I completely concur with James’ summary of the state of play. We haven’t yet gotten down to whether the Klotzbach mechanism is or isn’t realistic or supported by the evidence. But we do have a misleading headline from R Pielke Jr,
Well, one thing it does not mean is the main title of RPJnr’s post, that the surface temperature trend is overstated. There is nothing in the paper (despite three gratuitous plugs of Watt’s photography site) that actually argues for the measured temperature trend being wrong in any way.
Yet the conclusion of a temperature bias is the one prominently displayed as the headline of a blog posting, and echoed on several websites including Watts
, which RP Jr is as yet not willing to amend or retract.
I am less than favorably impressed by this trend of writing papers of whatever quality, and then prominently but informally misrepresenting their results
in ways to give substantively wrong comfort to one (or the other) side in a political debate. For a man who talks of separating science and politics, I am forced to conclude that RP Jr. sets a very peculiar example.
Whether Koltzbach and Pielke Sr. have actually resolved the temperature trend differential or not is something I am keeping an open mind about for now. But if they have, it means that both temperature records are substantially correct. I can’t imagine why any scientist would be dissatisfied with a result like that, or what scientific motivation there could be to paint it as something else, and then trumpet the unsupported assertion as a new result on a contentious website like Watts’.