RC has recently used another form of censorship, clearly designed to limit/prevent discussion on ‘inconvenient’ topics.
At 8:51 am on 1 June 2009, RC put up a post “On Overfitting” by ‘eric’, who we understand to be Eric Steig. ‘eric’ used the post to respond in part to some critics that had emerged in response to the paper published in Nature in January 2009 – “Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year” by Eric J. Steig, David P. Schneider, Scott D. Rutherford, Michael E. Mann, Josefino C. Comiso & Drew T. Shindell.
A graphic from the paper showing warming across Antarctica was produced on the front cover, and accompanying press releases stating that “Much Of Antarctica Is Warming More Than Previously Thought”. Predictably, the paper achieved widespread coverage in mainstream media (MSM) since it purported to support the meme that Anthropogenic Global Warming is proceeding apace, and if we don’t change our ways, “we’ll all be rooned” as Hanrahan said.
Nature published this paper without insisting that the accompanying data/methods/code be archived, as required by Nature’s policies. The paper rapidly attracted attention from numerous parties interested in looking at the detail underlying the paper, and in particular to understand the methods used. This interest, in part, was directed at determining whether the claims being made could be independently verified.
Requests for data were not responded to positively. Eric Steig then left for Antarctica where he was out of contact. In the absence of disclosure of data/methods/code, various parties sought to understand what had occurred in the paper from first principles, using publicly available data sources. This work was carried out by parties identifying themselves as JeffID, JeffC, RomanM, RyanO, and Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit.
The efforts of these individuals were comprehensively discussed at several blogs – notably Climate Audit, Watts Up With That, and The Air Vent. After literally months of work by keen, but clearly very competent amateurs, they were able to demonstrate that they had replicated the methods used by Steig et al, but reached a very different conclusion, namely that the data does not support the claim that Much of Antarctica is Warming More Than Previously Thought.
Eric’s Real Climate post attracted vigorous commentary, some in particular from JeffID and RyanO, two of the workers who had undertaken the forensics on the paper, without the co-operation of the authors.
At 8:35 pm on 1 June 09, in a response to Comment 42 by Ryan O, Eric closed the thread to comments.
The post was open for comment for just under 12 hours. Any further comments put up were rejected on the basis that the thread was closed.
No doubt RC exercised its normal moderation/censorship on posts that were allowed to be posted, so it is interesting indeed what led them to close the thread so quickly. Perhaps they don’t actually want to discuss the work?