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Archive for December 11th, 2010

Roy Spencer Steps Outside Protocol to Attack Scientist

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The letter below was sent to 49 media contacts.  Kudos to John Abraham for contacting Science and asking them to set the record straight.

This is Scott Mandia of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team (  I wish to alert you all to Dr. Roy Spencer’s attack on another scientist, Dr. Andrew Dessler.

On Spencer’s blog he states:

Very Curious. … Dessler’s paper is being announced on probably THE best day for it to support the IPCC’s COP-16 meeting here in Cancun, and whatever agreement is announced tomorrow in the way of international climate policy.

I suspect – but have no proof of it – that Dessler was under pressure to get this paper published to blunt the negative impact our work has had on the IPCC’s efforts.

Eli Kintisch of Science in a recent article ( asked paper’s editor at Science, H. Jesse Smith, about Spencer’s assertion about the paper’s timing.

“There was never a word about Cancún,” he says. The paper was submitted in May and received “a lot of review and re-review” before completing revisions on 21 October. It was officially accepted on 9 November, Smith says. “Dessler never asked to get the paper expedited,” says Smith. But once peer review was complete, Smith says, the editors pushed to have it published in time for the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, California, which begins on Monday, 13 December. “I wanted to get it out before AGU.”

The professional response to rebut a scientific paper is to submit a paper that corrects any mistakes or at the very least to submit a letter to the publishing journal.  It is completely inappropriate for a scientist to attempt to publicly sabotage a paper by issuing a press release or by holding a press conference about another colleague’s paper.  By not respecting the protocols of his own profession Dr. Roy Spencer is, in essence, criticizing all scientists.  Furthermore, Spencer has appeared alongside a caricature of climate skeptics, Christopher Monckton.  His close association with Mr. Monckton and his unwarranted criticisms of colleagues are strong indications that Dr. Spencer has abdicated objectivity under the heels of ideology.  I feel strongly that Dr. Spencer’s tacit agreement with Mr. Monckton’s positions will be a serious blow to his remaining credibility.


Scott A. Mandia


Please also read Dr. Andrew Dessler’s recent post Feedback on Cloud Feedback at Realclimate.


Written by Scott Mandia

December 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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