Gerlich and Tscheuschner, oh my

Gerlich and Tscheuschner managed to get their stupidity published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B, which is embarrassing for the editors of that journal. Eli Rabbett is working on a reply, and is looking for coauthors.


  1. #1 jakerman
    May 8, 2010

    From GT’s published reply:

    >*their comment is scientifically vacuous*

    Is that a scientific statement or a vacuous one? How did that get passed peer review? Oh that’s right [it didn’t](

  2. #2 sylas
    May 8, 2010

    Actually, jakerman, I believe their reply to our rebuttal, which is what you are quoting, did get past peer review. I have not seen the full paper as yet, but I will be getting a copy soon, I hope. Until then I’ll refrain from speculating about the review process… though it is tempting.

  3. #3 Suibhne
    May 8, 2010


    Welcome developments.

    It looks like the debate will carry on, hopefully without misunderstanding the positions of each side.
    Clarity and focus on the real differences will no doubt resolve themselves into a better understanding of climate science.
    I am a fan of Hegel
    Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.
    Your new climate forum sounds just the place for a rational dialog

  4. #4 jakerman
    May 8, 2010

    Thanks for the correction sylas,

    [KR’s point]( raises the question about the judgement of the editor at IJMPB , and [your’s]( reinforced the point and raised more questions about the selection of reviewers.

    Are you surprised at the acceptance of [that type of statement]( in the reply?

  5. #5 Suibhne
    May 8, 2010


    Apologies for calling you Silas again.

    By the way your on your middle name Ho.
    One other of that name was Ho Chi Minh a leader of Vietnamese national liberation struggle and hero to progressive people the world over.
    Are you perhaps related?

  6. #6 jakerman
    May 8, 2010

    >*Clarity and focus on the real differences will no doubt resolve themselves into a better understanding of climate science.*

    It adds nothing to the understanding of climate science. your comments seem designed to give false veneer of credibility. No one of any relevant scientific standing accepts the that G&T claims about the greenhouse effect.

    >*It looks like the debate will carry on, hopefully without misunderstanding the positions of each side.*

    Its not a debate, G&T paper has zero credibility and zero and zero acceptance. Its a joke.

    My guess is that Rabbet et al went to the trouble of debunking it so that fools and propagandists are given less range for their bogus claims. In a more rational world Rabbet et al would have better things to do and G&T would die a natural death. But in our world Rabbet et al deserve praise for driving stakes into the heart of zombies.

  7. #7 sylas
    May 8, 2010

    No, jakerman, I am not really surprised at the reply, but since all I have seen is the abstract (which is not promising, I grant :-) I’ll wait until I can read the full thing.

    As for debate… there are different debates that go on. I don’t think our rebuttal, or the reply, is going to make a scrap of difference to the world of science. It is, as jackerman observes, mainly going to be for discussion with others looking on and trying to figure out what the science is doing, or trying to say what it should be doing.

    It can be a powerful learning experience to try and debate and explain things for a non-professional audience. Engagement with discussions like this can really hone your own understandings. I know I have benefited a lot over the years from writing expository material, both professionally and as an amateur. The new forum will hopefully be a structure within which anyone can try their hand at this, from any perspective. They will (or so is my aim) be shielded from personal attacks but not from rigorous criticism of ideas. I hope it will be fun and productive for anyone who risks joining it! I am still sorting out how it will work so feedback and suggestions are very welcome.

    Suibhe, no problem about “silas”, and the “Ho” is not the same name as Ho Chi Minh, though both are common Chinese names. Ho Chi Minh is 胡, whereas my “Ho” is 何. You’ll need Unicode to view those. I’ve got no Chinese blood myself, but am associated by marriage. Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. #8 Lotharsson
    May 8, 2010

    > Engagement with discussions like this can really hone your own understandings.

    Yep – I found that even for Uni subjects where I had very good marks that I **really** got to know the material when I had to teach it to others.

  9. #9 truth machine
    May 10, 2010

    I would put my money on his return at some point, but never with the admission that would allow Sylas’s hoped for progress.

    I chose wisely.

  10. #10 sylas
    May 11, 2010

    truth machine says:

    I chose wisely.

    You did indeed. My unfailing optimism has, uh, failed again.

  11. #11 KR
    May 18, 2010

    Sylas – I read the draft version (found it on the web somewhere), and your ‘Comment’ is very well written. Thanks for taking the time and effort.

    As to some of the responses I’ve seen posted about on the series of tubes; you can lead a horse to thermodynamics, but you can’t make him think…

  12. #12 Suibhne
    May 27, 2010

    All the action seems to be on the Science of Doom site.
    Fred Staples,Sylas and so on.
    I think I’ll make a contribution there.!

  13. #13 Suibhne
    September 15, 2010

    Gerlich and Tscheuschner reply to the comment;

    Comment On “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics”, by Joshua B. Halpern, Christopher M. Colose, Chris Ho-Stuart, Joel D. Shore, Arthur P. Smith and Jörg Zimmermann, pp 1309-1332, doi:10.1142/S021797921005555X

    Is now available to freely download

    Reply To “Comment On ‘Falsification Of The Atmospheric Co2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics’ By Joshua B. Halpern, Christopher M. Colose, Chris Ho-Stuart, Joel D. Shore


  14. #14 Lotharsson
    September 15, 2010

    Well, they are still completely denying any atmospheric greenhouse effect on the first page, so that does not bode well for the rest of their argument. One wonders what they fantasise as the source of the downwards-directed IR radiation.

    They are also attempting to restrict their definition of “physical effect” to something satisfying all three criteria:

    > A physical effect consists of three things: (a) a reproducible experiment in the lab; (b) an interesting or surprising outcome; (c) an explanation in terms of a physical theory

    Along those lines they discuss a sun-warmed car, complete with what appears to me to be a nonsensical statement on p2:

    > Once the interior of the car is heated up the air cooling stops immediately.

    …and then argue that the sun-warming of a car does not constitute a (G&T-defined) “physical effect”:

    > However, there is no non-trivial physical explanation, cf. (b) and (c). Therefore, it is justified to christen this (non-physical) effect “Neanderthalian effect”.

    I have no idea how they drew that conclusion, but arguing that this is “not a physical effect” is dissembling and equivocating quite severely.

    They then argue:

    > Sometimes one describes by the natural greenhouse effect the circumstances, that without the trace gases (carbon dioxide etc.) the global average temperatures of the atmosphere near the ground would be minus 18 degrees Celsius. Evidently, property (a) is not fulfilled, since there are no reproducible and comparable measurements.

    At this point the best response is to point and laugh at their foolishness and ignorance of physics. But wait, it gets better!

    > Therefore, the so-called natural greenhouse effect is not
    a physical effect. [paragraph break] Hence there are no greenhouse effects in physics.3,4

    Did you catch that? They defined “one definition” of the greenhouse effect, applied some dubious tests in order to proclaim it “non-physical”, and then generalised that to *all* definitions of greenhouse effect, whilst simultaneously generalising their definition of “physical effect” to define the scope of valid physics.

    What an amazing load of bollocks!

  15. #15 Lotharsson
    September 15, 2010


    > Radiation balance diagrams, however, are really useless.

    That will come as a surprise to many physicists.

    > The correct question is, whether the colder body that radiates less intensively than the warmer body warms up the warmer one. The answer is: It does not.

    No, I believe the correct question, as even Roy Spencer can elucidate, is “whether the colder body that radiates less intensively than the warmer body causes the warmer one to end up *warmer than it would be in a situation identical except for the absence of the cooler body and its radiation*”. The question G&T substitute for this question appears disingenuous in the context of climate science.

    > As already emphasized, Halpern et al. do not choose from the existing versions of the greenhouse effect nor define their own one which they prefer to defend. Thus the comment of Halpern et al. is scientifically worthless.

    Apparently if someone writes a scientific paper, and you analyse *their* argument, it’s “scientifically worthless” unless you tout a particular definition or position of your own. But if G&T take some definitions and arguments from climatology, their critique is valid, even though as they admit they do not advance a model and “never will”.

    Very odd.

    That’s probably enough of my amateur time on it – the actual physicists and climate scientists will have a much more competent look at it if they so choose…

  16. #16 Bernard J.
    September 15, 2010

    I can feel a “Reply to “Reply to…”” itching to manifest, although it’s a tar baby, Brere Rabett – a tar baby, I tells ya!

  17. #17 adelady
    September 15, 2010

    Lotharsson, thanks.

    I read through and thought much the same. Not being competent with the details, I was unsure whether I should be confident with an overall judgement. (* chin in hand gazing thoughtfully at screen, wonders if RC will bother with a response *)

  18. #18 Wow
    September 15, 2010

    > The correct question is, whether the colder body that radiates less intensively than the warmer body warms up the warmer one. The answer is: It does not.

    Damn. Guess I’ll have to throw my winter duvet away, then.

  19. #19 Jeff Harvey
    September 15, 2010

    I think we ought to know some facts before we exert too much effort over this utterly appalling article.

    First of all, the jounral (International Journal of Modern Physics B) in which it is published has an impact factor of 0.408 in 2009 (down from an already miniscule 0.647 in 2008). This is puny, and places it at or near ther bottom of the pile of journals in related fields. It also explains the apparent lack of rigor in the peer-review process. To show you how low this is, very few journals in one of my fields of research (entomology) has an impact factor less than 1.0. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: if the G & T article is so groundbreaking, why submit it to a very fringe journal? Those defending the article on this thread have not come up with a plausible reason for this.

    Second, neither of the authors (Gerlich and Tscheuschner) has published much in the empircal literature, and neither has much in the way of citations. And since the paper was published, it has generated only 2 citations – the rebuttal by Halpern et al. and a reply by Gerlich and Tscheuschner. Nobody else in the scientific community has apparently given the article any attention at all. For the simple reason of its quality (or lack thereof). Of course the denial community will always elevate crapola like this and give the impression that it skewers the link between C02 and warming. But all this does is show how intellectually bankrupt that lot really is.