The Australian has a printed a response by Plimer to some of the criticism he has received. Plimer opens with:
In Heaven and Earth – Global Warming: The Missing Science, I predicted that the critics would play the man and not discuss the science.
Then he proceeds to play the man and not the ball, calling his critics “arrogant pompous scientists”, saying that they lack “common sense” and the scientists who criticised him on Lateline were merely “an expert on gravity, a biologist and one who produces computer models”.
And how does he respond to the numerous specific criticisms of all the science he got wrong? He simply denies that it exists:
No critic has argued science with me.
He even then goes on to refer the Age story which lists several problems with his science:
Some questions Plimer can’t answer. His book challenges claims that six of the warmest years since industrialisation were between 1998 and 2006, instead quoting NASA figures that the hottest four years were in the 1930s. He fails to say in the book that this data is for the US alone.
Some of his critics say they are surprised that a former head of the University of Melbourne geology department, with more than 120 published papers to his name, would include unsourced graphs in his book. Asked where he found one graph showing temperatures across the 20th century differing markedly to the data used by the IPCC or the world’s leading climate centres, Plimer says he can not recall.
David Karoly, also an IPCC author, says there are other examples of misleading use of data. The first graph in the book contrasts temperature over the past two decades with climate models used by scientists, but averages the models together, removing the variation they factor in.
Here’s what he says about the Age piece:
In The Age (Insight, May 2), David Karoly claims that my book “does not support the answers with sources”. Considering that the book has 2311 footnotes as sources, Karoly clearly had not read the book. Maybe Karoly just read up to page 21, which showed that his published selective use of data showed warming but, when the complete set of data was used, no such warming was seen.
Well, yes, he has a lot of footnotes, but all too often they don’t say what Plimer says they do, for yet another example look at the very footnotes he refers to. In his book Plimer writes:
[Santer] added references to his own work which showed warming from 1943 to 1970. However, when a full set of data from 1905 to after 1970 was analysed by others, no warming was seen.
Plimer didn’t just one thing wrong here, he got everything wrong.
Footnote 17 is Santer et al Nature 382, 39 – 46 (1996). It did not show “warming from 1943 to 1970”. It looked at the spatial pattern of temperature change in the atmosphere from 1963 to 1987 and this didn’t just show tropospheric warming, it showed stratospheric cooling. And the point of the study was not to the existence of warming as Plimer implies but the attribution to human influences on carbon dioxide, sulphates and ozone. That’s four mistakes about his footnote that Plimer made in just half a sentence.
Footnote 18 is Michaels and Knappenberger Nature 384, 522-523 (1996). They analysed a different radiosonde data set that went from 1958-1995 (not 1905 to after 1970). By calling it a “full” data set Plimer implies that it was superset of the data Santer analysed and that Santer et al cherry-picked, but it was not. In their reply, which Plimer does not mention at all in his book, Santer et al state that the the data set the Michaels used has instrumental biases and spatial deficiencies. Finally, Michaels’ analysis did not find that there was no global warming. Rather he found no warming for the 850-300-hPa layer between 30 and 60° S latitudes. That’s four more mistakes in Plimer’s next sentence.
And his whole book is like this. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it has been shocked by the sheer number of errors Plimer packs onto every page.