Scientific Journal Editor Resigns Over Climate Change Denier’s Paper
The editor of science journal Remote Sensing is resigning, after admitting that a recent paper by creationist climate change denier Roy Spencer should not have been published.
Spencer’s paper was another one of those “crushing blows” that was supposed to “destroy the hoax of climate change,” to quote one of the gloating right wing emails I received when it was publicized in the denialist blogosphere. Instead, it has damaged the reputation of a respected scientific journal, and caused the resignation of the editor in chief.
Yet somehow, I’m certain that the next time Roy Spencer puts out a paper (in which he’ll ignore all previous criticisms and repeat the same false conclusions from the same spurious data), the same people will run through the same cycle of idiocy again.
The hype surrounding a new paper by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell is impressive (see for instance Fox News); unfortunately the paper itself is not. News releases and blogs on climate denier web sites have publicized the claim from the paper’s news release that “Climate models get energy balance wrong, make too hot forecasts of global warming”. The paper has been published in a journal called Remote sensing which is a fine journal for geographers, but it does not deal with atmospheric and climate science, and it is evident that this paper did not get an adequate peer review. It should not have been published.
John Abraham, an associate professor at the University of St Thomas’s school of engineering in Minnesota who criticised the Spencer paper upon its publication, told the Guardian: “It is remarkable that an editor-in-chief has stepped down from his role at a journal because of the publication of a flawed paper. This significant event reflects on the significance of the flaws in the paper and its review process. It is commendable that Wagner has reacted responsibly to the situation.”
He continued: “Spencer and his colleagues have a long history of minimising the effects of human-caused climate change; they also have a long history of making serious technical errors. This latest paper is only one in a decade-long track record of errors that have forced Spencer to revise his work as the errors are brought to light. Spencer is well known in the scientific community for publishing high-profile papers that initially dispute global warming and only later are found to be faulty.
“This latest article reportedly showed that the climate is not as sensitive to increases in greenhouse gases. It also called into question the cause-and-effect relationship between clouds and climate change. Wolfgang’s resignation was based on the quality of the review the paper received and the obvious technical errors which the paper contained.”