I wasn’t really going to say much about Lennart Bengtsson and the GWPF. Stoat and HotWhopper have covered it if you want to read more. I have some sympathy with someone who may have felt pressurized by their colleagues. On the other hand, if I wanted them to remain friends and colleagues, I probably wouldn’t then imply that they were McCarthyites.
The next stage of the saga seems to be a claim that Bengtsson had a paper rejected from Environmental Research Letters because it was “less than helpful”and
“Actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of ‘errors’ and worse from the climate sceptics side.”
This seems to have been interpreted as implying that the paper was rejected because it would help the “skeptic” argument. Personally, I don’t quite understand what is being implied here, but it seems to be suggesting that the paper had errors.
In fact, having started writing this, Leo Hickman has tweeted a link to an IoP statement about this paper. It includes one of the referee’s reports, which says,
The overall innovation of the manuscript is very low, as the calculations made to compare the three studies are already available within each of the sources, most directly in Otto et al.
The finding of differences between the three “assessments” and within the assessments (AR5), when assuming the energy balance model to be right, and compared to the CMIP5 models are reported as apparent inconsistencies.
The paper does not make any significant attempt at explaining or understanding the differences, it rather puts out a very simplistic negative message giving at least the implicit impression of “errors” being made within and between these assessments, e.g. by emphasising the overlap of authors on two of the three studies.
What a paper with this message should have done instead is recognising and explaining a series of “reasons” and “causes” for the differences.
and finishes with
I have rated the potential impact in the field as high, but I have to emphasise that this would be a strongly negative impact, as it does not clarify anything but puts up the (false) claim of some big inconsistency, where no consistency was to be expected in the first place. And I can’t see an honest attempt of constructive explanation in the manuscript.
Thus I would strongly advise rejecting the manuscript in its current form.
So, a perfectly reasonable referee’s report.
I’m actually getting quite tired of all these silly storms in teacups. It’s getting rather tedious. To cheer everyone up (well me, mainly), here’s a song I quite like. Given that this song was entirely sampled – without credit, initially, I believe – from Loleatta Holloway’s Love Sensation, it doesn’t seem entirely inappropriate, given some of the shenanigans going on at the moment.