek)
    board is looking like a rogues’ gallery of skeptics. Those remaining who
    are credible scientists should resign.


    André Berger wrote:
    > Dear Stefan,
    > Dear Mike,
    > Dear Collegues,
    > I admire the courage of Stefan and of all other colleagues who are
    > willing to answer these highly controversed papers (garbage as Marty
    > said). I am personally tired of analysing these papers, having quit
    > doing this for the Ministry and European Commission some 5 years ago.
    > Nevertheless, I am also sad when I see these papers, mostly because they
    > succeeded to be published. So not only we have to teach their authors
    > the Science of climate but also the reviewers and/or the
    > editors/publishers who have accepted them. This is a huge effort. I,
    > personally, would like to see an International Committee of Ethics (or
    > something like this) in Geo-Sciences be created as it is the case for
    > Medical Sciences and Biotechnology.
    > I have been told that AMS has such a Committee who is a kind of super
    > peer-review telling what is wrong in some declarations, papers, books
    > …. Is anybody willing to participate in an attempt to create such a
    > Committee within AGU-EGU-IUGG … ?
    > In the meantime, I am please to send you here attached an email by R.L.
    > Park on Soon, Baliunas, Seitz and others.
    > Best Wishes and Regards,
    > André BERGER
    > ————————————————————-
    > WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 8 Aug 03 Washington, DC
    > One of the purported abuses cited in the minority staff report
    > involved the insertion into an EPA report of a reference to a
    > paper by Soon and Baliunas that denies globl warming (WN 1 Aug
    > 03). To appreciate its significance, we need to go back to March
    > of 1998. We all got a petition card in the mail urging the
    > government to reject the Kyoto accord(WN 13 Mar 98). The cover
    > letter was signed by “Frederick Seitz, Past President, National
    > Academy of Sciences.” Enclosed was what seemed to be a reprint
    > of a journal article, in the style and font of Proceedings of the
    > NAS. But it had not been published in PNAS, or anywhere else. The
    > reprint was a fake. Two of the four authors of this non-article
    > were Soon and Baliunas. The other authors, both named Robinson,
    > were from the tiny Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in
    > Cave Junction, OR. The article claimed that the environmental
    > effects of increased CO2 are all beneficial. There was also a
    > copy of Wall Street Journal op-ed by the Robinsons (father and
    > son) that described increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as
    > “a wonderful and unexpected gift of the industrial revolution.”
    > There was no indication of who had paid for the mailing. It was
    > a dark episode in the annals of scientific discourse.

    > At 10:59 4/08/2003 -0400, Mike MacCracken wrote:
    >> You all might want to get in on response to this paper.
    >> Mike
    >> ———-
    >> From: Stefan Rahmstorf
    >> Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 16:02:36 +0200
    >> To: “Michael E. Mann”
    >> Subject: Shaviv & Veizer in GSA Today
    >> Dear colleagues,
    >> the Soon&Baliunas paper has given political lobbyists a field day in
    >> their attempts to confuse the public and decision-makers about the state
    >> of global warming science. It is quite interesting how a lobby
    >> organisation like the Marshall Institute manages to get a paper like
    >> that into the peer-reviewed literature with the help of a sympathetic
    >> editor, against reviewer concerns, and then capitalise on that right
    >> away in Senate hearings and the media. There clearly is a wider and
    >> well-funded strategy behind such activities, which has something to do
    >> with why the US has backed out of the Kyoto protocol. These same US
    >> organisations are also active here in Europe trying to influence policy,
    >> albeit so far with less success.
    >> In the face of such sophisticated lobbying we scientists should not be
    >> too naive. Although simply doing good science remains our main job, I
    >> think at some points we need to intervene in the public debate and try
    >> to clarify what is science and what is just political lobbying. In
    >> particular, I feel that it is important to not let bad, politically
    >> motivated science stand unchallenged in the peer-reviewed literature –
    >> it is too easy to just shrug and ignore an obviously bad paper. Hence I
    >> greatly appreciate that Mike and his co-authors responded in Eos to the
    >> errors in the Soon&Baliunas paper.
    >> I feel another recent paper may require a similar scientific response,
    >> the one by Shaviv&Veizer (attached). It derives a supposed upper limit
    >> for the CO2-effect on climate (i.e., 0.5 C warming for CO2 doubling),
    >> based on paleoclimatic data on the multi-million-year time scale. This
    >> paper got big media coverage here in Germany and I guess it is set to
    >> become a climate skeptics classic: the spin is that GCMs show a large
    >> CO2 sensitivity, but climate history proves it is really very small.
    >> Talking to various colleagues, everyone seems to agree that most of this
    >> paper is wrong, starting from the data themselves down to the
    >> methodology of extracting the CO2 effect.
    >> I think it would be a good idea to get a group of people together to
    >> respond to this paper (in GSA today). My expertise is good for part of
    >> this and I’d be willing to contribute. My questions to you are:
    >> 1. Does anyone know of any other plans to respond to this paper?
    >> 2. Would anyone like to be part of writing a response?
    >> 3. Do you know people who may have the right expertise? Then please
    >> forward them this mail.
    >> Best regards, Stefan
    >> —
    >> Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf
    >> Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
    >> For contact details, reprints, movies & general infos see:
    > *************************************************************************
    > Prof. A. BERGER
    > Université catholique de Louvain
    > Institut d’Astronomie et de Géophysique G. Lemaître
    > 2 Chemin du Cyclotron

    cc’d:Cc: Mike MacCracken , Martin Hoffert , Karl Taylor , Ken Caldiera , Curt Covey , Stefan Rahmstorf , “Michael E. Mann” , Raymond Bradley , Malcolm Hughes , Phil Jones , Kevin Trenberth , Tom Crowley , Scott Rutherford , Caspar Ammann , Keith Briffa , Tim Osborn , Michael Oppenheimer , Steve Schneider , Gabi Hegerl , Ellen Mosley-Thompson , Eric Steig ,,,,, Urs Neu , Jürg Beer

  6. Jimchip Says:


  7. Jimchip Says:

    Could have been placed under 5.1 also.

  8. Jimchip Says:

    Peiser’s submission to CCE wrt to the Keenan E&E paper is very similar to “went to town”.

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