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Pause in global temperatures ended but carbon dioxide not the cause

By Jennifer Marohasy - posted Monday, 21 March 2016


In a letter to the editor of the journal Environmental Modeling and Assessment on 20th April 2015, accompanying the papers submission to that journal, I wrote:

The science of climate change depends very much on reliable data, which has been quality controlled. Adjusting time series through the process of homogenization has become routine, but is controversial. Furthermore a jargon and techniques unique to climate science have developed around homogenization, perhaps without adequate consideration of the value of more traditional statistical techniques that can be more easily replicated. Indeed, we believe that our use of control charts has potentially broad application in the assessment of temperature data.

In the case of Darwin, which has a particularly important temperature time series used in the calculation of Australian and also global mean annual temperatures, the homogenized temperature time series display quite different trends from the raw series. This has been a point of contention on blogs, in the popular press, and also in the technical literature. We hope this controversy can be resolved, at least in part, through meticulous consideration of the evidence, and by applying more standard statistical techniques in particular control charts, before any subsequent assessment of rates of warming.

Comment was received back from the Editor-in-Chief that:

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This paper does not fall within the scope of Environmental Modeling and Assessment. Our readership is primarily interested in studies that analyse phenomena and complex decisions related to human interactions with the environment with the help of sophisticated quantitative models. While the case study discussed here and its findings may well be valuable and publishable in a more specialised Climatology journal, the modelling methodology appears to be entirely routine and of little interest to our readership.

The manuscript was subsequently submitted to the journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology, with the editor, Hartmut Grassl, sending it out to four scientists for peer review. He subsequently rejected the paper on the basis that:

Reviewers' comments on your work have now been received. You will see that two reviewers reject your paper while the other two ask for modifications. Therefore I have to reject your paper.

In fact, the comment from the first reviewer was as follows:

Reviewer #1: Please see attached review. I checked accept with minor revisions. The revisions are so minor that I almost checked "Accept as is". The paper does not need to be returned to me for further review. It is a very nice piece of work.

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About the Author

Jennifer Marohasy is a senior fellow with the Institute for Public Affairs.

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