Reactions to Muller’s Testimony

by Judith Curry

Last week, Richard Muller testified at the U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on Climate Change: Examining the Processes Used to Create Science and Policy [see here].

Muller’s testimony has drawn numerous vociferous and contradictory responses from the blogosphere and mainstream media.  The issue is the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project, of which Muller is the Director [see here].  Lets take a look at what Muller said, some the responses, and then play Monday morning quarterback in terms of evaluating the responses and pondering if/how this might have been handled better.

Context for Muller’s testimony

The topic of the hearing is examining the processes used to create science and policy.  As per the hearing charter:

This hearing will provide an overview of some of the process questions within climate change science and policy that have been raised in recent years.

The significance of and concern regarding the emails has been heightened by the fact that CRU is one of the primary institutions that provide data and information to the IPCC, raising questions regarding the integrity of the models, data and processes, and ultimately the key scientific conclusions upon which climate policies are based.

In recent years, there have been questions regarding not only the quality of the data collected but also the processes used for normalization (in order to compare “apples to apples”). The quality of data collected from instruments that have not been maintained or whose placement violates government positioning procedures has not been established. Furthermore, the process used for quality assurance has come under question as well, prompting several data quality projects across the country to test the quality of the data used in climate change science.

So Muller was asked to comment on issues related to quality assurance, specifically with regards to the surface temperature data.  He was not asked to provide a definitive estimate of the temperature trend over the past century.

Muller was asked to testify by the Republicans.  If the Republicans wanted a “denier” to testify, they would not have invited Muller to testify.  Note, the Republicans also invited me to testify several months ago, and I am hardly a denier or even generally regarded as a skeptic.  Muller and has associates have made numerous public statements about being concerned about global warming.  That said, Muller has also been harshly critical of the behavior revealed by the CRU emails, the hockey stick and hide the decline.  He has also been concerned about the surface temperature record, the statement below is from the Berkeley Earth web page:

The most important indicator of global warming, by far, is the land and sea surface temperature record. This has been criticized in several ways, including the choice of stations and the methods for correcting systematic errors. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study sets out to to do a new analysis of the surface temperature record in a rigorous manner that addresses this criticism. We are using over 39,000 unique stations, which is more than five times the 7,280 stations found in the Global Historical Climatology Network Monthly data set (GHCN-M) that has served as the focus of many climate studies.

Our aim is to resolve current criticism of the former temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions. Our results will include not only our best estimate for the global temperature change, but estimates of the uncertainties in the record.

So why ask Muller and not someone else who has a longer track record of working with surface data?  Well part of the reason is probably Muller’s extremely impressive record in science, which is summarized by this wikipedia page.

What Muller’s testimony said

Relevant excerpts from Muller’s testimony:

The project has already merged 1.6 billion land surface temperature measurements from 16 sources, most of them publicly available, and is putting them in a simple format to allow easy use by scientists around the world. By using all the data and new statistical approaches that can handle short records, and by using novel approaches to estimation and avoidance of systematic biases, we expect to improve on the accuracy of the estimate of the Earth’s temperature change.

Prior groups (NOAA, NASA, HadCRU) selected for their analysis 12% to 22% of the roughly 39,000 available stations. (The number of stations they used varied from 4,500 to a maximum of 8,500.)

They believe their station selection was unbiased. Outside groups have questioned that, and claimed that the selection picked records with large temperature increases. Such bias could be inadvertent, for example, a result of choosing long continuous records. (A long record might mean a station that was once on the outskirts and is now within a city.)

To avoid such station selection bias, Berkeley Earth has developed techniques to work with all the available stations. This requires a technique that can include short and discontinuous records.

In an initial test, Berkeley Earth chose stations randomly from the complete set of 39,028 stations. Such a selection is free of station selection bias.

In our preliminary analysis of these stations, we found a warming trend that is shown in the figure. It is very similar to that reported by the prior groups: a rise of about 0.7 degrees C since 1957. (Please keep in mind that the Berkeley Earth curve, in black, does not include adjustments designed to eliminate systematic bias.)

The Berkeley Earth agreement with the prior analysis surprised us, since our preliminary results don’t yet address many of the known biases. When they do, it is possible that the corrections could bring our current agreement into disagreement.

Why such close agreement between our uncorrected data and their adjusted data? One possibility is that the systematic corrections applied by the other groups are small. We don’t yet know.

The main value of our preliminary result is that it demonstrates the Berkeley Earth ability to use all records, including those that are short or fragmented. When we apply our approach to the complete data collection, we will largely eliminate the station selection bias, and significantly reduce statistical uncertainties.

Many temperature stations in the U.S. are located near buildings, in parking lots, or close to heat sources. Anthony Watts and his team has shown that most of the current stations in the US Historical Climatology Network would be ranked “poor” by NOAA’s own standards, with error uncertainties up to 5 degrees C.

Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming? We’ve studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no.

The Berkeley Earth analysis shows that over the past 50 years the poor stations in the U.S. network do not show greater warming than do the good stations.

Thus, although poor station quality might affect absolute temperature, it does not appear to affect trends, and for global warming estimates, the trend is what is important.

Our key caveat is that our results are preliminary and have not yet been published in a peer reviewed journal. We have begun that process of submitting a paper to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and we are preparing several additional papers for publication elsewhere.

NOAA has already published a similar conclusion – that station quality bias did not affect estimates of global warming – — based on a smaller set of stations, and Anthony Anthony Watts and his team have a paper submitted, which is in late stage peer review, using over 1000 stations, but it has not yet been accepted for publication and I am not at liberty to discuss their conclusions and how they might differ. We have looked only at average temperature changes, and additional data needs to be studied, to look at (for example) changes in maximum and minimum temperatures.

In fact, in our preliminary analysis the good stations report more warming in the U.S. than the poor stations by 0.009 ± 0.009 degrees per decade, opposite to what might be expected, but also consistent with zero. We are currently checking these results and performing the calculation in several different ways. But we are consistently finding that there is no enhancement of global warming trends due to the inclusion of the poorly ranked US stations.

Berkeley Earth hopes to complete its analysis including systematic bias avoidance in the next few weeks. We are now studying new approaches to reducing biases from:

1. Urban heat island effects. Some stations in cities show more rapid warming than do stations in rural areas.

2. Time of observation bias. When the time of recording temperature is changed, stations will typically show different mean temperatures than they did previously. This is sometimes corrected in the processes used by existing groups. But this cannot be done easily for remote stations or those that do not report times of observations.3. Station moves. If a station is relocated, this can cause a “jump” in its temperatures. This is typically corrected in the adjustment process used by other groups. Is the correction introducing another bias? The corrections are sometimes done by hand, making replication difficult.

4. Change of instrumentation. When thermometer type is changed, there is often an offset introduced, which must be corrected.

Based on the preliminary work we have done, I believe that the systematic biases that are the cause for most concern can be adequately handled by data analysis techniques. The world temperature data has sufficient integrity to be used to determine global temperature trends.

Despite potential biases in the data, methods of analysis can be used to reduce bias effects well enough to enable us to measure long-term Earth temperature changes. Data integrity is adequate. Based on our initial work at Berkeley Earth, I believe that some of the most worrisome biases are less of a problem than I had previously thought.

Watts’ criticism

WUWT has been harshly critical of Muller’s testimony, after Watts initially showed support for the study:

But here’s the thing: I have no certainty nor expectations in the results. Like them, I have no idea whether it will show more warming, about the same, no change, or cooling in the land surface temperature record they are analyzing. Neither do they, as they have not run the full data set, only small test runs on certain areas to evaluate the code. However, I can say that having examined the method, on the surface it seems to be a novel approach that handles many of the issues that have been raised.

As a reflection of my increased confidence, I have provided them with my surfacestations.org dataset to allow them to use it to run a comparisons against their data. The only caveat being that they won’t release my data publicly until our upcoming paper and the supplemental info (SI) has been published. Unlike NCDC and Menne et al, they respect my right to first publication of my own data and have agreed.

And, I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results. I haven’t seen the global result, nobody has, not even the home team, but the method isn’tthe madness that we’ve seen from NOAA, NCDC, GISS, and CRU, and, there aren’t any monetary strings attached to the result that I can tell. If the project was terminated tomorrow, nobody loses jobs, no large government programs get shut down, and no dependent programs crash either.  That lack of strings attached to funding, plus the broad mix of people involved especially those who have previous experience in handling large data sets gives me greater confidence in the result being closer to a bona fide ground truth than anything we’ve seen yet. Dr. Fred Singer also gives a tentative endorsement of the methods.

The week before Muller testified, there was discussion between Watts and Muller about what Muller could/should say about his results that involved used of Watts’ surface station classification data.  Muller wanted to respect the agreement that he had made with Watts.   This discussion culminated in Watts sending a letter to House Committee just prior to the Hearing, which is described in this post.  The post starts out with the following statement from Watts:

There seems a bit of a rush here, as BEST hasn’t completed all of their promised data techniques that would be able to remove the different kinds of data biases we’ve noted. That was the promise, that is why I signed on (to share my data and collaborate with them). Yet somehow, much of that has been thrown out the window, and they are presenting some results today without the full set of techniques applied. Based on my current understanding, they don’t even have some of them fully working and debugged yet. Knowing that, today’s hearing presenting preliminary results seems rather topsy turvy. But, post normal science political theater is like that.

Watts is criticizing Muller for something he did not set out to do, for an analysis that Muller did not do.  Muller’s presentation of preliminary results was clearly motivated by the context of providing support for his assessment on the challenges and issues surrounding the surface temperature data record.

In Watts’ letter to the House Committee, he provides the abstract for the Fall et al paper that is in review:

While NOAA and Dr. Muller have produced analyses using our preliminary data that suggest siting has no appreciable effect, our upcoming paper reaches a different conclusion.

Our paper, Fall et al 2011 titled “Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends” has this abstract:

The recently concluded Surface Stations Project surveyed 82.5% of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) stations and provided a classification based on exposure conditions of each surveyed station, using a rating system employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). The unique opportunity offered by this completed survey permits an examination of the relationship between USHCN station siting characteristics and temperature trends at national and regional scales and on differences between USHCN temperatures and North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) temperatures. This initial study examines temperature differences among different levels of siting quality without controlling for other factors such as instrument type.

Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends, resulting in particular in a substantial difference in estimates of the diurnal temperature range trends. The opposite-signed differences of maximum and minimum temperature trends are similar in magnitude, so that the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications. Homogeneity adjustments tend to reduce trend differences, but statistically significant differences remain for all but average temperature trends. Comparison of observed temperatures with NARR shows that the most poorly-sited stations are warmer compared to NARR than are other stations, and a major portion of this bias is associated with the siting classification rather than the geographical distribution of stations. According to the best-sited stations, the diurnal temperature range in the lower 48 states has no century-scale trend.

Watts then concludes his letter to the House Committee with this statement:

It is our contention that many fully unaccounted for biases remain in the surface temperature record, that the resultant uncertainty is large, and systemic biases remain. This uncertainty and the systematic biases needs to be addressed not only nationally, but worldwide. Dr. Richard Muller has not yet examined these issues.

Huh?  What the heck is all this about?  As Mosher stated on a previous thread:

You should also note that Watts abstract CONFIRMS Muller’s preliminary finding. station quality does not impact the MEAN temperature recorded. ( it does hit diurnal temperature range which is a cool thing folks will have to look at). people miss that the mean temp is not affected.

Transparency vs right of first spin

What seems to be going on here is a struggle between the conflicting goals of transparency and the right to publish your own data first.  Watts feels that he got burned when he had a preliminary version of the station classification online, and Menne et al. published a paper using this preliminary data set.  Watts then pulled his data set from the web.  A paper (Fall et al.) is in the review process.  As I understand it, once the paper is accepted for publication, Watts will make the data set publicly available.

With regards to the Berkeley Earth Surface temperature data set, it is my understanding that the data set will be released once papers are submitted for publication.  This is presumably something that Watts can understand.

Muller did not present in testimony any of the graphs where he has analyzed Watts’ data, respecting Watts’ right to be the first to publish his own data.

Lets face it, the timing of the testimony threw a spanner in the works of the schedule for Watts and Muller releasing information on their respective studies.  Should Muller (or Watts or anyone else for that matter) have declined to testify on this subject, having done relevant analyses but not yet having made the data/analyses public?  If Watts thinks that it was premature for Muller present his preliminary (unpublished) analyses in testimony, then it was equally premature for Watts to present to the Committee his (unpublished and otherwise unavailable) analysis.  A strong argument can be made that Muller had a responsibility to provide to the House Committee his best assessment of the data quality and analysis issues, using his background knowledge and expert judgment.

Smearing Muller

Muller has been taking hits from both “sides.”  On the “warm” side, Joe Romm has been his typically vicious self:

http://climateprogress.org/2011/03/31/scopes-climate-hearing-richard-muller-and-john-christy/

http://climateprogress.org/2011/03/29/wattsupwiththat-attack-fabrication/

http://climateprogress.org/2011/03/28/koch-richard-muller-gore-cicerone-polar-bears-friedman/

http://climateprogress.org/2011/03/22/climate-science-deniers-berkeley-temperature-study/

Romm’s alter ego on the Republican side, Marc Morano, has a one-stop shop for Muller smears:

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/10426/Climate-Depot-Round-Up-on-Richard-Muller-Scientists-trashing-Mullers-workMuller-stands-accused-of-being-front-man-for-geoengineering-org–Muller-Responds-to-Climate-Depot

which links to more than a dozen posts.

Monday morning quarterbacking

4 days after the testimony, in hindsight, should/could Muller have done anything differently?  He could have declined to testify, but I’m not sure how that would have helped anything (other than to save Muller alot of personal grief).  He could have thrown Watts under the bus and published results using Watts’ data.  Other ideas?


328 responses to “Reactions to Muller’s Testimony

  1. We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
    ================

  2. Dr. Curry,

    I understand that your are a member of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study Team. If that is correct, I suppose that you feel some obligation to defend Dr. Muller’s testimony.

    Would you, being a member of the BEST team, present the same findings that Dr. Muller presented in a testimony that you were invited to present to a congressional committee?

    • I do not feel any obligation to defend Muller’s testimony. I can resign from the group at any time, I have no formal appointment with the group and receive no $$$ from them. If I were invited to testify I probably would have submitted different testimony, focused more on the broader issues that were of concern and less on specific results. Given Muller’s immersion in the BEST project, its difficult to imagine how he could separate out testifying on this subject from presenting his current understanding of the issue based on his preliminary analysis.

      • Judy:
        For me you put your finger on the issue: Muller’s testimony appeared to be too specific for the point in the analysis he has reached. Moreover, he should have led his presentation with the caveats – which according to the record seem de minimus because they lack the specificity of his main points. This is I think the point that Roger Peilke Snr forcefully raised. Frankly, Muller made the whole BEST analysis too easy, too cut and dried.

      • “its difficult to imagine how he could separate out testifying on this subject from presenting his current understanding of the issue based on his preliminary analysis.”

        Amazing. That’s an excellent way to have your credibility trashed, and, in the corporate world, get put into time out. If you HAVE to speculate, first you say what you actually definitively know. Then you say there’s speculation in these following areas, and characterize the nature of the speculations. Then you say you’re looking into it, and there aren’t any definitive results yet. You can also say when you expect to have definitive results.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Harold, as far as I can tell, Muller did what you say he should do if he had to speculate.

      • Brandon-

        Characterizing the nature of the speculations isn’t specific, it’s general. You don’t know what your final analysis will show, so you don’t know if your preliminary analysis is going to be consistent with it in the specifics.

      • John DeFayette

        Looking at Dr. Muller’s written testimony it appears all of the caveats are complete. From a thorough reading one can only conclude that there are no definitive results from the BEST analysis, and any declarations are speculative. The one exception is the conclusion that station selection bias seems not to have influenced the existing records.

        Now where did the disconnect between Dr. Muller’s statement and, for example, Paul Krugman’s column of yesterday come up? From the NYTimes apparently BEST has already given its stamp of approval to all of the existing temperature analyses. It’s a victory for AGW, and it’s time we move on to legislation for saving the earth (the hyperbole is his, not mine). Is his interpretation just manipulative reporting? Or is it a reaction to the firestorm fanned by Watts and Romm?

        Short of refusing to appear at the hearing I don’t think any of this could have been avoided. Dr. Muller stepped willingly into a very hot battle, and as long as he and his Credibility remain unassigned to one Side or the Other he will remain the object of a fierce tug-o-war.

      • I have made histogram plots of NOAA’s Arctic Ice Core Data and Antarctic Ice Core data for the most recent ten thousand years and compared them with Dr. Muller’s temperature chart that he presented to Congress. I do think Dr. Muller’s data is valid. His chart did not just have his data; it is compared with other data. There is nothing wrong with this data. His temperature chart is inside the range of temperatures that we have had during the past ten thousand years. We are in a warming cycle, one of hundreds during the past ten thousand years. There was also just as many cooling periods during the past ten thousand years. Every warming period is followed by a cooling period. One molecule of manmade CO2 per ten thousand molecules of other gases cannot change this extremely stable temperature cycle. To take data during the first 130 year period that we have instrumented data and the first 30 or a little more years of satellite data and extrapolate this data for a long term solution is not something a good engineer would do. Are you all really comfortable with saying that the next hundred years is really going to get outside of the time and time again demonstrated stable range of the past ten thousand years? Again and again, history repeats itself and human guesses that it will not do fail.

  3. Hm, Muller should have found, that everything is fraud and all warming measured is because of UHI. So if he gets other results, he will have some problems with Tony. Anyone surprised?

  4. Brandon Shollenberger

    I don’t see a problem with Muller testifying. I don’t see a problem with him announcing his general results. His discussion of the broad agreement between his results and others (and the fact such agreement is surprising) doesn’t bother me.

    On the other hand, I am bothered by a couple of things about Muller’s testimony. A minor issue is I think it was inappropriate for Muller to publish as specific a conclusion as he published at least once. He published a value from a preliminary analysis which gave three significant digits. That bothers me as I don’t think caveats can make up for the impression that level of specificity gives.

    The issue which truly bothers me is one which has been highlighted by a number of people. Muller’s testimony includes these two sections:

    Prior groups at NOAA, NASA, and in the UK (HadCRU) estimate about a 1.2 degree C land temperature rise from the early 1900s to the present. This 1.2 degree rise is what we call global warming.

    According to the most recent IPCC report (2007), the human component became apparent only after 1957, and it amounts to “most” of the 0.7 degree rise since then. Let’s assume the human-caused warming is 0.6 degrees.

    Neither of the temperature values given here are correct. The only way to get those values is to compare modern temperatures to a single year in the past. That’s a horribly invalid way to get a temperature change. Moreover, the IPCC report doesn’t say what he claims it says. The closest it gets is it says 1975 is when global temperatures resumed warming. This means Muller made a fairly serious typo and extrapolated something from the IPCC report, then incorrectly attributed that to the IPCC report.

    I don’t know how Muller came up with the values he listed, but they’re incorrect, and the only way I can find to get them is obviously wrong. That bothers me.

  5. am amazed that I am here before oliver manuel and his faded clips of Eisenhower…….

  6. I think the issue for Watts et al is that Dr Muller put on record conclusions, however tentative, before the analyses of the data that concerned them most had been done. In my view, Dr Muller could have said exactly what he did say but couched in language that pointed out that those issues had not been addressed.

    For example:

    “But we are consistently finding that there is no enhancement of global warming trends due to the inclusion of the poorly ranked US stations.”

    ….could have been written; “At this stage we have not found…..but not all analyses have yet been done.”

    also; “Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming? We’ve studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no.”

    Sounds conclusive even though it has the appropriate caveats around it. The problem is that becomes a take home message. That would be fine, but there should greater justification for it.

    An objective observer might be able to view the testimony in more neutral terms, and understand the caveats. But we aren’t talking about an issue which has many neutral observers.

    • Agnostic:
      I tend to agree.
      In fairness to Muller, testifying in front of COngress has a peculiar set of “demand” conditions. I simply believe he shoud have either been more thorough and forceful in his articulation of the caveats or, as Judy suggests, made more general comments. His precision belied the signifcance of his caveats.

  7. Hoi "Bodge" Polloi

    I don’t even understand why we should discuss a preliminary report of 2 (two!)% of the 39,000 stations? Is this where climate “science” has come to? Gimme a break, even the National Enquirer has better research… *sigh*

  8. It is an important point that Muller and Watts are agreeing that the average temperature trend at urban or ‘bad’ stations is the same as at non-urban or ‘good’ stations. This alone would not affect the global average temperature. Add to this what Pielke says in Montandon et al.
    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/r-344.pdf

    about urban areas not even being the ones that are warming fastest, and are over-represented in global-area terms, and we might even find that the average temperature corrected to remove urban bias is warmer.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Jim D, it’s important to remember the discussion in question is about United States temperature stations. Stations in other countries aren’t considered. Given how small a section of the world is being discussed, it is hard to imagine much of an impact would exist.

      Now then, whether or not UHI across the globe impacts the global temperature trend is a different issue.

      • Yes, to clarify, Watts and Muller only looked at good and bad stations in the US, so that part of the study is limited. Pielke’s study was global. It shows glacier/ice areas and tropical rainforest areas both warming faster than urban. I understand glacier/ice because we know the Arctic is warming faster, but I am surprised that tropical rainforests are warming significantly faster than the other non-ice categories, and I don’t see any explanation in that paper. Saving them, isn’t helping the global average temperature, it seems.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Thanks for pointing out Pielke’s analysis was a global analysis. I haven’t had an opportunity to read through it yet.

      • Re: tropical rainforests. I might speculate it is some kind of albedo effect, because these are dark, and if you replace them with brighter categories, you may not as effectively trap the extra heat, but it is only my speculation.

      • ferd berple

        Re: tropical rainforests

        A more likely explanation is that worldwide tropical rainforest are being logged and converted to oil palm and sugar cane. They are increasing in temperature due to conversion from rain forest to agriculture.

        The rate of conversion is something most people completely under-estimate. The economics are irresitable. The jungle itself generates little or no revenue. However, the jungle hardwoods are worth a fortune when logged, which pays the cost of land aquisition. The scrub is then burned to enrich the soil, and oil palm and/or sugar cane planted for an annual crop and income.

        CO2 taxes will further accelerate the death of the rain forests as the price paid for biofuels greatly exceeds the CO2 credits for leaving the forests intact. This will be one of the unintended consequnces of CO2 taxes, the conversion of the rain forests to biofuels. Many of the natural cures and treatments for diseases and insect pests will likely be lost.

      • OK, that makes sense, because I had the impression forested areas are cooler than unforested ones. I wonder if the area of forest has changed so much already to show up as a warming effect. Pielke would need to take this change into account, which I am quite sure they weren’t.

      • Deforestation can cool or warm depending on the latitude where it takes place. Higher latitudes get cooling, tropics get warming. http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab/Caldeira_research/Bala_Caldeira.html

      • Interesting. I suspect the boreal cooling effect of deforestation has to do with winter albedo changes related to snow cover. Being a model study they can only hypothesize, but it looks credible.

      • My impression is that the cooling from deforestation at high latitudes is on firmer footing then the warming at the tropics and it is the albedo change that is the cause. Should they both be accurate this could have had a significant influence on the temperature trend in the 20th century when comparing the timing and locations of deforestation.

      • If you saw Pielke’s paper I linked above, yes, it seems the evergreen needleleaf (boreal) category has been cooling, and is over-represented by the stations, also another potential biasing effect according to Pielke’ s analysis.

      • It’s difficult to speculate without seeing the locations they included. It seems counterintuitive that the needle leaf pine they are using are at high latitudes when the high latitudes show the most warming. Should I speculate then I would speculate they are more likely located in places such as the southeastern US where the warming has been negligible compared to other areas.

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Or perhaps urbanization, with its UHI, is expanding in area. One would not expect Manhattan Island to warm much from UHI (unless they pave over Central Park).

  9. Brandon Shollenberger

    I hadn’t seen that post, and it is worth reading. However, it doesn’t change anything I said in my post.

  10. I think Muller was caught between a rock and a hard place. Hopefully, he can deal with the flack from both sides and get the BEST product online so we can have some fun with it. I am sure it will be more user friendly that what is available now.

    • “between a rock and a hard place” is apt

    • John from CA

      Rock and a hard place? Maybe I’m missing something but no one really cares what ground temperature indicates related to the AGW theory. Atmospheric temperature is the issue and so far we’ve got a lot of missing heat.

      Clearly, NOAA is not ensuring that ground stations meet their published standards or we would not be able to locate weather stations sited in parking lots. If a portion of the stations are reporting skewed information, then the skew does effect the temperature record to some degree (pun intended).

      This all seems like a non-issue unless Congress is being misled.

  11. It seems that some have become so sensitized, that his testimony is seen as a “betrayal”, even though it was quite balanced (and in fact, he made a couple of zingers that the Romm side should be howling about louder).

  12. steven mosher

    Just by way of background.
    We have discussed the amount of bias in siting on Lucia’s a while back.
    The scientist who helped develop the rating system was kind enough to drop in and clear up the confusion over the numbering scheme CRN1,CRN2,CRN3 etc.
    His comment is not linkable so I will repost it here. If folks like I’ll find a similar comment he made back in 2007, when the whole issue of microsite bias started. As always, its good to know the entire history of these debates.

    Christian, on Lucia’s 2010:
    Sorry for my bad english, I am french and I do not speak english.

    I know very well the classification of Michel Leroy in our national weather service (Météo France). I have classified some stations.
    You can read the original classification here : http://www.ccrom.org/documents…..nement.pdf

    The number of °C of error in each class, is one possibility in some stations for the class, but it is not right for all stations in the class.

    I have an internal study (Michel Leroy) that gives the 95% uncertainty in each class CRN.
    Available with our modern Stevenson radiation shield ( in ABS, tall et small Stevenson radiation shield) and Socrima radiation shield (In the comparisons, the Socrima gives the same values that the radiation shield Davis 7714)

    CRN 1 – 2 (Temperatures for the days, in °C)
    T max [-0.55°, 0.85°]
    T min [-0.34 , 0.74°] (-0.2° for the small Stevenson screen)
    T avg [-0.35°, 0.55°]
    T inst (one minute) [-0.55°, 0.85°]

    CRN 3
    T max [-1.2°, 1.5°]
    T min [-1.1° , 1.5°] (-0.2° for the small Stevenson screen)
    T avg [-1.15°, 1.35°]
    T inst (one minute) [-1.2°, 1.5°]

    CRN 4
    T max [-2.3°, 2.6°]
    T min [-2.2°, 2.6°] (-0.2° for the small Stevenson screen)
    T avg [-2.3°, 2.5°]
    T inst (one minute) [-2.3°, 2.6°]

    There are not study for CRN5 because the CRN5 is a station that we must closed, moved, or not use for the climatology.

    HIS SECOND COMMENT

    A CRN5 or CRN4 are not always very bad in the time, a CRN3 are often good in average annual.
    For example in my site, I compared CRN 2 with CRN 4 (station too near the trees of the forest, the tree cut the sea breeze bias the T max (too hot in summer and in a part of spring (begin april), too cold with the shadows, in winter and the end autumn. The T min stay always good in this rural site), with CRN 5 on the roof, and CRN 3.

    The CRN 5 on the roof (small roof 100 m2 in tiles terracotta, a radiation shield at 1.5 m of the roof, and at 3.4 m of the soil where there are the CRN2 at 40 meters) in the absolute here, provides “better” temperature that the CRN2 with Stevenson radiation sheild (I compared also with ventilated radiation sheild Young at 6 m/s in CRN2, at this tday, this radiation shield is considered as the best relative reference temperature by Météo France.)

    In a average annual, the bias are lows, in the CRN5 on the roof, it is no significatif for this cas with a small roof “rural”.
    In the CRN4, the bias is +0.33°C / CRN2. (the summer, for one month, in the average T max, the bias is sometime +2° ! On one day, the T max biais has been +4° in summer, but also in the terrible summer 2003, there are not bias for the days when the wind blow at the opposite of the trees)
    In summer 2003, I have 5 days with T max > 40° in the CRN 4, for 1 day with T > 40° in CRN2 and CRN5.

    Example of my comparisons here :
    http://meteo.besse83.free.fr/i…..072007.jpg
    (classe 3 = CRN3, Classe 4 = CRN4, Socrima MF is a small Stevenson of an new/old official climatological station in CRN2, This station is officially closed in 2009, but I keep it open by passion. 1/3 of these stations in France, 1000 stations will closed, because the state have not enought money…)

    For me, we must study each site for corrected an annual bias, because each cas is unique.
    For example, when I install an another CRN 4 to the opposite in my site and to the opposite of actual CRN 4, the annual bias is no significant, because the wind blow very often to the opposite of the trees that cut the ventilation of this site CRN 4 and there are not shadows with T max in winter.

    #########
    basically, the bias is MODULATED by the local conditions. the biases run hot and cold and sometimes are zero.

    Question from me:

    Christian,

    If I read your numbers correctly you are giving a 95% CI
    for the bias in each type of site.

    CRN 1 – 2 (Temperatures for the days, in °C)
    T avg [-0.35°, 0.55°]
    CRN 3
    T avg [-1.15°, 1.35°]
    CRN 4
    T avg [-2.3°, 2.5°]

    Is that correct
    Answer:
    Comment#38741 Steven,
    95% of the biases are in these intervals.

    If you assume biases are normally distributed the mean bias is rather small
    around .1C. Just as JohnV and I independently guesstimated ( engineering best guess) and independently found on an extremely limited data sample.
    So, I’m not surprised in the least that this was found to be the case.
    What would be fascinating is to look at the variance of the various classes of sites to see if Christian’s field experiment held up in general. I think that’s a GOOD science question. It has no direct bearing on AGW, but I think it’s a good question. worthwhile looking at if you’re curious and if you like thorny data problems.

    For early discussions. when posting preliminary results was encouraged and thanks issued all around see below. When Time permits I’ll find Christian’s first comment on CA, where he explained that CRNX does not mean an AVERAGE BIAS of SIZE X. it captures, rather, the range of biases, crudely.

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/09/12/ushcn-survey-results-based-on-33-of-the-network/#comments

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/09/14/a-first-look-at-the-ushcn-quality-classification/

  13. ferd berple

    “I think Muller was caught between a rock and a hard place”

    The simplest answer was to say “We don’t know because the work is not complete. Any answer I might give at this time could be misleading and harm future credibility.”

    Then go on to talk about what they are trying to achieve and why, and when they expect the results to be available. This would have been more honest and would have satisfied everyone. Muller created his own problem by grandstanding.

    Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
    Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
    Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
    Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
    And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
    Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
    “That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

    From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
    Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
    “Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
    And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

    With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
    He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
    He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
    But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

    “Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
    But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
    And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

    The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
    He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

    Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
    But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

  14. ferd berple

    “Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
    But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
    And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

    The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
    He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
    And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

    Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
    But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out

  15. Hugh Whalen

    I have watched a couple of videos of Muller’s presentations available on YouTube and at scienceatcal.berkeley.edu and read part of his testimony as well as the discussions at WUWT and Roger Peilke Sr.’s blog.

    My overall impression is that he seems to be a person of intellectual integrity. What I mean by that, is although he is a “believer” in AGW his presentations give a balanced view of the status of the debate. He has no hesitation in pointing out the flaws and/or exaggerations of the AGW side and he admits to the uncertainties wrt clouds. He has been very critical of the hockey stick and seems genuinely appalled by Climategate. Yet he is still a believer. He seems to me to be the type of person who tries to follow the facts, wherever they may lead.

    I am certain that he is, like the rest of us, not perfect and I do have some sympathy for arguments of Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre and Roger Peilke Sr. However, I think the attack on his transgressions have been overblown.

    If, at the end, he does what he says by providing a transparent, replicable and inclusive analysis then he will have made a valuable contribution.

    Could he have provided more caveats? worded things better? waited a bit longer before stating results? Yeah, probably. However, the quality of the analysis will be the real test.

    Perhaps I am a bit more forgiving than many on this blog but I see a person who is no more flawed than the rest of us and who possesses what seems to me to be a core of integrity (as defined above)

    • BlueIce2HotSea

      I agree that Muller’s apparent intellectual integrity ought to make his AGW position irrelevant. On the other hand, Muller is a wild card in a deck of partisans. He makes both sides nervous. And we know that he does not need a command performance by congress to get him to speak his mind.

      In this highly charged political atmosphere, Muller has been a spark in the powder room. Entertaining, yes. But until the abstract is available, his inner adult needs to do more of the talking. Wax poetic on methodology, not a another word on preliminary results.

  16. Roger Andrews

    The claims that Muller had no business presenting preliminary results are nonsense. The problem was his preliminary results. Had they shown that surface warming had been overestimated by a factor of two or three Anthony Watts et al. would now be hailing him as a hero.

    Having spent a lot of time trying to prove – unsuccessfully – that the global surface air temperature series is wrong, I’m not at all surprised that Muller got the results he did, and I doubt that his final results will turn out to be much different.

    The skeptics (among whom I number myself) need to recognize that they are flogging a dead horse by trying to invalidate the surface air temperature record. They would do a lot better to concentrate on issues where AGW theory really is vulnerable, such as why climate models can’t replicate it.

    • After viewing Dr. Mullers hockey stick presentation I felt him to be an excellent lead in the BEST project. He seemed a true scientist that understood the task at hand, namely rebuilding some credibility in the climate field starting with the land surface temp. He also seemed to appreciate that precise communication was essential. To make some of the statements he did with data analysis just beginning seems foolhardy and seriously jeopardizes his impartial status. Just as it is too early to give up on Muller, it was way too early to tell Congress what the science revealed. Got my fingers crossed.

    • “Having spent a lot of time trying to prove – unsuccessfully – that the global surface air temperature series is wrong, I’m not at all surprised that Muller got the results he did, and I doubt that his final results will turn out to be much different.”

      From a geologist’s perspective, spending all this effort over a 0.5 to 1.5 deg. temp rise over a century…. Well, jeez, fellas. we’re still coming out of the LIA, plus industrializing China, India, Korea, Indonesia…

      As Roger implies, the exact size of the CWP rise doesn’t matter all that much — we know it’s small, just barely above the noise (if that). The real question is, what happens next. We haven’t a clue, really, and all this clueless thrashing about by the Hockey Team has put us 20 years behind in actually figuring it out. That’s the real crime in Climategate.

      Cheers — Pete Tillman
      Consulting Geologist, Arizona and New Mexico (USA)

      • Pete -
        The real question is, what happens next. We haven’t a clue, really, and all this clueless thrashing about by the Hockey Team has put us 20 years behind in actually figuring it out. That’s the real crime in Climategate.

        Thanks – finally, after all these years, someone who agrees with me.

      • Jim:

        Actually. this is pretty much what Steve McIntyre has been saying from Day One at Climate Audit.

        Perhaps Our Hostess will help clean up this ungodly mess. I hope so, and will help, as I can, from the outside….

  17. “A strong argument can be made that Muller had a responsibility to provide to the House Committee his best assessment of the data quality and analysis issues, using his background knowledge and expert judgment.”

    I disagree. If he doesn’t know (and he hasn’t completed the analysis to be able to know), then he should say he doesn’t know yet. Anything else is unwarrented speculation, no matter who is speculating. As you note, he isn’t an expert on the data, so how do you expect him to use his expertise? If anyone in the mix is an expert on the data, it would be Watts.

  18. “4 days after the testimony, in hindsight, should/could Muller have done anything differently? He could have declined to testify, but I’m not sure how that would have helped anything (other than to save Muller alot of personal grief). He could have thrown Watts under the bus and published results using Watts’ data. Other ideas?”

    The subject of the hearing was “Climate Change: Examining the Processes Used to Create Science and Policy.” So how about: 1) just provide testimony as to the processes of BEST; 2) leave out his pronouncements based on a preliminary test run; and most importantly 3) leave out any mention of his preliminary conclusions regarding the surfacestations.org data altogether. Would that have been so hard?

    If Muller’s purpose was simply to provide the information sought by the committee, his pronouncements on results make no sense. If his goal was PR for the CAGW camp, his testimony makes great sense.

    • Muller was asked to provide comments on the quality and adequacy of the surface station measuring network in the U.S.

      • This is an excerpt from the hearing “charter,” the outline of the subjects to be covered (that part that seems to apply to Muller):

        “In recent years, there have been questions regarding not only the quality of the data collected but also the processes used for normalization (in order to compare “apples to apples”). The quality of data collected from instruments that have not been maintained or whose placement violates government positioning procedures has not been established. Furthermore, the process used for quality assurance has come under question as well, prompting several data quality projects across the country to test the quality of the data used in climate change science.”
        http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/hearings/FINAL%20Climate%20Process%20Hearing%20Charter.pdf

        Unless Muller received a request substantially different from what the committee stated as its intended goal, I see no requirement that he testify as to a preliminary review of BEST’s work, let alone that of the surfacestations.org project. The charter seems in line with the title of the committee hearing.

        You asked how he could have testified differently. I see nothing here that changes my comment. What “could” he have done differently? Testify a I suggested.

        What precisely does anyone think would have happened had he testified accurately regarding the various siting and other issues that BEST was looking at, and left out his preliminary conclusions, let alone his pronouncement on surfacestations.org? There is no reason to believe Muller made his premature statements because he was forced to. He just took advantage of a high profile platform to preempt the coming publications of the surfacestation.org project. He acted like an advocate, not a scientist.

        The surfacestations.org site indicates it was launched in June, 2006, almost 5 years ago.

        The first reference I saw to BEST was on this blog, which related its inception to a meeting in September, 2010, which by my non-scientific calculations was only about 5-6 months before Muller’s testimony.

        Defend what Muller did all you want. His eagerness to get out a preemptive pronouncement about Watts’ data shows only a concern for PR, not science.

  19. Roger Andrews wrote: “The skeptics (among whom I number myself) need to recognize that they are flogging a dead horse by trying to invalidate the surface air temperature record. They would do a lot better to concentrate on issues where AGW theory really is vulnerable, such as why climate models can’t replicate it.”

    Exactly right. Why fight this battle? First, we’ll probably lose, thus incurring aa major PR defeat. Think not? Check out P. Krugman’s hateful column in the NYT”s today for little taste of what’s to come.

    Second: Who cares? Let’s all stipulate that the earth has warmed .7 degrees C. or whatever it is in the last 50 years. And then let’s pick a simple, manifestly winnable issue, such as there’s simply no reason (except perhaps a political one ) to automatically assume that natural drivers aren’t responsible for this (continued and not unprecedented) warming. There are no studies that come close to ruling those out. How then can the “science be settled?”

    Focusing on temps is simply not a very smart strategy.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      First off, I question the notion of “strategy” determining what should and should not be discussed by people who have concerns about how the science has been done. That seems to suggest there should be some organized effort to accomplish a specific task rather than just seeking the truth.

      Second, while I don’t know what a “loss” would be in regards to surface temperatures, I find it remarkable anyone could be so certain it would happen. Exactly what is it that makes you think that?

    • I like Krugman’s NYT article on April 3rd, “The Truth, Still Inconvenient” about the congressional testimony. Armstrong is the one he doesn’t name that has strange ideas about where acid rain and the ozone hole forecasts turned out to be false alarms. He actually said or implied that.

    • Except that the warming is exaggerated. This is very important and it will bring the AGW down.

      Nothing but the global cooling will work to free the science. And maybe more whistleblowing. When we have 10, 15 or 20 years of “robust” cooling, it will grow aparent that 70s, 80s and 90s warming was exaggerated (deltaUHI, selection and confirmation bias). By UHI I mean ALL anthropogenic local changes. It should be called Anthropogenic Local Warming (ALW).

  20. Meh, the botched UHI adjustments stemming from the corrupt Jones paper nearly a score of years ago will be plenty of reason alone to scorn the present land surface record. Who doubts it’s warmed? The question is the reason for the warming, and we have so little a handle on that causation as to fail to grasp when the warming of the last century or so turns to cooling, as is its wont.
    ================

  21. I thought Watt’s response was OTT and completely uncalled for. The links provided on Climate Depot made me wonder about Morano’s sanity, but he always goes in with spades…

    Not a scientist or statistician but will be interested in the BEST results. Be interested in earlier warm spells of the last century and how the post 1957 trend links into AGW theory. Will also be equally interested in the criticism of BEST once its published.

    It is obviously a very sensitive topic on all sides of the debate. Muller did indicate that BEST was necessary because of the names of some scientists connected with CRU & GISS, and it is obviously a pet project of Watt.

    Perhaps politicised criticism was always inevitable…

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Paul: “Perhaps politicised criticism was always inevitable…”
      Is it not a characteristic of Post Normal Science, on both sides? Democracy, you know, is a political word.

  22. If you study the records of warmest months every year in the temperature, you find that 1917 was the last year there was a “coldest month ever” record set worldwide. After that it is “hottest month” records only with a hiatus from about 1946-56. After that we have had an accelerating trend of “hottest months” set annually. Admittedly, a slight decrease in the last 5 years, but no evidence of a natural cooling cycle. You would expect “hottest” and “coldest” months to balance over time.

  23. Willis Eschenbach

    First, I’m not trying to invalidate the surface temperature record. It is what it is. I’m looking forward to the BEST analysis. I don’t think it will bring many surprises for the globe, but may do so for regions and countries.

    What I found mystifying was that Muller mentioned the work of Anthony and the volunteers at all. I doubt very much if any Congressmen asked him about that. And Anthony’s work is (or should be) way, way down on the list of stuff that Muller is working on. He has a whole global temperature record to construct, there’s plenty of puzzles to solve there first and algorithms to test before making analyses.

    So I utterly reject the idea that Muller had to mention Anthony’s work, or was under pressure from Congress to talk about Anthony’s work. Remember, it was all under wraps, not publicly discussed. Why say anything?

    That’s why it was such an immense tactical blunder, because it was totally un-necessary. There was no need for him to say a word about Anthony’s results. Muller could have filled that space with a discussion of other aspects of what he says BEST is all about, the global temperature record.

    It was also very foolish to make such a naked power grab. It revealed his strong agenda. He can no longer believably claim that he is an honest broker. He has forfeited his neutrality, which is not at all good for BEST. Part of the attraction of BEST was that it would be done by folks without an axe to grind … so much for that hope.

    w.

    • Muller was asked to comment on the quality of the surface measurements in the U.S., given all the noise that Watts has made about the subject. Muller gave his honest opinion on the subject of the surface station quality, which included his own rather extensive analysis in the context of Watts data (which was provided to him). Your following statement I frankly find to be ridiculous and unsupported:

      Exactly what “power” was Muller trying to grab?

      • Letter of response from Anthony Watts to Dr. Richard Muller testimony 3/31/2011

        It has come to my attention that data and information from my team’s upcoming paper, shared in confidence with Dr. Richard Muller, is being used to suggest some early conclusions about the state of the quality of the surface temperature measurement system of the United States and the temperature data derived from it.

        Normally such scientific debate is conducted in peer reviewed literature, rather than rushed to the floor of the House before papers and projects are complete, but since my team and I are not here to represent our work in person, we ask that this letter be submitted into the Congressional record.

      • The agreement, clearly stated on Watt’s page, is that Muller would not make Watts data publicly available before publication of their paper. Muller did not make Watts’ data publicly available, not did he present any plots that used Watts data. Muller’s testimony did not violate any explicit agreement that he had with Watts, and presumably Watts must have understood that Muller would actually be using his data and conducting analyses. Then Muller was asked to prepare testimony by a congressional committee on the issue of the integrity of the U.S. surface temperature data set. Under oath, Muller replied to that question to the best of his understanding, with appropriate caveats and uncertainties. Watts did not foresee this possibility, and neither did Muller for that matter.

      • As Willis has pointed out Muller had no need to to talk of Watt’s work. Muller had no need to publish preliminary results either.

        The rush to publish and to break a confidence in the process seems a deliberate act to discredit Watt at congressional hearing. That is unethical …….. but you seem to support such tribal (academic)behaviour.

      • Mac-
        “The rush to publish and to break a confidence in the process seems a deliberate act to discredit Watt at congressional hearing. That is unethical …….. but you seem to support such tribal (academic)behaviour.”

        Apparently he didn’t violate the letter of the agreement, but clearly Watts feels he violated the spirit of the agreement. Watts should have put together a different agreement to match how he wanted the data handled – that’s Watts’ problem.

        As for “deliberate act”, I’ve seen a lot of PhDs engage in speculation – for some it seems almost pathological. In any event, I think it’s stupid of them to basically say “I don’t know”, and then to give a lot of details. I think it’s probably driven by wanting to be the person to have all the answers, but who knows.

        As for tribalism, I didn’t see tribalism here.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Harold | April 6, 2011 at 7:20 am | Reply

        … Apparently he didn’t violate the letter of the agreement, but clearly Watts feels he violated the spirit of the agreement. Watts should have put together a different agreement to match how he wanted the data handled – that’s Watts’ problem.

        I agree completely. Anthony left out a vital clause in the agreement. You know, the clause that says “oh, and in addition to generally maintaining confidentiality, you can’t testify about your analysis of my confidential data to Congress”.

        I mean, how could Anthony have been so stoopid as to forget the essential “The meaning of the word “confidential” includes Congressional testimony” clause?

        Man, you guys are a hoot. Remind me to never tell you anything confidential.

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        curryja | April 5, 2011 at 8:41 am

        The agreement, clearly stated on Watt’s page, is that Muller would not make Watts data publicly available before publication of their paper. Muller did not make Watts’ data publicly available, not did he present any plots that used Watts data. Muller’s testimony did not violate any explicit agreement that he had with Watts, and presumably Watts must have understood that Muller would actually be using his data and conducting analyses.

        Remind me never, ever, to enter into a legal agreement with you, Judith … that is the most convoluted and legalistic interpretation imaginable.

        Muller stood up in the most public place imaginable. Protected by a scientific aura, he said Anthony’s conclusions were wrong, but Muller didn’t provide a scrap of data to support that.

        In a pure legalistic sense, was it legal under the agreement? Sure. Anthony didn’t put in a “you can’t be a jerk” clause because he thought he was dealing with a decent human being.

        Was it the act of an ethical, honest scientist? Get real. It was a sandbag attack done in a place where Muller was sure that he could garner huge media attention.

        You are right about the legalities, Judith. But if you think that make you right about the ethics and morals of his actions, think again.

        w.

      • Willis, remind me where Muller said Watts conclusions were wrong? He said no such thing. His main conclusion turns out to agree with Watt’s main conclusion (at least as represented by the Fall et al. abstract). You and Watts are reading things into the testimony that are not there.

      • Maybe the thread should have been titled, “Over-reactions to Muller’s Testimony”?

      • I’ll second Dallas’ motion.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Sure. Anthony’s preliminary results said that the siting issues did influence the temperature records. Muller’s shiny new BEST project preliminary results have shown that no, they didn’t make any difference.

        Now, given your careful parsing of the legalities of the agreement between Anthony and Muller, I’m sure you’ll point out how if you look at it this way and that way, Muller didn’t say exactly precisely that. But somehow, that’s the conclusion Anthony and I and hundreds of other people came to quite independently.

        The media must have been fooled too, because the message they have trumpeted around the planet is that science has shown that the siting issues raised by Anthony and the SurfaceStation volunteers are immaterial.

        And if Muller didn’t know that would be the immediate result of the media hearing his testimony, then he’s too dumb to be running the project, and I don’t believe that for a moment.

        How is that in any sense not saying that Watts is wrong?

        Have you found the citation to Muller being asked to testify about the Surfacestations project? Don’t think I’ll stop asking.

        The world wonders …

        w.

        PS – even if he were asked directly about SurfaceStations results, under oath, by a Senator, Muller was certainly free to say “I’m sorry, Senator, but I have that information under a confidentiality agreement, and I’m not at liberty to reveal that information until Anthony Watts publishes his paper on the subject”.

        Because that is the exact spirit of their agreement, and if asked, that is what Muller should have done. The agreement was that Anthony would be free to garner the first headlines, that Muller would not reveal his findings until Anthony first had a chance to publish.

        But instead, Muller stole a march, and publicly pissed in Anthony’s punchbowl, tainting Anthony’s results in the public mind before they’re even published. I find his act reprehensible.

        Your legalistic parsing is 100% correct, Judith, but what Muller did is not the way a friend handles a confidentiality agreement. And Anthony gave Muller access to the volunteer’s SurfaceStation data as an act of friendship.

      • I’m with Willis—100%
        Muller’s testimony has already been used comprehensively today in Australia in an attempt to silence Australians who are against the coming CO2 tax, that will cripple our economy.
        It has been used exactly as Willis has said—to claim that Anthony Watts’ work has been found to be wrong.
        I believe Muller intended mischief that he knew would harm the colleague he had been able to induce to trust him.
        Sounds to me like one of those ‘tricks’ the AGW proponents love so much.

      • steven mosher

        he did not say anthony’s results were wrong. He Confirmed Anthony’s finding that Tave is not effected.

        The problem is that since 2007 people have taken the THEORY that siting bias will cause a change in Tave to be true with no observational evidence. In fact, the only observation evidence ( cited by me above from Dr. LeRoy’s associate ) is that the mean bias is small. Now we have some more observational evidence.

        1. The early studies that JohnV and I did. Preliminary finding?
        a small (~.1C) bias between the best (CRN12) and the worst
        CRN5. Issue? small sample size
        2. Meene’s study which found nothing. Issue failure to control
        for urban/rural
        3. Muller, preliminary finding? Nothing. Issues no control
        for urban/rural, no structured look at instrument changes.
        4. Watts, finding from abstract? No change in Tave. I dont
        know if they controlled for urban/rural or instrument
        changes.

        So here is what you have. You have a theory. Siting bias will effect the trend in Tave. On its face its seems to be reasonable theory. But, of course, we need to test the theory by comparing a large enough sample of good sites against a large enough sample of poor sites. Status, all tests done to date, the field experiment, JohnV, me, Menne, steveMac, Muller and apparently watts, have found no appreciable effect in the TREND of Tave. Obviously there is more work to do, we’d hate to ditch a cherished theory.

        In the end, I suspect, that once instrument change and urban/rural factor is taken into account, you might be able to tease out a small effect in Tave. I suspect that you might be able to tell if a site is bad by looking at the variance.. maybe. But the figures for the warming trend will not change appreciably. They will not change in any way that will change the calculations of sensitivity from the observational record. They will not change in any way that will change GCM validation. Still I think its a important thing to look at from a pure science perspective

      • Willis Eschenbach

        curryja | April 5, 2011 at 7:53 am

        Muller was asked to comment on the quality of the surface measurements in the U.S., given all the noise that Watts has made about the subject.

        I’d have to see a citation to that claim, Judith, because I haven’t been able to find a single source for it, and frankly, I don’t believe it. You make the same claim above, and you attempt to substantiate it by citing, of all things, the charter of the committee … that’s hardly evidence that Muller was asked to comment on anything.

        w.

      • Well, take a look at the Charter for the hearing, it is pretty much right there.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Judith, let me remind you of the claim that I asked for a citation for.

        You said:

        Muller was asked to comment on the quality of the surface measurements in the U.S., given all the noise that Watts has made about the subject.

        When I asked for a cite, you replied:

        Well, take a look at the Charter for the hearing, it is pretty much right there.

        Funny … I find nothing about the SurfaceStation project in the charter. I don’t find Anthony Watt’s name mentioned in there, either. Not one word about either one.

        So if that’s the best you’ve got, can I take it you’re admitting your claim was wrong? You are now agreeing with me that nobody asked Muller to comment on the Surfacestations project?

        I want to be clear about that before going on, Judith. Because Muller was perfectly free, even if asked directly, to decline to discuss the data he had been given in confidence. You want to claim he was under some obligation, because he was testifying before Congress, to reveal data given in confidence. That’s nonsense on two counts. He wasn’t asked about Anthony’s project, he volunteered it. And in any case he was under no obligation to reveal confidential data.

        Man, I gotta say, you academics have a bizarre idea of what “in confidence” means. If I give you my data in confidence, that means you don’t get to announce your results (preliminary or not) in front of Congress and the TV cameras until I first publish … duh. Like Anthony, I would never have dreamed that I’d have to put in the “oh, and by the way you can’t testify about my project to Congress either” clause in the confidentiality agreement, always more to learn about you academicians, you’re an odd bunch with strange customs.

        You guys crack me up sometimes, all the legal he said/she said ways you wiggle and squirm out of an honest handshake. Anthony gave Muller the data in confidence. He not only broke confidence, he broke it in front of Congress, and he used it to attack Anthony. Three strikes. And you stand there and claim it’s all perfectly fine …

      • Wrong, Willis. Let me go “legalistic” on you again. Here are the statements that Watts had made publicly about his study in a SPPI publication:
        http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf
        Further statements on this WUWT post:
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/surfacestationsreport_spring09.pdf

        Lets look at what Muller said about Watts and surfacestations.org:

        “Many temperature stations in the U.S. are located near buildings, in parking lots, or close to heat sources. Anthony Watts and his team has shown that most of the current stations in the US Historical Climatology Network would be ranked “poor” by NOAA’s own standards, with error uncertainties up to 5 degrees C.”
        JC note: this is clearly stated in the SPPI document, which includes a fig on station quality stats

        “NOAA has already published a similar conclusion – that station quality bias did not affect estimates of global warming – — based on a smaller set of stations, and Anthony Anthony Watts and his team have a paper submitted, which is in late stage peer review, using over 1000 stations, but it has not yet been accepted for publication and I am not at liberty to discuss their conclusions and how they might differ. We have looked only at average temperature changes, and additional data needs to be studied, to look at (for example) changes in maximum and minimum temperatures.”
        JC note: it is hardly a secret that Watts have submitted a paper

        “In fact, in our preliminary analysis the good stations report more warming in the U.S. than the poor stations by 0.009 ± 0.009 degrees per decade, opposite to what might be expected, but also consistent with zero. We are currently checking these results and performing the calculation in several different ways. But we are consistently finding that there is no enhancement of global warming trends due to the inclusion of the poorly ranked US stations.”
        JC note: this is the only text in Muller’s testimony that refers to any use of the data provided by Watts. It does not disagree with with Watts’ own findings

        If this last paragraph would have been left out, I cannot see any objection that could have been made about Muller’s testimony by Watts. This statement includes caveats, such as the words “preliminary” and “currently checking.” Instead of making this statement, Muller instead could have referred to the published Menne et al. (2010) paper. And this would have somehow been an improvement in your mind?

        This whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. You are reading way too much between the lines.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        curryja | April 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Reply

        Wrong, Willis. Let me go “legalistic” on you again. Here are the statements that Watts had made publicly about his study in a SPPI publication:

        Lets look at what Muller said about Watts and surfacestations.org:

        “In fact, in our preliminary analysis the good stations report more warming in the U.S. than the poor stations by 0.009 ± 0.009 degrees per decade, opposite to what might be expected, but also consistent with zero. We are currently checking these results and performing the calculation in several different ways. But we are consistently finding that there is no enhancement of global warming trends due to the inclusion of the poorly ranked US stations.”

        JC note: this is the only text in Muller’s testimony that refers to any use of the data provided by Watts. It does not disagree with with Watts’ own findings

        If this last paragraph would have been left out, I cannot see any objection that could have been made about Muller’s testimony by Watts.

        Thanks for your comment on what it would be like if Muller had not said what he said, Judith …

        This statement includes caveats, such as the words “preliminary” and “currently checking.” Instead of making this statement, Muller instead could have referred to the published Menne et al. (2010) paper. And this would have somehow been an improvement in your mind?

        Judith, what part of Muller should have talked about something else is so hard for you to grab on to? You made the claim that somehow Muller was asked to talk about the SurfaceStations project. I asked for a citation. Neither you nor anyone else has provided one. So I call bullshit on that claim, no one asked him to talk about SurfaceStations.

        So let’s start with the fact that Muller could have talked about, you know, his own project? Instead of someone else’s project? There was no need to say anything about Surfacestations at all.

        If I give you data in confidence, and you stand up in front of Congress and say one damn word about it, Judith, let me go all legalistic on you – you’ve broken the agreement. Doesn’t matter if I didn’t put in a specific clause about testifying before Congress or not. That’s the part you don’t seem to get. How is talking to Congress about your analysis of data given in confidence not breaking confidentiality?

        Like I say, you academics sure have a weird understanding of “this information is confidential, don’t say anything until I publish”. It seems you think Congress is some kind of automatic escape clause from your agreement.

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        curryja | April 5, 2011 at 7:53 am | Reply

        … Your following statement I frankly find to be ridiculous and unsupported:

        Exactly what “power” was Muller trying to grab?

        Gosh, Judith, I don’t know. How about the power to have your words picked up and repeated around the planet? How about the power to influence further legislation worth billions of dollars? How about the power to encourage people to take money out of your pocket, Judith, and send it to China to build new hydroelectric plants.

        You ask the question as though a scientist making a raw power grab was outside your experience, or there was no power in the halls of Congress … yet surely you’ve seen it hundreds of times in your academic career, scientists grabbing for the spotlight, for the limelight, for the power to influence the course of the climate debate. And nowhere is that power more grabbable, and more subject to misuse, than in congressional committees.

        Are you pretending to be mystified, or is yours a real question?

        w.

    • Well this comment from Watts on his latest post sort of says it all: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/04/an-investigation-of-ushcn-station-siting-issues-using-a-cleaned-dataset/#more-37271

      “Unfortunately, on March 31st in full public view before Congress BEST fumbled the ball, and in football parlance there was a turnover to the opposing “team”.”

      The old tribalism thing, and Muller isn’t a member of anyone’s tribe, which has people on both sides with their knickers in a knot. Apart from his scientific reputation and personal scientific integrity, it is exactly the fact that he isn’t a member of either tribe that is the source of Muller’s “power” here.

      • Would you break a confidence?

      • Please note from where the tribalism is emanating.

        Many of the “deniers/skeptics” (folks can choose which side of that slash they identify with), argue in the climate change debate that “elitist” scientists refuse to acknowledge the input of anyone that isn’t a member of their club. Well – here we have Willis and Watts, who are considered by many to be starting players for the “deniers/skeptics” team, who are considered to be originators of “scientific” analysis of “non-elitist climate scientists,” and they’re out there in front of the tribal assault on Muller.

        You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want to say that one of the problems with climate scientists is that they don’t allow input from beyond their closed circle, then you can’t ignore the behavior of those involved in the debate who shout that they are the non-scientists whose valuable input is being ignored.

        I was highly disappointed to read about Lindzen analogizing some climate scientists to proto-Eugenicists (for the sake of Jim Owen, I’ll add “some,” although Lindzen was notably unspecific about who he was considering akin to a Eugenicist – which just compounds the tribalism behind making the analogy in the fist place ) .

        You may have heard me say this before (heh), but the notion that there is some asymmetry in the tribalism emanating from the different sides of the debate seems to me to be inconsistent with human nature.

        I think what is funniest, and most instructive, about the Muller situation is the absolute certainty with which both teams are convinced that Muller is either a “denier” or a “scientific elite warmist.” To make it that much more ironic is that in examining a relatively small component of the overall debate, the results of BEST’s analysis will hardly be conclusive in settling the questions regarding the global warming rate and whether it is anthropogenic. It’s like football squads standing around and beating the snot out of each other while the football lies on the ground unnoticed.

      • I should add that other “scientific” players have weighed in to criticize Muller, from both sides (e.g., Pielke, Schmidt). It isn’t only the poor, abused, shunned, non-scientists, who are slinging the tribal mud here.

      • That stitching along the seam of the football is the ironic Cheshire Cat grin about the ball’s disappearing sunspots. Thanks, J; you’ve proved useful.
        =============

      • Actually, kim – I decided that a hockey fight is a better analogy. Do you have a poem about hockey pucks?

      • The Piltdown Mann’s Crook’t
        Hockey Stick provokes the thought:
        What the Puck is Up?
        =========

      • You don’t disappoint, kim.

      • Better middle line:

        Hockey Stick provokes ‘Time Out’!
        ================

      • steven mosher

        You will also note several interesting things about that SPPI study

        1. No documentation on the criteria used for classifying urban/rural
        2. No documentation on the differences in altitude of the stations
        3. No docuumentation on whether or not TOBS was applied or a correction for MMTS.
        4. No error bars on samples ( n ~10-15)
        5. No documentation on the “cleaning” process. ( the thing about GISSTEMP that got me started on my quest to free the code)
        6. No comparison between the cleaned source data and GHCN

        Now, none of those behaviors would pass muster if the conclusion was one made by mann or jones.

        yet, Muller gets trashed for talking about preliminary results that affirm a finding that Watts will make in a forthcoming paper. He gets trashed because he has not yet made the full dataset available or the unfinished code available. Personal opinion? People expected Muller to deliver the “goods” for republicans. They are pissed that he didnt.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        No, Muller gets trashed for using data given to him in confidence, to grab the first headlines about the Surfacestation project and poisoning the well.

        As to the idea that “People expected Muller to deliver the “goods” for republicans. They are pissed that he didnt.”, I haven’t a clue what that means. I was excited about BEST particularly because I thought it would be a neutral voice in a partisan minefield. I was surprised, not that Muller didn’t “deliver the goods”, but that he took such a partisan stand.

        I never expected the BEST results to be much different from the other surface records. So perhaps that’s why I don’t understand what “goods” Muller might deliver. Are you saying that the Republicans expected him to say his results were radically different from previous findings? Because he’s never given that impression, as far as I know.

        But no, Steven, my issue with Muller is that there was no reason and no need for him to discuss the Surfacestations project at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. He had accepted the data in confidence, which makes any comment about it questionable. And yes, I know that Anthony didn’t put the clause in the confidentiality agreement saying “oh, and you can’t testify to Congress about your analysis of my results” … but is that really your final answer?

        w.

      • steven mosher

        No, Muller gets trashed for using data given to him in confidence, to grab the first headlines about the Surfacestation project and poisoning the well.

        #####################
        First headlines? Arguably all the first headlines made with the data were made by the publication of the summary results in the SPPI work. The data backing up those summary results ( xx% of sites are bad) has yet to be made available to all. Imagine if Jones told you that 62% of sites were rural and then refused to share that list with you? Well, The SPPI report did just that when it offered a summary result stating that a high percentage of sites were classified as poor.
        The actual concern is not that he violated a confidence. The agreement as I understood it was that he would hold off publishing the results. But I would bet he shared the results with Anthony prior to his testimony. Which would explain how a letter could have been written. And how exactly is the well poisened?
        the final results will either match the preliminary results or they will not. If they match the preliminary results we will know what we have suspected since 2007. Site bias does not impact Tave. We will know then what we suspect now, having read Watts abstract: Tave is not impacted.
        If they do not match, if Muller finds an effect that Watts paper does not ( Tave IS impacted) then what? How is the well poisoned if Muller finds what Watts apparently doesnt? Huh, sounds like a sweet well. If Muller finds something it might be due to a couple things.
        A. slicing the record into segments when station changes are made.
        a process you promoted long ago.
        B. Incorporation of instrument change data. data provided just last week.
        C. use of a new Urban/Rural proxy

        “As to the idea that “People expected Muller to deliver the “goods” for republicans. They are pissed that he didnt.”, I haven’t a clue what that means. I was excited about BEST particularly because I thought it would be a neutral voice in a partisan minefield. I was surprised, not that Muller didn’t “deliver the goods”, but that he took such a partisan stand.”

        partisan? hardly. You obviously haven’t spent any personal time with the man talking about what drives him.

        “I never expected the BEST results to be much different from the other surface records. So perhaps that’s why I don’t understand what “goods” Muller might deliver. Are you saying that the Republicans expected him to say his results were radically different from previous findings? Because he’s never given that impression, as far as I know.”

        talk to Mark and others, “people” does not explicitly refer to you. If I wanted to refer to you I would use your name.

        Mosher: many people dont believe in evolution
        Willis: what do you mean, I believe in it.

        Non sequitor.

        “But no, Steven, my issue with Muller is that there was no reason and no need for him to discuss the Surfacestations project at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. He had accepted the data in confidence, which makes any comment about it questionable. And yes, I know that Anthony didn’t put the clause in the confidentiality agreement saying “oh, and you can’t testify to Congress about your analysis of my results” … but is that really your final answer?”

        The question isnt his NEED to talk about it the issue is his right to talk about it. I don’t question his right to talk about it. Personally, since I know how important the instrument change issue is and since I know that menne didnt aggregate by a rural/urban distinction, I would have talked about preliminary results using quite different words. There is nothing shocking or wrong about discussing preliminary results especially when they confirm already publsihed results and results just on the verge of being published. “our first pass thru the data, doesnt show anything surprising, but we need to look at 3 core issues that have never been looked at before” It became a bombshell BECAUSE of the reaction. over reacting to preliminary data without thinking logically about the possible outcomes when the final study is done.

        A. The preliminary analysis HOLDS, and watts finding is supported.
        B. The final analysis FINDS an effect for siting bias in Tave.

        Now, that Muller has been slimed what happens if B is the case?
        What happens if he takes the instrument change file sent to him and he finds an effect that Watts could not? What happens if he finds an effect when he controls for urban/rural using the new classification scheme?

        Folks didnt think ahead. They didnt keep their powder dry. The right response was ” Thanks Dr. Muller for doing those preliminary runs. Looking forward to the final published study” for in reality the final study will either vindicate the preliminary results or they will overturn them.

      • steven mosher

        So willis, Go on WUWT and demand the data and code for the just published SPPI paper on the Utah stations?

        Personally, I would have phrased preliminary results a bit differently, but I would see myself fully within my rights to talk about them. you can BET that if Muller HAD FOUND a difference, that the reaction to his pre release would have been different. That’s the real test. If Muller had found a difference in his preliminary work, the arguments would look different.

        The left would be screaming about Koch and publishing prelim results. They would be asking for data and code. and the right would say that Muller was withing his rights to discuss this stuff and hold his data and code back until he published.

      • The Left is screaming about Koch anyway. As usual.

    • steven mosher

      Power grab? retarded.

      • Intended or not, narrative control. There it is. Make of it what you will.

        Better:

        Intended or not
        It’s narrative control;
        Let it lie
        Or make it roll.
        ================

      • steven mosher

        There is no control of the narrative. What happened should convince you of that. there are plot twists and turns but the overall narrative is controlled by nature. In the end, she writes the final chapter.

      • Of course, but look at the consensus resist looking at Nature. Meantime, the beat, and the narrative go on. It’s the money, honey.
        ===================

  24. I thought Menne’s 2010 paper (grandiosely titled: “On the Reliability of the US Surface Temperature Record”) was both deceptive and flawed. The first problem was that it dealt only with station-siting issues. Since one can have a well-sited station in the middle of a huge urban heat island, Menne’s analysis of the data from surfacestations.org doesn’t encompass how UHI and other land use changes may have undermined the reliability of the US surface temperature record.

    A second problem is that Menne only analyzed the 30 years from 1980 to 2009 (a limitation not mention in the abstract). The US surface temperature record is more than a century long. Distortions associated with population growth and urbanization are more likely to have occurred in the first half of the century, but might have been less important later.

    The worst problem is that Menne (2010) never discusses how accurately a temperature trend must be determined to be considered “reliable”. We care about the reliability of the surface temperature record became of global warming, which amounts to about 0.7 degC over the last century and about 0.2 degC/decade during the late 20th century. I would call a temperature trend with uncertainty of 0.05-0.10 degC/decade “unreliable” for studies on global warming. Nevertheless, Menne reports adjusted temperature trends of 0.35+/-0.11 and 0.32+/-0.11 degC/decade for well- and poorly-sited stations (one! standard deviation). The uncertainty in this trend is small enough to unambiguously confirm recent rapid warming in the US (that’s presumably why Menne picked this period to analyze), but inadequate for detecting significant differences between well- and poorly-sited stations.

    Furthermore, when one wants to assert that that the temperature trend for a group of stations is representative of a national trend, Figure 9 of Voss and Menne (2004) shows how much uncertainty is introduced by too few stations. Menne (2010) had only 71 well-sited, but randomly scattered, stations to analyze – a limitation that increases the uncertainty in the national trend by about another 0.05 degC/decade (if the 71 stations were evenly spaced) possibly more since they are not. For this reason, the abstract of Voss and Menne (2004) says: “If trend detection is a high priority, then a higher density network of 135 evenly spaced stations is recommended.” The US Climate Research Network contains 135 evenly spaced stations for this reason. How does Menne (2010) get away with ignoring the recommendations in Voss and Menne (2004)? Menne (2010) cites Figure 7 from Voss and Menne (2004), which describes uncertainty in MEAN temperature rather than uncertainty in temperature TRENDS (Figure 9). http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017%3C2961%3AAMTDSD%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    Finally, we are actually interested in the uncertainty in the DIFFERENCE in the mean trend caused by siting issues, not the uncertainty in the trends themselves. I assume that this increases the uncertainty by a factor of SQRT(2).

  25. Richard Muller got it wrong. Until Muller or his supporters admit to that there can be no way forward.

  26. Bad or good stations should not effect the trend if they have always been bad or good

    However isn’t the issue, about how many GOOD stations became bad over time. This should effect the trend?.. ie increasing urbanisation, of a very rural settlement in the 40′s 50′s becoming a bad stations over time..

    Similarly, in China, where we come back to Jone’s influential paper on UHI

  27. It seems to be difficult for many to admit that the average temperature time series have been rather good all the time.

    Bad stations have larger uncertainties, but that does not tell whether their average differs much from what it should be. BEST analysis appears to support the view that the averages have actually been close to the correct ones. This result is in agreement with earlier scientific results.

    “Much ado about nothing.”

    • 2% of data…

      Uncorrected for UHI, etc !

      • Yep, uncorrected as yet for known bias. The correlation thus is very odd, and should have been made much of while he had the politicians’ ears. Must have been the marbles in his mouth which prevented him.
        ========

      • The correlation thus is very odd, and should have been made much of while he had the politicians’ ears.

        You mean like this:

        The Berkeley Earth agreement with the prior analysis surprised us, since our preliminary
        results don’t yet address many of the known biases. When they do, it is possible that the
        corrections could bring our current agreement into disagreement.

        Why such close agreement between our uncorrected data and their adjusted data? One
        possibility is that the systematic corrections applied by the other groups are small. We
        don’t yet know.

      • Nice catch, Gene, and nice illustration of his bias. Thanks.
        ==========

      • um, no….my point it that he did just what you said he hadn’t. He pointed out that the preliminary results were “surprising” and that correcting for the known biases could change the agreement between the different analyses.

      • Muller believes the IPCC’s representations on temperature changes are accurate.

        “their [IPCC’s] best efforts temperaturewise are pretty much correct…” (from a talk posted in Octoer 2010)

        The IPCC’s temperature assessments are based on the very data sets and published trends BEST is supposed to be re-analyzing.

        So his comment that he was “surprised” that his preliminary analysis proves that he has been right all along is …well… probably disingenuous. If he thought a properly adjusted analysis of the data would disagree with the reported trends, why would he have said in October of last year that he believes those trends are accurate?

        It is an old rhetorical ploy, along the lines of “I am a conservative, but I believe massive taxes and regulation are best for or free market system.” You make your comment seem more believable by painting it as what is called a statement against interest.

      • Gary,

        What he found surprising is that the preliminary results which have not been adjusted to remove known biases agree with the other temperature analyses.

      • Saw your point. My point, Gene, is that his example shows his bias. Also, he sort of riffed over this point, that the known biases have not yet been adjusted for, and that there is present correlation without that adjustment isn’t very sensible. He didn’t. He glossed over it, and otherwise seems happy with how his message is being misinterpreted. I don’t hear any clearing of the record from him.
        =========

      • I don’t see two paragraphs as “glossing over”, but I suppose this is one of those agree to disagree things.

      • Gene,

        I don’t read his testimony as claiming unadjusted data did not disagree with the published trends, but that when processed by BEST, the temperatures conformed to those prior trends.

        This is in the caption to a graph included with his testimony: “Land average temperatures from the three major programs, compared with an initial test of the Berkeley Earth dataset and analysis process.” A “test of the…analysis process” does not sound like unadjusted data tome.

      • Gary,

        BEST’s crown jewel is a process to reduce selection bias, a “technique that can include short and discontinuous records.” This is what’s been tested so far:

        The main value of our preliminary result is that it demonstrates the Berkeley Earth ability to use all records, including those that are short or fragmented. When we apply our approach to the complete data collection, we will largely eliminate the station selection bias, and significantly reduce statistical uncertainties.

        He mentions that they are still working on eliminating the “systematic biases”. Also, when referring to his surprise about the preliminary results matching the other analyses, he states (emphasis is mine):

        The Berkeley Earth agreement with the prior analysis surprised us, since our preliminary results don’t yet address many of the known biases. When they do, it is possible that the corrections could bring our current agreement into disagreement.

        Why such close agreement between our uncorrected data and their adjusted data? One possibility is that the systematic corrections applied by the other groups are small. We don’t yet know.

      • Gene,

        Well, that makes more sense than what I thought he said. I could not reconcile what he meant by “not addressing known biases” as opposed to having conducted “an initial test of the …analysis process.” Thanks for the clarification.

      • So is he using homogenized data or not??

      • Kuhnkat,

        According to the testimony, the preliminary tests were about the techniques developed that allow them “to use all records, including those that are short or fragmented” to eliminate selection bias.

      • IMO, Muller did not need to do this and I could see how Watts could be irritated. However, now that Muller has made an initial statement, I don’t see it as a major deal. The worst that could happen is that he causes confusion if he later has to retract his first impressions. By creating confusion, he encourages unimformed speculation and he reduces the likeliood that the final analysis will be acceptable to both tribes. But that might have happened anyway. I am quite surprised he said anything bearing in mind that there seems to be quite a bit that could undo these initial results. Have they really not applied corrections for UHI? Is that not part of siting bias? Perhaps Muller already knows that these findings are going to be correct……damn, fell into my own trap lol :)

      • Here’s an excerpt from the abstract of Fall et al (Watts’ paper):

        Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends, resulting in particular in a substantial difference in estimates of the diurnal temperature range trends. The opposite-signed differences of maximum and minimum temperature trends are similar in magnitude, so that the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications.

        Here’s an excerpt from Muller’s testimony:

        We have looked only at average temperature changes, and additional data needs to be studied, to look at (for example) changes in maximum and minimum temperatures.

        Now why should Watts be irritated?

        IMHO, Muller appeared before Congress and stated not only what his preliminary results were, but more importantly, what the limitations were (sample size, limited adjustments, etc.). This is the antithesis of “hide the decline” and really should be applauded, not attacked.

      • As I said, Gene, I don’t see it as a major deal either way. Published papers will be forthcoming eventually and then we can take an informed view. Storm in a teacup IMHO.

      • I agree that the furor is overblown. Regardless of the outcome, it seems like Muller and his team are going about things the right way. I hate to see them attacked for it (particularly when it seems that a lot of those attacks are misinformed).

      • So what?

        Studying with some care a random sample from the data it is possible to learn about its typical problems and how serious they are. That does not produce the best and most accurate final results, but that is not either the idea of this stage of the work.

        There are known biasing factors in both directions. The most important is likely to be the change in the definition of daily minimum temperature. Earlier the hours up to midnight were often counted as part of the previous day and those after midnight as part of the next day. Thus one cold night was included twice. All station changes including UHI are other factors. It is not true that all corrections and uncertainties go in the same way.

        Based on Muller’s testimony he expected significant net effects, and it was a surprise for him that that was not the case in real data. It has already been stated by others in these discussions that the result should bot have been such a surprise, because similar observations had already been made by other scientists.

        Looking at more data is likely to improve the accuracy and reliability of the analysis a little, but only little, because a small subsample tells already almost everything the more comprehensive study can tell. The remaining uncertainties are such that they cannot any more be resolved as there is no way of getting rid of some generic uncertainties in historical data.

      • “It is not true that all corrections and uncertainties go in the same way. ”

        I disagree!

        Where people are, it gets hotter with time. Much hotter. Even for the so called rural stations, there is positive local deltaT. And not only for Tmin, even sommer Tmax can get much higher in even very slightly urbanized areas. Fields are hotter than forest and bush. Towns and villages are hotter than fields. Cities are hotter than smaller towns…

        ALW (L for local) is still to be discovered.

      • Edim –
        It’s called UHI – it’s real – and according to climate science, it’s insignificant. But …. is it really?

      • I think it’s obvious that UHI is very significant. The word UHI is a bit misleading, IMO. ALW or ALCC describes the problem better.

        I also think we should not try to correct for it. It’s bad science.

        Since AGW started in the 50s, find absolutely best stations from around the world with flawless history and as rural as possible. Even the last 60 years would be very useful and as few as 10 – 20 stations would give a better answer than the meat grinders.

      • Roger Andrews

        Pekka:

        “Studying with some care a random sample from the data it is possible to learn about its typical problems and how serious they are”. A few years ago I plotted 1970-2000 warming at a random sample of 500 rural, semi-urban and urban surface stations against population and drew a least-squares line through the points. It came out dead flat. This satisfies me that there is no significant UHI bias in the surface air temperature record.

        “There are known biasing factors in both directions”. I also compared groups of adjacent records against each other, with the concept being that any record that was significantly distorted by local changes, such as site relocation, would show a mismatch with the records around it. Maybe 80% of the plus-1000 records I looked at matched the surrounding records closely enough to be accepted as unbiased, and the others were distorted in both directions. This satisfies me that there is no significant “local” bias in the surface temperature record either.

        My conclusion is therefore pretty much the same as yours, namely that attempts to invalidate the surface air temperature record are doomed to failure because there’s nothing much wrong with it as it stands.

      • Indeed. Reminds me of the media wanting to call elections based on 2% of votes counted plus their poll-based models.

        And no matter how many times they blow it, they just keep on doing it. In that business, it’s more important to be first than right.

  28. I sense academic elitism at work here.

    It is perfectly okay for the likes of Richard Muller to break confidences with those deemed of lesser intellect but who posess something of value.

    It is perfectly okay for the likes Judith Curry to support such actions by fellow academics.

    It would seem group behaviour trump any ethical concerns.

  29. There will come a point when astute analysis of ongoing observations will take precedence over all this rehashing and regurgitating of inadequately perceived past data. Old, forgotten, far off things, and battles long ago.
    =======================

  30. Dr. Curry,

    Suppose you have been accumulating data on an issue for a number of years, and were just months away from publishing your analysis of that data. Another researcher has asked to see your data. You know this researcher’s position is diametrically opposed to yours on the subject you are investigating, but you believe he is making a sincere effort to review the issue objectively and on a different scale. His efforts began less than a year ago (give or take a few months).

    You know you are close to publishing, and there is no way he will be able to publish an analysis of your data before you do. You allow him to see your data subject to a confidentiality agreement. But just before you actually publish, this other researcher comes out and announces in interviews and in widely publicized congressional testimony that your research will show his positi0n on the disputed issue is correct, and you are wrong.

    Are you seriously saying you would have no issue with that?

    As for your comment above that Muller does not belong to any tribe, everything I have read indicates that he is a firm member of what I think you would call the “convinced,” ie. convinced that AGW is happening, and to a potentially dangerous (if not catastrophic) extent.

    Are you saying that Muller is really an agnostic?

    • You know this researcher’s position is diametrically opposed to yours …

      Really? Here’s what Watts had to say about Muller on March 6th.

      And who is the lead scientist for BEST? One and the same. Now contrast Rohde with Dr. Muller who has gone on record as saying that he disagrees with some of the methods seen in previous science related to the issue. We have what some would call a “warmist” and a “skeptic” both leading a project. When has that ever happened in Climate Science?

      • Joshua,

        My understanding from reading Watts over the last several months was that Muller impressed him for being objective on the processes of the science, despite being an AGW, if not a CAGW, convinced/believer/proponent/whatever.

        “What some might call a skeptic” – CAGW true believers would consider anyone who questions any part of the orthodoxy or its processes a skeptic, at best.

        If you believe Muller is in fact a “skeptic,” in the generally accepted meaning of that term, perhaps you could post a link where he has voiced his skepticism of AGW or its severity?

      • Gary – Watts himself referred to Muller as a “skeptic” in the quote I provided.

        You said above that Watts knew that Muller” “position” was “diametrically opposed” to his own. So your argument is internally inconsistent.

        If Watts no longer thinks that Muller is a “skeptic,” then his position changed; previous to the announcement of preliminary results with caveats he felt one way, and after the announcement of preliminary results with caveats he feels differently?

        If you believe Muller is in fact a “skeptic,”…..

        I have no idea whether he is a “skeptic,” or a “believer,” or agnostic – I would need to talk to him in-depth to know. I find the certainty that people on both sides of the debate about Muller’s beliefs to be an indication not of Muller’s position, but evidence of bias in those who are categorizing him – because the reality is that they are forming conclusions without sufficient data.

        Presumably Judith has talked to Muller somewhat in-depth. If you think that Judith has credibility, then it would seem logical that you would consider her opinion since she has more data available to use in drawing conclusions.

        Watts has also talked to Muller somewhat in-depth, and his initial assessment after doing so was that Muller is a “skeptic.” If his evaluation has changed after the announcement of preliminary results (with appropriate caveats) that contrast with Watts’ raison d’être, then I have to view that change suspiciously.

      • Watts did not “refer to Muller as a skeptic,” he said, and I quote your quote: “We have what some would call … a “skeptic….”

        I explained the clear English meaning of that statement in my comment, maybe you missed it. I have never seen Watts himself write that he believed Muller was an AGW or even CAGW skeptic in the generally accepted meaning of the term.

        As for whether Muller is actually, objectively a skeptic in the commonly accepted (ie. everybody not a CAGW advocate) meaning of the term, see a couple of quick quotes from him I have posted below.

      • Joshua –
        Watts himself referred to Muller as a “skeptic” in the quote I provided.

        That wasn’t what Gary asked for.

        If you believe Muller is in fact a “skeptic,” in the generally accepted meaning of that term, perhaps you could post a link where he has voiced his skepticism of AGW or its severity?

        To use a slightly different emphasis than you did -

        We have what some would call a “warmist” and a “skeptic” both leading a project.

        Note that Watts didn’t say Muller was a sceptic, but that some would. And that would probably be based on the video where Muller attacked the “hide the decline”, by saying that “you’re not allowed to do that in science.” That probably confused some folks on both side of the dance floor.

        Now, do you have the answer that Gary asked for? I’d like to see it, too.

      • Jim – I answered this already, and this exhange is getting ridiculously “flame-warish,” but I’ll have at it once again.

        The “what some might call” clearly qualifies “warmist.” It is unlikely that it also qualifies “skeptic,” in that:

        (1) The use of “what some might call” comes immediately after he described Muller’s “skeptical” stance on an issue. He was laying out an argument for why it would be valid to refer to Muller as a “skeptic.”

        (2) he is referring to two different people when he is using the term “what some might call.” He is referring to two completely different subjects.

        There is some ambiguity (it is English, afterall), but IMO your interpretation is the less likely of the two.

        As for quotes of Muller’s that might be considered statements of a “skeptic,” they are provided elsewhere in this thread.

      • See –
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/04/04/reactions-to-mullers-testimony/#comment-59648

        The interpretation isn’t that hard – unless you’re trying to spin it.

      • Joshua went to the Progressive Institute for Obfuscatory Argument. I think it is Soros funded, ’cause I saw it on Glenn Beck.

        The rules of the Institute for political debate require one to:

        1) Answer a question with a question; or

        2)Answer a question other than the one asked; or (if all else fails)

        3) ignore the question and change the subject.

        I suspect Joshua finished head of his class.
        (And I’m kidding…kinda…)

      • Gary – should I infer anything from the fact that rather than deal with the question of how Watts’ statement would properly be parsed, you launch an ad hom?

        (Besides, I finished second).

      • This has been a busy thread, and I have to actually get some work done soooo…I already answered about what I see as the proper interpretation of Watts’ comment. It was in my very first comment in response to you above. I see nothing written since that would lead me to change it.

        And as I have said below (I think – the placement in these threads get confusing), while I suspect Watts sees Muller as a consensus beleiver, his opinion is not the real issue, since we have Muller’s own words.

        Feel free to post any comment by Muller contradicting the CAGW consensus. To make things easier, let’s stipulate that for this thread only, the “consensus” will refer to Gavin Schmidt’s position on CAGW (other than his hatred for the acronym). I would love to see and respond to any quotes from Muller that contradict the consensus as Gavin sees it. (And I mean that actually, not sarcastically.)

        Anything else on the issue of Muller being a “skeptic” is just a distraction, and would be a waste of both of our time.

      • Try Muller’s presentation on “hiding the decline,” see my previous post on this
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/

      • Judith –
        That video says just one thing to me – that Muller might be and probably IS, an honest scientist. When I saw it I already knew that he leaned to the AGW side of the dance floor. But there’s a large difference between leaning that way and approving of unscientific (or anti-scientific) methodologies.

        I learned my science ethics from the earlier atmospheric scientists. And they’d never have countenanced the methods revealed by Climategate.

      • Dr. Curry,

        I did watch that Youtube presentation, it is in fact the one I linked to myself earlier. Muller does criticize the way the hockey stick was presented, along with criticisms of grey literature in the AR4, exaggerated claims of attribution, climate models, etc.

        But I agree with Jim Owen, those arguments are about honesty and accuracy in the process. These are a few of the comments in that same video which show his support for CAGW:

        “…if the computer models are right, and they very likely are, then we are going to have global warming…” (at 4:40)

        “the IPCC says most of our results are right, and that is true…” (at 14:50)(he excepted the most “dramatic” claims)

        “their [IPCC’s[ best efforts temperaturewise are pretty much correct…” (at 15:10)

        While Muller may disagree with Schmidt on the hockey stick, I do not see evidence anywhere that he dissents on any of the core principles of the consensus. As Schmidt himself has often said, the hockey stick is not central to, or necessary for, the consensus. The hockey stick was evidence offered in support of the consensus, not part of the consensus itself.

      • Well, what you say implies that Muller is about honesty and accuracy. And if he often concludes things that coincide with the consensus, then that makes him convinced, not an alarmist.

      • Dr. Curry,

        I agree. In fact that is what I said in my first comment on this thread:

        “As for your comment above that Muller does not belong to any tribe, everything I have read indicates that he is a firm member of what I think you would call the “convinced,” ie. convinced that AGW is happening, and to a potentially dangerous (if not catastrophic) extent.”

        That is from my comment above at 10:33. I didn’t and don’t use the term alarmist. I find it vague and not terribly informative, like denier.

        I asked a question in that initial comment, and I wonder if you would be willing to answer it? It kind of got lost in the back and forth between Joshua and myself.

      • What about these statements from the hearing (taken from the Live Blog session, emphasis mine):

        12:53 Eli Kintisch: Muller: warming potential “concerns me” though he says that small warming we’ve seen thus far is falsely said to be responsible for many effects currently occurring

        12:55 Jay Gulledge: I heard Muller say that claims that the small warming so far has “harmed the Earth” are “unscientific.”

      • Gene – obviously those statements from Muller PROVE that he is a “denier.”

        Strange, though, that Gary has shown other statements that PROVE that Muller is a “believer” also.

        I only see two possible ways to reconcile this contradition:

        The first that we don’t actually have PROOF of anything.

        The second is that someone cloned Muller, and can switch what we see from the “believer” Muller clone to the “denier” Muller clone, in real time, mid-sentence, without anyone noticing.

      • Muller has criticized consensus advocates for their attribution of various events. He has also criticized various processes being potentially faulty. But I have never seen, nor has anyone here posted, any criticism by Muller of the consensus itself, ie. AGW or CAGW. Please feel free to do so.

        Are you really incapable of understanding the distinction between processes and attribution vs. the overarching consensus on AGW/CAGW?

        Can anyone post a comment by Muller dissenting from the belief that man is causing warming of the globe to a degree that is potentially catastrophic?

      • Did you not read the second comment?

      • Gene,

        If you meant this comment:

        12:55 Jay Gulledge: I heard Muller say that claims that the small warming so far has “harmed the Earth” are “unscientific.”

        Then yes, I read it. That is not contrary to the consensus. Gavin Schmidt has himself said that warming to date has been modest, and we have been able to adapt so far with little harm.

        Everyone who thinks Gavin is a skeptic, raise your hand. (except you Joshua.)

      • Everyone who thinks Gavin is a skeptic, raise your hand. (except you Joshua.)

        I have to say, that was a classic post.

        Let’s decide about whether Muller mistakenly fails to criticize “scientific consensus,” BY HAVING A VOTE.

        I hope that was intentional, Gary.

      • Well let’s ask Gavin what he thought of Muller’s comment at 12:55:

        12:56 Gavin Schmidt: Muller is also confusing the issue.

      • Here is a presentation by Muller posted on Youtube 10-1-10.

        Some of his skeptical statements in that talk:

        “…if the computer models are right, and they very likely are, then we are going to have global warming…” (at 4:40)

        “the IPCC says most of our results are right, and that is true…” (at 14:50)(he excepted the most “dramatic” claims)

        “their [IPCC’s[ best efforts temperaturewise are pretty much correct…” (at 15:10)

        From a Muller pre-Copenahgen WSJ op ed:

        “Even if the goals are all met, emissions will continue rising to nearly four times the current level. Total atmospheric CO2 will rise to near 700 parts per milion by 2080 (the current level is 385), and—if the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models are right—global temperature will rise about six degrees Fahrenheit at mid latitudes.”
        (His point being Copenhagen wasn’t going to be enough.)

        Dr. Muller…you skeptic you…

      • Gary – I get that you think that you have the sufficient information to infer what the influences are on Muller’s conclusions beyond an objective interpretation of the data.

        I don’t feel that I have sufficient information to make that call. As I see it, Muller has weighed in on various questions in ways that could place him in either camp. Indeed, people from the two sides have concluded that he is in the other camp.

        If don’t assume that there are influences beyond objective interpretation of data that affect his reasoning. I don’t have enough information to make such a conclusion.

        But the fact remains that you were wrong in your statement about how Watts described his view of Muller.

      • Joshua,

        Nonsense. Please post a single comment that Muller has ever made that suggests he dissents from AGW or CAGW. (What is it with CAGWers and the word “could?” As I have said before, that is not a very helpful term. I could win the lottery tomorrow. That word just doesn’t tell us very much. Could is almost as helpful as “consistent with.”)

        And I said nothing about “influences” on Muller’s analysis. I just rebutted your attempt to paint him (by misstatement of what Watts actually wrote) as a “skeptic” as to AGW or CAGW.

        I am sure he is skeptical of many things. (I am skeptical that the Chicago Cubs will ever win a World Series during my lifetime. And that is with a 99+% level of certainty I am afraid.) But he is not a skeptic as to AGW/CAGW, and Watts is. Watch that Youtube video I posted and tell me where he says otherwise. So that is why my “diametrically opposed” comment still stands.

        I think Watts was convinced by Muller’s criticisms of some consensus processes and claims (for instance Muller’s comments on the Himalayan and Amazon brouhahas), that Muller would be objective and fair in dealing with the data Watts gave him. I think that judgment was unfortunate.

        Muller’s criticisms of the consensus science are not intended to show that the “consensus” is wrong in any important sense. He wants to clean up the science because he believes CAGW is a genuine risk. Which is an eminently fair and understandable position. His using Watts’ cooperation to preemptively undermine Watts’ project, however, was not similarly fair or reasonable.

        The defense of Muller’s faux pas is beginning to look like the defense of Mann’s hockey stick, unreasoned and purely tribal. He was out of line using Watts’ openness with him to undermine Watts’ project pre-publication. He was engaging in PR, not science.

      • Gary – as I read Watts’ quote, the “what some might call” qualifies the term “warmist,” not the term “skeptic.” Prior to that sentence, he laid out the rationale for why he viewed Muller as a “skeptic:”

        [someone] who has gone on record as saying that he disagrees with some of the methods seen in previous science related to the issue.

        It is possible that Watts used “what some might call as a qualifier for the term “skeptic,” also – there is some ambiguity. But I think that there’s more reason to think that he used the expression to qualify on the first term.

      • OK, I’ll beat the horse’s corpse once more. Muller may well be a “skeptic” in a very narrow sense as to certain methods and individual pronouncements of the CAGW tribe, but to suhggest that he is not a full throated, advocating believer in at least AGW, and probably CAGW, belies his own comments.

      • Gary, I want to be polite here, and I hope you take this in the spirit it is offered, but it seems to me that you are moving the goalposts.

        Muller is a “skeptic,” in the sense that Watts used the term. Maybe you need to ask Watts how he defines a “skeptic.”

        Muller has expressed skepticism about the veracity of analyses of temperature records. He has expressed skepticism about claims of confidence in the degree of warming are overstated. He has expressed skepticism about the science of some leading climate scientists. He has expressed skepticism regarding statements about the impact of warming .

        I could list the reasons why some infer from Muller’s statements that he is a “denier” just as easily as you list the statements that lead you to conclude that he is neither “agnostic” nor “skeptical.”

        Personally, I see insufficient information to formulate conclusions about what influences there are on Muller’s reasoning beyond an objective evaluation of the data.

      • I didn’t post what others think of Muller’s position, I posted direct quotes from Muller and a 50 minute Youtube speech by Muller that show his unequivocal support of AGW at least, and almost certainly CAGW. I couldn’t care less what others infer, I’ve read and listened to the man’s own words. I recommend that as a better way of determining what anyone thinks.

        Nor have I once, despite your repeated claims to the contrary, ever said anything about Muller’s processing of the data or his conclusions (other than their timing). You are again filibustering, trying to change the subject.

        Muller’s prior comments expressly endorse the consensus as articulated by the IPCC. Muller’s preemptive undermining of the surfacestations.org project was uncalled for. Those are the only issues I have raised, and they remain unrebutted.

      • Nor have I once, despite your repeated claims to the contrary, ever said anything about Muller’s processing of the data or his conclusions (other than their timing). ….

        Sorry. I guess I misunderstood. I was under the impression that you thought that Muller’s conclusions were affected by influences other than an objective interpretation of the data.

        My viewpoint, Gary, is that anyone who interprets data objectively is being skeptical – as in not easily convinced or having doubts or reservations as to whether the data should be interpreted one way or the other.

        In other words, “agnostic,” as to interpretations other than those supported by the data.

      • Joshua,

        I have no idea whether Muller’s position on AGW/CAGW has affected his work. I have not seen it, nor (more necessary for me) any analysis of his work by others more qualified). My only claim is that his CAGW advocacy did affect his decision to testify, before Watts published, in a way designed to undermine the surfacestations.org project and analysis.

        I have questioned elsewhere whether BEST was intended from the start as a response to surfacestations.org. But on that issue I have no evidence. I do firmly believe, however, that Muller’s conduct shows rather convincingly that – seeing where Watts was headed, and knowing he would publish first, Muller decided to speak preemptively, and prominently.

        That was advocacy, not science. It does not mean Muller was wrong in his conclusions (that will be another issue for another day once he has published), just that he acted inappropriately in my opinion.

      • That was advocacy, not science…

        So he’s an advocate, who prioritizes advocacy over the science, but you “have no idea whether [his] position on AGW/CAGW has affected his work.”

        Ok, I’m getting a headache now. I need to step away from the computer.

      • Joshua –
        You’re wrong – again.

        as I read Watts’ quote, the “what some might call” qualifies the term “warmist,” not the term “skeptic.”

        Watts writes about Rohde and Muller, thus:

        Now contrast Rohde with Dr. Muller who has gone on record as saying that he disagrees with some of the methods seen in previous science related to the issue. We have what some would call a “warmist” and a “skeptic”

        The order Joshua – pay attention to the order. Or is English not your native tongue? Or is the game obfuscation, now?

        Prior to that sentence, he laid out the rationale for why he viewed Muller as a “skeptic:”

        He did no such thing.

        Now contrast Rohde with Dr. Muller who has gone on record as saying that he disagrees with some of the methods seen in previous science related to the issue.

        Disagreeing with the methods (“hide the decline” for example) does NOT constitute grounds for classifying him as a “sceptic”. It only provides “some” evidence that he might be an honest scientist.

        Apparently you still haven’t learned anything about science. And your tribalism is showing.

      • Guys
        I mean this politely, but don’t you think you two have now hammered this to death? You’re spamming the thread with your constant jousting. It’s….er…..actually a bit boring for the rest of us. I’ll now take cover. :)

      • RobB,

        I think the problem was that Joshua and I both found ourselves with a block of free time at the same time today. We ended up answering each other in real time which resulted in a lot more comments than normal. It became more like a chatroom than a blog, sorry ’bout that…

      • Lol – sounds like a reason for Judith to provide a special thread. RC has the bore-hole, Climate etc could have Argumenters’ Corner for those who have been eating too much red meat!

      • BEST was set up to make warmists of us all. The rush to publish, the need to discredit a leading skeptic. The best laid schemes of mice and men, and all that.

        The lesson to be drawn from this farce, and it is a farce, is to beware academics bearing gifts.

  31. For anyone, especially Muller, to imply, and with a strong implication, that surface stations do not have a UHI effect, is to fly in the face of two facts:
    ° Satellites show bright enormously bright red spots in the infrared around urban centers, and this is where the bulk of the stations are, and
    ° almost 90% of the stations have violations of international protocol, as Watts has adequately shown. To brush this fact off says that a scientist does not have to abide by instrumental SOPs, and that any measurement is fine, just fine. This is a bizarre position for any scientist.

    Muller: Hello! Who is this?
    Caller: Just a member of the Team, let’s leave it at that.
    Caller: Me and my friends understand you will be giving testimony to Congress.
    Muller: Yes.
    Caller: We hope that you will be smart in your testimony.
    Muller: I will! I will be smart.
    Caller: You know, we don’t want there to be any accidents. It is a dangerous world out there.
    Muller: Accidents? What do you mean?
    Caller: You know what we mean. We will be listening.
    Muller: Are you being funny?
    Caller: You mean funny, like I am a clown?
    Muller: No sir, I did not mean that! Please.
    Caller: Just be careful. I like you. I would not want you to be careless.
    Muller: I won’t, sir, I’ll be careful to be very confusing.
    Caller: You had better be. dial tone

  32. Dr. Muller should have stated that it is too soon to give results. The take home message by people will be that the earth is warming outrageously and we don’t know this.

    • I agree, Dan.

      Reliable studies of Earth’s changing climate – before that became part of government propaganda – showed clearly that Earth’s heat source plays an important role in those changes [1-4].

      1. “Sun’s motion and sunspots”, Astron. J. 70 (1965) 193-200.

      2. “Prolonged minima and the 179-yr cycle of the solar
      inertial motion,” Solar Physics 110 (1987) 191-220.

      3. ”New Little Ice Age instead of Global Warming?”, Energy &
      Environment 114 ( 2003) 327-350.

      4. “Axial rotation, orbital revolution and solar spin-orbit coupling,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 368 (2006) 280-282.

  33. The funny thing is that far fewer would have noticed what Muller had said if Watts had just kept his toys in his pram.

    • It is true. If Watts had not trusted Muller and given him his data pre-publication, Muller would never have been able to try to preemptively undermine Watts’ work. A cautionary tale for those dealing with CAGW advocates.

      • GaryM

        So.. we’re saying now that it’s best for researchers to limit access to their data?

        *squint*

        Are you sure you want to say that?

      • Bill Collinge

        Hell yes! Up until it’s published, anyway. Then, when you have your peer-reviewed paper out of the way, honor requests for the data by members of the public as long as it doesn’t violate some actual contract. (I do realize the historical fuzziness of “contract” in this medium but I don’t think it’s going away any time soon).

        I do believe in the above sentiment, but one of the problems is the interpretation of “after the paper is published” as “after the original paper, and any subsequent papers or reports for which I might get more credit someday, even if they mostly rely on future updates or the addition of new data, are published, or those of my colleagues/students/friends”.

        I’m as guilty as most academics of this thought process, and I’m not offering up here a clear way around it.

      • Bart,

        Why would you want to release data to folks who are just looking to use it against you? :-p

      • We’re also getting some great situational instruction on when it is right and wrong to break confidence. Let’s call them confidence intervals.

      • Bart R,

        I don’t know anyone who suggests that a researcher should release his data and code before publishing, not even the government funded ones. The comparison to CAGW advocates who refused (and still refuse) to release their data years after publishing is ridiculous.

      • GaryM

        I’m suggesting it.

        I believe all data should be posted to the cloud from day one, with full birth-to-death availability.

        I’ve seen enough of data hoarding, long before it was practiced at the CRU, and am convinced it is ultimately more harmful than letting the data loose into the wild before carrying on analyses.

        If others make invalid use of it, what of it?

        If others rush to publish ahead of you, what of it?

        Neither of these practices can be more harmful than the delays, hiding, dawdling, redoing, ‘forgotten’ adjustments and pandering to established publish-or-perish oligarchies within institutions that are as likely to produce pious fraud as valid research.

        So, yes, I suggest there are attractive arguments that researchers ought not hold back data and code prior to publishing.

  34. Only one person so far has picked up on the fact that it is possible for both Muller and Watts to both be correct. Of course poor US data doesn’t affect the global trend. We knew that already. As a conclusion it doesn’t matter a jot.

    But:
    1) If a small amount of good data is better than a large amount of highly adjusted, bad data then the objective of quantity over quality is utterly wrong. A consistent warm bias would not be cured by increasing the number of sites and current best adjustments are inadequate.
    2) while we can now identify good and bad sites in the US due entirely to Watts volunteers. We cannot determine good and bad sites anywhere else in the world.
    3) If there is a warm bias in the best kept and most corrected/adjusted temperature data in the world then logically the overall trend on far lesser data is very likely to be overstated.

    Muller just doesn’t seem to have grasped this logical conclusion. The entire value of Watts work is in giving a good benchmark test of adjustment algorithms. That was what Muller was supposed to be doing with Watts data, nothing else.

    Not until Mullers team demonstrates correction methods which match the trend for the good US sites can he possibly make any conclusions about the rest of the world. His entire argument is arse about face, just trying to prove something we knew already and presenting it as if it was important.

    • steven mosher

      What you miss is this.

      1. The scientists who developed the rating system did field tests to characterize the types of errors you see from siting issues. See my comment above. In their test you can see that the MEAN bias was small. Small for good stations; small for bad stations. The range of bias, was the issue. A bad station may have a day when it registers 4C too hot and of course one were it is 4C too cool. ON AVERAGE these biases end up being marginally warm, ~.1C.
      That’s why you can look at all the US stations over time and find little if any difference between poor and good. That also why you can look at a single site comparison and seee big difference between good and poor. Let me put it this way.. poor siting increases, amplifies, weather noise.

      If we have learned that by looking at 1200 stations in the US, we have a good indication that Even if the ROW is all POOR stations that the MEAN answer doesnt change much.

      But we already KNEW that siting was a small issue globally. We knew that because the trends at the surface (CRU) which are THOUGHT to be elevated by UHI and site bias, ACTUALLY MATCH the trends in UHA and RSS.
      Go Figure. You look at the trend in the atmosphere at 2 meters and then you look at the trend in the Lower trop and wadda ya see?

      • “…the trends at the surface (CRU) which are THOUGHT to be elevated by UHI and site bias, ACTUALLY MATCH the trends in UHA and RSS.”

        Will you say in US ? Have you a chart ?

        Thank you.

    • The problem with Watt’s surface stations picture gallery is that it only tells you what the situation was at the instant the pictures were taken but provides no information about the stations in the past (or even in the future after the pictures were taken).

      Credit to Watts for recognizing that cheap digital cameras and storage meant that such images could form part of the metadata, but what is really needed is to provide images for each station for each year. It would be useful to go back to the stations and ask around for old photos if anyone has them.

      The Climate Reference Network is a better thought out way of validating historical data.

      • steven mosher

        eli,

        We’ve had this argument for 4 years.

        1. no one denies that CRN is a good approach.

        2. You and I both know that the US is over sampled. You and I both know that the CRN study itself suggested that a few hundred stations are all that are needed to capture the trend in US. And so, 4 years ago I suggested that it would be a good idea to eliminate the use of poor stations to take the issue off the table. but NO ONE, yourself included thought that this would be a good idea. God forbid that anyone should have to credit watts. Now, of course NOAA has seen fit to upgrade some stations and decommission others.

      • Lots of folks have taken a run at that and the results are pretty much the same no matter what selection you make. (Zeke Hausfather, Nick Barnes, Nick Stokes, etc.) It’s the tyranny of huge data samples. The averages don’t move

      • When all the stations in the US are contaminated with anthro issues, how can you not find the same?? What reasonable number of stations are there that record the BACKGROUND temperature like is done with CO2???

        Y’all want it both ways!! Anthro polluted for temp and background for CO2!! How about both for both???HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  35. Willis/Judy,

    I think there is some room for agreement between the findings of Miller and Fell et al. All Muller said in his testimony was that the mean trend difference between good and bad stations was not significantly different from zero (with good stations warming slightly faster). Fell et al say something quite similar in their abstract, that the mean warming trends between the two classes are not significantly different. Neither of these statements mean that there are not other interesting issues with siting, or that the conclusions hold for both min and max temps as well examined independently.

      • steven mosher

        ya Judy, as I noted on Lucias thread the apparent corruption of Tmax and Tmin might have implications for on studies of extremes. There is also the issue of using DTR as a verification statistic for GCMs. if that measurand is confounded by siting bias then its a good thing to know. As usual people get too wrapped up in the PR and the headlines to see the interesting detail in the science. For a long time I have been warning my skeptics friends that they would be lucky to find anything in Tave for a variety of reasons. Hyping the “bad sites” created a huge expectation of finding something devastating to the theory. A more modest expectation, we might see uncertainties increase, we might find a small effect, never generated many headlines. Because the debate has been dominated by two shrill camps: Its a fraud and There’s nothing of interest in Watt’s work. The notion that there was additional interesting normal science to do in the area has been ignored. Go figure, I’m a fan of Geiger and climate near the ground.

  36. Muller was wrong to give an off hand conclusion when he was given data sets from Watts. Was it planned for this pro-agw effect? I’m not that sure, Muller strikes me as a hip-shooter who doesn’t think out all statements along solid political or even appropriate lines. He can be refreshing that way. Needless to say the BEST is highly anticipated and the back and forth can’t help being 100x louder when it comes.

    The sad reality is that climate science is no different than politics, history departments, journalism or dozens of other cultural enclaves that for this point of history will be broken down along left vs. right agendas for the near future. There will be individual contradictions of course but generally climate science is a byproduct of eco-green, anti-industry agenda. A need (passionate) to govern, regulate and control and AGW is the rationaization in this case. The IPCC is prototypical as is the U.N. of collectivist interests and whatever “science” is sighted will always be viewed as suspect.

    Again, the sad reality is that many in the science community (particular the research end) are directly tied to public funding. Direct and indirect. This ties them to the m0dern educational establishment which is another largely left of center enclave of society, again with sizable dissent but clearly in the minority. AGW has been a 30 year effort to craft a consensus that serves a statist agenda. Given the smallish nature and common stereotypes found at the CRU and IPCC doesn’t help from the start.

    We need a voucher program for climate scientists, those who can get funded and “peer reviewed” outside the mandated box of “IPCC consensus”. How the general culture of this science subset is going to changed any more than the social structure of Hollywood producers, elite education, media is a greater question. All of science is at risk but it seems clear to me that climate concensus and the pattern of behavior illustrated have declined to a point where little can be trusted at all. How could BEST come out any better than the Climategate inquires?? It’s all the same people who are linked on a common political culture that control the summary statements at the IPCC and beyond. There are plenty carrying water for local interests as well (funding). Watts could have keep his data but it would have been discredited in a way that no establishment withholding of data ever is.

    IPCC and science enclave dismemberment and politcal madatory openess seem the only ugly quick fix. How long can the world wait for self-regulatory reforms as BEST was a small example? It’s time for the hostages to be freed of AGW one side controls of the agenda.

    • AFAEK Watt’s data set is public. It is useful to consider the NASA rule with data sets, that the person who gathers them has one year to publish before it becomes fair game.

  37. The issue of UHI is not a recent invention and it’s not something invented by the skeptics. Hansen, Jones and others worried about it in the 1980′s and it is discussed in some length in the first assessment report of IPCC. At that time Hansen concluded that he effect might be about 0.2 C/100y for the US, but other studies concluded that the effect is smaller. Many papers were published on the issue.

    The preliminary results presented by Muller are in line on what was learned in 1980′s and and what has been found out by many different people later – both in published science and by curious amateurs as we have already read in this thread and some earlier threads.

    It would be really surprising, if BEST would find out something that has been overlooked by all these numerous studies. There is always space for some improvement in the methodologies, but it’s not realistic to expect that anything essential would change.

  38. This may be a double posting. If so, I apologize.
    Muller was the focus of daily hates from the AGW believers for quite sometime for his stand on climategate. Now he is the man of hour in the AGW commity because he says that after 2% of the data is analyzed his preliminary results might show that the current pile of junk data is OK.
    Watts may be out of line on this as well. i think Muller should have been much more circumspect in his communication to Congress, if for no other reason to make sure his view is actually corroborated by the additional 98% of the work he has to do.
    the other take away is this:
    As long as the AGW community is depending on signals so well hidden that it takes this type of effort to sort out, they will never succeed in selling this CO2 calamity in an open discussion.

    • hunter,

      In what way is he “man of the hour” in the believer world? From Gavin’s comments during the hearing, to Romm’s attacks listed above to the latest post on Stoat, it seems he’s taking fire from both extremes. To me, that’s an indication he’s probably doing something right.

  39. “If Watts thinks that it was premature for Muller present his preliminary (unpublished) analyses in testimony, then it was equally premature for Watts to present to the Committee his (unpublished and otherwise unavailable) analysis. ”

    This seems wrong for at least two reasons. Firstly, the premise of this assumption appears to be that it is the publication in a peer reviewed journal that makes conclusions a valid talking point in public discourse. Watt’s standard for “premature” seems to be based on a different standard: Whether one has done the necessary work to reach a conclusion, regardless of whether one is in a position to prove it yet.

    Note Watts’ complaint: “There seems a bit of a rush here, as BEST hasn’t completed all of their promised data techniques that would be able to remove the different kinds of data biases we’ve noted.” In contrast, Watts’ paper is completed and most of the way through review, so it seems like he believes that he has, in fact, done the work necessary to reach a conclusion.

    Secondly, to the extent that Watts does believe that one ought not try to influence policymakers with statements about work that is not yet available for replication, it looks like Muller’s choice to prematurely present conclusions–conclusions which he believes are inconsistent with his own more complete work–put him in the position of having to prematurely present his own conclusions, in order to prevent Muller’s premature declarations from having undue influence.

    Dr. Curry, I can’t believe that either of these escaped your notice, so where do you think I’ve gone wrong, here?

    • Watts shouldn’t worry. People still know who Alfred Wallace is.

    • The point that everyone seems to be missing is that Muller’s testimony was about process and general reliability issues, not about presenting specific scientific results of work in progress. A few preliminary results were presented, with appropriate caveats. The main conclusion of Muller’s testimony is this:

      “Despite potential biases in the data, methods of analysis can be used to reduce bias effects well enough to enable us to measure long-term Earth temperature changes.”

      His very preliminary analyses and his mention of Watts’ study are presented to support this conclusion. Again, this is testimony, they are asking for Muller’s “expert judgment”, not a complete scientific exposition on the subject. Muller’s expert judgement on this issue derives from his work on on the BEST project, which has taken a fresh look at the whole issue. Which is presumably why the Committee was interested in Muller’s expert judgement.

      • I disagree with the thrust of Muller’s claim. Bias effects are not the primary problem when it comes to trying to estimate past global temperatures. (In no case are we measuring them.) The primary problems are statistical, most notably lack of a representative sample and the compounding of uncertainty inherent in the area averaging methods being used. What are the confidence intervals when one takes averages of averages of averages of shaky data? I thought there were several statistics experts on the team. What are they doing?

        People don’t seem to understand that the very idea that we can accurately estimate the global temperature in 1900 is a wildly strong claim, one that should be scoffed at. Yet no one seems to question it. Bias is not the problem.

      • Yes, this is exactly the kind of thing that muller’s team is looking at.

      • Rob Starkey

        Everyone is not missing the point, although you could easily reach that conclusion reading the comments. Many of us are awaiting the release of the actual report and care little about the personal issues between Watts and Muller.

      • steven mosher

        i’ll take it you dont believe in a LIA or MWP

      • I believe we do not know that it warmed in the last century, when we at least had thermometers, so we certainly do not know what the global temp was in 1500 or 900, to a single degree C. This does not mean they did not happen, so I do not disbelieve in them. There is good evidence for them.

      • steven mosher

        “most notably lack of a representative sample”

        In what way was it unrepresentative?

        And how did you determine that it was unrepresentative?

      • The only description I have seen of the data selection was that it was random. Random could lead to representative, but it might not.

        “Approximately 2 percent of the available sites were chosen randomly from the complete set of 39,028 sites.”

        Someone made the analogy earlier to opinion polling. A 2% sample can indeed be sufficient to give a meaningful result, but a random sample is less likely to do so. That is why pollsters control for different demographic variables, to make their sample as representative as possible.

        2% of 39,028 stations would be 680 chosen at random. It seems to me that given the size and variation of the local climates in the U.S., this might be an adequate sample, or it might not, depending on how representative it is.

      • I am not talking about Muller’s 2 percent sample. I am talking about the statistical models used to estimate global temps over the last 150 years, the so called instrumental record. They are not based on a random sample, because we have no such sample.

      • Note: Muller et al. are only working with land data, and any statement they are making is in the context of the global land data

      • If MulLer and co are only dealing with land data then their results are statistically irrelevant as far as global temperatures are concerned. How’s interesting! Statistical science must be laughing at this point. Let us sharpen 20 percent of the picture.

      • steven mosher

        The only description I have seen of the data selection was that it was random. Random could lead to representative, but it might not.

        but your claim as that it was NOT representative. You did NOT claim that it might not be representative you claimed that it WASNT.

        More specifically, what would it mean for the sample to be representative? For example, if I am sampling height and I sample all men, we know that no representative because we know that men generally are taller than women.
        Further their REASON for only working with 2% is to AVOID tuning the algorithm to get a predetermined answer.

        “2% of 39,028 stations would be 680 chosen at random. It seems to me that given the size and variation of the local climates in the U.S., this might be an adequate sample, or it might not, depending on how representative it is.”

        First off you utterly misunderstand what is being done.

        1. a 2% sample is selected for algorithm development and testing. They could achieve the same thing by working with synthetic data. In fact, I’d prefer that developmental methodology, but a 2% solution will be ok. I would expect that some of us will test the algorithm with synthetic data. i think Robert Rhodes may also be doing some work on that.

        2. The study of the US included all the stations that Watts had surveyed, so its a total population.

        Finally, 680 stations is more than enough for the USA. I refer you to the studies done on station density requirements for CRN. You are not looking to sample the various “climates”, although there are a small number of climate types

        http://www.okatlas.org/okatlas/weather/climate/usa/climate.htm

        What you are doing is trying to determine the number of stations required to capture a national TREND within a confidence interval. To do this the scientists start with a very large number of stations over 10,000 in the USA. Then they calculate a national trend from these. then they systematically decimate that population and watch for changes in the trend. Essentially the US is over sampled. The result is a grid that contains the minimum number of stations and there locations.
        That minimum is a function of the CI you want on the decade trend measurand. Go search the CRN documentation page for the documents.

      • Steven, I m not talking about Muller’s 2% sample of thermometers, which may well be random. I am taking about so-called instrumental record, that is the thermometers themselves as a sample of earth temperatures. Alas I am going out for the day so this will have to wait. It is very important.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You are just being pedantic.

        “For example, if I am sampling height and I sample all men, we know that no representative because we know that men generally are taller than women.”

        First, if you are sampling for height, and sample only men, then that is not an entirely random sample. It is a random sample of a selected subset. So that doesn’t really make your point.

        Moreover, you refer to sampling a population for a single attribute. In that case, the sample size alone would probably suffice to make the sample representative.

        But BEST has been represented as looking at a number of different siting and bias issues. A representative sample would be designed to provide an adequate sample with respect to each of the issues under study. Muller said the selection was random. Assuming he was testifying accurately, that would mean stations were not selected so as to be representative in this case.

        It is in this context that the number of sites in the sample is relevant.

        “First off you utterly misunderstand what is being done.

        1. a 2% sample is selected for algorithm development and testing.”

        I have said nothing about “what is being done.” The whole point of the majority of the discussion on this thread has been about what Muller has already said on the basis of what he has already done to date. No one objected to his testifying that a 2% sample was randomly taken for algorithm development and testing. It was his testifying as to his conclusions based on that sample, and his preemptively undermining the coming paper from the surfacestations project, that raised objections.

        Defenders of Muller seem to be trying to have it all ways. Nothing he said was new. Nothing he said contradicted what Watts is likely to say in his coming paper. He is correct in suggesting that Watts is wrong in thinking that station citing issues might impact published temperature trends. Muller was only making an off hand remark about preliminary results which is no big deal. Muller’s analysis of the 2% and his remarks on surfacestations data show that the published temperature trends are accurate.

        And my favorite, nothing BEST or surfacestations is doing is really relevant to published trends because they are necessarily accurate; you can get a good result from bad data as long as you have enough of it.

      • Yes, the 2% sample was taken to develop algorithms. So, why did he mention that the trend result was virtually the same as, uh, well, whose trend was he comparing it against again???

        Seriously, unless he can show reasonable coverage the mentioning of trend was completely ridiculous as he could have mainly cold or hot. Mentioning the trend was grandstanding. He doesn’t appear to be that stupid.

      • Sampling theory requires a random sample. What we have is called a convenience sample. A random sample of the earth would provide relatively uniform coverage. For most of the last 100 years we have no station data for most of the earth’s surface. We just have a lot of thermometers in a few places. No firm statistical conclusions can be drawn from a convenience sample. The laws of statistical reasoning do not apply to a convenience sample.

      • steven mosher

        http://www.berkeleyearth.org/dataset

        Your concern I take it is that those small areas that are not sampled are somehow different than those areas sampled.

        Physics and measurements from satillites tell us differently

        we know the spatial correlation or correlation length is relatively long ( 750 to 1250km) , especially in the east west direction. The unsampled areas at the equator will tend to have lower trends than the global average. The unsampled areas at the poles will tend to have much higher trends than those unsampled areas in the equatorial regime. Also have a good idea from UHA and RSS which sample the entire globe that the sampling doesnt bias the trend estimation. And yes, dont forget that land is 30% of the total. I once played around and imputed trends to unsampled areas. Doesnt change things considerably.

        but you are welcomed to download Gisstemp or nick stokes code or jeffids and do your own experiements. Might be instructive for you.

      • Small areas not sampled? To begin with we have no stationery station records for the oceans for the last 150 years. All we have a SST measures from different ships, in a few places, which are a crude proxy at best. Plus most of the land surface was uninhabited for most of this period, and much still is. In short we lack data for most of the earth, for most of the time involved.

        Your 750 km smoothing is also wrong. It is common for stations just 100 miles apart to have completely different profiles, including one warming and the other cooling. A lot of stations show cooling. Nor do the satellites agree with the surface statistical models so the former cannot corroborate the latter, quite the contrary.

      • These are the kinds of issues that can be examined with the more complete BEST data set, see fig 2 on the BEST page:
        http://berkeleyearth.org/dataset

      • Swell and good but the website language suggests that they are oblivious to these issues. I see no reference to them. Adding partial and second rate data does not improve the statistics. This looks like numbers game in action. There seems to be no investigation of the basic issues of statistical uncertainty. It reads like an echo chamber.

  40. Wow what a row going on here! I add this for perspective. When asked by Warwick Hughes for this data, Dr. Phil Jones said:

    “Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

    No matter what any of you think of Watts, he shared his data in the truest principles of science. He then got publicly burned for doing it. Compared to Dr. Jones, Watts actions speak to his character.

    • Thanks, Marvin, for your valid point: Anthony Watts took the higher road.

    • I haven’t seen Anthony Watt’s data, so cannot comment on it per se.

      I’m confident it meets high standards and is valid and so forth.

      (I’m confident what I’m about to say will be misrepresented or mistaken, too, for what it’s worth.)

      No matter what the circumstances of the revealing of the data in question to the public when that finally happens, of the lead-up to that disclosure, of the conditions of first to publish and how those rights are exercised, there is bound to be controversy and commentary that can be expected to be represented as publicly burning Watts in some degree or another.

      Taking the high road is taking the high road.

      Right or wrong, and no matter what’s said of you, you do it with your chin up.

  41. As someone who has contributed time and pics (about 20 stations worth) to surfacestations.org, and has followed the progress closely over almost four years now, I certainly understand Anthony’s sensitivity on the subject. He was treated quite shabbily by NCDC/NOAA, and now with the finish line of publication in sight (hopefully), here’s another little furball to get thru.

    However, I do agree with the idea that Muller really had little responsible choice but to show up and make some cautious statements befitting the preliminary nature of their analysis. If you’re an American academic engaged in an important public policy area, and Congress wants to talk to you –well, then you go. Maybe there is a cloistered misanthrope or two who would bah humbug and hurl something at the door if someone tried to peek their nose in. . . but darned few, particularly if they are the ones “in charge” of a large project (which, by itself, implies better social skills than the stereotype cloistered misanthrope).

    • geo, thanks for this response.

    • steven mosher

      Yup, exactly.

      And The act of getting a letter read compounded the problem.

    • Yes, well, like Anthony I’m quite bitter about the original NCDC/NOAA interference. I think it is quite clear that their bureaoucratic need to CYA by pre-empting Anthony with his own data, incomplete and un-QAed, had a serious and unfortunate impact on the trajectory of the project.

      I won’t argue that 82% isn’t enough to draw robust conclusions from. Of course it is. But after their little grandstand play, it might actually be done by now (within the limits of human effort over long periods –say 98%?). After their little game, the emphasis understandably shifted to locking in a QA’ed data set and responding in the peer reviewed literchurcher.

      Stations are still being collected, but updated and the support necessary for a final push to clean up most of the left-overs is largely absent and has been since NCDC/NOAA decided to play dirty pool. Maybe I’m just going to my “compleatist” place –but I would like to see it get done in toto (minus moved or discontinued stations).

  42. Lorne LeClerc

    Re- GARYM

    Thank you very much for the link to the Muller you tube video. Its a refreshing presentation. I agree completely with his revulsion at the way the decline was hidden on the Briffa graph, in order to dumb it down for the general public. Also, I agree with his observation that any new technical solutions for reducing Carbon intensity must be cost effective in the 3rd world for it to make any future difference in the emissions of China and India. Also, I think that the huge amount of apparent new reserves of low cost US shale gas strongly suggests that using natural gas for US transport fuel is the way to go both economically and for US energy security.

    It is a very informative presentation and I will pass it on to my friends.

    Regards,
    Lorne LeClerc

    • Lorne,

      It is apparently the same video Dr. Curry linked to on an earlier post of hers. But I agree, the video speaks well of Dr. Muller in general.

  43. As usual, Shakespeare said it best: “Much Ado About Nothing.”

    Or in more modern parlance, “Move along folks, nothing to see here.”

    Next topic, please.

  44. Muller should have limited his testimony to his reasons for starting BEST. Most people assume he started it because of problems in the way CRU, GISS and NOAA processes and analyzes the data. Process is the real reason for the hearing and informed watchers expected Muller to address this issue. Instead, he chose to testify about an unscientific analysis of a slice of the data. He should have known he would be criticized for discussing science in an unscientific manner. Muller is a good scientist. I’m certain he realizes his mistake now.

  45. It appears no one has commented on the article by Anthony Watts on Wattsupwiththat regarding a new article by Mark Gibbas which touches on the same issues Muller testified about. See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/04/an-investigation-of-ushcn-station-siting-issues-using-a-cleaned-dataset/

    The paper by Gibbas can be found at http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/gibbs_temp_investigation.pdf

    Gibbas concludes “The rate and magnitude of 20th century warming are thus unknowable, and suggestions of an unprecedented trend in 20th century global air temperature are unsustainable.”

    Whether Gibbas is correct or not, I cannot say. But it is an interesting point of view and worthy of discussion.

    • I agree, Ron.

      I also highly recommend the concise, clear presentation by Jeff Id on the implications of ocean and air temperatures.

      http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/234-5/

      If Dr. Richard Muller reads this site, I would also encourage him to read and consider the impact of ocean temperatures, as well as the Sun, on Earth’s constantly changing climate.

      As I posted above “It is a total myth and absolute nonsense to pretend that Earth’s climate is immune to Earth’s heat source – the Sun.”

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

    • Nebuchadnezzar

      Gibbas concludes “The rate and magnitude of 20th century warming are thus unknowable, and suggestions of an unprecedented trend in 20th century global air temperature are unsustainable.”

      I think that quote appeared in Pat Frank’s paper. Could be wrong. Can’t find the damn thing now.

  46. steven mosher

    It so nice to see that within normal science people know how to handle preliminary results

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/science/06particle.html?_r=1&src=tptw

    In Post normal science, it’s another matter, because values are in conflict, stakes are high, and decisions urgent.

  47. Willis Eschenbach

    steven mosher | April 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply

    So willis, Go on WUWT and demand the data and code for the just published SPPI paper on the Utah stations?

    Haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Haven’t heard of the paper. What on earth could that have to do with Muller?

    Personally, I would have phrased preliminary results a bit differently, but I would see myself fully within my rights to talk about them. you can BET that if Muller HAD FOUND a difference, that the reaction to his pre release would have been different. That’s the real test. If Muller had found a difference in his preliminary work, the arguments would look different.

    “That’s the real test”? Mosh, sometimes I wonder if you’ve been self-medicating.

    You set up a fantasy (IF Muller had found a difference), you claim a result (your fantasy of how things would be different If Muller had etc.), and that’s the “real test”? The real test is your insight into an unknown and unknowable parallel universe where some things are different?

    I’ll pass on that as a valid test, thanks.

    The left would be screaming about Koch and publishing prelim results. They would be asking for data and code. and the right would say that Muller was withing his rights to discuss this stuff and hold his data and code back until he published.

    The left? The right? Which am I, Mosh? I voted against the Republican in every Presidential election since 1968 … which am I, left or right?

    And again, while your story is strong and no doubt compelling, your vision of this parallel universe where Muller said something entirely different doesn’t really qualify as evidence of … well … anything at all in this universe.

    w.

    PS – Mosh, here’s a Sufi story about claims that, like yours, begin with “IF”:

    Nasrudin was walking along a narrow lane when a man fell off a roof and landed on Nasrudin’s neck. The man was unhurt, and the Mulla was admitted to a hospital.
    Some of his disciples went to the hospital to comfort the Mulla. They asked him, “Mulla, what wisdom do you read in this happening?”
    The Mulla told them, “The normal cause and effect theory is that IF a man falls off from a roof, he will break his own neck. Here, he broke my neck. Shun reliance on theoretical explanations.

    • steven mosher

      “So willis, Go on WUWT and demand the data and code for the just published SPPI paper on the Utah stations?”

      Haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Haven’t heard of the paper. What on earth could that have to do with Muller?

      #####
      As I recall you made a stink about Muller not sharing code and data.
      Lets see, where is that cowboy BS:

      “Dr. Muller, I’m going to call foul on this one. For you to announce your pre-publication results on this issue is way, way out of line. You get to have your claim entered into the Congressional Record and you don’t even have to produce a single citation or publish a paper or show a scrap of data or code? That is scientific back-stabbing via Congressional testimony, and on my planet it is absolutely unacceptable.

      That is taking unfair advantage of your fifteen minutes of fame. Show your work and numbers like anyone else and we’ll evaluate them. Then you may be able to crow, or not, before Congress.”

      My point willis is this. i’d like to see you be equally harsh on people who publish results in SPPI. That’s to prove to me that you care for openness without regard to the conclusion. Start here:
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/04/an-investigation-of-ushcn-station-siting-issues-using-a-cleaned-dataset/

      “Mosh, sometimes I wonder if you’ve been self-medicating”

      Nice. does copenhagen count?. As usual you pass up the opportunity to answer a tough question. cowboy my ass.

      “You set up a fantasy (IF Muller had found a difference), you claim a result (your fantasy of how things would be different If Muller had etc.), and that’s the “real test”? The real test is your insight into an unknown and unknowable parallel universe where some things are different?”

      Actually we have plenty of analogs for this. Plenty of examples of you and other people publishing preliminary results or innuendo without compunction.

      But you set a nice bar for presenting results, perhaps we’ll see if we can get you to consistently apply it to others.

      Your reasons for opposing Muller’s right to discuss preliminary results which SUPPORT Watts results continue to baffle me, probably others as well.

      • Huh? The Gibbas paper (not Watts by the way) gives plenty of details of stations used, methods, station moves, seasonal effects, USHCN adjustments etc.
        But the BEST results presented so far contain virtually no information about how it was done, eg which stations, whether raw or adjusted data was used, etc.
        There’s no comparison.

      • steven mosher

        Hardly Paul.
        Point me to the ftp for the code and data. That is the standard that willis and I held Jones to. That is the standard I will hold Muller to. that is the standard I will hold Gibbas to.

        You think that after 4 years of raking Jones and Mann over the coals for not providing the exact code and data that I am going to have a different standard for Watts, Muller or Gibbas? Wrong. The person who will have a different standard is willis. he will not go on WUWT and demand Gibbas’ code and data. That’s because he likes the result.
        That’s the challenge at least.

      • Gibbas has provided far more info than Muller has. Fact.
        And who is speaking to Congress, Muller or Gibbas?
        It’s disappointing to hear you trotting out the same bogus arguments that are raised against Steve M (“why don’t you audit Joe Nobody’s blog post”).

      • Steven,
        Here is what the article says about Gibbas’ data and code:

        Bear in mind, because this is a private company, and because small companies must hold their IP rights close to maintain competitive advantages, the data cleaning method can be discussed in general terms, but they cannot provide the code for review without compromising their IP rights. However, the source data used in this paper can be made available on request, as WeatherSource has tentatively offered access to it provided that the end user is doing research, does not use it for commercial gain, and does not republish it in its original form. Use the WUWT contact page if you would like to request a copy of the WeatherSource cleaned data after first agreeing to the caveats listed. Anonymous requests will be ignored. The metadata list of stations is available here: Utah-stations-metadata (PDF) Utah-stations-metadata (Excel .xls)

        It seems to me they are making the data available under reasonable circumstances. While more protective of the code (reasonable given the fact this is a company and not a research organization funded by tax dollars), it may be possible to examine the code under certain conditions necessary to make them comfortable. Gibbas is not acting like Phil Jones in the least.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Mosh, you say:

        The person who will have a different standard is willis. he will not go on WUWT and demand Gibbas’ code and data. That’s because he likes the result.
        That’s the challenge at least.

        Your claim that I am not asking for code and data because I like the result is a nasty calumniation, mosh. I’d call it a damned lie, but I’ve reformed.

        I’ve told you I haven’t read the paper. Let me try it again real slow. I. Haven’t. Read. The. Paper.

        As a result, what you are spewing is 100% your sick fantasy about my motives. Enough with attacking my motives already, it’s not about me, and it makes you look petty and unconvincing, when I happen to know you are neither.

        You want to demand Gibbas’s code and data, that’s great, I’ll cheer you on, go for it. I think it should happen, and heck, I don’t even know who Gibbas is or what he said. In fact, I’m assuming that the Gibbas paper is the SPPI paper. Is that correct? If so, here’s my definitive statement on the mystery paper:

        I think whoever Gibbas is, he or she should show their work because everyone should show their work, even kids in high school.

        I hope that statement is clear enough for you. I always agree with more code and data, so sure, Mosh, go for it, free the code, free the data. Report back with what you find out.

        w.

      • Mosh, before you beat yourself to death, in which Scientific Publication was the SPPI paper published??

        Have you asked them for their data and code?? If so, please copy their response so we can all berate them directly.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        steven mosher | April 6, 2011 at 4:30 am

        “So willis, Go on WUWT and demand the data and code for the just published SPPI paper on the Utah stations?”

        Haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Haven’t heard of the paper. What on earth could that have to do with Muller?

        #####
        As I recall you made a stink about Muller not sharing code and data.
        Lets see, where is that cowboy BS:

        “Dr. Muller, I’m going to call foul on this one. For you to announce your pre-publication results on this issue is way, way out of line. You get to have your claim entered into the Congressional Record and you don’t even have to produce a single citation or publish a paper or show a scrap of data or code? That is scientific back-stabbing via Congressional testimony, and on my planet it is absolutely unacceptable.

        That is taking unfair advantage of your fifteen minutes of fame. Show your work and numbers like anyone else and we’ll evaluate them. Then you may be able to crow, or not, before Congress.”

        You get to have your claim entered into the Congressional Record and you don’t even have to produce a single citation or publish a paper or show a scrap of data or code? That is scientific back-stabbing via Congressional testimony, and on my planet it is absolutely unacceptable.

        My point willis is this. i’d like to see you be equally harsh on people who publish results in SPPI. That’s to prove to me that you care for openness without regard to the conclusion. Start here:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/04/an-investigation-of-ushcn-station-siting-issues-using-a-cleaned-dataset/

        My point mosh is this. If a scientist is telling me something in private, I hold them to a certain standard.

        If a scientist is writing a non-peer reviewed paper or a blog post on the subject, I hold them to a higher standard.

        If a scientist is writing a peer reviewed paper on the subject, the standard is higher yet.

        If a scientist is testifying to Congress, I hold them to a still higher standard. They are directly speaking to the people in power. They should be very sure of what they are saying, and limit themselves to verified, checked, replicated, supported, in other words scientific claims.

        If a scientist is testifying to Congress and is directly discussing or attacking another scientist’s work, I hold them to a higher standard yet. Power tends to corrupt, and there are many men I would not trust with that particularly powerful speaking platform and megaphone, with the media gathered around ready to misinterpret every word …

        And if a scientist is testifying to Congress and is directly discussing their own analysis of another scientists confidential data? Well, at that point I might say to them something like:

        You get to have your claim entered into the Congressional Record and you don’t even have to produce a single citation or publish a paper or show a scrap of data or code? That is scientific back-stabbing via Congressional testimony, and on my planet it is absolutely unacceptable.

        But sure, I’m happy to be evenhanded, Mosh. Next time a scientist from SPPI or somewhere discusses their analysis of your (or anyone’s) confidential data in front of Congress in the full glare of the media, I will indeed hold them to the same old standard — no data, no code, no science. We’ll see what they say about that.

        “Mosh, sometimes I wonder if you’ve been self-medicating”

        Nice. does copenhagen count?. As usual you pass up the opportunity to answer a tough question. cowboy my ass.

        Thanks for the invitation, but if you want somebody to “cowboy your ass” you’ll have to check Craiglist, the latex crotch-less chaps those guys wear look real uncomfortable.

        Saying I’m afraid of your question, on the other hand, I don’t even know what it was. What was your big bad tough question that you claim I ran from? A whisper of a clue or a hint of a citation there would help.

        “You set up a fantasy (IF Muller had found a difference), you claim a result (your fantasy of how things would be different If Muller had etc.), and that’s the “real test”? The real test is your insight into an unknown and unknowable parallel universe where some things are different?”

        Actually we have plenty of analogs for this. Plenty of examples of you and other people publishing preliminary results or innuendo without compunction.

        But you set a nice bar for presenting results, perhaps we’ll see if we can get you to consistently apply it to others.

        My bar for your results is that they not be just your fantasy of how things might work in some parallel universe, that they don’t start with “IF” as in “If Mullen had testified in support of Anthony …” We don’t know how it would have played out in that parallel fantasy universe.

        And yes, I apply that bar consistently. Your ideas of what would have happened IF Admiral Tojo had won WWII don’t constitute evidence of anything.

        And if we have “plenty of analogs”, as you claim, for someone testifying before Congress and discussing their analysis of another scientist’s confidential data, I’m unaware of them.

        My bar for scientists giving scientific testimony before Congress is that it be supported by code and data. And yes, I apply that consistently as well. It’s called “science”.

        Your reasons for opposing Muller’s right to discuss preliminary results which SUPPORT Watts results continue to baffle me, probably others as well.

        I have said it before, Mosh, I’m happy to say it again. I don’t care whether Muller’s preliminary unverified results supported, falsified, or didn’t matter at all to Anthony’s data. The issue for me is discussing any of his results in front of Congress using data held under a confidentiality agreement.

        That’s why I pushed Muller so hard about publishing the data … because in addition to it being an essential part of science, to publish the data he’d have to break his confidentiality agreement. I wanted him to ‘fess up to the fact that under his agreement, he could not do the most essential of scientific tasks — publish the data to support his claims. And thus, at this point they are simply apocryphal stories.

        Next, what is “Muller’s right to discuss preliminary results”, when he is using someone else’s data under a confidentiality agreement? I must have missed that part of the Bill of Rights, I didn’t realize there was a “right to discuss confidential data” in there.

        Finally, let’s think for a minute about what weight preliminary results have. If things come back totally different, the scientist just says “Hey, I warned you, they were preliminary results”. It is a statement where there is absolutely no penalty for being even wildly wrong.

        Since the scientist attaches so little weight to the preliminary results that being wildly wrong means nothing to him … then why in the hell is he wasting Congress’s time with those results? I’ve had my fill scientists pushing these exact same kind of claims full of “maybe” and “perhaps” and “could” and “preliminary” and “might lead to” and “a chance of”.

        My vote? Congressional testimony should be about real results. You can tell us the preliminary results over a beer sometime.

        w.

        PS – Should everyone publish the data and code for every single paper written? Of course. That’s what my high school science teacher, Mrs. Henniger, was sure death on, “Show your work.” And she was right, even a high-school paper should show your work.

        Should I write a post about everyone who writes an un-peer reviewed paper about any climate subject but doesn’t show their work, as you suggest, so that I can be applying my bar consistently as you wish?

        Sorry. Not enough time in the universe to do that. I’d love to see it happen, but I’m a realist about the number of just the peer-reviewed papers out there (very large), much less all papers.

        However, if you think it is important to do so, I invite you to jump on it … I doubt it would take much to force Anthony and the evil SPPI overlords to cough up their data if it is uncoughed … but like I said, I don’t know if they’ve coughed it or not, I haven’t read the paper.

  48. Lorne LeClerc

    Dear fellow Travellers,

    I am taking a chance here by speaking up and therefore stepping into Your Abyss….

    Here is a Thought…..lets all take a Relaxation Pill…and Continue to collect data for another 5 to 15 yrs and when we really have a consistent and indisputable data set – lets us all reconvene, compare notes and really discuss the science from a position of thoughtful intelligence and, once we really know what we are talking about, we can get into the policy and political implications. I know the Yanks love a good two sided conversation with themselves – but Gee Whis!, I think we need more data and better scientific paradigms, before we frighten the children and retool the economy, Please.

    Best regards,
    Lorne LeClerc

  49. I asked a question directed at Judith that remained unanswered.

    “Would you break a confidence?”

    I will rephrase that to make it a general question, open to everyone.

    Under what circumstances would you break a confidence with a colleague that is deemed important by them?

  50. Lorne LeClerc

    To – Mac,

    I have looked up dip to try to find your previous thread, and I did find a comment with your name on it, that contained the following observation….

    It is a Farce, its All a Farce…..
    It is (no doubt) all farcical.

    It appears to me that you have answered your own Query. No matter What or Whom – it is a Farce!

    Please relax and do take care.
    Regards,
    Lorne LeClerc

    • Actual quote, “The lesson to be drawn from this farce, and it is a farce, is to beware academics bearing gifts.”

      Nothing like taking things out of context and using that to discredit. Exactly what Richard Muller did at Congress.

      I take it you would break a confidence if needs must?????

  51. ‘If the Republicans wanted a “denier” to testify, they would not have invited Muller to testify… the Republicans also invited me to testify several months ago, and I am hardly a denier or even generally regarded as a skeptic.’ Etc.

    Shorter Curry: Richard shows climate change is real. Judith doesn’t deny that it is real, either. And the data is once again shown to support what the overwhelming majority of the scientific community have been saying for years.

    Gosh, who knew? It’s no longer useful for anyone (including the most persistent liars, who are demographically shown to be Republican, white, male, older, relatively well-off, and Protestant) to outright falsely report on the science or deliberately lie about methodologies of scientific studies in peer reviewed journals.

    p.s. I think we also all understand that your personal blogging effort to be useful to Republicans is not based on being grossly incompetent or a bold liar, Judith. ;-)

    • Interesting post, Martha. So according to what you say, people that consider uncertainty and look at arguments from both sides of the debate are useful to the Republicans. What am I to infer from this is useful for the Democrats? Overconfidence and labeling as “deniers” people that disagree with you?

      I also see that you have picked up Greenfyre’s talking points on stupid, old, white men
      http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/climate-justice-and-stupid-white-men/.
      This isn’t going to get you too far in any crowd that actually thinks and values reason.

      • Dr. Curry,
        For those many who think Martha is voice of reason you are a cynical denialist, secretly paid by the vast oil conspiracy to pollute the intellectual waters of their enlightened purity. For her and her fellow believers, you get daily secret e-mails Sen. Inhoffe, instructing you as to what to do to prevent the CO2 enlightenment from achieving its final success.

      • “…’in any crowd that actually thinks and values reason.”

        The usual vacuous dismissal without even a pretense of justification.

        The article in question cites Monckton as the “stupid” in question. Since you feel he appeals to those who actually “think”, how about you go on record and detail specifically which of his fallacies, errors, failures to comprehend either simple science and/or basic logic etc are what you value as “reason?”

        Just for a giggle, you could actually shoot down my cynicism by not simply dismissing this with your usual ‘I don’t have time to …’ or a similar excuse, but you won’t.

      • Sorry, this just isn’t worth spending time on.

      • Be a gentleman and list the “…fallacies, errors, failures to comprehend either simple science and/or basic logic etc…” that you think Monckton has made so she doesn’t need to reread everything he has written eh??

        You seem to be so sure of it you must have at least one of each in mind so should be able to list them rather quickly!!

      • greenfyre –
        “…’in any crowd that actually thinks and values reason.”

        That’s apparently NOT your crowd.

    • Martha,

      “It’s no longer useful for anyone (including the most persistent liars, who are demographically shown to be Republican, white, male, older, relatively well-off, and Protestant) to outright falsely report on the science.”

      If you want to see for yourself the experimental evidence** that mainstream scientists manipulated or hid from the public for decades, read this note on the source of nuclear energy that powers the cosmos, the Sun, and exerts dominant control over Earth’s climate, and sustains life on planet Earth: “Neutron Repulsion” [The APEIRON Journal, in press (2011) 19 pages].

      http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

      **Data from a.) NASA’s 1969 Apollo Mission to the Moon;
      b.) NASA’s 1995 Galileo probe of Jupiter;
      c.) Analysis of meteorites and solar samples in numerous university and government laboratories (1960-2011); and
      d.) Nuclear rest data from DOE’s National Laboratories (1960-2011).

      American taxpayers probably spent no less than ~$1,000,000,000 each for the data in (a), (b), (c) and (d), respectively.

      • Vince whirlwind

        Cool, you’ve got the “NASA-faked-the-moon-landings” crowd on her side.

        Meanwhile, we’ve had yet another temperature review and all it has done is confirm that the denialists are wasting their time: climate change is real and it is happening. We know where the CO2 is coming from but we haven’t figured out how to stop it, largely because the people most reponsible for it have has such sterling support from so many people in their disinformation campaign.
        Does this latest review mean the disinformation campaign will end?

      • What temp review, Vince? Hasn’t happened yet. Probably won’t for some time to come.

        Wake up and smell the coffee, Vince.

      • “Meanwhile, we’ve had yet another temperature review and all it has done is confirm that the denialists are wasting their time: climate change is real and it is happening.”

        That comment shows exactly what was wrong with Muller’s testimony on preliminary results and the surfacestations project. This is the message that spread though the blogosphere and media like wildfire.

        Muller is a highly intelligent man and an excellent public speaker. It begs belief to think he was not aware that this would be the take away from his testimony. To the contrary, my biggest complaint about his testimony on preliminary findings from the start was that it was PR, not science. This comment, and so many others, just demonstrates what effective PR it was.

      • What review, and what do you imagine the message is?
        What is it exactly that is really happening?
        Do you think the climate was static pre-industrial humanity?
        The only documented disinformation is from your side, by the way.
        Just wondering, Vince: Do you think denigrating skeptics makes your beliefs look more, or less, sound?

    • Martha
      Your comment makes you appear to be full of hatred and a most unpleasant person. Aren’t you better than this? A quick visit to Greenfyre also confirms your utter prejudice. Aren’t you capable of arguing the science or are you only able to attack people on the basis of their race, gender or religion. You make yourself appear to be some kind of fascist.

    • Martha
      You are very mistaken if you view the issue of climate change as a purely (or even predominately) democrat vs. republican issue. Personally I am an independent and I do not view additional CO2 as a particularly severe problem for the USA that should cause us to take economically inefficient actions.

      Is climate change happening?- yes- are humans contributing to the change?- yes- Is the climate getting warmer?- yes- Do we fully understand the relationship between additional atmospheric CO2 and increased temperature?- NO – Is the increase in temperatures bad for humanity overall- not necessarily- is this bad for the USA?- No- Do we understand the impact of a potentially warmer climate on regional rainfall levels- absolutely not- Can the long term impacts of potential change be most efficiently managed by the construction of proper infrastructure- yes- Is there a scientific consensus on the issue of climate change- certainly not overall, but there may be on a few narrow issues.

    • Martha,
      We also know that CO2 obsessed people tend to be left wing politically,easily swayed by authority and easily confused by clever sales pitches. They also think in messianic and apocalyptic terms, and need easy answers to the tough questions their emotional immaturity and bigotry.
      For people like this, as you so clearly demonstrate, there is a magical thinking process depended on that results in delusional feelings of moral superiority and special status as someone who has the great truth revealed to them.
      Thank you for contribution.

      • Thank you, Hunter – a quote I shall use liberally often.

      • mark F,
        Feel free to use it. here is a grammatically improved version:
        Martha,
        We also know that CO2 obsessed people tend to be left wing politically,easily swayed by authority, and easily confused by clever sales pitches. They also think in messianic and apocalyptic terms, and need easy answers to the tough questions their emotional immaturity and bigotry leaves unanswered.
        For people like this, as you so clearly demonstrate, there is a magical thinking process depended on, which results in delusional feelings of moral superiority and enlightened status as someone who has the great truth of CO2 revealed to them.
        Thank you for contribution.

        Best wishes,

      • andrew adams

        Well perish the thought that anyone here should have delusional feelings of moral superiority and enlightened status.

      • aa,
        Bring it up with Martha and let us know what she has to say.

      • andrew adams

        hunter,

        Well I could, or I could take it up with those who accuse their opponents of being bigots and compare them to eugenicists, or accuse them of being complicit in the deaths of old people.

      • aa,
        but then you would be mistaken.
        I can demonstrate the bigotry, the comparisons to eugenics and the deaths from disruption of food supply and cold, as well as calls for massive eco-terorism and resulting genocide with facts.
        Martha and Hansen and Suzuki etc. etc. etc. etc. have made up crap.
        But good try at deflection.

      • And then there is I, who claim the special status of someone who has the great truth revealed to them. That, however, is not the source of my moral superiority. That comes from my Noble Cause of sustaining the development of the poor of this earth until we’ve reached a balance between the human race and its niche, this Earth.
        ======================

      • ps, there are many ‘great truths’. If you don’t like this one, I have others.
        ======================

      • lol.
        as long as that enlightenment doesn’t end up like this:

    • Martha –
      including the most persistent liars, who are demographically shown to be Republican, white, male, older, relatively well-off, and Protestant

      Doesn’t fit – I’m white, male, younger than you (at least mentally), not well-off, not Protestant, not Republican. My wife isn’t male, and my best friend and his wife are flaming liberals – and they’re all sceptics. :-)

      Like Joshua, you’re generalizing – and you’ve got your head in your armpit.

      • Ones like Martha never met a white male landowner they didn’t hate. OK, Martha, to the board: Chalk out your centennial scale plan of governance. Point out its advantages over the scorned previous model.
        ===================

      • Jim,
        How long will it take ‘Martha’ to accuse you of being a Koch employee?
        lol.

      • Only as long as it takes here to get back here. We can all hope that’s a long time from now – 5 years, maybe? By that time her cause might be dead, but sadly, her attitude/nastiness won’t be.

      • For myself I have been accused of being paid to write (emphatically untrue)what I write, been accused of being part of a plot(categorically untrue), being a creationist/fundamentalist(false), anti-science(demonstrably false).
        So while I am confident you and I would have significant differences on many issues, it is clear that we can agree on AGW and with civility agree to disagree on others. Unlike the AGW faithful, who as we see so often have to demonize those who question any aspect of their faith.
        Martha is just one example of that.
        The way Dr. Curry and the other climate scientists who do not openly and explicitly buy in to the AGW CO2 calamity have been treated by many AGW opinion leaders demonstrates this very well.

      • Jim – ‘demographic’ refers to the statistical view of a population, it is not a description of you and your wife, or your best friend and his wife.

      • Rob Starkey

        Martha- When you write things like- “(including the most persistent liars, who are demographically shown to be Republican, ” you really come off as narrow minded and prejudiced. I rather doubt you have any data to suport your statement. As an independant, I find democrats and republican equally untruthful.

      • Martha –
        I understood that. I also understand that people are not statistics and that making sweeping statistical judgments is a fools game. Statistically, very few Muslims are terrorists. But if you apply that statistical knowledge in the wrong place/way it can get you in trouble. Witness Afghanistan recently.

        I also understand that a constant negative attitude will get you an unsavory reputation. Not sure you understand that.

        I am a sceptic. I have good reason to be so. Your demonstrated attitude till now has done nothing to convince me otherwise. I suspect that others are equally put off by it.

  52. Judith, Martha is more the rule than the exception. AGW is about political and cultural hate, the science if it had no massive, global statist mitigation effort attached to it would be a footnote of a science field. While the force of Martha(s) are contained for the moment it’s a sad day that this level of barbarism is at the gate at all. The billions in agw malinvestment could have saved millions largely in the third world and is a particular force in lowering global production.

    • I agree.

      Success in hiding and/or misrepresenting experimental data on the Sun, the Moon, meteorites, the Earth and rest masses of individual atoms probably gave would-be dictators courage to misrepresent Earth’s climate, too.

      They overlooked the fact that everyone has a thermometer and a memory!

    • cwon1
      “The billions in agw malinvestment could have saved millions largely in the third world “
      You indicate that you want to spend money on saving people in developing countries. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you would also wish to address the increasingly third world conditions for many people in America, especially women and children, saving them, too. Since it involves people being able to get out of poverty, or lifting people out of poverty, and you suggest this is not possible right now because of ‘billions’ in agw ‘malinvestment’, give me a bit more information about your view of what prevented spending to save people before; where you get your information about currrent spending; and what type of government (if any) you believe would make saving people a priority.

      • Losers change the subject and try to higjack threads.
        Please address the issue and stop shape shifting.

  53. cwon1 wrote “Judith, Martha is more the rule than the exception. AGW is about political and cultural hate…..While the force of Martha(s) are contained for the moment it’s a sad day that this level of barbarism is at the gate at all. The billions in agw malinvestment could have saved millions largely in the third world and is a particular force in lowering global production.”

    The sad irony of course is that the actual deniers are in the AGW camp for the most part. Sometimes you see ludicrous claims on the skeptical side of course, but in my experience it’s not nearly as common, and in any case markedly different in quality. The warmists are much more likely to present their arguments in ways that bespeak rage, hate, and contempt. Those qualities again are supposed to be a trademark of the “ignorant” skeptics.

    The general claim is that the entire skeptical case is based in a few errant emails seized on by a bunch of Republicans at the behest of “Big Oil” in an attempt to “fool” the public. Oh my, the poor public. As if we’re not intellectually equipped to make up our own minds based on a fair reading of the evidence.

    The debate is and probably always has been political in nature. You’re absolutely right cwon1, it’s a part of the same cultural war that has riven this country in two since at least the 1960′s.

    • The rhetoric is utterly telling, both in the climate, and the larger, war.
      =============

    • AGW, like eugenics, was all about fear of the future and bigotry. The science just offered, then and now, a veneer of credibility.

    • “it’s a part of the same cultural war that has riven this country in two since at least the 1960′s.”

      Likely long before, it’s an interesting topic to track the social decline from the inception of the republic and the divide of urban poor and Jeffersonian rural culture values. One side always seeking intervention and management, another seeking to be left alone. You can find similar divides in the agw dispute.

      Of course my family is traced to both sides of the Civil War as I’m sure many are. I understand why there is collectivist fear but in the end I can’t endorse it. Why so many of the elite choose to lead this society into the rathole of socialist managed society is a telling question. It happened to the English long before WWI in armchairs of gentlemens clubs that produced progressive state ideals which hundreds of millions have died and have left us in a permanent war time economy footing (Keynesian, fiat money, global bank interconnection). Certainly our own Civil War was a watershed for central planning as well. AGW will likely fail but the desire for single authoritarian global management will not die with it.

      The eco-green movement is socialist Eutopianism, AGW is just a sect, large as it may be. The 60′s were telling but again, it’s much deeper than that moment. If pushed back in history the modern green movement is linked to both soap box barkers of “workers vs. bosses” and the ironic alliance of Nativists who in the name of abstract conservation would rather people die than see a single tradeoff of growth. It’s a paradox that greens can never accept, they are the ultimate negative sterotype of elitism and birth privilege. In the 60′s under the guise of the “Population Bomb” is the close cousin of the modern AGW movement or what was more correctly called the “Zero growth” culture on campus at the time.

  54. The warmists see themselves as righteous stewards of the earth, and the skeptics as heedless barbarians. It’s almost impossible to break through that bias…

    Small example, I’ve written countless letters to the editor at the NYT’s regarding columnists like Krugman as well as a bunch to the “Public Editor” complaining about the appalling lack of balance in the paper … but none have been printed. Now of course their supposed policy is to publish critical letters if they’re reasonable and well written, and I’m sure this is true in at least some areas, but I honestly can’t recall reading a single skeptical letter in the NYT’s. It’s likely that I’ve missed some, but then again maybe not.

    In my case it’s not because my letters are not well written. I’m a published writer with a couple of “Pushcart Prize” nominations to my credit. I submit that only as prima facie evidence that my letters are not badly written. So then, what’s their rationale?

    Well, simple. Why would they print a letter, even a well written letter, from a heedless barbarian? They’re only considering the source.

    • pokerguy, ironic when consider the meaning of “op-ed” which use to mean “opposite editor” in the early 20th century. It was a way to add editorial balance and get away from single line thinking of the paper internally. In true Orwellian fashion most people think the “op” means “opinion” and today most op-eds march in lock-step with editorial opinion and bias. The NYTimes being a shining example.

    • pokerguy,
      The media long ago took the Rolling Stone motto, “All the News That Fits” as a serious strategic plan.

  55. Willis Eschenbach

    Gene | April 6, 2011 at 8:54 am |

    I agree that the furor is overblown. Regardless of the outcome, it seems like Muller and his team are going about things the right way. I hate to see them attacked for it (particularly when it seems that a lot of those attacks are misinformed).

    Gene, I’m not attacking Muller or BEST for their scientific work on the temperature dataset. We haven’t seen any of that yet, there’s nothing to discuss. I look forward to their presenting of the data in an accessible form, along with the publishing of the code they will use to do the analysis.

    The issue is Muller testifying to Congress about his analysis of the confidential data given to him by Anthony Watts.

    w.

  56. Hunter,
    Boy is that the truth. Another small, but terribly annoying example:

    Last fall you might remember there was a big, feature story in the NYT’s questioning whether the heat wave in Russia the previous summer had anything to do with global warming. Of course in this article they did everything but formally conclude that it did. Laughable, but weather’s not climate as we all know unless it’s “helpful” weather. (In fairness, both sides are guilty of this).

    So flash forward 6 months or so and lo and behold we now have a peer reviewed paper concluding, surprise surprise, that the heat wave had nothing to do with GW. The NYT’s response? Crickets naturally…

    So I picked up my by now well-worn” letter to the public editor” pen and asked him why the Times was apparently ignoring this information. I mean, now that we have the answer, isn’t that just as important as the question? If not why not?

    Nothing but more crickets of course. They MUST realize their own hypocrisy in this case. I mean, they’re not idiots. But they rationalize. They’re so convinced that we’re all about to roast that they have the “greater good” to worry about. Anything that in any way detracts from the possibility of AGW imperils us all…

    Of course an alternative explanation is they’re just a bunch of idiots with Ivy League degrees. My old dad used to call them “wise fools.”

  57. Willis Eschenbach

    Oh, this is great. After Steven Mosher excoriating me for not requesting the code and data for a paper I haven’t read yet, I go to WUWT to read about the Gabbas paper and I find the following:

    Bear in mind, because this is a private company, and because small companies must hold their IP rights close to maintain competitive advantages, the data cleaning method can be discussed in general terms, but they cannot provide the code for review without compromising their IP rights. However, the source data used in this paper can be made available on request, as WeatherSource has tentatively offered access to it provided that the end user is doing research, does not use it for commercial gain, and does not republish it in its original form. Use the WUWT contact page if you would like to request a copy of the WeatherSource cleaned data after first agreeing to the caveats listed. Anonymous requests will be ignored. The metadata list of stations is available here: Utah-stations-metadata (PDF) Utah-stations-metadata (Excel .xls)

    Mosh, this is like RSS versus UAH, where one is a for-profit business, and one is a university. In addition, the paper is not peer reviewed. And I have no grounds to ask to see commercially valuable business code. I would say that they’ve gone out of their way to provide everything that they can provide.

    Now, of course this is why they haven’t published in a peer-reviewed journal. So I have to discount their results somewhat because of that. On the other hand, people buy their results, so I have to add a bit to the value of their results because of that.

    But no, Mosh, I won’t demand their valuable business code, and they’ve graciously provided their data. So all we can do at this point is form our own judgement based on what they’ve provided.

    w.

    PS – Note that once again, the issue is not whether their results agree or disagree, or whether or not I like their results. The issue is that they are a business, so different rules apply.

    • Anthony Watts

      I seem to recall a conversation at dinner in SFO with Willis and Mosh just before I visited BEST where Mosh was advising me in no uncertain terms to protect my intellectual property rights on an invention I discussed that night.

      That’s what this company must do to protect their work.

      On the plus side, I have convinced them of the value of doing a broader release of source, and they’ve made up a simple legal license for the task. I’ll have a new post on WUWT in the next day or so to make the new source release known.

      Mr. Gibbas thinks it will be good to provide this. I agree.

      I’ll leave a note here when it is up on WUWT.

  58. From the Guardian interview of Muller (link at Wikipedia, italics added):

    “We are an independent, non-political, non-partisan group. We will gather the data, do the analysis, present the results and make all of it available. There will be no spin, whatever we find. We are doing this because it is the most important project in the world today. Nothing else comes close.”

    Um. Howsabout figuring out what might come next, Dr. Muller?

    • IRT ‘the most important project in the world”
      Oddly, the public after over 20 years of drumbeat AGW propaganda, disagrees.
      AGW is falling off the priority list, ranking at or near the bottom.

      • It’s the money, honey. More money hangs on ‘green energy’ and ‘climate change’ than on all of those other more worthy projects put together, hunter. It’s really a quite horrific tale, full of suspense and mundane terror. It’s a bubble, too, and the collapse will vaporize more treasure than would be needed to make an impact in other more critical areas. And its not as if there haven’t been plenty of people like Lonborg to talk about it. It’s the money, and it’s about to become imaginary. The Monopoly Board is about to melt.
        =================

      • kim,
        Having worked in the front lines of a melt down, I cannot wish one on anyone. However, there are many things that I would not wish on others, like death, taxes or serious disease, that are inevitable. The so-called ‘green’ bubble and its eventual demise are one of those inevitabilities.

  59. On the muller Issue, frankly what any of us think in the “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” arena is irrellevant. All that matters here is did what he did violate an Agreement with Watts on the appropriate and timely use of the data. If so, guilty as charged. Characterise it any way you want (Ethically or Morally).

    In the Greater scheme of things it is no big deal IMHO, however to the teams directly involved, I fully understand why it may be a Very Big Deal.

    What this spat does illustrate however, along with incidents such as Climategate and the behaviour of those at the core of the endeavour, is a marked lack of proffessionalism. The way Climate Science is now viewed by many outside of the “ivory towers” is entirely the responsibility of those engaged within it. To all of you you are bringing this upon yourselves.

    Cheers

  60. Science Insider has just posted an interview with Richard Muller (with Eli Kintisch).

    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/04/qa-with-richard-muller-a-physicist.html?ref=ra

    A few interesting bits:

    Q: You testified that the scientists maintaining the three climate temperature sets—maintained by NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.K. Met Office—have done “excellent” work. So how did you feel when the e-mails from the University of East Anglia emerged?

    R.M.: I felt like a woman who’s just learned her husband was cheating on her. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad husband in all ways, but that trust is lost. … The e-mails didn’t relate at all to the temperature work. … It was all the [paleotemperature] proxy data. [But] that disillusioned me.

    Q: You say that “openness and transparency” are central to your project. So why present your findings to Congress before describing your methods in a publication that everybody can read?

    R.M.: We were originally planning to submit a paper at the same time as the testimony, to a journal which would allow simultaneous publication of the draft online. … This is a problem that causes us great concern. What do you do when you are working on [something] and Congress asks you to testify? It’s a difficult issue.

    Q: What’s next for your project?

    R.M.: Very soon we hope to have both the data and the programs online. And if you don’t like our results, my [advice] is to change the program, but be open and transparent about it. Let us know what you changed. If there’s some assumption we make that you think is invalid than change the assumption and run the programs and see what answer you get. I’m hoping that if we make it that open and that accessible that the people who are interested in the answer … will be won over.

    Q: Are there any other lines of research that you want to pursue?

    R.M.: We’re applying for funding to study the ocean temperature data. That will allow us to get a true global picture of temperature trends.

    • R.M.: We were originally planning to submit a paper at the same time as the testimony, to a journal which would allow simultaneous publication of the draft online.

      All cut and dried then. How very convienent. Anyone care to tell which journal this was?

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Judith, thanks for the interview. The interviewer poses the question:

      Q: You say that “openness and transparency” are central to your project. So why present your findings to Congress before describing your methods in a publication that everybody can read?

      And it’s a good one. Muller gives this odd reply:

      R.M.: We were originally planning to submit a paper at the same time as the testimony, to a journal which would allow simultaneous publication of the draft online. … This is a problem that causes us great concern. What do you do when you are working on [something] and Congress asks you to testify? It’s a difficult issue.

      Oh, you poor fellow, caught like that, it’s so difficult …

      Buldust, that’s not a “difficult issue”. The rules for Congress are the same rules as for everyone else. If you are working on something involving confidential data, you don’t say anything about it. Not to me, and not to you. How is that “difficult?”

      And most assuredly, you shouldn’t say anything about your analysis of confidential data if, for example, there are a bunch of important people and the media around.

      Like say … Congress. If you have someone’s secrets, you probably shouldn’t announce your analysis of them before Congress. I don’t care what they asked Muller (although it appears they asked him nothing about SurfaceStations). What, they’re gonna torture him if he doesn’t cough up his analysis of confidential data?

      So no, it’s not some “problem that causes great concern”, that’s just a climate-scientist play-acting angst about having screwed somebody over. It’s a problem of the grade-school variety, “Should I betray a confidence?” And as my Great Grandfather used to say, “If you must ask yourself the question as to right or wrong, the answer is usually No.”

      Muller’s agonizing over what to tell Congress is valid. If a man is testifying as a scientific expert before Congress, he should limit himself to solid science, and pick his words very carefully.

      Muller’s concern about how much he should betray to Congress, however, is self-serving crocodile tears. He should betray nothing. Instead of betraying nothing, however, he betrayed his friend.

      He’ll never fool me again. Muller’s a man who has demonstrated that for him, a confidence is only a tool to help him step on you on the way up. I don’t mind his ambition. But if he wants to climb up the ladder to attain the exalted position of Congress’s bum-boy, he should do it on his own time, and not step on people’s heads to get there.

      w.

      PS – Seeing Muller cravenly fold up, before a Congressional Committee had even asked him a single question, gives me much greater appreciation of those folks who stood up to Joe McCarthy and his Congressional Committee in my youth and refused to follow the herd and betray their friends.

      As a result, it’s curious to find this Congressional Committee to be the venue for a similar (though much lesser) betrayal … what’s the deal with Congressional Committees and people betraying their friends? Is it some mystic power that only the Shadow knows? Whatever it was … it worked on Muller.

      • Willis – now I see what you were talking about when you were telling us the Muller was “attacking” Watts.

        Q: Did photos on [skeptic] Anthony Watts’ Web site showing official temperature gauges in flawed locations like parking lots inspire you to get involved in the debate over the accuracy of the weather stations ?

        R.M.: I realized that Watts was doing something that was of importance. The issues he raised needed to be addressed. It made me seriously wonder whether the reported global warming may be biased by poor station quality. Watts is a hero for what he’s done. So is [prominent skeptic blogger] Steve McIntyre.

        I also see what you used to determine that Muller is “agenda-driven,”

        Q: You testified that the scientists maintaining the three climate temperature sets—maintained by NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.K. Met Office—have done “excellent” work. So how did you feel when the e-mails from the University of East Anglia emerged?

        R.M.: I felt like a woman who’s just learned her husband was cheating on her. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad husband in all ways, but that trust is lost. … The e-mails didn’t relate at all to the temperature work. … It was all the [paleotemperature] proxy data. [But] that disillusioned me.

        And I also noticed that you neglected to comment on this (the significant implications of their preliminary findings):

        Q: You compared U.S. climate trends from some 300 stations deemed well or moderately-well located with 800 stations that are poorly sited. What did you find?

        R.M.: There was no statistical difference [in the data] between the good groups and the bad groups.

        Q: Why was that surprising?

        R.M.: Because the stations were so bad. … You see stations right up against buildings, next to heat sources.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joshua, I assume that was an attempt at sarcasm. Don’t quit your day job. Inter alia you say:

        And I also noticed that you neglected to comment on this (the significant implications of their preliminary findings):

        Q: You compared U.S. climate trends from some 300 stations deemed well or moderately-well located with 800 stations that are poorly sited. What did you find?

        R.M.: There was no statistical difference [in the data] between the good groups and the bad groups.

        I didn’t comment on Muller’s preliminary findings for several reasons. First, for the same reason he shouldn’t have commented on them – they’re meaningless.

        If the final result is totally different, Muller will reasonably say “Hey, I told you they were preliminary results”. Why should we care about or waste time on results a man won’t stand behind?

        So I didn’t discuss them for that reason.

        However, there is a deeper reason I didn’t discuss Muller’s analysis of Anthony’s confidential data. Can you guess what that might be?

        Well, it’s because Muller didn’t say how he compared the two groups of stations, the ones that are “well or moderately-well located” and the ones that are “poorly sited”. Did he squint at them across the room? What tests did he use? Did he compare maximum, or minimum, or mean temperature data? How did he remove anomalies?

        But there’s a final reason I didn’t comment on Muller’s analysis of Anthony’s confidential data. Can you guess what that might be?

        Because it is based on CONFIDENTIAL DATA, duh, so we don’t know which stations Muller is comparing.

        Without knowing any of that, Joshua, only a fool (or perhaps yourself) would comment on those preliminary results. There’s nothing to comment on.

        Beyond that, both you and Dr. Muller in his interview have totally ignored the ethical elephant in the room, the fact that Muller was discussing his analysis of data given to him in confidence. Perhaps that’s fine on your planet. On mine it sucks.

        w.

        PS – Yes, you are right, Muller objected to Climategate, although he sure didn’t make his objections very publicly or emphatically, especially at the time … and yes, he said nice things about Anthony while he was screwing him over.

        Is that supposed to impress me? Because it doesn’t. A man who does that, who stands up before Congress and testifies about his analysis of data given to him in confidence by someone who trusted him, has lost honest mens’ respect no matter what he says about Climategate.

  61. Q&A With Richard Muller: A Physicist and His Surprising Climate Data

    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/04/qa-with-richard-muller-a-physicist.html?ref=ra

    Quote, Muller, “Very soon we hope to have both the data and the programs online. And if you don’t like our results, my [advice] is to change the program, but be open and transparent about it. Let us know what you changed. If there’s some assumption we make that you think is invalid than change the assumption and run the programs and see what answer you get. I’m hoping that if we make it that open and that accessible that the people who are interested in the answer … will be won over.

    It is interesting that there could be many answers, but only one answer that is acceptable is “the answer” …. and this somehow will win people over.
    It reminds me of a Mark Twain quote on belief, “Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion–several of them.”

    It would appear that Richard Muller has already expressed faith in the one True Answer without need for validation.

    It is also interesting that Richard Muller chooses to talk only to those possessed by the same faith in the one True Answer.

    Again we are left with the strong impression that there is very little science in Climate Science.

    • Well this is a misinterpretation. There are many different ways to analyze such a complex data set. There are numerous ideas on how to deal with the UHI, etc. Muller et al. are introducing some new analysis methods (that haven’t previously been used by GISS, CRU, NOAA). Others may have ideas for improved analysis methods. WIth careful uncertainty analysis, uncertainties introduced by each of these assumptions should be apparent.

      • ….. but which answer will be published in a friendly journal? Muller has already defined what that answer will be. It will not be mine or yours, it will be his, and once published it will be the only True Answer as far as Muller is concerned.

        Who can argue with such logic when there is so much for Muller to do. He is a busy man.

    • I think Muller was pretty upset over climategate and had some very pointed remarks about those playing the games exposed in climategate.
      There is an obvious lack of science in AGW, but I think there are probably a good number of ethical scientists still in climate. Even in the worst of Lysenkoism and eugenics there were still good scientists studying biology and evolution.

  62. I Agree Judith (misinterpreation), Mullers Wordage could be viewed as ambigous. I took him to mean that people would be won over to the process rather than a predetermined output.

    I am beginning to think he needs a good PR Person :)

    • I don’t think that Muller was being ambigous. I am sure he would have read and agreed to the Q & A transcript before it was published.

      As such we have take to heart the words said. This was not about process, nor validation, but about results – the answer. If you don’t like Muller’s answer, then you are free to come up with your own answer, but it will be only your answer, not ‘the answer’.

      Also, Muller stated he attempted to have draft results published on submission to a journal simultaneous with his Congessional testimony. It becomes difficult not conclude that Muller had already determined what ‘the answer’ was, and would a journal publication, even in draft form, not add weight to his Congressional testimony?

      Finally, why has Muller confided only with those who clearly belong to the alarmist wing of the AGW movement?

      Muller needs more than a good PR person, we have had enough of spin, he needs to be seen doing good science.

      • I can see how one could arrive at that conclusion and he certainly hasn’t helped himself with some of the releases (thought to be speculative at first) that have appeared from the Pro lobby.

        I can even sympathise with the natural suspicion that many have.

        However I think it would not be unreasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt, until the full release.

        Either they follow the stated aims (to the letter) and be fully transparent (leaving no wriggle room). Or they play the long standing smoke and mirrors game and fail the transparency test and produce questionable statements based on undisclosed analysis.

        We will see then whether what has occurred is naievity (something many scientists seem to suffer from). Or a deliberate intent to decieve.

        Judith is at the core of this from an access point of view, so I guess we will get an early heads up on here, whether the reservations of many are unfounded or not).

        I will continue to give him the benefit of the doubt (but still suggest he has a communication specialist run interference) :)

        As someone once said “credibility is hard won but easily lost”

  63. Sorry for the typos for some reason the Blog is running very slowly for me and I dont see the text until minutes after I type it. :(

  64. Can we actually reflect upon the basic questions regarding this issue? I would be interested what the readers at this site think of each of these questions. (My responses included)

    1. Is additional human released CO2 contributing to a warmer earth? (yes)
    2. Is a warmer world worse for humanity overall in the long term? (worse for some areas, better for others- there is insufficient information to know)
    3. Is there any reasonable likelihood that human CO2 emissions will be reduced from there current levels over the next 25 years? (No)
    4. What would be the largest potential harms to humanity of a warmer world over the next 25 years? (it will require a greater investment in infrastructure in many nations)
    5. Is there a “duty” for countries that have emitted CO2 historically to provide funds to countries that have not emitted CO2? (No)

    • 1. Is additional human released CO2 contributing to a warmer earth?
      Not much
      2. Is a warmer world worse for humanity overall in the long term?
      Not likely.
      3. Is there any reasonable likelihood that human CO2 emissions will be reduced from there current levels over the next 25 years?
      No. so why raise this much trouble?
      4. What would be the largest potential harms to humanity of a warmer world over the next 25 years?
      No credible forecast of climte indicates changes are occurring or are likely to occur faster than infrastructure wears out. No adaptation outside the range of typical adaptation is needed in the next 25 years.
      5. Is there a “duty” for countries that have emitted CO2 historically to provide funds to countries that have not emitted CO2?
      Agreed: (No)

    • If you don’t mind, I would like to ad a #6…… Is there a point where x amount of CO2 causes a “tipping point”? The kind of tipping point you don’t return from. If so, about where is that value?

  65. Muller has a very interesting interview on NPR, entitled “Scientists often pigeonholed by political debates.” A few excerpts:

    CONAN: And is it accurate to describe you as a climate change skeptic?

    Prof. MULLER: I don’t think so. I’m just a scientist. People want to pigeonhole everybody in this field just to simplify the argument. They want you to be either a warmist or a skeptic or something like that. And that tends to make the argument sound like it’s a case of law in which you have lawyers arguing both sides. In fact, scientists need to be properly skeptical, and the debate is never closed. A scientific issue should always address questions that are raised and some of the skeptics raised very good questions, and I wanted to answer them.

    CONAN: And, indeed, one of the things you were asked to talk about was a so-called bias, the suggestion that some of your colleagues, who might be described as warmists, were cherry-picking their data to make a very strong case for global warming.

    Prof. MULLER: Well, the public issue has been very much cherry-picked. I talked about that in my “Physics for Future Presidents” book. Many of the things – the solid science is actually fairly solid, although we believe we can improve on it and refine it, and that’s important.

    • Poor guy.
      He was afraid to actually stand up.
      What is about climate science that destroys skepticism and critical thinking?

      • I’d really like to know what he calls ‘solid science’. Is it the radiative effect in the laboratory? Surely it’s not that effect as expressed in the atmosphere. Surely it’s not the models.

        What is solid?
        ==============

      • Prof. MULLER: Well, I think what’s happened is that many scientists have gotten so concerned about global warming, correctly concerned I mean they look at it and they draw a conclusion, and then they’re worried that the public has not been concerned, and so they become advocates. And at that point, it’s unfortunate, I feel that they’re not trusting the public. They’re not presenting the science to the public. They’re presenting only that aspect to the science that will convince the public. That’s not the way science works. And because they don’t trust the public, in the end the public doesn’t trust them. And the saddest thing from this, I think, is a loss of credibility of scientists because so many of them have become advocates.

        I got a different opinion of his interview. I got a mental image of a man whacking a hornets nest with a stick.

      • Heh, I get a mental image of people like Muller and Judy functioning as condensation nuclei for a whole new cloud of climatology.
        =================