by Judith Curry
I had a 90 minute meeting with Richard Muller this evening.
I have to say that there isn’t much that we disagree on.
He was very excited to show me his latest analyses. He is clearly driven by the science and is very sincere about wanting to make progress on understanding the global temperature record.
The discussion clarified several things for me.
First, Muller’s title for the WSJ op-ed was “Cooling the Warming Debate,” he intended it to be a conciliatory article regarding how this data set could be used to settle some of the debates surrounding the land temperature record. The “End of Skepticism” title was provided by the WSJ editors. Muller was not happy about this change of title.
Second, the reason for the publicity blitz seems to be to get the attention of the IPCC. To be considered in the AR5, papers need to be submitted by Nov, which explains the timing. The publicity is so that the IPCC can’t ignore BEST. Muller shares my concerns about the IPCC process, and gatekeeping in the peer review process.
Re the recent trend, Muller reiterated that you can’t infer anything about what is going on globally from the land data, but the land data shows a continued increase albeit with an oscillation that makes determining a trend rather ambiguous. He thinks there is a pause, that is probably associated with AMO/PDO. So I am ok with this interpretation.
With regards to the BEST data itself and what it shows. He showed me an interesting graph this is updated from the Rohde article, whereby the BEST data shows good agreement with the GISS data for the recent part of the record. Apparently the original discrepancy was associated with definition of land; this was sorted out and when they compared apples to apples, then the agreement is pretty good. This leaves CRU as an outlier.
Speaking of CRU, Muller related an interesting anecdote about Phil Jones that was apparently related to him by a reporter. When Jones was asked to comment on the BEST papers, he said he no comment until after the papers were published. Maybe Muller was correct in worrying about making sure the IPCC pays attention.
We also discussed problems with the IPCC, Climategate issues, etc., and we tend to mostly agree on all this.
The one disagreement of the evening was over interpreting hurricane data, but that is not something to bother with here.
So all in all, I am ok with what is going on in the BEST project. The PR situation is still a problem, but the media aren’t helping here. In any event alot of people are now looking at the data. The BEST team is taking seriously the more serious critiques and are sorting through them. Progress is being made!
Well, this is already shaping up to be a lively conference. I planned on preparing a post on the Santa Fe conference today, but got sidetracked by the Mail article. I will get something up tomorrow.
Josh weighs in: