Discussion with Rich Muller

by Judith Curry

I had a 90 minute meeting with Richard Muller this evening.

I have to say that there isn’t much that we disagree on.

He was very excited to show me his latest analyses.  He is clearly driven by the science and is very sincere about wanting to make progress on understanding the global temperature record.

The discussion clarified several things for me.

First, Muller’s title for the WSJ op-ed was “Cooling the Warming Debate,” he intended it to be a conciliatory article regarding how this data set could be used to settle some of the debates surrounding the land temperature record.  The “End of Skepticism” title was provided by the WSJ editors.  Muller was not happy about this change of title.

Second, the reason for the publicity blitz seems to be to get the attention of the IPCC.   To be considered in the AR5, papers need to be submitted by Nov, which explains the timing.  The publicity is so that the IPCC can’t ignore BEST.  Muller shares my concerns about the IPCC process, and gatekeeping in the peer review process.

Re the recent trend, Muller reiterated that you can’t infer anything about what is going on globally from the land data, but the land data shows a continued increase albeit with an oscillation that makes determining a trend rather ambiguous.  He thinks there is a pause, that is probably associated with AMO/PDO.  So I am ok with this interpretation.

With regards to the BEST data itself and what it shows.  He showed me an interesting graph this is updated from the Rohde article, whereby the BEST data shows good agreement with the GISS data for the recent part of the record.  Apparently the original discrepancy was associated with definition of land; this was sorted out and when they compared apples to apples, then the agreement is pretty good.  This leaves CRU as an outlier.

Speaking of CRU, Muller related an interesting anecdote about Phil Jones that was apparently related to him by a reporter.  When Jones was asked to comment on the BEST papers, he said he no comment until after the papers were published. Maybe Muller was correct in worrying about making sure the IPCC pays attention.

We also discussed problems with the IPCC, Climategate issues, etc., and we tend to mostly agree on all this.

The one disagreement of the evening was over interpreting hurricane data, but that is not something to bother with here.

So all in all, I am ok with what is going on in the BEST project.  The PR situation is still a problem, but the media aren’t helping here.  In any event alot of people are now looking at the data.  The BEST team is taking seriously the more serious critiques and are sorting through them.  Progress is being made!

Well, this is already shaping up to be a lively conference.  I planned on preparing a post on the Santa Fe conference today, but got sidetracked by the Mail article.  I will get something up tomorrow.

Josh weighs in:

561 responses to “Discussion with Rich Muller

  1. Maybe you can ask him about this next time you see him:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/30/the-best-whopper-ever/

    • Restored credibility will also require a candid acknowledgement of the natural variability of Earth’s heat source – the Sun – and the current state of knowledge/ignorance about the reasons for that variability and its impact on Earth’s changing climate.

      • R. Carrington

        Now there is a novel idea, actually take a look at the beginning of the chain. Global warming is real, Man Caused global warming is a farce, and there is a world of difference. We have been in a warming cycle since the end of the last Ice Age some 10,000 years ago. NOTE “end of an ice age”. Ice melts when things warm up. The things going on in the global climate today are influenced by events of yesterday, last year, the last century and the last 10,000 and more years.
        With few exceptions the only science involved in the Warming debate is Political and Economic Science. Many very good well meaning people are being manipulated in the name of Global warming. Just follow the money trail and see who is making BIG profits on carbon credits and the like.

      • Things warm up when ice melts. Things cool off when oceans are warm and it snows more.
        Things are warm and it is snowing more. Watch the news for this.

      • Thus, the increased snow in Greenland due to warming temperatures explains the loss of ice mass.

        As things get warmer and we get more and more snow eventually we end up covered in miles of snow and it is called an ice age.

      • I agree, R. Carrington, and I will ask Professor Muller to address empirical facts and observations on the Sun – Earth’s heat source – in open reviewers comments of BEST.

    • > “First, Muller’s title for the WSJ op-ed was “Cooling the Warming Debate,” he intended it to be a conciliatory article regarding how this data set could be used to settle some of the debates surrounding the land temperature record. The “End of Skepticism” title was provided by the WSJ editors. Muller was not happy about this change of title.”

      That’s more of a reason for him to stat his own blog, so some punks with an agenda don’t keep changing his titles ;) Honestly, I can’t understand why he won’t do that ASAP … it takes like 15 min.

      Maybe you could help him with that? Definitely do suggest that to him when you’re with him the next time! So he can represent himself and engage in the discussions more directly … I’d love his direct input and his take on some issues ;)

      • I think it’s not the 15 minutes it takes to start the blog; it’s the 25 hrs/day it would take to run and maintain it.

      • nandhee jothi

        That is why god created “guest Posting”, man use it

      • I think that may be preferable to the 40hrs/day it takes to maintain an image and correct all the “misrepresentations” by all the media pundits with an agenda that take it upon themselves to speak for you.

        They could really use a slap on the wrist from time to time!

    • Anthony,

      I’m sorry to say that Muller and Dr. Curry are fruit of the same poisoned tree. They fake skepticism and even handedness, make ornate proclamations of seeming dissent to the IPCC/UN cartel position but are in fact agents of the cartel. Many on the board can’t accept this and offer moderated criticism and over extended praise.

      The other day Dr. Curry stated and I’m paraphrasing here; “I’ve never had much to do with the IPCC and I’m glad”. This is the equivalent of a sub-prime mortgage broker claiming “I’ve never had much to do with the Federal Reserve and I’m glad”. Both statements might be in a shallow sense accurate but should we be surprised the debate never reaches for lack of a better term “climate truth”??

      Muller’s pathetic excuses and media manipulations which Dr. Curry accepts in a nanosecond because they are cultural and political peers. Dr. Curry is a cartel member, it’s counter productive when dissent pretends otherwise which is all the time on these boards. It’s past the time to be “concerned” about the IPCC and UN green extreme movement which ochestrated the AGW debate to this point. It’s time to denounce the process and call the “mainstream AGW consensus” a politically contrived and abusive science that threatens individual rights and freedoms. Instead we get a solid feed of Climate “Zen” and nuanced piecemeal topics that lead to the same circular conversations. There is no science conclusion because the movement of AGW is political religion supporting central planning and state control. It’s made worse when participants pretend otherwise.

      • Marcel Kincaid

        Dr. Curry deletes my comments saying that the “meme” about her among climate scientists is a result of her own behavior, but leaves up all sorts of crank nonsense, even this outlandish and rash attack on her and Dr. Muller. Odd.

      • Maybe it’s bacause you live in the limited politically correct universe of yours and so many’s making who follow the consensus talking points even while claiming dissent. By discounting the agw science groups natural political inclinations and taking it off the table of discussion leaves us with very little understanding of nuanced and limited positions Dr. Curry offers. Without understanding Dr. Muller’s political MO we are dragged yet again in to huge wastes of time explaining and understanding all the inconsistent statements and actions he participates in. Both are agents of science authority when nothing on this topic is justified by actual evidence. The “uncertainty” talking point is just watered down modernist pandering for pointing out that the agw consensus is really “junk science” without actually rubbing noses in it which is what is really required to get to the final correction and a road to reform. It’s like being forced to read David Brooks at the NYTimes sniveling and beating around the bush rather than state the obvious which wouldn’t be permitted by the Times authority as a reality. So rather than speak the actual truth and being cast out (by the self-proclaimed consensus authority) as say Dr. Lindzen or Singer have we have the inflated Dr. Curry who maintains feet on either side. So we can expect decades more of hairsplitting agw advocacy and attribution claims that have no real world models or predictability. In a broader sense the business of “science” become extensions of government authority has been enhanced by Dr. Curry and the timid rebutals often found on these threads so often. Example? Decades of political advocacy and science manipulations and overstatements from the UN/IPCC and they sit in a conference to “largely agree”? About what? What does it take to denounce the eco-left and all of its agents that are the core “consensus”? AGW is just a topic. The fact is they are cut from the same cloth and are insiders even while playing other roles even when offering dissent.

  2. CRU may need to be fixed, which means around one million graphs in the Climate Etc. comment threads will be null and void.

    Which is why I always, whenever possible, convert all graphs to GisTemp on wood for trees.

  3. Regarding this comment:

    “He thinks there is a pause, that is probably associated with AMO/PDO. So I am ok with this interpretation.”
    ___
    No discussion of the relatively weak solar cycle, the recently long and quiet minimum, volcanoes, aerosols, etc? It is one thing to associate a period of flat temperatures to the AMO/PDO, but so much has been written and studie about these long-term ocean cycles and their relationship to solar forcings. Especially now with climate models finally starting to include the EUV relationship to stratospheric effects, how can the solar effects not be mentioned?

    • Muller is still concerned with step 2 of getting the temperature record correct, and you’re talking about setp 25 of attributing causes. Getting ahead of ourselves is what’s been causing so much trouble.

      • Ed Fix,

        speaking of getting ahead of yourself, Muller tried to debunk UHI with a poorly thought out scheme when saying anything about UHI requires attribution studies. Muller should have kept his trap shut about showing anything about UHI!!!

    • R. Gates says: “It is one thing to associate a period of flat temperatures to the AMO/PDO, but so much has been written and studie about these long-term ocean cycles and their relationship to solar forcings.”

      There has? Please provide links to the papers you’re referring to.

      • You’re kidding…right? A simple search on Google Scholar of “solar cycle ocean PDO ENSO AMO” returns hundreds of papers and research…some are of course complete crap, but many are quite solidly done.

  4. If the elderly in the UK are forced to burn books for warmth this winter shall we associate that with lack of preparation for a period of flat temperatures due to the AMO/PDO or what to expect for three to seven more decades of a ‘warming hiatus?’

  5. Brian G Valentine

    they held a gun to my head and made me do it

    I had no choice

    They did it, not me

    I don’t know the whole story, but from what I know so far, I would divorce myself from that thing faster than Richard Muller could say “denier”

  6. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith, why did they release, with great fanfare, a preliminary version that’s not reliable because it is known to be buggy, and which the BEST folks themselves say is not intended for analysis by third parties???

    I read your explanation of why they published now and all that, which seemed bogus. The explanation was “to get it in the IPCC”.

    What, like if they hadn’t hired Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey to tout their results to the limit, the IPCC would never have noticed them? Does Muller expect us to believe that they needed this PR circus to get noticed? The man has an ego so big it has its own zip code, he’s already splashed BEST all over the news in his congressional testimony …

    And then he says he needs more publicity for the IPCC, and you believe him, Judith?

    You really need to get a bit more skeptical here, my dear. That explanation won’t wash.

    But in any case, after all of that PR and hype, they have given us nothing. They say to not analyze the data they’ve released, which means that it is merely another preliminary result. And given that Muller already pushed his “preliminary results” at Congress, and got them pushed back in his face … why is there no release of final results now after the fanfare, but only more preliminary results?

    Perhaps you could ask Dr. Muller about that.

    w.

    • Steven Mosher

      Very simple Willis:

      “The second generation release is expected to use the same format presented here and include a similar number and distribution of temperature time series. Hence the current release might be best used to prepare for future work.”

      I understand their thinking entirely. Early on they were kind enough to release a very small portion of the data to me. I asked for just enough data to get the input routines working so I could build an R package. The programmers on their side understood and I understood. you release early to iron out all sorts of issues.

      The first clue for me came when I saw files missing that are called out in the readme. That lead to more reading of the manual before slinging code and well, there you have it. I did do some work on the metadata cause those formats had not changed since months ago.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven, I doubt if one person in a hundred who read the press releases put out by Muller would have said “they’re just going to release preliminary data”.

        Now, as you claim, their reason for releasing preliminary data may be valid … so we can all get prepared for the real data. I’m sure you realize how foolish that sounds as a reason for releasing data known to be buggy. If he truly wanted to do that, he could have released a half-dozen stations that were known to be bug-free. So I’m afraid they explanation doesn’t pass the laugh test. Use it to “prepare for future work?” How slow does he think we are? At best that might save me a half day, and you, even less.

        But even you didn’t realize what they’d done. So obviously, even if their reasons for releasing buggy data were valid, their explanation of what they were doing wasn’t valid.

        I call that a “bait and switch”, whatever their reasons. Muller gave all of us the impression that he was releasing some kind of finished product. Instead, he’s done exactly what he did before congress—provided preliminary results.

        Surely, he could have waited a few weeks before sending in the clowns to announce the Second Coming Of Temperature Data …

        w.

      • Steven Mosher

        Willis, how slow does he think we are? well he knows I’m fast, I’m not sure what he thinks about those who don’t read the readme.
        It took me about 15 seconds to figure out this was a preliminary release without even reading the fine print. It did not surprise me that they released preliminary data because thats’ been discussed all the way back at the congressional testimony phase. I was very keen for that because of the memory issue with R. So if you want to build a system rather than hack something out in half a day, getting your hands on all the data, even if its buggy, is a great thing.

      • Willis,

        Muller’s preliminary data release was for the public’s corrections for them instead of getting paid of doing nothing. Carfty, was’nt he!

      • Willis –

        A question for you.

        It seems to me that you derive some inflated sense of self-worth by climbing on a high horse and denigrating the character, motivations, intelligence, and motivations of Muller, hundreds of climate scientists, and hundreds of billions of people of every possible description across the globe – all of whom you have presumably never met nor spoken to. .

        It also seems to me that you are unconcerned about making ridiculous statements (such as your description of Quakers as mostly sitting and quaking).

        And it seems obvious to me that rather than simply admitting to making nonsense statements, you’d rather double-down with nonsense explanations for your nonsense statements (“The largest proportion of Friends worldwide are in the evangelical group of yearly meetings…Evangelical Friends Church International spreads its form of Quakerism through the Evangelical Friends Mission, which recruits and sends missionaries to various parts of the world to teach people the beliefs of Evangelical Friends and to start new Friends churches.”)

        My question for you is why would you persist in thinking that I believe you to be a “terrible, terrible” or “evil” man.

        Once again, Willis, I’ve never met you – and I do try to avoid judging the character (or motivations) of people that I’ve never met – (although I do find that your reasoning, as is the reasoning of all humans, is often influenced by obvious biases?

      • “hundreds of billions or people”????????? Really?

      • “hundreds of billions or people”????????? Really?

        Did you miss Willis’ comments about religious belief?

        Here’s a nice little sample:

        Thanks, Tom. The “book” you refer to, presumably the Bible although you seem curiously loath to mention that, is likely responsible for more deaths and torture and pain than just about any book you can name.

      • Willis is apparently unfamiliar with Marx and Muhammed.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        I had said:

        Thanks, Tom. The “book” you refer to, presumably the Bible although you seem curiously loath to mention that, is likely responsible for more deaths and torture and pain than just about any book you can name.

        kuhnkat | November 1, 2011 at 12:11 am |

        Willis is apparently unfamiliar with Marx and Muhammed.

        See the “just about any book you can name”? You just named the authors of the two books I’d say killed more people than the Bible.

        w.

      • Wiliis,

        “kuhnkat | November 1, 2011 at 12:11 am |

        Willis is apparently unfamiliar with Marx and Muhammed.

        See the “just about any book you can name”? You just named the authors of the two books I’d say killed more people than the Bible.”

        There’s a lesson in your reply to kuhnkat. There are books that have killed more people than the Bible. It’s been rough in the world. Does kill or be killed sound familiar? Was there a lot of gratuitous killing by misguided adherents of the Bible? Yeah. The native populations of the New World suffered, among others. Was there an absence of warfare and genocide in those populations, before the arrival of the Bible toting killers? I don’t think so. See where I am going Willis? If the entire world had been atheist throughout human history, would it have made a difference in the body count? Perhaps it could have been worse.

      • Willis,

        It ain’t all bad:

        Anybody should be able to take something from this stuff, Willis. Inspiration, tolerance, strength.

      • “See the “just about any book you can name”? You just named the authors of the two books I’d say killed more people than the Bible.”

        Silent Spring
        Mao’s Little Red Book

        I guessing about Red Book- haven’t read it, and no plans to do so.

      • Willis,

        good, now that we have that out of the way, can you explain to me how an idea can FORCE someone to murder others??? Doesn’t it take a wee bit of mental gymnastics by the reader to translate what is written by the author(s) to actually slaughtering large numbers of people??

        Admittedly the Quran actually tells the believers that killing infidels for Allah is good and Marx and friends seemed to think you might need to kill a bunch of people to be able to create his utopia also, but, where does Jesus hint at killing people to follow him???

      • K Scott Denison

        Wondering if you can cite any other endeavor where preliminary, buggy data/results are released with the type of PR effort here? Can you imagine Apple releasing a preliminary, buggy version of iTunes with a headline claiming it to be the best music site ever and assuming users would figure out its just the preliminary release?

        Are you unwilling to criticize the obvious disconnect between the science and the PR here?

      • Is it conceivable you’ve never heard of Beta Testing? It’s as common as mud.

    • why did they release, with great fanfare, a preliminary version that’s not reliable because it is known to be buggy, and which the BEST folks themselves say is not intended for analysis by third parties?

      Mosh has already explained the usefulness in doing that, but also they have said that they want people to test their data and methods towards improving the submission. What can possibly be wrong with this, considering the transparency it brings with it?

      I reckon the only problems here are some people are pouting about the preliminary results and the PR. It just adds to the noise BEST has already made. Them with skillz should knuckle down and contribute and shut up about the rest. Them without can keep up with the scientific examination as it unfolds, out in the open, warts and all.

      • barry,

        releasing code so others can help find the errors and generally see if they agree with what you are doing is a very reasonable thing to do.

        Releasing data that is dirty and cannot show what they claim in their press release is pointless. Releasing a control set of data that is know and can be used to test the code is useful. Releasing a data set that is of known provenance is also useful. Releasing a pile of data that no one knows whether it is meaningful or not and HAS a pile of problems is not useful.

        I take that back. it DOES show that either they aren’t releasing the data they used to create their graphs, which tells its own story, or, they did their analysis with dirty data which makes them even more useless.

        Wiht one step they have blown pretty much all the goodwill they created by claiming to be creating an open process that would be transparent. They are about as transparent at this point as the Obama administration!!!

  7. Hey Willis,
    Are you ready yet to admit you used a wrong version of GISS in your WUWT post the other day and that this “unintentionally” improved your argument that BEST didn’t agree with others? I’m sure you will alter the post to set the record straight right? That is the scientific way of doing it.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Robert, ask the question on that thread, where it belongs. Here, it’s just your sick attempt to score points.

      w.

  8. I don’t remember much fanfare when the MWP and LIA were rediscovered.

  9. I remember a book entitled “Mistakes were made –but not by me”.

  10. The complaining by the WUWT crowd concerning the “talking before peer review” is rather annoying. It’s primarily desperation. It’s also ironic coming from the people who complained about the surface station network years before any real analysis, and touted it at conferences, etc. Watts is now coming to the realization that his main “project” amongst all the pseudoscience on his website is also nonsense, or at least irrelevant for the larger picture of climate change.

    People talk about preliminary results all the time. Half of stuff I here at seminars in university or in conferences are the “newest” results or insights, a lot of which is unpublished or is going through the refereed process now. A lot of that stuff might not get the press BEST did (which I agree was silly), but there’s not much of a story here, and honestly no one is really surprised by many of the main conclusions anyway.

    • Brian G Valentine

      It matters, pal, when you claim that what you’ve shown is “nobody can deny it any more”

      This event is consistent whole punkin’ headed “global warming” charade from the get-go

    • That has nothing to do with the subject of this post. Much more closely related is my question for you: Do you agree with Muller about climategate? Maybe ethical lapses are more serious that being honestly wrong.

    • Anthony Watts

      Chris, be as annoyed as you wish.

      Read this http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/30/the-best-whopper-ever/

      We’ll talk again in a few months, maybe by then you’ll have learned to smile, and not be a sourpuss 24/7

    • Chris,

      putting the papers on the net for netreview is a reasonable idea. Talking out of his a$$ to reporters and allowing them to claim he is a sceptic who is newly converted when he has been a warmer since the 1980’s isn’t. It is called lying.

      • I second that.

      • Talking out of his a$$ to reporters and allowing them to claim he is a sceptic who is newly converted when he has been a warmer since the 1980′s isn’t. It is called lying.

        Crap.

        Muller has panned the ‘hockey stick’ papers, is on record all over the place saying that there is a real debate on how much of the warming over the last century is due to human activity. On these points he is pretty much in line with Anthony Watts, who also agrees that the globe has been warming over the last century. But Muller’s skepticism is more like Pielke Snr’s. He doesn’t deny the greenhouse effect or that human activity can have some impact on it. I bet Watts would agree, not that he’s known for saying so straightforwardly.

        While Muller was maligning the competence and integrity of Michael Mann and the compilers of the surface records, AGW rejectionists were happy to give him a membership card. Now that the results from BEST are out of step with the dogma, they need to recharacterise Muller as some kind of sleeper agent. It’s just more of the batty conspiracy theorising that desperate folk invent to hang on to their world view. So they scour the net for quotes from Muller that are in line with the mainstream view as present this as the ‘real’ Muller.

        These people brand themselves as skeptics and declare that anyone who does not share their specific doubts (beliefs, actually) cannot be called a skeptic. That worldview is rooted more in tribalism than skepticism. The irony is stark.

        You don’t know Muller. You’ve read someone else’s potted theory and are propagating it without a moment’s pause for thought. This IS no credit to true skepticism.

      • barry,

        are you saying that Muller LIED when he told the Grist interviewer that he has always been an environmentalist?? That he lied when he told his anecdote about breaking with the Sierra Club because they wouldn’t support nuclear energy so we could reduce our CO2 footprint?? That he didn’t state something to the effect that CO2 would be the worst pollution problem for humanity and that it would probably cause temperature problems??

        http://www.grist.org/article/lets-get-physical

        http://ethicsalarms.com/2011/10/25/climate-change-ethics-prof-mullers-study-and-media-incompetence/

        The fact that he attacked the junk science of Mann and Al “an inconvenient MORON” Gore simply means that he is realistic enough to understand that their stupidity would DAMAGE the case.

        You also seem to fly right by the FACT that he also said that if Gore and similar types were EFFECTIVE then they should be able to fly any kind of plane they want!!! No problem with their distortions and lies IF THEY WERE EFFECTIVE!!! That is called Moral Relativism in case you haven’t heard of it.

        Here is his 2003 paper where he showed his belief in CO2.

        http://muller.lbl.gov/TRessays/23-Medievalglobalwarming.html

        “Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.”

        By the way have you seen the website for NOVIM, the geoengineering company he is associated with?? Apparently the only thing they have worked on so far is the dangers of CO2!!

        From Novim’s front page:

        Is the earth warming?

        Without advocacy, Novim assembles teams of the finest scientists and engineers from around the world to try and answer questions of global concern, using straightforward language to define options, risks and trade-offs.

        One such Novim group has just completed the first phase of an 18 month study of global surface temperature–integrating for the first time all major data bases dating to 1800.

        From a PDF on their site:

        …. When it comes to climate change, he said, the world doesn’t have time to let politics and innuendo block the best available scientific thinking from reaching the public.
        “The problems are not unsolvable, but we’re running out of time,” Ditmore said.

        http://www.novim.org/attachments/037_NovimMaster7.pdf

        Which has apparently now been deleted!!

        Or this:

        “Despite efforts to stabilize CO2 concentrations, it is possible that the climate system could respond abruptly with catastrophic consequences. Intentional intervention in the climate system
        to avoid or ameliorate such consequences has been proposed as one possible response should such a scenario arise. In a one-week study, the authors of this report conducted a technical review and evaluation of proposed climate engineering concepts that might serve as a rapid palliative response to such climate emergency scenarios.”

        from this page:

        http://www.novim.org/projects/climate-engineering

        Doesn’t sound like much of a company if CO2 isn’t the boogey mant!!

        So, to get down to basics, isn’t the belief that CO2 is a major problem what divides climate sceptics from warmers, or, like Fred and the Hot Spot, is this going to be somehow reworked?? If you throw away CO2 alarmism what is next???

    • “It’s also ironic coming from the people who complained about the surface station network years before any real analysis, and touted it at conferences, etc.”

      Your tense is incorrect, Chris. I can still download the ‘paper’ ‘Surface Temperature Records: Policy Driven Deception’ by Watts and Jo D’Aleo that starts ….

      “Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and uni-directionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.”

      http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf.

      Now not only was this never true, the premise was shown to be false many years ago and Watts publically informed and invited to apologise and retract. Now his own data, his contribution to BEST and the peer-reviewed Fall et al all show it to be an untrue statement. Still the paper is out there without even an erratum to say that it has been falsified by the authors’ own work.

      Seems to me, making defamatory material available after your own work has falsified it makes protestations of other abusing the ‘PR’ process ring just a tad hollow ….

  11. Judith, I have to admit I like Muller for his honesty. I’ve looked at a lot of his stuff. Sometimes honesty results in “overflowings of liberty” to quote Washington in the press. I think your conversation is good news. Hopefully, the PR issues can be kept under control. My suggestion is for the entire BEST team to just not talk to them. My feeling is that yellow journalism is back and it can be very nasty. I do want BEST to start to look at some other issues and the ocean heat content is a good candidate. I also am concerned about stratospheric and tropospheric trends and a host of other issues. Paleoclimate without “Mike’s Nature trick” is another critical one, I think. Let me put it another way, after climategate, any honest scientist is a welcome change!!

    • David,
      I agree that any honest scientist is a welcome change. I’m just not convinced Muller is honest. By hiding the decline, he is doing exactly what he criticized Michael Mann and Phil Jones for.

      And I have not seen the transparency promised either. So far, this effort has made big promises but has not delivered.

      • Ron, I agree that clarifications by Muller would help a lot. I too don’t like the clear denial of the fact that warming has halted for the last 13 years. I hope Muller clarifies this.

      • David,
        I like Muller’s original article back in 2003 or so when he took Steve McIntyre’s side against Michael Mann. I liked Muller’s video when he talked about “hiding the decline.”

        What I did not like was Muller praising Al Gore for his exaggeration and distortion in the Grist article I linked below. I don’t trust him anymore. He says he won’t read Michael Mann’s papers or Phil Jones’ papers, why should we read his papers?

      • Ron, I take your points. I think there is ample evidence in Muller’s lectures that he regards Gore as beyond the pale. The other comment may have been to “balance” his harsh criticism. At least that was the impression I got.

      • He says he won’t read Michael Mann’s papers or Phil Jones’ papers, why should we read his papers?

        No, the idea would be not to read Al Gore’s papers, which is quite OK. He is probably separating different leagues: science and politics. I may not like his idea of politics, but it may very well be a more realistic idea.

      • Ron:

        I don’t think that Muller is like Mann. Very few people are; and most of them are in jail. I could see Mann and Madoff being perfect cell mates. But it does strike me that the way that Muller is overlooking problems in his data, his methods, and his results is suspect. He seems just a little too anxious to keep the myth of continued warming in the 21st century going. His results are wrong for the reasons I gave below. Even if he honestly missed some of those mistakes, he couldn’t possibly have missed that his UHI results are way out of bed with other studies on the subject.

  12. Judith,
    I’m confused. Earlier you were concerned about the scandal caused by BEST “hiding the decline.” Now it sounds as if you and Muller are on the same team again and the fact the decline was hidden is completely forgotten. I’m afraid the scandal will not disappear so quickly. People will not let you forget it.

    The WSJ headline is one thing but Muller’s published comments are another. He is responsible for those comments until he issues a public retraction. The fact the BEST website is putting up FAQ comments (which can only be described as more scientific and precise than the public comments by Muller) does nothing to set the record straight in the eyes of the public.

    The fact the 1998 BEST data is cooler than other data sets is a warning sign to me. Every data set – from the satellite record to sea surface temp to GISS to CRU – shows 1998 as an extremely warm year. If 1998 is cool in the BEST data set, alarm bells go off. Something is not right.

    • Ron, Despite my liking for Muller, I agree with you that some clarifications will help this situation a lot. I also think that BEST is not the end of the story. But if you have viewed Muller’s lectures on climate issues, you must admit that they are insightful and generally accurate.

    • And Judith, stop blaming the PR catastrophe on the media. This was entirely of Muller’s doing. The WSJ headline is the least of the issues. It was Muller saying skepticism is dead and the other rot he was spouting. You cannot blame the media for reporting what he said.

      And you cannot blame the media for the time Muller commended Al Gore for his “exaggeration and distortion.” http://www.grist.org/article/lets-get-physical

      That grist article is the one that really has me upset. How can I trust someone who praises Al Gore for his exaggeration and distortion? How can I believe he is an honest scientist?

      • Ron, I agree with your concerns. But please note that Muller is an equal opportunity provocateur. His destruction of Gore in his lectures is devastating. Anyway, Muller doesn’t always weigh his words carefully, but “it is not the bare words, but the main design by which any writing is correctly judged” to quote Hobbs loosely.

      • I’ve just read that interview you linked and for me the response to the last question concerned me. When Muller is asked about if his happy with exponents of AGW who have become very wealthy like Al Gore fly’s around the world Muller feels that’s fine as long as the message gets across, and that message? To cut down immediately on personal production of C02 as our planet is in imminent danger. I find that attitude perverse to say the least and arrogantly ideologically lead to feel that millions open millions of people won’t look at that double standard and think well it can’t be that bad . It’s very much akin to the left principle of the end always justifies the means, and that didn’t work out to well in China and the old Soviet Union did it. Totally out of touch with reality or just plain arrogant to make remarks like that.

        If there is/was an issue with co2 and AWG presenting grave danger for our futures than those carrying that message more than anyone else to be taken seriously have to be scrupulously squeaky clean when asking untold millions to make such fundamental sacrifices and *NOT* become a billionaire, swanny around the world own vast energy guzzling properties and live on the threatened coast line in California. Surely Muller can see that if he is convinced that warming up until 1999 is real and due to AGW. Are these people mad or just bad.

      • Ron –

        Do you really imagine that Muller believes that exaggeration and distortion are praiseworthy? Perhaps you are projecting, that is also a possibility.

        Elsewhere Muller has said that An Inconvenient Truth is a ‘pack of half-truths’. Taking BOTH data points into account, my read is that Muller was damning by faint praise. He acknowledges the importance of Al Gore’s role in bringing attention to potential CAGW while simultaneously noting that Gore’s claims are particularly suspect.

      • blue,
        To be fair, I have not seen what else Muller might have said about Al Gore so the ‘pack of half-truths’ line is new to me. If Muller wanted to acknowledge Gore’s role while noting that his claims are full of exaggeration and distortion, he could have done so using different words.

        It is quite easy to say “Al Gore is very good at raising awareness of the dangers of global warming, but his presentation is full of exaggeration and distortion and I fear he may end up doing the cause more harm than good because of the loss of credibility.”

        A statement like that is impossible to refute and would put Muller on the side of being concerned about the dangers of global warming but also concerned about accuracy and credibility. A scientist who praises exaggeration and distortion loses his credibility.

        I think Muller needs to hire a good PR firm to help him craft some kind of public statement. It should say something like this:

        “Despite a prior news story, I condemn exaggeration and distortion of global warming science whether by a scientist or Al Gore. In addition, I should apologize for unclear or misleading statements I made to the press because I have never been a global warming skeptic. I have always been concerned global warming will be dangerous but I am also concerned about the loss of credibility among climate science. Also, I hope the results of my recent papers hold up under peer review. But I wish to make clear that if the results are confirmed there are still reasons why skeptics will continue to be skeptical. We have not yet looked into the issue of attribution of the warming and its possible it may be mostly or completely natural. Some of my earlier statements were not warranted by the science and for that I apologize.”

        I think a public statement like that might go a long way to helping people get passed this shocking betrayal of the standards of science that Muller has demonstrated over the last two weeks or so. Muller desperately needs to do something to get his credibility back.

      • Ron,

        Muller is not going to issue any such public statement. The press that he has received is what he desired. Look at his WSJ article, and look at the press release.

      • Don,
        I agree with you. The public statement is what I would require if I were to continue to be affiliated with BEST.

      • I got it Ron. Apparently Judith is satisfied by his private assurances. Stories about impressing the IPCC, etc. Never mind that in their press release kicking off the media blitz they said they were in with the IPCC.

      • BlueIce2HotSea

        Ron –

        I agree with you wrt to mourning the loss of credibility of science. However, when Judith Curry and Richard Muller dealt with Steve McIntyre’s issues in an honest, intelligent manner, when they drew a line in the sand over intellectual integrity, it turned my head around. I was no longer in mourning. These scientists are not retired, emeritus or Nobel Laureates. Political powers beyond their control may still rise up to hurt them. My admiration is not boundless. Nevertheless, I admit to enormous respect.

        As far as bungled media & PR, it would be more disappointing if politics and PR were their area of expertise. But it is not. I think you have a bungled interpretation of PR ineptness. You believe it equals dishonesty. And maybe you are correct. But at this point, you cannot KNOW and it is wrong of you to stir up trouble. Stir up skepticism, instead. Just remember, the truth if often subtle. Subtlety invites ambiguity invites paradox invites hasty conclusions.

      • Brilliant, BI2HS.

        As far as bungled media & PR, it would be more disappointing if politics and PR were their area of expertise.

        Exactly. The climate blogosphere wants it all ways. But real scientists aren’t like that. Thankfully.

      • blue,

        Muller’s lies or misrepresentations and BELIEF:

        Story about Al Gore false.

        http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/03/28/207772/koch-richard-muller-gore-cicerone-polar-bears-friedman/

        Claims Al Gore’s excesses OK as long as it gets people paying attention!!
        Environmentalist believing in CO2 warming since the ’80’s.

        http://www.grist.org/article/lets-get-physical

        Sorry, don’t have time to find the other links. Seek and ye shall find!!

      • BlueIce2HotSea

        kuhnkat –

        Do not restrict your links to thinkprogress and grist. Those would not be my preferred sources, although I definitely include them my mental calculations.

        My point is that when presented with a seeming paradox, it’s time to calm down and think. Temporary ambiguity is OK. Defaming integrity can wait, no?

        Suspension of judgement is something the Chief Hydrologist was very attuned to. Too bad he is not weighing now.

      • Blue,

        please find rebuttals for those articles before continuing. They seem to give a coherent background to what just occurred with Mullers PR campaign including the WSJ article. They are the reality that you will need to go forward in evaluating this man and his shoddy Science.

        Wonder how this has affected the worth of his Geoengineering company?

        Basically, people have accepted this wonderful personality at face value and been suckered. I can look at his picture and tell I would probably like him if I met him in person!!! I am 59 years old and past accepting surface appearances.

      • Hi kuhnkat-

        OK. Since you & I are of similar vintage and since you are a Kuhn cat, I will try once more to shift your paradigm.

        First, your links are not in chronological order. It gives a distorted impression. (Naughty!) The Grist interview was three years ago, sandwiched between Gore’s Nobel Prize and climategate. In that first article, Muller points out Gore’s exaggeration while standing behind the steamroller. Three years later, Muller points out Gore’s exaggeration while standing in front of the steamroller.

        Many things could explain an honest evolution of attitude over time. For example, Muller claims he tried to convince Al Gore to correct the errors in An Inconvenient Truth, but was rebuffed with the old mantra: ‘the science is settled’, time for policy. More recently, the preliminary results of BEST may be telling him to backtrack a bit on some of his post-climategate cynicism. Hang on to your hats, the wind will blow from yet another direction.

        That’s it. Just remember Muller was ‘debunked’ by Joe Romm, Al Gore and Ralph Cicerone. Don’t forget your healthy skepticism, OK? My advice is to tolerate ambiguity and to voice useful criticism such as by McIntyre, Mosher, Jeff Id, Stokes and many more.

        Blue

      • Blue,

        In the Grist article Muller tells them he was a Warmer in the 1980’s. That is he believed CO2 was a major pollution issue before we had a long term warming record the same as Hansen, Jones… He was NOT an AGW sceptic then. We move up to the more recent interview in 2003 and he is still talking like an AGW believer.

        Even after whacking both Mann and Gore for their misrepresentations and bad science he still made the statement that if they got results their life styles of excessive consumption and CO2 production should be ignored.

        Look, there is little question that Muller has not been an AGW sceptic since the 1980’s and that the recent suggestions that he is a sceptic at best can only be interpreted that in all other areas outside of AGW he is sceptical.

        Then we get to his most recent bloviating about Sceptics having no more reason to be sceptical and that BEST settles it.

        You have the difficulty of showing that, even though he made these statements on the record, that he somehow was an AGW sceptic. When will you start presenting evidence?

    • Ron:

      GISS shows 1998 as less extreme than the other sources. And it shows years after 1998 that are warmer than 1998. Now the two of them can point at each other for correctness. Of course they have to forget that the satellites also have 1998 as the warmest when they call HadCrut the outlier. And apparently Judith forgot that very quickly. But what it comes down to is that the BEST methods are close enough to the GISS methods such that they will produce the same errors. It’s called inappropriate extrapolation. Inappropriately hot that is. I talk about it below.

      • Tilo, GISS shows 1998 as a statistical tie with 2007 and 2010 so 1998 is still a co-leader for warmest year ever.

      • No, they show 2005 and 2010 as being tied for the warmest year, with 1998 being the 2nd warmest year.

        NOAA has the same ranking.

        CRU is the, Muller’s word, outlier.

      • JCH,
        Sorry, 2005 was the year I was thinking of. WMO has it as a statistical three way tie between 1998, 2005 and 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12241692

        GISS and NOAA are suspect because ALL of the other datasets show 1998 as the warmest. CRU is not an outlier.
        UAH – http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_September_2011.png
        RSS – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png
        SST – http://i55.tinypic.com/28bs7xv.jpg

      • Muller just called CRU an outlier. I have thought that for a few years. Judy Judy Judy did not protest.

        GisTemp is 30% of the way to being the BEST, and that will be a sad day for Girma, and perhaps the WMO.

      • JCH: “CRU is the, Muller’s word, outlier.”

        BEST is furthest from the satellites so it is the outlier. And the models say that the surface should be warming faster than the troposphere. So that makes BEST and even bigger outlier. Both BEST and GISS are a failure, as I explain below. It’s not about voting, it’s about who is right.

        Let’s see if I can explain their method with an analogy. Let’s imagine that you have an egg shell. A piece of the egg shell is missing and you have it. To find where it goes, you move the missing piece up and down near the hole until you have a perfect fit. So in their method the world becomes an egg shell of both time and temperature. That way, they can take a string of temperature readings of some duration and simply fit them into the surrounding space/temperature shell at the temperature offset which makes the fit the best. They deal with discontinuities by breaking the string where ever those discontinuities are and then they simply fit the pieces to the shell. They can use very short temperature series because they don’t need to establish a baseline to take anomalies from for those series. Since they don’t really know what the right place is for things, it takes multiple iterations of the computations to get things all lined up. There are a couple of factors that they know about that determines the relative position of a piece within the whole. They know that things get colder as you go north. About 1C per 150 km. They know that things get colder as you go up in elevation. About 1C per 220 meters. And they use this information for fitting things into their shell.

        Now, lets imagine that there is a UHI effect and that it is like stretching the shell out a little in certain places. Now, when you fit in a rural piece of the shell, it will be fit in wherever it fits into the stretched shell – even though its correct place may better be where you would put it in an unstretched shell. In fact, their method has no way of knowing that the shell is stretched in certain places, because there is no unstretched, or non UHI shell to compare it to.

        Lets try another experiment. Let’s say that the shell has a big hole at some location and that you don’t have a piece of shell big enough to match the whole thing. That is like having sparse thermometers in certain locations in the world. So what you do is maybe line up one edge of the piece of shell with one side of your hole. Then, using latitude and elevation as your elements of variation, you stretch your piece of shell until you cover the hole. How far can you stretch it? Go here and start the movie:

        http://www.berkeleyearth.org/movies.php

        Notice, right at the beginning they show coverage of India. Also, note the arc at the top of India. The radius of that arc is likely the extent of the stretching that they are willing to do. So, as a rough eyeball, it looks like about 2000 kilometers – maybe more. And that is significantly more that the interpolation that GISS does. I believe that GISS limits it to about 1200 kilometers. Also notice that as that piece of coverage over India changes color, the whole thing changes together.

        The problem with their method is that elevation and latitude are not the only factors of variation. So the stretching of the shell piece can produce significant error in parts of the world where there are thermal discontinuities. Such discontinuities happen when going inland from shore stations in places where the ice opens and where that station is suddenly warmed by circulating ocean water. The inland areas have no such warming. And if there is a mountain range nearby, or a significant change in elevation, then the statistical extrapolation becomes even more error prone.

        In the recent couple of decades there has been substantial ice melt at the poles. This means that polar stations that are near the shore – where the ice melts first – and which most of them are – will be effected by circulating warm sea water. The warming that is measured in those places by those stations is appropriate for the places where the stations are. But when that value is kriged or extrapolated inland, then those polar shore ice effects are incorrectly amplified by being assigned to locations that are not much effected by the retreating shore ice. This makes both the BEST and the GISS methods incorrect in the hot direction in Siberia, Greenland, Northern Canada and Antarctica.

      • Tilo,

        Your analogies are most convincing and BEST is crackpot at best!

      • Ron:

        You have to compare land only.

  13. “To be considered in the AR5, papers need to be submitted by Nov, which explains the timing. The publicity is so that the IPCC can’t ignore BEST. Muller shares my concerns about the IPCC process, and gatekeeping in the peer review process.”

    This is nonsense. The submission deadline for final IPCC report is July 31, 2012. Any november deadline will be uniquely related to the first order draft, which is a long way from final.

    “Muller related an interesting anecdote about Phil Jones that was apparently related to him by a reporter. When Jones was asked to comment on the BEST papers, he said he no comment until after the papers were published. Maybe Muller was correct in worrying about making sure the IPCC pays attention.”

    More nonsense. Jones is nothing to do with IPCC AR5, and perhaps you might want to ask Muller who he has sent copies for review to.

    And why do you think IPCC will be hostile to the results in any case? This is just paranoia.

    • Yes, that’s another snow job that Muller pulled on Judith. The IPCC will embrace BEST. Muller talks as though they may want to exclude them. But for the IPCC, the hotter the better. And Muller is the hottest. Muller knows this about the IPCC. So the rationalizations that he gave to Judith are just so much BS.

      • Snow job….the first thing that came to my mind when I read Judiths first couple of paragraphs was Neville Chamberlain…”Peace for our time.”

    • nandhee jothi

      Steve-Ah,
      you quoted Judith: “Muller related an interesting anecdote about Phil Jones that was apparently related to him by a reporter. When Jones was asked to comment on the BEST papers, he said he no comment until after the papers were published. Maybe Muller was correct in worrying about making sure the IPCC pays attention.”

      and You said:”More nonsense. Jones is nothing to do with IPCC AR5, and perhaps you might want to ask Muller who he has sent copies for review to. ”

      I don’t know how to read that
      “Jones has nothing to do with IPCC” is such an all-knowing statement!!!
      I don’t know of anyone, other than GOD, who would KNOW that “Jones has nothing to do with IPCC”.

      The whole Climate warming C**P owes to the fact that the whole affair is so incestuous, nobody know what is true

  14. Professor Curry,

    Thank you for this and the prior post.

    As a climate skeptic that often finds myself reading Morano if only because he is far from boring, I am dismayed at how he has portrayed this latest “skirmish”.

    I look forward to David Rose explaining away the discrepancies you describe between what you said and what the Mail printed.

    Thank you

  15. Michael Larkin

    Judith,

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. I think you’ve been played like a violin. My bet is that sooner or later, like Anthony, you will have cause to regret your naivety.

  16. Its too bad science doesn’t police itself. At this point the BEST data is suspect and I smell a rat.

  17. Judith,

    The WSJ headline, whether it came from Muller or the editor, described the article as well as the title that Muller claims to have originally submitted. The article clearly states the same thing that the headline states.

    Who decides what gets in the IPCC ARs? The “IPCC” bureaucracy, or the Coordinating Lead Authors and Lead Authors? And who are the authors of the IPCC ARs? Jones and his boys, right? Muller’s claim that he had to do it to impress the IPCC, is ludicrous. Let’s not forget that the BEST press release stated that their papers will form part of the literature for the next IPCC report. Sounds like they believe they are in, instead of being worried about getting in.

    You are being played.

    • I asked about that on the previous BEST thread, Muller is quoted (accurately apparently) as saying “Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.”

      The headline reads “There were good reasons for doubt, until now.”

      How is that headline in the least bit inaccurate?

    • Stirling English

      You want to get the attention of one guy in UEA/CRU and you write an article in the Wall Street Journal?

      Did Muller never hear of the telephone?

      ‘Hi Phil. Rich here. I’ve got a swell new paper for you to look at’
      ‘Thanks Rich. I’ll look at it when it properly published. Thanks for the heads up’

      Sounds like we haven’t heard quite the full story yet……

  18. PS:
    The BEST FAQs contain a question asking why the press release came before peer review? A lot of BS but nothing in their about getting the attention of the IPCC to get into AR5. That is not consistent with what you are being told by Muller. Which version is the lie?

    • K Scott Denison

      Exactly. The more the onion is peeled the more different stories we see. This is why it is so difficult to perpetuate lies: the more you tell the harder it is to keep all of them straight. That ther is so little consistency in what has been said in the papers, in the media, and, evidently, to Judith in person tends to indicate people who are struggling to keep telling lies.

  19. I like Muller. He’s a good lecturer and a personable guy.

    But …

    Muller: “there were good reasons for doubt until now.”
    Muller: “We see no evidence of [global warming] having slowed down.”

    Muller is not stupid, so he’s a liar. (Or the Daily Mail misquoted him. In which case he should immediately set the record straight.)

    Lying to get the attention of the IPCC is still lying. People, even scientists, should not lie. It’s wrong to trick people, even the IPCC.

    • Thomas,

      I will repeat what I have said elsewhere. Muller willfully made demonstrably false statements in his WSJ article:

      Muller appears to have falsely presented his case in the WSJ article. And it is difficult to believe that it could have not been deliberate. It is not some mis-quoted, out of context, or off-the-cuff comment he made in an interview. He wrote the article himself:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html

      He must know that this is a mis-characterization of the method used in the UHI paper:

      “To study urban-heating bias in temperature records, we used satellite determinations that subdivided the world into urban and rural areas. We then conducted a temperature analysis based solely on “very rural” locations, distant from urban ones. The result showed a temperature increase similar to that found by other groups. Only 0.5% of the globe is urbanized, so it makes sense that even a 2ºC rise in urban regions would contribute negligibly to the global average.”

      That sounds very neat and proper, but BEST did not compare urban areas to “very rural” locations, distant from urban. Says so in their freaking paper:

      http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_UHI

      “Unfortunately, a portion of station locations in the Berkeley Earth merged dataset are reported only to the nearest tenth of a degree in latitude and longitude. This makes it impossible to identify each station as definitely urban or rural using the fine resolution MOD500 map.”

      and:

      “Rather than compare urban sites to non-urban, thereby explicitly estimating UHI effects, we split sites into very rural and not very rural.”

      Out of 39, 028 sites, they came up with 16,132 (41%) that were classified as very rural. Does that make any sense, given that we know rural areas are way under-represented in the temperature record? Look at figure 2. of the UHI paper.

      Muller wanted to dispense with the UHI doubts. He couldn’t make that point by telling the truth: We did not explicitly estimate UHI effects, because we can’t (didn’t bother) to separate urban from rural. So we kluged up this rural to very rural comparison BS, and made a SWAG.

      This is all I need to make a judgment on Muller’s honesty and scientific credibility. Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.

      Muller appears to have falsely presented his case in the WSJ article. And it is difficult to believe that it could have not been deliberate. It is not some mis-quoted, out of context, or off-the-cuff comment he made in an interview. He wrote the article himself:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html

      He must know that this is a mis-characterization of the method used in the UHI paper:

      “To study urban-heating bias in temperature records, we used satellite determinations that subdivided the world into urban and rural areas. We then conducted a temperature analysis based solely on “very rural” locations, distant from urban ones. The result showed a temperature increase similar to that found by other groups. Only 0.5% of the globe is urbanized, so it makes sense that even a 2ºC rise in urban regions would contribute negligibly to the global average.”

      That sounds very neat and proper, but BEST did not compare urban areas to “very rural” locations, distant from urban. Says so in their freaking paper:

      http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_UHI

      “Unfortunately, a portion of station locations in the Berkeley Earth merged dataset are reported only to the nearest tenth of a degree in latitude and longitude. This makes it impossible to identify each station as definitely urban or rural using the fine resolution MOD500 map.”

      and:

      “Rather than compare urban sites to non-urban, thereby explicitly estimating UHI effects, we split sites into very rural and not very rural.”

      Out of 39, 028 sites, they came up with 16,132 (41%) that were classified as very rural. Does that make any sense, given that we know rural areas are way under-represented in the temperature record? Look at figure 2. of the UHI paper.

      Muller wanted to dispense with the UHI doubts. He couldn’t make that point by telling the truth: We did not explicitly estimate UHI effects, because we can’t (didn’t bother) to separate urban from rural. So we kluged up this rural to very rural comparison BS, and made a SWAG.

      This is all I need to make a judgment on Muller’s honesty and scientific credibility. Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.

      • Well, I guess I have repeated it enough times now :) Sorry for the dulicate.

      • Steven Mosher

        Except its wrong Don.

      • Steven Mosher,

        What’s wrong? Anything I quoted? Did they compare urban to very rural? Don’t you see some contradictions between the description in the WSJ and the actual UHI paper?

      • Steven, if you had any evidence it was wrong, you would provide it. These drive-by shootings of yours don’t do you or anyone else any good.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Ron Cram, I responded to Don Monfort here, explaining why he was wrong. Not only was he wrong, he was wrong in extremely obvious ways. I never got a response.

        I agree “drive-by shootings” are bad, but Don Monfort so clearly misunderstands (some) things he’s discussing, it’s hard to demand more. Don Monfort keeps claiming Muller “falsely reported in the WSJ that they compared urban, to very rural/distant from urban” despite the fact nothing of the sort appears in that article. I don’t know where he got the idea the article says such, but anyone can read it and see he is wrong. It really is so simple as, “He’s just wrong.”

      • Brandon,

        I just saw your reply to my previous post. You are full of it. I quoted from the WSJ article and I quoted from the BEST UHI paper. Compare the two. The WSJ article clearly is making the case that they compare urban to very rural data. Well that is what you would expect to try to determine UHI effect. But the UHI paper clearly states that they did not do that. Learn how to read, and use your little coconut. If you think that BEST adequately addresses the UHI problem with their finding that UHI has a negative effect on the temp record, that is OK with me. Steven Mosher allows that the UHI effect could be up to .3C. That ain’t chickenfeed. Discuss it with him. And get back to me with your criticism of the Ross McKitrick 2007 paper on UHI. Is that any less germane to the UHI discussion than the BEST effort?

  20. Yeah Judith, no problems at BEST.

    Except maybe:

    1. Publishing temperature data that only includes 47 Antarctic stations.

    2. Publishing a 39,000 station reconstruction that looks completely different in the last dozen years than their own 2,000 station reconstruction.

    3. Publishing negative UHI trends when NASA and others have found hugely positive UHI trends.

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/heat-island-sprawl.html

    4. Using an extrapolation method called kriking that will inappropriately extrapolate from open water warmed shore stations in the Arctic and Antarctic to inland areas that are not warmed by open water.

    5. And since they are not allowing for any UHI effect, they likely correct true rural stations based upon urban temperatures.

    6. Plus they likely correct inland stations in the Arctic to correlate with shore stations since there are many more shore stations than inland stations, thereby amplifying the errors of number 4.

    But hey, I can see that it’s very important to have the IPCC include this work that has never passed peer review and that has never been truely veted. Has put out data that was never sanity checked and has put out code that won’t run.

    I hate to say it Judith, but I think you just got thoroughly snowed.

    • This term you keep using, UHI trend, I do not think it means what you think it means.

      (with apologies to Inigo Montoya).

      • I’m not sure exactly what you are objecting to Zeke, so I don’t know how to answer you. But if your objection is with the word “trends”, and if you would feel more comfortable with the word “effects”, then I can buy that. Clearly when one simply measures the difference in temperature between a city and its rural surroundings, then one is measuring effect, not trend. If you have something else in mind, you will have to be more explicit. But you should also admit that the city got to the higher UHI result through some kind of trend – even if we don’t know exactly what that trend looks like.

  21. Hurricanes, you say?

    Will be covered in future?

  22. Judith, I agree that Muller can be “provocative.” But, I believe that on balance he’s pretty honest. If he can correct some of the more extreme statements, I believe this matter can be resolved with honesty and character. You might be the influence that causes him to correct some of the more out of context statements.

    • My working hypothesis is that Muller is honest. Maybe I can get him to engage in a blog post

    • David –

      You might be the influence that causes him to correct some of the more out of context statements.

      How would you judge the influence of those who impugn Muller’s character and integrity?

    • Judith,

      And what about Mann, Hansen, Jones, Santer? Would you extend your working hypothesis to them too?

      • It’s clear that Judith did extend the same working hypothesis to all these men. Then Climategate came along and almost alone amongst climate scientists Dr Curry’s opinion changed when the data did. That is why she is held in such high regard by many here.

      • So-called “Climategate” wasn’t about data it was about leaked or hacked emails. I just noticed that Judith said she would prefer to keep her email correspondence with David Rose private. And of course, she has every right to expect that her email account shouldn’t be hacked and her wishes ignored.

        Yes, in some circumstances, using leaked information is legitimate. The Pentagon papers, for example, showed that US politicians were systematically lying about US activities in SE Asia in the 70’s.

        Phil Jones’s emails show nothing of any similarity. Yes, he was foolish to use phrases like ‘hide the decline’. But, Judith is a competent enough scientist to have known there were problems with tree ring records after about 1960 and that surface temperature records were being spliced on after this period. She didn’t need any leaked emails to tell her that.

        Yes, Phil Jones probably did infringe the FOI act. Yes, he probably behaved badly to some of his critics. Whether he was justified in behaving badly towards them is a matter of opinion!

        Whatever Judith’s opinion may be regarding the personal behaviour of person or persons concerned, she shouldn’t let that influence her opinion scientifically. Any change of scientific opinion has to be supported by changed scientific evidence alone. Otherwise, it makes no logical sense. It’s rather like deciding not to believe in gravity on finding out that Sir Isaac Newton was almost certainly involved in some underhand methods in his dealings with Leibniz.

      • You’re losing the plot here tt. This goes back to Judith’s

        My working hypothesis is that Muller is honest.

        When I said ‘data’ I meant data about the honesty of Mann, Hansen, Jones and Santer. There was plenty of that revealed by Climategate, which is why Judith started to doubt these pillars of the IPCC from that time. This established, for me, her lack of bias, her own integrity. Just one such person and a whole field can be transformed. Just watch.

      • tt, What if, Phil Jones, was the guy that dropped the dime on FOIA. Read the Friday the 13th email. One of the last in the email files.

      • tempterrain, Until I am able to find what I believe I read, with relationship to Mr. Phil Jones… I was wrong to suggest something about him, when my only support at this time is my memory. I apologize now, for any confusion caused by my error. Sincerely, Tom

      • Below is the body of the next to last FOIA email:

        Subject: Latest draft of WP1
        Date: Thu Nov 12 10:18:54 2009

        Dear All (especially Chris/Catherine),
        Here’s the latest draft of WP1. All in the group have now commented and amended this.
        You should have the 3 supporting letters from Tree partners. Eric was contacting Eric
        Steig and Sandy (see below) is contacting 3 coral people.
        There is an issue about a Map. Rob W put one in his PhD page. This shows the corals. If
        we were to add the tree-ring sites we would mainly get a splodge of points in South America
        and NZ. Ice cores would just be over the AP and in the low-lat Andes. Issue is one of
        space. We already have 3pp fo this WP. Refs will reduce to about 0.5pp once we go to et al
        for 3 or more authors. A map would be useful for presentation to NERC, but is it essential
        for the submission?
        I’m away from tomorrow lunchtime for the weekend. Back in on Monday. Hope we’ll be
        looking through more complete drafts next week!
        Cheers
        Phil

        At 19:02 11/11/2009, Sandy Tudhope wrote:

        Dear Phil et al,
        Good to speak to you earlier Phil and Rob W..
        Please find attached a slightly modified version for WP1 … I’ve just changed the coral
        section a bit. Briefly, I’ve identified the new coral coring sites (rather than get
        bogged down trying to describe how we will use analysis of model output to prioritise),
        plus I’ve added back in some references and details that I think help, but don’t add too
        much length.
        I’ve written to Janice Lough, Julie Cole and Kim Cobb re being Project Partners (I
        actually spoke to Kim and she is keen).
        FIGURE: I still think it might be useful to have a map in the main proposal …
        basically like the one Rob has in the PhD proposal … we can simply have boxes around
        the tree ring and ice core regions. This map needn’t be any larger than Rob already
        has it … but it does help illustrate where we will get/have data. What do you all
        think?
        Cheers,
        Sandy

        tt, When Mr. Phil Jones wrote: “I’m away from tomorrow lunchtime for the weekend. Back in on Monday.”

        After reading all the emails in this file in FOIA, the whole thing seemed uncharacteristic of Phil Jones. He moved around a bunch but never said anything else like this comment that I remember. He knocks off early on Friday the 13th thru the 16th, and within a few days the FOIA files are released in Russia. The emails stop after one more the CD is in the mail is my guess. Which is all that it is.)

      • You see tt, the problem with Climategate is that it showed a conspiracy to manipulate the science and the data so the “correct” impression was given. It involved manipulating the review process to keep dissenting papers from being published. Give me a break. If you think its OK and everyone does it to quote Jerry Rivers (aka Jeraldo Rivera) you need to read a little Teddy Roosevelt. Everyone doesn’t do it and we should hold in low regard the future work of those who don’t repent. Redemption is possible, but you must first admit error.

      • Tom,

        did you do any research at all to attempt to find out what Phil Jones actually did that weekend or is this totally speculative??

      • kuhnkat, No, I did not. If it was PJ, he would have been headed to some recently discovered mail box within a few hundred miles, is my best guess.

      • Tom,

        did you account for the fact that Phil would have had to have access to the backup server or wherever the store of e-mails from the mail server were stored?? Have you investigated whether Phil has any capabilities in IT that would give you the idea that he would be comfortable hacking the servers to get access to this data store that was apprently collected for the FOIA research??

        Why do you think that Phil would do this when he KNEW he was safe from any prosecution by the statute of limitations running out?

        Has Phil shown ANY suggestion that he is changing his way of dealing with sceptics or papers disagreeing with IPCC science??

        Basically what gives you ANY reason to speculate that Phil Jones was the disgruntled type that released the e-mails with hthe arrogant attitude he exhibited before the release and now that things have settle down??

      • kuhncat, You are brite, I will let you draw your own conclusions, about such matters.

      • Tom,

        I am not brite. I need things laid out in excruciating detail so my disorganized mind doesn’t end up chasing its tail all the time.

  23. So, here are some quotes from NASA:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/heat-island-sprawl.html

    “Summer land surface temperature of cities in the Northeast were an average of 7 °C to 9 °C (13°F to 16 °F) warmer than surrounding rural areas over a three year period, the new research shows. The complex phenomenon that drives up temperatures is called the urban heat island effect.”

    “The compact city of Providence, R.I., for example, has surface temperatures that are about 12.2 °C (21.9 °F) warmer than the surrounding countryside, while similarly-sized but spread-out Buffalo, N.Y., produces a heat island of only about 7.2 °C (12.9 °F), according to satellite data. Since the background ecosystems and sizes of both cities are about the same, Zhang’s analysis suggests development patterns are the critical difference.”

    Steve McIntyre also did an article on UHI here:

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/12/15/new-light-on-uhi/

    He has sources that show Lynchburg VA, with only 7,000 people, has a UHI effect of 5.5C. Paris has 8C, and Philidelphia has 11.7C.

    So, yeah, no reason to worry about BEST when they come up with negative UHI effect.

    In fact, since they found no UHI effect, I’m sure that they feel justified in correcting truely rural stations based upon the records of nearby urban areas.

  24. Judith: “He showed me an interesting graph this is updated from the Rohde article, whereby the BEST data shows good agreement with the GISS data for the recent part of the record.”

    Suprise, suprise. GISS uses extrapolation to cover areas where they have no thermometers. BEST uses a form of statistical extrapolation called kriging to extrapolate to where they have no thermometers. The kind of extrapolation that GISS does has been clearly shown to be wrong, here:

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2010/01/giss-temperature-record-divergence.html

    That article covers mainly extrapolation across the Arctic ocean. But exactly the same principles and problems apply to extrapolating inland from Arctic and Antarctic shore stations. So BEST reproduces the GISS errors and gets the GISS results. Who would have believed it? All we need is for people to make the same mistakes for HadCrut to become an outlier.

    • Tilo,

      Yep, and if you look at figure 4, from the BEST UHI paper you will see that there are a lot of cooling blue dots among dense areas of red warming dots and in general the blue dots are well mixed in with the red. BEST says that typically the red dots have gained 1-2c, and the average of all is .65. The blue dots have seen a lot of cooling. In addition to the other questions I have raised in other posts, I wonder if they used any blue dots when kriging to infill. Somehow I doubt much of that went on.

      Anyway, my opinion is that if the Big Climate industry really wanted to solve this surface stations issue, they would have given the data and $100 million to the engineers at Boeing or some other such technically competent company and they would have gotten a professional analysis.

      • Way back when news of BEST first broke I thought I heard Judy say that there were to be two private endeavours to attempt to replicate more reliably the temperature record.

        What’s become of the other, if anything? Is Richard Muller a stalking horse? He certainly has the attention of sportwriters.

        They need better field glasses.
        ==========

  25. Muller reiterated that you can’t infer anything about what is going on globally from the land data, but the land data shows a continued increase albeit with an oscillation that makes determining a trend rather ambiguous. He thinks there is a pause, that is probably associated with AMO/PDO.

    May be with PDO, but it does not look like that is related to the AMO. The North Atlantic SST is at its peak, it may go down as there are other indicators pointing that way, but that isn’t certain.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST.htm

  26. OT
    Judith Curry,

    http://www.suite101.com/news/new-satellite-data-contradicts-carbon-dioxide-climate-theory-a394975

    If this is true it may not change the technical discussions, but, it certainly changes the politics!!! Well it would change the technical discussions of CO2 sinks and sources in a way that will be embarrassing to a number of people who were so sure of themselves and their data.

  27. Judith, Muller needs you to give a veneer of respectability to his project. He is like an unfaithful husband, who’s already strayed but has persuaded his spouse that it was an aberration and he won’t do it again. He is not to be trusted, he’s turned over Anthony and you, and he stands to make money out of global warming. Don’t be fooled by him he use you and lose you.

    • All I can do is use my best judgment and learn from mistakes. I do listen to what others say (or I wouldn’t be replying here), but I call it like I see it (ususally with a dose of uncertainty and doubt).

    • Come on, this is a terrible analogy. The fact of the matter is that on the whole Muller’s lectures and papers are very fair and honest. He has taken on Al Gore very vociferously. Noone except a politician weighs every word so carefully that it can’t be taken out of context to construct a straw man. I urge you to listen to a couple of Muller’s hour long lectures on climate on YouTube before you go off on a tangent.

  28. Tilo – I’ve not read the temp reconstruction methodologies in detail but do they really correct ‘data’ from other sources based on other ‘data’ vaguely nearby?? I can’t see whenever this would be justified no matter what you were measuring. If you don’t like the data from that site you need to throw it away and just use the ‘better’ data from the site that you were using to try and correct it.

    As you point out this would likely be problematic with any UHI effects and large unmonitored continental areas.

    As an aside with all the discussions about trends. I see the claim is that over the entire period a third of the stations cooled. Can someone break this down by decade – eighties, nineties and 00’s (for want of any better segregation) hopefully in both raw temperature data and adjusted if possible?

    “5. And since they are not allowing for any UHI effect, they likely correct true rural stations based upon urban temperatures.

    6. Plus they likely correct inland stations in the Arctic to correlate with shore stations since there are many more shore stations than inland stations, thereby amplifying the errors of number 4.”

  29. “Though it is sometimes argued that global warming has abated since the 1998 El Nino event (e.g. Easterling and Wehner 2009, Meehl et al. 2011), we find no evidence of this in the GHCN land data.
    Applying our analysis over the interval 1998 to 2010, we find the land temperature trend to be 2.84 ± 0.73 C / century, consistent with prior decades. ”

    oh, who is the crazy guy that wrote this?

  30. In his WSJ article, Muller said that as a result of BEST, one “should not be a sceptic” any longer. That was not the fault of any headline writer. Asked by the BBC if the BEST data showed a pause in global warming, his reply was:

    “In our data, which is only on the land we see no evidence of it having slowed down. Now the evidence which shows that it has been stopped is a combination of land and ocean data. The oceans do not heat as much as the land because it absorbs more of the heat and when the data are combined with the land data then the other groups have shown that when it does seem to be leveling off. We have not seen that in the land data.”

    The Judith Curry I spoke to last week found that, along with his PR strategy, obnoxious. Have you really changed your mind so fast and so completely?

    • David, I’m assuming given the time difference that any answer from Judith will come later. I don’t doubt that her tone has changed since she spoke to you – because she has met Richard Muller in person for the first time. I believe her when she says that he is someone genuinely excited about the science. That’s what I’ve felt myself and unfortunately is not as common in climate science (so-called) as it should be. That is the real story here.

      Your article was good in exposing the rubbish spouted by other parts of the media on the BEST pre-release. But above you fall into one, perhaps two, of the same traps. Muller was clearly using a very narrow, literal definition of global warming skeptic in the WSJ – because he explicitly wrote that BEST had not looked at attribution. Almost every skeptic I have read accepts that some warming has occurred. It’s how much has been caused by our emissions and what, if any, dangers lie in the future that really defines skepticism. I’m giving Muller the benefit of the doubt on his usage in the WSJ, though I’d admit it was naive at best.

      As for the existence or otherwise of warming in the last 10-15 years, who cares. It’s so small as to make all the talk of catastrophe a joke. That’s all that matters.

      I’ve been appreciative of your journalistic efforts since Climategate and hope you and Dr Curry can cooperate in the future.

      • That is an excellent post Richard – I agree completely.

      • Almost every skeptic I have read accepts that some warming has occurred. It’s how much has been caused by our emissions and what, if any, dangers lie in the future that really defines skepticism.

        I see this statement, essentially, often repeated. How do you reconcile that statement with the many comments from “skeptics” here and at WUWT which are in direct contrast (saying that warming hasn’t occurred) or that say that the evidence that shows warming is not valid?

        Here’s an interesting example:

        “Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and uni-directionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.”

        A. Watts 2010

        And further, how do you reconcile your statement above with the data that show that some 30% of Republicans and a majority of self-identified Tea Partiers think that global warming is not happening?

      • Joshua, there are two things wrong with your reply. One chronic, systemic problem and another piddling one.

        The chronic problem is that, again and again, you choose to debate the kind of skepticism that is easiest for you but least important for the crucial policy debate. Carbon controls are predicated on a real risk of dangerous warming in the future. This means that skeptics that hammer on about the lack of hard scientific evidence for dangerous warming are the ones any advocate of such policies should engage with. Instead you prefer to deal with the much narrower and less central area of the temperature records, the obscure statistics (globally averaged temperature anomalies or whatever one chooses to call them) derived from the temperature records and whether the resulting averages are moving up or down in any given timescale.

        The relatively piddling problem is that I don’t know – and I see no evidence you do – what Anthony Watts meant by ‘significant “global warming” in the 20th century’. What is significant. All I said is that most skeptics believe in some warming. Anthony’s words last year by no means prove he’s not in the majority I was positing.

        Then there’s the Tea Party, beloved of all who wish to deflect from the important policy issues. All you link to is a JPG of the results of one question in an opinion poll – no dates, no details. The question is “Do you think that global warming is happening?” But it is a grievous fault of the public debate that “global warming is happening” is taken to mean “dangerous global warming justifying immediate emission controls”. These two are nothing like the same, which is my original point. But I bet my bottom dollar that a majority of the tea-partiers questioned were interpreting the question in this pejorative sense. No wonder they answered as they did.

      • Ditto’s are boring, but again Richard succinctly outlines the case. There is a case to answer as to whether recent warming has been exaggerated, whether by data manipulation or by poor and/or incomplete data. But most of the scientifically skeptical case is built around the question of whether the warming most of them accept has occurred is attributable CO2, whether the warming is at a rate that is dangerous, and whether it justifies the policy decisions.

      • On the contrary, dittos are appreciated! And you rightly add that there is legitimate debate on whether recent warming has been exaggerated. But although legitimate, even if recent warming hasn’t been exaggerated by anyone, even if the most ‘extreme’ value is taken for recent warming, there’s no implication that CO2 emissions are going to be dangerous in the future. Again and again the media takes it as read that the one follows from the other, like night from day. But it’s more like a total eclipse following day. It just doesn’t follow. Except very rarely.

      • But most of the scientifically skeptical case is built around the question of whether the warming most of them accept has occurred is attributable CO2, whether the warming is at a rate that is dangerous, and whether it justifies the policy decisions.

        This, again, is a more qualified statement. As such, it seems to me more likely to be accurate. But I would still like to know on what validated evidence you base this claim?

        I see a great deal of “scientifically skeptical” argumentation that: (1) the statistical evidence of warming is not valid (if a “skeptic” thinks the evidence for warming is not valid, then on what basis could he/she conclude that the globe is warming?) and/or (2) that the theoretical argument that CO2 emissions could alter the climate is not valid.

        I see the arguments about policy implications as separate, and that the debate would be clarified by people on both sides of the debate keeping the arguments distinct. Conflating arguments is a problem. I do not see the debate likely to be advanced by “skeptics” who willingly accept an incoherence among “skeptics” as a group, and then suggest that there is some coherency. It seems to me that if “skeptics” who think that the globe is warming (and that CO2 can, theoretically, warm the climate) want to advance the debate, then they should focus at least some of their energy on clarifying the distinctions between different “skeptical” arguments. That is difficult to do simultaneously with making overly-generalized, and arguably inaccurate (and apparently unvalidated) statements about the opinions of “skeptics” as a group.

        It seems to me that overly-generalized statements from “skeptics” about the opinions of “skeptics” are political in nature – designed to “win” the debate rather than to advance the discussion.

      • BTW –

        To her credit, Judith does make efforts to distinguish among “skeptics” on the basis of views on the theoretical validity re: the impact of CO2 on the climate. Unfortunately, IMO, she doesn’t make (enough?) similar efforts to distinguish among “skeptics” with respect to views on whether the “world is warming,” and contrary-wise, over-states the uniformity of opinions among “skeptics” on that issue.

      • Joshua,

        Anthony Watts statement is that the warming can not be proven with the shoddy records. It is NOT that there has been no warming. He believes GHG’s warm and that there has been warming. Please do not try and misrepresent his positions.

      • Richard,

        I’m going to agree with Agnostic again.

        Joshua seems to be a lost cause. If I understand his latest comments above, he seems to be arguing that because a percentage of skeptics are of the opinion there is no warming at all (the one number he gives is 30% of Republicans) then there is no reason to pay attention to the much larger percentage that doesn’t argue warming. (Note: it is hard to be sure what Joshua is saying with his long posts.)

        Josh,

        You may think that the political and policy issues are completely separate from discussions of climate change, but I doubt anyone with a lick of sense does. If any one factor is driving more people to have doubts on the general topic of climate change, it is the policy and political decisions that are being presented and in some instances put into law.

      • The quote comes from the Watts/D’Aleo paper I linked to above. Read it and you’ll be in no doubt what was meant by ‘significant.’ Still freely available.

        A year later and we are told … ‘The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question, it is the magnitude and causes.’

        What a difference a year makes! The most honourable thing to do now that Watts himself has falsified the claims would be to remove the ‘report’ from circulation. Then next most honourable would be to attach a note pointing to the newer results showing the claims to be false. Someone more interested in propaganda than science would leave the paper where it is with no correction …..

        It’s hard to see how any credibility can be attached to someone distributing defamatory claims he knows to be false, when those claims have been falsified by data he provided……

      • Richard –

        Instead you prefer to deal with the much narrower and less central area of the temperature records, the obscure statistics (globally averaged temperature anomalies or whatever one chooses to call them) derived from the temperature records and whether the resulting averages are moving up or down in any given timescale.

        Actually, my focus is not on what the data show, but on how people interpret the data.

        My question is why you characterize “skeptics,” as a group, as not focusing on that very issue that you discuss in the excerpt above – when there is abundant evidence that a significant % of “skeptics” do exactly that?

        The pages of Climate Etc. are often filled with “skeptics” who write post after post focused exactly on that topic.

        Your point about the lack of clarity in Anthony’s statement as to what constitutes “significant” is a good one. Point taken.

        All I said is that most skeptics believe in some warming.

        That statement is notably different (notably more qualified) than the statement you made earlier that I highlighted. But even still, I’d ask you to explain what you consider to be validated evidence to support such a statement.

        There is evidence in the poll I referred to that backs up your modified statement:

        http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/PoliticsGlobalWarming2011.pdf

        a separate question was asked about attribution for global warming:

        The data on the answers to that question might suggest that yes, most Republicans and Tea Partiers believe that global warming is happening (i.e., some 80% of Tea Partiers said that assuming global warming is happening, it is attributable to either human activity or “natural changes in the environment”). But even there some 20% of Tea Partiers said that assuming global warming is happening, it isn’t happening. The data there are not directly on point, (they are characterized by sample characteristics other than the condition of being a “skeptic’), but I think that the data can fairly be used to support a conclusion that a significant % of “skeptics” do, indeed, doubt that the “world is warming.”

        My point is this – I agree that the debate about global warming is not well-served by over-generalizations made about the opinion of “skeptics” – whether they are made by those who overstate the uniformity of “skeptical” opinion one way or the other.

        Admittedly, polling data is far from conclusive – but given that caveat, on what objective and validated evidence do you base your statements quantifying the uniformity of opinion among “skeptics?” I see you making statements based on your anecdotal experiences – which are arguably influenced by confirmation bias or motivated reasoning. What other evidence do you have?

      • Sorry – That should read “….some 70% of Tea Partiers said that assuming it is happening….”

      • Joshua,

        would you know that the world has warmed some fraction of some degree in the last century or whatever, unless somebody told you. Most people don’t give a crap if the world has warmed a little. Those who do give a crap generally want to see convincing evidence if they are to go back to living stone-age style. Those polls hardly detect all those nuances. You are beating a dead horse, in an attempt to make skeptics out to be Republican Tea Party dumb right-wing Christian louts. As usual.

      • Joshua, thanks for the thoughtful reply but I still think you miss my central point, which I will restate as follows: what matters is not the weakest skeptical argument but the strongest. I don’t care what the majority think – I carefully qualified my original assertion of ‘almost all’ by ‘skeptic I have read’. There are lots on both sides I don’t bother to read. Because my interest is in the damage emission controls and so-called emission controls that turn out to complete commercial scams – like biofuels – are doing to the poorest in my own society and in the bottom billion. All I need to know are the strongest arguments on both sides. That’s the view you should also take. Said with love and respect :)

      • Don – actually it’s more like back to the mule age, which ended shortly after WW2.

      • Richard –

        Thank you in return for your thoughtful reply:

        I don’t care what the majority think – I carefully qualified my original assertion of ‘almost all’ by ‘skeptic I have read’.

        I think more qualification may be helpful here. Do you not read the opinions of “skeptics” as outlined in comments in these threads and those of WUWT? If so, I think that the qualifier “almost all” is likely inaccurate.

      • And Richard –

        Joshua, thanks for the thoughtful reply but I still think you miss my central point, which I will restate as follows: what matters is not the weakest skeptical argument but the strongest.

        I agree with that. And that is why I think it is important for “skeptics” to accurately distinguish the differences between “skeptical” arguments. Over-generalizing about the uniformity of “skeptical” opinion, (on either side of the debate) even when not done intentionally, do not advance the debate, IMO. That could be said about Muller’s statement just as it can be said by many statements I read here or at WUWT.

        The problem, as I see it, is that when such over-generalizations are made, it is impossible to distinguish between the arguments made by those who are overtly driven by partisan interests (and don’t care) and those who may be influenced by partisan interests (as we all are) but are open to controlling for those influences.

      • Richard –

        One final point, and then I need to get some real work done:

        Because my interest is in the damage emission controls and so-called emission controls that turn out to complete commercial scams – like biofuels – are doing to the poorest in my own society and in the bottom billion.

        Please note my comment to Anteros above. I think that we are all done a disservice if we don’t view the arguments about the science and the arguments about the policy implications as relevant to each other, but also as distinct.

        I think that the degree to which we are influenced by partisan motivations are proportional to the degree to which we allow cross-over on those areas of debate.

      • I very seldom read WUWT comments. No offence intended to anyone. I read Climate Etc. selectively, completely avoiding the dragon-slayers, for example, because I judge their arguments too weak to be of interest. I listen carefully to guys like Tomas Milanovic and Chief Hydrologist. Tomas made clear recently how irrelevant these fiery debates on spatially averaged temperature are for him and I agree. I also read the threads to do with Nic Lewis’ critique of IPCC WG1’s treatment of Forster & Gregory very carefully – because the lack of focus in WG1 on real-world verification of climate sensitivity estimates seems to me to be an utter scandal. What Nic uncovered hardly made the situation better, put it that way. This is the kind of thing I read – and stuff on extreme events and their link (or otherwise) to increasing temperatures, because that’s what matters to the poor. I’m selective. I’m not much interested in averaged temperatures until there’s some claim of a really dangerous warming coming from the thermometers, which there hasn’t been in my lifetime. All the bad stuff has been coming out of software models and I’m a programmer of 31 years who is inherently sceptical about that. Make any sense?

      • Joshua
        Those that agree with the IPCC’s conclusions would fall into one “camp”, and those that do not agree with their conclusions fall into an “other camp” that is based upon a number of different positions/beliefs (you seem to call those of us in this other camp “deniers”). I agree that all those who fall into this “other camp” do not seem to have reasonably well thought out positions.
        That said, those that support the IPCC’s conclusions must:

        1. Believe they know the rate the planet is warming

        2. Believe they understand the various causes of that warming and the relative weights of each cause

        3. Believe they understand how the predicted overall temperature rise will continue in the future and the impact of that rise on other conditions that effect human life (rainfall, storm frequency/intensity, etc.) for different regions of the planet. (This one assumes that we have accurate GCM’s even if we did not have #1 or #2 when the GCM was developed or run, which would seem to be a miracle)

        4. Believe that they understand the long term net results of the positive and negative impacts of a, b, and c sufficiently well to tell people in different parts of the world that they should take specific actions to change their basic forms of producing energy. (This one assumes that people, who wrote the papers providing analysis of future conditions, correctly analyzed the net impact of the future net harms to society; even though the GCMs, upon which their conclusions were written, are known to have provided inaccurate outputs.

        5. Believe that they have performed adequate cost/benefit analysis of the potential outcomes and that they can demonstrate that their proposed solutions are the most efficient use of our limited resources to resolve the “problem” as they defined it.
        Joshua—do you really believe you can support the IPCC’s conclusions? Why?

      • Muller is in love with statistics, not science. Watts gave him a wealth of information about station siting for the last thirty years but Muller and team chose to ignore it and do a 60 year study instead. There is negligible metadata for the first thirty of those 60 years. Someday, someone in climate science is going to get excited about facts on the ground and they will end the dominance of statisticians.

      • Thank you for your kind comments. I really appreciate them. I think one problem here is that in contrast with the UK, in America the whole AGW debate has become polarised on the usual, extremely bitter, partisan lines. In Britain, I can be a liberal on many issues and also write articles that challenge catastrophist views of climate change. In America, I suspect, that would be a lot more difficult. I don’t bother trying to discuss these issues with my many Brooklyn pinko buddies, because I know exactly what they will think. Equally, the tenor of discourse over here emanating from the GWPF is completely different, and much more careful, than Marc Morano’s at Climate Depot, which exemplifies the full-on shriek of anti-AGW opinion to be found on the American right. The problem for scientists – as Richard Muller must surely be aware – is that this field is inseparable from its political and policy implications and resonances, and so it is absolutely critical to chose the right words, and to use them in a very specific sense. Maybe you’re right that he was using a narrow definition of “sceptic” in his WSJ piece. But he also did nothing to censure those who echoed his words and appeared to be employing a much wider variant of the term. I can’t help thinking that he was, at best, deeply disingenuous, and for me, his comments to the BBC were plain misleading.

      • The only thing I know he’s done to put right wrong impressions in the media is to speak to Judith Curry, knowing that she would blog about it. But that is something. The jury’s out, as they say. Thanks for pushing on this matter of great importance.

      • David,

        chicken and egg.

        If the alarmists hadn’t pushed so hard on the their preferred solutions in conjunction with certain politicians with particular agendas there would have been little kick back. As the kick back started, instead of changing direction they pushed even harder. I would think an intelligent person can understand the result of this mistake.

      • David, I agree entirely with your comments here. I am very frustrated that our US friends are seemingly unable to view the debate from beyond their partisan riven shores. I too am liberal on many issues, but I have, for the time being, become somewhat skeptical of catastrophic AGW, and I resent the mischaracterisations of the skeptical viewpoint, particularly as demonstrated by our american colleagues – on BOTH sides of the argument. On one side of the ‘debate’ we are “denying” science that shows the world has warmed, and on the other side climate science is apparently being used to drive a socialist anti-freedom agenda. What a load of rubbish.

        And I agree with you, it is hard to see that Dr Muller is as naive as he appears to have been. The most generous view to take is that he has been extraordinarily naive. Disingenuous does seem the most fitting description.

        If it is the case that his views have been ‘misrepresented’ by WSJ, at least your piece redresses the balance. I hope you continue to monitor this story and write about it further.

    • I remain unhappy with the PR strategy, which was alluded to in this post. But I am trying to get to the heart of the more important issue of the integrity of the BEST project. My meeting with Muller was encouraging in that regard. They remain open to challenges and criticism of their project and want to move forward towards true understanding.

      • I don’t know how you can believe that Judith when he has commended Al Gore for this exaggeration and distortion. Muller’s entire PR strategy has been built on exaggeration and distortion. For Muller, it seems exaggeration and distortion are fine as long as the “right people” are doing it. Evidently, Michael Mann was too young to qualify.

        I won’t be satisfied until Muller makes a public apology for his demonstrably false statements to the media and goes on the same type of media tour asking for retractions and forgiveness of his most recent actions.

      • Ron –

        Slow down. I repeat.

        … Muller believes that exaggeration and distortion are praiseworthy? Perhaps you are projecting, that is also a possibility.

        Elsewhere Muller has said that An Inconvenient Truth is a ‘pack of half-truths’. Taking BOTH data points into account, [could mean] that Muller was damning by faint praise. He acknowledges the importance of Al Gore’s role in bringing attention to potential CAGW while simultaneously noting that Gore’s claims are particularly suspect.

      • Where is your unhappy-happy meter in regard to
        a) the UHI paper,
        b) Muller’s public statements on UHI.

        For me, UHI is BEST’s Achille’s Heal. If you don’t trust their handling of UHI effect, you cannot trust much of anything else. I, for one, am completely skeptical that they have handled UHI well.

      • “The law presumes that one intends the result which ordinarily follows an act”

        We can either assume that Muller intended the reaction his WSJ piece got or that he is not wise enough to recognize that the reaction was the result which would likely follow its publication. Both are problematic.

  31. So preliminary data is launched early to catch the eye of the IPCC. Muller also says we cannot be sceptical anymore, despite it being half crunched data.

    And now we read of a conversation in which two climate scientists rather lazily say “yeah it could be the amo/pdo” with no mention of solar/clouds etc.

    Lazy, shoddy, worrying.

  32. Hank Zentgraf

    Judith, your discussions with Muller only touched on a few of the issues discussed on your blog. Perhaps you could invite him to post a response to to the remaining issues. His “honesty” quotient needs to be polished.
    .

  33. Judith, et al:

    Speaking of ocean oscillations, what do you think about this?

    http://sbvor.blogspot.com/2011/10/amo-driving-best-climate-change.html

    It’s a thumbnail sketch. But, the results were “interesting” (as was my prior analysis of USA data).

  34. doskonaleszare

    > Re the recent trend, Muller reiterated that you can’t infer anything about what is going on globally from the land data, but the land data shows a continued increase albeit with an oscillation that makes determining a trend rather ambiguous. He thinks there is a pause, that is probably associated with AMO/PDO. So I am ok with this interpretation.

    This is getting more and more bizzare. In the first of BEST papers, Muller, you, and your coauthors state that “applying our analysis over the interval 1998 to 2010, we find the land temperature trend to be 2.84 ± 0.73 C / century, consistent with prior decades.”

    Now you claim that “there is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped”, and allegedly Muller also “thinks there is a pause”.

    Have you read the preprint before you signed yourself as the author? If yes, do you agree with that particular statement? If not, what was your role in the BEST project?

  35. “In our data, which is only on the land we see no evidence of [global warming] having slowed down.” Prof Muller Today programme BBC
    This programme is one of, if not , the most influential political programme on Radio in the uk.
    Whether the land based record shows anything outside natural variability is another point but the question I pose is either the above statement is true or it’s false?
    Which is it Dr Curry?
    James Delingpole has referred to lying cheating climate scientists and I doubt whether he would have published without legal advice?

    • @ Myself. I am not sure whether I am allowed to reply to myself
      “Which is it Dr Curry?
      James Delingpole has referred to lying cheating climate scientists and I doubt whether he would have published without legal advice?”
      So that there can be absolutely no misunderstanding please note that I definitely was not implying that Dr Curry is any of the adjectives used by James Delingpole.

  36. The BEST strategies for pre-review PR and media handling are un-professional, to say the least. The BEST project is fumbling publically.

    Advice, gets some professional resources.

    John

  37. I don’t get all the fuss. The war is being fought at different levels.the IPCC level has little to do with science, it’s all smoke mirrors newspapers and PR, so Muller’s justification is reasonable in its craziness.

  38. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith:

    To be considered in the AR5, papers need to be submitted by Nov, which explains the timing.

    IPCC:

    IPCC AR5 Timetable
    CMIP5 and WG1 milestones and schedule

    2011
    • February: First model output expected to be available for analysis.
    • July 18-22: Second Lead Authors Meeting (LA2) • October 24-28: WCRP Open Science Conference will include a CMIP5 session (Denver, Colorado)
    • December 16 – February 10, 2012: Expert Review of the First Order Draft (FOD)

    2012
    • April 16-20: Third Lead Authors Meeting (LA3)
    • July 31: By this date papers must be submitted for publication to be eligible for assessment by WG1.
    • October 5 – November 30: Expert and Government Review of the Second Order Draft (SOD) SOURCE

    IPCC again:

    Provisional Schedule for the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

    2011

    Jul
    Second Lead Authors Meeting (LA2), 18-22 July 2011, Brest, France
    Dec
    Expert Review of the First Order Draft (FOD), 16 December – 10 February 2012
    2012
    Feb

    Expert Review of the First Order Draft (FOD), 16 December – 10 February 2012
    Apr
    Third Lead Authors Meeting (LA3), 16-20 April 2012, Marrakech, Morocco
    Jul, 31
    WGI AR5 literature cut-off for submitted papers, 31 July 2012

    Oct-Nov
    Expert and Government Review of the Second Order Draft (SOD), 5 October – 30 November 2012

    I find no November deadline for anything. Might be one, but I can’t locate it. The nearest cutoff date is July 31st of next year … Judith, which November deadline are you referring to?

    w.

    • The only ‘deadline’ which springs to mind is the one called ‘Durban’

      • Peter317, I never thought of that, but as soon as I read what you wrote about Durban, it is obvious you are correct. This surely shows how desperate the “Team” is getting, that Muller would deliberately “throw BEST under the bus” in an attempt to somehow save the UNFCCC at Durban; which seems to be a completely lost cause..

    • There’s one deadline in November. The authors of the WG1 report must submit their first order drafts around middle November for inclusion in the First Order report that must be ready for expert review by Dec 16. The last month is reserved for putting the drafts together to form the First Order Draft.

      That means in practice that the authors can include papers that they know about before making last touches in their drafts.

      • Ok, but where does the publicity fit in? If you write an op-ed in the WSJ, does that increase the chances of your paper being included? How weird is that?

      • BlueIce2HotSea

        P.E. –

        It does decrease the likelihood that it would be overlooked ‘inadvertently’. However, I make no claim that rationale influenced the PR blitz.

  39. “Speaking of CRU, Muller related an interesting anecdote about Phil Jones that was apparently related to him by a reporter. When Jones was asked to comment on the BEST papers, he said he no comment until after the papers were published. Maybe Muller was correct in worrying about making sure the IPCC pays attention.”

    Nice bit of bridge building there (not). Prof. Jones reply is exactly what you should expect from a competent scientist, i.e. not to want to respond until he has had a chance to read the papers properly and consder them (rather than make an uninformed comment that is bound to be misrepresented by some sections of the media/blogsphere). Interpreting that as implying that the IPCC is biased against BEST is pure paranoia.

    • Prof. Jones reply is exactly what you should expect from a competent scientist

      Oh sure, let’s hear it for Prof. Jones and the truly competent scientists on this planet. To think otherwise is pure paranoia. While we’re at it, let’s listen to Bernie Madoff on the latest credit squeeze and Euro crisis. Anyone but a crazed conspiracy theorist would doubt the probity of such a man – and the IPCC which has made him what he is today. Oh yes.

      • I probably meant ‘Only a crazed conspiracy theorist would doubt the probity of such a man …’ but you get the idea. Keeping this faux conflict going is taking our pseudonymous friends (posing on all sides) to some extraordinary places. One’s gotta enjoy it while it lasts.

      • just to be clear, I am not keen on “faux conflict” either, which is why it is a good idea to avoid the sort of inflamatory (and baseless) statements, such as the one I criticised. As scientists, we should all be on the same side, and be seeking the truth.

        I’d be quite happy to discuss the science instead, such as “is there statistically significant evidence that the rate of warming has decreased since 2002 (or whatever start year maximises the evidence for that hypotheis)?”. I haven’t actually done the calculation, but I strongly suspect the answer is “no”, which makes one wonder on what grounds Prof. Curry and others appear so adamant that the rate of warming has decreased.

      • Dikran do the analysis so it seems you are pulling things out of the correct end of your anatomy.

      • DEEBEE, enough analysis of the significance of short term trends has already been done to show that trends computed over such a short timescale are no where near statistically significant. More to the point, it is Prof. Curry’s hypothesis, not mine, so the onus is on her to do the basic analysis to show that it has statistically significant support from the data.

      • DIKRAN,

        the BEST data show the temps flat since 2002. If you included 1998 and a year or 2 before you would still see flat or falling. That may not be statistically significant but that is still no warming for about 15 years.

        The fact that you look at a graph where the data is SMOOTHED on a 10 year basis and it doesn’t look like there has been much lack of warming only shows my Muller used the TRICK to fool the media and the rest of us non-technical types. He realized the propaganda value would be huge as the blogosphere debunking won’t get to the general public very quickly!!

        That and claiming to be a sceptic who has changed his mind show how dishonest the man is.

  40. “Who sups with the Devil, needs a long spoon.” My gut feeling tells me Judith really wants to be at the Devil’s supper table.

    Meanwhile, in the world of daily global temperatures, we continue to set low records on a daily basis at both 600mb and 400 mb, and the all time low records since data began in 2004, seem to be in danger of being broken.

    • Jim Cripwell,

      Your “gut feeling”, eh? Well, we all know what that is full of !

      • I must say, tempterrain, I was flattered by your reply. I had not realized that it would be worthwhile for anyone to take the time and trouble to be rude to me. I must have succeeded in getting under someone’s skin. So, many thanks indeed.

  41. Judith,
    I don’t want to add to the pressure you are probably under from AGW doom mongering colleagues but you have to be more discerning about the explanations you accept. A statement like, “He thinks there is a pause, that is probably associated with AMO/PDO. So I am ok with this interpretation”, may pass muster as a speculative comment over morning tea in the physics department, but it is an integral part of a public pronouncement that sceptics no longer have a case. A generous public acceptance of a speculative, unmeasured and untested explanation will be remembered and thrown back at you one day, most probably by the very people who criticise you now. Would you accept such an explanation from a graduate student as to why an experiment failed without any reasoning, testing or evidence to back it up, particularly as it is one of a number of possible explanations? What sort of a grade would they get?

    It reminds me of the time when the correlation between CO2 levels and temperature was generally assumed to be due to increased CO2 causing the temperature to rise … until it was found that cause and effect had been reversed. The prevailing theory was not reviewed but vehemently defended, added to and the inconsistency was drowned in a bucket load of feedback which does not appear to exist except in the virtual world of computer models … and there is still the question as to what triggers the process and why it stops. It is this sort of highly questionable, complex, conservative defence of a pet theory that breeds scepticism.

    Richard Muller may well be a fine honest scientist but when talking about the BEST project he should stay away from contentious climate science issues (that are not strictly relevant to that work) or that project will suffer from the fallout from failed climate predictions and someone (you?) needs to tell him so firmly: instead of acepting pure speculation as an acceptable explanation for his damaging conduct.

  42. After reading most said, I have to agree with William Briggs and will also remain skeptical despite the BEST study. (just not skeptical of what Muller thinks most ‘skeptics’ are skeptical about)

  43. Judith,

    I think that if Muller is really interested in getting the science across to the public, he should look at the way BEST has been interpreted, and issue some sort of correction.

    It is possibly true that part of the climate hysteria is driven by the media, but honestly if you deny (as I believe he did on the UK Today program) that there had been any letup in global warming, and couple that with a graph that shows a 10-year rolling average – thus mixing the 1990’s temperature rise with the flat curve for the last 13 years and losing the most recent data – that is dishonest.

    The plural for climate distortions, is propaganda, and we are all paying an enormous price for what the propaganda is producing.

    • Perhaps a letup on global warming could suggest returning to darker times of freezing the Thames and global crop failure. Not to mention dashing hopes of those trying to grow wine grapes in England.

      In these depressive and trying times of EU doing it’s tight rope acts, Obama seemingly engaged in endless wars, people need some added assurance that we not going to slip somehow into some kind of ice age. It true the ICCP has assured everyone that cooling is not possible for the next century or beyond- but it’s leadership been having some problems of late.
      Plus the early snowfall in New York- certainly just weather- but it’s that kind thing that make people unduly apprehensive.

      • I am actually something of a supporter of Obama – at least compared to his illustrious predecessor – but politicians can reasonably claim to have been misled by the scientific establishment, which seems to have done everything possible to avoid dealing with misleading climate information.

  44. look at all the deniers scrambling around to deny the significance of the best results. they were expecting less warming since 1980 and more cooling in the 60s

    • Where are they though, all these deniers? I see a lot of really meaningful names like ‘12345’ saying a lot of really meaningless things. And a lot of real people doing some genuine thinking about this release. The conflict here is proving largely synthetic. Haven’t you got better things to do than try and keep it going?

  45. richard Drake i see plenty of deniers. deniers who are trying to pretend they expected the best results (nothing new!) who refuse to even mention the times that they were claiming modern warming was pushed upwards by hansen and jones rewriting history and the boss deleting stations in the 90s, etc

    • I guess you see what you want to see. I’ve been a ‘denier’ since around 1992 – meaning that I deny the need for mandatory controls on carbon emissions and have done for almost twenty years – and I’ve never been that interested in the temperature record, because by everyone’s account the warming it shows isn’t dangerous. What’s dangerous is CO2-shaped warming plus feedbacks in the future, once there are no mitigating effects from aerosols as they have been in the past – or so we are told. This argument just doesn’t rely on the amount of current warming, it relies on global circulation models, on very complex software, and it is there that the weak spot had always been for me. To portray BEST as having anything to do with that argument is scandalously stupid. I trust you’re not so stupid, and I’m sure Professor Muller isn’t. But some prestigious names in the mainstream media have been, even in the last few days. That has got to stop.

    • I am an ex-chemist – not a climate scientist – and I became a ‘denier’ after Climategate, and its subsequent cover-up. I couldn’t read the information (emails and other information) hacked from the CRU, and still believe in the honesty of the ‘scientific’ process. I DID science many years ago, and we didn’t go round trying to suppress other people’s work by perverting the peer review system. The process of institutionalised science is just too corruptible.

      I am otherwise a fairly green person – as I assume are you – but I see vast sums of money being wasted on trying to avoid global warming, while other, far more valuable green projects and causes are forgotten.

      • That was my point. Why don’t real scientist stand up too the CO2 alarmist? How can anyone believe a word that comes out of NASA as long as James Hansen still has a job? These climate arm-wavers are giving all science a black eye. Judith, please stay scientific.

      • Here is one who did:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/25/currys-2000-comment-question-can-anyone-defend-%E2%80%9Chide-the-decline%E2%80%9D/

        He makes a valid point – that scientists don’t really like to be seen to interfere in matters outside their area of expertise. Normally that makes sense, but when a whole area of science becomes perverted it becomes very difficult.

        Feeman Dyson, no less, argues against AGW, but do the AGW crowd or the journalists take any notice?

      • That would be an interesting thread by itself. Was there any specific turning point that made you become skeptical? And exactly what are the implications of that?

        Upon a little reflection, I’d have to say that Al Gore and his movie had more than anything else to do with my suspicions about this juggernaut, and brought this issue above the noise level and on to my radar screen.

        Gore may have succeeded in raising awareness of climate change, but probably not in the way that he intended.

    • Mine is bigger than yours

  46. Doesn’t he sound like a nice guy?Lies to your face and you accept it?Are you going to query the lie that Willis and others have pointed out?
    No November deadline,he pulls a swifty on Anthony,lies to your face,and you want us to believe he’s a good guy?
    I notice there was no ninety minute meeting with Anthony,why was that?
    Bit disappointed here,thought you were a straight one,Ms Curry,but it looks as if you are tarred with the same brush.

    • Please do not be so harsh to Judith. She is at least trying to present climate information honestly. Imagine that many of your friends were engaged in some sort of cover-up – each one, a bit embarrassed about the hole that they had managed to dig collectively. Trying to right that wrong would be a rather lonely, painful task.

      • Well, in parallel situations in my own life, I’ve gone with honesty and integrity and accepted the cost. I’m not implying anything about Judith here, merely saying that when important things are at stake, it is possible to make hard but correct decisions.

      • Latimer Alder

        Just wondered if – in the whole history of climatology – we can recall many instances where practitioners made the ‘hard but crorrect decisions’ and went with ‘honesty and integrity’?

        I can think of examples of the opposite by the bucketload. But few on the positive side. Can anybody help me?

    • @ Noelene
      “Bit disappointed here,thought you were a straight one,Ms Curry,but it looks as if you are tarred with the same brush.”
      I think your comment is both un-neceassary and absurd.
      This blog for all its few faults is not a propaganda blog like UnRealclimate and I think vitriolic comments about Dr Curry’s integrity are uncalled for. Dr Curry in my view acts in good faith.
      Maybe Noelene you’d like to withdraw and apologise?

      • Seconded.

        Pointman

      • Michael Larkin

        Thirded.

      • Fourthed.

        And remember this quote from an old favorite poem of mine:

        If you can keep your head when all about you
        Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
        If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
        But make allowance for their doubting too:
        If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
        Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
        Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
        And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

        by Rudyard Kipling, from the poem ‘If’

        John

      • Fourthed. But I would like to see Judith explain why she has apparently bought the lie that the PR blitz was to get the attention of the IPCC. Come on, you have a study that according to Muller erases climate skeptic doubts, and confirms that the globe has warmed, thus restoring credibility to the discredited Climategate monkeys, and the IPCC needs to be hit over the head to take notice. That is bullcrap. Look at the BEST FAQs and see if it says anything in there about the PR blitz being motivated by getting the attention of the IPCC. The IPCC is not mentioned, or even alluded to.

      • I am telling you what Muller told me re the PR blitz. I don’t believe everything everybody tells me. I remain unhappy with PR, not so much the blitz as the end of skepticism stuff

      • OK, 5thed. But what about Muller’s lies, Judith?

      • A long time ago a farmer wanted to buy a mule from his neighbor. He asked the neighbor if the mule had any problems.

        “Not a problem,” the neighbor said. “This mule will do anything you ask. All you have to do is ask him nicely.” The neighbor added, “Just make sure you never mistreat my mule.”

        The price for the mule was fair, so the farmer bought the mule. The very next day the farmer wanted to plow his field. He hitched the mule to the plow. The mule had no intention of pulling that plow!

        The farmer said, “Git up!” But the mule paid no attention. The farmer tried talking nicely until his face almost turned blue. It did no good. So, he called his neighbor over.

        The neighbor came right away. When he heard the problem, he walked over and picked up a two-by-four. He hit the mule right in the head. Then he whispered in the mule’s ear. That mulee started plowing back and forth the field, turning the soil over without anyone standing behind the plow.

        “I thought you said never to mistreat your mulee,” stated the farmer. “You said all that I had to do was to talk nicely to him.”

        “Well,” answered the neighbor. “You just have to get his attention first before talking to him.”

        From here, just because I didn’t feel like writing it out myself.

  47. Scientists, many of whom are not as bright as Muller, have campaigned for CAGW laws and regulations with appeals to authority. They essentially argue that they are smart scientists who can predict the future and have a complete understanding of the politics and economics.

    Muller is a perfect example of why we would all be insane to allow these scientists to guide policymaking. He’s demonstrated that he doesn’t have an adequate grasp on the depth and breadth of the scientific issues, hasn’t come to grips with the politics, and lacks the writing ability to communicate his positions clearly and competently. He may be a brilliant scientist. I can’t judge that. But he’s a walking disaster area when it comes to everything else. He should be kept as far away from the policy area as possible.

  48. The UK press is not known to be all that reliable other than page 3, at least while I was there. Sometimes even page 3 was unbelievable.

  49. Muller is a perfect example of why we would all be insane to allow these scientists to guide policymaking.

    Er, yes and no. A thousand times yes as far as the “many … not as bright as Muller [who] have campaigned for CAGW laws and regulations.” No as far as this “brilliant scientist [who]’s a walking disaster area when it comes to everything else”. That’s exactly the kind of scientist we want to help policymakers for two reasons: a) his limitations are completely clear to everyone and b) he’s a person of integrity. The very ineptness of some of the last few days have persuaded me. Go Muller-Curry and all those that are improving their science for free on the Internet. You’re the real pioneers, who will change the face of all science in time.

    OK, I accept it’s not quite the majority view as yet :)

    • Richard,

      a person of integrity does not allow media to promote him as a sceptic whi has changed his mind when he has been a warmer since the 1980’s and still is!!!

      a person of integrity would not use a graph with ten year smoothing to try and make the rest of us believe that there is continued warming like the IPCC types claim when even his own data show the temps flat for ten years.

      a person of integrity would not use a poor analysis to attempt to cover up the issue of UHI when it does nothing of the sort.

      a person of integrity would not state for the record that he admires those who exagerate because the cause is so important.

      Muller is in the vein of Hansen, Jones, Mann…

      • Judith met him for the first time yesterday and doesn’t agree. That goes a long way with me. And he made a point of contacting Steve McIntyre in 2004 to offer his support. That was extremely unusual for a mainstream scientist. I don’t care if the media calls him a sceptic or when they say he was. He either brings scientific integrity to the climate scene or he doesn’t, more than the current incumbents. Judy’s giving a strong signal that that’s the case. I happily fall in line.

        I’m not saying people shouldn’t kick the tyres but the main way should be in the technical details and seeing how the BEST team respond. The UHI paper may well be weak, in which case the reputation of BEST will suffer. I haven’t read his comments about Al Gore, which tells you that I don’t find that level compelling. I assume he has scientific integrity but I will read Steve, Ross and others with care as they unpick this stuff and take my time to form more definite conclusions.

      • You bet the UHI paper is weak. The UHI paper is BS and Muller lied about it in his WSJ article. They did not compare urban data to “very rural, distant from urban”. That is not scientific integrity

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        This “lie” is nothing more than Don Monfort failing to read what the WSJ article says. Nowhere in it does it make the claim he says it makes. At no point does it say the BEST team compared urban stations to very rural stations. Don Monfort has simply made this issue up.

        That he has done so while accusing Muller of lying is humorous, i a twisted sense.

      • Brandon me boy,

        Here it is again:

        “To study urban-heating bias in temperature records, we used satellite determinations that subdivided the world into urban and rural areas. We then conducted a temperature analysis based solely on “very rural” locations, distant from urban ones. The result showed a temperature increase similar to that found by other groups. Only 0.5% of the globe is urbanized, so it makes sense that even a 2ºC rise in urban regions would contribute negligibly to the global average.”

        Now watch my lips, I am going to speak slowly. He says they used satellite determinations to divide the world into urban and rural areas. Follow me so far, Brandon? They then conducted an analysis based solely on “very rural” locations, distant from urban ones. Now are you going to tell me that is not a very clear statement that they are comparing urban to “very rural”, distant from urban areas? In other words to the typical reader, that they are comparing cities to the freaking boondocks, and not that they are comparing very rural ( whatever that is) to all other places on the freaking planet? Compare that to what the paper says. But you didn’t read the freaking paper, or apparently the quotes from it that I have provided for you several times. Wake up and smell the doo doo. Muller lies.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Don Monfort, if you intend to be rude and insulting like this, I won’t bother responding to you anymore. That sort of behavior is pointless, and it suggests you have no intention of participating in any sort of reasonable discussion. I don’t think many other people will find it worth responding to you either, but if you’re content to simply rant and rave and be ignored, have fun with that. In the meantime, I’ll stick to reading simple sentences for what they say, as will most people. For example, you ask me:

        Follow me so far, Brandon? They then conducted an analysis based solely on “very rural” locations, distant from urban ones. Now are you going to tell me that is not a very clear statement that they are comparing urban to “very rural”,

        I am quite certain most people will understand when Muller says BEST did an analysis based solely on “very rural” locations, he means they did the analysis based solely on “very rural” locations. I don’t imagine many people will randomly assume an analysis based solely on “very rural” stations will include analyzing urban stations. Furthermore, I don’t imagine many people will assume comparing an analysis based solely on “very rural” stations to the results gotten when analyzing the entire dataset will amount to only comparing “very rural” to urban sites. So yes, I will tell you “that is not a very clear statement that they are comparing urban to ‘very rural.'”

        But by all means, be rude and insulting. Claim I haven’t read the paper (nevermind the fact I pointed out a specific discrepancy in the paper nobody else has discussed). If you wave your hands vigorously enough, you might convince somebody you can actually fly.

      • Brandon,

        You lost me after the first sentence. Disscussion over on my part. You have the last word.

      • I would suggest that you need to analyze the way he determined VERY RURAL rather than just arm wave saying it was by satellite to really understand the problems with the analysis.

        In any case it makes no attempt to determine WHAT CAUSED DIFFERENCES IN TRENDS!!! It ASSUMED any difference would be due to UHI rather than regional or local climate issues!!! As in Claims that the work should change sceptics minds, even if I believed the 1.5C or whatever change he claims since 1850, it says nothing about whether it was due to CO2, the Sun, or the Easter Bunny!!!

      • To Don,

        I read the sentences you quote and the first couple of times through came to the same conclusion you did. After reading Brandon’s comments, I can see where it is possible to read Muller’s statements more than one way.

        To Brandon,

        On the subject of certainty – I would not be making any bets – at least not with your own money – were I you. You risk that “ass” analogy by assuming that most people will read those particular quotes from Muller the same as you do. There is enough ambiguity to see it in more than one light. I’m guessing there may be a strong correllation between which side of the debate one is on and how they interpert the comments.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Don Monfort, I don’t see what was unclear about my comment, but okay.

        tim56, there is no assumption involved in my comment. I cannot find any way to read that sentence to mean what Don Monfort says it “clearly” means. How exactly do you suggest one take “analysis based solely on “very rural” locations” to mean it is comparing those stations to urban ones? The word “solely” means only thing analyzed was the set of “very rural” stations. I can’t see where there would be any room for confusion. There is never any discussion of urban stations being analyzed, so Don Monfort’s interpretation is completely baseless. I can’t help it if people misread things, but Muller’s comment was perfectly clear.

      • Brandon,

        You are a dope. Read the WSJ article and compare it to the BEST UHI report, which you have not read. How do I know that? Because it states very clearly in the report that they compared very rural, with rural.

        “The word “solely” means only thing analyzed was the set of “very rural” stations.”

        You are claiming that they only examined very rural data. WTF would that tell them about UHI? That would only tell them about their allegedly very rural data. Read the paper. Compare it with the WSJ article. I am done with you. I mean it this time :) Who raised you people?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Don Monfort, I find your behavior here absurd. You refused to respond to my comment which explained why you were wrong, saying you were leaving the conversation. You then immediately responded to my next comment, without addressing anything in my explanation. You also repeat your baseless claim that I never read the UHI report, a claim I clearly demonstrated is false. In addition to all this ridiculousness, you say:

        Read the WSJ article and compare it to the BEST UHI report, which you have not read. How do I know that? Because it states very clearly in the report that they compared very rural, with rural.

        Not only did you just make up the idea I haven’t read the UHI report, you are now making things up about what the UHI report says. It never says BEST compared very rural with rural, yet you claim it states such “very clearly.”

        Ultimately, this entire issue, and all of your claims of Muller lying, comes down to one simple thing.In the end. You keep making things up.

      • Don Monfort,

        “The effect of urban heating on estimates of global average land surface temperature is
        studied by applying an urban-rural classification based on MODIS satellite data to the
        Berkeley Earth temperature dataset compilation of 39,028 sites from 10 different publicly
        available sources. We compare the distribution of linear temperature trends for these sites to
        the distribution for a rural subset of 16,132 sites chosen to be distant from all MODISidentified
        urban areas. While the trend distributions are broad, with one-third of the stations
        in the US and worldwide having a negative trend, both distributions show significant
        warming. Time series of the Earth’s average land temperature are estimated using the
        Berkeley Earth methodology applied to the full dataset and the rural subset; the difference of
        these shows a slight negative slope over the period 1950 to 2010, with a slope of -0.19°C ±
        0.19 / 100yr (95% confidence), opposite in sign to that expected if the urban heat island
        effect was adding anomalous warming to the record. The small size, and its negative sign,
        supports the key conclusion of prior groups that urban warming does not unduly bias
        estimates of recent global temperature change…

        We consider two sets of stations, a complete set and a set restricted to sites that are far from
        urban regions. To accomplish this we use the MODIS urban classification map (Schneider et
        al. 2009, 2010; described below) combined with our large collection of temperature stations.
        This is a larger set of stations than previous analyses have included. We first describe the
        datasets, and place the problem of estimating urban heating in context by conducting an
        investigation of the linear trends in this large set of temperature stations. Our primary
        analysis of the significance of site selection restricted to non-urban stations is then
        performed with the Berkeley Earth Temperature averaging procedure.

        An alternative, which we adopt here, is to analyze the urban-rural split in a
        different way. Rather than compare urban sites to non-urban, thereby explicitly estimating
        UHI effects, we split sites into very-rural and not very-rural. We defined a site as “veryrural”
        if the MOD500 map showed no urban regions within one tenth of a degree in latitude
        or longitude of the site.”

        http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_UHI.pdf

        They compare very-rural to the rest. See table 1 especially.

      • Richard,

        see my other posts for the link to the GRIST article where Muller tells his Sierra Club anecdote. He is a Warmer who either created or is allowing a media campaign to be based on his being a sceptic whose mind has been changed by his work on the temp series. This is a LIE that he must publically renounce or he is a LIAR himself. We need to wonder where the media got the idea that he was a sceptic??

        The issues around the UHI paper could be interpreted as his incompetence.

        The issues that Anthony Watts brings to the table again indicate he is a LIAR!!!

        Maybe you can explain how we are not interpreting these issue correctly? Personally I am thinking Prof. Curry has been embarrassed about being taken in by the Climate Community once already and was looking hard for someone honest who could salvage this train wreck. Muller seemed to be the one and she unfortunately was hoping too hard and got sucked in again. It is even harder to admit you were suckered the second time. I have sympathy, but, facts are facts.

      • kk, I brought up the Grist article earlier, had a look at the date and the first few paras, saw it was in the context of Obama’s ascension and decided to give the rest a miss. I’m telling you that honestly because it shows I don’t think it matters much what Muller said then. I might be wrong. Likewise I’ve not studied Anthony’s concerns. I don’t feel I have time for all that. If Judy’s met the guy and believes his heart’s in the right place that’s fine for me, for now. Because the real meat will only be found over time. That’s the nature of release early, release often. That much I do know.

        I’m gonna keep reading over the next few weeks but I feel it’s unnecessary to rush to judgement. I do understand Ross McKitrick feeling sore right now but that’s it. My gut-feel turned out to be right on Phil Jones and ‘poor Phil’ in Feb 10 and later as Neil Wallis was revealed as the hidden PR impresario for UEA at that time. I don’t think we know who was pulling all the strings in the BEST case, not yet. Time will tell.

      • Richard,

        I am not following you. The fact that Muller is on the record in the past as and WAS a believer doesn’t matter since the article was around the time of Obie’s election?? Doesn’t that imply that YOU are thinking he was affected by the Politically Correct bug thinking it would be good for him to admit to being a Warmer, which he actually IS??

        Sorry, that fits with my statement that he IS a warmer and is now LYING and allowing others to LIE about his beliefs to milk a significant benefit from a made up scenario of a PR campaign. PROPAGANDA.

      • I agree completely with Richard. Lets not get too legalistic here and demand a level of “purity” that no real person can achieve. We are not talking about big things here but little details about spin.

      • You have to keep two separate issues separate. Was he skeptical of the broad theory of AGW? I don’t see any evidence of that. Was he skeptical of some of the fast-and-loose presentation of science? Yes.

        It’s entirely possible and consistent to believe that when all is said and done that CO2 is going to bring on serious problems, and at the same time be horrified by the corner-cutting done by some of the big names in climatology, let alone some of the lay “communicators” like Gore. I don’t see any conflict between those positions at all.

      • P.E.,

        what has been communicated by the Media is NOT that he has a problem with the way some Climate Science is done but that he was Sceptical of Warming and it being a Human caused problem based on CO2. This is what he is allowing to continue. What you THINK MAY be the issue is not relevant.

      • Yes. And as far as I can tell, the media made that up, or to be generous, misunderestimated it. Nobody should be surprised to learn that the media messes things up. Especially anything to do with science, it’s actually unusual when they get things right. Whether that’s incompetence or deliberate misinformation is another discussion.

      • “It’s entirely possible and consistent to believe that when all is said and done that CO2 is going to bring on serious problems, ”

        Hmm. Not sure what “entirely possible” actually means, come to think about it. But anyhow, there are many more serious problems as compared to CO2 emission by
        humans. If CO2 does what a lot of people think it does- rise temperatures by a few degrees, than it’s not a problem at all.
        Whereas terrorists getting biological weapons or nuclear weapons is a serious problem. Iran is a serious problem.
        Having a corrupt UN is a serious problem.
        Africa is a serious problem.
        There probably 100+ more serious problems than CO2 has any chance of being and require more immediate solution/resolution. And none
        would as costly to “fix”. And the fix offered doesn’t fix it. Nor is the carbon cycle adequately understood.

  50. Muller says that the reanalyzed BEST data now agrees with GISS for the last decade. I take it that means it shows continued warming. If so then there is no “hide the decline” issue, as there is no “decline” (actually flatness) to hide. So Muller is off that hook.

    Of course one need not accept this reported continued warming, as the UAH does not show it, nor does HadCRU, and both GISS and BEST are interpolation intensive, but that is a different issue. It is the issue of uncertainty. Ironically, BEST has increased the uncertainty.

  51. Several years ago, Rich Muller develloped an explaning hypothesis for the ice ages, a cosmic dust band, where the eartth orbit would touch in at it’s extreme inclination with the prominent non-Milankovitch period of 100 k years seen in many proxies. So they went on and tried to find evidence for that idea in the ice cores. The result was zilch, nada, no. Rich Muller just did not blink and published his “failure” just like that: http://muller.lbl.gov/papers/gisp2dust.pdf

    Knowing that rebuttals of other failures, never have been made by the originator, if at all, I put him on a pedestal, the most honest scientist, that I know of. I have seen more than enough from Judith Curry, to know that she is the right stuff of the same kind.

    So it’s my firm belief that all the BEST fuzz is agenda-sensation mutilation.

    • I didn’t know that story but it coheres with what I do know. This is the vital quality: scientific integrity. Add proper openness and science, even climate science, will soon recover. We’re playing for the long-term here – or should be. One or two glitches in the very first step of ‘release early, release often’ will look insignificant in a few months, let alone a few years.

  52. I would hope that Prof Muller could issue some comment on the ‘WSJ’ End to scepticism claim.

    Ie Media have played it as no reason to be sceptical at all. Bizarre when BEST papers say, not looked at attribution, and state, human contribution may be overestimated!!

    Currently, BEST’s PR exercise has turned into a media/lobbyist flag to label an end to rational scepticiism, and label everyone else as a ‘denier’.. Note. I’m saying the media is doing this, NOT Prof Muller

  53. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”.

    Pointman

  54. Unless Muller makes some very public statement clarifying the impression he left (really though, “impression” seems too soft a word) that the earth is still warming over the last 13 years, and further makes it clear that AGW skepticism is in fact alive and well given we have no idea how much….if any…previous warming is anthro…then it remains obvious to me that he’s just talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Judith, I get the feeling this guy is a master manipulator. He needed to get you back on the reservation and he turned on the Muller charm, because it’s obvious you were clearly hurting him with your previous statements. If he’s been misquoted and or misunderstood as he’s evidently claiming, then where the hell is he with respect to the MSM? Why is he so passive? Why isn’t he out there demanding they set the record straight?

  55. This whole affair raises many more questions than answers.
    The Dissarray within the team and Mullers behaviour have destroyed the credibility of this program for the foreseeable future imho.

    I hold Judith in High regard now however with this stick wriggling I am not sure who to give credence to any longer .

    Sorry Judith very poor show ALL round from the team in managing this debacle!

  56. New Satellite Data Contradicts Carbon Dioxide Climate Theory

    Industrialized nations emit far less carbon dioxide than the Third World, according to latest evidence from Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

    Global warming alarmism is turned on its head and the supposed role of carbon dioxide in climate change may be wrong, if the latest evidence from Japan’s scientists is to be believed.

    Japanese national broadcaster, NHK World, broke the astonishing story on their main Sunday evening news bulletin (October 30, 2011). Television viewers learned that the country’s groundbreaking IBUKU satellite, launched in June 2009, appears to have scorched an indelible hole in conventional global warming theory.

    http://www.suite101.com/news/new-satellite-data-contradicts-carbon-dioxide-climate-theory-a394975

    Scientific Online Letters on the Atmosphere

    http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/7/0/161/_pdf

    http://www.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/gosat/index_e.html

    • Thx, I’ll flag this to look into

      • Anthony Watts

        Judith don’t bother, it’s another slayer story.

      • thx for the heads up, i just looked at the publications.

      • Anthony,

        what does slayer mean?

        A quick web search turned up a sice called faux science slayer. Is this what is meant?

      • Dragon slayer. A google of ‘climate dragon slayer’ will reveal more, if you have to know.

      • Slayers.

        Really?

        Slayers of what exactly?

        On the Benefit of GOSAT Observations to the Estimation of Regional CO2 Fluxes

        H. Takagi1, T. Saeki1, T. Oda1*, M. Saito1**, V. Valsala1***, D. Belikov1, R. Saito1****, Y. Yoshida1, I. Morino1, O. Uchino1, R. J. Andres2, T. Yokota1, and S. Maksyutov1

        1National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
        2Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA

        Abstract
        We assessed the utility of global CO2 distributions brought by
        the Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) in the estimation
        of regional CO2 fluxes. We did so by estimating monthly
        fluxes and their uncertainty over a one-year period between June
        2009 and May 2010 from 1) observational data collected in existing
        networks of surface CO2 measurement sites (GLOBALVIEWCO2
        2010; extrapolated to the year 2010) and 2) both the surface
        observations and column-averaged dry air mole fractions of CO2
        (XCO2) retrieved from GOSAT soundings. Monthly means of the
        surface observations and GOSAT XCO2 retrievals gridded to 5°
        × 5° cells were used here. The estimation was performed for 64
        subcontinental-scale regions. We compared these two sets of
        results in terms of change in uncertainty associated with the flux
        estimates. The rate of reduction in the flux uncertainty, which
        represents the degree to which the GOSAT XCO2 retrievals contribute
        to constraining the fluxes, was evaluated. We found that
        the GOSAT XCO2 retrievals could lower the flux uncertainty by as
        much as 48% (annual mean). Pronounced uncertainty reduction
        was found in the fluxes estimated for regions in Africa, South
        America, and Asia, where the sparsity of the surface monitoring
        sites is most evident.

      • Yes, all that is saying is that they can measure the fluxes better, and they give the uncertainty estimates. So?

      • Nick,

        you saying you donh’t understand the paper or are refusing to read it??

        The presentation by the scientists in the Japanese broadcast matches the “Slayer” story well. Y’all gonna call the scientists for doing a Muller?? Let us know what is wrong with their papers then won’t you??

      • Well, KK, it seems even O’Sullivan couldn’t keep a straight face any longer. His post has vanished.

      • Nick Stokes,

        yup, he was a little over the top on his description.

        Have you looked at the animations that the JAXA group provided of their data?? I added it here and you can find them at Chiefio and Lucia’s. They are quite interesting. I would say they might even give some support for Salby.

        I thank O’Sullivan for bringing their work to my attention and some other people are interested in it also. Even people like you occasionally post something that is helpfu rather than just apologetics.

        Here is the paper for the original announcement and the map O’Sullivan posted:

        http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/7/0/161/_pdf

        Here is the animation of the JAXA Ibuki CO2 data:

        from this page:

        http://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/index_e.html

        Not quite what we have been led to believe from earlier work.

      • But again, KK, I wish you could just state a case – advance an argument – something, instead of just pasted segments and links. What are you actually trying to say? How is it different? Why does it matter?

        Yes, there is a seasonal variation in bio CO2 emission. And some spatial variation. And this new satellite can measure it more accurately. So?

      • Nick, what is it you are asking me? Are you really saying that you are unable to evaluate what you see at even a gross level?? I am the uneducated guy that can’t do the math remember???

      • KK, there’s nothing there.

      • That’s funny Nick. That is the same thing I say about Goreball Warming and the fantasy that man’s tiny contribution to the massive atmosphere could cause major disruptions!! There is nothing there.

        Try reading Salby’s book and then look at the animation again for a few years.

    • Don’t just cut and paste. O’Sullivan’s post is incomprehensible. Please explain what you are trying to tell us.

      • That North America is a net sink has long been speculated, due to work by Peter Tans and others, going back to the Buenos Aries FCCC COP meeting.

      • Yeah I tried to read it, but it is incomprehensible. It seems to conflate the human and natural emissions of CO2 like Salby’s talk. Which is interesting in terms of the present-day carbon cycle but irrelevant here. (Salby made some points later on of a more nuanced sort though I still don’t give it much credence, but has the paper come out yet?)

      • Incomprehensible? Nick, your response is incomprehensible. What O’Sullivan says couldn’t be clearer. What is it you don’t understand?

        The correlation between industrialization and net CO2 emission doesn’t exist. That simple enough for you?

      • But who says that? And where? Numbers?

      • Did you even read the linked article Nick? If you did, you get an F for reading comprehension.

      • I don’t know about Nick, but I read it, along with the paper it was referencing. All the paper says is that they’ve got better flux measurements, just like Nick said.

        As for the “linked article“, this is another case of some science-challenged science reporter misunderstanding the paper/presentation. So there’s no “correlation between industrialization and net CO2 emission“, so what. Why should there be. Nobody’s talking about that.

        What they’re talking about is a correlation between industrialization and net human emission. Natural emission is so much larger than from fossil carbon that it swamps it; everybody’s known that all along. This paper is a yawn, and the “linked article” is a LOL

      • AK: “Nobody’s talking about that.”

        Are you kidding. The warmers all talk about industrialized society being responsible for the problem. The whole point of the AGW movement is to point a crooked finger of blame at capitalist societies.

        “Natural emission is so much larger than from fossil carbon that it swamps it;”

        Larger than fossil carbon? What are you talking about?

        If the release of carbon in industrial societies isn’t net positive, and the release of carbon in non-industrial societies is net positive, then the contribution of man cannot be all that significant. If you can get net negative contribution in heavily industrialized places like Europe and the NE USA, then why can’t you get it in the very green areas of Africa and South America?

      • @Tilo Reber…

        My best guess is that you’re some sort of denialist troll. But just in case:

        Are you kidding. The warmers all talk about industrialized society being responsible for the problem. The whole point of the AGW movement is to point a crooked finger of blame at capitalist societies.

        They’re talking about human caused emissions. They’re looking at these against a background of natural emissions (positive flux) they don’t care about. (They also don’t care about crops, AFAIK.)

        Larger than fossil carbon? What are you talking about?

        Just what I said. Natural processes both release and absorb at least an order of magnitude more carbon annually than is emitted by human fossil fuel use.

        If you can get net negative contribution in heavily industrialized places like Europe and the NE USA, then why can’t you get it in the very green areas of Africa and South America?

        Good question. It’s well known that tropical forest areas are generally net emitters, but I personally don’t know why. (It’s on my list, but I’ve got higher priorities right now.) If I had to guess, it’s like this: Tropical forests per se are pretty much balanced, but volcanic activity adds CO2. Temperate areas also have vulcanism, but they’re net absorbers, especially peat bogs and eutrophication in lakes and rivers. I don’t guarantee that reason, it’s just a guess, but I do know it’s commonly stated that the natural environment has a positive net flux into the atmosphere in the (land) tropics, and negative elsewhere.

      • Tilo,
        So you still can’t come up with proper references or quotes? Or even a quantitative statement of the alleged facts?

        “If the release of carbon in industrial societies isn’t net positive, and the release of carbon in non-industrial societies is net positive, then the contribution of man cannot be all that significant.”

        So are you saying that we haven’t burnt about 350 Gt carbon? All those accountants are deluded? Or that C in the atmosphere has gone up by 200 Gt?

        For millions of years there has been about 1500 Gtons of C in the atmosphere and biosphere. It moves around – about 100 Gt each year is photosynthesized and respired. During Ice Ages, there’s a net flow into the sea, and at other times there’s an ongoing exchange. And yes, these movements are not uniformly distributed. For example there is a solubility pump, where cold seas absorb nett CO2 which emerges in warmer places.

        None of this has lead to substantial variation in millenia. But now we’re digging the stuff up and burning it, as fast as we can. 350 Gt so far, but at least 3000 to go. No difference, you say?

      • “then why can’t you get it in the very green areas of Africa and South America?”

        I wondered what time day the readings were taken. Trees “exhale” CO2- they store sugar energy and consume it, in addition to consuming CO2.
        Other than that, Africa isn’t very green- in either sense [in trees and grass Or "green"]

      • “My best guess is that you’re some sort of denialist troll. But just in case:”

        My best guess is that you are some sort of warmist troll. But just in case:

        “They’re talking about human caused emissions.”

        And the JAXA result shows that human emission is not significant enough to turn a net negative contributer into a positive contributer.

        “It’s well known that tropical forest areas are generally net emitters,”

        Again, with almost no human contribution to the tropical forests, they are still net emitters. Clearly the article shows that a region being a net emitter or net absorber is not effected by the presence of industrialization. It is much more dependent on latitude and vegetation type. Interestingly, the northern forests of the northern hemisphere are net absorbers. And, guess what, they are currently thriving and expanding. This article tells you that much of the world would do better to worry about expanding forests than cutting CO2 emissions. It tells you that you can have massive industrialization and still be a net absorber.

        “but volcanic activity adds CO2.”

        The JAXA results do not come from volcanic activity.

      • Nick: “So are you saying that we haven’t burnt about 350 Gt carbon?”

        I’m saying that however much we contribute, it’s not enough to turn the most industrialized areas from net absorbers to net contributors. And no matter how little is contributed by man in other areas, it’s not enough to insure that they don’t have positive net carbon contribution. In other words, we are not changing the balance by region. The article also tells us that we can have heavy industrialization with heavy fossil fuel use if we also have the right biosphere absorbers in place. In other words, high latitude trees and vegetation seem to be more important than what mankind is contributing.

      • I bet they saw that pretty map with all the green showing in the Northern hemisphere and did not realise that there were also other maps showing a lot of red there, because the maps are for different times of the year. Here’s a hint: could it be that North America absorbs more carbon than it emits in June and less than it emits in December?

      • Nickie,

        I love the way things you don’t like are always incomprehensible. Won’t your bias allow your brain to understand??

      • Slayer Kumkwat, The IBUKU satellites use the same principles of photon absorption to spectroscopically estimate CO2 concentrations as the climate scientists use to analyze its role as a GHG. Ain’t the irony rich.

        In other words — Eat My Particulates.

      • I wouldn’t eat your misattributed particulates if they were sauteed by PHIL!!

        By the way, your implication that I do not believe your photon theories is partially correct. Not having had a good University eddimucashun I am just now reading about the SETTLED SCIENCE of quantum mechanics and what led to it. It is a typical political yarn of influential people managing to get their way in spite of hesitations by other qualified people. Don’t know where it is taking me as far as what I WILL end up believing, but, at this point in time it is pretty wide open!!

        What you and Phil appear to have a problem with is that I am occcasionally able to use your own interpretations to show problems with the CONSENSUS. Sorry about that, but, it is fun.

      • Hi Nick,

        “Well, KK, it seems even O’Sullivan couldn’t keep a straight face any longer. His post has vanished.”

        Actually it’s still around on various other places. This is where he got his info I think:

        http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/30_13.html

        Be worth looking into don’t you think?

    • well it’s ibuki not ibuku isn’t it.

      but more on the point: The results published in SOLA reduce (claim to reduce) the uncertainties in the estimated CO2 balance. If (big ifs) I caught the rest of the NHK World News correctly yesterday and interpret the maps in the Japanese press release correctly (thanks to google translations), then the news is that some regions in the northern hemisphere were thought to be sources of CO2 in some part of the study period, but now might have been a sink during this periods.

    • Temperature drives the bus, CO2 sits in the back.

      • The historical record shows time after time that temperature can turn around and go down while CO2 is still going up, or conversely, that temperature can turn around and go up while CO2 is still going down. I think that CO2 does act as an amplifier, but a weak one.

      • Yes, CO2 cools not warms the atmosphere.

      • Tilo,

        I have to agree with that. Especially CO2, but all GHG’s would appear to be weak in absolute magnitude.

        I have recently decided to try and get comments on the fact that the earth irradiates itself due to roughness. As this is not allowed for SB computations, I am wondering how much of the GHG effect claimed by the Warmers is actually a result of the self irradiation which is closer to a BB bandwidth and higher amplitude. Probably not an issue for water due to reflection, but, water seems to deal with DLR by evaporation.

        So, maybe another 10 or 20 or ??% of the GHG effect wrongly attributed?? Trenberth’s missing heat is missing for so many small but real reasons even if we accept the full theory of GHG effect!!

      • kumkqwat, you continued posting on the Sky Dragons thread shows that you can and should be ignored. Good bye.

      • Bye bye Rattus,

        sorry you don’t want to discuss issues not supportive of alarmism.

      • Tilo said:

        I think that CO2 does act as an amplifier, but a weak one.

        Glad that you finally agree with the climate scientists. It is a weak effect, which is why doublings only add a couple of degrees (with water vapor, more), and why in the past these interglacial transitions took hundreds to thousands of years to complete.

        That is the way that meta-stable systems operate, a little nudge either way with a weak amplification that generates positive feedback will start it going.

      • Web: “It is a weak effect, which is why doublings only add a couple of degrees (with water vapor, more),”

        Nope, weaker than that.

  57. Having been educated as a scientist but having spent most of my years in business management I am certainly no climate expert. But I follow the subject sort of as an intellectual hobby. Thus I am shocked by the extreme lack of attention to the “scientific method” – requiring skepticism, sharing and criticism of data, the need for reproducability of results, etc. I’m amazed at “climate-gate”, selective use or misuse of biased data, the grandiose assumptions of climate knowledge as a basis for computer models, and the casual toss-asides of astronomic, solar, cloud, ocean current affects, etc.

    • Latimer Alder

      You and me both.

      We are sold the idea that climatology is the Gold Standard of science, but when we look inside the box we see kids in the nursery. Playground games by playground minds.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Latimer, you recently replied to a post of mine using the name Stirling English and then suggested he’d “stolen” your keyboard even though he referred to you as “I”.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/19/laframboise-on-the-ipcc/#comment-129016

        You and Stirling seem to follow each other around the blogosphere, though you don’t seem to ever refer to each other. As I’ve spent time interacting with you I need to ask whether I’m discussing with someone interested in discussion, or with a sock puppet who has multiple names and an agenda, or something else. Could you enlighten me please?

      • No ‘agenda’ here, mon brave. I’m just a retired IT guy with a degree in chemistry who got interested in looking at why everyone told me ‘the science is settled’ about thre years ago.

        But, ever since Climategate, an increasing disenchantment with the antics of those who call themsleves climatologists and with climatology as a ‘science’.

        My career experience has been in the application of IT to business and commerce – technical, financial , operational and mangerial. And I’ve seen a great deal of good practice and some fantastic achievements, along with some sharp practice and dodgy dealing. So I’m not a naive inexperienced theorist. We only got paid when the systems worked. Not when we had the first idea. Been there, done that, got a wardrobe full of T-shirts.

        But wherever I look at climatology I see work of such a shoddy standard that I would not accpet it from a filing clerk, let alone from a supposed ‘leader in the field’. I see deliberate organisational designs so ludicrous that they could not be guaranteed to operate a whelk stall, let alone to advise governments on ‘the most importnat problem humanity has ever faced’. I see no emphasis among practitionaers on maintaining their professional integrity or honesty. And I see completely unjustified reliance on models that you guys deliberately do not test against reality (I’m guessing that my intutition that you work in the Met Office with Richard Betts is correct – rhat you feel the need to refer to him as Dr. Betts is a tell).

        But perhaps the most worrying thing of all is the ‘profession’-wide resistance to all of the techniques that we have learnt the hard way o
        in other fields help to keep human beings honest. Accountability, independent oversight, openness, disclosure, traceability, audit, transparency and the like. They do not enusre that every bad apple is caught but thye make it a lot harder to be one.

        So when I see a whole profession – with a few noble exceptions – turn their back on these ideas and instead ak us to ‘Trust us, we’re climate scientists’, I am deeply deeply suspicious that their real message is ‘Please don’t look to hard…we know there’s not much here either’. Would you employ a consultant who refused to publish accounts, had no verifiable references, could not name his last successful customer and refused to disclose his methods of working?

        If that’s an ‘agenda’, then I confess I have one. But not in the sense I think you mean.

      • Thus I am shocked by the extreme lack of attention to the “scientific method” – requiring skepticism, sharing and criticism of data, the need for reproducability of results, etc.

        Well gol darn, get me to the fainting couch then. Science in action is actually like watching sausage get made and it’s a contact sport not for the faint of heart.

        When you have these multiple sock-puppets running around like little buddy Latimer, you have impediments to deal with as well.

      • K Scott Denison

        Latimer, very well put. My story is very similar to yours. Working in the medical devices field, I see the behavior of the climate “scientists” and am so grateful to work in the professional environment that I do.

        I recoil at the thought of what medical devices would be like if run by climate “scientists”.

      • Steven,

        If you would be so kind, could you spell out just what problem you have with Latimer’s “multiple personalities.” I mean, Latimer has not made any real effort to disguise his pen-names. And all of his personas provide trenchant, lively, and witty commentary. So again, what difference does it make that Latimer comments with more than one name? And, for that matter, how does his commentary under more than one name suggest an agenda? Finally, Latimer made some telling–even devastating points–in his reply. Any thoughts on Latimer’s remarks?

        WebHub,

        You say, “Science in action is actually like watching sausage being made and is not for the faint of heart. When you have these multiple sock-puppets running around like little buddy Latimer, you have impediments to deal with as well.”

        O. K. what’s that all about? I’ve got my smelling-salts handy so, WebHub, why don’t you just lay out the climate science sausage factory in all it’s grisly detail? And while you’re at it, WebHub, could you reveal just how Latimer’s multiple pseudonyms present “impediments” that you have “to deal with as well? ” And, oh by the way, Latimer, unlike you, made some cogent points in his comment–might you address those?

        Sausage factory, is it, WebHub? Well, guys, Latimer smacked your wieners pretty good–but it’s your turn now, let’s see what you two hot-dogs have to offer in response.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        “And, for that matter, how does his commentary under more than one name suggest an agenda?”

        An “agenda” was one of three options that I suggested and (being a naive soul) have rejected. I find engagements with sock puppets ultimately unsatisfying as one of my reasons for engaging on blogs is to understand why sceptical people have such a different opinion to the perfectly reasonable people I meet in real life (the other reason is that, not being a climate scientist, it provokes me into learning a bit of climate science).

        The provocative sock puppets can be interesting for a while but in the end they don’t tell you much about their real beliefs because they are too busy playing. The trenchant ones are unimaginative and bored. Instead of resolving their boredom by engaging, they do so by repeating their fixed opinion under a different name. Perhaps his British personas come across well over the pond, but I don’t particularly find Latimer lively and witty as I’ve got lots of elderly relatives like him.

        For example, this debate about presentation of the BEST results seems to be a huge diversion from the fact that they suggest that to “wittily” describe previous effort as “work of such a shoddy standard that I would not accpet [sic] it from a filing clerk” at least needs some substantive justification.

      • Steven,

        You say, “Perhaps his personas [Latimer's] come across well over the pond, but I don’t find Latimer particularly lively and witty as I’ve got many elderly relatives like him.”

        Well, Steven, I think I can speak for more than myself when I say that Latimer’s personas plays just fine on this side of the pond and that we also, unlike you, find Latimer to be lively and witty. Brit humor we admiringly call it.

        A shame, Steven, you haven’t taken more advantage of the “Stirling English” example of your family elders and betters. Because on this side of the pond, your cutting-edge alternative to the venerable British humor we all know and love comes across, stylistically, as the speech of a petulant “Delinquent Teenager”. Mouthing-off we call it on this side of the pond.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I was going to suggest that the colourful language you threw about in the Laframboise thread makes you a poor judge of what “mouthing off” involves.

        Then I realised you are Latimer/Stirling doing an American-hick-thang with a twist.

        Nice one. Nearly got me. I think I prefer mike to Latimer or Stirling.

      • Mistaken for Latimer and/or Stirling! A badge of honor.

  58. AGW_Skeptic (Still)

    Dr. Curry,

    Having watched and participated in your blog since you began Climate Etc.,I have a high opinion of you and the way you approach the science and discussions/disagreements.

    You have earned the respect of many and rightly so. But you need to step back for a moment and reflect on what has happened with the BEST PR campaign.

    Mueller gathered the firewood, stacked it nicely, poured on some fuel, handed out matches and some beer, and then is surprised a fire got started?

    Please try to see where some are having a disconnect with you on the purity of his methods and motives.

    I believe the BEST project gained a fair amount of initial credibility (especially with skeptics) because of your involvement. It seems a disservice has been done to you.

    I know you are smart enough to weigh all that has happened so far and either “fish or cut bait”.

  59. The past several months are revealing two faces of Richard Muller.

    He is trying very hard to walk the fence between being dubbed a “skeptic” or a “believer”.

    He has been very harsh on IPCC exaggerations and screw-ups, without attacking the basic IPCC premise that human CO2 may cause major warming, which could cause negative impacts.

    His apparent eagerness to get the BEST stuff into AR5 is understandable. I just hope he does not have to make too many concessions to the “party line” for this to happen.

    He has stated that China (and India) will be the main contributors to future warming, that any attempts by the western industrial nations to curb warming by cutting CO2 will be futile unless China/India (and other developing nations) join in and these are not likely to join in (unless low-cost energy alternates are developed, which do not exist today).

    He appears to bask in publicity and hence is good at PR actions

    He made an initial boo-boo by denying that his own study confirmed the most recent lack of warming, but appears to have corrected this now.

    Another boo-boo has been that he allowed the preliminary UHI sub-group report to be published, which showed that urbanization since 1950 has caused global COOLING.

    Judith is definitely giving him the benefit of the doubt (as she should). Let’s see how he works out, now that he is becoming a major player in the game.

    Max

    • Manacker,

      Muller is allowing the media to lie about the flat temps, UHI not being an issue, most blatantly about his having been a sceptic. The first two are statistical issues and have grey areas. The last is a blatant misrepresentation. He has been a warmer probably as long as Hansen and Jones. There is no grey area that allowing himself to be described as a sceptic is a downright LIE when he thought we needed to control CO2 back in the 1980’s!!! There was no supporting data for a problem then and he would best be described as a Believer!!!

  60. Judith,

    One day you’ll realize that temperatures are only a minor player in climate and the circulation system. Many other factors generate different circulations to achieve the moving circulation but can never be understood by climate scientists when they strictly follow the temperature data sets to a planet in constant change.
    The uncertainty card will only go so far with society as then they will feel once again that climate scientists are duping them.
    I find it funny that the many different velocities of this planet are excluded even though they are the energy for the circulation. Past laws of science are absolute and cannot be questioned even when the technology say they are crap.

  61. deniers tied the issue of the surface records to agw. now they want to pretend they didnt.

    it was “skeptics” who claimed cold stations in russia had been deleted to create warming.

    it was “skeptics” who claimed climate scientists had successively adjusted past temperatures to reduce 1970s cooling.

    it was “skeptics” who claimed the warming was a result of the data was being wrongly analyzed.

    all these claims were part of a smear campaign to convince the public manmade global warming was based on false science.

    where are these “skeptics” now that best has blown the above claims out of the water?

    they are busy trying to pretend they never made such claims.

    when is anthony watts and joseph d’aleo going to correct errors in their (unpeer reviewed) sppi report that was full of (unaubstantiated)claims that had already been debunked but now have been publicly debunked by best.

    more importantly when are “akeptics” going to hold watts and d’aleo accountable for such errors and not let them get away with ignoring them?

    • 12345, I guess you don’t understand that the BEST work is really at the beginning. It’s way too early to draw conclusions of this kind of early work, before no-one has even had time to reproduce or check it. It’s a very good start, though.

      It’s kind of weird to see reports, that BEST debunks UHI or problems with station sitings. Have these guys really went through all those tens of thousands of stations, analyzed them and discarded the unreliable ones? I somehow doubt it as that’s a monumental work. However, that’s where the skeptics can contribute and I hope BEST is willing to cooperate and to improve their work.

  62. Dr. Curry,
    Best wishes on the conference. Santa Fe is truly beautiful this time of year. Don’t miss out on the daily flea market in the town square. And the galleries are amazing as well.

  63. Hi, Dr Curry, next time it might be worth taking honey filtered ear muffs.

  64. Sentences start with a big letter. Technically, it’s known as a capital letter. The same applies to proper nouns but that’s enough education for one day.

    Pointman

  65. 12345,
    You blew it at ‘deniers’, by the way.
    Here is something to think about, if you can get your reactionary bigoted head to think at all:
    How significant is a trend that is indistinguishable from the historic record?
    How dangerous is change that yields no significant changes in weather patterns?
    How did you miss the many posts Dr. Pielke Sr. has posted, and papers written, regarding Ocean Heat Content?
    AGW is, as you well demonstrate, a social mania.

  66. Bishop Hill provides a link to an interesting article by Mike Hulme on the implications of the BEST PR for peer review

    http://mikehulme.org/2011/10/best-peer-review-and-public-knowledge/

    “What we are witnessing with BEST is scientific knowledge which is being judged on its ‘performative’ successes in an open society as much as it is being judged on conventional scientific norms of thoroughness, clarity and logic. Knowledge is here being made ‘in the open’ for all to see.

    Where does conventional journal peer review for ‘hot science’ go after this?”

    When I catch up, I will try to do a full post on this, fascinating angle that Hulme has brought up

    • Hulme asks: “What new name do we give this parallel form of peer review:” we don’t need a new name, “lobbying” is a perfectly adequate description, c.f. the “interesting anecdote” you mention in your article. The pre-release has nothing to do with extended peer review, that has been going on for a long tim and is a good thing. Personally I am very skeptical of any paper that gets a press-release at the time of publication (i.e. when it has only had the sanity check of peer-review, but not time to guage the view of the scientific community).

    • This is the crucial question arising, Hulme or no Hulme.

      • No, the crucial question, as always is “is the science robust?”.

        For instance, we keep hearing that the rate of warming has slowed since 2002, however where is the statistical analysis that shows the evidence fro that hypothesis is statistically significant? It doesn’t matter WHY people are claiming that warming has slowed, the crucial question is “is the science (of that hypothesis) robust?”

      • “Is the science robust” is always the crucial question, for all science, but it’s not the one arising specifically from the BEST pre-release debacle. The one significant criticism of Muller and team has been Ross McKitrick’s: the stupid clash between traditional peer review of the four papers and the ‘release early, release often’ approach of the open software movement. Hulme no doubt wants to broaden this into the wider political debate but, Hulme or no Hulme, there’s something very basic to debug in the way BEST went about things this time, given that Ross and others have been unable to contribute to the blog debates because of their sterling efforts as peer reviewers. That makes no sense. But I still commend BEST for trying to release early.

      • Richard,
        Why do you commend BEST for trying to release early? For Durban? Not for the IPCC since the deadline for that is July 2012. What was the rush? Isn’t it better to get the science right than to get it early?

        I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would commend the release of bad science early. So we can suffer with bad science longer?

      • Ron, be assured my reasons have nothing to do with Durban or with the IPCC but because ‘release early, release often’ works so well for other kinds of open source software. I’m less experienced with open data. But just look at what’s been happening with the open source movement on GitHub in 3-4 short years. It’s quite amazing – who would have conceived of Node.js and CoffeeScript even three years ago and now they are transforming development. R is part of this open source revolution, climate science is miles behind but BEST is at least trying to put this right. That’s the way I read it. Steve Mc is the true prophet in this area and Mosh his eager disciple. Their criticisms of BEST I will listen to with care. They have to be right about the need for a totally open, powerful stats language like R as fundamental to this. Steve should be driving this effort and being paid to do so. But the world is not yet perfect.

        That’s the basis for my commendation. What Judy says about BEST, Phil Jones and the IPCC is nonetheless intriguing too. But that’s another story entirely.

      • I disagree, if the science is robust then it doesn’t make a difference whether the papers are pre-released or not, Problems only arise with the publication of non-robust science with its great potential to mislead. For instance promoting the hypothesis that warming has slowed, despite the fact that the evidence for this is not statistically significant (and hence non-robust) and without acknowledging that the evidence is not statistically significant (and hence non-robust).

      • Review be nonpareil
        In this unparalleled gig.
        Sunshine and suds, all.
        ============

    • Press releases and a media tour before peer review does not improve the peer review process. Muller knows that.

      If improving peer review had been Muller’s goal, he would have done it in stages. If Muller had privately circulated his papers to – well to you for one! – to Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Roger Pielke, Jim Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, Phil Jones, Susan Solomon, Thomas Karl, William Briggs, Jeff Id – and then given them adequate time to investigate some the issues and examine the raw data, he could have made a number of improvements to the papers prior to releasing a pre-print. At that time, Muller could have sought some advice on how to handle the media when the papers came out. The pre-print could then have gone out on the blogosphere (without any press releases) and with the caveat that the results are preliminary until further peer review.

      You say that is extraordinarily different from the normal practice? True, but so was Muller’s actions. Only Muller did everything backward and wrong. The whole purpose of BEST was to get an unbiased result. But Muller has pulled his house down with his own hands by his actions. He has lost massive amounts of credibility and I don’t know if he can get it back.

      • You say that is extraordinarily different from the normal practice? True, but so was Muller’s actions. Only Muller did everything backward and wrong.

        Hmm, not everything wrong but enough to create a firestorm in the climate blogosphere for many days :)

        I agree about the kinds of things that should have been done and that they would have been very different from normal practice. So be it. Science is moving on. Think of the problems this time as birth-pains.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      curryja | October 31, 2011 at 8:50 am | Reply

      Bishop Hill provides a link to an interesting article by Mike Hulme on the implications of the BEST PR for peer review

      http://mikehulme.org/2011/10/best-peer-review-and-public-knowledge/

      “What we are witnessing with BEST is scientific knowledge which is being judged on its ‘performative’ successes in an open society as much as it is being judged on conventional scientific norms of thoroughness, clarity and logic. Knowledge is here being made ‘in the open’ for all to see.

      I commented over at Mikes, and I’d like to ask the same questions here:

      Mike, I’m not clear how you think we can do peer review. The “data” released by BEST is clearly marked:

      … This release is not recommended for third party research use as the known bugs may lead to erroneous conclusions due to incomplete understanding of the data set’s current limitations.

      So there is no peer review possible. In fact, we are left in mystery, if this data is not acceptable for analysis, as to what data Muller used.

      So I’m totally clueless what you are defending. It is not “open peer review”, we have not been given the data to do such a review.
      w.

      I ask the same of Judith the folks here.

      1) If we are to believe that Muller intends for us to do “open peer review”, how are we supposed to do that when the data he has released is clearly marked “not for human consumption”?

      2) If the data is “not recommended for third party research”, what data was used (or what modifications or restrictions or cautions were used with this data) for the four papers by the BEST researchers? How did they avoid the bugs?

      3) From any of Muller’s PR exercises or statements to the media, did anyone get the impression that the data was still too buggy to use?

      w.

      PS—I still haven’t heard of any official November deadlines from the IPCC. The cutoff date for submissions is not until 2012, and even that is not the cutoff date for publication of the papers to be used in AR5. That’s just the cutoff when they need to be accepted for publication.

      • Willis,

        And papers that put an end to climate skeptic doubts, don’t need to make any stinking deadline anyway.

      • Willis,

        Pekka’s post sounds like there is a cut-off date for submitting papers that will be used to shape the Synthesis Report from which will it will be decided what has to be in the body to match!! Without the Synthesis Report the Chapter Editors might allow in papers conflicting with the direction the Administrators have chosen to take!!

      • My comment has nothing to do with the Synthesis Report that will be written much later, the date is only an internal deadline of the process. It’s not a declared deadline that would be known precisely, but it may vary a little from author to author, how recent papers make their way to a draft finalized and submitted at a specific data, which is around Nov 15. (I think this is the date I heard from one of the authors.)

        Those papers that make their way to the first draft will be subject to expert comments on this first round. New papers that come after that, but make the official deadlines on July 2012 for submission to publication and March 15, 2013 for the actual publication may be added to the second draft that goes then to the second round of comments. Whether a paper that misses the first round but is added to the second round as any disadvantage in comparison with papers that are included in the first draft is not obvious, but it’s certainly possible that he first draft fixes largely the structure of the manuscript and the later papers must be added without similar influence on the structure.

        The people of BEST may well think that their papers might influence the structure of the report and that it would therefore be of significance that the papers are known to the IPCC authors a couple of weeks before the internal deadline.

      • Pekka,

        thank you for correcting my speculation and clarifying your previous post.

  67. “He is clearly driven by the science and is very sincere about wanting to make progress on understanding the global temperature record.”

    Isn’t this supposed to go without saying about a ‘scientist’?

    I think the fact that you and whomever else feel this needs to be included indicates you are not very confident outsiders view your behavior very well. And they don’t.

    Andrew

    • That’s the whole point of what I said to David Rose above. Judith is indeed, for me, giving the game away with this comment. Dr Muller is a real scientist and Judith finds that refreshing, because she is one too. But that implies that she often is not dealing with real scientists. This is indeed extremely revealing – but not against Curry or Muller. This is real story in this thread. Real science is on its way back. There have been some missteps but who cares. The vehicle’s on the road, pointing in the right direction and picking up speed. It’s as much as one can hope in a good week for climate science.

  68. Durban is going to a Gong Show on steroids.

    All hot air, all the time and all the time a waste of time.

    The IPCC is too corrupt to be saved. Donna Laframboise is correct . . it is beyond repair and should be euthanized.

  69. This was a PR exercise trying to disguise itself as science. The MSM where willing fools, but it appears Judith Cury, not once, not twice but was thrice a fool too.

    It seems Ms Curry can be bought off with platitudes.

    • Do you have an example Mac? There is a lot of original statistical science in the BEST work. Have you read the BEST technical papers?

      • There may be some good ideas at BEST, but there are plenty of mistakes too. “Hide the decline” is not just a CRU icon any longer. Judith was right to criticize BEST and Muller for hiding the recent flatline in warming.

        Now Judith is painting the picture that all is well with BEST. mac says Dr. Curry “can be bought off with platitudes.” I might have used a different metaphor but I cannot see that any issues of substance were discussed in the 90 minute meeting. I don’t see that Judith got a chance to talk at all. I don’t see that Muller has expressed any remorse for hiding the decline, lack of peer review or mishandling of his PR tour. I don’t see how BEST or Muller can recapture the lost credibility once people know Muller has commended Al Gore for his “exaggeration and distortion.”

      • Ron, if the new BEST results agree with GISS then there probably is no recent flatline in BEST to hide, as GISS shows warming throughout the period. That flatline is a HadCRU feature.

        Of course this difference between the statistical models merely increases the uncertainties. If one model (HadCRU) can show no warming while another does, we do not know if it is warming or not, and we can apply this uncertainty to the earlier warming as well, since UAH does not show warming 1978-97. Its a mess.

      • David,
        Unless I misunderstood what I read, the flatlining was in the BEST data and Muller simply chose to truncate the data. At least he did not splice in some proxy record showing temps going up… that is about the only element missing from the original “hide the decline” that Muller was so articulate in condemning. Data should not be truncated just because you don’t like it.

        The claim that BEST agrees with GISS seems to be a later result, after certain adjustments were made to bring BEST into conformity with GISS. It is precisely this type of results-oriented adjustments we thought we were going to avoid with BEST. Apparently we are still looking for the honest scientist we thought we were getting with Muller.

        I believe UAH does show warming from 1978-97, just not as much as the surface.

      • Ron,

        did he truncate the data or did he simply not include the last few years so he wouldn’t need to do some funky end projection as he was using a 10 year smoothing? Which just so happened to present the picture he may have wanted? 8>)

  70. Must have been some “discussion” :-)

    Josh seems to have caught the situation

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/category/josh?

    • It’s a brilliant cartoon but I think we can tell from Judy’s report that it wasn’t quite as bruising as depicted for her more-toothless colleague. Even so, as an image it’s hard to resist. The pedant struggles mightily with the poet within me. Thanks Josh!

    • Ed, the cartoon was based on Judith’s criticism of Muller that appeared in a UK newspaper. It doesn’t appear Judith had anything at all to say in the actual meeting. It seems Muller did all the talking and his charm won the day.

  71. Prof. Curry, your role in preparing the papers becomes even murkier. Does that make you an honorary co-author? What precisely was your role in this research?

    • I have discussed this elsewhere, see my post announcing the release of the BEST data

      • doskonaleszare

        > I have discussed this elsewhere, see my post announcing the release of the BEST data

        “My contribution to these papers has been in the writing stage and suggesting analyses.”

        Maybe you could explain how you reconcile one of the conclusions from your own paper:

        “Though it is sometimes argued that global warming has abated since the 1998 El Nino event (e.g. Easterling and Wehner 2009, Meehl et al. 2011), we find no evidence of this in the GHCN land data. Applying our analysis over the interval 1998 to 2010, we find the land temperature trend to be
        2.84 ± 0.73 C / century, consistent with prior decades.”

        with your claims quoted by David Rose

        “there is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped”?

    • Josh Halpern aka Eli Rabbett,

      What’s your precise point in this question? Got no other place to throw stones today?

      • It was Halloween, but there is a serious reason based on instructions to authors from every journal about the co-author issue.

        You can get the flavor of it here and perhaps understand why young Judith is being shy.

      • Surely you Josh?

      • Venter,

        They have no motive for their ‘point’ other than they consider Dr Curry a heretic. Please see BH’s post on the talk by Matt Ridley at the Angus Millar lecture at the RSA in Edinburgh.

        It says it all about AGW by CO2 from fossil fuel pseudo-science’s respond to those whom they think are heretics wrt to their pseudo-science.

        John

  72. Judith, there is a very misleading statement on the FAQ page in the “Has Global Warming Stopped?” section:

    “However, if you did that same exercise back in 1995, and drew a horizontal line through the data for 1980 to 1995, you might have falsely concluded that global warming had stopped back then.”

    As I expect you aware, this is generally accepted to be due to aerosols produced by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Pinatubo (1991) and the cooling following these, which is apparent in the BEST graph. There is no such major eruption to fit with the current slowdown, so this is a misleading comparison.

    I am disappointed to see the BEST team using that trick (which I first noticed in the Easterling and Wehner paper), and I hope that it can be removed.

    • I second that motion. The statement will be seen as misleading to anyone who understands the physics. Or, the statement could be clarified to explain that we know volcanic eruptions caused the short-term flatlining in 1995 but we do not know what has caused the most recent flatlining and the cause may not be short-term.

    • Corporate Message

      Let the tricks stay for posterity.

    • There have been multiple explanations presented. Among them:

      napping sun
      heating of the deep oceans
      aerosols
      ocean cycles

  73. “Speaking of CRU, Muller related an interesting anecdote about Phil Jones that was apparently related to him by a reporter. When Jones was asked to comment on the BEST papers, he said he no comment until after the papers were published. Maybe Muller was correct in worrying about making sure the IPCC pays attention.”

    Ignoring the paranoia evident in that last sentence, perhaps someone should have sent you the ‘hidden’ BBC report by Richard Black at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15373071

    -Prof Phil Jones, the CRU scientist who came in for the most personal criticism during “Climategate”, was cautious about interpreting the Berkeley results because they have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
    “I look forward to reading the finalised paper once it has been reviewed and published,” he said.
    “These initial findings are very encouraging, and echo our own results and our conclusion that the impact of urban heat islands on the overall global temperature is minimal.”-

    Nothing surreptitious or conspiratorial there, is there ? Sounds just like the way a proper scientist would treat any work that hasn’t been peer-reviewed, doesn’t it ? Or is that too much to swallow for some ?

    • Look sonny, we’ve read the Climategate emails so we know that it’s not paranoia. They did try to keep those not in the magic circle out. What’s interesting from Judy’s report is that Muller considers himself outside that magic circle, even as he is lambasted by angry sceptics for being inside!

      • Yes, the dynamics are wonderful and dangerous. The Maelstrom.
        ==========

      • Richard,

        haven’t you considered that Muller, like a number of others, are desperately trying to become insiders?? Saving the IPCC’s bacon at Durban should do that handily if his PR scheme works!!!

      • Of course I’ve considered it. You’re talking to someone who read CS Lewis on The Inner Ring when he was twenty and has considered it one of the man’s top five works for over thirty years. The temptation to seek the inner ring and lose one’s integrity is inescapable in this life, for all of us. If I’m not immune then neither is Muller – or Curry or McIntyre or anyone. But some have a track record that inspires hope. What deep encouragement that is. And with that comes the temptation to overlook where they have given way. I know all that. But with the BEST openness (even flawed openness) it’ll all come out in the wash pretty soon. I still say chill.

      • Richard,

        No. There has been insufficeint openness. As Willis pointed out, the data files are marked as not useable for analysis , YET, they did their own analysis which was presented to the Media with a Fairy Tale story line. The UHI analysis was totally insufficient to conclude anything, YET, he made anothe conclusion for the media. You are simply being too accepting of an obvious PR blitz that has been quite effective.

        Then there is the issue of his lies to Anthony Watts insuring his cooperation in this until it was too late.

        You are W R O N G.

      • I said the openness is flawed and you said it was insufficient. I said the integrity of the project – or otherwise – would come out in the wash pretty soon and you are certain that it already has, through Willis examining what BEST has released and through Watts’s testimony.

        It’s strange you should say I was ‘too accepting of an obvious PR blitz’ because the PR blitz we saw in the UK, evidenced in the line taken by major publications like the BBC, The Economist and the Independent, disgusted me.

        Where we differ, I’m sure, is that I trust Judy’s judgment of Muller and you don’t. She and I may indeed be W R O N G … but so may the baying crowd of largely pseudymous posters, some of whom are actively proposing that Judy has gone across to the dark side. I’ll take my chances.

  74. Norm Kalmanovitch

    “He was very excited to show me his latest analyses. He is clearly driven by the science and is very sincere about wanting to make progress on understanding the global temperature record.”
    The fundamental purpose of scientific investigation is to advance our understanding and this is the first study of global temperatures designed for that exact purpose and Muller should be applauded for his effort in restoring integrity to the climate change issue.
    This honest scientific approach to evaluating global temperatures has exposed the fraudulent contentions of both the 2001IPCC TAR and the 2007IPCC 4AR in that the BEST data shows that there was no global warming since at least 2001 so both these reports claiming catastrophic global warming projections were presented after global warming had already ended!
    The question that needs to be answered is since the last decade presents global temperatures essentially “flatlining” (pun intended for the death of AGW), what is the revised projection for global temperature for 2100 and is it necessary to continue to cripple the economy by insisting on the reduction of CO2 emissions from our energy supply. (Remember that the world population of seven billion now emits an estimated 1.26billion metric tonnes of CO2 by just breathing!)

  75. Dr Curry,
    I hope that you ended your meeting with Dr Muller on the following note or something similar. ” Let’s let bygones be bygones. The data is important and we can advance science by cleaning it up and presenting it well and responding to others’ observations. However, from here on out, let’s let the data speak for us. OK? ”

    To others severe criticism of Muller: No one is perfect AND there is great potential here especially when they get to the ocean data…So don’t waste anymore of your energies at pointing out Muller’s PR idiocies. OK , we got that. ‘Nuf said.

    The point I hope Dr Curry made to him was “Don’t let it happen again. Now let’s work on the science.”

    • coniston,
      It’s a nice fantasy, but the blog post does not indicate anything like that happened.

    • Why hasn’t Dr. Curry asked Muller to issue a statement retracting or correcting the misleading pronouncements he made in his WSJ article ?

  76. Dr Curry,

    What do you think of tamino’s analysis?

    It looks correct to me: one should account for the uncertainty in the data before making announcements about what it says. Correct analysis of the uncertainty should include effects of oscillations etc.

    Decadal averaging is a perfectly sensible thing to do when looking at climate changes, and assessment including the uncertainty fails to rule out ‘business as usual’ (i.e. the last 30-40 years of rising temperatures).

    Is Tamino’s analysis wrong? How?

  77. Secular, socialist government-funded academia has failed America. With no clear objective other than to sustain itself like a growth on the corporate body it has metastasized into a liberty-sapping Frankenstein monster that feeds on societies’ fears and superstitions. Global waming alarmism is just one of many symptoms of a failed Government-Education Machine that is fascist to the core.

  78. curryja | October 30, 2011 at 10:24 am
    but anyone looking at that wouldn’t want to mess with me.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/category/josh?

    You’ve been warned !

  79. Judy,

    CRUTemp has similar area weighting issues that account for most of the divergence. Per the IPCC AR4:

    “Most of the differences arise from the diversity of spatial averaging techniques. The global average for CRUTEM3 is a land-area weighted sum (0.68 × NH + 0.32 × SH). For NCDC it is an area-weighted average of the grid-box anomalies where available worldwide. For GISS it is the average of the anomalies for the zones 90°N to 23.6°N, 23.6°N to 23.6°S and 23.6°S to 90°S with weightings 0.3, 0.4 and 0.3, respectively, proportional to their total areas. For Lugina et al. (2005) it is (NH + 0.866 × SH) / 1.866 because they excluded latitudes south of 60°S. As a result, the recent global trends are largest in CRUTEM3 and NCDC, which give more weight to the NH where recent trends have been greatest.”

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-2-2.html

    • I should have said “may account for a portion of the divergence” rather than “most of the divergence”, as I haven’t seen a replication of CRUTEM3’s land-only stations using an area-weighted average method (with a land mask).

    • There is a problem with your explanation. If you take the northern hemisphere alone, you find that the divergence Giss stations – CRUTEM3 is fairly regular throughout the twentieth century (0.2 ° C per century). This is hardly compatible with an origin of the divergence in the weighting of surfaces. An alternative explanation takes into account the type of data used. In principle, CRU uses homogeneized data while GISS raw series (in principle, in practice it is more complicated, some series used by Giss are homogenized by suppliers). From regional studies, we know that homogenization caused a steady warming of about 0.5 ° C per century on the long series. The divergence Giss – Crutem is therefore not surprising.

  80. Here is an excellent technique to test climate models.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=finance-why-economic-models-are-always-wrong

    Calibration–a standard procedure used by all modelers in all fields, including finance–had rendered a perfect model seriously flawed. Though taken aback, he continued his study, and found that having even tiny flaws in the model or the historical data made the situation far worse. “As far as I can tell, you’d have exactly the same situation with any model that has to be calibrated,” says Carter.

  81. I am fascinated by this statement: “…the BEST data shows good agreement with the GISS data for the recent part of the record. Apparently the original discrepancy was associated with definition of land; this was sorted out and when they compared apples to apples, then the agreement is pretty good. This leaves CRU as an outlier.”

    It sounds like picking the definition of land that gives the desired results. One wants to know how the definition was changed, and why? Perhaps it has to do with how the Canadian islands are treated, as they have lots of warming. If their entire region is included, or excluded, it might make a big difference.

    It also shows how sensitive this whole mess is to sampling. But so far as I know there is no way to compute confidence intervals with kringing, because of all the interpolation. (Likewise for area/grid averaging.) These are not statistical averages within the meaning of statistical sampling theory. I had hoped the BEST people would address this issue in detail, as it applies to all the statistical models, not just BEST. But I do not see it.

    • David,

      In GISTemp’s case, its a bit of a mess due to them not actually providing a land record. Rather, they provide an estimate of global temperature using only land stations.

      As Reto Ruedy told me awhile back:

      Zeke,

      Thank you for contacting me directly with a question about our work;
      that’s how we used to operate in the good ole times before blogs became
      popular …

      I’m afraid, the solution to the great mystery is quite simple, a ‘comparing apples and oranges’ thing:

      The curve NCDC and most likely you are computing shows the mean
      temperature over the land area (which covers about 1/3 of the globe, a
      large part of it located in the Northern hemisphere).

      None of our graphs represents that quantity. We could obtain it by
      creating a series of maps, then averaging just over the land areas
      (similar to what we do to get the US graph).

      Since our interest is in the total energy contained in the atmosphere
      which correlates well with the global mean surface temperature, all our
      graphs display estimates for the global mean, the ones based on station
      data only as well as the ones based on a combination of station and ship
      and satellite data. Obviously, the latter is the more realistic estimate
      and we keep the first one mostly for the following historical reason:

      When we started out in the 1980s analyzing available temperature data,
      historic ocean temperature data were not yet available and we did the
      best we could with station data. As soon as ocean data compilations
      became available, we used them to refine our estimates (calling it
      LOTI). But we kept the earlier estimates also, mostly for sentimental
      reasons; they are rarely if ever mentioned in our discussions (see also
      the “note” in the “Table” section of our main web site).

      To get back to your question: The mean over the land area is heavily
      weighted towards the Northern hemisphere and that hemisphere experienced a larger warming than the Southern hemisphere. Hence our estimate which gives equal weight to both hemispheres exhibits a smaller trend, as you noticed, but it still somewhat overestimates the true global mean trend.

      Please let me know if you have further questions; I hope my responses
      enrich your experience rather than spoil the fun you are having.

      Reto

    • Lord God, is the definition of terra firma that ambiguous?

  82. http://www.suite101.com/news/new-satellite-data-contradicts-carbon-dioxide-climate-theory-a394975

    JAXA, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, Greenhouse Gas Observation Satellite ‘IBUKI’ (GOSAT),

    World leaders are getting set to face the latest round of UN climate change talks in Durban next month and must discuss a replacement for the soon to expire Kyoto Protocol, which binds nations to limited CO2 emissions.

    The dilemma is whether the established UN global warming policy of the ‘polluter pays’ can any longer be sensibly upheld. Conventional political thinking at previous UN climate conferences was to ‘offset’ carbon emissions by making the worst polluters pay higher ‘carbon taxes.’ But that theory now appears to be rendered redundant being that western economies, believed to be the worst offenders, are in fact, contributing either negligible or no measurable CO2 emissions whatsoever.

    Indeed, the IBUKU data indicates that the areas of highest CO2 emissions are precisely those regions with most vegetation and least industry and thus less able to pay.

    Thus, the unthinkable could be made real: the greenhouse gas theory of climate change may collapse in the face of empirical evidence that industrialization is shown to have no link to global warming.

    For more information the IBUKU achievement is published in the Scientific Online Letters on the Atmosphere (an online thesis magazine) issued by the Meteorological Society of Japan.

  83. Dr Curry,
    My biggest complaint for Muller is how the lay public are influenced so much by drive by media coverage and Muller knows this. So the next thing I know my own son is spouting off about some new study that says that skeptics had it all wrong. This clown Muller goes and spouts off for his own apparent benefit and my son now thinks that I am the clown! This is no longer just about Mr Muller and his precious PR. This is personal! You ought to be sending a damn strong message to Mr Muller letting him know that he damages science when he engages PR! That is not science. That is self promotion. I spend some considerable time reading and staying current on global warming science and politics. And now I have to spend more time refuting the ridiculous falsehoods that the media put out as fact. And I am quite sure that all of us engineering types are repeating the same process the world over. We shouldn’t have to defend against the same arguments over and over. Yes, we know the earth has warmed. Mars has too! So let’s figure out what it is that’s doing it. But can Muller and his ilk please stop setting up straw men skeptic arguments. We all know the earth has warmed. The skeptic simply questions a) how much it has warmed b) how much can be attributed to man (or CO2) or some other factor such as the sun! Muller damn well knows this and yet he actually makes a plain statement as though ALL skepticism is now invalid. It’s a sickening ploy and I fail to see how he could not have known exactly what he was doing in those interviews. NO ONE is that naive in the world that we line in today. Or did he just climb out from under a rock?

  84. On a previous thread I thought that I had heard “academic discourse” for the first time in climate science. (Candid comments from global warming scientists). Alas, I spoke too soon. I am in agreement with others that you Dr. Curry are being manipulated by Muller. Your belief he is an honest man speaks to your positive outlook in judging people, and in this case, his actions speak louder than words. I just drop my head in sadness.

  85. Dr. Curry
    “They remain open to challenges and criticism of their project and want to move forward towards true understanding.”
    What do you mean “they”?
    Aren’t you part of the BEST team ?

  86. Judy, Judy, Judy:

    First, Muller’s title for the WSJ op-ed was “Cooling the Warming Debate,” he intended it to be a conciliatory article regarding how this data set could be used to settle some of the debates surrounding the land temperature record. The “End of Skepticism” title was provided by the WSJ editors. Muller was not happy about this change of title.”

    BS. The title used accurately reflected the content of the article, which included:

    “Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.”

    Second, the reason for the publicity blitz seems to be to get the attention of the IPCC.

    BSRunning around claiming that there is no good reason to be a skeptic would have been sufficient for that. The IPCC doesnt need to have a media blitz to ‘find’ institutionalized confirmation bias like BEST.

    To be considered in the AR5, papers need to be submitted by Nov, which explains the timing.

    BS You dont have to have a media blitz for your paper to be considered in AR5. That could have waited until after peer review was complete. One wonders how that is going to occur prior to Nov, given the errors and omissions being noted from all corners.

    The publicity is so that the IPCC can’t ignore BEST. Muller shares my concerns about the IPCC process, and gatekeeping in the peer review process.

    Still trying to pull the “We are skeptics, really we are” routine? Remember folks, the best Kabuki outside of Tokyo is the BEST Kabuki.

    “Re the recent trend, Muller reiterated that you can’t infer anything about what is going on globally from the land data, …”

    Absolute BS Muller stated in that article: “Global warming is real.” One cannot refer to contradiction as ‘reiteration’.

    Furthermore, every media outlet that Muller included in his PR campaign has interpreted what Muller said to be a very strong global inference, not merely some ‘ambiguos trend in the land temps’. See Economist headline:

    The heat is on: A new analysis of the temperature record leaves little room for the doubters. The world is warming

    Muller has not been issuing any corrections to these ‘misinterpretations regarding inference of what is going on globally from land data’. Because they arent misinterpretations. The well coordinated media blitz is absolutely on message.

    Speaking of CRU, Muller related an interesting anecdote about Phil Jones that was apparently related to him by a reporter. When Jones was asked to comment on the BEST papers, he said he no comment until after the papers were published. Maybe Muller was correct in worrying about making sure the IPCC pays attention.

    Maybe Jones is finally learnning proper scientific behaviour, at least insofar as it advances your common purposes.

    So all in all, I am ok with what is going on in the BEST project.

    No doubt in my mind that you are 100% on board.

    The PR situation is still a problem, but the media aren’t helping here.

    Of course they aren’t. Because you are skeptics, really you are.

    • JJ’

      That pretty much sums up the situation. Muller is a publicity hound with an agenda. And he lied in the WSJ article.

    • JJ,
      You put it strongly, but very well – this whole controversy stems from half a dozen comments from Richard Muller which are frankly baffling.

      Dr Curry – I’m amazed that you seem so re-assured after talking with Muller.

      Here in the UK, this fiasco was communicated by the BBC as the end of grounds for scepticism – and it relied solely on those baffling (and false) statements from Muller about there being no evidence of a slowing down of warming, and why you should no longer be a sceptic.

      And the visual for the BBC article ? The original Hockey Stick graph!

      • yikes, the hockey stick will not die

      • It’s all true – the story was linked from the front page of the BBC web site, with a tiny but fully recognisable hockey stick graph alongside the helpful “No more reason to be sceptical” headline – or words to that effect.

        I understand the anger the PR campaign on this generated but in the main I don’t blame Muller. This is quite different from the situation in Feb 10, when I blamed Phil Jones, the people I knew must be coaching him and organising the PR (Neil Wallis and co as it turned out) and the compliant media, as the ‘poor Phil’ meme went on to infect the rest of the Climategate debate.

        In this case I’m sure there have been PR people involved, who I do blame, and a compliant media, likewise. But Muller is different from Phil Jones for all kinds of reasons. The vary fact he was so clear about BEST not covering the attribution question being one of them. Those scientists most in the grip of PR machine don’t even mention that kind of thing, that’s the level of deception in the publicc discourse.

        Small wins for now then but hopes of better, as BEST continues bringing openness of data and code to this area of climate studies.

      • R Drake,

        You don’t blame Muller? Did a PR person write that article for him that was in the WSJ? Do you know who the PR person for this project is? I will help you. It is Muller’s green daughter. Sheeesh! Muller is a disingenuous publicity hound.

      • Don, I’ve been reading the blogs enough to know that Muller’s daughter was involved in some level of PR but you misunderstand me if you think that’s it. We were talking here about the BBC story, including the hockey stick to illustrate. So let me ask you this question: do you think Muller or his daughter wanted the hockey stick to adorn this story?

        I don’t think so. I think the BEST PR organised by Muller junior was small beer compared to the Neil Wallis operation at UEA after Climategate, which led to the fateful Phil Jones interview in the Sunday Times where he compared himself to David Kelly. There was considerable control of the message by Wallis and associates, working directly for UEA. I don’t read this the same way. The Muller family efforts only had the funding to go a limited way. Then the story was picked up by the likes of the BBC, influenced by much past and ongoing PR and propaganda. This the hockey stick appeared. I’m sure Richard Muller would be appalled by that, given his public statements on the matter.

        I don’t claim to know much but my hunches proved surprisingly accurate in the Phil Jones case and everything tells me this one is different. The first-hand testimony of Dr Curry being one big ingredient not present in February lalst year.

      • Richard Drake,

        My misunderstanding, I guess. I thought when you said, “I understand the anger the PR campaign on this generated but in the main I don’t blame Muller.” I thought you were talking about the PR campaign, for which Muller is responsible, and therefore to blame.

      • No, to be clear, when I said the PR campaign I meant the one that included all the noise in the UK and the US about BEST refuting all kinds of climate scepticism, therefore leading to the reinstatement of the hockey stick. It’s possible I suppose that Muller junior might have wanted this but I don’t think she had control of the message in the way Neil Wallis did with Phil Jones and UEA in Feb 10. And I’m quite sure it’s not the message her Dad wanted sown. He was, to some extent, then, a victim of PR in a way that it seems clear that Phil Jones wasn’t. Jones was a willing accomplice, Muller wasn’t, not at the level the BBC and others told the story.

      • Richard Drake,

        We really don’t have to bend over backwards to give Muller the benefit of the doubt. Read the WSJ article. He wrote that. That is the theme of the PR blitz. Skeptics Stuffed! Can we blame the pre-disposed pro-CAGW alarmist media for running with that theme? Muller is in cahrge of BEST. He was in charge of the PR blitz. His daughter managed it. Case closed.

      • I read the WSJ article and came away with a completely different impression. How strange life is.

        Why does it matter? What say the really corrupt people in climate science – those that Donna Laframboise fingers in The Delinquent Teenager – wanted to kill the BEST project and its commitment to openness of data and code? Would they stoop so low as to produce synthetic outrage from so-called sceptics, using provocateur, sockpuppet and astroturf techniques? Of course they would.

        I always bear such possibilities in mind. It’s not just Judy that may be being used here. In fact I think it’s much more likely that she’d be the least of our worries.

      • Richard Drake,

        You must have read a different WSJ article than I did. I am not talking about the one about stubborn unemployment. I am talking about the one that said climate skepticism no longer has even an imaginary leg to stand on.

      • No, we read the same article, in which Muller didn’t remotely say what you’re attributing to him. But this is becoming wearisome. I made my views clear on the article five days ago. I can cope that someone I’ve never heard of before disagrees with me – and thus with Richard Lindzen too (as I refer to in that post). People are always disagreeing with me on climate blogs. But a careful re-reading of the article itself and of Lindzen’s comments would I think be a blessing both to you and those reading you.

      • Look, Richard, even if we buy the BS about the headline not being what he wanted it to be, words matter. And the words in the body of the article follow logically from the title:

        “Are you a global warming skeptic? There are plenty of good reasons why you might be.”

        And then blah…blah…blah giving all the reasons why the skeptics have been skeptical, except attribution, which is buried in one line at the very bottom of the article.

        “Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.”

        OK, he has solved all those issues, except for attribution that is not mentioned as an issue for climate skeptics, and he has cured all of us hardheaded clowns of skepticism. What a load of un-scientific crap propaganda. And that is not all. He lied about the UHI study:

        “To study urban-heating bias in temperature records, we used satellite determinations that subdivided the world into urban and rural areas.” That’s a lie. The BEST UHI paper clearly states that the MOD500 satellite data they used could not separate urban from rural areas:

        “Unfortunately, a portion of station locations in the Berkeley Earth merged dataset are reported only to the nearest tenth of a degree in latitude and longitude. This makes it impossible to identify each station as definitely urban or rural using the fine resolution MOD500 map.”

        and:

        “Rather than compare urban sites to non-urban, thereby explicitly estimating UHI effects, we split sites into very rural and not very rural.”

        Whoa, he is trying to tell the WSJ readers that skeptics were wrong about UHI, but he really did not explicitly estimate UHI effects on the temperature record, cause his satellite data could not distinguish urban from rural sites. So he simplifies the story, and implies that he compared urban data, with very rural data distant from cities. I call that a lie. That many of you people fail to get this amazes me.

        It is becoming less sensible to take this alleged climate science crap seriously almost every day. Can’t wait for AR5. That should be hysterical, in any meaning of the word. Take it from here, Richard/Brandon/Josh, et al.

      • Dr. Curry,
        There seems to be at least some credibility to the idea that you are being manipulated by some in the AGW community.
        Do you pick up any sense of being manipulated in this at all?

      • Well Muller is not regarded as being in the “AGW community”. Nor is David Rose. Suggestions about who in the AGW community might be manipulating me?

      • Doesn’t he have a history of being strongly in favour of AGW promotion?

        His previous interviews show this. See his comment on Al Gore.

      • Pretty patronising, hunter. Judy answered back with a very good question – but hasn’t she shown considerable nous in sussing out deceitfulness since Climategate? She hasn’t suddenly lost that BS detector as she meets the main man of BEST face to face.

        The collective ego of the blogosphere is something to behold sometimes, that we know better, just by browsing and typing. Sometimes we don’t. As I was reminded at a couple of software events in London over the weekend, face to face is sometimes vital. You pick up things you couldn’t possibly do any other way.

        And there’s no need to rush to judgement on this. The contribution of BEST or otherwise will become clear over time. Let’s chill.

      • Dr. Curry,
        Not really.
        From reading what you are saying, and certainly reading what some of your colleagues who post here say, the peer pressure is not inconsiderable.
        You seem remarkably impervious to peer pressure, so I I am not trying to imply anything in particular.
        But the stakes are high. The money and social status involved is huge.
        I should probably work up a specific defintion of what I mean when I use the term ‘AGW community’.

      • Muller isnt the AGW community? Since when?

        Since 2003, when he said:

        “Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.”

        Or earlier, when (by his own admisssion in 2008) he said:

        “In fact, back in the early ’80s, I resigned from the Sierra Club over the issue of global warming. At that time, they were opposing nuclear power. What I wrote them in my letter of resignation was that, if you oppose nuclear power, the U.S. will become much more heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and that this is a pollutant to the atmosphere that is very likely to lead to global warming.”

        Or when he helped write abook to “Future Presidents” demanding that they bow to the learned physisists such as himself over issues like global warming?

        Suggestions about who in the AGW community might be manipulating me?

        No. You are certainly not the manipulatee in this game.

        Welcome to the old boys club, Judy. Smoke a Virginia Slims and congratulate yourself on your, uh, ‘accomplishment’.

      • Are you saying, as a scientist, that the hockey stick is incorrect? Or are you just throwing a bit of red meat to the gullible deniers who post here?

      • Holly

        Are you saying, as a gullible name-calling alarmist who posts here, that the hockey stick is correct?

      • Judith

        i have my hands round its throat at this very moment…
        tonyb

      • Every day in every way that stick gets crookeder and crookeder.
        =====================

  87. How many posters here have actually looked at the dataset posted by best?
    I don’t mean working with it to re-produce trend data.
    I mean looked at the actual readings, the dataset is absolutely full of errors in the data.
    There are quite a few obvious errors like minus signs that shouldn’t be there, but the biggest apparent error is northern hemisphere winter averages being higher than summer averages.
    How can that be?
    What kind of Quality Control has been done on this recordset?

    • The data BEST put out isn’t the original data. It has been detrended by removing the the seasonal signal. I imagine that is the reason for the strange looking monthly temperatures. I’m not knowledgeable enough to know how they did it though.

      • Thanks for the reply.
        But then one would expect to see the same “look” to all the data but it doesn’t have that. It has odd years that do not make much sense in terms of comparing data.
        What about the obvious errors of plus or minus data that just doesn’t fit with the rest of the surrounding data.
        Like I said Quality Control appears almost non existent.

        I will have to read deeper in to the other files.

  88. Dr. Curry,

    The Joint Statistical Meetings will be held in San Diego, Jul 28-Aug 2. Here is the web page:http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2012/guidelines.cfm

    The theme is:

    Statistics: Growing to Serve a Data Dependent Society.

    There will be about 5,000 statisticians in attendance.

    How would you and some co-authors like to make 4 presentations on this work in about 1 hour and 45 minutes before a live (and probably large) audience? I have already written to Dr. Muller on this (and an earlier letter with a different topic), but I have not heard from him. If you want, there is still time to organize a “Topic Contributed” session, because this work is clearly related to the theme, and likely to be of interest to statisticians.

    It’s a lot of work and you all already have plans so I understand if you decline. But I think it would be a good idea. By then you’d have all had time to respond to the legitimate critics posted on the web. I hope you’ll think about it.

    • Matt, Robert Rohde or Charlotte Wickham would be the appropriate people to ask. You definitely don’t want ME talking to roomful of statisticians :)

      • 5,000 statisticians! I bet they are all above average. (Sorry, could not help myself).

      • Most of them have PhD, and compared to the average PhD in statistics, most of them are indeed above that average. But there are enough bottom quartile folks like me that no one need feel out of place.

      • Well, I hope that not too many climate scientists show up, due to your invitation. The planners of the event might be disconcerted. They will not have adequate seating in the bottom quartile section to accommodate them :)

      • Stirling English

        Sounds like they’ll be a mean bunch :-)

        What is the collective noun for statisticians?

      • My first thought was “ignorance”, but I’ll try in the next few hours to think of something witty.

      • A confidence band of statisticians?

      • Stirling English

        At least any deviations will be fairly standard. No deviant deviations…..

      • Apparatchik

      • A pride of statisticians. Many maned and tails tufted.
        =============

      • Sample of statisticians.
        Although with a convention this large, “population” fits.

      • Aren’t all statisticians connected in some way to Lake Woebegone, Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion place in Minnesota where all the women are strong, the men good-looking and the children above average? And didn’t our hosted lament that all the children hadn’t yet gone off to bed? to leave the adults to talk? If we can’t join them, maybe we could get more of them, statisticians that is, to inhabit climate science conferences for a while?

      • hostess not hosted

      • OK

        but I think they’d surprise you.

  89. Tom Choularton

    Judith,

    Have you seen this an a British newspaper apparently about Rich Muller

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100114292/lying-cheating-climate-scientists-caught-lying-cheating-again/

    I wonder if he or you have any comments about the ‘article’

    • Tom Choularton

      In my view this ‘article ‘ does suggest that Delligpole at least does regard
      BEST as a game changer and a very important contribution, why else would he attack him in this way ?

      • Not so much a game changer as an easy target. And he’s wrong about that. Delingpole in my view is confusing the PR spin put on the BEST pre-release by others and the messages from the team itself. Not Dellers finest hour – but we can all live and learn.

  90. Why was it important for Muller to get into the IPCC AR5 ? Is he searching for scientific truth or trying to influence policy through the IPCC, in a well defined direction?
    What is the main mission of BEST? If there were doubts, Muller put them to rest, and stated himself that he is agenda driven, not science driven.

    In science you publish a paper when you think you got some answers right, and don’t let yourself be pushed by policy deadlines into publishing half baked, error infested papers and data.

    Besides, we know the IPCC is a hopeless case. Muller is in denial about that.

  91. Jacob,

    God questions: “Why was it important for Muller to get into the IPCC AR5 ? Is he searching for scientific truth or trying to influence policy through the IPCC, in a well defined direction?”

    And the next questions: How does he know that he is going to be in AR5? (He hasn’t even gotten through peer-review yet) Is he just very confident, or has it already been decided behind the scenes?

  92. Rob Burton: “Tilo – I’ve not read the temp reconstruction methodologies in detail but do they really correct ‘data’ from other sources based on other ‘data’ vaguely nearby?? I can’t see whenever this would be justified no matter what you were measuring. If you don’t like the data from that site you need to throw it away and just use the ‘better’ data from the site that you were using to try and correct it.”

    Let’s see if I can explain their method with an analogy. Let’s imagine that you have an egg shell. A piece of the egg shell is missing and you have it. To find where it goes, you move the missing piece up and down near the hole until you have a perfect fit. So in their method the world becomes an egg shell of both time and temperature. That way, they can take a string of temperature readings of some duration and simply fit them into the surrounding space/temperature shell at the temperature offset which makes the fit the best. They deal with discontinuities by breaking the string where ever those discontinuities are and then they simply fit the pieces to the shell. They can use very short temperature series because they don’t need to establish a baseline to take anomalies from for those series. Since they don’t really know what the right place is for things, it takes multiple iterations of the computations to get things all lined up. There are a couple of factors that they know about that determines the relative position of a piece within the whole. They know that things get colder as you go north. About 1C per 150 km. They know that things get colder as you go up in elevation. About 1C per 220 meters. And they use this information for fitting things into their shell.

    Now, lets imagine that there is a UHI effect and that it is like stretching the shell out a little in certain places. Now, when you fit in a rural piece of the shell, it will be fit in wherever it fits into the stretched shell – even though its correct place may better be where you would put it in an unstretched shell. In fact, their method has no way of knowing that the shell is stretched in certain places, because there is no unstretched, or non UHI shell to compare it to.

    Lets try another experiment. Let’s say that the shell has a big hole at some location and that you don’t have a piece of shell big enough to match the whole thing. That is like having sparse thermometers in certain locations in the world. So what you do is maybe line up one edge of the piece of shell with one side of your hole. Then, using latitude and elevation as your elements of variation, you stretch your piece of shell until you cover the hole. How far can you stretch it? Go here and start the movie:

    http://www.berkeleyearth.org/movies.php

    Notice, right at the beginning they show coverage of India. Also, note the arc at the top of India. The radius of that arc is likely the extent of the stretching that they are willing to do. So, as a rough eyeball, it looks like about 2000 kilometers – maybe more. And that is significantly more that the interpolation that GISS does. I believe that GISS limits it to about 1200 kilometers. Also notice that as that piece of coverage over India changes color, the whole thing changes together.

    The problem with their method is that elevation and latitude are not the only factors of variation. So the stretching of the shell piece can produce significant error in parts of the world where there are thermal discontinuities. Such discontinuities happen when going inland from shore stations in places where the ice opens and where that station is suddenly warmed by circulating ocean water. The inland areas have no such warming. And if there is a mountain range nearby, or a significant change in elevation, then the statistical extrapolation becomes even more error prone.

    In the recent couple of decades there has been substantial ice melt at the poles. This means that polar stations that are near the shore – where the ice melts first – and which most of them are – will be effected by circulating warm sea water. The warming that is measured in those places by those stations is appropriate for the places where the stations are. But when that value is kriged or extrapolated inland, then those polar shore ice effects are incorrectly amplified by being assigned to locations that are not much effected by the retreating shore ice. This makes both the BEST and the GISS methods incorrect in the hot direction in Siberia, Greenland, Northern Canada and Antarctica.

    • Tilo,

      except the piece of egg shell you have DOESN’T fit or you wouldn’t have been trying to adjust it with another piece in the first place.

      Unless detailed observations and analysis are done at the station to determine what is wrong with the fit, just assuming that another station can be used to get it closer is NOT acceptable. It MAY make the issue worse and YOU DON’T KNOW!!! WAAAAAAY too much of Climate Science is based on these poor methods of assuming something works cause Joe over in a different hemisphere, time zone, and climate conditions did a study that kind of showed it MIGHT work for him.

      • kuhnkat: I think it probably works most of the time. But it fails enough of the time to introduce major errors. I think by trying to be totally automatic and by trying to do with math what should be done by observation, that BEST has produced a temp record that is the worst approximation of any of them. It is far hotter than the satellite results, and according to the models the satellite results should be running hotter than the surface results. I think that HadCrut gets a little closer than BEST by simply dropping what they don’t have data for rather than assuming that they can make it up.

  93. Here is a word for word article in the Mankato (MN) Free Press -circulation, between 75,000 and 100,000–dated 31 OCtober
    -in case anyone would like to comment before I leave a reply. I have read all the above comments
    -The general rule is bad news is good news and good news is no news.
    ___________________________
    Bold Title—CLIMATE SKEPTIC CHANGES HIS MIND

    WASHINGTON- A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. in the end, he determined they were right; Temperatures really are rising rapidly. The study of the world’s surface temperatures by Richard Muller was partially bankrolled by a foundation connected to global warming deniers. He pursued long held skeptic theories in analyzing the data. He was spurred to action because of “Climategate”, a Bristish scandal involving hacked emails of scientists.
    Yet he found the land is 1.6 degrees warmer than in the 1950s. Those numbers from Muller, who works at the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, match those by NOAA and NASA.
    He said he went even further back, studying readings from Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. His ultimate finding of a warming world, to be presented today, is no different from what main-stream scientists have been saying for decades. Whats different, and why everyone from opinion columnists to “The Daily Show” is paying attention to who is behind the study.
    One-quarter of the $600,000 to do the research cam from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder (sp?) of skeptic groups and the tea party.
    ________________________________________
    I would welcome any comment, even it seems obvious and you may think it is something of which I must be aware.

  94. Judy, I’ve been out of the loop for a month so please forgive me if this has been covered. Is the BEST analysis of the quality of the metadata used to adjust the data they have used available? Does it even exist?

    • tallbloke as no one has answered your question, the answer is yes they adjust the data. They have a paper on the method, see JeffID’s site and Briggs, Steve M etc.
      I have looked at the data they provided and it is riddled with obvious errors, so I don’t thibnk much of their Quality Control.

  95. Mark Jacobson and John Ten Hoeve, who report that the urban heat island effect “may contribute to 2 to 4 percent of gross global warming.” The rest comes from greenhouse gases (79 percent) and black carbon, or soot produced from burning fossil fuels (18 percent).

    4 + 79 + 17% is 100% of temperature change is human caused…. The Sun/other natural cycles etc.. does not exist anymore…??

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2011/10/debunking-role-city-heat-global-warming/338/

    • Misdirection. Rhetoric, not science. UHI might be 2% of “Global Warming” because Urban areas are a small piece of the surface.

      But Urban areas are disproportionately represented in the surface temperature record. How much of UHI is in the signal of recorded temps is the trillion dollar question. My money is UHI is responsible for a lot more than 4% or the recorded warming. Try 40% +/- 25%.

  96. With all due respect Ms Curry your being played…

    this is going to end badly I fear….. just follow the bouncing ball..

    end log written to media….

    data set not ready….

    problems with analysis and vetting.

    When one writes the end log before doing the science we have problems.. Muller wrote the end log… this is agenda driven..

    • Your reasoning seems sound to me, Bill, but I hope you are wrong.

      Professor Curry may need to relax and contemplate the situation.

      May Judith have the courage to verify Joshua’s cartoon!

      • Latimer Alder

        It’s Josh – British cartoonist, wit and commentator on all things and people climatological.

        Not Joshua, known here. Just in case anybody was misled.

        You can see all Josh’s cartoons here:

        http://cartoonsbyjosh.com/

        Enjoy.

      • I just see a real scientist being taken up and trusting those with an agenda.

        the end log is something you write to hype your findings… Muller wrote an end log when the science is incomplete… this screams of agenda and reminds me of others who have done the same: IPCC, EAU, MET, CRU, Jones, Mann, Briffa… and the list goes on. Who writes the end before doing the science?

        All in all BEST is only to going to verify that which we already know.. the earth is warming as it has been for over 10,000 years.. That warming is within the standard deviations on the over all long term trend.

        so the amount of warming that can be attributed to man is unknown.. BEST will do nothing more to reach that conclusion as it in and of itself in incomplete on a global scale..

        I sincerely hope that Curry is not being used. This has the ploy of “she’s a skeptic and she agrees”. a very bad precedent when Muller has shown he will write things and publish them without her knowledge and consent.

        Muller has left a very bad taste in my mouth.. I dont trust him. in my opinion neither should she.

        Bill

        Muller has left a very bad taste in mmouth.

  97. After trying my best to read thru all comments to this point, I conclude:

    Remove all the science, good, bad, complete, incomplete, with or without interpolation errors, rounding, truncation errors, mis application of techniques or mis use of data bases then what we have here is a …. failure to communicate … NOT ( rather, on purpose ) !

    This Muller, is first, NOT a skeptic, never was, second, furthering his cause ( CO2 causes global warming, it’s all man’s fault ) and last caught up in his cleaver mouse trap – deservingly so !

    As for the owner of this URL, go ahead, consider yourself a scientist, but as a judge of human character – your grade is an F. Muller has smoked you like a cheap cigar.

    • I’ve always been of the opinion that if you gave me 50 pristine, completely rural, unmoved, unmodified, unadjusted thermometers distributed around the world and took their simple average, that I would believe their results more easily that the multi-thousand thermometer over-processed and over-adjusted alphabet soup sources that we have now.

      At one point Michael Mann was being questioned by James Imhoff in regard to having such few proxies in the southern hemisphere. In one of the few cases where Mann told the truth about anything he said that it didn’t matter that he had such few sources in the southern hemisphere because the convection of the atmosphere would insure that no place on the planet would maintain its own temperature differential for more than a couple of decades. And if that is true between hemispheres, then it is even more true over an even shorter time frame if you have 50 thermometers well scattered across the globe. Look at BEST. They have the most thermometers. They are using the most sophisticated method, and yet they are at one end of the result extreme and they are furthest from the results of the satellites. And according to the models the satellites should be reading hotter than the surface records. So that really puts BEST way out there.

      • Tilo,

        BEST uses their own homogenization adjustments.

      • Alex Heyworth

        A bit like homogenized milk. The cream can no longer rise to the top.

      • A very good idea.
        Why didn’t they do it?
        You need to do many dufferent analyses, not just one grand global total.
        The one you suggest is a very good and informative, it can be done easily. Why not do it ?
        Another analysis woukld be: all stations, but no kriging or griding, just the measured temps.

      • Jacob, you could just average all the stations, but since 90+% come from two small regions (USA & western Europe) the sample is wildly unrepresentative. This is why Jones & Wigley developed the gridded approach in the mid-1980s.

        The fact is that prior to the satellites there was no system for measuring global temperatures. These surface statistics are just wild estimates. But the whole community regards them as established facts about the earth. That is is the real problem, one BEST does not address.

      • As the problem is really complicated, the best approach would be to present many analyses, many views of the same data.
        Why not present trend in Tmin and Tmax ?
        Why not trends by latitude bands ?

        But, if all you seek is PR, you need to come out with just one number, and the right one too.

      • Tilo, you are quite correct, but there are two problems. First we do not have these thermometers, or not going back very far. You need a random sample which puts most of them in the ocean. Second, the sample is so small, and the variance so large, that the 95% confidence interval likely exceeds the measured change, if there even is one.

      • Seconded. Meat grinders are no good. The 50 (more or less) pristine stations don’t have to go back that far – even the last 30 – 60 years would be something.

        Are there any “nonmeteorological” temperature data? Measurement of ambient temperature is ubiquitous. Any continuous temperature measurements might be helpful. How about continuous soil temperature measurements?

  98. Muller is quoted in WSJ as saying: “In our data, which is only on the land we see no evidence of [global warming] having slowed down.”

    Judith Curry gives us this after her conversation with Muller:
    “Re the recent trend, Muller reiterated that you can’t infer anything about what is going on globally from the land data, but the land data shows a continued increase albeit with an oscillation that makes determining a trend rather ambiguous. He thinks there is a pause, that is probably associated with AMO/PDO. So I am ok with this interpretation.”

    He can’t have it both ways. On the one hand he’s saying global warming has not slowed down. On the other hand, “he thinks there’s a pause probably associate with AMO/PDO

    Judith, I don’t understand how you’re not troubled by this. It seems clear he’s trying to play you here, hoping you’ll back off. Which seems to have worked.

    • Your mistake – you can have it both ways, which is why you’re having it both ways.

      • How about PJ’s approach?

        Hope we’ll be looking through more complete drafts next week!
        Cheers
        Phil

        Wantney’s Pale Ale, anyone?

  99. Natural Feedback

    Dear Prof. Curry,

    I have colleagues who claim that in 40 years of teaching they have never had an incident of cheating in their class. The honest researcher has a hard time understanding how smart people could be deliberately deceptive, or spin tales which twist the truth. Proceed carefully, and get some second opinions from some who have insight into gamesmanship and manipulation. The game experts will spin with the utmost sincerity and enthusiasm, and can have anyone thinking up is down for at least a while.

    Best Regards,
    N.F.

  100. I keep trying to figure out where the idea that November is that deadline for submitting papers to be considered in AR5 WG1. According to this

    http://cmip-pcmdi.llnl.gov/cmip5/docs/IPCC_AR5_Timetable.pdf

    The date is July 31, 2012. There is some really weird miscommunication going on here. This is confirmed by this

    https://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/AR5/AR5.html

    I disagree with the big PR release — however this is not unprecedented in the physics community, just look at the faster than light neutrinos result. Of course that group said “we must be wrong, rip us to shreds” and Muller did not say this.

    If Muller had really not been interested in self aggrandizement he would have put the papers up and said, “hey, we’ve got some results which confirm everything that climate scientists have been saying for decades. check it out.”

    • I forgot to add: but that would have been boring…

    • Rattus, you write “I keep trying to figure out where the idea that November is that deadline for submitting papers to be considered in AR5 WG1.”

      richard317 nailed this one 24 hours ago. This has nothing to do with the IPCC and the AR5. It has everything to do with the UNFCCC which meets this month in Durban. Either Muller misspoke, or Judith misinterpreted what he said.

      This is a vain attempt on behalf of the “Team” to breathe some life into the corpse that is the UNFCCC. Why Muller would throw BEST “under the bus” in a futile attempt to try and save the UNFCCC conference in Durban is absolutley beyond my comprehension. But that is clearly what he is trying to do.

    • You are right about the AR5 deadlines, but JC may be thinking of getting into the First Draft, expert review of which starts this December.

    • Yes; as an excuse for a hurried, sloppy, PR-laden blitz to to impress the AR5 editors, it doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s a flat-out dissimulation misstatement.

  101. I agree.

    Our hero is in danger.

    Big Brother is directing the game.

    Climategate exposed Big Brother’s toe.

    My advice: Delay; Isolate; Contemplate; Meditate!

  102. I heard Dr Muller on Australian here in Australia, and he said there is no doubt that the globe is warming.

    There is no question that the globe is warming.

    The questions are
    1) What is the global warming rate (0.06 deg C per decade of skeptics or 0.16 deg C per decade of IPCC)?

    2) Is the warming man made or is it natural?

    http://bit.ly/uQEq8M

  103. sorry

    on Australian Radio

  104. No surprise for Muller’s change from a skeptic to a warmist. Too much pressure from the greenies to keep his job if he remains a skeptic after publishing his BEST honestly. He hided the decline in order to make the greenies happy to stay on his job. The greenies had the power to remove the former Australian PM who naievly honest with global warming! The greenies are still in control administratively in all aspects of lives. Perhaps Judy has the same pressures to switch attitude with a week of her comments on the BEST papers.

    • Sam, I suggest you read some of the previous posts, Muller was never a skeptic, or if he was it was a very very long time ago.

  105. “Secrethome…”‘s post seems to require a “Report” button.

  106. Sam NC,

    Muller broke with the Sierra Club in the 80’s because they wouldn’t support Nuclear Energy. He says he told them that CO2 was going to be the worst pollution problem ever and we would need Nuclear for CO2 free energy until something better waw developed.

    Does that sound much like a sceptic to you?? He and Hansen and Jones and many other believers KNEW CO2 would be a problem before there was any temperature data to support it!!!!

    • So why did Muller support Steve McIntyre in 2004? Why was he so publicly critical of the Hockey Team after Climategate? And how has he persuaded Judith, once widely known as saint, to lend her name to his recent endeavours?

      I don’t care if Richard Muller of Berkeley is a sceptic as defined by kuhnkat, whose real name I don’t even know. I do care if he’s honest. There’s been encouraging evidence of that over a number of years. There are now those who feel he lost his integrity as he began to grapple with the climate establishment in the form of IPCC AR5, then the world’s media. And now there are those who reveal that he never had integrity since the 1980s.

      Either way, it seems clear we’re going to find out. But the evidence is mixed. In such situations I dislike bigotry. And I dislike people taking a strong moral stance against a person with a real world reputation to ruin who do not even let us know their own identity – so if they do go too far there’s no reputation cost at all to them to bear.

      But that’s just me. Carry on, KK, your righteousness will I’m sure burn like the sun as your Klan with joyless fervour condemns the sinner here.

      • Richard –

        I find it rather astounding, the degree of righteousness, found by the bucket on these pages – being splashed about onto Muller by people he’s presumably never met, never talked to.

        For me, when people think they can form judgements of others, with complete certainty about people they’ve never met, it speaks more about the reasoning of the judge than the character of the judged.

        And Richard- I will point out to you that this sort of righteousness is ubiquitous among “skeptics” – thrown about en masse onto thousands of climate scientists. It is not, in any way, unique to “skeptics” nor causally linked (either way) to “skepticism.” But it does show that many “skeptics” are willing to formulate absolute conclusions without sufficient evidence.

        It is evidence of motivated reasoning.

      • Joshua, tell us again please, what ‘is’ fly-over country?

      • A bit too cryptic for me there, Tom.

      • Oh Joshua

        Ubiquitous comments by skeptics about “climate scientists”?

        Imo ubiquitous comments about “climate scientists” falsely claiming that the science is settled and who call people who disagree “deniers” when flaws in their scientific positions seems fully justified.

        Wouldn’t you agree?

      • Imo ubiquitous comments about “climate scientists” falsely claiming that the science is settled and who call people who disagree “deniers” when flaws in their scientific positions seems fully justified.

        Wouldn’t you agree?

        The # of scientists who say that “the science is settled” is vastly over-stated by “skeptics.” IMO. The frequency with which that over-attribution is made is yet more evidence of motivated reasoning on the part of “skeptics.”

        AFAIK, the vast majority of scientists who are having their character impugned agree with the statement that somewhat more than 50% of the recent warming is 90% likely to be anthropogenic. That leaves a lot of room for unsettled science.

        To the degree to which those in the “climate science community” characterize true “skeptics” as “deniers” (I believe that there is a difference conceptually and that both groups exist but that assigning appropriate labels without personal knowledge of a person requires an extremely high degree of concrete evidence), it reflects motivated reasoning. Of that I think there is little question.

      • Joshua

        When I state that I disagree with the IPCC conclusions and recommended course of action I have been called a denier many times. As I believe you know, to accept the IPCCs conclusions and recomendations requires at least as much faith as science–no it requires more faith. Faith in that the warming rate and attribution were correct, faith that the GCMs produced correct outputs, faith that the writers of papers using the flawed GCMs got the analysis correct, and faith that the proposed solutions made economic sense

      • We all start with bias and some of us need something pretty powerful to overcome that, as this little story shows:

        Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

        “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence …

        It’s an extraordinary story, shedding light on the terrible bloodshed in the ancient scriptures, which has exercised Willis and others for many years – and rightly so. Whatever else, it says we need to be prostrate – to get off our high horses – to get anywhere near the truth.

        Good name you have there :)

      • It is one of America’s strengths. People are free to believe in and support any superstition they wish.

      • I find righteousness to be a very interesting character trait. IMO, it says a great deal about what a person does not realize about themselves.

      • Joshua,

        let me provide you with unsolicited advice, Don’t claim in interviews on the record that you are a believer in a particular religion if you do not wish people to believe that.

        As I suggested to Richard Drake, maybe you should be trying to gather evidence that Muller actually WAS a card carrying sceptic for the last few years or at least was more honest about his beliefs and how he would act than the rest of those who have seemed to show a lack of ethics.

      • Richard,

        I have been concentratring on the negatives obviously. One of the things I ran across was Muller being described in terms of being a respected member of the Physics community.

        Maybe it would be good for people like you to present evidence of Muller actually having ethics and respectability. It is obvious that many people have the idea that if their cause is important enough that it IS OK to lie, twist, mislead, exagerate, demonize, basically whatever is necessary to get the desired response. Try and address the man’s personality and work so that we can compare it against the snippets that show he obviously IS a Warmer and has been for decades. Present evidence that he WOULDN’T act like Jones, Hansen, Mann, Steig…

        At this point it is unquestionable that he is not a sceptic in relation to man made global warming and CO2 although he may be scientifically sceptical in all other respects. Advocate for the man giving us reason to believe he would NOT act like those others.

      • Corporate Message

        Why did Muller support McIntyre ?

        Because he loves to be contrary and to be a “buster”…(“myth”buster or other kind ), and McIntyre was powerfully busting the powerful….

        Muller fancied himself being able to capitalize on the solid “lead” that McIntyre had been working on.
        He fancied himself being able to bust the powerful, and then come out as the reasonable, the scientific, the masterful… authority

    • kuhnkat, Does your comment mean that Dr.Muller was supporting the
      Mk 1, GE reactors that are on average fifty+ years old? How much does it cost ratepayers for one, reactor decommissioning to current EPA, NRC standards?

      • Tom,

        I do not have any details on which nuclear technologies he was actually supporting. Only the anecdote he related in an old interview that he broke with the Sierra Club over it.

      • Kuhnkat, How much money has been set aside to decommission these reactors over the past forty years? I am sure the NRC knew, the day, would come.

      • This link may not fully answer your question, but, should give you enough information to continue:

        http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/decommissioning.html

      • The day wil not come until there are new ones to replace them. Lots of oppositions for new ones or coal fired ones mean that they have to operate old less technology advanced nuclear plants a lot longer.

      • kuhnkat, thanks for the link. Very good. Once the big boys get this dun up. “Improving the Decommissioning ProgramSeveral nuclear power plants completed decommissioning in the 1990s without a viable option for disposing of their spent nuclear fuel, because the federal government did not construct a geologic repository as planned.” We will talk some more for sure.

      • Tom,

        the need for a depository like Yucca Mt. is overhyped. After the fuel rods have been allowed to cool they are no more radioactive than the better yellowcake we mine. If we reprocess them and burn the small amount of radioactive material in new reactions there is little left that needs to be stored long term. The French reprocess fuel in this manner and do not need to ship and store much dangerous material. The mania in the US to not have enriched material that could be used for weapons has been part of the block on our moving to more efficient and better technologies!!

        Reactor 3 at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant actually had a MOX mixture which is reprocessed material including a small amount of Plutonium. In spite of the 3 cores melting down and all the hysterics, I have seen no reports on Plutonium being released. It doesn’t get much worse than that with that old technology unless people actually TRY to cause worse releases!!

      • kuhnkat, with regard to your comment, I thought that you might find this link of interest:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prompt_critical

        I think that the photos of the reactor 3 building, indicate this as a possible explanation for the complete destruction (sheared structural steel beams) that is visible. Also, the cooling pools of MOX fuel rods were on the upper floor of this building, as I understand this situation. The life expectancy of this type of reactors are all at or past their design specifications. Things wear out. They have been hoarding their waste for a half a century, very sick thinking.

      • …been a few days since I looked. It is nice to know someone still knows how to hit a gauge.

        http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/03_19.html

        TEPCO, says: go back to work now-no problem.

      • Tom,

        the investigation has shown that all three cores did melt.

        the pool in reactor building 4 actually had 2 loads of rods. Yes, that was dumb when they had other pools they could have transferred one load to. Again, even with dumb human decisions minimal negative results as the basic design and plans were good.

        The rod and core design does not allow supercriticality. They are designed to do exactly what happened. Melt and spread out to cool in the containment vessel. This would not be desirable in a reactor you wish to return to service as it ends the useful life. As you point out these reactors were already scheduled to be deactivated.

        Reactor 3 had hydrogen explosions from the core melt down like 1. 4 would have had no problem without the double load of rods.

  107. Dr. Curry,
    It seems that there is a difference between what Dr. Muller has said elsewhere and what he is telling you regarding several specifics.
    Can you ask him to clarify himself a bit more?

  108. This afternoon at the Santa Fe conference Muller gives a talk, followed shortly by Fred Singer. Fred says he will address the BEST findings. Here is a letter of Fred’s to Nature on the subject, which should reflect what he will say. should be fun.

    http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=3176

    • Thanks, David. My response to Fred Singer:

      Thank you, Dr. Singer, for having the courage to speak out.

      I am deeply concerned that the global climate debate has destroyed public confidence in government science.

      But the solution is to restore integrity to government science, NOT to get more scientists to endorse the unscientific propaganda promoted by Al Gore and the UN’s IPCC.

      If allowed to do so I will post links to experimental data and observations on Earth’s variable heat source – the Sun – experimental data and observations that Big Brother has carefully ignored for four decades (1971-2011).

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

      http://myprofile.cos.com/manuelo09

  109. I love Singer’s letter, which I first saw on WUWT I believe. This whole sorry mess is exhausting. For me there’s been a series of emotional highs and lows, depending on who and what I was reading. The latest high was the recent piece that had Judith calling this “hide the decline stuff”…which it certainly seems to be..

    But I didn’t get to enjoy that very long because along came this sudden detente between Judith and Muller that I find dispiriting in the extreme. Muller’s clearly speaking out of both sides of his mouth, and I wish our host would continue to speak out on that.

    I get the feeling that her heart is too easily softened.

  110. “We are bringing the spirit of science back to a subject that has become too argumentative and too contentious,” Muller says, over a cup of tea. “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.”

    Can a group of scientists in California end the war on climate change? The Berkeley Earth project say they are about to reveal the definitive truth about global warming

    Ian Sample guardian.co.uk, Sunday 27 February 2011 15.29 EST

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/feb/27/can-these-scientists-end-climate-change-war

    “There will be no spin, whatever we find.” – Really? You have got to be kidding me!

  111. But from a PR standpoint, positioning himself as a skeptic was brilliant. You have to hand it to the guy.

  112. yes. To call this a PR disaster is naive. Richard Muller is a grand master at PR.

  113. Peter Goodman

    Judging from comments in this blog, as well as in many others, we have reached the “end of science.” All data used in research is both completely correct and completely wrong. All data analysis results are completely correct or completely wrong. All research is performed to get a desired result, and when that result is not achieved, the claim is made that the result was achieved. Outsiders (who were not involved in the research) who don’t like the research results find the most minute of reasons to dismiss the research. Outsiders, who agree withe result of the research overstate the significance of the results. And–this part is true–there is little integrity left in the AGW debate, and a science-illiterate public is heavily involved in the debate.

    “Physical sciences develop in seemingly chaotic ways, by paths that are at best dimly seen at the time, and leave traditions that may seem mysterious and even irrational.”–P.J.E. Peebles

    • Peter,
      A lot of things seem to be going into the ditch. But I believe that the important part of that is ‘seem’.
      We will muddle through somehow.
      This is not the first time nor will it be the last that science is caught up in a societal dysfunction.
      The so-called science illiterate may not know the ins and outs of a specific science, but they do know the aroma of bs. And a lot of those you call science illiterate are anything but.
      The problem, as always, is the small number of people who lead opinion and frame the issue in ways that are deceptively clear, but incoorect.

  114. Speaking of bs, and sniffing out the aroma of same, there’s a brilliant post at WUWT putting global warming…and climate change… in context. The best I’ve seen for a richly detailed, informative overview. It’s replete with contemporaneous observations from historical figures as they observe and wonder at the constantly changing climatic conditions unfolding over the many generations.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/01/a-short-anthology-of-changing-climate/

    • Now astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology are tied to the absurd notion that stars are giant balls of hydrogen steadily fusing hydrogen into helium, and pulsars are created (instead of exposed) when these giant balls of hydrogen explode!

      • In the immortal words of a pig named Pumbaa… “are they are all balls of glowing gas” to which Timon replied… with you its all about gas.. :)

    • Great link pokerguy. Sure puts relatively short term observations in a proper context. Even then, the length of time that human records exhibit would be a mere speck on the overall timescale of Earth.

      What I found most interesting is the apparent lack of influence of CO2 emissions over the past 100-200 years on the historical trend.

      Judith no doubt will have seen this post by Tony Brown and it is likely that she will open this for discussion under a different thread.

  115. The whole bloody thing is a joke. One scientist goes to the media… the media then tell lies about what he said, then another scientist goes to the media to complain about what the other scientist never actually said, then the media lies about that complaint and so on.

    The whole lot of you look like fools looking for their 15 minutes of fame while the media uses both of you to create false drama for the sake of ratings.

    I know this much – the world is hotter now than it was when I was a child. It’s obvious. The rest of this crap is just “reality TV”.

  116. Muller’s claim that this is normal and respectable pre-print review, release, and publicity is (aside from the fact that there are pretty much no previous similars) given the lie by the usually IPCC-style opacity and double-talk on the actual data and coding files — which no-one has seen, or is likely to in reasonable form for some time, if ever.

    Put up or shut up.

  117. Tilo Reber | October 31, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Reply

    “I’ve always been of the opinion that if you gave me 50 pristine, completely rural, unmoved, unmodified, unadjusted thermometers distributed around the world and took their simple average, that I would believe their results more easily that the multi-thousand thermometer over-processed and over-adjusted alphabet soup sources that we have now.”

    My opinion exactly (or 10 or a 100…) For example from what I have read Armagh seems a pretty good record for the UK in general. Weather comes over the Atlantic and temperature really just tend to just drop a few degrees from the South of the country to the North. The only real exception I can think of is high pressure over the continent can have a greater effect on the SE of England with hotter summer temps and colder winter temps at times compared to the rest of the UK, maybe. So pick a 2nd good site in the SE and maybe a 3rd as a comparison to see how the trends match and I would say that is the UK well covered.

    Can anyone point me to a single generally regarded as good record which shows shape of the graphs shown in BEST for example. Armagh doesn’t for instance.

  118. Alexej Buergin

    Dr Curry
    do you personally have access to all the data?
    Do you personally have access to all the code?
    Do you promise us that you will se to it that all the definite data and code will be published, so that everybody can use it?

  119. Here is an interview with Muller re changing the title of the WSJ op-ed

    http://www.capitolreportnewmexico.com/?p=6691

    • Thanks.

      EXCLUSIVE: Author of controversial climate change article said Wall Street Journal changed the headline: “I don’t think I would have done it if they had told me”

      For those that only read headlines! Looking better than before. The politics part at least.

    • That is good, but, what about the actual content??

      ” But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.”

      “The result showed a temperature increase similar to that found by other groups. Only 0.5% of the globe is urbanized, so it makes sense that even a 2ºC rise in urban regions would contribute negligibly to the global average.”

      Totally misleading and unsupported.

      “What about poor station quality? Again, our statistical methods allowed us to analyze the U.S. temperature record separately for stations with good or acceptable rankings, and those with poor rankings (the U.S. is the only place in the world that ranks its temperature stations). Remarkably, the poorly ranked stations showed no greater temperature increases than the better ones. The mostly likely explanation is that while low-quality stations may give incorrect absolute temperatures, they still accurately track temperature changes.”

      Again, unsupported and misleading.

      ” Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.”

      Again, unsupported and misleading.

      When all you do is a fancier statistical evaluation that CANNOT determine what is happening at the stations you simply cannot make this kind of ASSumption. There is no SCIENCE here. There is only assertion that your work is right and the sceptics are wrong.

  120. “Speaking of CRU, Muller related an interesting anecdote about Phil Jones that was apparently related to him by a reporter. When Jones was asked to comment on the BEST papers, he said he no comment until after the papers were published.”

    Old news, reported in Ghana News Now over a week ago (BBC original). Just an example of Phil Jones practising what he preaches.

    “Prof Phil Jones, the CRU scientist who came in for the most personal criticism during “Climategate”, was cautious about interpreting the Berkeley results because they have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    “I look forward to reading the finalised paper once it has been reviewed and published,” he said.

    “These initial findings are very encouraging, and echo our own results and our conclusion that the impact of urban heat islands on the overall global temperature is minimal.””

  121. Although there are many factors that contribute to global warming, we can clearly identify our contribution with a simple calculation. It is not the CO2 that comes from our use of fossil fuels. It is the heat released from fossil fuels, nuclear power, geothermal power and other unreported heat emissions. In 2008 the energy we used added an accounted for, 50x10E16 BTUs to an environment whose atmosphere has a mass of 5.3x10E18 kilograms. This is enough to raise the temperature by 0.18*F, about three times the measured average rise for the period 1980-2000. I am not aware of any equation that can specify temperature rise as a function of actual CO2 concentration (independent of heat flow). From a practical standpoint, both CO2 and heat will be decreased when (or if) we decrease the fossil fuels. Nuclear and geothermal power add a total of twice as much heat as their electrical output and are not acceptable. Temperature neutral processes,such as solar, wind,etc will require time and money. In the meantime let’s put a stop to CO2 sequestration. Our delegates to the climate change conferences must shift the focus from CO2 to HEAT reduction.

    • Philip Haddad,
      It looks like you are moving to the UK!
      Take your heavy sweater.

    • Philip,

      with the radiation being continuous there is no build up of this small contribution so, similar to the contributuion of GHGs, it is mostly gone.

      We should not be wasting money by sending anyone to any of these pointless conferences predicated on inadequate statistical treatments of poor data or, even worse, models based on bias confirmation.

    • “In 2008 the energy we used added an accounted for, 50x10E16 BTUs to an environment whose atmosphere has a mass of 5.3x10E18 kilograms”
      Not sure about this number but probably has to do with a yearly amount,
      whereas per second might more useful.

      The sun delivers 174 petawatts to the earth.
      In terms of yearly amount of energy:
      Solar 3,850,000 EJ
      Primary energy use (2005) 487 EJ
      Electricity (2005) 56.7 EJ

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy

      10^18 J EJ exajoule
      So sun has 3,850,000 + 18 zeros joules of energy, which
      is also reflected or emitted from earth per year.

      The climate geniuses say the greenhouse effect is due to 2.4 watts per square meter. There about 5.1×10^14 square meters on earth.
      so this supposing heating the surface and air nearer the surface
      by 12.2 x 10^14 watts [or joules per second].
      There are about 3600 time 24 times 365 seconds: 3.15 x 10^7 seconds
      per year. So 3.8 x 10^22 joules per year.
      1 joule = 0.00094781712 btu
      So 3.6 x 10^19 BTUs from entire greenhouse effect.
      CO2 is a small fraction of entire greenhouse effect- say 1/100th
      So CO2 is somewhere around 3.6 x 10^17 BTU
      and is about 5 times more than your number.
      But urban areas are about 1% of land area [or is that the entire surface]
      And so most of heating you talking about is around urban area.
      So in comparison your number is 100 times higher- or roughly equal
      to 20 times more CO2 in the atmosphere. Which some people might imagine causes Venus like conditions.
      So roughly global 1/5th and where we are living 20 times warmer than current CO2 level are adding.
      Of course we have other heat sources. Everything living uses energy and therefore every living thing emits heat [yes even reptiles- though mammals is more of a "fire breathing" creature].
      The 7 billion human create 700 billion watts if not excited. And since we talking yearly, that is 22.05 x 10^18 joules or 2.0 x 10^16 BTU

      And then in terms of biomass humans are insignificant in the world.
      Humans 100 million tonnes. Cattle 156 million tonnes. Dry mass.
      And “The total live biomass on earth is about 560 billion tonnes of carbon”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomass_%28ecology%29

      I say 560 billion tonnes of carbon as compared to dry mass of 100 million tonnes of human dried out flesh is probably an significant underestimate instead 5000 times more it may be 10000 or more- microorganisms aren’t counted apparently which could couple times more biomass than multicellular creatures.
      But with just human and other cattle the yearly heat is about same as your number [which probably means your number is too low].

    • Philip Haddad,
      Somebody has to deconstruct your work.

      E = 50 x 10^16 BTUs = 5.3 x 10^20 Joules
      A = Area of earth = 5 x 10^14 meters^2
      T = Time in one year = 3.15 x 10^7 seconds
      Power Density = E/A/T = 0.034 watts/m^2

      That first line is your energy number.
      That last one is your bottom-line number.
      P0 = 0.034 watts/m^2

      In comparison the Radiative Forcing of CO2 at current levels
      P1 = 1.5 watts/m^2

      P1 >> P0 by a factor of 50 and your heat accounts for a small fraction of the temperature change that CO2 could force.

      This means that CO2 has a much larger effect than the fossil fuel heat produced that you presented and this is all due to the fact that CO2 has a cumulative effect and is always operational, while the waste heat does not accumulate and is continuously radiated away by the gray body.

      If you want to argue this I suggest that you try to update the Wiki page for Greenhouse Gas with your computations. We don’t have infinite time to correct your math if you present it here again. Why you decided to do this, I have no idea. I do realize that your approach may seem intuitive yet it is a naive way of thinking about the problem.

      I also realize that my calculation could be wrong, so if you want to take potshots at me, go ahead. No skin off my nose.

  122. Gefeliciteerd allemaal van dit zeldzame geval dat een keer gebeurt in een honderd jaar!

  123. My concern about Dr Muller’s dismissal of the UHI is that urbanisation isn’t a static variable; it also changes over time, generally increasing (other than New Orleans and Detroit, show me a city or uban landscape that is shrinking), so there must be an increasing UHI effect, mustn’t there? If a city continues growing and encompasses a weather station with an increasing area around that’s tarmacked, built upon with air conditions buildings and steadily increased traffic and population, the overall heat signature is going to increase. I take the temperature rise therefore to be a measure of urban growth as well as a significant (even dominant) component of temperature rise.

    • No, you’re confused. UHI is not an issue of actually warming the environment; it relates to creating an illusion of warming by engulfing recording stations, which are treated as rural even though they are now immersed in an Urban Heat Island.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        There is nothing “illusory” about the warming due to UHI. It is actual warming. The thermometers don’t know how to lie.

        And that’s a problem that many commentators and analysts don’t take into account. They want to ‘adjust the result to give the correct reading’, or something like that. But the reading is already correct …

        w.

      • Picky, picky. The generality of the warming is the issue, of course. What are purported to be rural readings are often actually heavily contaminated with UHI effects, sometimes by slow creep of urbanization, sometimes by relocation close to buildings, sometimes by “convenience” placements like airports, etc., etc.

  124. Willis and Brian

    No matter how you slice it, it is common knowledge that urbanization causes temperature measurements located in urban locations to rise.

    Thermometers located near airport buildings and runways will also read higher temperatures than those out in open fields.

    Those located next to AC exhausts, buildings or asphalted parking lots will also show more warming than those out in the open.

    These are observed facts of life.

    The question is: how significant is this spurious warming signal in the overall “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” record?

    So when BEST comes up with the estimate that urbanization has caused a slight COOLING effect, this is obviously wrong.

    BEST urgently needs to do some rework on this harebrained conclusion.

    No matter how one tries to rationalize this, it is so obviously wrong that it should never have been released. Let’s hope BEST corrects this before final publication or they risk making their entire study doubtful IMO.

    Max

  125. Willis Eschenbach

    Brian, let me make my point again. UHI does not “distort” the data. It IS the data. Nor is this merely a semantic nitpick. If you understand that UHI is not something added to the data, but that it is the data, then you may go about “removing” it in a different way.

    w.

    • Picky, picky. Let me reshuffle and expand your sentence: UHI influence on weather stations produces distortions in the [pattern of collected] data (which purport to sample the general/regional/global temperature and its trends).

      These distortions inflate and obscure the readings, in that some of the heat flux and temperature changes they record gradually comes more and more to resemble those of the “urban island”, and less and less resemble the “true” numbers that would be obtained with better siting.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks for the reply, Brian. Again I’ll say it. UHI doesn’t “distort” anything. It is not a “distortion” of reality, it is reality. It is not a distortion in the pattern of collected data. It is just another part of the collected data. It doesn’t “inflate and obscure” the readings. It is the actual temperature, that is measured.

        Nor is this “picky, picky”. It is central to how we deal with UHI. If we see it as a “distortion” of some underlying “reality”, we are tempted to remove the “distortion” to leave just the “reality”.

        But if we see UHI as an accurate statement of just exactly what the temperature patterns look like in reality, we then have an accurate place to start. We are not removing a distortion. We are doing an temperature estimation of an imaginary world where there are no cities

        Now, estimating an imaginary world with no cities is a very different project than removing distortion to reveal an underlying “reality”. One big difference is how you describe the results. In the first case, you’d say “this is the reality of what the world’s temperature looks like is with UHI distortion removed”.

        In the second case, you’d say “this is an estimate of the temperature in an imaginary Earth with no cities”. Those are very different results.

        There are other differences as well. How we conceptualize about a problem is not “picky”, it is central to how we view the problem, how we attack the problem, how we solve the problem, and how we view the final results.

        All the best,

        w.

        w.

      • Willis, this brings up an issue that I have never seen properly discussed, to wit: Are the surface statistical models like HadCRU estimating the global average surface temperature anomaly, or the global atmospheric temperature anomaly? Are we talking about the boundary layer or the entire atmosphere?

        If it is the surface layer then indeed UHI may be a significant part of the reality. But these effects are surely a trivial part of the atmospheric heat content story, such that the are an instrumental distortion.

        I see scientists talking both ways, sometimes about surface temperatures, and sometimes about atmospheric temperatures, using the same data, usually HadCRU. This can’t be right.

      • Not so. Very confused. The readings of the near-urban stations are intended to be, and are treated (after ‘adjustments’, perhaps) as though they are, measuring the non-urban environment (rural). Distortion is by definition something that applies (exclusively) to interpretation, so it’s of course the interpretation of the number which is distorted when the circumstances of the stations are not as purported.

        Your picky-pickiness is pointless, pard.

      • Caveat: stations which are acknowledged to be within the ‘urban bubble’ have a different issue. There, your comments are more relevant. We do indeed want the readings more or less “as is” to document the urban profile.
        There is still “downstream” distortion that results, however; as you observe, the urban contribution to the heat budget of the planet is negligible. This should mean that the absolute and anomaly figures from within cities are given very low, or even zero, weighting in the “global averaging”. Of course, this is far from the case. Enter significant distortion.

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