Increasingly, the answer seems to be “no.”
In order to be “science,” there must be a falsifiable hypothesis. Atmospheric temperatures are colder than the IPCC’s 95% confidence interval and ocean heat content is far, far less than it was predicted (red line) to be at this point (arrow).
|Graph of upper ocean heat content from Bob Tisdale via WattsUpWithThat
Add in that ’global warming’ is to blame for warmer, colder, drought, flood, more hurricanes, and less hurricanes the Al Gore/IPCC supporters’ positions increasingly seems to be that everything is “consistent with” global warming. In other words no falsifiable hypothesis.
This departure from accepted scientific norms is becoming apparent to others outside of the atmospheric sciences.
As someone with forty years experience with peer reviewed journals. I can testify that the Remote Sensing editor’s resignation and public discreditation of Spencer’s skeptical paper would be considered bizarre and unprofessional behavior in any other scholarly discipline.
In all fields of scientific inquiry, journal editors base their publication decisions on reports of referees, who are supposed to be experts in the area. Presumably, in the case of the Spencer paper, referees supported its publication. Even if there had been a negative report, good editors often publish controversial papers to open a scholarly dialog. (Can anyone think of a topic that is more controversial and more in need of open scholarly dialog than global warming?). In the case of controversial papers, the editor gives credible critics space to air their objections, and the author is accorded the opportunity to respond.
In this odd case, the editor did not follow the normal procedure of publishing critical comments by specialists who disagree with the paper. He chose instead to disavow and discredit the paper himself, despite the fact that he is not an expert on the subject. Nor did the editor give Spencer an opportunity to respond to his personal disavowal. Instead, rebuttals of the Spencer paper are scheduled to be published in another journal friendly to the warmist position. Spencer will not be given an opportunity to respond in that journal. (Spencer is like the muzzled Trotsky in my quote above. Stalin will decide what others are allowed to hear).
In my field of economics, such unprofessional behavior would destroy the editor’s professional reputation and make him or her a laughing stock. Not in climate science apparently.
The above excerpt about the increasingly bizarre professional behavior of climate scientists is from a superb article in Forbes that I urge you to read.
Climate science cannot expect widespread respect it believes it deserves until it starts accepting the same standards that apply to all other fields of science.