Mail on BEST

by Judith Curry

I just received this email via Peter Webster from a friend in the UK:

Hi Peter 
Woke up this morning to hear on the News that Judy is dismayed about something. What is Judy upset about? 

Last week I spoke with David Rose of the Mail about the BEST publicity and PR, and Richard Muller’s public statements.  The resulting article is [here].

I discussed some concerns I had about the BEST PR on this previous thread.

In David Rose’s article, the direct quotes attributed to me are correct.

To set the record straight, some of the other sentiments attributed to me are not quite right, I will discuss these here.

“Hiding the truth” in the title is definitely misleading, I made it pretty clear that there was uncertainty in the data itself, but the bigger issues are to analyze the data and interpret it.  I made it clear that this was not a straightforward and simple thing to do.

I told Rose that I was puzzled my Muller’s statements, particularly about “end of skepticism” and also “We see no evidence of global warming slowing down.”

I did not say that “the affair had to be compared to the notorious Climategate scandal two years ago,” this is indirectly attributed to me.  When asked specifically about the graph that apparently uses a 10 year running mean and ends in 2006,  we discussed “hide the decline,” but I honestly can’t recall if Rose or I said it first. I agreed that the way the data is presented in the graph “hides the decline.”  There is NO comparison of this situation to Climategate.  Muller et al. have been very transparent in their methods and in making their data publicly available, which is highly commendable.

Added note: I have dug into my memory.  Rose brought up hide the decline in our first interview, in the context of the plot that ends in 2006. He called me back specifically to discuss this and teased the “hide the decline” out of me.  The hide the decline discussion was in this particular context.

My most important statement IMO is this: ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’  My main point was that this is a very good data set, the best we currently have available for land surface temperatures.  To me, this should have been the big story:  a new comprehensive data set, put together by a team of physicists and statisticians with private funds.  Showing preliminary results is of course fine, but overselling them at this point was a mistake IMO.

I arrived in Santa Fe yesterday.  More on the Conference in a forthcoming post.  Muller and Rohde will be at the conference, I will be meeting them for the first time and I will try to understand what is going on here.

And finally, this is NOT a new scandal.  An important new data set has been released.  Some new papers have been posted for comments, which are not surprisingly drawing criticism and controversy.   The main issue seems to be Richard Muller’s public statements.   All this does not constitute a new scientific scandal in any way.

My continued collaboration on this project will be discussed this week with Muller and Rohde.  My joining this group was somewhat unusual, in that I did not know any of these people prior to being invited to join their team (although I very quickly figured out that they were highly reputable scientists).  I thought the project was a great idea, and I still do, but it currently has a tarnish on it.  Lets see what we can do about this.

Update:  A few days ago, I received an email from Liz Muller, asking for suggestions for issues to deal with on their FAQ.  I suggested dealing with the issue of whether there has been a stop/slowdown in the warming.  Their response is posed here.  The state “This exercise simply shows that the decadal fluctuations are too large to allow us to make decisive conclusions about long term trends based on close examination of periods as short as 13 to 15 years. ”   Which I agree with.  But take a look at the graph. The year 1998 shows up as relatively cool, starkly different from say CRU.

I also suggested a FAQ on their “end of skepticism” claim, see their response here: “Our study addressed only one area of the concerns: was the temperature rise on land improperly affected by the four key biases (station quality, homogenization, urban heat island, and station selection)? The answer turned out to be no – but they were questions worthy of investigation. Berkeley Earth has not addressed issues of the tree ring and proxy data, climate model accuracy, or human attribution.”  This is a reasonable statement, but comes across very differently from the WSJ editorial.

664 responses to “Mail on BEST

  1. We really need a way to split the subject of climate into, “journalists” and “everyone else”.

    Because you don’t expect to have the same climate on two completely different planets.

  2. Somehow I doubt Muller will be upset … more print area for BEST!

  3. Why did they use that picture of you? You look like a mad kitty who hasn’t yet had her coffee! ;) If I was Muller I’d be nervous.

    • That is Joe Romm’s favorite picture of me :) Actually that picture of me was taken by Georgia Tech photogs for a profile article that was about me holding my controversial ground in the climate debate (can’t find the link at the moment)

    • Here in Britain we like our scientists to wear long white coats and glasses :)

      tonyb

    • Once one fully realizes the serious consequences of government manipulation of science for propaganda, one’s demeanor will probably appear more like that of the stern Professor Curry than that of the warm, smiling Professor Muller!

    • Vince whirlwind

      er…except that contrary to your conspiracy scenario, BEST has shown that there has been no manipulation, just a lot of innacurateand uninformed statements from people about the temperature record.

    • That’s sadly true. My sister’s professor was invited on to one of the morning TV shows down in London and was made to wear a white chemistry lab coat in the studio while she was being interviewed, even though she’s a microbiologist.

    • as does page 3 of the Sun ;)

    • Hope you guys go into a huddle very quickly and figure out what you want to say publicly going forward. This looks kind of messy so far.

      Probably would be best for both you and Muller to appear at a podium together very, very quickly. Vested interests on both sides will be happy to push you apart.

    • Did you all discuss media handling at all prior to publication?

      Total victory for you would consist of no headlines in Morano, Romm, WUWT or Real Climate. Failing that, you will need to agree on common caveats that you pass out to journalists and get them to include verbatim.

      And again, it would be useful for you two to do something–anything–together pretty quickly.

      Jeebus, we now have to resort to gossip column strategies…

    • “We are at the beginning of a journey exploring and explaining the data we have collected. Statements that we make now are similar to those you might make on Christmas morning after you open a present–you’re excited and delighted by what you find in the box, but that doesn’t mean you’ve gone out and played with it or learned what it can or cannot do.”

      Make no mistake–the data that has been collected is a treasure trove that can be mined for years, if not decades to come. However, some of the things that we have said, and some other things that have been said by others, should have been set forth in more cautious language, something we have to learn pretty quickly.

      Please bear with us as we learn how to speak as a team to the media and the wider public. It would be a pity if the many things we can learn from BEST are obscured, even temporarily, by our excitement and the differing media agendas of organizations looking for narrow support for their narrow positions.”

    • Perhaps you are right, Tom. I think not.

      Professor Curry was being manipulated into a position of seeming to endorse the very nonsense she had objected to!

      She had an obligation as coauthor to distance herself from Professor Muller’s blatantly false statement:

      “We see no evidence of global warming slowing down.”

      The seriousness of government manipulation of scientific information cannot be overstated.

      This campaign has almost unlimited tax funds and threatens the most cherished values of self-government, as President Eisenhower warned in his farewell address on 17 Jan 1961:

      “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is every present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

      I was put in a similar situation at the “SOHO-ACE Work­shop on Solar and Galactic Composition” in Bern, SWITZERLAND, on March 6-9, 2001. I accepted the invitation and submitted this abstract:

      http://www.omatumr.com/soho.prn.pdf

      I attended the workshop and presented experimental data to show that iron (Fe) is the most abundant element in the Sun.

      My paper was banned from the Proceedings, but I am listed as coauthor on a section that foolishly declares the interior of the Sun cannot be iron!

      The data were published in papers presented at the 12-16 March 2001 Lunar Science Conference and the 2002 SOHO Conference on Helioseismology

      http://www.omatumr.com/lpsc.prn.pdf

      http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts/gong-2002.pdf

    • “We are at the beginning of a journey….”

      This statement, taken unabridged, would pretty much bag every problem we’ve seen surface with BEST PR so far. Nice one, Tom.

    • Vince whirlwind

      Your suggested statement, Tom, starts out on the wrong foot: “We are at the beginning of a journey…”.

      They are not.

      They are following in the footsteps of the many people who have trod this path before them, and finding that the path was in fact correct.

    • Yep.

      This disjointed media campaign, spin, or whatever it is, needs to get squashed. There is some good OPEN science here. That needs to be the focus.

    • Thanks, Professor Curry, for having the courage to state clearly the unvarnished facts.

      The AGW story is promoted by skilled propaganda artists with almost unlimited resources. Be prepared for “unexpected” attacks.

      Hang in there! The forces using government science for propaganda will not be deterred unless you stay spiritually strong.

      What a sad day for science and all those caught in this quagmire!

    • Vince whirlwind

      But…BEST have demonstrated that science is not caught in any quagmire.

      There are indeed some propaganda artists at work, but if you stick to the published literature, that propaganda will not affect you.

      You didn’t get led astray by all that blog-alarmism deprecating the instrumental temperature record, did you?

  4. Dr David Whitehouse (GWPF) has an interesting take on things..

    “Contrary to claims being made by the leader of the Best global temperature initiative their data confirms, and places on a firmer statistical basis, the global temperature standstill of the past ten years as seen by other groups. It is impossible to reconcile this with Professor Muller’s statement. Could it really be the case that Professor Muller has not looked at the data in an appropriate way to see the last ten years clearly”

    http://thegwpf.org/index.php?option=com_acymailing&ctrl=url&urlid=1805&mailid=403&subid=8038

    And this is the point I agree with from David Rose (ie annoyed by, as it dismissies sceptical arguments about cause))

    It was hailed as the scientific study that ended the global warming debate once and for all – the research that, in the words of its director, ‘proved you should not be a sceptic, at least not any longer’.

    • More Dr David White House (on the last ten years – temps stalling – )
      Which is perhaps a question Judith could put to Prof Muller?

      “Indeed Best seems to have worked hard to obscure it. They present data covering more almost 200 years is presented with a short x-axis and a stretched y-axis to accentuate the increase. The data is then smoothed using a ten year average which is ideally suited to removing the past five years of the past decade and mix the earlier standstill years with years when there was an increase. This is an ideal formula for suppressing the past decade’s data.

      When examined more objectively Best data confirms the global temperature standstill of the past decade. That the standstill should be present in land only data is remarkable. There have been standstills in land temperature before, but the significance of the past decade is that it is in the era of mankind’s postulated influence on climate through greenhouse gas forcing. Predictions made many times in the past few years suggest that warming should be the strongest and fastest in the land data.

      Only a few years ago many scientists and commentators would not acknowledge the global temperature standstill of the past decade. Now that it has become unarguable there has emerged more explanations for it than can possibly be the case.

      ————-
      ie when sceptics have mentioned the stalling in temps i the last number of years they have been derided. No apologies form the ‘consensus side yet though…

    • Barry Woods

      You seem to have put a great deal of thought and study into the GWPF claims.

      Can you explain the inconsistency between what they say and what woodfortrees reports for the very same data?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:2001/plot/best/from:2001/trend/plot/best-upper/from:2001/trend/plot/best-lower/from:2001/trend/plot/best/from:2001/mean:3/mean:5

      I mean, I get “places on a firmer statistical basis, the global temperature standstill of the past ten years as seen by other groups.”, but that should include the thing these groups have in common: inability to do valid statistical analyses.

      Also, they seem unable to tell the difference between 10 and “less than 10″ years. Maybe one of them lost part of a digit in an adding machine accident?

    • Vince whirlwind

      Let’s just talk about basic numeracy and competence: when the extent of short-term temperature variation exceeds the change caused by a long-term trend, in what way does comparing those short-term variations to that long-term trend tell you anything useful?
      As JC says in her article, the line you’re pushing is wrong.
      And frankly, I find it not just wrong, but completely incompetent.

    • Vince whirlwind

      You’ll need to disambiguate for me.

      ..when the extent of short-term temperature variation exceeds the change caused by a long-term trend, in what way does comparing those short-term variations to that long-term trend tell you anything useful?

      Which short-term temperature variation? Which long-term trend?

      Do you mean the 2-15 year temperature variations that are generally about an order of magnitude smaller than the half-century scale temperature rise?

      Help me out. Spell out what you mean.

      Do you mean the short-term rate exceeds the long term rate?

      How does this make what I say wrong?

    • Vince whirlwind

      I don’t see where there is any ambiguity.
      As contained in JC’s article, I am just paraphrasing this quote:
      ““This exercise simply shows that the decadal fluctuations are too large to allow us to make decisive conclusions about long term trends based on close examination of periods as short as 13 to 15 years. ””

      Whatever you see in the short record is not informative about the long-term trend.
      Or, to put it yet another way, to suggest that variations in the short record have any bearing on the long-term trend is completely wrong. So, your opinions will need to go back to the drawing board.

    • Vince whirlwind

      Ah.

      I agree. Almost completely.

      Sort of.

      One single ten year span?

      Only someone extremely tolerant of uncertainty might think that means much in isolation.

      Eight ten year trends with a running span of 17 years, for instance? Well, that gets us up past the level of too much noise to discern a signal at 95% confidence.

      So long as that ten year trend is treated as representative of that ensemble, there may be something meaningful that can be said.

      Of course, if you’ve already got seventeen years, selecting out representatives is a bit silly.

      Likewise, taking the ratios of rising and falling short spans (down to about 5 years) can produce plots that will show clear signals emerging about the ratios, if you have enough short spans (takes 30 to 60 years), when you sit down and confirm whether you’re picking up something distinct from random chance.

      What good is that?

      Well, it can be used to allow one to suggest Bayesian analysis of the dataset to answer questions like: “Given one has observed a 9.5 year hiatus in temperature rise, how long would one need to wait to determine confidently whether there is a rising temperature trend?”

      Not that I’m suggesting there really is such a hiatus at the moment, that’s just an example.

      And to the specific nonsense I put up to seek Barry Woods’ clarification?

      That was because in my specific nonsense, where I attempted to recreate the claims from GWPF, I couldn’t at all. It was as if GWPF made it up.

      It took me several re-reads to uncover that GWPF was actually saying something cunningly suggestive of a zero rise on ten years (which would be meaningless) by putting up a 9.5 year plot with no statistically significant rise (which would be meaningless).

      So, sure, I could’ve said “under 17 year spans aren’t very good,” as you’re saying here (if I understand you correctly).

      But then, I couldn’t say, “it’s plentifully clear that, in addition to being wildly speculative, the Daily Mail appears to be making false statements based on GWPF’s misleading post.”

    • Vince whirlwind

      Another way of illustrating what we’re tlaking about:
      [http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/plot/best/from:1980/to:1988/trend/plot/best/from:1987/to:1995/trend/plot/best/from:1998/to:2005/trend/plot/best/from:2002/to:2011/trend/plot/best/from:1973/to:1980/trend/plot/best/from:1995/to:2001/trend]
      you can use the data since 1970 to plot 6 (or more) short-term “decreases” in temperature. Of course, the long-term trend over that time is an increase. So looking at 9 years is *not* going to be useful to you if you are interested in the long-term trend.

    • The photo is horribly unflattering. It makes you look like serial killer Aileen Wuornous. In contrast, Mueller’s photo, makes him look like a Teddy Bear. You should demand the Mail run a better photo of you.

    • It is definitely unflattering, but anyone looking at that photo wouldn’t want to mess with me :)

    • All that glitters is not gold.

  5. I think Rose has inserted opinions of his own and it may be assumed by some that those opinions are those of Judith whereas that is not quite the case in some instances as explained by Judith above.

    However I do think that the opinions that Rose sets out are fair comment whether Judith agrees or not especially given the high profile of the climate debate and the need for scientists to be highly circumspect in light of that.

    Muller has been very sloppy to say the least but given the fact that he posted the data for all to see I think it harsh for him to be accused of bad faith. Still it is very odd to see such sloppiness in such a high profile issue where huge responsibilities were placed on him and high expectations directed at him.

    Perhaps he just knew he was going to get grief whatever he said or did so he just threw it out there with a few hasty comments and waited for the furore.

  6. Judith, BEST are now dead in the water. What was needed was an impartial dataset from a group who were impartial.

    We now a dataset which may or maynot be impartial, but the group is certainly spinning their denialism for all it is worth. And now we have yet another useless dataset which no serious person can use because we don’t know how much is their denialist spin and how much is real data.

    • I have to say that is rubbish IMO.
      You need to differentiate the opinions from the actual science.

    • Vince whirlwind

      So….the data don’t match your preconceived opinions.

      Either the data, or your opinions, are wrong.

      The data has been analysed by some competent experts.

      Have you had your opinions analysed by competent experts?

      Because I know what the sceptic’s first and best tool, Occam’s Razor, would have to say about your dilemma.

  7. Judith, can you comment more explicitly on the tone of Rose’s article?
    It seems to me to be a deeply unconstructive piece of writing.

  8. Four days ago, Judith said:

    a press release on this was warranted

    I applaud making the submitted papers publicly accessible at this time

    the spin on the press release and Muller’s subsequent statements have introduced unnecessary controversy into the BEST data and papers

    I will meet with Muller and Rohde next week in Santa Fe (more on this meeting in a few days). I will see if they will agree to an interview for Climate Etc. This thread is an opportunity for you to craft questions for them to respond to.

    In light of the Mail article and Anthony’s re-posting the article for delightful comments from his lovely band of “skeptical” followers, it will be an interesting discussion between Judith, Rohde, and Muller, I’d say.

    Perhaps they’ll discuss whether Judith’s comments have introduced unnecessary controversy

    • “Unnecessary controversy” as it interferes with the establishment narrative that you prefer, Joshua. How about you think of it as “necessary clarity” instead?

    • That’s an interesting point, Mike. But I would say that Judith’s comment that there is “no scientific scandal” would be consistent with my statement above.

      Judith’s comments will introduce controversy into a situation where she says there is no scientific scandal, but there is, despite her contention, a de-facto scientific scandal brewing. And I believe her comments will introduce unnecessary controversy. To some extent, the controversy was brewing independent of the comments quoted in the Mail. But the mail article, and her comments contained therein, will add fuel to the fire.

    • The Mail article may well add some fuel to the fire but I hardly think there is a conflagration. What looks to some like a scientific controversy now, may seem no more than minor bickering in a few months time.
      In that light, from a sceptics point of view Judith’s comments are extremely welcome – however much they were spun by a journalist trying to sensationalise a story. Muller’s contention that the grounds for scepticism had been removed showed such an astonishing ignorance of the myriad ways in which one can be sceptical, that if some extra heat was added to the subject it was a small price to pay for a modicum of balance.
      I’m well aware that you have noted the occasions that this or that person without a brain or with an excess of idealogical blinkering has spoken of distrusting the temperature record. And that they, or someone else has called them a ‘sceptic’. However, the label gives the false impression that scepticism is defined by such a belief. It isn’t – it is open-ended and defined only by it’s opposition to something. There are many ways to be sceptical of AGW (particularly CAGW), and some have no overlap at all with others.
      I think you’d like there to be much more in common between those with sceptical views than there actually is. Especially because the consensus is quite narrowly and well defined. It is of course easier to have a clearly delineated opponent.
      This is an area of true asymmetry, and something the debate generally gets completely wrong.

    • Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. It’s a little late to try to dissociate yourself from the others.

    • I think you mistake me for some other mut..

      As I’ve been pointing out to Joshua, I have no more associated myself with Singers, Seitzs and Monctons than you or he has.

      Tarring with the same brush carries the whiff of desperation.

      Do you ‘lump together’ because rational scepticism is too hot to handle?

    • John Carpenter

      So Holly Stick… What your saying is; skeptics, no matter what they are skeptical about, are ‘all in’ with one another?

      Not likely

    • Anteros –

      What looks to some like a scientific controversy now, may seem no more than minor bickering in a few months time.

      I think that the de-facto “scientific controversy” will likely be more than what you project.

      Judith’s comments will continue to be used by “skeptics” as evidence of a breach of scientific ethics by Muller. That will continue, I’m quite sure.

      It will by only one line of argumentation among many, but it is a fairly important line of argumentation.

      Muller’s contention that the grounds for scepticism had been removed showed such an astonishing ignorance of the myriad ways in which one can be sceptical, that if some extra heat was added to the subject it was a small price to pay for a modicum of balance.

      As it reads to me – this is justifying the false construction of a claim of a breach in scientific evidence, in the name of creating a “balance.” I see no balance there. You know, the whole “Two wrongs don’t make a right” kind of logic.

      I’m well aware that you have noted the occasions that this or that person without a brain or with an excess of idealogical blinkering has spoken of distrusting the temperature record.

      Just to clarify – I do not think that people making that argument are “without a brain.” I do think that when Anthony contradicts himself on the issue of whether there is valid evidence of warming, and claims that no skeptics doubt that “the world is warming,” his rhetoric is influenced by ideological blinkering. I’m not sure what lies behind Judith’s contention that “skeptics” on the whole don’t doubt that the “world is warming.” I do see evidence sufficient to draw such a conclusion (although, no doubt, some subset of “skeptics” don’t doubt that the “world is warming”).

      However, the label gives the false impression that scepticism is defined by such a belief.

      I agree. Which is why you won’t see me make such a statement.

      I think you’d like there to be much more in common between those with sceptical views than there actually is.

      Perhaps. But I think that the more pertinent question is whether there is more uniformity that what I describe – in comparison to the blatantly false characterization of uniformity that we see claimed by many “skeptics,” Anthony being one of the most prominent.

    • Sorry – that should read that I

      don’t see evidence sufficient to draw….”

    • Don’t worry, Josh. The rest of it was sufficiently sleep inducing, so that no one is likely to have noticed your little inconsequential typo.

    • Joshua. I’m not convinced that there was a false claim of a breach of scientific evidence. Partly there was the ‘spin’ which is part of the extra ‘heat’ added. Also, my reading of the transcript of one of Richard Muller’s interviews was that he strayed a considerable distance from the evidence of his research.{I’ve lost the link, but to a direct question about the last ten years he said there was no evidence of a slowing of global warming} I think on that point (as well as the one about the end of scepticism) Judith was on the mark – spun or unspun.

      I fully accept that you avoid saying ‘sceptics’ as in ‘all sceptics’ but in that you are a rarity.

      I would also agree about Anthony, both in contradiction and false claims of uniformity. And I suspect ideology is the root of both.

      He’s not alone of course. I see plenty of that through the whole spectrum of the debate about the climate, which may also serve for some people as a proxy for a debate about how we see ourselves and our behaviour [The fall, original sin. guilt, redemption etc etc]

      Perhaps more simply, it’s just politics and tribalism.

      About the controversy – isn’t it true that the majority of players on both sides have welcomed the whole BEST endeavour including its results? I still expect the storm in a teacup to die down – perhaps in the next few days in Santa Fe.

      But, as they say – we shall see.

    • There is an enormous difference between giving an interview and writing an op-ed. As anyone who has ever been the subject of an interview knows very well, the story always contains interesting surprises. Journalism can be a very creative profession. When the reporter has a particular agenda or even just a pre-determined storyline, the message of the story often bears no relation to the interview.

      The subject of an interview has no control over how her words are used. Often, the words attributed to her aren’t even hers. The author of an op-ed is responsible for his words. Unless the editor is guilty of improper work, the author has control of the message.

    • Perhaps they’ll discuss whether Joshuas’ comments have introduced unnecessary tangents.?

      again with the hobby horse.

  9. Thanks to Dr. Curry for speaking out, and having the courage to face the predictable savage attacks from Joe Romm, RealClimate and other AGW blogs. Too bad The Mail did the usual journalistic warping of what she said, to make it more sensational; that seems to be a common practice on both sides of the climate issue these days.

  10. Judith -

    All this does not constitute a new scientific scandal in any way.

    The fact that you feel it doesn’t constitute a scientific scandal does not make it so. “Skeptics” like Anthony are pushing for it to be a scandal. This may very well resonate as an echo of the Mail article throughout the “skeptical” blogosphere. Quite likely you will read hundreds of posts at your very site that will be echoing the “scandal” meme.

    It may be that the only way for you to hold on to your pronouncement that it doesn’t constitute a scandal will be if only a select portion of what you see in the “skeptical” blogosphere registers for you at a conscious level. Such selective data gathering can lead to an incorrect conclusion.

  11. Judith,

    You would think by now that anything posted or printed WILL be under the microscope by anyone following the climate debate.
    What is said will be quoted and what is published will be ripped apart for accuracy.

  12. ‘When asked specifically about the graph that apparently uses a 10 year running mean and ends in 2006, we discussed “hide the decline,” but I honestly can’t recall if Rose or I said it first. I agree that the way the data is presented in the graph “hides the decline.” ‘

    Which graph is this? Produced by BEST? What is wrong with it – that it uses 10-year smoothing? Or stops in 2006? How should it have been drawn?

    • Peter, that doesn’t help at all. I see no reference to a 10-year smoothed graph in that link.

    • Nick, actually neither do I.
      I took it at face value that the 10-year averaged graph was taken from the BEST papers but, having looked, I can only find similar graphs.
      I don’t know whether the graph in the Mail article perhaps came from a PR release – perhaps Judith can shed some light on where the 10-year moving average bit came from.
      Having said that, the only way to get a similar graph to the one in the Mail article is to apply a moving average to the BEST data.

    • Turns out I wasn’t as wrong as I thought – see NIV’s post below

    • Judith,
      ‘I agreed that the way the data is presented in the graph “hides the decline.” ‘

      “no idea.”

      So you’re saying that someone “hides the decline.” but you don’t know who made the graph, which seems to be the one in the Daily Mail?

    • Aren’t both graphs in the Daily Mail produced by GWPF? Did Best produce a graph like the one GWPF claim “fooled the world”? Or did GWPF just make it up?

    • Peter317

      Wow.

      I have never seen a more statistically invalid argument made than the one contained in that link.

      Well, other than Girma, or in advertising or politics.

      I now blame the Mail less for merely repeating the utter stupidity of others uncritically and without validation, which after all is a reporter’s job.

    • Nullius in Verba

      There’s one that fits that description in figure 5 of the averaging process paper. The related statements are made in lines 808-812 above it.

      What it looks like they’ve done is to apply a 10-year moving average, then look at the gradient of the smoothed data – which will of course incorporate data from the previous five years. I can’t think of any other way for them to get that result from that data. On the other hand, it’s hard to see how they could have been that sloppy with all the statistical firepower brought to bear.

    • Nullius in Verba

      I’ve had a closer look, and there’s another possibility. There’s an outlier in January 2007 of 2.053 C anomaly (Full_Database_Average_Complete.txt). If you take the last section of the data and apply a linear least squares fit, you get a fairly steep result because of this point. Remove it, and most of the trend disappears.

      Again, surprising if they missed anything this obvious, but it’s a more likely error.

    • Nick, I can’t find the original any more, but this is on their FAQ page…..
      http://www.berkeleyearth.org/images/belast60yr.jpg

    • Everything I know about making graphs I learned from Girma:

      Trends, Trends, Trends

    • …and it shows. ;-)

    • Surely your’e joking

    • He is not joking (:)) and don’t call him Shirley.

    • Does Tamino’s latest help?

    • I just read Tamino’s post. Apart from the usual climate dittohead bash curry meme, his analysis is useful. However, please understand that my statement to Rose was about the plot with the 10 year running mean ending in 2006 being misleading. It is misleading. There has been a lag/slowdown/whatever you want to call it in the rate of temperature increase since 1998. This is being widely discussed, see the greenwire article for various opinions on this http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1

      So, actually this is a “hide the slowdown” issue.

      As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the BEST data that says there is no lag/slow down in the warming during the past decade or so.

      One of the most interesting things about all this IMO is the substantial discrepancies among the 4 datasets during this recent period. BEST agrees fairly well with NOAA, but is quite different from GISS and CRU.

    • No, it’s using the “pause” to hide the warming.

      And the full set of NOAA shows two of the years in the “pause” as being the warmest years in their record.

    • The pause is there in the data. That it “hides the warming” is just theory saving speculation. As is calling it a pause for that matter; it may well be a peak for all we know.

      That this data says it is warmer now than it used to be is irrelevant. Warming is an event, not a state. Warm is a state, not an event.

    • Those who take seriously any ten-year window of “climate” are living in a state of sin. They’re really looking at weather, not climate. Trend lines fitted to ten-year windows are meaningless for climate purposes.

      If there really were a “pause” in the past decade, it would show up as some sort of shift in behavior between that decade and the previous one. As this plot of the last two decades makes very clear, there is no significant difference between these two decades.

      (i) The red trend line for the two decades 1991-2011 combined is showing an unprecedented rise of 0.33 °C/decade! If the second decade really were “flat” as some people have been claiming, the previous decade would have had to have risen at an astronomical 0.66 °C/decade. It most certainly did not, and furthermore there is no trace of that fast a rise in the entire geological record of the past 4.5 billion years. That line of reasoning doesn’t follow because ten-year trend lines are statistically meaningless in isolation, ten years can only be properly understood in a larger context. If you’re in any doubt about that, try looking at 10-year trend lines at various times during the supposedly straight-line rise from 1975 to 2000, you’ll be surprised at the amount of variation.

      (ii) The green curve is a 12-month moving average of the monthly data, applied twice (thanks, Bart!) to attenuate the annoying treble that moving average filters let through. This is enough smoothing to eliminate seasonal variation (Earth is far from a North-South symmetric sphere land-sea-wise), but not so much as to mask what’s really been happening from year to year. In particular it passes 24-month-period oscillations (albeit with some attenuation), which are clearly visible here as a (somewhat mobile) second harmonic. In contrast a 24-month moving average filter completely blocks them, and yet annoyingly passes cycles with periods of 18, 10, 7, 5.4, etc. months, all of which except for the 18-month one are essentially blocked by the 12-month filter applied twice.

      This plot is dominated by a very interesting oscillation with a period of about 4 years that took a sharp plunge in 1992-1993, very likely due to the ash from Pinatubo, before settling down to track the 0.33 °C/decade rise from then until now. Notice that the basic character of this oscillation is unchanged between decades except for some shift in “timbre” (the moving second harmonic). Notice also that 1998 had no obvious impact: while that heat spike was dramatically tall, it was also very narrow and easily blocked by this filter.

      (I assume this oscillation is well known given its prominence relative to everything else that’s been going on during those 20 multiples of 12 months, though it seems more regular than ENSO which is supposed to fluctuate between 3 and 7 years. On the other hand why isn’t there a solar cycle or something showing up there? I’m a stranger here myself since I normally ignore all cycles faster than the Hale cycle as having no obvious bearing on long term climate. I’ll be talking about the role of the Hale cycle in long term climate at the December AGU meeting, but in the unlikely event that this 4-year cycle turns out to be news to people I might mention it too.)

    • Incidentally I should clarify that I’m not claiming this 4-year-period oscillation existed before 1991, only that it is the same in the past decade as in the previous one. The temperature looked more random prior to 1991. One possible explanation for the post-1991 regularity is that Pinatubo may have resynchronized a number of 4-year oscillators around the planet that had drifted out of sync.

    • Vaughan Pratt – first, i’ve been meaning to ask you, did you know a California professor named David Rumelhart? I think he had something to do with AI.

      It will be very interesting when BEST brings in the oceans.

    • Oddly enough, even though he taught (in the psychology department) at Stanford from 1987 to 1998, I had next to no contact with him, despite my having some interest in cognitive science. Come to think of it, even though psychology was in the adjoining building for most of that time, Brian Wandell was my only serious contact in psychology. I have a lot more contacts in linguistics, philosophy, and mathematics than in psychology for some reason.

    • Vaughan Pratt

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1971/trend/plot/best/mean:12/mean:12/from:1971

      Don’t go all mini-Girma on us.

      The four year oscillations are just an artefact, likely an interference pattern of ocean oscillations, moderated by volcanic activities, superimposed on the rise due various types of AGW (and man-made aerosols).

      Otherwise, however, your analyses seem agreeable.

      People seeing a pause are victims of artefacts in the data, too.

      The pause, abatement, cessation, stoppage, downturn, slowing, deceleration, relief, relaxation, relapse, cooling, chilling, whatever people want to call it is simply not very likely to be there.

      The odds of such a thing existing at this time for a span of time above 10 years and less than 200 years are far below 5%.

      It’s unlikely enough to call claims of it “a lie.”

    • Don’t go all mini-Girma on us.

      Hi Bart. You’re right to be skeptical, as was my wife when I discussed it with her half an hour ago.

      However you weren’t the first to look at the graph you showed. I looked at it a couple of minutes before posting this caveat in this thread. Please address my last sentence in that comment, and then let’s pick it up from there.

      Basically I see it like in the movies, where the patient was, if not flatlining, at least fibrillating, and a paramedic hits his chest with an AED unit. The movie rarely shows even four cycles of the now-beating heart, yet already the audience has twigged that the patient has been defibrillated (the D in AED—I’m a card-carrying AED operator if you ever need this while in my company, btw).

      I claim that Pinatubo defibrillated a 4-year oscillator that for all I know is fibrillating most of the time. If no other such incidents can be found in the past century or so then I would have to agree with you that this may well be just coincidence.

      But if it we can find one, two, or ideally three more volcanoes, each of which defibrillated Gaia in this way, then I’d say we’re on to something real.

      What do you say? I say that if Girma had even a remotely plausible defense of his WFT plots, he’d he a heck of a lot more credible on Judith’s blog.

    • Vaughan Pratt (http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/30/mail-on-best/#comment-130491)

      *squint*

      No. Well. Maybe.

      It’s a pretty analogy, very compelling, I like it a lot, and if we get about six hundred years of observations to validate the hypothesis, the effect should bear your name, but for all this my instinct is no, except..

      I lack the tools at the moment to attempt the sort of treatment that might confirm or disconfirm this defibrillation by removal, evaluating whether Yule-Simpson-like effects are in play, or otherwise there’s a convenient way to treat the hypothetical, and honestly, for something this subtle it’s been so long since I last took up my hand to serious graphical analysis that I’m not the guy to say.

      If it’s a re-synchronization of formerly degenerated ergodic relationships, it appears to degenerate again rapidly.

      This drift isn’t unexpected, if the effect is real; a four-year period should pretty much disintegrate before very long, I think, due (this is the sound of me beating my forehead against my keyboard trying to remember the name of something I last looked at a quarter century ago and failing, so I’ll blush and gloss on this point that a real expert would name in a second) ‘harmonic factors.’ (Thinking tachycardia?)

      However.

      The idea of large events having a profound effect on ergodic trends separately can’t be ignored. I’d seen a recent paper (cited it in a past thread here, too) on ‘controlling chaos’ by application of perturbations.

      I’ll dig around and see if I can find the link again, it may be relevant.

    • http://fisica.unav.es/~hmancini/downloads/Physrep.pdf

      Vaughan, not exactly the way I remembered it.

      But again, I advise against this in the strongest terms; apparent waves on graphs will fool the eye. It could take several lifespans to collect enough data to be able to confirm or disconfirm this hypothesis.

    • Bart, you’re taking me too seriously. :)

      If it turns out to be real, my estate might not object to attaching my name to it (or maybe it will), but by then I won’t be caring either way. :)

      More importantly, it looks to me like the temperature is rising awfully steadily from 1991 to now, modulo a big dip that is plausibly Pinatubo followed by a steady heartbeat.

      If you divide any 20-year period into two consecuitve 10-year periods, odds are good that the latter two won’t have the same trend lines. If the second one is steeper one can use that to prove global warming, if the other way round then global cooling. It’s just a crap shoot as to which one of the two cases we happen to be in right now. The skeptics will find some other evidence for global cooling when the current decade is steeper than the previous one.

    • After giving this more thought, I would draw an analogy with marbles shaken in a ceramic sphere of variable thickness. The marbles striking the sphere are the episodes of ash cooling the Earth, while the mechanical vibrations they produce in the ceramic are the resulting short-lived thermal oscillations in the climate.

      The analogy is not quite right because a marble strikes one point while the ash tends to spread out over the hemisphere (north or south) into which it is ejected, which would tend to attenuate the higher frequencies that would have resulted from a more sharply localized strike. More precisely, the strike begins as sharply localized and then spreads out as the jet streams carry the dispersing ash cloud around the hemisphere, all the while exerting a cooling effect that is initially localized and then gains in total cooling action as the covered area increases even though at the volcano itself the cooling action decreases with dispersal.

      The phenomenon of damped resonance is described locally by a second order differential equation whose solutions s(t) = exp(at+b) have two complex parameters a and b. The real part of b gives the log of the amplitude while the imaginary part gives the phase. The imaginary part of a gives the frequency while the real part gives the damping. The real part of s is what we experience, the math is made less complex by moving the complexity out of the math and into the parameters, so to speak.

      The equation has the form us” + vs’ + ws = 0 where s’ and s” denote respectively the first and second derivatives of s with respect to time t. Since s’ = as and s” = a²s, the equation becomes (ua²+wa+v)exp(at+b)=0, making it clear that the equation determines only a and not b because changing b in a solution yields another solution. b is determined not by the equation but by the boundary conditions, in this local case respectively the magnitude and timing of the strike.

      Globally the equation itself varies more or less continuously with location (latitude and longitude) on the sphere, and the (figurative) stiffness of the sphere governs how the local solutions paste together to form a global solution constituting a vibration comprised of a sum of vibration modes arising as eigenvectors of the global equation expressed as a matrix. The boundary condition also includes a global component in both space and time, namely the location of the origin of the ash and how it disperses with time.

      In the ceramic sphere analogy stiffness is literally the mechanical stiffness of the ceramic, whose variable thickness around the sphere makes the sound more lifelike (hard to get right in computer-generated music). “Stiffness” of the Earth in the context of climate is primarily thermal rather than mechanical, involving many factors: prevailing temperature, winds, bodies of water, etc.

      Hence in order to predict whether the sort of phenomenon I’m describing is real or even possible, one would need to know the magnitudes and distribution around the Earth of the parameters determining the global differential equation. From these one obtains the matrix, whose eigenvectors then give the vibration modes from which solutions can be assembled.

      The expected solution resulting from a volcanic eruption is obtained from the boundary conditions: locally, the magnitude (ash volume or mass) and timing of the eruption, globally, the coordinates of the volcano (latitude and longitude), temporally, the expected dispersal pattern of the ash.

      I would put a lot of faith in climate models that were organized along these lines. I would be very interested to hear from climate modelers as to the extent to which each of their models can be so understood. A litmus test would be whether their model predicts any change in the character of the thermal vibrations of the climate following a major eruption. Prediction of a defibrillating event of the kind I claimed to see would be even more compelling, especially if it closely matched the temperature readings on the ground over a couple of decades.

      As far the appropriateness of Judith’s blog as a venue for musings of this kind, I would compare it to a department lounge where students and faculty probe ideas informally over tea and cake (or coffee and cookies in the US). Once worked out in more detail the time comes when more formal refereeing is in order. Press releases prior to receiving the referee reports, while not uncommon, are in my view poor form since the referee reports perform a valuable function in compensating for any blind spots in the authors’ viewpoint, “seeing round corners” so to speak.

    • There has been a lag/slowdown/whatever you want to call it in the rate of temperature increase since 1998.

      Well, GWPF calls it a standstill, and their lap dog David Rose has dutifully spread that disinformation, throwing in your name and some spun accompanying quotes to give it some weight.

      Since 1998? Are you sure? Hasn’t this goal post been moved recently? For instance, the GWPF graph in David Rose’s article starts in 2001. Tamino shows what happens when you let it start 1 year earlier.

      Apart from the usual climate dittohead bash curry meme,

      Well, Tamino didn’t know of course that David Rose has spun your comments. BTW, are you going to let him get away with that? Ah well, it looks like the lie already traveled halfway around the world. What a mess.

    • Well, I have a rule about not talking to reporters on the phone, asking for submitted questions and I respond by email. Its a rule I extremely rarely break, and Rose caught me on the phone and I spoke with him. Back to enforcing my rule.

      IMO Muller overplayed his hand in his media statements, why I am not sure.

      I am getting a substantial number of press queries, I will do my best (lowercase) to set all this straight (via carefully crafted email replies).

    • Neven

      It appears that you believe that your lap dogs are superior to the sceptics lap dogs. On what basis do you believe best in show certificates belongs to such as Tamino or Tim Lambert?
      tonyb

    • When it comes to intelligence and integrity my lap dogs are definitely superior, but your lap dogs are winning. Look what they just did to our hostess. Lovely, isn’t it?

    • At the moment, I’m feeling manipulated by both Rose and BEST. This is one reason I started a blog, to get my words out there and minimize my personal exposure to manipulation.

    • You think having a blog where people with very poor judgment on the issues flatter you shamelessly is a way to avoid being manipulated?

    • Did BEST misrepresent what you say and turn that into a headline that is being echoed all over the *****-o-sphere as we speak?

      Maybe BEST didn’t involve you as much as they should at this stage, but what Rose is in an entire different league.

    • Agreed, we are talking two different leagues here.

    • Neven,

      Judith’s name is on the UHI paper. See my post below (if you care to) and tell me if Muller did not deliberately mis-represent the study in his WSJ article. Isn’t that a misuse of Judith’s good name and credibility?

    • John Carpenter

      “You think having a blog where people with very poor judgment on the issues flatter you shamelessly is a way to avoid being manipulated?”

      Of course many others come here from both camps to read and don’t comment. They come here and can read what Judith has to say untainted by anyone else’s hand. She is basically ‘on the record’ here. Having a blog to do such is advantageous for clarifying an issue. Great thing about the internet… you can access is all from over the world. Maybe it’s time for you to get up to speed on these modern technologies.

    • Perhaps the most interesting niche within the greenshirt hive is that occupied by the Queen-Wanna-Bees like Holly Stick whose waspish jealousies are aroused to a stinging fury by the envied buzz Dr. Curry’s blog attracts.

    • I was referring to the effect upon her of being surrounded by people giving her bad advice. Think of it as Theoden surrounded by a pack of Wormtongues all telling Gandalf he is not welcome..

    • John Carpenter

      “Think of it as Theoden surrounded by a pack of Wormtongues all telling Gandalf he is not welcome..”

      Oh great… a Tolkien analogy of how Judith is manipulated by commenters to her blog post… seriously? Only slightly better than wondering what side of ‘the force’ she is on.

    • Neven,

      Don’t you have non-science blogs to flood attack with AGW comments? I thought that was your new favourite pastime with Tamino?

      So tell us, Neven, what is the best start date?

    • I’m looking at the last ten years of BEST on GWPF.
      I’m looking at the last ten years of BEST on woodfortrees.
      GWPF.
      BEST.
      GWPF reports zero rise.
      BEST reports 0.169449 rise.

      Zero rise.
      1.69449 rise per century.

      Now, I detest looking at noisy signals so far below the point the signal:noise ratio has 95% confidence, which is the “magic 17 years”.

      It’s not that it’s impossible to comb some meaning out of the data; it is possible, if there’s enough data and one has enough free time and is scrupulous and willing to accept uncertainty. It’s not that waiting a little for sufficient data is so much more permanent. It’s explaining to people who insist on doing it wrong why my method’s right.

      GWPF is doing something wrong, if I go month-by-month through every 10-year span in the past 20 years in BEST and count the ratio of rising vs. falling 10-year spans, and check the upper and lower bounds BEST curves at 95% confidence, and reconfirm the figures by removal, and use with and without multiple levels of filters, and yet still cannot reproduce GWPF’s zero trendline in more than a small fraction of the 10-year spans.. not a single one of them matching the plot GWPF presents.

      Can anyone spot the source of the GWPF vs woodfortrees BEST inconsistency?

    • Neven: “Tamino shows what happens when you let it start 1 year earlier.”

      So, Tamino wants to start in the middle of a La Nina in order to give himself a little more positive slope. Why am I not surprised.

      Since Tamino moderates the hell out of skeptics, and since his pseudo statistics is nothing more than statistical propaganda, I never go over there. And I would appreciate it if I didn’t have to look at his nonsense here either.

    • IMO Muller overplayed his hand …

      Not to make too much out of a colloquialism, but I can’t help but wonder what a scientist in his situation would be hoping to win or afraid to lose.

    • Since Tamino moderates the hell out of skeptics,

      I define a denier to be someone skeptical of the obvious truth, like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand. By that definition Tamino is not merely a skeptic but a denier. He has his pet theories of how to explain everything, and anything that doesn’t fit his pet theories he denies and refuses to discuss, regardless of what the data says.

      That’s not all bad, since Tamino would be a bigger time sink if he did deign to entertain alternative theories to his own.

      Greenfyre in Ottawa is in a dead heat with Tamino in the denial business. They both flame away in their respective blogs and turn a deaf ear to the big picture (however one unmixes that metaphor).

    • Vaughan Pratt (http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/30/mail-on-best/#comment-130514)

      Yes, I’m familiar with the term, “jerk”.

      I’m also well aware of just how awful the practice of looking at single short spans on the climate is.

      The CI is down around 50%. The signal:noise is abysmal.

      And yet, there are those who insist on it being the only thing they’ll look at.

      I’ve looked at hundreds of these 10 year spans for BEST progressively backwards from the most recent one, month-by-month. None of the hundred most recent 10 year trends is cooling, or flat, or anything like it in BEST, so far as I can find.

      You really need to get far into the noisy end of the short spans to begin to pick up cooling trend lines with any regularity in the recent timespan; even then, they’re overwhelmed by warming trend lines.

    • You really need to get far into the noisy end of the short spans to begin to pick up cooling trend lines with any regularity in the recent timespan; even then, they’re overwhelmed by warming trend lines.

      Quite right. I’d been noticing this myself but am happy to give the credit to even more alert observers. What’s really overwhelming is the number of ways of exhibiting warming trend lines vs. cooling!

    • Marcel Kincaid

      “This is one reason I started a blog, to get my words out there and minimize my personal exposure to manipulation.”

      Your blog has become the home of crackpot denialists whom you never ever correct, and in many cases support, e.g. tonyb. Among climate scientists and other knowledgeable persons your credibility is in a deep hole.

    • http://woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:2000.5/plot/best/from:2000.5/detrend:0.169449/plot/best-lower/from:2000.5/detrend:0.169449/plot/best/from:2000.5/trend/plot/best/from:2000.5/trend/detrend:0.169449/plot/best-lower/from:2000.5/trend/detrend:0.169449

      I don’t claim to be able to read Dr. Muller’s mind, however I remember a little about graphs, and woodfortrees is becoming by leaps and bounds a more and more useful toolset:

      Red curve is the last ten years. Note from its trend line, it is rising (warming for the past 10 years, slightly but confidently). While this is highly sensitive to starting point, this trend dominates most of the sub-20-year selections.

      To get a lag in warming, or slowing in warming, you must detrend to get the green line. It’s not substantial, but with BEST’s higher resolution than prior datasets, Dr. Muller’s statement about the ten year period stands.

      To get actual cooling, you’d have to hit the blue line or lower.

      If that’s what Dr. Muller meant.

      Acceleration in warming, and slowing of acceleration, I believe he must not have intended to speak to.

      It’s a bit ambiguous, but there are ways for what Dr. Muller to have said to be literally valid.

    • Bart, how about conducting your analysis on other 10-year periods since 1975, starting at arbitrary months (of which there are 440 or so)? With such a short dataset you should find 10-year intervals that will prove just about any hypothesis anyone has ever subscribed to.

      The idea that the year we’re in somehow proves something about the future that the past third of a century didn’t is unscientific (I was going to say ludicrous until I recalled David Wojick’s frequent pleas for decorum on Judith’s blog).

      Acceleration in warming, and slowing of acceleration, I believe he must not have intended to speak to.

      The technical term for “changes in acceleration” is jerk, aka the third derivative of position with respect to time. Frequently encountered on this blog (“jerk around”, “you’re a jerk”, etc.). :)

    • Judith you said:

      “One of the most interesting things about all this IMO is the substantial discrepancies among the 4 datasets during this recent period. BEST agrees fairly well with NOAA, but is quite different from GISS and CRU.”

      You do realize that GISS-met only is not the same as a land-only product right? You can’t compare the two without using a land only product. On Lucia’s this was confirmed long ago regarding the GISS not being land-only. In fact GISS was contacted and they confirmed that the met only was not a land-only dataset… It is getting ridiculous how many people are screwing this up.

      As far as CRU not agreeing well… Well lets be real, CRU does a shitty job in northern regions because the CAM method is too stringent. This has been confirmed by a ECMWF press release showing that Hadley undersamples the warming. Anyways just thought i’d mention this so that future posts can acknowledge that GISS and BEST cannot be compared until a truly land-only dataset is available.

    • steven mosher

      Judith, one potential reason for this effect is the addition of near term short records.

      Let me use CRU as an example. In CRU for a station to count as valid it must have 15 years of data in the 1961-1990 window.

      Stations that appear in 2000 and go to 2010 will be dropped from CRU

      With the BEST method ( and Romans and nick stokes and any of the better methods ) this short data is not thrown out.

      Such records exist. Currently Im processing Ghcndaily stations, there are 26,000 of them. I can confirm that there are stations that appear to be “late” in the dataset. to be sure, a few stations cannot swing the mean, and I havent counted them all here.

      I’d start by looking there. You should not be surprised that more data, especially more data LATE in the record would lead to more warming..

    • And even more different from UAH and RSS. And let’s not forget that NOAA has .6F worth of positive adjustments on their data.

    • Marcel Kincaid

      “bash curry meme”

      That “meme” is a reflection of and consequence of your behavior.

    • Judith –

      So, actually this is a “hide the slowdown” issue.

      As far as I know, “hide” is usually, (if not always) used as a transitive verb. Transitive verbs require an action by someone or some thing.

      Could you clarify here a bit? Are you suggesting an action on someone’s part to “hide the slowdown?”

    • Joshua, this whole issue was particularly in the context of discussion of a graph that used a 10 yr running mean.

    • Judith –

      Honestly, I don’t know how that answers my question – probably my whole lack of technical knowledge issue. Could you answer my question more directly?

      Do you mean that the graph “hides the slowdown?” Whose graph are you referring to? And do you think that the intent of the person creating that graph was to “hide the slowdown?”

      IMO, clarifying whether you are suggesting intent (and by whom) is pretty important.

    • Judith,

      I see …. there was a context to your comments related to the “hide”. And, you would like to be understood in the correct context? Hmmmm …. there is something familiar and ironic about you, as a scientist, being misunderstood for an out of context statement.

      Cheers,

      cg

    • At the horrifying risk of agreeing with Joshua on anything, I tried tog et at the same issue, phrased differently, below. The issue is intent, specifically Muller’s intent. This is a busy thread for a Sunday, so maybe I can get an answer up here:

      Quoting Dr. Curry:

      “I agree that the way the data is presented in the graph ‘hides the decline.’”

      and

      “‘Hiding the truth’ in the title is definitely misleading….”

      If “the decline” is the truth, and it was hidden, how was the title “misleading?”

      If “hiding the decline” was dishonest for the hockey stick, how is this somehow more honest?

      I am somewhat reminded that you were previously willing to say that the act of hiding the decline by Mann et al. was dishonest, but not willing to say that scientists involved were personally dishonest for doing so. Is this the same problem – you want to disparage the behavior, but not the actor?

    • Joshua, this whole issue was particularly in the context of discussion of a graph that used a 10 yr running mean.

      In prison, 10 years means you must have done something fairly bad. In climate, 10 years means you’re living in a state of sin. It takes a minimum of 15 years and preferably 20 to see what’s going on that’s relevant to the next 50 years.

    • As far as I know, “hide” is usually, (if not always) used as a transitive verb.

      So your parents hid Easter eggs for you but you never got to play hide and seek with your peers?

      Transitive verbs require an action by someone or some thing.

      “Transitive verbs take an object,” he said, hiding a grimace while hiding out on the patio with a laptop.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua you can argue that a graph “hides the decline” without attributing motive

      witness all the people who argued that in climategate.

      In that case however we had contemporaeous private communications indicating that hiding was the intent. we have a person ( Mcintyre asking that it be fixed ) and we have people refusing to fix it.

      What is the motivation of your reasoning? why do you avoid doing a simple compare and contrast on the relevant facts?

    • Steven Mosher,

      If somebody asked you and Steve McIntryre to get to the bottom of the AGW controversy, and initially gave you $100 million to work with, wouldn’t you be able to largely sort this BS out in a year or so?

    • Vince whirlwind

      Still flogging that dead horse.
      Mann didn’t hide anything. Mann used a phrase which didn’t mean what some people have chosen to have it signify in their own personal fantasy-world. Mann chucked data which didn’t match real-world observations, *and documented what he had done*. It is entirely appropriate to disagree with his presentation of the data, preferably by advancing your own, alternative analysis.
      And here is BEST’s alternative analysis: another “hockey-stick”. Same as everybody else’s results.
      Some people might be reassured that independent researchers are coming up with the same results. That would be the normal, scientific, reaction.
      Others choose to believe in some sort of weird, undetectable conspiracy involving fraudulent activity by all the world’s relevant scientists. Nuts to that idea, I say.

    • “Mann chucked data which didn’t match real-world observations, *and documented what he had done*”

      Prosser: But the plans were on display.
      Arthur Dent: On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar.
      Prosser: That’s the display department.
      Arthur Dent: With a torch.
      Prosser: The lights had probably gone.
      Arthur Dent: So had the stairs.
      Prosser: But you did see the notice, didn’t you?
      Arthur Dent: Oh, yes. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign outside the door saying “Beware of the Leopard.” Ever thought of going into advertising?

    • Vince whirlwind

      Gbaikie, you can disagree with Mann’s presentation of the data (why not?) but your comment is ridiculous – the method he had used to present the data was docuemtned in the same document he used to present the data.
      In other words, anybody exposed to his “hidden decline” was also exposed to
      a. an explanation of the divergence problem
      b. a description of how that divergence was dealt with.

      Your reponse indicates you have no knowledge of this issue.

    • “Gbaikie, you can disagree with Mann’s presentation of the data (why not?) but your comment is ridiculous”
      Obviously, my comment was ridiculous.
      I do disagree with Mann’s presentation.
      I disagree with it on many levels, in fact I don’t know if there anything correct about it.
      Very curious why you think it has any importance.
      I know it presented as important- so if you were to create a history of examples of fraud it’s important in that regard, but I mean other than that.

      “In other words, anybody exposed to his “hidden decline” was also exposed to
      a. an explanation of the divergence problem
      b. a description of how that divergence was dealt with.”

      A] trees aren’t good thermometers
      B] it the data wasn’t shown on the presented graph.
      As in, the purpose of a graph is to show data.

    • Considering all the cases where BEST has apparently done no sanity check of their data, one could easily make an argument for simple incompetence.

      Have you looked at the April 2010 anomaly data point. Most likely a sign error, making if off by over 2C.

    • Steven Mosher

      You could also RFTM which says that this data release is a preliminary product and wait for the second release. basically, you have the data to understand the formats and files.

      Of course that doesnt stop people who cant read release notes

  13. Judith, good post. Muller’s comments were unwarranted. I am not yet convinced this data set is the best available because of the post by Steve McIntyre. It is unclear to me if the data set is messed up or just Muller’s analysis. I would recommend a joint paper by Muller and McIntyre or Muller, McIntyre and Watts.

  14. It’s quite clear to me that you, Watts and McIntyre have been “shafted by Muller. Not difficult to guess why if you are as sceptical as I am.

    One comment on climateaudit today claims that not only has the raw data not been released, nor has the “homogenised”. If true, Muller is revealed as just as untrustworthy as the “Team”.

  15. Well done Dr.Curry, you have spoken your mind and the facts are clear for everyone to judge.

    When reviewers of the paper like Ross McKitrick have been told as early as September that they can’t talk about the papers and have had to sign confidentiality agreements, for Prof.Muller to issue that press release and state what all he said was completely unethical, unprofessional and showed bad ethics. Ross had posted this on 25th at Climate Audit

    ” Yes, I expect some observers will find my analysis of BEST to be of interest, when I am in a position to release it. I agreed to serve as a referee back at the beginning of September and submitted my report almost a month ago. In so doing I accepted the journal’s request not to discuss the matter publicly while the paper is under review, and I intend to respect that commitment. It did not occur to me at the time that the BEST authors would fail so spectacularly to respect their corresponding obligations, or that the media, having shown zero interest in the many peer-reviewed and published papers on the topic, would so willingly join the tub-thumping on behalf of an unpublished, unreviewed PDF on someone’s website. I suppose all this should have occurred to me at the time, you’d think I’d have learned by now.”

    So the PR blitz by Prof.Muller and the statements he made in that blitz were untrue and unethical, intend to present a wrong picture to the public.

    Circulating pre-prints for comment is acceptable. But a PR blitz touting so called results inaccurately, even before peer review has been passed, is unacceptable in science. And stating that the papers will be ready for inclusion in the AR5, even before peer-review and publication, shows an attitude to game science and journal publication. This is simply beyond pale,

    And by the way, the analysis of the data by Steve McIntyre and by Dr.David Whitehouse of GWPF shows a different conclusion than what the papers state.

  16. Judith -

    Maybe you’ll ask Muller a question for your ol’ friend Joshua from Climate Etc.?

    Would you mind asking him whether his views on the tribalism in the climate debate have shifted any since he has become the target of so much vitriol among “skeptics”?

    • The reports of the death of climate skepticism are greatly exaggerated. You have been dancing on the wrong grave, Joshy. Yet another hack publicity hound has brought disrepute on the climate science. Latest public opinion polls, out today somewhere, indicate that climate scientists are ranked between mainstream journalists and used car salesmen, on the trust scale. Judith needs to ask Heir Pro. Dr. Muller,”Dude, what were you thinking?

    • And yet you were demanding that sceptics all come out and castigate Fred Singer? Would you have crowed about the tribal in-fighting had that occurred?

    • Little hypocrite, ain’t he.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua, when Muller was attacked by Romm did you ask Judith to ask him about his views?

      No. why not?

  17. I suspect that you will find both individual journalists and the media in general have their own agendas.
    It is safer to eat arsenic than to place ones life in the hands of the media. However, always remember it was the BESTists who voluntarily climbed into the belly of the beast and so it is a bit off to complain about the acid.

  18. The Daily Mail is not noted for its accuracy

    • Most newspapers are known for extreme inaccuracy when writing about climate.

      Skeptics will have to take solace in the fact that the Daily Mail is #2 in circulation … and and is still the only British newspaper whose readership is more than 50% female.

    • Newspaper reporters are known for 1.) their incredibly bad reporting of nearly =EVERY= “science story” (since most of them don’t have even the foggiest understanding of what they are reporting on), and 2.) their obsession with turning every “science story” (no matter how minor or incremental) into either a “paradigm-shaking breakthrough,” a “controversy,” or a “scandal” — since those are the only “narratives” that fit their “If it bleeds, it leads” mindsets.

    • It seems to me the Daily Mail got this story pretty close to right. So the scandal is not as bad as Climategate, it is a scandal. I, for one, have never seen the second listed author so unhappy about the way a co-author is promoting the results from a paper. It is a pretty extraordinary, even in the often odd world of climate science.

    • Unlike the Guarniad! ha ha :-)

    • Sweepstake on how long it takes the Guardian and the BBC to report this kerfuffle?

  19. For those wanting a more rigorous peer review process, yous gots it. I think it will be good for science in the long run. It will also bring media hype into the context it deserves.

    Australian rules science

    • Dallas,

      From what I’ve read…it is the media and politicians that rule science in Australia.

  20. WOLF WOLF !

  21. Why is this not a scandal?

    • Well you can argue that this is a scandal in the sense that it lessens the reputation and credibility of the BEST project.

    • True enough, sadly, but it also tends to confirm what Climategate revealed. It is another line of evidence (to use a common, yet meaningless, term).

    • What I find interesting is how the discussion is framed.

      One group believes they fundamentally understand (a) how much temperatures are going up, (b) what the causes of the temperature rise are and the relative weight of each cause, (c) 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 and (d) 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.

      If a person does not agree to every step a, b, c, and d they are called an unscientific deniers by those in the above referenced group. It is interesting that when the Best data became available that many in the group claimed that to now not support their conclusions fully proved a person’s denier status and proved they are unscientific. Strange, since it seems that Best covered point a, but did nothing to strengthen points b through d.

    • I think that is about as good a description of the ways in which one can be sceptical as I’ve heard.
      And as I mentioned to Joshua above, it leaves room for there to be sceptics who don’t share any views with other sceptics.
      For what it’s worth, count me in for various portions of a, b, and c

    • Anteros

      Thanks

      I would suggest that we really do not know (c) well at all as it must come as a result of outputs from GCM’s (or potentially better regional circulation models that could be developed) and WE KNOW that we have had to change many of the inputs to these GCMs and therefore we KNOW the outputs have been unreliable in regards to the impact to any specific area of the planet. Since we know (c) is unreliable, how can (d) which are papers purporting to describe the impact on humanity and are based upon the outputs of (c) be anything other than unreliable?

      Imo it seems that to accept the papers written to date based upon the (c) GCMs to data would have been as warranted as if these papers is that to accept many of the IPCCs conclusions on impact to humanity means you must be willing to acept these conclusions based on no reliable data and must simply have FAITH that those who fear a warmer world have some special insight into the future that must be believed and followed….regardless of the cost or harm.

    • Indeed.
      For me the operative word is ‘fear’. As in ‘those who FEAR a warmer world’…. Some of the most rational people around consider all sorts of evidence seriously, then conjure up a picture of the future which is very slightly different from how the world is now and think ‘Oh my God, it’s going to be a catastrophe’. Not forgetting of course ‘and it’s going to be much worse than we thought’. And as you say, not based on a shred of evidence.
      Some of this I think comes from the fear that if human beings have any influence on earth’s climate AT ALL then it must, necessarily, be appalling. The rest simply comes from the way we think about the unknown.
      As far as I know there is little hope of a cure as it is “not possible to reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into”
      However, taking time to study the history of false (but certain) catastrophic thinking always reminds me that imaginings about the future rarely have any rational root at all.

    • Agreed on Rob’s description.

      I have problems with the c & d portions of his description – problems in the sense I have a hard time believing anything the “group” says on those two topics.

    • I would add an (e); that they understand the long term net results of the positive and negative effects of their proposed policies, including whether their recommendations would actually have their intended effect.

      I am skeptical on all 5, and high confidence on any 4 would still not convince me that global decarbonization is the policy of choice.

    • I think aspects of (e) are rarely considered although they are pertinent. I am not an economist, but as there is a global market for fossil fuels, and China imports both coal and oil, if a country (or countries as per Kyoto) reduce their consumption of fossil fuel, won’t China take up the slack at a cheaper price?
      Have any policies yet implemented left any carbon in the ground that would otherwise have been burnt? And if so, is there the slightest evidence that it has made a measurable difference to anything?
      I agree that scepticism on all five is warranted.

      What I do wonder sometimes is how people avoid having any scepticism at all…

    • It’s another black eye for climate science. How many does this make now, about 40?

  22. Judith,

    “This graph shows that the trend of the last decade is absolutely flat, with no increase at all – though the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have carried on rising relentlessly.

    ‘This is nowhere near what the climate models were predicting,’ Prof Curry said.”

    How do you reconcile ‘nowhere near’ with this?

    “Because of the large effect of year-to-year variability on decadal trends, roughly 10% of the 10-year TLT trends in the 20CEN/A1B runs are less than zero (Figure 4A). This result shows that anthropogenically forced models can replicate the recent muted warming of the surface”

    Or with this?

    • And related…

      “Prof Curry said. ‘Whatever it is that’s going on here, it doesn’t look like it’s being dominated by CO2.’”

      Who is claiming that ten year trends will be dominated by CO2 forcing?

    • Again, to this layperson Smith et al said natural variation would suppress temperature in the early years of their prediction, which does not sound like they think CO2 would dominate the decade.

  23. “We see no evidence of global warming slowing down.”

    Is the following not an evidence?

    http://bit.ly/vq4jyc

    How sad?

  24. ian (not the ash)

    hmmmm…I was attempting to embed a youtube clip ala louise in relation to Dallas’s comment re: Australian Rules science…

  25. Well, science via press release is scandalous enough. I find it difficult to believe there wasn’t intentional deception with that graph to the press folks. Sure, most of us could read it properly, but the press people are pretty ignorant and I think Muller took advantage of that.

    Judith, a quibble…….the largest donor to the BEST project was the DOE. That would be public funds.

  26. Muller personally did the interview and presented the data in a very particular way(to hide the decline? matters little if Judith didnt mean to suggest this). In the UK it was presented as usual by the BBC and others as the end to all doubts about warming in the 21st century. Its very hard to believe this was not deliberate,could he repeat this in a court of law? or print it in a peer review journal?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9621000/9621049.stm

    Justin Webb: And have you also answered the question which is raised, again, by sceptics, about whether or not global warming has stopped in the last ten years?

    Richard Muller: In our data, which was only on the land, we see no evidence of it having slowed down. Now the evidence which shows it being stopped is a combination of land and ocean data. The ocean does not heat as much as the land, just because it absorbs more of the heat. And when that data are combined with the land data, then the other groups have shown this where it does seem to be levelling off, but we have not seen that on the land data.

    Justin Webb: Mmm.

  27. Judith:
    You checked the reputation of your co-authors. Perhaps you should also check the reputation of newspapers, and choose your words accordingly.

    Dellers chips in: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100114292/lying-cheating-climate-scientists-caught-lying-cheating-again/

    • Richard, could you be a little more clear? I haven’t the foggiest what you are trying to say. You don’t like the Daily Mail? Or don’t like the Telegraph? Or you don’t like what Judith said? Or perhaps you don’t like the fact Judith allowed herself to be quoted?

      I am quite certain you don’t like something or someone, but I can’t make out who or why.

    • Ron: Sorry for being unclear.
      The Daily Mail has reputation for bending facts and citations to fit their agenda. You should therefore be very careful in what you tell them.
      In her opening remarks, Judith makes it clear that the Daily Mail wrote up what she said but not what she meant.
      The Telegraph is higher quality. Good comedy writing too.

  28. Judith,

    I have sent you an email but perhaps your readers wouldn’t mind also. I believe that there is a significant error in the confidence interval calculations.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/overconfidence-error-in-best/

    • Jeff thanks for your analysis, i’ve taken a quick look, i will make sure the other authors see this.

    • Thanks. I think I’m right about it and it doesn’t seem easy to fix. The re-weighting makes everything more difficult. I haven’t read the code and am not sure if it is on line yet. At some point, I’ll check out the code also.

    • The code is on line Jeff, although the README file says that it is probably not a runnable copy. Hope you have a copy of Matlab.

    • Judith,

      I’m not sure I explained the problem clearly enough. Lubos didn’t understand my point so I replied to him like this:

      Thanks for taking the time. I agree that the method is clever and originally I was quite happy with it. The assumption of the method though is that 1/8 of the error is removed each time and the delta is scaled up to +1 as you have correctly written. In this manner the variance in the residual difference represents one instance of the noise error. Where the assumption goes wrong is when the individual stations are weighted before averaging and the 1/8 of the station data is removed before weighting.

      For me the problem is more clear with extreme examples. If the algorithm were to select the weighting such that the best station on earth were always weighted at 1 and the rest at zero, how would the removal of 1/8 of the data affect the ability to select that 1 station. One of the 8 selections would eliminate that best station resulting in the choice of the most similar second best station, the other runs may still find only the one. The difference in the sigma from the one miss would amount to 1/8th of its error because the rest of the runs would show zero error.

      This isn’t what happens of course but if you have a group of 25 stations, if you have seen the temp data, many of them will be a mess. The top station(s) of the group will be most representative of the mean. Removal of the 1/8 of the stations will take some of the deweighted and will create less than the expected 1/8 change in noise variance as they have been deweighted in comparison to the best ones. They have unintentionally violated the 1/8 assumption of the Jackknife method and the fractional subsampling methods as well.

      I believe that if you took the whole reconstruction and looked at the average weight of the 1/8th of the removed stations, multiplied that average weight times the 1/8th, you could modify eq 36 to include the corrected variance as an approximation of the true value. This method would be an approximation which I believe would still underestimate the total uncertainty but it would be closer to actual. It really is a difficult problem to correct.

    • Nope, I don’t think my idea works either.

  29. The thing that makes the ten-year trend almost flatline is the April 2010 sample at -1.035. It has huge uncertainty (which I have now also, possibly belatedly, imported to WoodForTrees), but on a simple OLS trend it skews it right down. Without it you’re on 1.4K/century, which is hardly newsworthy!

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:2001/mean:12/plot/best/from:2001/trend/plot/best/from:2001/to:2010.2/trend

    I assume the error/uncertainty in April/May 2010 were because that was when the analysis stopped and not all data was in? Do you know if there are going to be updates? If they stay in the same file WoodForTrees will track it automatically.

    Best wishes

    Paul

    • I think it is still plainly obvious the last 10 years of BEST show a slowing of the warming trend in the last decade which is contrary to the Mullers comments when asked the question. If the prelim data is not reliable why not remaove all of it?

    • Slower than it was pre 2000, yes, but not stopped – it has returned to the land-ocean long term average trend. Interestingly BEST’s 30-year trend is by far the highest of the land datasets, all of which are higher than the land-ocean ones – see http://www.woodfortrees/notes for details. That is an interesting fact which is far more worthy of discussion than a 10 year trend of incomplete data.

      The April/May samples should be removed because they are flagged in the data as highly uncertain (most probably incomplete at the time of analysis), and April at least is an obvious outlier. That doesn’t apply to any of the other recent data.

    • Paul. thank you for making woodfortrees.org available.

    • The April/May samples should be removed because they are flagged in the data as highly uncertain (most probably incomplete at the time of analysis), and April at least is an obvious outlier.

      alternatively, use an estimation procedure that is less sensitive to influential cases and outliers than OLS. For example, the estimate that minimizes the sum of absolute residuals. It’s easy to implement in a non-linear least-squares algorithm.

    • I thought that making use of incomplete data was seen as one of the strengths of the new BEST analysis? Or is that just of incomplete data sets that show warming?

      By all means, advocate removing from the data set records that disagree with your conclusion, or find a statistical way to diminish their impact. That’ll help credibility.

    • When you have a method that adds more data and a good chuck of that if data from recent years.. guess what? your answer is more likely to be higher

    • GISS isn’t right for comparison with BEST i hope you know. Met only does not mean land only. This was discovered at Lucia’s a while ago

    • Linky? Does met also include weather buoys? What is the basis for this claim?

    • here’s a link:

      http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/the-great-gistemp-mystery/

      “Like most mysteries, the solution to this one appears to have been pretty mundane. Dr. Ruedy responded to an email I sent him explaining that GISTemp doesn’t really attempt to model land-only temperatures. Rather, the table in question is an approximation of global temperatures using only land stations.”

    • Robert, this has just been pointed out to me, too – I will change how I describe it at WFT.

    • Some people think recent data is of more importance in trends in the present and near future

    • Paul -you beat me to it! There’s also a substantial negative outlier at the end of the last decade in the BEST data. Curious about the effect of the trend I used woodfortrees to plot the decade immediately prior to the outlier. The trend for this decade, up to March 2010 is 0.25C/decade, this is land only, but it is surely consistent with the IPCC projection of 0.2C for the global trend.

      Of course now I am cherry-picking a short trend. But I didn’t start it….

      Course, Rose and the Mail have form, as we say around here http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2010/02/15/205415/rosegate-dailymail-error-riddled-articles-misquote-credibility-science/

  30. I’ve been reading (nothing more substantial than a few reader comments) that Muller plans to retire and go into private, “green” industry. If so, that might explain a lot. But I’m not about to jump all over that without better information. Seems a bit hard to swallow.

    Anyone?

  31. You have a right to remain silent.

    Everything you say will be held against you.

    Full. Stop.

    I suppose there is no way to remain silent. I even said so, after advising silence. Everyone knows by now that the story writers do not write the headlines — the editors add pizzazz to the headlines so that the headlines will be widely quoted and remembered.

    There’s many a slip twixt tongue and pen.

    Best wishes.

  32. I agree that the way the data is presented in the graph “hides the decline.”

    Oops.

    At least you didn’t say it was someones “sophistcated technique”.

  33. At the very least Prof Muler words about warming continuing, etc on the BBC, seem totally at odds with the article (judith said mind boggling) discussing about the reasons (varied) for the stall in temps in the last decade…
    ie stalled or not – What is Prof Muller view? vs those colleagues.
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/30/mail-on-best/#comment-129864

  34. Interesting comment from Geoff Chambers from the Bishop Hill thread
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/10/30/curry-on-best.html?currentPage=2#comments

    “Lots of accusations are being thrown at Muller, from venality to ignorance. These were top scientists setting out precisely to defend the reputation of science (and, indirectly, their own). Stupidity, ignorance and venality are not possible as explanations. Muller and his colleagues just don’t seem to have understood the nature of the scepticism which surrounds climate science. It’s like watching a team of phrenologists bashing their heads against a brick wall, trying to come up with ever more interesting bumps.”

    • Love it!!!
      Very humorous!!! :-)

    • This reminds me of your request for questions that could be posed to Richard Muller. Succinctly, you could ask him if he has the faintest idea of the myriad ways in which rational people have become sceptical of the consensus position?
      If he hasn’t, Rob Starkey puts it quite persuasively –

      Rob Starkey | October 30, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply

    • As witty as it is, I think Geoff contradicts himself. Many pro-AGW scientists, like Muller, do not understand skepticism. This is a form of stupidity, so stupidity is precisely the explanation.

    • :) :) :)

  35. Judith,

    Would it not be prudent to have a pre-agreement with the media that all interviews/discussions be taped and you must get a copy immediately?

    It seems to me that would be helpful to counter inaccurate journalism.

    John

  36. Judith,
    I don’t know why you used the phrase “hide the decline” with respect to the last decade of BEST data discussed by the Mail:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from/plot/best/last:1200/trend/plot/best/last:120/trend
    It’s the Mail and GWPF that are in fact “hiding the incline”!

  37. Why does Prof Muller so little understand sceptics, he thinks that this in the WSJ, answer the case.. and we should all go home.

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

    Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.
    ——
    He finishes with the whole reason to be sceptical.. How much is due to humans!!!

    Ie if not much, why bother with all those climate policies…

  38. The problem with the hockey stick was that the scientists involved put PR before science, and “hid the decline.”

    The problem with climategate was that the scientists involved put PR before science and tried to turn peer review into pal review, erased emails, hid data and code and other fun behavior, to hide to uncertainties in and dissent from their position.

    The problem with the BEST graph and Muller’s comments (and prior congressional testimony) is that the scientist involved put PR before science and, once again, hid the decline.

    Who cares whether this is labeled a scandal or not? It is further evidence that climate scientists (including now Dr. Muller who got his 15 minutes of fame from decrying the dishonesty of the first two examples) are willing to be dishonest to score PR points.

    Hide the decline; hide the emails; hide the dissent; hide the data and code; and back to hide the decline again here.

    Credibility? We don’t need no stinkin’ credibility!

    • The problem with the hockey stick was that the scientists involved put PR before science, and “hid the decline.”

      The problem with climategate was that the scientists involved put PR before science and tried to turn peer review into pal review, erased emails, hid data and code and other fun behavior, to hide to uncertainties in and dissent from their position.

      Those are the least of the offenses. You probably ought to study up on the other issues with the hockey stick and the deliberate FOI/FOIA avoidance in Climategate.

      As they like to say, “it’s worse than we thought”.

    • Yeah, like my comments aren’t long enough as it is, I should do a wikipedia article on each.

      Brevity is the soul of wit.

  39. Horst Joachim Ludecke just sent me a link to their recently published paper:
    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/How_natural.pdf

    How Natural is the Recent Centennial Warming? An Analysis of 2249 Surface Temperature Records?

    Abstract. We evaluate to what extent the temperature rise in the past 100 years was a trend or a natural fluctuation and analyze 2249 world- wide monthly temperature records from GISS (NASA) with the 100-year period covering 1906-2005 and the two 50-year periods from 1906 to 1955 and 1956 to 2005. No global records are applied. The data document a strong urban heat island effect (UHI) and a warming with increasing station elevation. For the period 1906-2005, we evaluate a global warm- ing of 0.58 0C as the mean for all records. This decreases to 0.41 0C if restricted to stations with a population of less than 1000 and below 800 meter above sea level. About a quarter of all the records for the 100-year period show a fall in temperatures. Our hypothesis for the analysis is – as generally in the papers concerned with long-term persistence of temper- ature records – that the observed temperature records are a combination of long-term correlated records with an additional trend, which is caused for instance by anthropogenic CO2, the UHI or other forcings. We apply the detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) and evaluate Hurst exponents between 0.6 and 0.65 for the majority of stations, which is in excellent agreement with the literature and use a method only recently published, which is based on DFA, synthetic records and Monte Carlo simulation. As a result, the probabilities that the observed temperature series are natural have values roughly between 40% and 90%, depending on the sta- tions characteristics and the periods considered. ’Natural’ means that we do not have within a defined confidence interval a definitely positive an- thropogenic contribution and, therefore, only a marginal anthropogenic contribution can not be excluded.

    • You apparently do not know about the credibility and trustworthiness of EIKE, or else you wouldn’t pass these things along so naively.

    • no idea who EIKE is. exactly what did i naively pass on?

    • Well, EIKE is a German lobbying organization. You can read on their website every bull**** that has ever been said about the climate. You can “learn” there, that CO2 is no greenhous gas, that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist, that it is neglible, that CO2 bands are fully saturated, that more CO2 is per se good as it greens the planet. You could also learn that the world has not warmed at all, that is has warmed but the warming is natural, that is has warmed but warmer is good, that is has warmed but it is mainly UHI, etc, etc… that this also contradicts doesn’t matter, because the one and only goal of EIKE is to lobby against any anthropogenic effect on the climate. It doesn’t matter to them how ridiculous or contradicting something is, as far as it fits into their picture against AGW, they are happy to promote it.

      Just think of any absolutely nonsensical claim, which you know that it is simply wrong, but for one thing you can be sure: EIKE will have it on their webpage.

      Just for a taste:
      Finally proven – CO2 is not a greenhouse gas and even cools the earth:
      http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/news-anzeige/physik-und-chemie-ganz-kurz-warum-die-treibhausgase-die-atmosphaere-kuehlen/

      Surely, you will get a veeeerry credible paper from them…

    • Neven,

      Why don’t you read the paper and debunk it?

    • Don Monfort, how many times do I have to debunk a paper by EIKE before I can stop taking them seriously? Remember, there is only 24 hours in a day. Why do I have to keep investing time in people who are repeatedly shown to distort/lie/disinform? Why do you insist on that?

      Dr. Curry, for more info on EIKE: EIKE=CFACT

      To quote the blog post: “Do notice how the Europäische Institut für Klima und Energie (EIKE) shares its the president of CFACT-Europe, has the same postal address as CFACT-Europe and the CFACT-people are exactly the same as the people behind EIKE. It’s one of the clearest examples of astroturfing in know, EIKE is a PR-tool dressed up as science.”

      I could bore you with more evidence from German sites, but just keep it in mind. Just like with David Rose/GWPF you sooner or later detect a pattern of systematic disinformation.

    • And CFACT is of course the organisation that pays Marc Morano more than 100K a year to do what he does best. Take for instance this here (like I said, already halfway around the world):

      Climategate 2.0? The Muller Con Unravels! Hid Data? Muller accused by his co-author of ‘trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped’

      You see how fast the circle closes? GWPF -> David Rose -> Anthony Watts -> Marc Morano -> CFACT -> EIKE

      Be careful, first they cheer you on, then they chew you up. That is what they’re doing to Muller now, who fell for the no-warming crock hook, line and sinker. Now that he’s found out it’s wrong and says it (I commend him for it) the witch hunt is on. But oh, how they loved him at first.

    • Neven,

      I am not insisting on anything. I asked you a question. So far, I haven’t seen any evidence that you have debunked any papers, or that you have read any of his papers. You are just running your mouth.

    • Don, investigate EIKE (or CFACT for that matter, or GWPF) and you’ll see I am right. If you need help with the German, I’ll gladly help.

    • Neven,

      OK, I see. You have not really debunked any papers by EIKE. And you want me to debunk them for myself, using some alleged connection with some other acronym, as a proxy for actually doing any real debunking. I can see your lips flapping, but you aren’t saying anything. Do you expect anyone, except a fellow traveler, to take you seriously?

    • Neven
      Let me write some comments about your postings

      With her remarkable Blog, Judy has managed to create an unique high quality discussion platform for all those prepared to openly debate controversial issues of today’s Climate Science, regardless of their preferences and beliefs. You may have noticed though that just because if this openess, Climate.etc is fertile also for trolls, making it sometimes difficult to follow the line of the debate without distraction. Now I feel myself distracted and need to be careful not to become a troll without noticing perhaps.

      Since Judy puts science before politics and more than that, just because of a matter of basic personal integrity and education, she is neither the kind of person that judges technical papers without reading them first nor the one that disqualifies them because of possible affiliations of authors to specific organizations or think tanks, religious beliefs, etc. (BTW: This is one of the secrtes why this blog is so successful). We should follow her example in this respect and refrain from commenting about issues or papers we either don’t fully understand or we haven’t read. What we can do is provide links to comments of people that we consider knowledgeable on the subject.

      If you like to read and (maybe later comment) the paper of (the retired) Prof. Dr. Luedecke, here is the reference:
      Energy & Environment, Vol. 22, No. 6 (Sept. 2011).
      It seems peer reviewed and was possibly done without any funding.

      Judy may appreciate your fatherly advice to shield her from the influence of “nasty” sceptic or lukewarm think tanks and blogs like EIKE, CFACT, GWPF and the like. As some more may be out there eager to brainwash, it would be useful if you provide us with your complete list. Thanks. (Be careful, Judy, you may find some of these people in Santa Fe)!

      Yes, CFACT Europe and EIKE joined forces and share the same office and possibly similar objectives (and so what??). Their office may be just one room in a private house witha desk, bookshelve, Internet connectivity, computer, printer and fax, and hopefully a window and a coffee machine . Do you find this surprising (in our Internet times) for organisations that don’t enjoy generous funding by governments, industries or mega NGOs, but depend exclusively on private donations, conference fees and book sale revenues? The same applies for the GWPF.

    • Does anyone know the term for the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker’s argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing the argument?

    • That is not going to get any publicity. And will definitely make AR5.

    • Neven @2.23

      Whilst you have agreed that our lap dogs are trouncing your lap dogs I have to concede that your conspiracy theories are world class.

      Ps I am willing to be funded by CFACT at a bargain 50% of the Morano rate. Can you let them know please?
      tonyb

    • Well, if you have no conscience, I’m sure they’ll let you apply. Are you that eager to sell your soul?

    • Nefen

      The trouble is that the big fat pay cheques from Big oil stopped coming :)
      tonyb

    • I guess they figured out that you will do it for free. Even more profit to them. Not that they’re spending a lot of money on disinforming think thanks like Cato, GMI, Heartland, Heritage, SPPI, GWPF, Fraser, AFP, EIKE/CFACT, AEI, ATI, etc… etc… But still, profit is profit. I don’t know if they are thankful when they think of you and the rest of your middle-aged white male hordes, but I’m quite certain they are laughing over champagne.

      In the end it’ll turn out to be the cheapest propaganda campaign ever run. Of course the price paid by all will be high.

      But keep at it, tonyb. Don’t let a stupid commie warmingista like me deter you or sow doubt in your mind. Do the plutocrat elite’s handiwork for free.

    • I hope not… Don

      Peer review and credibility as scientists should be the goal.. not publicity of unsound science.. aka pseudo-science.. didn’t we learn anything from climate-gate? i guess stupidity will be painful… AGAIN

      Muller has played the stupid card by rushing to print so they could make the AR5… agenda trumps science… AGAIN

      Bill

    • That paper is a Gem. Very simple hypothesis and nice and simple statistics.

    • Steven Mosher

      The paper is crock.

      1. The method of selecting stations ( 10.5% lacuna) is not tested as a sensitivity
      2. Looks like they infill
      3. they rely on GISS metadata for population ( out of date), elevation ( manafestly inaccurate)
      4. I see no code and data posted for it. I see no station list.

      Mannian and Jonesian traceability.

      Fail. not worth looking at.

      Its very simple Don. The metadata in every public inventory, GISS, GHCN,.. every last one of them is wrong and full of errors. GIGO.
      That work has to be done from scratch using the best data sources available. Otherwise the answers are crap.

    • Steve, did odd that they get the same distribution of heating/cooling stations as BEST isn’t it?

    • Steven Mosher

      its the same distribution we all get, roughly speaking. Nothing surprising at all. The conclusions one draws from it are speculative at best.

      However, the fact that they got the same answer as those of us who post actual data and code doesnt mean that they get to bootstrap on the real work. Anymore than people who “confirmed” mann bootstraped his plausaibility.

      This is a test for your integrity. you either demand that science be published with the means to check the work or you sleep with Mann and Jones. choose wisely.

    • (GI+GO)=O

    • Wow! Such a simple shortcut in doing science.

    • Steven Mosher

      Go figure. I am under no rational obligation to defend or find fault with “papers” that do not publish the means to check the work. papers are not science. papers are advertisements for science. The real science is the data as used and the code as run.

    • “the real science is in the data….and the code”

      Claptrap.

      The science is in understanding what it means and how it explains physical reality.

    • The best thing about Ludecke’s is the ironic possibility that the IPCC results would have to be slightly edited as: Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely NOT due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentration

      Sort of like the Wicked Bible

    • The conclusions in this paper strike me as quite untenable for many reasons, but I’ll mention one that I’ve cited elsewhere and is relevant to many discussions about “natural fluctuations” – i.e. variability within the climate system rather than imposed by a forcing that changes the balance between incoming and outgoing energy. For the intervals under discussion, the question raised revolves around anthropogenic forcing from greenhouse gases, but it would also be relevant to assigning a role to unforced variability vs a different forcing mechanism such as solar variations.

      The authors infer a predominant role for unforced variability in the interval 1956-2005. This is a testable proposition, because we have relevant data. For internal changes in global surface temperature (i.e., not due to an externally imposed flux imbalance), the surface warming must represent a redistribution of heat from somewhere else. The only “somewhere else” in the climate system with sufficient heat capacity is the oceans, which means that the surface warming would have necessarily been associated with a substantial heat loss and temperature reduction in the oceans over the 1956-2005 interval. In fact, the data show the opposite- a long term gain in ocean heat content and temperature (with some short term dips and bumps consistent with short term natural fluctuations). These ocean data conclusively exclude more than a minor role at most for natural variability as a source of the 1956-2005 warming. It’s true that the paper addressed land station data, but to imply that the oceans had exhibited forced warming while the land had not is incompatible with the physics that require land to warm faster than oceans from a forced response due to their lower heat capacity.

      In essence, the paper has drawn conclusions that cannot be close to accurate.

    • Fred, you analysis only works if there is a global temperature which manifests itself through out the globe.
      Now it is also possible that switching from potatoes to corn, changes the micro-climate around a particular station. One of the things we do know is that there has been changes in every micro-climate, everywhere. You think all these changes are due to CO2, some people suspect that human activities like building roads, building, irrigation ditches or even changing paints has an impact.
      I do like the fact that you didn’t even bother to read it the publication before interjecting your conclusion.

      “In essence, the paper has drawn conclusions that cannot be close to accurate.”

    • I read it. It’s conclusions are untenable for the reasons cited. Building roads is not natural variability, but in addition, we know the general extent of land use changes and their contribution to temperature change. They are real but small.

      Your statement that I think all the temperature changes are due to CO2 is not based on anything I said. I don’t think that, but we have more than ample evidence that most warming during the stated interval was due to CO2 and other GHGs. That evidence was described in more detail in a previous thread on “defending uncertainty”.

    • So we have 2/3 of stations showing heating and 1/3 showing cooling. We can calculate the signal/noise at each station and so can work out the odds that we are looking at a real rise or a random fluctuation. We have this analysis and you start wittering on about ‘forcing’.
      Displacement activity Fred, just displacement activity.
      You cannot even discuss any analysis without using warmista jargon.
      Forcing indeed, you can’t even use standard thermodynamic/kinetic descriptions. Flux, Fred, flux.

    • Fred likes the comfortable simplicity Consensus Big Climate’s CO2 control knob meme. If CO2 ain’t forcing it, it ain’t happening. Natural variability was bludgeoned to death, with the hockey stick.

    • “Your statement that I think all the temperature changes are due to CO2 is not based on anything I said. I don’t think that, but we have more than ample evidence that most warming during the stated interval was due to CO2 and other GHGs. That evidence was described in more detail in a previous thread on “defending uncertainty”.”

      It seems to me that if global temperatures remain the same as average 20th century temperatures, over “enough time” glaciers will continue to recede and oceans will warm.
      Or the warming period starting from the LIA has caused oceans to warm and glacier to recede in about last two hundred years.

      A result from a warmer ocean is a release of CO2- and from ice core record this seems a measurable net result. Measuring additional CO2 in the atmosphere may be easier or more accurate than trying to measure
      the actual average temperature of the ocean.
      Or If you attempt measure ocean temperatures in the past- using proxies, such remains dead sea life in sediments- this should be related to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
      If the average temperature of the ocean were to increase by say .01 C
      over a 100 year period that should result in release of large quantity of CO2 from the ocean and one able to measure the C02 increase more
      accurately then result ocean temperature on ocean life or thermometers.

      It seems to me that doubling of Human emission of CO2- every decade of so, has not affected the measured amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by a very significant amount. It seems the global carbon cycle is very large and dynamic process as compared to human emission.
      Though human emission CO2 does seem to measurable, and since human emission is knowable- we have measure the coal, etc mined and comsumed, this could be used calibrate the amount CO2 being released from the ocean.

    • If the average temperature of the ocean were to increase by say .01 C over a 100 year period that should result in release of large quantity of CO2 from the ocean and one able to measure the C02 increase more
      accurately then result ocean temperature on ocean life or thermometers.
      .01 C won’t do much unless you are talking about the average over the entire volume. The activation energy is around 0.2 eV. What is really important is the top layer and how well that mixes over time.

      Though human emission CO2 does seem to measurable, and since human emission is knowable- we have measure the coal, etc mined and comsumed, this could be used calibrate the amount CO2 being released from the ocean.
      Do you want to volunteer? I have been working this at http://theoilconundrum.com so if you want to lift a finger and help, I don’t mind.
      Fine also if you just want to yap and yammer away.

    • If the average temperature of the ocean were to increase by say .01 C over a 100 year period that should result in release of large quantity of CO2 from the ocean and one able to measure the C02 increase more
      accurately then result ocean temperature on ocean life or thermometers.

      .01 C won’t do much unless you are talking about the average over the entire volume. The activation energy is around 0.2 eV. What is really important is the top layer and how well that mixes over time.

      Though human emission CO2 does seem to measurable, and since human emission is knowable- we have measure the coal, etc mined and comsumed, this could be used calibrate the amount CO2 being released from the ocean.

      Do you want to volunteer? I have been working this at http://theoilconundrum.com so if you want to lift a finger and help, I don’t mind.
      Fine also if you just want to yap and yammer away.

    • Fred, Your whole analysis depends on a semantic trick. They refer in their paper to “natural variability” and contrast that to “anthropogenic contribution.” Your notion of forced vs. unforced is the standard canard that obfuscates the issue.

      There are “natural” changes in forcings all the time like solar forcings. Aerosols are another example that can be natural or anthropogenic. Solar forcing is just now starting to be understood better and is tremendously subtle and complex. The meridianal distrubition of solar forcing can apparently cause an ice age.

      The question here is how to disentangle the natural from the anthropogenic. We have ample evidence that natural forcings can produce huge changes in climate. What the role of CO2 was in that is not conclusively determined by lapse rate arguments which are only valid in the tropics and are equilibrium arguments. By the way, I have a detailed post on this on another thread. The more I look into it, the more oversimplified these models look to me.

    • David – If they are referring to natural external forcings, their argument falls apart completely, because we have observational data on those with a warming influence during that interval. In fairness to them, I treated their reference to “fluctuations” as unforced. That seems to be what they meant in stating:

      “However, the most important characteristic of long-term correlated temperature records is that they include fluctuations that appear to be deterministic trends, but are actually quite natural.”

      That was the distinction they were attempting, and not a distinction between deterministic (externally forced) trends due to GHGs vs solar changes. However, they themselves appear to be quite confused about the distinctions because they use “trends” vs “natural” as though they were addressing “anthropogenic forcing” vs “natural forcing”. “Trends” and “natural” are of course not antithetical.

      There are other serious errors in the paper, but their failure to recognize that long term ocean increases in heat content precludes any interpretation other than an externally imposed trend by itself invalidates their conclusions.

    • Fred, You keep saying that the natural forcings are known. That is surely wrong. Why are we doing the CERN experiment? Why are we debating aerosols? Give me a break. It looks to me that the main basis for their conclusion is that their temperature record differs from others quite a bit (see figure 8 in the paper). Given their record it appears quite plausible to me obvious that natural fluctuations are causing the changes because the linear slope from 1900-1940 is roughly equal to that from 1980-2010. Once again, it boils down to the question of data reliability. Fred, you must be kidding me with all this ocean heat stuff, etc. The issue is not that at all.

    • It could be that their stations are cherry picked. That’s something I would like to see some comment on.

    • Fred, in the words of Reagan, There you go again.
      In Freds universe, the Earth is isothermally static and temperature only changes with a ‘forcing’.
      Natural forcing are natural and everything else is human. Climate scientists know the identity and size of every natural forcing and the Earths temperature record since the last ice age is flat.
      Now, read the paper and address their point on the slope distribution.

    • At this point, it’s best for interested readers to read our comments and also the paper. That its conclusions are untenable for the reasons I cited will I hope be obvious to readers familiar with climate dynamics, forcing data, and ocean heat data. Those reasons are not the only errors, but I think they are sufficient to invalidate the conclusions.

    • Fred, Let me be clear. I’m not saying this paper is right. What I am saying is that your reasons for rejecting it out of hand are wrong. They have a fundamentally different temperature trend over the last century and that I suspect supports their conclusions. The issue boils down (as is always the case in this primitive field) to the question of the data and the many adjustments that people apply.

    • David, I am confused about your concerns. In the past you seemed to really harp on the physical aspects and doing the fluid dynamics correctly. Now, this paper seems only concerned on extracting statistical properties from the data and mostly model-free or fractal properties at that.
      Fred is pushing for the deterministic aspects which I thought would be up your alley, so I am not sure why you are adopting a different stance now.

      I am ambivalent because I think the statistics of disorder are significant, but it will take me a while to digest what Ludecke is trying to do as I state elsewhere in this thread.

    • Web, I agree there appears to be a disconnect, but its superficial. I distrust Fred’s posts because his posts all rely on verbal descriptions of balances of various phenomena and physical forcings. I believe that these are dramatic simplifications based on my experience in fluid dynamics, where Fredian logic is characteristic of the 1960′s. In the last 50 years a much more detailed understanding has come out of more detailed models and a lot of test data. Fred has no comment of Held’s blog which shows that his fascination with verbal constructs from simple models is questionable. Fred seems unaware of these issues. And he never responds when these are mentioned. He just seems to fall back on literature that is based on simplified models that are questionable. This distrubs me. I don’t know if this paper is right. I just think that Fred’s reasons are not right. The issue is that their temperature construction is different than the received datasets. the question is really not Fred’s obfuscations, but whether their dataset has any relation to reality. Fred, I love you, but you have too much respect for the authority of the literature and the simplified models that are used. Check out Darmofal and Krakos in AIAA Journal for the problem with steady state models for the lapse rate.

    • I need to be specific here. Krakos and Darmolfal show that in a simple flow model, the equilibrium model is in error by a factor of 2. Fred, you need to get educated on modern understandings of the Navier-Stokes equations. Equilibrium models can be very wrong. Think about this Fred, and don’t just point me to more literature based on equilibrium models.

    • David – I’d love to have my understanding of Navier-Stokes updated, but neither Navier-Stokes nor equilibrium concepts seem to have much relevance to the paper we’re talking about. (Are we actually talking about the same paper?) The problem with the paper I described (among many problems) is more related to the First Law of Thermodynamics than to any of these other principles, because there is no way the Earth’s surface can gain heat over the course of 50 years, warming despite radiating away some of the extra heat to space, without it having come from somewhere else that lost the heat. If the somewhere else is not an external source, it would have to be the ocean. I’ve elaborated on this again in my reply to WebHubTelescope below,. It also became clear to me from comments I saw later that the group that put out this paper has no credibility in science based on many other claims they’ve made, but that’s a peripheral issue.

      I sometimes have trouble responding to points you make because I find them to be generalizations rather than specifically directed to a particular statement or quantitative value in the topic under discussion. If you want to go over my evidence invalidating this paper, provide very specific quantitative details that you think lead to different conclusions, and then explain, with available data, how your quantitations work better to yield those conclusions, that could be worthwhile, but I think that generalizations about what is wrong with modern science and the literature is less helpful.

    • It will take a while to digest this paper by Ludecke. First of all, it appears to me that they are trying to determine if the trends can be explained by a random walk type of process. Their Figure 2 is a classic view of the random walk standard deviation excursion which will follow the alpha=0.5 line for uncorrelated movements. Most of curves are higher than 0.5 so whatever happening is not random. They suggest that may indicate fractal, but I may be missing the evidence they have for that. Detrending on this is very important as a trend that is linearly increasing with time will quickly go toward alpha=1 or higher, yet the detrending is also dependent on the length of the data set which may introduce artifacts.

      The other interesting point is they look at exceedance probabilities. I have recently been doing this against the Vostok data. Look at the bottom of the page: http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/10/vostok-ice-cores.html and this figure:
      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-k1vYjQ8Qthk/TqdulOhrSEI/AAAAAAAAAko/0H9kUnzIcZs/s1600/vostok_temperature_changes.gif
      I am trying to understand the Ludecker approach in terms of their model and how they determine the probability of whether a temperature change will be exceeded or not. If it is not a random walk change, then that change is model specific. I think what needs to be done is generate exceedance plots (or my cumulative plots) for various time scales.

      The Vostok shows multi-scale effects (fractal?) in that the probability plots look different at different time scales. For example, at the 1500 year scale, an asymmetry clearly shows up:
      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4M-c3jfB5Ng/TqdukApaX6I/AAAAAAAAAkY/P4yhIc6ZaDA/s1600/vostock_ice_temp_change.gif
      which describes a preference for faster warming than cooling, with an average zero temperature change over several hundred thousand years.

      Lots of chances for doing exploratory data analysis is the only bottom-line I see so far.. Fractal analysis is difficult because the excursions are not that strong in temperature and you really need a large dynamic range to pull in the fractal characteristics (i.e. this is not flooding volume data which ranges in orders of magnitude). All they have is time to increase the dynamic range and the time span is not large in the BEST records.

    • WHT – I’ll take advantage of the fact that your comment still has a “reply” link to repeat a point I made above to David Young and DocMartyn.

      The paper’s conclusions are completely untenable, but that is not because of the mathematics but rather the physics. For the data between 1956 and 2005, the authors claimed that a non-deterministic fluctuation was the most probable explanation for the observed warming rather than a long term trend driven by a radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere. (TOA). They cite greenhouse gases as the forcing of interest – however their analysis doesn’t tell us anything about what would cause the forced trend they claim to have rejected, but rather asks whether such a trend existed.

      The ocean data show that the answer is yes. Ocean heat content and temperature increased in a consistent fashion over that interval, with short term ups and downs as punctuation. This can only be the result of net heating of the climate system from a forced imbalance at the TOA. The alternative would have been a fluctuating redistribution of heat within the climate system that happened by chance to end up in the warmer rather than cooler direction. Such a redistribution, however, would require the ocean.to have lost heat content to the surface from within itself, and to have cooled over the specified interval because there is no other source of climate heat sufficient to warm the surface. Whether this process fluctuated or was monotonic is beside the point – the end result would have been substantial heat loss rather than the heat gain observed.

      The non-deterministic fluctuation they infer can be conclusively excluded on this basis as a major factor although a very minor contribution is not excluded. Their results don’t tell us that the trend responsible for their data was anthropogenic, but we can infer that it was mostly anthropogenic by comparing the strength of the known forcings during the interval. Of those mediating warming (ghgs, solar, and black carbon changes), anthropogenic ghgs exhibited substantially greater forcing potency than the others combined.

      The paper has other significant flaws as well.

      I don’t think this paper would have passed peer review by reviewers who were objective but also familiar with climate dynamics, which is perhaps one reason it didn’t appear in a reputable climate-related journal. I have never heard of the journal it actually appeared in, so I can’t say whether or not it has a reputation for scientific quality outside of the climatology arena. I’m also somewhat troubled that the authors have apparently attempted to use the blogosphere to call attention to work that would be seen as incompetent within science itself.

    • Since making the above comment, I’ve noticed upthread some information suggesting that the entire group from which this paper originates is of questionable credibility. By itself, that shouldn’t affect how we perceive the paper, but it does help explain to me why the paper itself lacks credibility.

    • I definitely get your point, in that when there are obvious forcing elements, you can’t just sweep these under the rug as Ludecke et al have done. I always think in terms of the master equation and the analogy is that they are only talking about the diffusion terms and ignoring the forcing field terms. You have to know when those apply and when they don’t. I have been treading this territory of context-free statistics vs physics modeling for awhile now, so anytime I see a fractal explanation for something, I can usual explain it by standard continuity physics with some constraint driven disorder thrown in. There are no constraints to anything that Ludecke describe! Those random walk excursions can walk to absolute zero unless they place it under some physical context.

      That is also why that I was so puzzled by David Young’s defense of the paper. Even though he has since explained it, the context-free nature of the paper makes it useful only for generating some ideas.

    • “This can only be the result of net heating of the climate system from a forced imbalance at the TOA”

      It obviously can’t be explained by a combination of switching the measurement of temperature from leather buckets, to inlet manifolds, to changes in the draft of ocean going vessels, to the use of different types of thermometers, a change in the routes taken by ships or anything else.
      You faith in the interaction with human being taking temperature measurements and to averaged steady state thermodynamic/kinetic data converted into equilibrium box models is a touching example of the modern religious experience.

    • curryja | October 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm | …
      Ludecke just sent me a link to their recently published paper:
      curryja | October 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm | …
      Ludecke just sent me a link to their recently published paper:
      http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/How_natural.pdf
      How Natural is the Recent Centennial Warming? An Analysis of 2249 Surface Temperature Records? ..[The linear trend] decreases to 0.41 0C [per century] if restricted to stations with a population of less than 1000 and below 800 meter above sea level.

      Funny. Perhaps it is just coincidence but 0.41degC/century is exactly the same as the linear trend of the official HadCRUT3 global land/sea data set between 1850 and 2010. I have been monitoring this data set every year for the past 8 years and the trend has hardly changed.

      Given this (official) data, what I cannot understand in this climate debate is why alarmists cannot see that:

      (a) The long term trend of 0.41degC/century is not in the slightest degree alarming.
      (b) This trend is almost certainly largely natural (because the bulk of the time series, and therefore the bulk of the trend, long predates the large increases in man-made atmospheric CO2 that occurred post-World War II).
      (c) The apparently alarming short term rise between 1970 and 2000 that caused so much excitement and anguish in the hay day of warmism is obviously just the rising half of a 60+ year natural ocean cycle (this is seen clearly in the red 11-year runing mean line in the following graph: http://www.thetruthaboutclimatechange.org/tempsworld.html )

      In other words, the official Hadley data confirms the null hypothesis (“climate change is natural”) and renders impotent all alarmist anthropogenic global warming theories and propaganda. For those who are still genuinely concerned, we will all be able to continue to monitor this data year by year. Only if the behaviour of the world temperature series departs from this long term trend of 0.41degC per century will it be worthwhile to re-open the book on any of the alarmist hypotheses.

  40. The BEST project represented the last best chance of convincing sceptics that there was a rational numeric basis for entertaining the science behind the theory of global warming. It’s proven to be a failure for two reasons.

    The first is that even before going through any review process, it’s being trumped by the propaganda machine as being “proof” of things that are clearly outside its quite limited mandate, which my understanding was to come up with a temperature dataset that both sides could agree upon as being accurate; a basis for discussion going forward. For any skeptic, to “accept” the BEST product, now means we have to accept the whole theory of global warming; plainly not acceptable. Over and above this, I have severe professional doubts on the statistical methods being used, to put it mildly.

    The second one is interpersonal. I believe I previously expressed the feeling on this blog that Prof. Muller looked to be an attention seeker basking in the attention from both sides and that us sceptics shouldn’t expect much from him. Given his briefings to selected journalists and the interchangeability of his usage of skeptic and denier dependent on the audience, I wouldn’t trust any product with his name on it.

    Your name is on it too Judith. Perhaps time to rethink its usage?

    Pointman

  41. This may be a subtle point, but may give you a hint regarding the intent of the Daily Mail. That mug shot was rather unflattering. The picture of Muller was a lot more flattering. How did they come upon the respective pictures?

    • I think you can read that many ways. You could have the ‘grumpy’ Dr Curry from ‘prestigious’ Georgia Tec, with 30 years experience ‘furious’ with sloppy, misleading comments by publicity-hungry co-worker.
      The pic isn’t flattering, but has more gravitas than loony-laughing-lightweight!

    • Of course, Occam’s razor says that they sent some unpaid intern off to the internet to find pictures, and these were the first ones that came up.

      As for your “gravitas” interpretation, that would be an interesting study in psychology. My bet is that most people don’t react that way. Most people react to the smiling guy they same way they react to the smiling salesman. They end up buying it. But it would be an interesting study.

  42. Actually this should all proof very interesting.. ie the BEST dataset and it’s availability is an excellent step forward… yet Prof Muller apparent claims that no reasonable person can be sceptical, damages it’s credibility (the cause has been the main issue , UHI data issues aside, but no one doubts some warming in last 150 years)

    I also just bought the print edition of the Daily Mail on Sunday..

    The article is a double page spread (pg10 & 11), no other articles

    Thgus highly prominent, read by many millions of people.. at the very least it should prompt some debate. Many people rubbish the DM as a ‘tabloid’, yet this does not mean a 7 million plus readership cannot make up their own minds or read between the lines.. IE no one who reads the Guardian or Daily Mail thinks that they are neutral..

    A DOUBLE page article. Time to get the popcorn

  43. Judith,
    “this is a very good data set, the best we currently have available for land surface temperatures. To me, this should have been the big story: a new comprehensive data set, put together by a team of physicists and statisticians with private funds. ”

    And as we know the BEST results confirm the science, confirm Hadley, confirm Jones et al. The role of BEST here was to see if there had been biases in the global temperature analysis. They found none.

    There is no scientific scandal here for sure, but as is often the case with the daily mail, huge ethical issues regarding poor journalism and distortions of science.

    • Latimer Alder

      Just in case any non-UK readers are in doubt, The Daily Mail and ist sister paper The Mail on Sunday are teh leading mid-market newspapers in the UK. They are noted especially for their appeal to women and (recently) a mildly sceptical view on climate change. Typically the MoS sells about 2 million copies per edition.

      By contrast, the leading rabid alarmist newspaper on a Sunday is The Observer, noted for appealing to public sector workers and meeja types. Unsurprisingly its sales are much lower – under 300,000. George Monbiot, who many may know of, is a leading writer for The Observer.

  44. @Pointman

    Too early to call it a failure yet. With hopefully free access to raw data, more than one pair of expert eyes can analyse, draw conclusions and disseminate those conclusions.

    There are already interesting consequences for historical reconstruction for instance that might speak to the “unprecedented” nature of 20C warming.

    From this POV it could still be an enormous success.

  45. 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.

    • The thing that bothers me about that WSJ piece is that he waited until the very end before mentioning – oh by the way – that the trends don’t say anything about attribution. If the piece wasn’t designed to mislead, it’s a pretty amazing coincidence how it was structured just like one that is.

    • Don:

      ‘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.”

      I have double checked this. It is roughly correct. I performed the test with their station data and with Modis. I performed the test using the raster package of R. If you look at the sites they classify at rural
      the average population ( in that 120 sq miles) is less than 10 people per sq km. many of them have zero population. If you look at the urban sites, the population density is in the hundreds.

      I believe that people are shifting their definition of rural to pristine. on one hand they complain about the UHI of tokoyp with millions of people and when you show then a site with a shed they suddenly imagine UHI comes from every place. They ignore the science of OKE, ignore what we see from space, There are rural sites. I will tell you something else. You can find a difference between Rural and urban. Its no negative. but you need better methods than BEST uses. thats all I will say.

    • Steven Mosher,

      Well, maybe you would agree that Muller telling people in the WSJ that he compared urban, to very rural sites far from urban areas, was bullshit. Because that implies that they did compare urban areas to pristine, or nearly pristine areas.

      I looked at what BEST said in their UHI paper. They point out that GHCN sites are heavily overweighted with urban sites, 27% are cities of over 50,000 pop. And we know that a large percentage of the remainder of sites are areas that have significant human presence. They just don’t have many thermometers in unpopulated areas. It is difficult for me to believe that 41% of the 39,000 sites they studied are in what they classify as very rural areas.

      Look at figures 2 and 4, in BEST’s UHI paper:

      http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_UHI

      Enlarge them to see detail. Compare what you see with this map of megacities:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2006megacities.PNG

      It seems apparent to me that what they are calling very rural areas-black dots in figure 2-are as likely or more likely to be near megacities, as they are to be in the boondocks. This is most evident in Australia, South America, and Africa.

      Looking at figure 4, depicting the long-term cooling and warming sites in the US, it seems apparent that the warming sites-red dots-are most concentrated where big cities are located. And it seems really strange that long-term cooling sites are so well-mixed with long-term warming sites. But maybe it is the very nice single-malt scotch that I drink at this time of night.

    • Steven Mosher,

      Well, maybe you would agree that Muller telling people in the WSJ that he compared urban, to very rural sites far from urban areas, was bullcrap. Because that implies that they did compare urban areas to pristine, or nearly pristine areas.

      I looked at what BEST said in their UHI paper. They point out that GHCN sites are heavily overweighted with urban sites, 27% are cities of over 50,000 pop. And we know that a large percentage of the remainder of sites are areas that have significant human presence. They just don’t have many thermometers in unpopulated areas. It is difficult for me to believe that 41% of the 39,000 sites they studied are in what they classify as very rural areas.

      Look at figures 2 and 4, in BEST’s UHI paper:

      http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_UHI

      Enlarge them to see detail. Compare what you see with this map of megacities:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2006megacities.PNG

      It seems apparent to me that what they are calling very rural areas-black dots in figure 2-are as likely or more likely to be near megacities, as they are to be in the boondocks. This is most evident in Australia, South America, and Africa.

      Looking at figure 4, depicting the long-term cooling and warming sites in the US, it seems apparent that the warming sites-red dots-are most concentrated where big cities are located. And it seems really strange that long-term cooling sites are so well-mixed with long-term warming sites. But maybe it is the very nice single-malt scotch that I drink at this time of night.

  46. @MrSean2K.

    Hello. Unfortunately, in politics, perception is all. It’s a tarnished product before it’s even seen the post peer-reviewed daylight. Dogs and fleas etc etc.

    In terms of the collapsing political will behind the GW movement, it was their last best chance too. The sheer clumsiness of the announcement of the results puts it beyond the pale.

    Pointman

    • Latimer Alder

      Their last best chance was Copenhagen. But the gods decreed snow and Climategate instead. Its been downhill ever since..just with a varying slope from time to time.

      We are witnessing the slow collapse of a once mighty empire. No new science, nothing new to say, politicos and journos bored witless on the topic and the general public rushing headlong from a vague agreement to somewhere between apathy and active hostility.

      Those who nailed their colours to the AGW mast in the expectations of a quick and total victory still go through the motions – as they must But their day has passed. Nobody is really scared of any mild global warming – however caused – any more. Certainly not scared enough to spend big money on it. The carpetbaggers will go elsewhere.

      So belief on CAGW will become a minority interest for a few well-meaning cranks. A cross between a Start Trek convention and the old UK Liberal Party…beards, sandals and pointy heads. Quaint but irrelevant.

    • From April of this year

      http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/so-where-are-we-now-with-global-warming/

      As soon as the economy crashed, the excesses of better times did too. It just took the enthusiasts in their bunker a time to realise it. We’re all broke now.

      Pointman

    • Latimer Alder

      Excellent post Pointman. It seems that we are in near complete agreement. All around you begin to see real concrete signs of the dying of the political will to fund the scam (bar n Australia).

      Today, it is conifidently expected that UK will anounce severe reductions in the bribes (polite term = subsidies) that people are paid to put useless solar panels on their roofs. So instead of being obscenely generous they will be coming down to merely extremely generous. And changes to windmill bribes to reduce the number of useless things that are profitable.

      Our Chancellor (finance minister) has already said that we will no longer attempt to commit economic suicide by a go-it-alone policy of drastic cuts in emissions while others sit on the sidelines and hug themselves with glee. But the main point is that green policy is now viewd as just another government expenditure sink, subject to the politics and economics of the time like any other area. And when it becomes unpopular with the voters, it’ll be cut still further.

      Our Cabinet Minister (Huhne) responsible for climate change is a busted flush…for taking far too greenist a line he has become sidelined in the Cabinet and his deputy is doing all the work. Plus a very embarrassing misadventure over ‘perverting the ocurse of justice’ is still hanging over him. He is not long for his post. o be replaced by somebody without the ideological baggage

      The economic Eurozone is in crisis. As they thrash around trying to escape from the mess they are in, there is not a peep about emissions or windmills. Bar the Greens in Germany It is simply not on their agenda.

      And all these changes are pretty irreversible. We’ve had thirty years of global warming hysteria. North of 100 billion dollars spent on investigating it. Daily headlines that ‘its worse than we thought’ Constant propaganda in the schools and on the telly. More faked pictures of cute polar bears than you could shake a stick at.

      And still nothing much has happened. We’ve had lots of weather…but that happens every year. Anybody younger that thirty has been expecting instant thermageddon every day since their fifth birthday. And it ain’t happened. We have warming fatigue.

      Once a craze has passed it can never be revived to its previous intensity. The world has moved on. Even some of the previosu crazies give up on it.

      And that is the state of global warming alarmism today. Yesterday’s craze. Last year’s fashion. Terminally boring and well past its sell-by-date.

      It won’t be missed.

    • Just so, Latimer, but I remember global cooling, and the almost preternatural manner in which the Gaia-botherers were able to transition seamlessly and unreproved from that delicious hysteria into new, improved, global warming hysteria, without turning a hair. I agree that the folly of warming has taken us a lot further down the road to our mutual ruination than cooling ever did (I write from Sydney), but that may simply be an indication that whatever succeeds CAGW will be even more monumentally crazy than the Salem trial of carbon.

      Unless we can find a way of punishing the serial catastrophists for their folly, they’ll just find some new scary conjecture to fetishise, and the useless, wealth-destroying policy that has already flowed from CAGW will fester on the statute books of the world, where it will be observed by the anglosphere and the EU and ignored by everybody else, instead of being repealed to a chorus of rancorous applause, as it should be. And it will be joined by whatever Swiftian schemes flow from The Next Big Scare.

      The best punishment, IMO, is likely to be ridicule. And not being afraid to kick them when they’re down – keeping the mad joke going long after the Gaia-botherers wish we’d just shut up about it, like they have. It’s not so much CAGW that we’re up against, but the appetite in Western Civilization for penitence narratives. Next to that, disconfirming CAGW is a piece of cake.

  47. i think we would have to conclude that Prof Muller’s professional credibility has been terminated LOL

  48. Dr. Curry, you probably weren’t aware of it, and hopefully now you are, but David Rose has quite a history of misquoting people. He is also one of GWPF’s lap dogs (and GWPF is of course well known for its disinformation and propaganda, as is EIKE).

    Would you please be very careful in not letting yourself be used too much by your FUD spreading new friends?

    • Yes, Judith should limit her public exposure to being used as window dressing for disingenuous warmista publicity stunts, like the BEST effort. You jokers have shot yourselves in the foot again.

    • Neven

      I am somewat incredulous that you should quote Tim Lamberts Deltoid in your attempt to discredit David Rose. Tim Lambert!

      tonyb

    • Tony, I agree with you on that one.

    • May I ask why?

      Tim Lambert provides evidence why David Rose is not to be trusted.

    • Good on ya, miss Curry! Keep going with your gut feelings and ignore the evidence presented by people you don’t like. It will provide you an interesting life.

      Is this the same attitude you wish your opponents on the other side of the mirror embrace?

  49. Dr. Curry,

    I wonder about the juxtaposition of these two sentences in your main post:

    “I agree that the way the data is presented in the graph ‘hides the decline.’”

    and

    “‘Hiding the truth’ in the title is definitely misleading….”

    If “the decline” is the truth, and it was hidden, how was the title “misleading?”

    If “hiding the decline” was dishonest for the hockey stick, how is this somehow more honest?

    I am somewhat reminded that you were previously willing to say that the act of hiding the decline by Mann et al. was dishonest, but not willing to say that scientists involved were personally dishonest for doing so. Is this the same problem – you want to disparage the behavior, but not the actor?

    • Nullius in Verba

      I’m pretty sure a statement like that would have been edited. Most tabloids are written for a reading age of 12.

      In the BEST averaging method paper, on p42 lines 808-812 it is said that the warming rate from 1998 to 2010 is 2.84 C/century, same as for previous decades. I don’t see how that can be right.

      As I mentioned elsewhere, there are some outliers in the data that can shift linear least squares off in various directions (I got over 3 C/century for some intervals), and the assumptions of LLS are violated anyway.

      If this was what Richard was thinking of when he said what he said, it might not have been all exageration. I haven’t worked out yet what data/interval/method was used to derive that trend, it might settle some of the arguments to know if it’s correct.

    • You do realise that 1998 is an outlier, and that anyone who uses it as an endpoint is not being honest?

    • It is not an outlier, it is part of an ENSO which appears to have introduced a regime change.
      See for example: http://www.mediafire.com/file/a9tv9tad9e6216p/UAH_2011_06_19_two_regressions.pdf

    • in looking at those regressions i noticed a rather interesting point. if you took the trend lines out to the horizon they would be parallel. this means that the outliers are within normal function. the rate of incline or decline is the same. in this case about .03 deg C per decade. what caused the sudden divergence at 1997-98? was it a change of functions? CRU/GISS/etc manipulations? Any time I see a rapid divergence I look for failures in the system.. loss of stations.. manipulations..change in procedures and verifications…

      a full deg C in 3-5 years where .03/yr is norm should set off alarm bells

      what is funny about this is the ‘tweakers’ stopped for a few years and suddenly it began to decline. when data is massaged it becomes evident rapidly. its rather funny that satellite data would be the ones they messed with. Considering Dr Hansen has been caught with his hands in that jar several times makes me question the data in full.

      just my 2 Cents…

      Bill

    • Nullius in Verba

      Whether it’s honest or not depends on what they are saying. Any maximum or minimum can be an outlier – you presumably wouldn’t ban the mention of weather extremes, would you?

      If someone says “there’s no global warming” and puts up a graph starting in 1998, that’s dishonest. If someone says “there’s been no global warming in the past few years, and the earliest start year for which you can say that is 1998″ then the choice of date is defined by the question you ask. It is implicit in what was said that it it wouldn’t be true if you went back any further, so it’s not hiding anything.

      “There hasn’t been any global warming in the last ten years” is the same as “there has been global warming over the past sixty years” is the same as “there hasn’t been any global warming over the past one thousand, or eight thousand years” is the same as “there has been global warming over the past twenty thousand years.”

      In each case you pick a date and get a different trend. Doing it from 1900 or 1975 is no more nor less “honest” in itself than doing it from 2000. There is no one right answer to suit every circumstance. It depends what you’re asking.

      And if you classify all intervals giving a warming trend as “honest” and all intervals that don’t as “dishonest”, that’s dishonest.

    • Nullius in Verba,

      Thanks.

      Nullius in Verba said – “And if you classify all intervals giving a warming trend as “honest” and all intervals that don’t as “dishonest”, that’s dishonest.”

      That is a keeper.

      John

    • John Whitman,

      The question of honesty depends on how you view the argument. If you are arguing for a certain verdict on the AGW question then of course you’ll do what you think you have to to get it. You’d be acting just like a lawyer in a court trial.

      On the other hand, if you want to know the correct answer, it is important that you look at everything scientifically. You don’t cherry pick certain points. You weigh all the evidence and make an impartial decison. The analogy would be the way a Judge or a Jury would make their arguments.

    • True enough NIV, except there has not been global warming OVER the last 60 years. If you use HadCRU the only warming DURING the last 60 years was roughly 1978-98, or a 20 year “spurt.” And even that does not show up on UAH. (Yet this is the warming AGW is based on, to the extent that it is based on anything empirical, which is not much.)

    • The linked graph shows you are clearly wrong.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1951/to:2011/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1951/to:2011/trend

      But I think I see what you are trying to say … if you don’t count the warming that occurred over the last 60 years, there has been no warming over the last 60 years.

    • My previous post was in reply to David’s outrageous claim of no warming in the last 60 years of HadCrut data.

    • The 2007 outlier in BEST kind of ruins any chance of them being taken seriously.

    • “the intersection of oil consumption with the greenhouse gas is what has gotten us into this predicament.”

      That’s yet another issue open for scientific discussion, isn’t it? I mean, if the earth is warming at a rapid rate, then the question is “why”, correct? Is that “why” within the realm of this paper?

    • That’s yet another issue open for scientific discussion, isn’t it? I mean, if the earth is warming at a rapid rate, then the question is “why”, correct? Is that “why” within the realm of this paper?

      If you put it that way, then I think that if the GHG effect was not a factor, we would still be in a bind because of fossil fuel depletion. We would also have the same clowns (myself included) battling it out in these discussions. Because when it comes down to it, I personally think oil depletion trumps climate change, and the underlying and fundamental debate is about alternative energy strategies, with the political divisions cast in stone. AGW is partly a smokescreen to get us to the point of making some harsh political decisions.

    • “AGW is partly a smokescreen to get to the point of making some harsh political decisions.”

      Thank you for confirming my suspicion — that this is a scientific window dressing to get things done that people have wanted done for decades. Even if we figure out that human activity has nothing to do with long-term climate, all of those political demands will still be made…. right? It is therefore akin to ancient holy men trying to enforce religious purity by pointing at the weather conditions of that era?

    • WebHubTelescope

      AGW is partly a smokescreen to get us to the point of making some harsh political decisions.

      Did you say that?

      So we are not heating the planet resulting in inundation?

      Thank you. Thank you!

      So we are not heating the planet resulting in inundation?

      Our kids are brainwashed to think otherwise.

      http://bit.ly/rzLXCe

    • Did you say that?

      Sure, but I also believe in scientific discovery and not the mutilated math that you carry on with, Girma.

      This is all an outcome of extracting and burning millions of years worth of buried decayed biotic matter in the timeframe of 100 years. How can anyone miss this perspective?

      and the geek sayeth:

      Thank you for confirming my suspicion — that this is a scientific window dressing to get things done that people have wanted done for decades.

      What does it matter to you now? Obviously it wasn’t done for decades and the crude oil production levels have since peaked globally, and so on to coal and natural gas and whatever low-grade forms of oil-like substance remain.

    • I guess that I grew up believing that science was all about the brave pursuit of TRUTH, of some sort of ABSOLUTE FACTS. IT was immune in some way to the fashion of the day and the winds of emotional politics.

      Now, I see it’s all about jumping on a bandwagon that gets you funding and political power? That the ends justify the means?

      And that it will be much easier if I adopt the attitude, “What does it matter to me.” Silly me, wanting to know THE DAMN TRUTH?

    • You have not showed where the following graph that showed the global mean temperature PATTERN has not changed since record begun 160 years ago.

      http://bit.ly/uQEq8M

      You just say it is wrong.

      Show us how it is wrong.

      The emperor has no cloth regarding AGW!

      THE TRUTH:
      For 160 years, the global mean temperature shows a single pattern that has a warming of 0.06 deg C per decade and an oscillation of 0.5 deg C every 30 years.

    • Here Bruce, I got rid of that outlier and BESTered your graph for you

    • Brian G Valentine

      No, the only business of the paper is to report the news; it is left to the reader who doesn’t need to be Einstein to figure out “why”

      Everybody knows “why”

    • “Everybody knows “why””

      For those of us who obviously are not worth the high-end college degrees we hold, could you spell it out? Cause that Al Gore heat lamp experiment didn’t do it for me….

    • Nullius, I will admit I should have written “anyone who uses it as an endpoint is probably not being honest” But there are people who reject the evidence of the climate scientists who do misuse that endpoint to claim that AGW is not happening. And people who claim to be “sceptics” do not question this dishonest practice, but just repeat the dishonest claims.

      Just like dishonest people are repeating what the Mail says that Dr. Curry said. Too many gullible people repeat any old lie. Me, I believe the vast majority of scientists on global climate change, as well as my own eyes which tell me my home’s climate has changed and not for the better. My area is likely to go from prime farmland to desert in a few years, and no amount of distorting stolen emails will change that.

    • Holly stick

      You can’t judge a (permanently) changing climate by your own life span.
      Where is the general area you live in-I am intrigued at the idea of a change from farmland to desert.
      tonyb

    • So you can judge whether earth is warming or cooling just by measuring 10 years, but cannot see climate change happening over 50 years? Come on, get a sense of proportion!

    • Holly Stick

      They’re better than that, as it appears they use 9.5 years to produce their 10 year graphs.

      At 10 years on BEST, it’s warming.

      This is a corollary of Michael Crichton’s Leavitt’s Rule of 48 from the Andromeda Strain: all skeptics are blind when they want to be.

    • 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, just about any old number of years at which ya wanna look – except 9.5 years.

      What do you think of Tamino’s amputation of the final two months?

    • They are very convenient.

    • TonyB,

      “You can’t judge a (permanently) changing climate by your own life span.”

      Another unsupported assertion!

      Science rejectionists say that global temperatures peaked in either 1998 or 2005, and so AGW stopped then, by definition! If they peak again this year or next year, and its slightly cooler the year after, then it will have stopped again. By definition. The same argument is used over the extent of the arctic ice. That stopped decreasing in 2007. By definition.

      When they tire of being so stupid they then go on to say, but of course climate is always changing and even a lifetime is too short a period. The climate was much warmer millions of years ago when there were dinosaurs around.

      Of course neither of these so called ‘arguments’ has any relevance to whether increased CO2 concentrations is having an effect on our climate. We can see these increase annually. We can’t really see temperature rise from one year to the next, but apply a 5 or 10 year averaging to the annual data and we can.

      Just ask the authors of the BEST papers.

    • I know these peak arguments inside and out having modeled oil depletion and peak oil for several years now. The problematic difference, and why climate is actually more difficult to analyze, is that temperature does not pull from a finite pool of resources. With a non-renewable resource like crude oil, once that peak is hit, that’s it, a new peak (other than in a pathological case) will never occur again. We also have all sorts of ways to confirm that the peak is real.

      Temperature is a roller-coaster in comparison, yet the intersection of oil consumption with the greenhouse gas is what has gotten us into this predicament.

    • Argumentum ad nauseam! Good example!

    • Thats for WebHub

    • It would be less nauseous if the comment didn’t get disconnected from its parent.

    • Nullius in Verba

      “Nullius, I will admit I should have written “anyone who uses it as an endpoint is probably not being honest” But there are people who reject the evidence of the climate scientists who do misuse that endpoint to claim that AGW is not happening.”
      I’ve seen people from both sides do it. Those who start there and those who end there. But I’m not going to try to correct everyone who’s wrong on the internet. Like I say, it depends on the question.

      “Me, I believe the vast majority of scientists on global climate change,”
      Yes, as you say, too many gullible people.
      Nobody knows what proportion of scientists agree with the consensus on any particular climate change question, and there are many. For climate scientists, surveys have given figures around 85% for the core beliefs – a majority, but not a vast one. Surveys of meteorologists and geologists have reportedly given even lower figures. Scientists in other fields, with no particular interest in the subject to have studied it, are not necessarily any more informed than the man in the street, nor any less inclined to blindly accept the authority of “experts”. I would not trust those who say they know the number, nor those who think it matters.

      Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts, and anyone who tries to claim or rely on expertise or authority to make a case is not acting as a scientist. As one scientist said: “No scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully themselves.” (Do please look up the context.) But sadly many have done.

      “My area is likely to go from prime farmland to desert in a few years, and no amount of distorting stolen emails will change that.”
      I understand, but you must surely also know that climates have always changed, and the boundaries of deserts have always shifted. The Sahara was once wet and fertile. It happens naturally.

      One of the worst things is when I see people suffering, who have lost everything they own to the weather, as people have for millions of years, and their suffering is used to sell them new gods. “You are punished for your sins, and for the sins of others, but if only everyone lives the way we tell them to, all will be fine again.” Thus it is the priests take power over our lives. And every prophecy of disaster they construct must inevitably come true because disaster is and always has been our constant companion.

      We have discovered an effective answer to that, but obviously it’s not popular with the sellers of new gods.

      We don’t have to distort anything. You can read the plain meaning of what they say for yourselves.

    • 1998 is not an outlier. It is real data that happened for a real reason. The reason was that there was a huge El Nino. But there was a sustained La Nina for 2 years after that El Nino. The effect on the trend between the short but strong El Nino and the weaker but longer La Ninas was to cancel each other out. Also, there are algorithms for removing the ENSO effect from the instrument record. If you look at an ENSO corrected chart from 1998 and an uncorrected chart from 1998, they have the same trend. So 1998 is a perfectly legitimate starting point if you are trying to answer the question, “For how long has it failed to warm?”

    • Tilo Reber

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:2000.5/trend/plot/best/from:1999.5/to:2009.5/trend/plot/best/from:1998.5/to:2008.5/trend/plot/best/from:1997.5/to:2007.5/trend/plot/best/from:1996.5/to:2006.5/trend/plot/best/from:1995.5/to:2005.5/trend/plot/best/from:1994.5/to:2004.5/trend/plot/best/from:1993.5/to:2003.5/trend

      “Failed to warm” bears no semblence to reality.

      Stayed warm and kept getting warmer at about the same rate is the correct statement for the vast majority of running 10 year trends in the last 17 years of BEST.

    • Best is garbage Bart, for all the reasons that I have given in numerous other posts on this site. It’s an embarrasment that should never have been releases. But I understand why you love it.

    • Tilo Reber

      Yeah, I’ve read your numerous other posts, and the ones since this, and .. I’m unimpressed.

      BEST preliminary is still preliminary. It hasn’t yet passed peer review.

      If all peer review comes up with is the molehill you’ve piled up, or even ten times so much, then BEST remains far above the other datasets in quality and reliability.

      Good work on spotting these minor issues; more than a bit silly to call BEST garbage because of these feeble quibbles.

    • Tilo Reber

      Why is 1998 an invalid starting point?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:13/mean:11/from:1976.5/plot/best/from:1976.5/trend/plot/best-lower/from:1976.5/trend/plot/best-upper/from:1976.5/trend/plot/best/from:1996/trend/plot/best-upper/from:1996/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1976.5/trend/plot/best-lower/from:1996/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/mean:13/mean:11/from:1976.5

      Endpoints is a significant topic in graphical analysis. I spent the majority of two advanced university courses on just endpoints alone, and a large part of those sections on what invalidates an endpoint. It was a great way to get an idea of just how easy it is to manipulate graphs if one is dishonest.

      Among the several indicators 1998 is invalid are:

      1) the point has an extreme difference from the local mean (however well-understood the cause) – this is always a disqualification for selecting an endpoint if more data is available;
      2) the point has a known mechanical distinction from the general state of surrounding datapoints (ie ocean oscillation triplepoint) – this is always a disqualification for selecting an endpoint if more data is available;
      3) the resulting section of graph has low confidence interval – this should disqualify selection of endpoint unless certainty is unimportant and the audience is sophisticated in its understanding of uncertainty;
      4) error bars are already high relative to the length of the run of the trendline, resulting in very great shifts in slope for very small changes in start (sensitivity) – this is always a disqualification for selecting an endpoint if more data is available;
      5) when compared to the nearest qualifying available starting point on the dataset, produces a dramatically different result (ie 1996) – this is always a disqualification for selecting an endpoint if more data is available;

      Look at http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:13/mean:11/from:1976.5/plot/best/from:1976.5/trend/plot/best-lower/from:1976.5/trend/plot/best-upper/from:1976.5/trend/plot/best/from:2000.6/to:2007/trend/plot/best-upper/from:2000.6/to:2007/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1976.5/trend/plot/best-lower/from:2000.6/to:2007/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/mean:13/mean:11/from:1976.5

      Selecting invalid endpoints can lead to any conclusion one wishes.

    • So what is the honest endpoint?

    • the day after the election.

    • So what is the “honest” endpoint?

    • In an old (and somewhat non-PC) movie, Guide for the Married Man, a cheating husband pointed out that wives will believe only what they WANT to believe. Partly, I assume, because of their dependency on the dishonest spouse. Fewer Jeffersonian “stumbles” at skepticalscience, to be sure.

    • Funny that. I think just about every alarmist graph I saw for about five years found ways of ending at, or at the level of 1998. Michael Mann devotes a whole page to it in his risible panic-mongering joke book ‘Dire Predictions’
      Dishonest?

      Surely not..

    • You could prove your own honesty by linking to some of these graphs you claim ended at 1998, because I do not believe you are telling the truth about that. I have seen ample discussion on the science blogs about being careful of that kind of deception.

      Go watch this guy’s talk and you might learn something:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Richard-Milne-separates-skepticism-from-denial.html

    • Holly Stick -

      I must have an amazingly willing nature. I watched your video for 18 minutes. If you believe what this guy says it’s is unlikely that a meaningful conversation can ensue.
      I suppose you think that all scepticism is denial? If I don’t share the consensus view about the magnitude, cause, course, impact, mitigation of and adaptation to global warming am I a denier?
      I only ask because I am indeed, to varying degrees sceptical of the consensus view about the magnitude, cause, course, impact, mitigation of and adaptation to global warming. I think the consensus view is, by and large, wrong.
      Do you think I am a denier?

    • “I must have an amazingly willing nature. I watched your video for 18 minutes. ”
      I couldn’t listen that long. He didn’t mention nuclear energy quick enough- and seemed to think I shouldn’t be allowed to breathe.
      I have zero patience for totalitarians.

    • There is lots of evidence of AGW and more coming in all the time. You are refusing to accept the evidence, for what reasons I do not know. That would suggest you may well be that word that Dr. Curry dislikes however accurate it is.

      If you had watched the whole hour-long talk you would have learned the difference between a true sceptic and the other thing. He thinks its healthy to have a few scientists who contest the science of the majority; but makes a distinction between that and the other thing.

    • Holly, skeptics are not refusing to accept the evidence they just don’t think it amounts to much. The weight of evidence is a personal decision. Moreover, with thousands of papers published each year it may well be that both the evidence for and against AGW are growing, with the balance not changing. In any case this is off topic for this thread.

    • And actually, if there was any real good evidence of AGW, 1000 papers would be unnecessary. Only a few would be needed or even just one clincher. As it is, there’s a lot of grasping at straws… or monkeys bashing on typwriters trying to produce something persuasive.

      Andrew

    • You don’t understand how science works, do you Bad Andrew? Many scientists add their particular findings to a mountain of knowledge. One paper would not do it.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/technical-papers/ccw/references.pdf

    • Holly, don’t confuse mountains of information with mountains of knowledge. They are two different things.

      Andrew

    • Holly Stick | October 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
      There is lots of evidence of AGW and more coming in all the time. You are refusing to accept the evidence, for what reasons I do not know.

      Holly Stick,

      There is a very significant increase of papers saying there are other significant climate dynamics involved that make AGW less significant or insignificant and also more papers showing critical errors in major settled science/consensus AGW papers. The surge in these kinds of papers has taken hold in the scientific community as a broader understanding finally that alarming AGW by CO2 from fossil fuels was an arbitrarily restrictive view based on the IPCC’s confirmation bias.

      John

    • Sorry, John. What about all the complaints by WUWT and such that “sceptics” can’t get their papers published? So where is this surge of papers appearing? Two or three versus thousands? Blog posts don’t count.

    • Holly it doesn’t actually matter how many papers are published, you only need one to be right. Look at the arguments skeptics are making – and by that I mean skeptical scientists whether climate scientists or in related areas of expertise. If you evaluate what those arguments and the evidence they present actually are, then it is extremely difficult to retain confidence in the orthodox “consensus” view. Which is not the same thing as saying it is wrong – another misunderstanding of the skeptical viewpoint – only that the proCAGW view point is way too over confident and unlikely to be correct.

      There are undoubtedly rabid advocates, but they occupy both sides, depending on their agenda they feel is best served by a position on the debate. But don’t think that is all of them, and the scientifically valid arguments they make are the reason why Judith Curry, a climate scientist of some note, supports proper engagement on them.

    • Agnostic, is it 1 or 2?

      1. Evidence can prove a theory. Proof is truth, and truth never changes, so there is no need for additional evidence.

      2. A theory cannot be proved. A theory is an explanation. Evidence can support an explanation, and additional evidence can alter the explanation.

    • M. carey, How do you take your eggs?

    • Used to take them right from under hens. But I stopped eating eggs a long time ago.

    • Very good, Sir. Progress…

    • I managed 7 minutes. Patronising drivel from somebody who apparently didn’t even understand his own key points. I would suggest reading the printed version at http://www.bioafrica.net/manuscripts/deOliveiraHIVDRNature.pdf which is at least short.

      He seems to know a lot about rhododendrons however.

    • Steven Franzen

      Yes. And an abuser of the word scepticism as well. Sceptical “to varying degrees”? You either apply critical thinking to *all* claims or you do not. Or are some claims more equal than others?

    • Steven Franzen

      (Last post in reply to Anteros | October 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm)

    • Jan 2007 in BEST seems to be the outlier. Over .4C warmer than any month in 1998 or ever.

  50. In the climate debate the words skeptic and skepticism are used in a negative intonation . Are these words used in other fields of science?

    In this whole debate I see no scientific method used. Its all about money and politics and temperature data has been so corrupted no one has a clue to actual temperatures.

    In my humble uneducated observation I tend to ride with the sceptics as none are making piles of money therefor no motive except truth.

    • Sorry Holly, but quotes from SS, don’t in any shape or form, resemble “Critical thinking”

    • They actually don’t even resemble ‘thinking’

    • I’m sorry you are not open-minded enough to watch the talk and think about it.

    • Fair point.
      Except that the last 20 times I’ve visited I’ve found nothing but dogmatic, fundamentalist misrepresentations of scepticism for children or the hard-of-thinking.
      And to be fair, I’m familiar with the psychology of denialism, and indeed how it masquerades as scepticism.
      I see the likes of Singer and Monkton for what they are – and really only have time for those that accept the legitimacy of my scepticism.
      Life’s too short

    • Anteros –

      I too am better versed in psychology than global climate. I am also very well schooled in dogma, and the history of various religious movements. I see elements of a religious hysteria in the UN/AGW/Mann global warming movement, and that reason alone tells me to view their findings with suspicion. That, and the $1 billion in grants suddenly available for studies whose intent was to prove AGW, or at least pre-supposed AGW.

    • I started watching it and quit because it was the typical “BBC is unbiased but American media is dominated by the right wing.” Its just the usual sterotyping and refusal to address criticism. And I forgot, the “special interests” try to obfuscate the boundary between legitimate scientific scepticism and “denial.” And, science is losing in the court of public opinion and its because of the evil influence of the right wing.
      This is unworthy of your valuable time, Holly. It’s just emotional crap.

      By the way, check out Skeptical Science’s recent treatment of proxy data. There was a study from Ljundquist. They still are using “Mike’s Nature trick” and thus lose all credibility in my mind. That’s because without it, the proxy data tends to show that today’s climate is not unusual when viewed against the last 2000 years.

    • Holly Stick

      I took the trouble to watch the first 20 minutes of the Richard Milne lecture. I’m baffled why you should reference it and why the sks crowd got so excited about it, Milne will have to do an awful lot better than this when students demand much more from the £9000 in fees they will be shortly paying.
      tonyb

    • Why does Tamino think he can omit those two data points? Does he have any physical reason other than they look statisically ugly? Why does Tamino get to choose the start and end points and the averaging method? Everyone knows he know how to hide the decline. What’s new with that?

      I would post on his blog but he is quite selective in what he allows posted (his blog is worse than realclimate for allowing frank or disagreeing comments). You could ask him about that too

    • “Why does Tamino think he can omit those two data points?

      Why does Tamino get to choose the start and end points and the averaging method?”

      It is a field specific usage of statistics; things that lead to a prison term in a drug trial or geological survey are quite acceptable in climate science.

    • He can omit them because they look like some spurious effect toward the end of the data. You should note that this is not uncommon with some algorithms, especially if the data gets thin toward the ends.

      It would be acceptable to
      1. disclose you are removing the data
      2. Give a reason.

      It would be BEST if you can explain why the algorithm and data conspire to give the bogus result.

      I’ll note that I have seen this with other sophiscated approaches. On paper they are vastly superior. For 99.9% of the data they outperform other methods. then theres one thing.. it takes a long time to find. So tamino is justified in doing it. Its all in the open. he gives his reason. his reason has merit. you can compare before and after and then argue.

      The issues that some of have with other data thining has to do with the full disclosure, not the choice to remove data, but rather the failure to disclose it or the failure to do A/B testing.

      Tamino is not hiding anything, and his decision as an analyst is open for you to debate. In the end, somebody will have to dig through the code and data to explain further.

    • Regardless, if you go back 120 months from either point, you get an upward trend.

    • If that is his reason. Then he should have explained it. Speculation

    • “Why does Tamino think he can omit those two data points? “

      He makes it very clear with this graph and this comment:

      “The huge spike is the huge uncertainty level of the final two data points — April and May 2010. While the other data have uncertainty levels around 0.1 deg.C, those two months have uncertainty levels of 2.8 and 2.9 deg.C. Which makes them, plainly, unreliable.”

      The uncertainty is out of line because there just isn’t enough supporting data.

    • Well you are right that Tamino doesnt allow much critisim on his blog, and I don’t agree with that. But you are completely wrong, that there is no reason for omitting the last two month in the BEST dataset. While every recent month before that has an uncertainty of only about 0.1°C, the April and May 2010 data have an wopping 25-30x higher uncertainty of nearly 3°C (!). The April value could have been as warm as +1,7°C or as cold as -3.8°C. There is simply no gain in including such a value, which could be anything from immense warming to immense cooling.

      Just look on the last couple of values:

      Month | Lower | Upper Temperature
      ———————————–
      12/2009 | +0.5°C | +0,7°C
      01/2010 | +1.1°C | +1.2°C
      02/2010 | +1.0°C | +1.2°C
      03/2010 | +0.7°C | +1.0°C
      04/2010 | -3.8°C | +1.7°C
      05/2010 | -1.8°C | +4.0°C

      Isn’t it obvious that the last two values are not reliable?

    • And regardless, if you go back 120 months from the end of the BEST data, or amputate the final two months and go back 120 months, you get an upward trend.

    • You only say that because you looked first and found it fit what you wanted to find. The point is that you can look first and then decide. You need to have a method and an unbiased reasons for picking your data, when to start and when to stop, when to smooth or discard outlier, and how to do this.

    • No, somebody posted a graph of the last decade that showed a decline. I looked at his raw numbers and he had less than 10 years, so I corrected it by going back exactly 120 months. It changed it to an upward trend.

      Later I read Tamino’s post and he amputated the final two months, so I wondered what trend would result from going 120 months back from that point.

      It was just curiosity.

      I really too stupid to intentionally cherry pick. If that is what you are saying, you’ll get no disagreement from me.

    • sorry I meant “You can’t look first, then decide” not “can” look.

    • It’s obvious that its different but throwing it out is also obviously convenient too. The statistical uncertainty should flag the data point as something to look into further. Due diligence would make one ask for an explanation why you are getting uncertainty differing so much from one month to the next. This data point should have an audit trail that can provide an explanation. How did this data point get calculated? And what went wrong with it? Does this mean there is a problem with other data points? This should not be difficult. If it is difficult then reliable is the data if it can’t be tracked?

      One explanation could be data was input wrong. Hopefully this isn’t the case because it would bring up data integrity issues.

    • I looked into it here.. The April/May 2010 data points are based on just 47 Antarctic stations. Other months have over 14000.

    • Thanks Nick

      Should there be error checking in the program to find that? Are there any other points that could be affected but only to a degree that doesn’t look obvious.

    • Well, the stated error bounds are a good guide. And they do point to just those months. It’s obviously an end of data effect, when for some reason they allowed two extra months of their SCAR Antarctic data set. I don’t know why, as much bigger sets like GHCN are updated at least as frequently.

    • 14000 stations in the Antarctic?

    • (his blog is worse than realclimate for allowing frank or disagreeing comments)

      Grant Foster loves irony. For reasons I have yet to fully come to grips with, I find myself more attracted to the people at closedmind.com.

    • Temino’s post is so much nonsense. It ends by pointing out that in another context Muller says that the data shows that there has been no warming for 13 years, but that statistical uncertainty was large. This just shows how negative politization of a scientific issue can be. Hey, Trenberth, Hansen, Jones, who is responsible for this sad state of affairs?

      Look, I think pretty much everyone including the modeling groups acknowledge the “pause” in global warming. This is proved by the papers trying to predict when “warming will resume.” This is the fundamental fact, all the rest is just political babble.

    • If one was to look for suspicious data, 2.053C for Jan 2007 is equally suspicious. Almost .5c warmer than any time in 1998 and the warmest anomaly ever.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem3vgl/from:2006/to:2008/plot/best/from:2006/to:2008

      Tamino is just cherry picking.

    • Your argument can’t be right.
      The Jan 2007 Temp was +2,053°C. This is the highest value (which is known within an acceptable uncertainty) in the dataset. But some month *has* to be the maximum value. And while +2,053°C is pretty high, it is still in one ballpark with its surrounding values (Dec 2006 was +1,33°C, April 2007 was +1,58°C).

      The April 2010 value is in comparison in a whole other category. No surrounding value comes even close. If you compare it with the average of the 12 previous values, the April 2010 value differs by a whopping 1,8°C from that. The Jan 2007 value differs instead only by 1.0°C from its 12 previous month, and this is not totally unusual, e.g. 04/2010 or 02/1998 differ from their previous month also by 0.9°C.

      If you want to find a value, that differs similarily strong like the April 2010 value, you would have to go to January 1863 (!) which differs by 1.6°C. But back then it is no wonder, as there were only few temperature stations and global coverage was so low, that the values jump around like crazy. Today such a deviation is simply implausible and makes only sense, when you look at the huge uncertainty given for the April 2010 value, which is about 25 times higher than the uncertainty for the previous months. If you seek for a month with a similar uncertainty, you would be in January 1847 (!) where only a handful of temperature stations existed on earth. Do you really think, that a current value with such a huge uncertainty and such an deviation from the other values around it, should be considered reliable? I don’t.

    • It could be right. It is so out of the ballpark compared to CRUTEM3 when only a few months before they matched.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem3vgl/from:2006/to:2008/plot/best/from:2006/to:2008

      If April 2010 is a typo, the data is not MATLAB generated and other typo’s may exist.

      On the other hand, if April 2010 is MATLAB generated, then it calls into question all data presented.

    • Elsewhere in this thread Nick Stokes reveals the source of this problem. Only 47 stations were used for Apr/May 2010. March had over 14000. The real kicker here is that all of the stations were from Antarctica.

    • 16187 stations had data in Jan 2007. It was a hot month. GISS had the anomaly at 0.9°C, about their hottest ever. And BEST is land only.

    • That confirms. BEST is a joke. 2.053C. Hilarious.

    • Nick, were those 16187 all NH?

      It appears BEST is just CRUTEM3 Northern Hemisphere only.

      Southern Hemisphere is not counted.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem3vsh/from:2001/to:2011/plot/best/from:2001/to:2011/plot/crutem3vnh/from:2001/to:2011

    • I agree Ratttus, the fact they are from the Antarctic is interesting. The other kicker is that by throwing out the data or smoothing you remove much of the more interesting parts.

    • Bruce,
      1484 were SH, 14694 NH. 9 no latitude given.

    • Nick: “1484 were SH, 14694 NH.

      There you go. BEST is a NH dataset masquerading as a global one.

  51. asdf234@yahoo.com

    Got my chemistry degree over 30 years ago. Hate to think what my professors would have done to me if I issued a press release on a paper in review.

  52. 1. My suggestion for the your opening paragraph:
    “About Rose’s article in the Mail: This is not a scandal. Richard Muller’s BEST project delivers the best available data for land surface temperatures. The main story should be that we have a new, comprehensive data set. I do disagree with some of Muller’s public statements. The authors should have done a better job of coordinating their public statements.”

    2. In hindsight, it looks like the authors’ should have agreed to a short communications plan for the paper. That way, Muller could give agreed upon talking points during the press conference. He could have also described the disagreements among the authors about what the data set means.

    The points of agreement would be useful for all the authors when they discuss the paper publicly. The points of disagreement would be useful too. They describe some of the likely controversies that will arise after publication, but they put the disagreements in context.

  53. All this talk about “hiding the decline,” made me think of the 21-year decline in global temperature from 1957 to 1978(see graph). And there have been lots of shorter declines since then. People like Mueller want us to ignore these declines, but they happen so frequently it’s no wonder many skeptics question whether global warming is really happening.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1957/to:1978/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1957/to:1978/trend

  54. J. Curry wrote:
    “I don’t see how you can infer from these data that there has been no slow down in the warming over the past decade or so.”

    Well, I don’t see, how you can infer from these data, that there has been a slowdown. If you look at small time periods of just a couple of years, the uncertainty in the trend will *always* be larger, than the trend itself. So, as long as the trend lies within the uncertainty range, how do *you* justify to say, that there has been a slowdown?

    The facts are, which you say youself, “…that the decadal fluctuations are too large to allow us to make decisive conclusions about long term trends based on close examination of periods as short as 13 to 15 years.”

    So, as long as there is not enough data to reach a decisive conclusion, there is no reason to believe, that the warming has stopped. What’s wrong with that?

    • Well you can slice it several ways. But since this study neglects the ocean (~70% of the earth’s surface), making any kind of sweeping statement about global warming from this dataset is misleading.

    • Well, that is the first valid point I hear. Of course, the BEST data can strictly only comment on warming over the land. But land temperatures can not diverge in their trend indefinitely from the ocean. As you said, the earth is covered mostly by oceans and ocean temperatures have a significant influence on land temperatures, which you can see at every El Nino/La Nina. So, even though the BEST data tells us primarily only about land temperatures, it would be unlikely, that ocean temperatures dropped significantly in the the last years.

      And still, even if the ocean hadn’t warmed as fast as in the long term average over the last 10 years. Does that tell us that the long term trend changed? No.

      Just look at this: Make a monthly plot of the temperature-trend over every 10-year period of the last 30 years (here with UAH satellite temps):
      http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/6063/uah10ytemptrends.png

      You can see, that these 10-year trends have huge fluctuations. They can range from -1°C to over +3°C per century over the oceans and up to nearly +6°C over land. Overall they are sometimes above the long term average trend (plotted as straight lines in the graph above), or they are below the line. This is nothing special and the graph shows, that such fluctuations are a normal pattern. And when you add the uncertainty ranges to that, you get even bigger fluctuations. So: How do conclude, that there is any reason to believe, that the warming trend has stopped or levelled of?

    • Did you even read your own quote?
      JC: “slow down in the warming over the past decade or so”

      Observer: So: how do you conclude that there is any reason to believe that the warming trend has stopped or levelled off?

      Answer: Easy, she never claimed it had stopped or levelled off. “slow down the warming” means the rate of increase is not as large as it used to be. It does not mean it has completely stopped or peaked.

      This was all in response to Muller saying that that it had not changed at all and skeptics are wrong vs. the GWPF saying it had leveled off.

    • But the rate of warming is *always* somewhat below or above the long term average. Such a statement would just be useless. Of course the 10-year average has “slowed down”. So what? The question is: Is this unusual and what does it say about the long term trend?

      And the answer is:
      No, this is not unusual and it says nothing about the long-term trend.

      For god’s sake just look at the data.
      If you think, that it is unusual, when the warming “slows down” over 10 years, just make a monthly plot of all 10-year-period-trends over the last 40-50 years:

      http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/7092/best10yeartrends.png

      If global warming has “slowed down” recently, it did also “slow down” in the 1990s, in the 1980s and multiple times in the 1970s – and even much stronger that now.

      The dashed line in the graphic is the average long term temperature trend over the 1961-2010 period in the BEST data (+2.32°C per century). As you can see, there are always periods, where you are above or below that long term trend and the fluctuations in such trends are large. But when you look at this, the current rate of warming is in no respect unusual and no sign of any change in the overall trend whatsoever. Indeed, like you can see in the graph: We are right on track and the last values are nearly exactly on the long-term average.

      In short terms:
      There is no slow-down in the BEST data. Exactly as Muller said. A 10-year period is simply to short, to make such a slow-down claim, as you can see on the fluctuation of 10-year temperature trends in the linked graph above.

    • “But since this study neglects the ocean (~70% of the earth’s surface), making any kind of sweeping statement about global warming from this dataset is misleading.”

      From the pre-publication paper (Averaging Process) by Rohde, Curry et al

      “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.”

    • If only it was as warm as 1822. 13 warmest months by anomaly:

      Year/Month/Anomaly
      1822 3 2.431
      2007 1 2.053
      1822 2 1.691
      1998 2 1.581
      2007 4 1.575
      2008 3 1.562
      1824 12 1.55
      2002 1 1.519
      1995 2 1.5
      2002 3 1.468
      2003 12 1.459
      1826 12 1.435
      1801 5 1.417

      Its just getting back to the temperature in the 1820s.

    • It is not getting more true, if you repeat such claims more often:
      Average BEST temperature of
      … the 1820s: -0.32°C
      … the 2000s: +0.90°C

      I really don’t understand you guys. What is the gain in making such false claims for you personally? Do you think that problems go away through wishful thinking? Do you think, that reality changes, if you deny it?

    • Best has only 109 stations in 1822. Of those, only 3 were below Lat 30°N. And all but 7 were between Lon 100°W and Lon 40°E – ie Mid and Eastern N America and Europe.

    • False claim? The data was supplied by BEST in Full_Database_Average_complete.txt

      Aren’t you fascinated by the fact that 2 out of the 3 warmest anomalies are 2 consecutive months in 1822?

      If you also look at HADCET you would notice the 2nd largest summer mean was in 1826. The largest was 1976. You might also notice it is more the absence of colder years that gets the average up for a decade rather than there are hotter years. 2010 in HADCET was a return to 1800s type alternating between cold and warm years.

    • Nick, are you suggesting that a lower number of thermometers (exemplified by the great dying of the thermometers) results in a warmer average?

    • Bruce,

      To read your post is to laugh.

    • I find it funny there are so many 18xx months that are so warm.

    • Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.

  55. Judith, I looked at the Berkeley Earth link you provided and their statement about 1998-2010 vs. 1980-1995 seems to me to be clearly false looking at Figure 5 in the paper on the averaging process. The use of decadal running averages does support their statement however, even though this average is not really meaningful for the period 1998-2010. So, what’s up here? I would have expected Muller to be a little bit more careful.

  56. Hi Judith.

    Some suggestions. These are based on my observations of an sample release I got back when the whole congressional testimony thing was going down. It’s fundamentals

    1. There was no document ( at that time ) that provided traceability to the SOURCE data.

    For a good release they needed to.
    1. provide copies of the source data they used.
    2. provide code they used to create their Base dataset.
    3. Document that base data set and provide it in format READILY importable.
    4. Provide code for reading in the base data in a variety of languages
    I volunteered R code to them months ago for part of this.

    The data needs to be clearly seperated from their method. Also, at Any point where the method changes the data ( scalpel, outlier removal) they need to DUMP intermediates. Intermediates need to be dumped in formats readily accessible by third parties. This provides an audit trail.

    There is a subtle difference between writing code and producing data for a paper and doing it as a service to others. Those subtleties are important to the technical reception and the ability of others to understand your work. Most scientists dont get this. They do work for themselves.

    • Steve, thanks for this very useful comment.

    • They also need to never change anything once it’s out there. Put version numbers on everything, and put new versions out when they need to correct an error. Otherwise, people trying to sync one another’s work may not be able to because they have different versions of the data and don’t know it.

  57. In the main post, I’ve added an update, referring to the new FAQ that BEST has added to their website. Note, I received an email from Liz Muller a few days ago asking me for suggestions for the FAQ, and I suggested they address the “end of skepticism” and the controversy over the recent slow down in warming over the last decade.

  58. Dear Judith, just look at this:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010/compress:12/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010/trend/plot/best/from:2000/to:2010/trend

    How can you seriously conclude from your own data, that there is a slowdown or halt of the warming? I don’t see anything like that in there, quite the opposite: The warming seems to go on like before. The trend in the last 10 years is nearly identical to the long term trend:

    And even if it would be somewhat lower, so what? If you look at the 14-year period from 1980 to 1994, you would see a trend that is cleary lower than the long term overall trend. But does that mean that global warming stopped in 1980? No.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010/compress:12/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010/trend/plot/best/from:2000/to:2010/trend/plot/best/from:1980/to:1994/trend

    You are as wrong, as you would be, had you made the same statements back in 1980.

    • In all of the data sets there are discrepancies between them as to when the slow down or levelling off began. A lot of people take the view that 1998 marked the big climate shift, but it is really from 2002 that we say temperatures have either stopped rising or have even dropped slightly. I do appreciate that that is not really long enough for it to be a robust trend but it is unexpected, contrary to model projections, and in the face of continuing CO2 inceases.

      Also your compression removes far too much data for it to be really informative:
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010/compress:4/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010/trend/plot/best/from:2002/to:2010/trend

      Here is what has got everyones collective eyebrows raised based on your own graph.

    • How can that raise your eyebrowes?
      You can find such 8-year periods everywhere in the last 50 years:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010/compress:4/plot/best/from:1970/to:2010/trend/plot/best/from:2002/to:2010/trend/plot/best/from:1986/to:1994/trend/plot/best/from:1995/to:2002/trend/plot/best/from:1980/to:1988/trend

      Do you want to tell me now, that global warming did also stop or slow down in 1980, 1986 or 1995. No, it did not, because an 8-year period is much to short for such a claim and it can even be negative (as you can actually *see* above in the 1980-1988 period or the 1986-1994 period), without affecting the long-term trend. You just need to look at the whole picture, and not cherry-pick some things that you like and stop asking questions thereafter. I thought you people claim to be skeptical? Step up and *be* skeptical! Reality doesn’t change just because of wishful thinking.

    • “You just need to look at the whole picture, and not cherry-pick some things that you like and stop asking questions thereafter.”

      I think this is something most skeptics actually say to the orthodoxy. The BIG picture is that it is the last half of the 20th century that anthropogenic CO2 is considered to have had an influence. Yet global warming was occurring well before that at pretty much the same rate, punctuated with periods of slight cooling. Remember skeptics don’t generally don’t disagree that the world is warming, they question attribution. They also to a lesser extent question the rate, given the unreliability and uncertainty of the data, and the over-confidence they perceive coming from some climate scientists who appear to have an agenda driving what looks a lot like confirmation bias. This is the whole point of why BEST turned up – but it is really secondary question.

      To get the slopes you did in your last graph you had to find end points that coincided with down turns, some of which coincided with volcanic eruptions known to have suppressed temps. You did this to demonstrate how cherry-picking works – and I quite agree, and I think many skeptics do to, as well as that 8 years is not long enough for a trend to be robust.

      What they do say is that in this last decade 30% of all the CO2 man has ever emitted has gone into the atmosphere and the warming trend however unrobust the trend has not only not accelerated as expected but slowed or even stopped. Sea levels have either stopped rising or even fallen slightly. That means it is harder to argue that anthro-CO2 is overwhelming natural variation, and it calls into question (coupled with previous similar warming phases before anthro-CO2 was considered to have had an influence) attribution of the warming of the last 30 years.

      The argument that it was anthro-CO2 can be found in most detail from Fred Moolten who summarises the pro-AGW case well, namely that since all other forcing were accounted for it MUST have have been CO2. But skeptics counter that this is argument from ignorance, that they suspect not all forcings have been accounted for. This last point is really key, skeptics do not think climate science knows enough to be as confident with its conclusions as it has been.

      Finally, many skeptics question the case for alarm not the necessarily the case there is a problem. Some also question the case that GW (even AGW which they accept may be the case) is a problem and they too have very valid arguments. The rate of change is at issue and given how things have panned out over the last decade it doesn’t look as if it justifies the kind of drastic action society is being called on to take.

      Finally, the fact that temperatures have plateaued in the last decade is pretty well accepted even by team members:
      http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/27/candid-comments-from-global-warming-scientists/
      …who are trying to figure out how to explain it.
      What is worth noting is that if you listen to those believe periods of warming and cooling have been occurring in a cyclic fashion since the end of the LIA then this decade is right on time and marks the start of a period of slight cooling until 2030 when temps will begin to rise again. If they are wrong, then we need to see a left hand turn in temps pretty soon. The next three years or so should tell us who is right.

      Finally I would just say, you may disagree with the skeptics, and in fact the skeptics often disagree with each other, but their arguments are valid and not always raving politicised objectioneering.

  59. Muller and Rohde are speaking Tuesday at the Santa Fe festival. Next up is Fred Singer, who says he will address BEST. Satellites versus statistics. Should be fun.

    “T-6: R. Muller (UC Berkeley) The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Land Results 10:55-11:15
    T-7: R. Rohde (Berkeley Temp Project) A new estimate of the Earth land surface temperature 11:15-11:35
    T-8: F. Singer (SEPP) Is the reported global surface warming of 1979 to 1997 real? 11:35-11:55″

  60. The BEST situation:

    1) Muller’s public statements appear directly contradicted by the data.

    2) Confidentiality agreements were exploited to selectively muzzle some of the participants in the study, so that their opinions would not be available to the press.

    Here is one possible explanation that appears to fit the facts as known. The non-disclosure timing was no accident or mistake, it was deliberate. This is what we saw in the climate gate emails. A false picture being painted by manipulation of the process. In this case Watts and Curry were set up through the BEST process to discredit them because of their effectiveness.

    There are billions of dollars at stake and folks don’t take kindly to anyone that threatens their livelihood. Watts and Curry are costing some very big investors a lot of $$. Muller’s message is out and Watts and Curry will be portrayed as poor losers, objecting after the fact because the results aren’t what they expected.

    • I think you underestimate many Americans. were not sheep as you would like us to believe.. the internet and sites like Judith’s are why they will not win any longer, why governments are trying to silence free speech over the internet. one need only point to attackwatch.org (a government control web site- a tattle-tail site) intended to silence we the people.. i wonder how many billions of dollars we the people will loose and how many jobs and lives lost due to the CAWG lies?

      its amazing how many say that big buisness is the countering factor when in reality its becoming an educated public who has the greatest amount to loose. this part of the public is voicing his opinion..

      Bill

  61. Judith said: “I have dug into my memory. Rose brought up hide the decline in our first interview, in the context of the plot that ends in 2006. He called me back specifically to discuss this and teased the “hide the decline” out of me. The hide the decline discussion was in this particular context.”

    Why did you have to dig deep into your memory??
    You were talking to a Daily Mail reporter, that is all you need to know in order to make a decision about what to say. They are not interested in your science, what ever that is.

    • Latimer Alder

      And what particauar qualities of ‘a Daily Mail reporter’ would you care to draw our attention to? Please compare and contrast those with the qualities of (for example) ‘A Guardian reporter’

      Non UK readers may not be aware that the Guardian is a small-circulation newspaper that takes a deliberate uber-alarmist line on AGW. The Mail is a mid-market paper with about ten times the sales and is mildly sceptical.

    • I don’t judge on circulation, I don’t generally take any British national paper seriously, with the exception of local county and town newspapers that still manage to actually write news articles that aren’t tainted with political ideology. The point I make is that Judith was naive and should have known better. To be surprised about The Mails re-writing of history or a re-interpretation of a conversation suggests a lack of knowledge of the UK media, or media in general. Yes you might very well be right about the Guardian. I have spotted some mistakes there in the past, but it was The Daily Mail that started me on the road of distrusting news papers some 20 to 30 years ago, gradually I stopped reading just about all of them regularly.

    • Sorry, I am not an expert on the British press. Fred Pearce is the only UK journalist that I have much experience with.

    • ” Liberals have a quaint and touching faith that truth is on their side and an even quainter faith that journalists are on the side of truth. ”

      P.J O’Rourke (Give War a Chance)

    • James Delingpole of the Telegraph is less than complementary about Climate Scientists:-

      “Lying, cheating climate scientists caught lying, cheating again”
      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100114292/lying-cheating-climate-scientists-caught-lying-cheating-again/

      The part that deals with BEST states:-

      “Heaven forfend that a distinguished professor from Berkeley University should actually have been caught out telling a lie direct. No, clearly what has happened here is that Professor Muller has made the kind of mistake any self-respecting climate scientist could make: gone to press with some extravagant claims without having a smidgen of evidence to support them.”

  62. Observer | October 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    And even if it would be somewhat lower, so what?

    Any trend that changes with the choice of endpoints is not a true trend. It is an artifact of the choice of endpoints.

    Drive down the highway at 55 mph. Short samples will show acceleration and deceleration. Straight line projections of those short samples will give misleading projections as to the ultimate speed of the vehicle. Choose the right sample you can show anything you want. And the folks doing this call themselves scientists.

  63. Judith it right; the BEST 1998 result is substantially different from that of other records.

    I think the biggest error in the BEST algorithim is that they do a form of statistical extrapolation called kriging from areas where they have thermometers to areas where they don’t. This is valid most of the time. But it is not valid from coastal stations to interrior locations. As a result, you get the warming that happens from coastal water circulation extrapolated to interior locations that are actually much colder than the coastal stations. Additionally, their method of discontinouity resolution will introduce more errors. For example, when you have a bunch of costal stations at the poles reading warm due to coastal heating by circulating water, and you have few thermometers in the interior, as is the case in Greenland, Northern Canada and Northern Siberia; then the few interrior stations will be deweighed because they disagree with the many coastal stations. But it was actually the interior thermometers that had the right data for the interior.

    Additionally, the BEST results are sometimes completely out of line with the other sources. April 2010 is a perfect example. So either the BEST algorithms are getting it wrong, or the data is being recorded incorrectly.

    • Tilo,

      I think the method they used is actually ‘kluging’.

    • Tilo Reber

      Is coastal warming really the dominant ocean effect on all stations?

      Isn’t this contradicted by the generally lower ocean temperatures than land temperatures? If anything, wouldn’t this introduce a false lower rather than a false higher interpolation?

      When you say “not valid”, for which specific purposes do you claim invalidation? For graphical presentation? For weighting of data points?

      And when you say “actually.. had the right data”, how exactly is that determined? Do you mean ‘might have had’? Wouldn’t that be what the uncertainty and error bars are for?

      While spontaneous outliers as an artefact of method sometimes happen, and ought be investigated, they do not in and of themselves invalidate a dataset.

  64. Here is a reply to a reporter (a reliable reporter that I have worked with previously):

    First let me make it absolutely clear that to my knowledge Muller et al are not hiding any data or otherwise engaging in any scientifically questionable practice.

    I didn’t have any particular criticisms of any of the 4 papers, other than that I felt that two of them were incomplete and I encouraged additional analysis before submitting them. I note that others are making some criticisms of the papers that bear looking into.

    The BEST results unambiguously show an increase in surface temperature since 1960, and the BEST results are fairly close to those obtained from the NOAA data set.

    I have some issues with how the BEST group handled the PR, which I have discussed on my blog.

    With regard to the Rose article. The article spun my comments in ways that I never intended.I do not see any issue surrounding BEST that is in any way analogous to Climategate.

    The issue of hide the decline arose from Rose’s discussion of a particular graph that was a 10 year running mean and ended in 2006. Rose used the hide the decline phrase, and I agreed that such an analysis is misleading and would hide a decline (in this case, in a rate of increase of surface temperature).

    • Judith –

      First let me make it absolutely clear that to my knowledge Muller et al are not hiding any data or otherwise engaging in any scientifically questionable practice.

      It is a little difficult to reconcile that statement with some of the other statements you made (including what you wrote lower down in your post immediately above) – but I think that statement is reasonably unambiguous.

      I would hope that you consistently clarify matters for people who draw a different conclusion from your comments – as we have already seen happen and as we are likely to see continue to happen going forward.

    • This is why i have a blog, and in a moment of #$%^ I spoke with a reporter on the phone. I’m back to engaging with reporters only via email.

    • Judith –

      It is very unfortunate that your words were misconstrued/manipulated to imply a deliberate breach of scientific ethics. I don’t believe that is your fault, and think that your policy of only responding via email is completely understandable and probably wise.

      That said – this now goes far beyond the original question of your words being misconstrued/manipulated. As far as I see it (unsolicited advice from perhaps not the most objective observer, I will concede), at this point it will be important for you to be very assertive with “skeptics” who, I ab-so-lutely guarantee, will continue to run with the “Curry said that Muller deliberately hid the slowdown” meme.

      Likewise, I think it is important for you to continue to clarify any ways that you think that Muller’s statements overemphasize some aspects of the science at the expense of clarity on other aspects.

      But I think that not demanding accuracy from “skeptics” on this issue would amount to you doing a disservice to your own bridge-building efforts.

    • Joshua, I don’t demand accuracy from anyone. I hope for it, and I encourage it where I can. Steve McIntyre is busy wading through the BEST data, as are many others. I look forward to a lively discussion on the BEST data and the best papers.

    • Fair ’nuff.

    • Steven Mosher

      You should see my exchange with the NYT. The reporters effort to get me to say something that fit her story was incredible. In the end she wrote a quote for me that I explicitly said was wrong and not my opinion. At some point, I’ll probably post the exchange of mails to show how a story gets constructed. Even when the editor looked at the mails they decided that their quote was fair. I’m like.. “huh? I explicitly tell you that transparency is not the issue and you continue to go with a quote that says my issue is transparency?” I explicitly praise their work, and you only mention the nit I raised about the choice of programming language. Agenda.. where is Joshua when I need him to attack the motivated reasoning of this reporter?

    • Keep one thing in mind about journalists. They don’t necessarily have to have an agenda to have a worldview that they try to pound all of the facts into. Often they don’t even know that they’re doing it. Overall, their biggest fault is their high opinion of themselves, individually and collectively. It makes it too easy to assume that they have it right and keep rolling rather than think about things. That goes double for anybody at the NYT.

    • Sometimes member of the media here (auto racing). Editors love content when it is “inflammatory” or “controversial”. A long geeky explanation of anything doesn’t draw interest, doesn’t sell copy, doesn’t bring eyeballs.

      And since most of them don’t understand (or care about) what they’re covering, and have only a short period of time before their editor wants the article, they resort to “templates” — they basically re-write a previous article their editor liked with updated names and quotes and factoids.

    • Journalists are not chroniclers. They “know” what the message “is” and they’ll publish that, no matter what protestations they could receive.

      It’s a world of symbols not unlike the Venerable Bede’s: everything happens for a reason and the people in every story are just pawns of the story.

    • Ah, the Venerable Bede. They don’t make journalists like him any more.

    • In a key way, this is analogous to Climategate. BEST’s 10 year average masks the last ten years, and Muller took great pains and went out of his way to say that that temperature of the past ten years was not increasing.

      This
      [1] is not congruent with the available data
      [2] is not reflective of his co-authors’ opinions.

      In this respect, the Daily Mail is correct to compare ‘BEST to Climategate’. They may not be accurate however, in representing such an opinion as being yours.

    • Correction: “…Muller…temperature of the past ten years was increasing.”

    • The BEST FAQ is more of the same garbage, it doesn’t explain:

      1) Why they used 1 year averaging? Whats wrong with 6 month or 3 month or another?
      2) Why they only used 6 decades? more samples are usually better and everyone knows the 7th and 8th decades they exclude was a very warm period.
      3) Why only 95% confidence limits? Why not 98% or 99.9% or another?

      Can they show us what other parameters give for results?

    • “1) Why they used 1 year averaging? Whats wrong with 6 month or 3 month or another?”
      Nothing is wrong with 6 month, 9 month, 11 month or 14 month averaging or anything similar. The averaging over a few months is just made, to beat down the strongest month-to-month noise, so you can see the trend much better. A 1-year averaging hides most flucuations shorter than a year, and because we are not interested in shorter-than-a-year fluctuations but in longer term climate change, there is nothing wrong with 1-year averaging.

      “2) Why they only used 6 decades? more samples are usually better and everyone knows the 7th and 8th decades they exclude was a very warm period.”
      Because the time period where man-made warming is supposedly the dominant factor is only the last 5-6 decades. This is the time of interest and there would be no gain at looking at the 7th and 8th period, because that is not the question.

      “3) Why only 95% confidence limits? Why not 98% or 99.9% or another?”
      Because 95% confidence intervals are exactly within 2 standard deviations and because this is a) such a nice round number and b) 95% confidence is an sufficiently high probability this is common practice in all parts of science and statistics. This is nothing that Muller or the BEST team has chosen to do because it fitted in their picture or whatsoever.

      “Can they show us what other parameters give for results?”
      They would exactly give the same results, because the essence of the BEST FAQ on this is, that short-term fluctuations are so high, that short time-periods of around 10 years say nearly nothing about the long-term trend and it therfore is nonsense to say, that global warming has stopped in the last 10 years.

      This is true, and it is true completely independent of the averaging and confidence intervals and a look at more decades of data.

  65. A simple analysis of HadCrut global temperature data from 1900 to 2011 shows how misleading a long-term trend can be. In the linked graph note the changes in global temperature (red jagged line) and how the long straight green line implies it’s just been getting warmer and warmer, and never gets colder. In fact, it got colder in more than one-half of the years during the 1900 – 2011 period. These cooling years were:

    1900 -1919 see blue line

    1937 -1957 see purple line

    1958 -1978 see turquoise line

    1998 – 2011 see dark red line. Wait! Ignore that one.

    1998 -2009 see yellow line. OK, it’s less than the others, but still a decline.

    Altogether, this represents 60 years of cooling in the 111 years from 1900 to 2011. No wonder climate skeptics doubt the world has been warming.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/to:2011/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/to:2011/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/to:1919/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1937/to:1957/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1958/to:1978/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2011/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2009/trend

    • M. carey

      “..this represents 60 years of cooling in the 111 years from 1900 to 2011..”

      This is not exactly accurate.

      If you select exactly the start and endpoints you have, you can get ’60 years of cooling’ in 111 years. However, you’ve chosen pretty nearly the optimal combination of cooling trends to get your total of 60 years. It’s possible to just as validly select four warming trends of the same length; indeed, the ratio of warming ensembles to cooling ensembles on the same span of time is extremely high.

      Anyone can cherry pick.

      You should see what it looks like when you take 10 year trend lines on BEST month by month back from the present to 1800.

      Plot each trendline by slope.

      The ratio of rising trends changes dramatically over time, both in terms of relative frequencies of rising:falling and average slope, and very much in support of claims of warming, despite the multiple cooling decades.

    • Bart, I intended it as parody. Looks like I hid the parody.

      1900-1919 — a strong cooling trend is well underway, but doesn’t last.

      1937-1957 — another strong cooling trend takes off, but doesn’t last.

      1998-2008 — another cooling trend, but this time a puny one, signals the end of global warming in the minds of some wishful thinkers.

    • M. carey

      Sorry.

      Can only detect irony in the first half of the day.

      Carry on.

    • For an objective measure of trend changes see David Stockwell’s application of “empirical fluctuation processes (EFP)”:
      Stockwell asks: Is the Atmosphere Still Warming?

      Most recently, three of the five data sets are at the lower boundary, indicating that at least the CRU, NOAA and RSS datasets have shifted away from the overall warming trend since 1978. . . .
      the optimal number of breaks given by the minimum of the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) (bottom panel). The locations of the breaks are coincident (with a lag) with major events: the ultra-Plinian (stratosphere reaching) eruptions of Mt Chichon and Mt Pinatubo, the Super El Nino and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) phase change in 2005.

  66. Richard Muller has poisoned the punchbowl of open and unbiased communication. Perhaps he would be willing to post here and change some minds. I certainly would look forward to him explaining his PR strategy and address detailed comments made here on Judith’s blog.

    • Brian G Valentine

      I doubt it. As far as I can see, it’s a hit and run. Maybe Muller thought she “wanted to be” run over by a car

  67. We are doomed.

  68. The lie is spreading everywhere. From the Netherlands:

    BESTgate: Judith Curry unmasks Richard Muller

    Lubos Motl: BEST, Judith Curry: unbelievably flat temperatures for 10 years – Curry urges people to talk about Muller’s new ClimateGate

    Anthony Watts’ handiwork is of course copied all over the place (naturally, without his weasely update at the end).

    Amazing how this echo chamber works…

    • Well these are not exactly high traffic blogs . . . The whole issue of Muller having done something inappropriate in terms of scientific ethics, which is implied by the Rose article, will not stand up to scrutiny.

    • That’s not what it’s about at the other side of the bridge, Dr. Curry.

      BEST must be burnt at the stake.

    • Oh come on. I’d say that I was the other side of the bridge – I wrote in my Amazon review that Donna LaFramboise’s recent book on the IPCC is the one of the most important by a journalist in this or any other age. Like Donna I would disband the IPCC, slash budgets for climate science (especially ‘impact studies’) and cease attempts to control emissions until the scientific case is far more clear cut. Most people wouldn’t see me as a moderate but I think the furore over BEST is a joke. It’s clearly an improvement on what came before. They made some mistakes in the way they did the pre-release but that’s retrievable. The commitment to openness is the crucial thing and I expect them to honour it, not least with Judith Curry is involved. They shouldn’t be burnt at the stake but they should apologise to their peer reviewers and listen to technical criticisms from others in the blogosphere. And that’s it.

    • Dr C

      BEST’s last ten years data does not show any increasing trend. Yet, Muller represented himself otherwise in the BBC interview. David Whitehouse’s GWPF post makes his very clear.

      This is a serious error by Muller. It would be better if he’d clarify.

    • “The whole issue of Muller having done something inappropriate in terms of scientific ethics, which is implied by the Rose article, will not stand up to scrutiny.”

      Oh my, oh my Judith. It is completely irrelevant if it does not stand up to scrutiny. Have you still not realized: People like Watts & The Deniers they give squat about your scrutiny. Several independent inquiries have exonerated the people accused by “Climategate” of any malicious data manipulation or similar things. Those accusation did also not stand up to scrutiny (as you can see with your BEST data, which show essentially the same as some of the accused data back then). But do they care about this? No, they dont, they make the same false accusations still, just to hurt the credentials of the involved people, because Watts & Co have an agenda, which they will persecute, no matter what.

    • If you claim the investigations were “independant” and “cleared” people and you call people deniers you are an idiot — and clearly you being on BEST’s side smears BEST.

    • Mmmm. No true Scotsman.

    • Hey Neven -

      when you get some time, how about posting every instance where an article or webblog or web post linking some event to “global warming” was subsequently corrected and the correction was given the widest possible dissemination as well as being corrected in every article or blog or post that mentioned it.

  69. At Forbes.com Peter Glieck says Anthony Watts
    “is stuck in his failed paradigm, and has launched a blistering and sorry attack on BEST, now that the science once again contradicts his ideological beliefs”

    I think Watts has rode a dying horse into quick sand. He better forget about the horse and find a way to save his butt.

    • Funny, I think that some in the Al Gore / green / environmentalist / hockey stick camp have done the same thing?

  70. For an explanation of Professor Muller’s statements and Wall Street Journal article, in light of the data, consider Dumas (pere), The Mohicans of Paris:

    “Cherchez la femme, pardieu ! cherchez la femme !”

  71. I am pleased you say that the quotes attributed to you in my article are accurate. But I think your memory is at fault when you state that it was I who first used the phrase “hide the decline”. You did this, twice, in our first conversation, although it’s true I was the first to mention it in our second talk.

    I would never have tried to put words in your mouth, and especially not this phrase. It’s true I did ask you in the second conversation whether you thought this affair had to be compared with the leaked CRU emails. But having been asked, you said that it did, hence the paraphrase in my piece.

    You will recall you said one other thing that was quite important and interesting that you asked me not to print, and I have honoured that request.

    Anyhow, I hope we aren’t going to fall out over this. I enjoyed talking to you and I applaud your honesty in speaking out.

    • I hear you’re exceedingly reliable!

    • Mr. David Jones, would you happen to know what happed to the origional data that PJ, said in his emails, that CRU had ‘dumped’?

    • David Rose,

      Did you tape the telephone interview? If so did Judith Curry give you permission to do so? If any tape exists did you offer to provide it to Judith Curry?

      John

    • “If so did Judith Curry give you permission to do so?”

      In the UK it is quite legal to record any conversion you have with anyone, either in the first person or electronically.
      You need not inform anyone you are recording nor are you obliged to give any other party a copy.
      Many people record all their meetings.

    • DocMartyn,

      Thanks for the UK perspective. I would still think, for a professional journalist in UK, it would be standard practice to tell an interviewee that the call is being recorded and to offer a tape.

      Unless Judith objects to my questions, I would be interested in Rose’s reply to my questions.

      John

    • David Rose,

      You say

      “I would never have tried to put words in your mouth” Really?

      How about putting them into print? Are you denying that too?

      Even Wattsupwiththat made the following comment on your piece:

      Note: timescales don’t match on graphs above, 200 years/10 years. A bit naughty on the part of the Sunday Mail to put them together as many readers won’t notice.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/29/uh-oh-it-was-the-best-of-times-it-was-the-worst-of-times/

      “A bit naughty” eh? I think many of us might put it in somewhat stronger terms than that.

    • TT

      These are very large graphs printed in colour. The time scales are shown very clearly and in a type face larger than the text of the article and emboldended. It is perfectly clear they are two separate graphs with two different time scales. Why is that ‘a bit naughty?’
      tonyb

    • I hope you are at least laughing yourself, when you say something untrue like this: “I would never have tried to put words in your mouth, and especially not this phrase.”

      It is clear, that you put words in peoples mouth which they have never said, otherwise Judith won’t complain, that you have distorted her views on some things. And if one looks back at some of your articles, this seems to be your common practice. You are not a journalist, but quiet the opposite. Someone, who just tries to persecute his agenda and who does not seek the truth, as a real and uncorrupted journalist would do.

    • “Someone, who just tries to persecute his agenda and who does not seek the truth, as a real and uncorrupted journalist would do.”

      Like Dan Rather?
      I thinking of making a list of uncorrupted journalists,
      got few of them for my list?
      If any have a political bias include at least one from the Left [or liberal] and one from the Right (or conservative).
      And if any are objective without agenda and undetectable bias
      that would be super.

  72. I am impressed that everybody seems to believe that “hiding the decline” is not a good thing, and that “climategate” has actually happened and was something bad. While I always was convinced that no skeptic would be fooled by all those whitewashings, obviously the warmist weren’t either.

  73. BEST ceased to have credibility when it published data without proper procedure, the manner in which it approached that disclosure is at best bizzare, the distortion of its data in the soundbytes issued had only one purpose and any scientist associated with it should be be wary. Better to be misquoted in a newspaper (easily rectified) than damaged by a silent association.

    • I think it’s clear that “BEST ceased to have credibility” for all y’all when they got an answer you didn’t like. It’s the same answer Anthony Watts got, BTW. CRU and GISS got it right – CRU, if anything understates the warming – and UHI may have an impact on absolute temps in cities, but it isn’t impacting the trend.

  74. One of the good things of vacationing in Spain is the fact that one can buy a copy of the “Daily Mail” there (especially on the Canaries and the Baleares). It is entertaining, relatively precise and not a tabloid like the “NY Post” or die “Bild”.

  75. I”m sorry, but this is something I can’t quite fathom. Muller’s obviously a very smart fellow. I don’t understand how he can assert that there’s been no interruption in the warming over the last 13 years when this is not what his own data shows…

    One has to conjecture either that A: he’s not aware of what his own papers contain (which is absurd) or B: he’s crazy enough to think he can get away with it (which is even more absurd) or C: he figures the short term gain from the publicity in support of AGW is worth the eventual hit to his reputation (maybe not so absurd but still pretty hard to believe.

    Can someone try explaining this to me? Is there an option “D”?

    • Option D: he is telling the truth
      Option E: you are misquoting or misunderstanding him

      Did he say there was no change in the rate of warming? That may not be so. Did he say it was warming at a constant rate? I doubt that.

      Did he say It is warming, but lately the rate of warming has been less fast, but still it is warming, though at a slower rate? Sounds likely to me.

    • He said “WE SEE NO EVIDENCE OF IT SLOWING DOWN”

      See below, but Pokerguy is spot on. It is truly baffling.

      https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20111021_r4

    • on land, to be specific. Well then, Option D remains.

    • I mean, I would expect a true sceptic to include all possible explanations, not just assume someone was lying just because you don’t like what he is saying. Science is about accepting the facts even if you do not like them.

    • Of course there are other options:

      D) You misunderstand what Muller says. He does not say, that the temperature trend in the last 10 years has been unchanced. The temperature trend of the last 10 years was indeed lower than in some of the previous years. But that wasn’t, what Muller was talking about at all. He spoke from the long-term trend (30 years or even longer) and that this long-term trend has not changed in the last 10 years.

      To see that, just read the BEST FAQ on that topic or take a look at this graph, which shows the 10-year trends of the last 40 years, which were warming overall with a rate of 2.3°C per century. Despite those long-term warming trend, the much shorter 10-year trends have a huge fluctuations and can sometimes even be negative:

      http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/7092/best10yeartrends.png

      As you can see, the current period is in no way unusual and no sign of any slowing down in the *longterm* trend. Otherwise global warming would have stopped in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, which is ridiculous considering the strong warming since then.

  76. Like sand through the hourglass
    So are The Days of Our Climate Science.

    And I gave up soap operas all those years ago, like when I was a teenager.

    Meanwhile back in town… The Squiggly Line Turns… or not significantly. And Pam saw Bobby in the shower… Luke still loves Laura. <3

    Andrew

  77. curryja says at October 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm, “This is one reason I started a blog, to get my words out there and minimize my personal exposure to manipulation.”

    An unfortunately sad statement about the current climate of climate science.

  78. 7 minutes?
    I’m starting to feel all virtuous with my 18 minutes. I didn’t leave the room either….

    Was I right that there was an air of religious fundamentalism to it ?

    On the original topic of this thread, Richard Muller answered this question -

    “..have you also answered the question which is raised, again, by sceptics, about whether or nor global warming has stopped in the last ten years?”

    With this -

    “In our data, which was only on land, we see no evidence of it slowing down”

    Is it fair to say that is demonstrably false? That it is not true? That the evidence shows something else entirely?
    I’m more than baffled. Why would he say such a thing, assuming he’s actually seen the data?

    The whole shebang is here –

    https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20111021_r4

    • “Was I right that there was an air of religious fundamentalism to it ?”

      No, of course not. The man is a real scientist talking about science. Your perceptions appear to be quite biased. Why can’t you recognize a person who knows what he is talking about?

  79. Holly Stick

    Of course you can’t judge whether the earth is waming or c0oling over just 10 years-I have never said that you can. However there are undobtedly cycles of climate that work over hundreds of years. I write frequently about them. I also collect historic instrumental records and historic observations. This is my site
    http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/

    What part of the world are you living in that is seeing prime farmland becoming desert so rapidly?
    tonyb

    • Canadian prairies; they are not becoming desert right now on the whole, but I expect they will. My own home gets much less snow in the winter than it did in the 1960s.

      They tend to have drought cycles anyway, but of course global warming is likely to exacerbate droughts. This is my own opinion, not based on particular studies, but knowing of some historic droughts, as in the links here:
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2009/07/06/f-prairies-drought.html

      http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/6673.pdf

    • And lakes in Alberta which have been part of my life since the late 40s have gone through major drops and are now recovering, looks like about a 60-80 yr cycle.

    • But of course global warming will disrupt the cycle, if there is such a cycle. The world has not warmed so fast in the past 10,000 years when we developed farming; we cannot expect any cycles to continue as they have in the past. You folks have no idea what effects AGW is likely to have on all of us.

    • Holly stick

      On what basis do you make the claim that the world has not warmed so fast in the last 10000 years? This is an excerpt from my article carried here on sea level rise 8000 years ago;

      “According to the BBC ‘Britain’s Drowned World’ TV programme carried out by ‘Time Team’, the inundation was caused by a prolonged sea level rise at 2cm per year (around 10 times the current rate) and exacerbated over a 15 year period by a 7 degree Fahrenheit temperature rise.”

      http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/12/historic-variations-in-sea-levels-part-1-from-the-holocene-to-romans/

      Lots of evidence of rapid sea level rise caused by warm periods throughout the article.

      The earth changes between its various states from warm to cold and back again. Fortunately we are living in a warm period or we would find it impossible to feed the worlds growing population.

      There is no evidence for your alarmism and belief that everything today is unprecedented.
      tonyb

    • One link there doesn’t work, the other says nothing about a 7 degree F rise in temperature. And there is nothing to say if how widespread the change in temperature was if there was such a change. Local vs global. The Arctic is warming up twice as fast as some other areas:

      http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/qthinice.asp

    • Holly,

      Memory can be selective. 1961 was reported and estimated the worst drought year in Saskatchewan. http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/drought.html

    • Holly stick

      I only made one link and it works perfectly. The reference is clearly there about the 7 degree rise in temperature. It caused a rise in sea levels that cut Britain off from Europe. I’m still waiting for your reference concerning the temperature rising faster now than at any time in the past 10000 yrears. I’m not aware of temperatures rising say 8degrees in the last 15 years are you?

      So the arctic is warming again? So what? It did it from 1918 to 1940 and prior to that 1816-1860. Both articles detailing these events are in my web site already refernced to you.
      tonyb

    • Holly stick

      So they aren’t becomg deserts at all but they MIGHT in the years ahead? You don’t think you are being alarmist and ignoring the lessons from the past?

      Climate changes-even in Canada- and this is reflected in this intriguing reference from the records of the Canadian Horticulturist monthly of 1880 (page 7).
      “I do not know whether or not the climate of Ontario is really becoming permanently milder than formerly, but I do know that for the past 18 years or 20 years we have not experienced the same degree of cold as the seven years preceding.”
      http://www.archive.org/stream/canadianhorticu03stcauoft#page/6/mode/2up

      As for droughts they happen all the time as you demonstrate. Why do you think this time is different?
      tonyb

    • Holly stick

      Even Wiki admits to 40 droughts in Canada over the last 200 years-its nothing new

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drought_in_Canada

      tonyb

    • Global Warming will make bad weather worse.

    • Holly Stick, Mark F, Kermit and tonyb:

      On droughts in Canada; there are data, you know. From
      Drought under global warming: a review

      “…Figure 6 shows that global PDSI fields from 1900 to 2008 contain two robust modes of variability, with the first mode representing a long-term trend (Figure 6(a)) of drying over Africa, South and East Asia, eastern Australia, northern South America, southern Europe, and most of Alaska and western Canada
      …The second mode is associated with the ENSO…”

      etc.

    • Fig 6a shows the parts drying versus those getting wetter about equally distributed in Western Canada.

      For current conditions (up to a year back) one can get data at drought watch Govt Canada site
      http://www4.agr.gc.ca/DW-GS/current-actuelles.jspx?lang=eng&jsEnabled=true

    • “Canadian prairies; they are not becoming desert right now on the whole, but I expect they will. My own home gets much less snow in the winter than it did in the 1960s.

      They tend to have drought cycles anyway, but of course global warming is likely to exacerbate droughts.”

      If the ground is frozen for shorter periods it should become drier.

      “The Prairies experienced its wettest year on record, 26.9% above normal, beating out 1951, at 26.8% above normal. Two other regions ranked among the ten driest, South B.C. Mountains (ranked 2nd driest, 24.5% below normal), and North B.C. Mountains/Yukon (ranked 6thdriest, 14.5%). All of the climate regions and their rankings for the year 2010 relative to the last 63 years are listed in the ranked regional precipitation table ”
      http://www.ec.gc.ca/adsc-cmda/default.asp?lang=En&n=77842065-1#a4

      By their graphs it looks like periods between 1970s and 1990s were the wettest in general.

      The prairies of short grass and little in way of trees are regions that receives little rainfall. To farm these regions one needs to employ practices which deal with these conditions.
      Since the world is warming and new land will become arable and if you
      use the land for farming, one probably use more irrigation:

      “Irrigation is warranted where the CLIMATE is essentially arid or semiarid and is characterized by low and unpredictable precipitation (see RAIN). In certain areas, such as the southern PRAIRIES, southern BC and SW Ontario, irrigation can be used to supplement limited rainfall to achieve desirable crop yields. In Canada irrigation is a relatively recent phenomenon.”
      ..
      About 747,625 ha of Canadian farmland were irrigated in 1986
      ..
      “Lack of sufficient rainfall is most limiting to crop production and agricultural diversification throughout the southern prairies. Within this region the soils and growing season are conducive to irrigation development on upwards of 2 to 3 million ha. However, future irrigation expansion is significantly curtailed by limited availability and location of major water sources, the high cost of capital works development, ie, storage dams, diversions and distribution networks, and by global market competition in agricultural commodities.”
      http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=a1ARTA0004063

      Considering the amount money wasted on AGW, irrigation is relatively cheap.

  80. Notably, there was a time when the Daily Mail was publishing pure warmist rubbish, such as an Aug 29, 2008 deceiving article about “drowning” polar bears, by a “Barry Wigmore”.

    I am sure Tim Lambert and Joe Romm were up in arms at the time against such a gigantic distortion of truth.

  81. I’ve lived fifty years in the same area(off and on)I notice no difference in the seasons.In fact I remember my teen years being vey hot,does that mean it has gotten cooler in my area?
    Live long enough,you see the extremes of weather,hot some years,cool others.

  82. Can anyone confirm m whether the data used was raw data or ‘adjusted’ data?

    I ask because we know that the Bureau of Meterology here in Australia has been caught out systematically adjusting the historical record, lowering the early C20 and raising the later C20 temperatures.

    We also know that there has been systematic elimination of weather stations in high altitudes and/or high latitudes.

    If ALL the data is not made publicly available (with full descriptions, caveats etc), then doubts about the findings will remain.

  83. Josh’s Muller Cartoon- Just in case someone missed it last week, and until he comes up with the sequel!

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/10/23/the-best-on-offer-josh-123.html

    • Brian G Valentine

      Cartoon fails to indicate that the produce is “going to be” USDA inspected and hopefully approved

      (unless it happens to be one of those commie “denialist” inspectors who have already decided they don’t like it)

  84. Holly Stick | October 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Reply

    Sorry, John. What about all the complaints by WUWT and such that “sceptics” can’t get their papers published? So where is this surge of papers appearing? Two or three versus thousands? Blog posts don’t count.

    —————–

    Holly Stick,

    Thanks for your reply.

    It is not surprising you disagree with me.

    The skeptical paper trend is up.

    These are great times as science once again is becoming an open and healthy skeptical venue of climate science.

    John

  85. Brandon Shollenberger

    That FAQ gives a bogus answer. It says:

    Our study addressed only one area of the concerns: was the temperature rise on land improperly affected by the four key biases (station quality, homogenization, urban heat island, and station selection)? The answer turned out to be no – but they were questions worthy of investigation.

    Note the part I made bold. BEST is claiming they addressed the concern of station quality, but they didn’t. They only looked at stations within one dataset, in one country. Nothing in their FAQ indicates this limitation, and despite it, the FAQ says it knows the answer to the question. It is no better than hand-waving extrapolation.

    It’s disturbing to see a group which is supposed to answer questions regarding certainty overstating their certainty.

    • They also did not address UHI. They compared allegedly rural to allegedly very rural stations. And they falsely reported in the WSJ that they compared urban, to very rural/distant from urban. It’s BS.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Don Monfort, your comment here is wrong. First, it is misleading to say BEST didn’t address UHI. Whatever methodological failings their approach may have, it is reasonable to say it addresses UHI. It may address other things in addition to UHI, but the existence of confounding factors doesn’t justify your statement.

      Second, they didn’t compare “allegedly rural to allegedly very rural stations.” Your sentence claiming such makes no sense. BEST sought to compare “very rural” stations to all stations. There was no “very rural” to rural comparison. There was no “very rural” to urban comparison. There was just a “very rural” to all comparison.

      Third, the Wall Street Journal article doesn’t say what you claim it falsely reported. It says it “conducted a temperature analysis based solely on ‘very rural’ locations, distant from urban ones,” but it never says it “compared urban to very rural/distant from urban.”

      I think you’ve misunderstood what issues have been raised, so it might be wise to go back and reread the material you’re getting this from. There are certainly issues with the UHI paper, and that WSJ article is complete rubbish, but your comment here is very wrong.

    • BEST calimed they used MODIS500 maps. There is no such thing as a “very rural” classification.

      http://www.sage.wisc.edu/people/schneider/research/data_readme.html

    • Bruce, RTFR and find out what BEST meant by very rural. This was gone over ad nauseum in the BEST results thread.

    • Didn’t mosher bail when I pointed out the same thing?

      If they used MODIS500 they should have used their classifications. They should not have fabricated one.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Bruce, your comment here is just inane. BEST never claimed to use a “very rural” classification from MODIS. It clearly explained how it used MODIS’s data to come up with it’s own “very rural” classification. There is absolutely nothing wrong with building upon MODIS’s results.

      There are certainly issues with BEST’s “very rural” classification, and they’re worth discussing. However, your comments indicate you don’t understand what those issues are, so all you are doing is muddling matters. Rather than (inadvertently) work toward preventing a discussion of the issues with their “very rural” classification, you ought to take some time and read up on what those issues are.

    • Title of paper: “Influence of Urban Heating on the Global Temperature Land Average Using Rural Sites Identified from MODIS Classifications”

      “To accomplish this we use the MODIS urban classification map (Schneider et 92 al. 2009, 2010; described below) combined with our large collection of temperature stations.”

      And then the EXTRA not believable part: “Of the 39,028 sites, 16,132 were classified by this method as very-rural.”

  86. Brian G Valentine

    Thank you, Dr Curry, for speaking out on this; I think Muller’s behavior is horrendous

    I submitted a paper months ago on Spenser’s results, either the thing gets reviewed and published or it goes in the trash – I’m not going to take it to Time Magazine or someplace to tell them how great it is or I am because of it

    Nobody would

    I work for the US DOE. I can tell you flatly, that Mr Muller’s activities are not entirely surprising to me and I don’t believe they would be anybody who has been acquainted with him in the past

  87. Judith,

    I guess you’ve learned a lesson about the Daily Mail. Just don’t talk to them. Not even in an email. Mind you, it probably won’t stop them making it up anyway!

    Phil Jones has had the same treatment. This is what he said to the BBC last year:
    BBC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?
    PJ: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm

    This is how it was reported by the Daily Mail.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html

    The Daily Mail have a long history of getting it wrong. They supported the British Nazi movement in the 30′s and just recently they could even get it right when reporting the Amanda Knox appeal:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/03/amanda-knox-verdict-daily-mail-publishes-erroneous-story_n_993010.html

    They apologised for that one. I don’t think they’ve apologised to Phil Jones though, and I doubt you’ll get one either.

  88. This may have been asked and answered above (377 comments at this point), but Judith, your name is second on all the papers. Did you or did you not read them before they were posted with your name on them>???

    • Eli

      Where have you been hiding?

      I’m not aware that your question has been asked. Its a good one though
      tonyb

    • Eli,
      Would it ever be the case that someone’s name would be on a paper like this that they hadn’t read? What is the practice in academia, or does no one ask?

      It is a good question.

    • Steven Mosher

      Hi Josh halpern

      Perhaps you could ask Deep climate: dave clarke
      or Dehogza: Don Baccuss

    • Alphabetical listing of authors, but what does it matter anyway? The problem is not in the papers, but in the presentation and the press.
      =========

    • Not sure why you’re making a point of “outing” people.

    • Out so long looks like in to me.
      =========

    • Another good one. Sharp.

    • Eli and TB,

      I’ve been asking Judith about her involvement with the paper since she first released the BEST:release posts. I’ve made the point that she should either defend the paper, which as you say carries her name, or publicly disown it. All she’s said is that her name is only second for alphabetical reasons, which seems a bit lame IMO.

    • Tempterrain,

      It’s more than that. Journals have rather picky policies on co-authorship, not just honorary ones but also where there is significant disagreement among those listed on the manuscript.

      This being Halloween, allow Eli to distribute some M&Ms.

      “This is a scandal where the rules of the journal are, according to the posts of one of the authors being shattered, The manuscripts must be withdrawn or the editor sent a certified notice from all of the authors that they agree with every last word.”

      Guess cute bunnies just don’t have that sort of mojo. Whatever.

      Eli also wonders what would happen if the journals these manuscripts were sent to required (as some now do) that the role of each of the authors n the project and writing be specifically noted.

    • I have stated previously that to my knowledge there are no honorary authors on the best papers. I saw and participated in extensive online discussion about the analyses and the papers

    • Sorry, that just does not wash, maybe for an acknowledgement at the end. The AGU language is

      “Authors are individuals who have significantly contributed to the research and preparation of the article; all coauthors share responsibility for submitted articles. List each author name separately; a group should not be listed as an author. Groups and other contributors who do not meet the authorship criteria should be appropriately acknowledged in the acknowledgments section.”

      See
      http://scientopia.org/blogs/science-professor/2011/04/12/to-author-or-not-to-author/

      for some examples

    • Get over it. All of the coauthors contributed to the papers and share responsibility for the submitted articles.

    • Judith,

      That’s fine of course. But why do we all get the feeling that you aren’t too enthusiastic about “sharing responsibility”?

  89. Well, one thing this episode shows is that there is no such thing as a normal or candid discussion with a journalist, espeically one that ostensibly writes on issues dealing with science. Most journalists appear always be be “on”, ever on the look for ways to spin whatever tidbit or factoid comes their way to fit the narrative of a story that they already have written in their heads. It’s even worse for science journalism, because it is apparent that most science journalists have little or no education in the sciences. When pressed to write an article on a topic that involves disagreements within a scientific community, it seems that many of them nonetheless feel empowered to pick winners and losers despite their lack of knowledge, which they do by resorting to caricatures of bad guys versus good guys. In climate journalism the good guys are those who operate within the “scientific consensus” and respected international body that toil for the benefit of mankind and Mother Earth. The bad guys are those who are paid off by the greedy energy companies, or are mentally disordered deniers of obvious fact. This plot is too corny and banal even to make an interesting movie for anyone over the age of 10, but in climate journalism it seems to be all the rage.

  90. Yes, but climate skeptics are cafeteria skeptics, choosing to be skeptical about what pleases them to be skeptical about. True skeptics are skeptical in general.

    • You are really a dope. If one disbelieves one thing for lack of convincing evidence, one must disbelieve everything? I repeat, you are really a dope.

    • Don, if you are trying to get me to insult you with some rude comment, it isn’t going to work.

      The Oxford Dictionary defines skeptic as
      “a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions,” not a person who disbelieves everything lacking evidence.

      OK, I guess if you really have your heart set on getting a rude comment, I could manage one, if you ask.

    • Peter Wilby, in the latest issue of New Statesman, gives the OED definiton as; “an enquirer who has not yet arrived at definite convictions”.

    • nandhee jothi

      I don’t what that means.
      I am skeptical when a bunch of bozos tell me earth warmed a whole bunch, and it never happened before. I am even more skeptical they have settled the whole bloddy fricking science

      But, I am not skeptical the earth goes around the sun ; I am not skeptical species constantly evolve ( sometime faster than other times ). I am not skeptical that the earth is billions of years old and that our sun is the product of an old SuperNova. I am not skeptical if we keep screwing this world, we will be in one big bloody soup

      Don’t have to be skeptical about everything under the sun.

  91. This seems like a Jersey Shore episode: nothing more than drama. Climate ‘science’ has become a movement pushed by passions and ‘ideals’ more than facts or numbers. After reading all this I feel so happy to have choose Engineering as research field… we don’t care about the advance of ‘science’, we care about the advance of humanity. We don’t work for the paper, we work for a solution.

    • Many people don’t care about the advance of science. Science pursues truth. Those threatened by truth might even object to the advancement of science.

    • Science generally advances when the old consensus ideas are thrown in the garbage.

    • According to this argument: in order to advance scientifically, we should throw away every single concept on which modern science is founded. Get rid of every point on which there is a consensus. The consensus shows it must be wrong!

    • tempterrain: “According to this argument: in order to advance scientifically, we should throw away every single concept on which modern science is founded.”

      We don’t have to. The old concepts are always pushed out by better ones.

  92. With every wave the sand castles of Global Warming are washing away.
    Splash on believing “scientists”, splash on.

    And off Keihl-Trenberth’s 2009 energy budget itself, 396-333 is just 63 net upwards and properly so on a planet in three dimensions where radiation near the surface cannot propagate horizontally without absorption. And of the 63, 40 goes straight through the radiative window to space leaving us a grand total of some 23 Watts per meter squared upon which all of the mountains of climate papers, blogs, millions of comments and billions of investments lie.

    And even on a doubling that 23 will change insignificantly as Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi has clearly shown.

    In the end, this tiny and obscure fact is Global Warming’s Achilles heel. Say goodbye to it now.

    The warming in the GHCN records is from everything Muller is now saying it is not, error, UHI and incorrect adjustments.

    • “With every wave the sand castles of Global Warming are washing away.”

      Oh dear, *still*?

      You’ll be writing the same thing in ten years, I wager. Just as you (‘skeptics’) were writing it ten years ago, and ten years before that. Meanwhile, science marches on. And the climate gets warmer.

  93. Nick Stokes has shown over at Tamino’s that the reason the data jumps so cold during april etc in BEST (2010) is because it uses only ~50 stations during those months as compared to 14,000 for other months.

  94. For AGW True Believers there is no global cooling — only warming and a ‘warming hiatus.’ That is true faith.

  95. More strangeness. BEST is now blaming the media for their own PR disaster:

    “…have the media hold back and not report preprint material. Unfortunately they refuse to do that. ”

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

  96. “I define a denier to be someone skeptical of the obvious truth, like an ostrich hiding its head in the sand.”

    So, Hansen and Gore are also deniers?

    I had thought deniers had a connotation of denying the governmental policies of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

    • Brian G Valentine

      “Global Warming” is one subject for which Godwin will always be vindicated

    • wiki says:
      “Climate change denial is a term used to describe organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial or ideological reasons. Typically, these attempts take the rhetorical form of legitimate scientific debate, while not adhering to the actual principles of that debate. Climate change denial has been associated with the energy lobby, industry advocates and free market think tanks, often in the United States.Some commentators describe climate change denial as a particular form of denialism.

      Peter Christoff, writing in The Age in 2007, said that climate change denial differs from skepticism, which is essential for good science. He went to say that “almost two decades after the issue became one of global concern, the ‘big’ debate over climate change is over. There are now no credible scientific sceptics challenging the underlying scientific theory, or the broad projections, of climate change.”

      So saying Hansen and Gore are denier in this context would surely wrong, as these guys are definitely team players.

      But since there isn’t any legitimate debate about computer projections and the science of climate change, it might possible that Climate Etc is part a vast conspiracy [perhaps unwittingly] but to be on the safe side, one should avoid these and similar sites lest you become associated with Climate change denial

  97. I have appended a comment I made on this blog a couple of weeks ago as these comments build on it. Now to build on the corporate collapse model of the global warming scare:

    I see the way the BEST results have been announced and publicised as the metaphorical equivalent of the Chief Executive or more probably the Chief Finacial Officer becoming publicly angry that the financial position of their corporation has been publicly questioned. They sooth public disquiet by pointing out that the corporation has plenty of cash and undrawn lines of credit available should trading conditions become any more difficult. Meanwhile carefully avoiding or hiding the “elephant in the room” of the metaphorical corporation’s unsustainable debt levels which would overwhelm any cash available. The “elephant in the room” the BEST “publicists” and their fellow travellers are avoiding is the extent to which man’s CO2 emissions have made a contribution if any that is significant (measurable above background random variations).

    I warned below, “This is when the real crimes are committed and it gets most unpleasant – now”. Judith will need to tough it out from here on and hopefully other contributors to this blog will offer her support and encouragement.

    “As a scientist and a lawyer I see this as very similar to a corporate collapse caused by fraud (eg Enron). Ever wilder claims in defence of the status quo until the metaphorical dam bursts. Subsequent enquiries will reveal the most egregious failures were just stupidity (many will claim that as a defence as we do not punish stupidity), but the punishable crimes come late as the collapse starts and are relatively small in the scheme of things. While many of the worst offenders try to leave, others remain trying to stop the metaphical ship (sorry for the mixed metaphors, but they make the point well) sinking. This is when the real crimes are committed and it gets most unpleasant – now. They move from enjoying the results of their actions to active fraud and potential criminal liability. Actively silencing dissent and whistle blowers, trying to mislead or corrupt influential institutions or regulators (what happened to formelry impartial scientific institutions and peer review and the open forums they provided?), recklessly or knowingly making false claims, changing temperature records to support their position, changing the goal posts (global warming to climate change to climate disruption to … an ice age???), making wilder and wilder claims, claiming the present condition is just a temporary phase and will pass etc. Sound familiar? The irony is that the punishable crimes have a relatively small impact and will be seen with the benefit of hindsight as something that any rational individual would never have done; but in the heat of the moment … So we too often see the people we would most like to see punished walk away.

    “Whilst both the scientist and lawyer in me are both very angry, there is a real risk that chasing the crooks and inventing more criminal offences to protect the future (a 20-50 year cycle in corporate law, in reality how long it takes for the mistakes of one generation to be forgotten and repeated) will blind us to repairing, reforming and strengthening the institutions that should have prevented this in the first place or at least not aided and abetted it. This is an era when specialisation has made us too accepting of the claims from other narrow areas of specialisation and too timid to question what appears to be very wrong. The Royal Society motto is Nullius in Verba was created hundreds of years ago for good reason but it is a warning shamefully ignored today.”

    • You are right John, the collapse is inevitable.It’s the corruption pure and simple. Thank you for some words other than pure noise.

    • John, see my comment above
      http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/30/mail-on-best/#comment-130609

      And for an analysis of what happens to crazy, misanthropic policy based on the perverse extension of “settled” science, from Eugenics to a charming, if little-remembered scare in the mid 19th century that the world was running out of spar timber, you may enjoy

      http://kestencgreen.com/green%26armstrong-agw-analogies.pdf

      It’s not encouraging. “Socialised penitence”, in the form of legislated misanthropy, tends to befoul the statute books long after those that promoted it have beaten a tactical retreat into silence or, as happened with global cooling, merely transferred their energies to next Big Scary Thing with which to frighten people into doing as they say.

    • Tom, are you familiar with ‘The doomsday myth 10,000 years of economic crises’? Lots of parallels with what you say above.

      To me, the only possible leverage to cure such delusions is the knowledge of ‘This time it’s different’. You can point to past (certain) beliefs in coming catastrophes to no effect, but sometimes pointing out that we were myriad times certain of catastrophe and certain (when pointed in the direction of past faulty beliefs) that even then we were certain that ‘this time it’s different’…

      But then again maybe not – the future is unknown, it is scary and we have inbuilt mechanisms for guilt, punishment and catastrophe that get tickled all-too-easily.

      One further problem – catastrophists convince themselves that past actions actually saved us from disaster. People believe that SO2 scrubbers saved the forests of Europe, forgetting the inconvenient fact that the forests of Europe were in rude health long before such scrubbers were introduced. It is truly amazing – three decades after the big acid rain scare of the 80′s we can say with certainty that we know the percentage of trees that dies from acid rain – to the nearest one percent!! But nobody wants to know because that number is zero.

      Acid rain is always my favourite exemplar of the hysteria phenomenon (and the consensus being wrong…). There is a very well written summation of the beginning of the collapse of the scare from the early 90′s here –

      http://www.apsnet.org/publications/plantdisease/backissues/Documents/1994Articles/PlantDisease78n11_1021.PDF

      I think German greens are still more wary of ‘scientific’ predictions of doom as a result of Prof Ulrich {Hansen?} and his cohorts getting it so badly wrong.

    • For a very different take on the acid rain problem than the one presented here by Anteros, see Acid Rain in the Adirondacks: An Environmental History

    • I’m not completely immune to such analyses.
      Different continent, different focus (lakes) and different perspective…. But I take your point.
      If anyone can be objective about the difference between a ‘genuine concern’ and a ‘hysterical fear’ they are probably unique.

      My perspective is that the fears are usually an order of magnitude too large, but I wouldn’t put lead back in paint or petrol.

    • Different continent, different focus (lakes) and different perspective

      What do you mean, it has always been about the lakes. The Canadian shield country goes right to the granite bedrock and the lakes have virtually no buffering mechanisms. I used to drink right from the BWCA lakes while canoeing but not recommended any longer. Whether that is due to Giardia, mercury, etc. I don’t know offhand, but it is certainly due to some aspect of human progress. Nothing to stop that, except complain every once in a while.

    • In the UK where I live (and most of western Europe) the panic was about forest dieback. We had very little alleged problem with lakes.
      I never kept up with what was going on Stateside – regional solutions for regional problems?
      AGW, of course is touted as a different kettle of fish, although effects can only be regionally specific..

    • WHT

      There is a lot of mercury from CFLs out there now.

    • There is a lot of mercury from CFLs out there now.

      Try again, CFL are recent, but the local mercury is from taconite mining and smelting in the iron range residing in essentially the same county.
      http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/mercuryandmining.pdf
      Nothing we can do about this because people need their steel.

    • Apologies for some confused writing….. and dies=died :)

    • nandhee jothi

      John,
      you are right… except for the timescale. This will go on and on… with Hansen and Trenberth and Jones ( and the crook Mike Mann too ) collecting their handsome pensions for decades to come.

      Then the cooks in government finding that subverting democracy has huge monetary payoffs… USSR lived for good 70 years

  98. joe in the piedmont

    who remembers conversations from a week ago?
    really?

    let’s subpoena the other half of the conversation and see if there is any discrepancy. there are enough mistakes in our memories about a week ago much less 2006.

    with malice towards none and generosity to all.
    words to live by. I try and fail, buy I do try.

  99. More on how the Daily Mail systematically misrepresent and misreport the work of Climate scientists.

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2010/02/15/205415/rosegate-dailymail-error-riddled-articles-misquote-credibility-science/

    If only Judith had listened to what Joe Romm had to say about the slimeballs in Feb 2010

    “Readers should assume that everything they see in the Daily Mail is untrue and unverified. Scientists should refuse to grant interviews to the paper without a third-party present or an agreement to allow a review of any quotes used.”

    • Joe Romm routinely refers to me as “the most debunked climate scientist on the planet.” He’s entitled to his opinion, but his opinion on such matters doesn’t mean much to me.

    • Well, he’s debunked you more than any other climate scientist on the planet, so I guess he’s got his own facts, too.
      ============

  100. Bart R & Vaughan Pratt

    When you lose an argument, you have started to play the man.

    The Emperor has no clothes regarding AGW.

    The global mean temperature PATTERN has not changed since record begun 160 years ago as shown below:

    http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

    The PATTERN shows a global warming rate of 0.06 deg C per decade and an oscillation (due to ocean cycles) of 0.5 deg C every 30 years.

    Please play the ball and show us where the pattern has changed.

  101. When enough evidence is available there should be a point when a skeptic ceases to be a skeptic on a specific matter. Or, does the skeptic just revise his/her standards and continue to be a skeptic indefinately? I suspect that as long as research funds are offered, a few researchers will never admit there is enough evidence and they are satisfied with the data. This may not be bad, but in a critical situation when so much is at stake and when immediate action is required the skeptic must search themselves more thoroughly for hidden biases. They must ask themselves if their skepticism is genuine or politically motivated. Skeptics must serve the truth and not political masters.

  102. Hi Judith,

    In further UK press coverage, The Daily Telegraph’s James Delingpole opines that the BEST team are liars and cheats.

    The Telegraph is the largest circulation broadsheet in the UK.

  103. Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?

    Because, based on the data, the global mean temperature (GMT) has its peaks and valleys that are bounded by two straight lines as shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/uQEq8M

    Once the GMT reaches its peak, it reverses and moves to its valley. This happens about every 60 years. For example, in the 1880s and 1940s, the GMT reached its peaks and reversed and moved to its valleys in the following 30 years.

    Similarly, in the 2000s, after 60 years from its previous maximum of the 1940s, the GMT reached its peak and reversed and is moving to reach its valley by about the 2030s.

    The data shows early evidence of this cooling phase as shown in the following graph:

    http://bit.ly/nz6PFx

    It is a travesty for the educated class not acknowledging this fact based on the data.

    • I like the graphs.

      Isn’t it true that both RSS and Hadcrut show a decline going back more than 14 years? Cherry-picking or not it is pretty much half of the 30 year valley.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/rss/from:1997.5/trend/plot/rss/from:1997.5

    • As the warmers like to say, “it’s worse than we thought”. Not only do the satellites have a negative trend (RSS), or a slight positive trend (UAH), but according to the models, their trend, which comes from the lower troposphere, should actually be running hotter than the surface trend. The fact that the suface records are running hotter than the satellites when they should be running cooler is a good indication of just how far off the surface records are. And as the hottest of the hot, BEST is the worst of them all. After all the fanfare, the likelyhood is very high that BEST has only succeeded in failing worse than the instrument records that already exist.

  104. “…crude oil production levels have since peaked globally…”

    First, I can’t find that stat.
    Second, does it have anything to do with environmentalists virtually banning drilling in the USA (like in my back yard here in Michigan)? In other words you’re using peak oil as the threat to get your way, and then making your disaster scenario come true?

    Dang, are you a troll? Cause if I said that this is what you guys were actually thinking in a regular (newspaper, Facebook, etc) discussion, I’d be called a right-wing loon!

    • Crude oil production peaked in December 2005, but the TOTAL production of oil continues to rise. The extra is made up of all the unconventionals, GTL, CTL, heavy oil, deep sea oil, tar sands, bitumen, kerogen etc

      Peak oilers always forget the price mechanism. At $200 a barrel, there is an unbelievable quantity of liquid (and liquidisable) fossil fuel.

      It’s sometimes funny to see an un-reconstructed peak oil doomster morph into an AGW catastrophist – there is always some cognitive dissonance.

    • Peak oilers always forget the price mechanism. At $200 a barrel, there is an unbelievable quantity of liquid (and liquidisable) fossil fuel.

      Anteros, this knowledge indicates that you are a peak oiler as well.

      The problem is that 99% of the population doesn’t understand this fundamental issue. The fact that we have to throttle back crude production and use all these poor EROEI low-grades of fossil fuel completely escapes from their worldview. Heck, they don’t even know what EROEI means.

      1. Conventional crude oil production will decrease
      You agree with this

      2. Alternative low-grade fossil fuels with a mutiplying carbon content due to poor EROEI will replace conventional crude. That’s why it costs $200 since the extra cost is energy.
      You also agree with this

      You, sir, are a peak oiler, congratulations!

    • WHT, that’s quite the reverse logic statement. He is saying peak oil is a myth. Everyone who knows anything about petrochemicals knows this.

      The 3000 mile myth is not well known, why don’t you talk about that instead?

    • WHT, that’s quite the reverse logic statement. He is saying peak oil is a myth. Everyone who knows anything about petrochemicals knows this.

      You are incredibly naive. Petrochemicals are materials derived from petroleum, which is a conventional name given to crude oil.

      Now if you or any other person wants to have a serious discussion, I suggest that you read (or at least page through, lots of illustrations) the PDF that I have attached in the link on my handle. The issue we have with climate change and oil depletion is a systems problem. Anyone that thinks that we can deal with these issues separately has got their heads buried in the sand.
      This is an area that I agree with Manacker and Hagen on this blog, in that they actually point out the importance of a finite resource on this whole debate.
      If you want to be uninformed and put your blinders on, go ahead and call it a myth. I would rather be involved in a solution.

    • We have a very different interpretation of what ‘Peak Oil’ means, in just the way we probably have a different interpretation of what AGW means. In ‘trivially true’ senses I agree with both. However I don’t consider either problematic, dangerous or alarming.
      The great implication hidden in the rationale of peaksters isn’t that oil production will decline, but that it will be society-destroying. LATOC etc – decline will cause collapse.
      December 2005 proved precisely why that fear is just a misunderstanding of how things change – nobody noticed!

      I fully understand what you mean about increasing prices, poor EROEI, and multiplying carbon content. Entropy too.

      If we both agree that in two or five hundred years very little energy will be produced from fossil fuels, all we disagree about is the course of that change, how it will manifest itself, perhaps how smooth it will be, and what combination of sources will make up the mix.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but there was really only ever nuclear and solar there in the first place. Who knows what the future of nuclear will be, but the solar portion (in human terms) is perfectly steady and essentially infinite.

      BTW, I’m under no illusion about the enormity of a cubic mile of oil, even if I have to remind myself of it from time to time. However, I see our use of fossil energy as a product of ridiculous availability, not need. Our adaptive capacities haven’t even been toyed with.

      And the bast news is that the bigger the change, the more energising it is (excuse the pun) for societies as a whole.

    • We have a very different interpretation of what ‘Peak Oil’ means, in just the way we probably have a different interpretation of what AGW means. In ‘trivially true’ senses I agree with both. However I don’t consider either problematic, dangerous or alarming.

      Well I don’t consider it absolutely devastating either, but neither do I spread misinformation and euphemistic sloganeering like the skeptics do. You had referred to me a as a “doomster”. Well, take a look at my book on oil depletion and point out in any place where I personally laid out any gloom or doom scenarios. You won’t find any, apart from some references to how a real doomster feels. I never read LATOC and if I have reference to it on my blog (since 2004) or the book, it is purely incidental. My approach is two-pronged, one volume of the book called “Decline” and one called “Renewal”. To me it is all about information and modeling that information so people can understand the issues beyond the intuition and heuristics that continue to fail us. The cubic mile of oil is a heuristic that fails as it does not change a skeptic’s mind either way.

      However, I see our use of fossil energy as a product of ridiculous availability, not need. Our adaptive capacities haven’t even been toyed with.

      Good, let’s be aware of the hiccups along the path then. I wish we can use some of this valuable resource to figure out the next resource we can more intelligently use.

    • I’m sure I didn’t refer to you personally as a ‘doomster’. Perhaps someone else did, and to be fair many peak oilers most definitely are.

      I see your frustration that nobody seems to understand the problem… I have had that too. It might look like nobody is addressing (or understanding) the issue, but maybe they are – to the extent that seems justified by current energy prices, and shortish term prospects.

      I totally agree about hiccups. I guess there will be many – changes are rarely smooth. Perhaps the volatility of the 70′s will be repeated a few times.

      My optimism is always based on demonstrated capacities for dramatic adaptation, and how when push comes to shove, it is always more effortless and obvious than seemed likely. Manpower to horsepower to woodpower to coalpower to gaspower, were hardly conceived of in advance. When wood was dramatically ‘running out’ through use in the rail industry in the States in the 19th century, there was enormous pessimism because nobody could SEE the alternative(s). But that’s the point – the future is essentially unknowable!

    • WHT.
      To be clear, my comment about peak oil doomsters was a response to Geek, above. I had not read anything written by you at that point.

    • WHT.
      I had a glance at your website. Much to ponder.
      On purely depletion scenarios, are you familiar with Freddy Hutter?

      http://www.trendlines.ca/free/peakoil/Scenarios/scenarios.htm

      I use it to get an idea of the lay of the land.

    • On purely depletion scenarios, are you familiar with Freddy Hutter?

      Freddy is kind of a cornucopian but he did for awhile keep track of lots of different depletion scenarios (none of his own). His stuff in fact is a good example of taking ensemble forecasts and trying to make sense of the overall trend. http://www.trendlines.ca/

    • “…crude oil production levels have since peaked globally…”

      First, I can’t find that stat.

      This is indeed hard to find because the government agencies and oil industry consultants have redefined crude oil to include something called “all liquids”. This category includes coal-to-liquid, biofuels, liquefied natural gas or anything else that keeps the ruse going that actual oil production is rising:
      the crude-only component is shown here:
      http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=5&pid=57&aid=1&cid=ww,&syid=1980&eyid=2011&unit=TBPD

      The following graph is the growth gap that a Texas oil geologist put together. This shows the extrapolated rate of crude oil production that should have continued after 2005, given that the world had sufficient reserves available.
      http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i475/westexas/Slide05.jpg

      Second, does it have anything to do with environmentalists virtually banning drilling in the USA (like in my back yard here in Michigan)? In other words you’re using peak oil as the threat to get your way, and then making your disaster scenario come true?

      Don’t make me laugh, seismic exploration has ruled out Michigan as a source of crude oil.

      Dang, are you a troll? Cause if I said that this is what you guys were actually thinking in a regular (newspaper, Facebook, etc) discussion, I’d be called a right-wing loon!

      A troll isn’t going to go through the lengths I have gone through in writing a comprehensive analysis of oil depletion. See http://TheOilConundrum.com and download the PDF. You would have to call every non-fiction author a troll in that case. This is not a doom book, but a reality book, and I spend half the text talking about characterizing renewable sources of energy and understanding our environment. The latter is why I hang around here, in that if we can understand the role of entropy in our environment, we might be able to take advantage of it.

      BTW, I don’t care what people think of you, that’s your own problem.

    • “Don’t make me laugh, seismic exploration has ruled out Michigan as a source of crude oil.”

      Silly Senator Stabenow, who is running on the idea that she kept oil drilling along the shores of Lake Michigan from happening? Silly Haliburton, whose trucks are all over Michigan? And my silly neighbors, who have oil wells in their yards… And silly Pat Patrick (former Indycar owner, etc) who made a fortune on Michigan oil? Silly CMS, our local utility, who until recently had a oil and gas exploration operation here in Michigan…

  105. I’m not a scientist, so this may be a dumb question. I’m having trouble understanding something mentioned in the study. What does it say about the basic reliability of the temperature measurements if 1/3 show a downward trend and 2/3 show an upward trend? This sounds a lot like a broken measurement system to me. How do you determine “reality” from this?

    • What does it say about the basic reliability of the temperature measurements if 1/3 show a downward trend and 2/3 show an upward trend? This sounds a lot like a broken measurement system to me. How do you determine “reality” from this?

      1. Part of the dispersion is due to the fact that seasonal changes alone can account for 40 degree C temperature swings through the year. When one is looking for 1 to 2 degree temperature changes over a century, the signal can get partially swamped out by natural seasonal extreme variations.

      2. Climate change can cause changes in local microclimates so that a natural weather pattern shifts from going to the south of a location to the north of a location. This may be enough to make the more northern location warmer, but the southern location cooler. The average though turns out warmer.

      3. The fact that some go negative, means that others go much more positive in the other direction to compensate. This is a chart from the BEST report which shows the dispersion:
      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pEEYO-I0_fA/TqduktntOEI/AAAAAAAAAkg/F2PKph74I3k/s1600/berkeley.gif
      If the dispersion was not allowed to go negative, we wouldn’t see the well-above average temperature increases.

      Then there is the UHI dreamer’s outcome. 1/3 are negative, 1/3 are positive, and the remaining 1/3 are incorrectly labeled positive due to UHI effects.

      s far as reality, all the proxy functions as indirect evidence to support warming. Ice and glacier melting, migrations of flora and fauna, etc Some think that the weight of the evidence points it in a direction of warming.

    • Thanks, this was very helpful. Do they correlate the differences to geo location or temporal differences? It seems that there should be some bounds to know that it’s not random.

    • Great graph. Nail in the coffin for BEST and AGW.

  106. Looks like the Daily Mail has been one-upped in the misrepresentation department: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/10/31/climate-scientist-accused-by-colleague-for-hiding-truth/

    “The results of the study are now being called into question not just by climate skeptics but by a leading member of Muller’s own team. Prof. Judith Curry, head of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said Muller’s findings were a “huge mistake” with no scientific basis.
    “There is no scientific basis for saying that warming [continues],” Curry, who is listed as a co-author on the BEST reports, told The Daily Mail. “To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.”
    Though Curry admits some temperature gain since the 50s, she suggests it’s impossible to ignore the relative warming standstill we experienced in the 90s when BEST data reveals little change.
    “This is nowhere near what the climate models were predicting,” Curry told the Daily Mail. “Whatever it is that’s going on here, it doesn’t look like it’s being dominated by CO2.”
    Muller believes recent inconsistencies in the data might not be “statistically significant,” as his team examines the bigger picture, a response that left Curry deeply unsatisfied.
    “I am baffled as to what he’s trying to do,” she said.”

    • What’s wrong with that?

    • Zeke, isn’t the biggest misrepresentation BEST passing off what is essentially CRUTEM3 Northern Hemisphere as a global average temperature?

    • The Daily Mail Online has a Comments section that you could use to correct misrepresentation of your views.

    • As I browse the Fox piece I notice there’s an ad on the right hand side for a video report called “Personal Tech: Is Facebook the New MySpace?” Curious I click on that only to find it’s the opinion of some Fox pundit in July after only three weeks of Google+ – which he seriously thought from all the hype might soon take over from Facebook.

      The instant reaction wasn’t worth much, as it turned out. Even now it’ll take years to see how successful Google have been in the social networking space.

      Which I mention because soon Judy’s *groan* will turn to laughter I’m sure. There is something ridiculous about this strange, evolving global story of BEST, its stupid propagandists who say it’s proved all skepticism wrong versus its fiery detractors. I’m sure it will seem so three or four months out.

    • The Daily Mail’s problem is BEST’s problem. It wasn’t the Daily Mail that published that April 2010 data point.

      Hey Zeke, why do you call it an MMTS cooling bias. Why isn’t it a CRS warming bias? Why do the MMTS numbers need to be adjusted upwards rather than the CRS numbers being adjusted downwards. Do you have a theory behind your label. Don’t the MMTS manufacturers know how to calibrate a thermometer. Don’t the CRS manufacturers know how? Do you think that the MMTS has more calibration drift? It seems to me that in order to call it an MMTS cooling bias that you should have a verifiable theory of why it’s an MMTS fault. A theory might look like this. The CRSs come with a shiny new white coat of paint with lots of albedo. The paint get’s old. It gets dirty. It peals. That causes a warming bias in the CRSs that needs to be removed by adjusting the CRS data down. And maybe that Min temperature is effected by that metal pole sitting right under the MMTS thermometer. Could it be radiating heat to the thermometer at night? Could it be conducting heat from the ground? Is there a chunk of concrete holding that metal MMTS pole right under the thermometer? Also, how do you know that you wouldn’t have a bias if you replaced an old CRS with a new CRS. Why can’t the bias simply be error due to CRS aging?

      Guess we have to have some rationalizations to justify that fat .6F worth of virtually all positive adjustments that we use.

      http://cdiac.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif

    • Tilo,

      This is rather off topic, but see this post: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/a-cooling-bias-due-to-mmts/

      I call it a MMTS cooling bias (rather than a CRS warming bias) because the swtich from CRS to MMTS in the 80s caused a notable max cooling bias (and less significant min warming bias) in the record. Both NCDC and BEST correct for this, albeit through somewhat different methods.

    • Zeke:
      It was that article at Lucia’s that caused me to ask the questions in the first place. None of which you have answered.

      Zeke: “because the swtich from CRS to MMTS in the 80s caused a notable max cooling bias (and less significant min warming bias) in the record.”

      It didn’t cause any kind of bias Zeke, it caused a divergence. In order for it to be a bias you have to know who is diverging from the truth. I see no evidence in your article that it is MMTS that is diverging from the truth. So it could well be a CRS warming bias that should be corrected by lowering the temperatures of CRS sites instead of increasing the temperatures of MMTS sites.

      Zeke: “Both NCDC and BEST correct for this, albeit through somewhat different methods.”

      I don’t see where BEST has an explicit correction for it anywhere. And the fact that NCDC corrects for it tells me nothing about why the correction shouldn’t be to bring CRS in line with MMTS rather than the other way around – well, except for NCDC wanting to find as much warming as they possibly can.

    • Conveniently enough, when one is calculating trends over time the correct absolute temperature (or baseline) is irrelevant. So for the question I was examining, it really doesn’t matter if MMTS or CRS is correct (though MMTS is a more precise instrument, and arguably the more correct one).

    • Zeke: “Conveniently enough, when one is calculating trends over time the correct absolute temperature (or baseline) is irrelevant.”

      But it’s not just the baseline that would be effected Zeke. MMTS bias adjustments currently make the trend more positive. If you made the adjustment to CRS to make them line up, then that would have to be a negative adjustment and it would make the trend less positive.

  107. Well, he we go, everyone gets in their side of the story:

    “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.”

    From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20111031/LIFESTYLE14/110310329/Skeptic-backs-climate-change#ixzz1cP6x8v9o

  108. And that it will be much easier if I adopt the attitude, “What does it matter to me.” Silly me, wanting to know THE DAMN TRUTH?

    I asked that because I actually lift a finger and try to put the pencil to the paper. It looks like you are all about “want”. Listen, as Mosher says, sometimes you have to figure it out on your own … IMO, no one knows better what you want to understand than yourself. The data is out there, so have at it.

  109. No!

    Two warming and two cooling trends in the past:
    http://bit.ly/tZfBQm

    And the current cooling trend:
    http://bit.ly/nz6PFx

    • Well mate, you don’t appear to be as good at it as Girma. At least Girma is making an identifiable case. Just sticking a trend line through the whole signal doesn’t tell you much. But even eyeballing your graph, you can see that there is trends within the overall upward trend within a very noisy signal.

      Since WfT does not have a running mean, the way Girma has done it is at least informative. There are periods of warming followed by slight cooling, bounded fairly well within a certain range. You can argue that that is not the way to look at it, and make a case for why it should be looked at differently, but you can’t say that what Girma has shown doesn’t suggest something, or is not in some way informative.

    • Lol, I changed his graph from HadCRUT (an outlier -Richard Muller) to GisTEMP, which is 30% of the way to being the BEST, and changed the start date to 1999.

      Here is the same graph his start date: his exact graph simply switched to GisTemp.

      This is the way it goes. I’m a math moron. I don’t know how to cherry pick. My math skills are limited to “I’m bad at arithmetic.” I don’t pretend to be as good at it as Girma, who I am pretty certain is trying to lie to me. Other people who seem to know a lot about math seem to have the same suspicion.

  110. “Do you want to volunteer? I have been working this at http://theoilconundrum.com so if you want to lift a finger and help, I don’t mind.
    Fine also if you just want to yap and yammer away.”

    It seems to me, that one look two periods. In the beginning of accurate CO2 measurement and last few years in which there was the most amount CO2 emission. Problem would getting accurate coal consumption in China.
    And either get lastest records of that or do periods where accurate china CO2 emission was available.
    One would only do accumulate yearly numbers- say 5 years, to reduce noise of a single year.
    But ya I just want to yap and yammer away, thanks.

    • And either get lastest records of that or do periods where accurate china CO2 emission was available.

      The CO2 analysis center at ORNL has excellent data over the last 160 years, which is what I have been using for my Green’s function computations.

  111. Corporate Message

    Vaughan Pratt said:

    “… two decades 1991-2011 combined is showing an unprecedented rise of 0.33 °C/decade! If the second decade really were “flat” as some people have been claiming, the previous decade would have had to have risen at an astronomical 0.66 °C/decade. It most certainly did not, and furthermore there is no trace of that fast a rise in thne etire geological record of the past 4.5 billion years.”

    Vaughan, what kind of trace would you personally look for, as evidence of a decade 4.3 billion years ago that rose at 0.66 degrees ?

    • Vaughan Pratt said:

      “… two decades 1991-2011 combined is showing an unprecedented rise of 0.33 °C/decade! If the second decade really were “flat” as some people have been claiming, the previous decade would have had to have risen at an astronomical 0.66 °C/decade. It most certainly did not, and furthermore there is no trace of that fast a rise in thne etire geological record of the past 4.5 billion years.”

      Vaughan, what kind of trace would you personally look for, as evidence of a decade 4.3 billion years ago that rose at 0.66 degrees ?

      Look carefully at the following linked chart and you will see a change of 6 degrees C in the span of a century in the Vostok ice core data. This would interpolate down to 0.6 degree in a decade.
      http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/2700/vostokcentury.gif

      The fact that it has happened in the last several hundred thousand years means that it could happen again and if this CO2 positive feedback warming is responsible, well, then that is what everyone is worried about.

      BTW, blame me if the statistics are wrong because I put together this myself by pulling down the Vostok data last week.

  112. Looks like Richard Black has decided to summarise events with his usual even hand! NOT

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15538845

  113. Not content with publishing a distorted story on Sunday it seems that the Mail have followed this up with more lies this week.

    But am I correct to use the term “lie” as far as the Mail goes. What you actually said is:

    “To set the record straight, some of the other sentiments attributed to me are not quite right”.

    Not quite right eh? But basically OK? So, if so, why did you write later:

    “Well, I have a rule about not talking to reporters on the phone, asking for submitted questions and I respond by email. Its a rule I extremely rarely break, and Rose caught me on the phone and I spoke with him.”

    You obviously are savvy enough with regards to the ways of the press, to know you should have this rule, and when you do choose to break it you are telling us that it wasn’t with the likes of the BBC or Washington Post, who we could all believe you inadvertently might, but actually with that most scumbag of all outfits the Daily Mail?

    Does this all ring true? Call me cynical if you like, but if you’d wanted to create a measure of uncertainty and doubt in the popular mind, then allowing the Daily Mail to do their worst with your comments would be a neat and deniable way of doing it, don’t you think?

  114. With regard to interviews with journalists, I would have thought the small investment in a voice recorder, and using a speakerphone so that both ends can be recorded, and letting the journalist know that the conversation is being recorded, would be the best (excuse the pun) defence against being mis-quoted and for recollection of who said what and when.

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