Party at Rabett’s!

McKitrick and Essex have managed to get their “no such thing as average temperature” stupidity published in a journal! In their paper they add some new stupid to go with the old stupid from Taken by Storm. Can they take Chillingar and Khilyuk‘s crown? Eli Rabett is having a pinata party/open book exam to celebrate. See if you can see where they went wrong!


  1. #1 LogicallySpeaking
    March 15, 2007

    Published in what? Just curious, because I’d like to read it for a bit of humour.

  2. #2 EliRabett
    March 15, 2007

    Journal of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. I’ve linked to the journal and the paper (open pre-print) over at my place. Gotta run

  3. #3 Thom
    March 15, 2007

    I’m having problems looking up the journal, but is it peer-reviewed and what is the impact factor?

    Just wondering if it’s one of those ringers like Energy and Environment, of McKitrick/McIntyre fame.

  4. #4 Tim Lambert
    March 15, 2007

    It’s no Energy and Environment, but it has a low impact factor (about 0.5, I think).

  5. #5 Jeff Harvey
    March 16, 2007

    0.5? Typical. As I have said before, a journal in such an important field with such a low impact factor tells you a lot about its quality. In our department we aim to publish in journals of over 2 or 3 if possible, and only submit to journals of about 0.5 if the scope of the paper is narrow or if it has been previously rejected by a more rigid journal.

  6. #6 Eli Rabett
    March 16, 2007

    Non-equilibrium thermo is one of those things that sensible people avoid. Both important and impossible, and most often irrelevant (see LTE for why not and the journal index for the few areas where it is, e.g. tenuous atmospheres and certain special kinds of flows).

  7. #7 Thom
    March 16, 2007

    Hate to bring up Pielke Jr., but why not? It’s always a good time.

    Even after Energy and Environment was exposed as a fraud journal, Pielke was still pitching it on his blog.

    He put together this “media outreach” page on his blog, which was really just a personal advertisement to get journalists to call him up. Notice the paper he wrote for Energy and Environment.

    The man is just shameless, and you’re lucky you don’t have his type in Australia.

  8. #8 z
    March 17, 2007

    AsI posted elsewhen, I had an epiphany at one point, that McKitrick and Essex were sort of onto something; i.e. that the “average temperature” as calculated from the set of measurements lacks any sort of weighting factors, as compared to the average temp of a set of masses etc. (Of course, I may well be giving them too much credit; certainly their cobelievers have failed to get them to add this to their “critique”.)

    Of course, it’s kind of moot when you look at that global map with anomalies charted in red for up and blue for down.

  9. #9 John A
    March 18, 2007

    When will we have a peer-reviewed article from Lambert and Rabett refuting Essex/McKitrick/Andresen in the same journal?

    In that way, we can get Lambert to display his fundamental lack of scientific knowledge to a much larger audience than Doltoid ever manages.

  10. #10 Thomas
    September 12, 2007

    Essex&McKitrick just got their revenge. AMD has actually started to use an average temperature based on a geometric mean!
    “Delving into the testing methodology, scantily given at the end of the deck, we discover that the average, in this case, is the geometric mean of the amount of power the processor is drawing from the rails.”

  11. #11 Jason C
    December 6, 2007

    Just wondering if Tim or any commentors here had seen McKitrick’s lastest article on “Contaminated Data?” He seem to argue that various items such as urban heat islands and time-of-day differences in temperature records were not accounted for. As I understood, these were accounted for (at least as identified at Real But then again the newspaper piece goes into anti-UN and IPCC discussions which don’t seem to have anything to do with the data, anyway.

    The article references a soon-to-be-published article in the “Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres.” Incidentally, JGR has a modest impact factor of 2.8, but I have no idea what that score would be for JGR – Atmospheres (presumably much lower). I have to wonder if some of their claims from Taken by Storm have been watered down to make it into a more somewhat influential peer-reviewed periodical.

    Not that I’m confusing 2.8 with “Nature,” or anything, but it is still more influential based on the IF score than anything I’ve been published in… Anyway, it’s definitely not my field, so I’m just curious in anyone closer to it has any opinions.

  12. #12 Ian Forrester
    December 6, 2007

    A preprint of the paper can be found here:

    It is so full of mathematical goobly dook that I didn’t waste any time trying to decipher it. Good luck to anyone who tries.

  13. #13 Jason C
    December 6, 2007

    Thanks, Ian. In paging through the paper, the statistics don’t look like anything familiar to me, so I really can’t comment, either. I’ll try and wade through it later, but at first blush it does seem to include somewhat tamer language than the op-ed piece I linked above. Also, I find it a bit incongruous with the often cited denialist argument of “correlations does not equal causation” given the papers attempt to show a high degree of correlation between observed warming and non-climatic data:

    the spatial pattern of gridcell temperature trends should be uncorrelated with variables like Gross Domestic Product, population density, average income, and other local, nonclimatic factors. The presence of such correlations, on the other hand, would indicate that gridded surface climate data contain extraneous biases, thus measured climatic
    trends may be inaccurate and attempts to identify the climatic influences of greenhouse gases might misattribute the causes of apparent trends.

    Then again, I’m no statistician.

  14. #14 winston
    December 6, 2007

    Interestingly the search terms

    “There is no theory of climate. There is no known physical meaning for adding up data and dividing by the number of data that everyone insists on adding up and dividing by.”


    “You have to prove a proposition in both directions in order to make an equivalence.”

    \- so true! – don’t appear in the new paper, nor does there appear to be reference made to Christopher Essex or his book written with McKitrick, “Taken by Storm”.

    Conclusion: these boys may be making real progress with their latest enterprise.

  15. #15 Chris O'Neill
    December 7, 2007

    “Delving into the testing methodology, scantily given at the end of the deck, we discover that the average, in this case, is the geometric mean of the amount of power the processor is drawing from the rails.”

    That’s handy. All they have to do is reduce the power to zero for a small fraction of the time and they’ll have zero average power. Imagine, no more heat sinks to worry about or risk of overheating. What a boon!

  16. #16 Jason Coleman
    December 10, 2007

    Rasmus Benestad has written an extensive review of the recent McKitrick and Michaels article at Real Climate, for anyone interested.

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