In the last post, I said that I would next get into the details of the PNAS review itself. Today I looked at those reviews again, for the first time since last August when I received them. Unfortunately, I instantly became furious on re-reading even a fraction of the comments, just like then, so irresponsible and off-base and confused are they, and worse, from supposedly two of the “top experts” in the world (according to the editor). If I had money to burn, I would seriously consider bringing a lawsuit against PNAS. Given that the paper is extensive and the topic still probably not perfectly clear to many, it will take some real time to rebut it all. Indeed, it’s a huge time sink, time I don’t have. Maybe I’ll just post up the whole damn thing on Google Docs and be done with it, especially since I rebutted a lot of it in my appeal already. I don’t know.
In the mean time, I would like direct answers from some dendroclimatologists to the following absolutely critical questions to the legitimacy of the science, on issues which are almost entirely unrelated to the issues I’ve raised in my paper:
1) Is Loehle* (2009) fundamentally correct in his description of the potentially very serious problems caused by unimodal responses of ring size to temperature. If not, why not?
2) On what mathematical basis, if any, can a modeled, linear (straight line) relationship between climate driver and ring response be used to accurately predict a strongly non-linear relationship?
3) On what basis does one assert that the climatic states experienced during the calibration period are fully representative of the set of states experienced during the pre-calibration (“reconstruction”) period, and that the tree sizes/ages sampled during the calibration period are also representative of the ages/sizes of the pre-calibration period.
Somebody, anybody, please answer those questions, directly.
*Note: I understand that Loehle says some questionable things on blogs and for some reason, chooses to publish with some people who are completely off the rails and untrustworthy, or post things on the blogs of some people who are nothing but attention-seeking clowns without any integrity or sense of responsibility to the truth. This does call into question his judgment on whom to publish with, and on what to say on blogs. More importantly however, he has also done a lot of very good work in the past, and he brings a biologist’s perspective to the table, which is urgently needed. But most importantly, he is correct on this issue, and that’s all that matters in the end.
Note that I edited the above paragraph on March 12 to try to make my views clearer, given a couple of the comments. Most likely Harold is right on this, but all I can do at this point is try to clarify my position as well as possible.