Clarification on BEST submitted to the House

UPDATES: A number of feckless political commentators have simply missed this response I prepared, so I’m posting it to the top for a day or two. I’ll have a follow up on what I’ve learned since then in the next day or two. Also, NCDC weighs in at the LA Times, calling the BEST publicity effort without publishing science papers “seriously compromised”

Also – in case you have not seen it, this new analysis from an independent private climate data company shows how the siting of weather stations affects the data they produce. – Anthony
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As many know, there’s a hearing today in the House of Representatives with the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and there are a number of people attending, including Dr. John Christy of UAH and Dr. Richard Muller of the newly minted Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project.

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

I have submitted this letter to be included in the record today. It is written for the Members of the committee, to give them a general overview of the issue, so may seem generalized and previously covered in some areas. It also addresses technical concerns I have, also shared by Dr. Pielke Sr. on the issue. I’ll point out that on the front page of the BEST project, they tout openness and replicability, but none of that is available in this instance, even to Dr. Pielke and I. They’ve had a couple of weeks with the surfacestations data, and now without fully completing the main theme of data cleaning, are releasing early conclusions based on that data, without providing the ability to replicate. I’ve seen some graphical output, but that’s it. What I really want to see is a paper and methods. Our upcoming paper was shared with BEST in confidence.

BEST says they will post Dr. Muller’s testimony with a notice on their FAQ’s page which also includes a link to video testimony. So you’ll be able to compare. I’ll put up relevant links later. – Anthony

UPDATE: Dr. Richard Muller’s testimony is now available here. What he proposes about Climate -ARPA is intriguing. I also thank Dr. Muller for his gracious description of the work done by myself, my team, and Steve McIntyre.

A PDF version of the letter below is here: Response_to_Muller_testimony

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Chairman Ralph Hall
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
2321 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

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

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

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

I began studying climate stations in March 2007, stemming from a curiosity about paint used on the Stevenson Screens (thermometer shelters) used since 1892, and still in use today in the Cooperative Observer climate monitoring network. Originally the specification was for lime based whitewash – the paint of the era in which the network was created. In 1979 the specification changed to modern latex paint. The question arose as to whether this made a difference. An experiment I performed showed that it did. Before conducting any further tests, I decided to visit nearby climate monitoring stations to verify that they had been repainted. I discovered they had, but also discovered a larger and troublesome problem; many NOAA climate stations seemed to be next to heat sources, heat sinks, and have been surrounded by urbanization during the decades of their operation.

The surfacestations.org project started in June 2007 as a result of a collaboration begun with Dr. Roger Pielke Senior. at the University of Colorado, who had done a small scale study (Pielke and Davies 2005) and found identical issues.

Since then, with the help of volunteers, the surfacestations.org project has surveyed over 1000 United States Historical Climatological Network (USHCN) stations, which are chosen by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) to be the best of the NOAA volunteer operated Cooperative Observer network (COOP). The surfacestations.org project was unfunded, using the help of volunteers nationwide, plus an extensive amount of my own volunteer time and travel. I have personally surveyed over 100 USHCN stations nationwide. Until this project started, even NOAA/NCDC had not undertaken a comprehensive survey to evaluate the quality of the measurement environment, they only looked at station records.

The work and results of the surfacestations.org project is a gift to the citizens of the United States.

There are two methods of evaluating climate station siting quality. The first is the older 100 foot rule implemented by NOAA http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/coop/standard.htm which says:

The [temperature] sensor should be at least 100 feet from any paved or concrete surface.

A second siting quality method is for NOAA’s Climate Reference Network, (CRN) a hi-tech, high quality electronic network designed to eliminate the multitude of data bias problems that Dr. Muller speaks of. In the 2002 document commissioning the project, NOAA’s NCDC implemented a strict code for placement of stations, to be free of any siting or urban biases.

http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/documentation/program/X030FullDocumentD0.pdf

The analysis of metadata produced by the surfacestations.org project considered both techniques, and in my first publication on the issue, at 70% of the USHCN surveyed (Watts 2009) I found that only 1 in 10 NOAA climate stations met the siting quality criteria for either the NOAA 100 foot rule or the newer NCDC CRN rating system. Now, two years later, with over 1000 stations, 82.5% surveyed, the 1 in 10 number holds true using NOAA’s own published criteria for rating station siting quality.

Figure 1 Findings of siting quality from the surfacestations project

During the nationwide survey, we found that many NOAA climate monitoring stations were sited in what can only be described as sub optimal locations. For example, one of the worst examples was identified in data by Steven McIntyre as having the highest decadal temperature trend in the United States before we actually surveyed it. We found it at the University of Arizona Atmospheric Sciences Department and National Weather Service Forecast Office, where it was relegated to the center of their parking lot.

Figure2 – USHCN Station in Tucson, AZ

Photograph by surfacestations.org volunteer Warren Meyer

This USHCN station, COOP# 028815 was established in May 1867, and has had a continuous record since then. One can safely conclude that it did not start out in a parking lot. One can also safely conclude from human experience as well as peer reviewed literature (Yilmaz, 2009) that temperatures over asphalt are warmer than those measured in a field away from such modern influence.

The surfacestations.org survey found hundreds of other examples of poor siting choices like this. We also found equipment problems related to maintenance and design, as well as the fact the the majority of cooperative observers contacted had no knowledge of their stations being part of the USHCN, and were never instructed to perform an extra measure of due diligence to ensure their record keeping, and that their siting conditions should be homogenous over time.

It is evident that such siting problems do in fact cause changes in absolute temperatures, and may also contribute to new record temperatures. The critically important question is: how do these siting problems affect the trend in temperature?

Other concerns, such as the effect of concurrent trends in local absolute humidity due to irrigation, which creates a warm bias in the nighttime temperature trends, the effect of height above the ground on the temperature measurements, etc. have been ignored in past temperature assessments, as reported in, for example:

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841.

Steeneveld, G.J., A.A.M. Holtslag, R.T. McNider, and R.A Pielke Sr, 2011: Screen level temperature increase due to higher atmospheric carbon dioxide in calm and windy nights revisited. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D02122, doi:10.1029/2010JD014612.

These issues are not yet dealt with in Dr. Richard Muller’s analysis, and he agrees.

The abstract of the 2007 JGR paper reads:

This paper documents various unresolved issues in using surface temperature trends as a metric for assessing global and regional climate change. A series of examples ranging from errors caused by temperature measurements at a monitoring station to the undocumented biases in the regionally and globally averaged time series are provided. The issues are poorly understood or documented and relate to micrometeorological impacts due to warm bias in nighttime minimum temperatures, poor siting of the instrumentation, effect of winds as well as surface atmospheric water vapor content on temperature trends, the quantification of uncertainties in the homogenization of surface temperature data, and the influence of land use/land cover (LULC) change on surface temperature trends.

Because of the issues presented in this paper related to the analysis of multidecadal surface temperature we recommend that greater, more complete documentation and quantification of these issues be required for all observation stations that are intended to be used in such assessments. This is necessary for confidence in the actual observations of surface temperature variability and long-term trends.

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

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

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

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

The finding that the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality, while the maximum and minimum temperature trends indicates that the lack of a difference in the mean temperatures is coincidental for the specific case of the USA sites, and may not be true globally. At the very least, this raises a red flag on the use of the poorly sited locations for climate assessments as these locations are not spatially representative.

Whether you believe the century of data from the NOAA COOP network we have is adequate, as Dr. Muller suggests, or if you believe the poor siting placements and data biases that have been documented with the nationwide climate monitoring network are irrelevant to long term trends, there are some very compelling and demonstrative actions by NOAA that speak directly to the issue.

1. NOAA’s NCDC created a new hi-tech surface monitoring network in 2002, the Climate Reference Network, with a strict emphasis on ensuring high quality siting. If siting does not matter to the data, and the data is adequate, why have this new network at all?

2. Recently, while resurveying stations that I previously surveyed in Oklahoma, I discovered that NOAA has been quietly removing the temperature sensors from some of the USHCN stations we cited as the worst (CRN4, 5) offenders of siting quality. For example, here are before and after photographs of the USHCN temperature station in Ardmore, OK, within a few feet of the traffic intersection at City Hall:

Figure 3 Ardmore USHCN station , MMTS temperature sensor, January 2009

Figure 4 Ardmore USHCN station , MMTS temperature sensor removed, March 2011

NCDC confirms in their meta database that this USHCN station has been closed, the temperature sensor removed, and the rain gauge moved to another location – the fire station west of town. It is odd that after being in operation since 1946, that NOAA would suddenly cease to provide equipment to record temperature from this station just months after being surveyed by the surfacestations.org project and its problems highlighted.

Figure 5 NOAA Metadata for Ardmore, OK USHCN station, showing equipment list

3. Expanding the search my team discovered many more instances nationwide, where USHCN stations with poor siting that were identified by the surfacestations.org survey have either had their temperature sensor removed, closed, or moved. This includes the Tucson USHCN station in the parking lot, as evidenced by NOAA/NCDC’s own metadata online database, shown below:

Figure 6 NOAA Metadata for Tucson USHCN station, showing closure in March 2008

It seems inconsistent with NOAA’s claims of siting effects having no impact that they would need to close a station that has been in operation since 1867, just a few months after our team surveyed it in late 2007 and made its issues known, especially if station siting quality has no effect on the data the station produces.

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

Thank you for the opportunity to present this to the Members.

Anthony Watts
Chico, CA

225 thoughts on “Clarification on BEST submitted to the House

  1. Intriguing Post, bad enough to be using corrupted sites, to then quietly eradicate them hoping no one would notice, only to have someone photograph the “vanishing evidence” is too funny for words.

    They cant even clean the mess up properly :)

  2. Just made a donation in recognition of Anthony Watt’s efforts to bring sense and a degree of accuracy into surface temperature measurements.

  3. At risk of spoiling your upcoming paper, it might be nice to release at least one figure showing that there is a difference in trend between well sited stations (CRN1 or CRN12) and bad station. Simply playing around with the already released data shows otherwise, and apparently BEST came to similar conclusions using the full set, e.g.: http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/USHCN-CRN.png

    Figuring out the difference between the BEST results and your own (and determining which approach is more valid) would help improve the quality of the resulting paper.

    REPLY: Zeke, Thanks. Just an FYI, that data back then was ultra preliminary, and had errors in it, which is why I asked NCDC’s Menne not to use it. It had been posted on the website for the sole purpose of showing volunteers what had been surveyed so far, and had not undergone any quality control of any kind. It was never intended for data analysis. – Anthony

  4. “There seems a bit of a rush here, as BEST hasn’t completed all of their promised data techniques that would be able to remove the different kinds of data biases we’ve noted.”

    It’s a bodge.

  5. Outstanding! Simply outstanding. And now yet another bias is introduced…as hastily-moved temperature sensors come online.

  6. Ok. Clarify this for me. It appears from this that Muller and his group is being paid to paper over the USHCN climate temperature record, whitewash biased temperature data and tell Congress that the climate record is ok. He’s doing this with unpublished data shared in confidence and prejudging the outcome before all the analysis has been compeleted. Have I got that correct or am I hyperbolizing here? Is there someone else’s “paper’s I won’t be reading”?

  7. As I understand your post Anthony, a) there is no trend in diurnal temperatures on the sites that meet and have always met the site criteria and have been recording continuously for over a century, b) NOAA have been quietly removing sensors from sites you surveyed as not meeting the agreed criteria, and c) the BEST team are proceeding with a report to Congress with incomplete data, incomplete testing of methadology, incomplete methadology and without your co-operation which was supposed to be part of the deal.
    If the answer to all of the above is in the affirmative, am I being foolish when I say that I am now very nervous of the motives of the BEST group?

  8. Well written Anthony.
    I second John Peter, and urge everyone who visits this site regularly to donate in recognition of the outstanding work of A. and his team.
    We’ll wait and watch with interest and some little scepticism the result of the hearings.

  9. Here is a link to the testimony,

    http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Muller_Testimony_31_March_2011

    The key part of Muller’s testimony is the following:

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

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

    The Berkeley Earth analysis shows that over the past 50 years the poor stations in the U.S. network do not show greater warming than do the good stations.
    Thus, although poor station quality might affect absolute temperature, it does not appear to affect trends, and for global warming estimates, the trend is what is important.

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

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

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

    It seems, given the prior finding by NOAA, what Muller has reported as his preliminary finding seems pretty solid, despite the letter written by Anthony Watts.

  10. As Nietzsche used to say, “I can easily forgive what you have done to me, but what you have done to yourself, how could I forgive that?” If they are eager to jump to conclusions before fully processing their data, due to political reasons, they will lose their scientific credibility for good. That is something I -anyone- can’t give them back.

  11. Great appreciation for this careful submission and for all the work it represents Anthony. I won’t judge BEST until I’ve read the transcript but thank you to everyone involved in surfacestations.org.

  12. By forcing the release of preliminary work, those in charge diminish the impact of the final results and the need to consider seriously any result different from the initial release. Plus the initial release tends, because of human nature, to be less uncertain than the final. I’ve experienced it in industrial science many times.

    Those who wish the initial results discussed have an agenda supported by the general conclusion they have heard of. So they go, See! I had it right. Later when the results are more nuanced, you can’t get past the initial enthusiasm for the results, and if your results are different, then you aren’t trustworthy, so they get to dismiss anything different from what they wanted to hear.

    It’s a good technique and impossible to avoid if you are dependent on the powers goodwill.

  13. Thank you Anthony ….. for your curiosity, your interest and your application. You did this as a citizen and with your responsibilities to your family. Outstanding.

    and my thoughts as to the post, more eloquently iterated by Alexander K says: March 31, 2011 at 8:03 am
    especially
    “c) the BEST team are proceeding with a report to Congress with incomplete data, incomplete testing of methadology, incomplete methadology and without your co-operation which was supposed to be part of the deal.”

  14. Been there as I’m sure Anthony has. Muller has felt the pressure. From announcing his ‘unfunded’ project early and thereby opening the ‘candy store’ to the customers then ‘The House’ barging in hoping the non displayed candy is as sweet as they hope to finally Muller wanting desperately to please his possible future funding source.
    I believe, but don’t know, that the Muller team are quite a long way forward and have seen something in their results that they are keen to make public but wanted to wait. Then oh then along came the House.
    I am keen to see the final results and methods of both projects although I’m most keen to see Anthony’s and P’s final conclusions.

  15. Anthony,

    After the Paypal-Wikileaks debacle there are quite a few of us who’ve closed down our Paypal-accounts, and refuse to do business through them. I’ve donated to Surfacestations before, and would like to do so again, and I humbly ask if you could consider adding Flattr to your site(s)?

  16. …the majority of cooperative observers contacted had no knowledge of their stations being part of the USHCN…

    I have been surprised by how many of the observers I talk to are not aware of this. Especially since the weather service maintain a respectable PR effort directed at the COOP volunteers. I would think that inclusion in the USHCN would be a real motivator.

  17. I was happy to donate but I am not happy with what looks like a double-cross. Hopefully, we won’t be BESTed by another partial, agendized (mis)-treatment of data.

  18. btw, speaking of donations, I wonder how much it cost to have those “problematic” sensors removed and the other stations altered? Is this accessible or will another FOIA be needed to find out how much they should have donated to you?

  19. I dislike appearing to look like a conspiratorial nutjob but having read Muller’s book “Physics for Future Presidents” I have always doubted the man is impartial about CAGW. When you read his book the chapters on energy, terrorism, nuclear weapons and such are all logical and predicated upon what’s known from a physical standpoint. And then you get to the global warming chapter and it becomes “well, I know that the evidence is sketchy but trust me, I know what I’m talking about”.

    I know Muller excoriated Mann and the team on Youtube but I really believe Muller is a dyed in the wool warmist. I don’t trust him. Read his book and see for yourself.

  20. Very good, fairly short and sweet . . . I am very interested to see what the response is from both the NOAA and the committee.

  21. I hope my disquieting sense of foreboding about the scientific neutrality of the BEST project turns out to be unjustified but premature [snip] seems to be rampant in the climate science community. I had such high hopes for BEST after seeing the video of Dr. Muller damning the tricks of the hockey stick team. Anthony, in contrast, set an example to follow in the patient gatherings of the surface stations evaluation, withholding results until the project had sufficient data . They (BEST) must realize that their methods and data will be necessarily be placed under the closest scrutiny by blogging scientific auditors of equal scientific competence.

  22. I’m afraid that UCB is not living up to their previously pristine reputation. There was a time when UCB Physics led the world. Unless they are saying that the data is so colored due to errors in measurement, the mighty have fallen.

  23. I can’t for the life of me understand how these people believe accuracy doesn’t matter.

  24. the majority of cooperative observers contacted had no knowledge of their stations being part of the USHCN

    You can go farther than that. Not one of the ~100 people I interviewed knew they were a part of USHCN — including one NWS office! (“We’re part of HCN? I didn’t know that.”) And almost none even knew what USHCN was.

    And as Juan says, it is definitely a motivator. Everyone I spoke with was quite intrigued by the news, and one said now he knew that, he’d never miss another reading.

  25. I hate to say it, but it sounds like you got punked. Now they have yours and Dr. Pielke Sr’s backing to convince others that it’s legitimate and accepted by skeptics as well, they don’t need you anymore. I hope I’m being cynical, it did sound as though the intent was there to do a proper analysis, but it feels like the rug got pulled out. It will be interesting to see if your letter gets an attention at all.

  26. Why am I not surprised by these efforts by Dr. Muller. He appears to have just used your involvement in this process to find ways to ignore your data and analysis. This is a terrible sign that this process has no scientific legitimacy and is just another attempt by another scientist alarmist to hide significant temperature data failings. Too bad.

  27. Is Muller an undercover Warmist? Isn’t it strange how many warmist’s that have german ( DDR?) names? Hansen, Schmidt, ….and Muller???

    hehe. Just kidding.

  28. Wow, and you didn’t even have to get into the whole “removing high altitude and rural stations from the network” thing!

    I pass by some salt evaporation ponds owned by Cargill Salt from time to time. There have been what look like portable weather stations next to one of the ponds. The placement of them is interesting in that they have managed to place them on the South side of a line of small railroad cars, sort of like the kind you might see in a mine. Also, directly under the temperature sensor are some black jugs that look like they could hold fuel or something, maybe they are batteries. But every time I pass by those things I look at them and shake my head thinking they did everything they could to make those stations read as warm a temperature as possible.

    They are at the far end of Seaport Blvd. in Redwood City if anyone wants to have a peek at them. They are on private property behind a fence but are clearly visible from the road.

    They look like they are there in order to obtain data for modeling the evaporation of that water but I would guess they aren’t getting accurate data unless they are attempting to more closely simulate conditions out in the pond itself or something.

  29. Anthony,

    I’ve been listening to the subcommittee hearing (from the streaming link at CA). They briefly mentioned your letter a few minutes ago. It has not been read into the record yet. The chairman has not read it.

    OK S.

  30. Anthony,

    It looks like Muller played you like a violin.

    NOAA had to steal your lunch, but Muller talked you out of it.

  31. The good news is this doesn’t even matter any more. Temperatures have been flat below anomalies for 3-4 months now. This ain’t suppose to happen. Also looks la Nina is coming back again.

  32. I must admit to feeling a little sorry for Dr Muller and the BEST group. Both ‘sides’ of this issue (warmists and skeptics) seem to have got their retaliation in first. Apparently on the assumption that if they declare results that contradict that ‘tribes’ POV they can claim ‘I told you so….’

    In fact they seem to be in a no-win situation.
    If they confirm that there are problems with the instrumental record and we will have to place more reliance on other measurement sources, satellite and bio-proxies then the AGW crowd will dismiss them as paid shills for partisan politics given the first presentation of their work is for a congress committee of known partiality.

    And if they announce that the instrumental record is consistent with all other sources showing a warming climate then the anti-AGW ‘side’ will reject them as tools of the establishment who are cavalier and premature with the work of others and lack transparency in the methods/data used, making announcements in a political forum before openly presenting the scientific methodology in the peer-reviewed literature.

  33. I have no doubt the BEST project is a put on and I think Anthony will do harm to his reputation if he delays withdrawing his support. They are going to use your good name to drive their own agenda.

    Based on what you described today they are not acting like scientists and have become advocates …

    It appears you may have been hoping to mix your vanilla ice cream with their dog droppings and that the mix results in edible ice cream …

    They do not act in good faith sir …

  34. kwik says:
    March 31, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Is Muller an undercover Warmist? Isn’t it strange how many warmist’s that have german ( DDR?) names? Hansen, Schmidt, ….and Muller???

    hehe. Just kidding.

    How is Hansen a german (DDR) name ? hehe. Not kidding. If you had any historical schooling at all, you would know that it is actually of hebrew origin.
    Muller is most probably of Swiss origin.
    The earliest recordings of the name Schmidt and it’s derivatives comes from Hamburg, in West Germany.

    So, not a single point there…

  35. I don’t suppose anyone ever considers Murphy’s Law . . . I think part of management 101 and it goes right with the Peter’s principle which is very useful when implementing a “huckster” strategy

  36. From the Executive Summary
    We have also studied station quality. Many US stations have low quality rankings
    according to a study led by Anthony Watts. However, we find that the warming seen in
    the “poor” stations is virtually indistinguishable from that seen in the “good” stations.
    They must be kidding…
    Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming? We’ve
    studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no.

    Making these kind of statements with such minor analysis, can only support the supposition of a bias, at least a preconception of the outcome, regardless of an analysis. This just removed any optimism I had for an honest look at the numbers.

  37. Why are we not going to the satellite data at this point in time. It is not affected by UHI biases and has much better coverage. Deep down, I fear the main reason is that the satellite data cannot be manipulated in the same manner to come up with the answer that is desired to meet the AGM message. This is a sad conclusion, but the only one that makes sense to me.

    Also, the plots that I have seen of the urban data sets does not show much of an increase. Is there a link to the composite temp data based solely on the urban record alone somewhere??? I have seen some but do not remember where they were.

    DDE

  38. OK S. says: I’ve been listening to the subcommittee hearing (from the streaming link at CA). March 31, 2011 at 9:11 am

    OK S . . . . How about a link to that stream . . . so I can check it out.

    REPLY: there’s a link on the BEST FAQs page, I’ll add it to the post also. – A

    REPLY2: Well there WAS a link, and now gone. Anybody?

  39. Anthony
    The Guardian published an article two hours ago entitled “Berkeley team announces early results from global warming review” which shows a graph of BEST data that matches hadCRU, GISS and NOAA.
    Knowing the warmist nature of The Guardian, I am not sure this is true.
    I hope that science is not again subverted for political purposes as has been the norm in climate science.

  40. Here is a link to the submitted testimony:

    http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Muller_Testimony_31_March_2011

    It was working as I write this. I have it downloaded on my computer.
    He says that the Anthony’s concern about bad stations didn’t affect the temperature trends, even though it affects the temperatures, based on the BEST team’s analysis, in agreement with what NOAA said about this. He also said that the increase in temperature since 1957 was about 0.7C and of that 0.6 was due to AGW.

  41. Gavin just said “If the central issue is whether man-made CO2 is having a major impact on the climate, then I would have to say ‘case closed’ ;-) ”

    Settled science???

  42. Curry has a link to a live blog with Gavin Schmidt, Eli Kintisch, and Jay Gulledge, including a few RC regulars. There doesn’t seem to be much moderation going on.

  43. Steve Keohane says:
    March 31, 2011 at 9:26 am

    From the Executive Summary
    We have also studied station quality. Many US stations have low quality rankings
    according to a study led by Anthony Watts. However, we find that the warming seen in
    the “poor” stations is virtually indistinguishable from that seen in the “good” stations. They must be kidding…
    Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming? We’ve
    studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no.
    Making these kind of statements with such minor analysis, can only support the supposition of a bias, at least a preconception of the outcome, regardless of an analysis. This just removed any optimism I had for an honest look at the numbers.
    The number of stations was deemed sufficient to make a comparison between good and bad stations, and he came up with a confidence interval on the comparison.
    I realize that you are disappointed that the results didn’t turn out as you have been led to suspect, but what reason do you have to believe that this was not an honest impartial look at the numbers? NOAA did an analysis that showed the same thing. Do you have any other analysis that leads you to believe this is a mistake or dishonesty? Can you provide a link???

  44. izen says:
    March 31, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I must admit to feeling a little sorry for Dr Muller and the BEST group. Both ‘sides’ of this issue (warmists and skeptics) seem to have got their retaliation in first. Apparently on the assumption that if they declare results that contradict that ‘tribes’ POV they can claim ‘I told you so….’

    In fact they seem to be in a no-win situation.

    Rare you and I agree izen, but I find this situation increasingly bizarre. The majority of the surface of this planet is ocean. There can be no estimation/confirmation of “global” temperatures just from land stations

  45. Just caught the last 10 minutes of testimony. Wow, can Ralph Hall ramble about nothing (Bonnie and Clyde?) and since I have nothing good to say about the Woosley woman from Petaluma I won’t say anything else.

  46. A skeptic brings up what is said about the hockey stick and a few minutes latter the live session ends.

    ????????????????

  47. So Berkeley’s Best team have also managed to “lose” the warm period of the 1930s from the Raw Data.
    Isn’t that Conveient for the other groups who have analysed the data.

    That really smacks of a full scale stitch up of Anthony & Dr Pielke sr.

    Anybody who has seen the analysis of Chefio knows that the Best team are not doing what they said they would.

  48. A disturbing development indeed. Presently, Anthony, I do not know what your paper says, but presuming that it gets published and presuming that it shows that there are differences in trends depending upon the quality of the station siting, this will raise issues that will need to be addressed sooner or later by the mainstream establishment. It may be that BEST will look very silly, if the conclusions that can be drawn from your paper are strong.

    At the end of the day, if temperatures are not rising and have now essentially flat lined and if the satellite data and ARGO data depict such a flat line trend, the establishment can only hide this fact for so long and eventually the truth will come out.

  49. @Alexander K who said:

    … am I being foolish when I say that I am now very nervous of the motives of the BEST group?

    Motives are very difficult to determine. Poor science is easily identified given the original data.

  50. Oh great. Now with many of these sensors being quietly moved to more appropriate locations, there’s going to be a downward step in the temperature records from these stations. According to the descriptions of the BEST methods, any step changes, that are not repeated in neighboring stations are being factored by adjustment.

    So even though the station was bad, and is now good, the good data will be adjusted so that it looks more like the older, bad data.

  51. And these guys are supposed to be scientists? They are just at the beginning of their work but they already have presented their conclusions to Congress????

    This is not science.

    Dave

  52. First link to the place where it says the hearing is happening via Cspan

    http://science.house.gov/hearing/full-committee-hearing-climate-change

    Second link to instructions to get to the above link

    http://radiotv.house.gov/

    Third links says it supposed to be live

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/news/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=8407

    all started with this link

    http://www.capitolhearings.org/

    which came from C-span

    I can’t make it work/play . . . I am no engineer and work from a Public library . . .

  53. Anthony,

    yet again the simple concept of quality control of instrumentation seems to be beyond these people. Everyone that has worked in the real world of instrumentation and not some academic, publicly funded money-no-limit-because-the-taxpayer-is-paying-and-there’s-no-customer project knows that Poor quality is like an iceberg: what you see, will be just a small fraction of the problem, and even if you “account” for the bit you can see and remove that part of the problem, the bulk of it will just pop up to rear its ugly head.

    That is all they have done. Taken data which anyone with any experience in the field knows is not up to the job – its carp quality and because they lack the experience they somehow think that if you take a lot of wet-behind the ears academics and apply a lot of statistics to a lot of carp, the answer will improve and must be better than someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

  54. What is most disappointing about the Muller temperature record whitewash review presented to Congress is that even at the very first announcement of the BEST project the criteria presented upon which temperature data were to be reviewed included absolutely nothing about UHI impacts on the land based temperature record. This was pointed out in many many comments on WUWT at the time. Now we have yet another alarmist scientist presenting an alleged independent land based temperature record review with absolutely no mention whatsoever of UHI issues. What a farce.

  55. polistra says:
    March 31, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Berkeley. Toldja so.
    ==========================
    Yep.

  56. AdderW says:
    March 31, 2011 at 9:24 am

    “So, not a single point there…”

    hmmmmmm…….okay! I change it to;

    Is Muller an undercover Warmist? Isn’t it strange how many warmist’s that have german names? Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, Schellnhuber….and Muller???

    Any points now?

  57. Given that you write “The work and results of the surfacestations.org project is a gift to the citizens of the United States,” and that you mention a paper by Fall (published? peer-reviewed?) , why do you not reference Menne 2010 (peer reviewed and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research) in your letter?

  58. Prof. Muller is the real deal, an honest scientist. He acknowledges that the preliminary analysis could change in his written testimony, and says why:

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

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

    Prof. Muller also says:

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

    Let Prof. Muller and his group work things out, let Anthony and Prof. Muller exchange their data. If the systematic corrections by other groups [NOAA, etc.] are indeed small, but appropriate corrections, yet to be applied by Dr. Muller, are larger, then the agreement will disappear. If adjustments designed to eliminate systematic bias are applied and things change, we will see.

    Don’t trash honest scientists like Dr. Muller just because you don’t like his preliminary, uncorrected 2% results. He acknowledges that the correct corrections have yet to be applied.

  59. I’m not sure I agree with the flavor of the majority of posts I see here.

    It seems to me that Muller’s agenda is mainly to advance non-Team research spending through some type of ARPA structure. I don’t think that sounds like a terribly bad idea in theory, so long as the usual suspects don’t end up running it. With Obama in the driver’s seat, it would likely end up being run by someone like his former climate czar though. There are quite a few things that an ARPA-climate agency could do which lie outside the normal chanels. How about an honest and reliable survey of the ‘concensus’ for example?

  60. All I did to see the live hearing was to copy, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology into Bing and it was on the first search result.

  61. It’s the dishonest, the deceit that wears us all down, but in the end ensures that people turn against the AGW proponents.

  62. Anthony, I am a retired environmental manager from a Fortune 100 company. Are there any USHCN sites in the Toledo, OH area that still need to be surveyed?

  63. I like Muller’s preliminary report very much. It was articulate and fully covered important uncertainties.

    Those uncertainties are going to be the real story. We see, once again, a hockey stick, over the relatively short period of 1980 to current. That is peculiar and does NOT correlated to either industrialization or to carbon dioxide changes. It is therefore unexplained.

    Total unknowns do NOT justify profoundly destructive uneconomic actions by governments.

  64. Back in ’08 AW noted a lack of study in station bias (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/21/this-is-why-you-dont-put-an-official-noaa-temperature-sensor-over-concrete/). Where I work we have about 30 acres of asphalt and roof top surrounded by pasture, and the hawks frequently take advantage of early afternoon updrafts generated here. I sure would like to see a quantitative study of temperature alteration by altitude and asphalt islands of various sizes.

  65. John in L du B says:
    March 31, 2011 at 8:03 am
    “Ok. Clarify this for me. It appears from this that Muller and his group is being paid to paper over the USHCN climate temperature record, whitewash biased temperature data and tell Congress that the climate record is ok. He’s doing this with unpublished data shared in confidence and prejudging the outcome before all the analysis has been compeleted. Have I got that correct or am I hyperbolizing here? Is there someone else’s “paper’s I won’t be reading”?”

    Spot on. Muller gives every appearance of fostering a whitewash. He should not have been there today. There is no way to justify his appearance there today. That leaves one to ask whose influence got him there? The Muller Team just might be turning evil.

  66. Noelle says:
    March 31, 2011 at 10:51 am

    “why do you not reference Menne 2010 (peer reviewed and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research) in your letter?”

    HAHAHA !!! Priceless!!!

  67. I believe we should wait for more data from the BEST group. Let the CAGW-types be hysterical. If Muller et al do not live up to their promise of transparency then that is a different issue. I trust Anthony to let us know if he begins to be stonewalled.

  68. Here is my problem with this testimony:

    I suggest that Congress consider the creation of a Climate-ARPA to facilitate the study of climate issues.

    It is a scientist begging for money, with no clear objective save “climate issues”. We need to be de-funding climate science in general, not creating yet another gravy train.

  69. Am I alone in at least being happy that the NOAA was taking the Category 5 stations out of the system? Whatever the motivations were, or their effect on trend, those stations were not accurate. It’s a step in the right direction, at least.

  70. Willfully changing a story after the fact confesses guilt. Follow the money trail.

    “I always go in with an open mind… I don’t even believe what the police tell me. They always try to tell you a story. I let the evidence speak for itself; otherwise, you can overlook exculpatory evidence.”

    (Quote Dr. Henry C. Lee – September 2010)

  71. Well done, Anthony and All!

    NOAA uses the Bart Simpson defense, for surreptuously closing improperly sited sensors:
    “I didn’t do it. Nobody saw nothing. You can’t prove anything!”
    “Are you telling me that pesky wattsupwiththat crew are checking up on us, again?”

    “D’OH!”

  72. Why are people so eager to dispute that the Earth is warming? Is this not to be expected in an inter-glacial period?
    Why is there a rush to condemn Richard Muller’s testimony without reading it, when it simply points out the obvious?
    Instead focus on the evidence that he actually presented to the House of Representatives.
    ————————————————————-
    “Many temperature stations in the U.S. are located near buildings, in parking lots, or close to heat sources. Anthony Watts and his team has shown that most of the current stations in the US Historical Climatology Network would be ranked “poor” by NOAA’s own standards, with error uncertainties up to 5 degrees C.

    This is a case in which scientists receiving no government funding did work crucial to understanding climate change. Similarly for the work done by Steve McIntyre. Their “amateur” science is not amateur in quality; it is true science, conducted with integrity and high standards.

    The work and results of the surfacestations.org project is a gift to the citizens of the United States.”

    ———————————–

    Now, what is wrong with that?
    What more do you want?

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

    No, that was Al Gore and his marketing team, that why it’s called a confidence game.

  74. I watched much of the hearings – together with the text-based exhibitions of Gavin Schmidt et al. for the Science magazine.

    Concerning BEST, I am confused about yet another thing – the promised transparency about everything. As far as I can see, BEST is currently offering an even worse transparency, at least to me, than any other previous team. Is that just me? I can’t even get the final data. And they’re already presenting “results” to the Congress?

    I think that they have done *nothing* out of the things that they have promised.

    REPLY: Bingo, Anthony

  75. [from above]
    “I began studying climate stations in March 2007, stemming from a curiosity about paint used on the Stevenson Screens (thermometer shelters) used since 1892,….”

    Warmist should note that Anthony Watts started as an active warmist and it was this curiosity about the paint used on the Stevenson Screen and meeting the State Climatologist that turned him to the Dark Side.

    Anthony Watts – interview
    “I started out actually just being a climate alarmist. I got involved with saving the planet by helping other weather forecasters do the same thing through planting trees. Then when I met the State climatologist in California, his data changed my mind and now I’m a skeptic.”

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/06/anthony-watts-interviewed

  76. Keep in mind that they have not addressed UHI and some other serious issues….

    Quote:
    1. Urban heat island effects. Some stations in cities show more rapid warming than
    do stations in rural areas.
    2. Time of observation bias. When the time of recording temperature is changed,
    stations will typically show different mean temperatures than they did previously.
    This is sometimes corrected in the processes used by existing groups. But this
    cannot be done easily for remote stations or those that do not report times of
    observations.
    3. Station moves. If a station is relocated, this can cause a “jump” in its
    temperatures. This is typically corrected in the adjustment process used by other
    groups. Is the correction introducing another bias? The corrections are
    sometimes done by hand, making replication difficult.
    4. Change of instrumentation. When thermometer type is changed, there is often an
    offset introduced, which must be corrected.

  77. Lubos M:

    “Concerning BEST, I am confused about yet another thing – the promised transparency about everything. As far as I can see, BEST is currently offering an even worse transparency, at least to me, than any other previous team. Is that just me? I can’t even get the final data. And they’re already presenting “results” to the Congress?
    I think that they have done *nothing* out of the things that they have promised.”

    Hear, hear!
    (& beware)

  78. I knew it was a mistake to jump on board with this group.
    It has the classic appearance of bait and switch.

  79. Anthony,

    You deserve great admiration and respect for your integrity and openness. I have no doubt that you cooperated with “BEST” in utmost good faith. It is unfortunate that Dr. Muller has chosen the ethical path that he has, but that reflects poorly on him alone.

  80. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    from what i have seen from that graph their temps lately are cooler than giss by a decent amount (when they are arguing over 0.01c a difference of 0.1 is is huge) and remember they say this is all RAW data, they have not adjusted anything.

  81. Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, Schellnhuber….and Muller???

    Schneider, Romm, Steig, …
    (But the numbers don’t add up and it wouldn’t mean anything if they did.)

  82. Green Sand says:
    March 31, 2011 at 10:07 am
    “… The majority of the surface of this planet is ocean. There can be no estimation/confirmation of “global” temperatures just from land stations”

    Worse, from land stations that were intended to measure the local weather, NOT long-term global trends.
    The sort of changes in temperature of interest for reporting the local weather are variations of around 7 degrees from warm days and cold days or seasonal differences. That it is possible to extract ANY trend from such sources, never mind a trend an order of magnitude smaller than those variations over decades is amazing. But its always going to be a mathematical construct rather than a clear signal of climate.

    The direct observation of the most significant energy medium in the system, water, is obviously going to give a more credible report. Sea surface temperatures, sea level rise, ice extent, spring snow cover, glacier mass balance, precipitation and humidity levels all give a direct ‘readout’ of what Nature is doing without any risk of UHI effects or dodgy station sites.
    Then there is the movement and timing of growing seasons, frost free days, bird migration, insect distributions…

    Pressing into service a WEATHER station system intended to record variations ten times greater over days/weeks and regarding that as a definitive measurement of global climate warming over decades of a tiny fraction of the weather stations resolution was always the triumph of optimism over objectivity.

    I have aways found it slightly surprising that all who look at the weather station data DO come up with around the same amount of warming which matches that seen in other indicators and ‘first principles’ calculations of the expected warming from rising CO2. Perhaps the weather station data is a moderately robust proxy for global temperature trends!

  83. Not long ago I read high praise for BEST. Anthony Watt assured me that it was as pure as the driven snow, sure to come to the correct conclusion and that he would abide by its findings.

    Times change.

  84. I have a different interpretation of these preliminary results.

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

    McKitrick et al.’s identification of UHI in the surface temperature trend indicates an overestimate of up to a factor of 2.

    Assuming the climate models reflect reality, the lower troposphere temperature trends from satellite and balloons show that surface temperature trends are overestimated by a factor of 1.5 – 2.

    The ‘official’ surface temperature sets claim to compensate for all UHI, siting, TOBS and instrument biases.

    That Muller’s first glimpse, with no bias adjustments, agrees so well with the ‘official’ surface temperature sets is actually bad news for the consensus surface temperature trends over the past half-century.

  85. I’m still interested in looking at what they come up with. What they’ve shown so far is that the ‘official’ corrected homogenised series don’t differ much from a random selection which includes a lot of junk.
    That could mean one of two things: it could be a coincidence, or the official corrected homogenised series is of the same value as a random selection of junk.
    Let’s see what happens.

  86. The issues that the PRESENT siting of stations raise are by no means the only factors that bear directly on the question of the reliability of the linear trends apparent in many records. It is the CHANGES in siting and intrumentation or in the environment surrounding a fixed sitesite over the whole LIFETIME that produce the greatest discrepancies between neighboring station records. It is very dismaying to see Mueller ignoring that crucial issue, while leaping ahead to the unwarranted conclusion that the quality of siting makes no discernible difference vis a vis SWCULAR trends–the supposed indicators of global waming.

    In his letter, Anthony raises only tangentially a crucial point that is devastating to the AGW hypothesis: well-sited stations show NO change in the diurnal range over their lifetimes. This is line with the findings that made me a skeptic decades ago on purely physical grounds. If there were any discernible changes in atmospheric heat capacity due to increased CO2, they would show up most immediately in a BILATERALLY diminished diurnal range.

  87. maybe something good will come from all this. even if it doesnt all go according to the script, even if Anthony doesnt get full credit, even if they have to dragged kicking and screaming into positioning their thermometers in reasonable places, even if BEST turn out to be second best, at least the problem is getting proper scrutiny

    that has to be a good thing. well done AW

    EO

  88. A Climate-ARPA? Are you serious? Nooooooooo! ARPA is for pursuing high-risk, high-reward, push technologies for military applications. Translation: most of its grants fail to produce useful results, and that is expected.

    A climate scientist asking to set up an ARPA just wants a low-oversight science slush fund, to dole out money to his friends and colleagues, without having to produce tangible, defensible, and reproducible results. Talk about regulatory capture. So now imagine what happens when some government-savvy climate scientist like Trenberth or Serreze becomes the director of a big pile of free money. Are you nuts?

    This has nothing to do with climate science. This just violates every principle of good, fiduciary government. DARPA is sui generis, due to its military mission, and should not be duplicated.

    When a scientist asks for an ARPA, you need to hold tight to your wallet, because the scientist has become a pickpocket, as he is tired of defending the value of his work, and just wants a taxpayer-paid sinecure.

    (Oh and if you think I’m being over-the-top, look at today’s news. The DARPA director is now giving contracts to her family’s business. The rot has reached DARPA.

  89. Is there a chance that Dr. Muller and the “BEST” team are not a bunch of venal pseudo scientists who hide data and methods to promote a political agenda? We’ve studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no.

    /sarc

  90. At http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=1&t=214&&n=123 “Kforestcat” (comment 21) addresses the problem of a cooling anomaly in Menne’s study, but none of the folk at Skeptical Science seemed to understand his point. As I understand him, he is saying that as the ambient temperature approaches that of the interfering heat source, the bias decreases. The validity of the assertion is beyond dispute. E.g., the condensation coils of an AC unit become less efficient at higher temperatures, and contribute less heat to a nearby thermometer. Or as air temperature comes closer to that of hot asphalt, basic thermodynamics require that the asphalt become a less efficient heat source. Of course the temperature is influenced secondarily by air temperature, but primarily by the rays of the sun.

    The so called “cooling bias” is predictable then by elementary thermodynamics.

  91. eadler says:

    March 31, 2011 at 8:15 am

    It seems, given the prior finding by NOAA, what Muller has reported as his preliminary finding seems pretty solid, despite the letter written by Anthony Watts.

    Really!?

    Without seeing the data or the methodology you simply accept his conclusions in testomony to Congress!

    The data and methodology that would supposedly be revealed to all before any conclusions were determined.

    Nope. I’m not buying it at all.

  92. John A. Fleming . . . . I am with you . . . I look how many times the music industry has done the same thing . . . how many ways are there to sell the same thing . . . endless for the naked greedy. . .

    I tell you, Many, most, business plans include planned obsolescence, it is the nature of “capitalism” . . . . o

    An anti-capitalist I am not . . but, I never thought Huck Finn was smart like so many I considered him rotten thief who used his “friends” . . . . I remember those famous words in Alex Haley’s “Roots” . . . But WHY? Why don’t you wanna be my slave, no more? . . . . I thought we was FRIENDS?

  93. I found the contrast between Prof. Muller’s and Prof. Christy’s testimonies to be quite interesting.

  94. The climate ‘science’ establishment should not be surprised that people no longer trust a word they say.

    The BEST team promised they would produce an ‘open source’ project to provide the best global temperature data yet. However, before they have even properly started, they are already claiming initial results validate the other dubious data sets in front of a House of Representatives hearing.

    Are these people really stupid enough to think the public will swallow this?

  95. eadler says: March 31, 2011 at 10:05 am
    Anyone who cannot see that urban encroachment raises temperatures higher than a rural location over the same time period, ie. the encroached area has a higher rate of warming, with higher highs and higher lows than the rural site, as has been shown here at numerous stations cannot be shown. Don’t forget the migration of monitoring stations to airports, and elimination of rural sites, enhancing the delusion of warming. As far as siting papers you are so enamoured with, nope. I spent a large part of my engineering career developing temperature measurement and process control to +/- .1 deg. F, +/- 3 sigma, decades ago, and know this is false empirically.

  96. A few notes.

    There is nothing wrong whatsoever with Muller and company releasing preliminary results to congress or the public or to private citizens. That is the whole point of TRANSPARENCY and OPENNESS.

    They clearly state this is a 2% sample. They clearly state that the final results may change things. I am QUITE SURE that the addition of more stations will NOT change the answer. Welcome to the Law of Large numbers. We have known for quite some time than ANY collection of 100 sites picked randomly gives you the same answer.

    Adding more stations will only do one thing and one thing only. It will narrow the errors due to spatial sampling.

    Second: the methodology for treating any siting change as a new station, will also NOT CHANGE the curve in any significant way. What it will do is increase the uncertainty. So there will be a trade off between the uncertainty due to spatial sampling ( which goes down) and the uncertainty due to changing station features
    ( which will go up). But the shape of the curve will no change in any significant way.
    Especially since 1979. We know the record from 1979 on is good. we know this because it tracks well with UHA and RSS. The warming will not disappear, cannot disappear.

    With respect to the microsite issue. This is what we know.

    Micro site irregularities can COOL a station and they can WARM a station. We have no numerical evidence of
    A. the SIZE of the effect
    B. the FREQUENCY of the effect
    C. the DIRECTION of the effect
    D. the overall impact of the effect.

    Some thoughts an this last item. These thoughts are based on 1) preliminary analysis conducted by JohnV and myself. 2) preliminary analysis conducted by Menne.
    3) field experiments conducted by the scientist who came up with the rating system.

    A) The size of the effect. On any given day IF the meterlogical conditions are right you can see large effects. Roughly speaking a CRN 3 could see a cooling of 3C or a warming of 3C. That’s NOT an effect that you see every day. Conditions have to be
    right to see that Size of an effect. A CRN 4 could see, ON SOME DAYS, a 4C cooling or a 4C warming. Please note that you dont see these effects every day. Many things can modulate this effect. I will list a few
    a) clouds
    b) rain
    c) wind speed
    Fundamentally, If the bias happened every day of the year, you would have no difficulty finding the bias signal. Even with small samples. Even with a simple station comparison. But We Dont find consistent and persistent Biases of this magnitude. Why not? see the next point.

    B) FREQUENCY. the effect does not happen every day of the year or even every day of a season. take for example, the effect of air conditioners. The air condition can only impact the record, If it is running. And only iff the temperature of the air it exhausts is GREATER THAN the Tmax for the day. If the AC comes on AFTER Tmax has been recorded, then it cant bias the record. The same goes for SHADING and cooling. Shading is seasonally dependent. the same goes for rain, clouds and wind. All of these mitigate the effect. In the one field test performed the bias was seen as something on the order of .1C. That means over the course of a long time you see biases that spike high and spike low. they dont happen every day. When you look at them in TOTAL the cumulative effect is small. Its small because there are both positive and negative biases. its small because conditions have to be RIGHT for the bias to occur. Hot sunny day, no wind, and the AC coming on at just the right time.

    C. Direction of the effect. the bias can be UP or DOWN. we dont know how they balance out. How is shading during the day ( Tmax goes down) balanced by higher Tmins due to the surface (asphalt) holding more heat? Nobody knows (mathematically) how these balance.

    D. the overall impact. When you look at the effect size, the effect frequency, and the direction of the effect, it may turn out that the overall impact is SMALL. in fact I suspect it will be small BECAUSE preliminary research has ruled out a BIG effect.
    We know the effect size is Small SIMPLY BY COMPARING WITH UHA.
    if the land record was represented as L = T +B, where T= truth and B = Microsite Bias. then we can estimate the size of the bias by simply comparing UHA to L.
    UHA is not effected by any bias. Because UHA and RSS track the land record closely, we know the bias must be small. For example, if the bias was 1C, we would expect GISS or CRU to show much higher temps or trends than UHA. they dont. From that we can conclude that the bias must be small. By small I mean something on the order
    of .1C to .15C. Finding a bias that small will be very difficult.

    In the end, here is what you will find. You will find that the Global LAND temp calculated by BEST will be within .15C of that calculated by other systems. You will find that if you pick the very best stations the answer will not change (.15C+-)
    You will have better understanding of the real uncertainty. But the world will still be warming. C02 will still cause warming. the question will be what it has ALWAYS BEEN. How much warming? is it dangerous? to whom? and what can we do? what should we do?

    Skepticism about AGW will take a step FORWARD when the land record is seen as being fairly accurate. Then the conversation should turn to REAL questions. how much warming? is it dangerous.. etc. And hopefully people will put their collective energy on that.

  97. guam says: Intriguing Post, bad enough to be using corrupted sites,

    its even worse we are forced to rely on corrupted scientists.

  98. There seems to be a lot of missing the point around here by a long shot. Anthony basically admitted above that the paper he is about to publish came to the same conclusion as Dr Muller’s BEST project, i.e. that good rural and bad city stations have the same trend in average daily temps. Anthony says the trend in diurnal range differs between good and bad stations, but that just means the daily high and low temps of city stations are getting closer together, though their average still has the same trend as the good rural stations.

    What is really interesting about this is what is happening in the city stations. City stations are getting warmer at night than rural stations, no mystery there. What is strange is that the city stations are getting cooler during the hottest part of the day compared to the rural stations!!!? So apparently as you build up more and more asphalt and such into a big city around a formerly rural or small town thermometer, it gets cooler during the hot part of the day! Something really strange is going on here! Note that I’m not saying city high temps are actually getting cooler than they used to be, I’m just saying that they’re not getting hotter as fast as the highs at rural thermometers. Also note that this is not the conclusion of Muller or BEST, this appears to be Anthony’s conclusion based on Anthony’s own study.

    I see little reason to condemn Muller here. There are videos of him giving the hockey stick trick a well deserved slamming like I would expect of a good scientist. It doesn’t look quite right for him to announce so soon before making his data and methods available, but he probably had to make a decision about appearing at the Congressional hearing when the opportunity probably wouldn’t be there later. Since his conclusions were consistent with Anthony’s, he probably decided to go for it. But then I do wonder why he didn’t make more of the odd urban cooling effect.

  99. I should be more circumspect. It doesn’t matter how strong your rectitude starts out as. A big pile of free government money with limited oversight, no goal, and an incestuous grantor/grantee relationship, will corrupt anyone and everyone. A Climate-ARPA, just the idea of it, should make your curl up in a fetal ball and whimper “No, no, no, …!”.

    I gotta ask, is it naivete, or duplicity, or excessive self-regard, that makes a person suggest such a thing to Congress?

  100. Lubos

    “Concerning BEST, I am confused about yet another thing – the promised transparency about everything. As far as I can see, BEST is currently offering an even worse transparency, at least to me, than any other previous team. Is that just me? I can’t even get the final data. And they’re already presenting “results” to the Congress?”

    Hold your horses.

    They are being transparent about everything. They are releasing preliminary findings.
    That is being transparent. They showed those preliminary results to me, to anthony, to Zeke, to congress. As for the final data. They will make the final data ready when they publish. Just like Anthony will make his data available when he publishes.

    I think you and others assumed that the BEST approach would somehow disapppear the warming. it cant. it wont. it will give you a better estimate of the uncertainty, but the final answer will be in the ballpark of Giss and Cru, give or take .15C.
    And that wont change vene after you look at UHI. UHI is not that large. We know this by looking at rural only sites. i know this from looking at long rural records. we know this by looking at UHA.

    Time to focus on the real issue: sensitivity

    REPLY: Sorry Mosh, I completely disagree with you on this related to transparency. More at a future date.- Anthony

  101. REPLY: Sorry Mosh, I completely disagree with you on this related to transparency. More at a future date.- Anthony

    #####Care to be more transparent about the lack of transparency?

    There are two modes of working openly that I know of.

    1. where everyone can watch your every step, even the false steps.
    full open access to the dev teams commits. (we worked this way at Openmoko)

    2. Where you provide access after you’ve taken your final step.

    Ideally we would like to see number 1. But as we know that approach also causes confusion. We see that in the reports of ice for example. we see that in UHA records.
    What’s absolutely required is #2. There are also approaches where you give limited access until #2.

  102. Not sure at all why my earlier post was snipped. My point was and remains Muller’s report was no surprise to me – it was expected. At least by me. I really do think the “team” won this big and it is just one more aspect of the frau* going on in climate science. I think Muller was a ringer from the outset.

  103. Most of the influence exerted on the USHCN Ver. 2 dataset by methodological biases and siting issues are accounted for in the data adjustment processes, as show in Menne et al. 2009 and Menne et al. 2010. However, that does not mean it is good science to leave the most critically problematic stations running or continue including them in datasets. The problem you have with the removal of stations is a very contentious non-issue. Is the goal of surfacestations.org not to identify the major issues surrounding methodology and siting? Therefore, does the removal of problematic stations not constitute a major achievement in data recording quality control for surfacestations.org? Whether statistical adjustments account for the station associated biases or not, there is no doubt that a top-down approach of removing these stations also helps mitigate bias. The removal of stations from the USHCN is no secret or dubious act by the NCDC;

    “The actual subset of stations constituting the HCN has changed twice since 1987. By the mid-1990s, station closures and relocations had already forced a reevaluation of the composition of the U.S. HCN as well as the creation of additional composite stations. The reevaluation led to 52 station deletions and 54 additions, for a total of 1,221 stations (156 of which were composites). Since the 1996 release (Easterling et al. 1996), numerous station closures and relocations have again necessitated a revision of the network. As a result, HCN version 2 contains 1,218 stations, 208 of which are composites; relative to the 1996 release, there have been 62 station deletions and 59 additions.” – Menne et al. 2009

    Whether the reanalysis of the USHCN data, prompted by your work, done on an incomplete unintended document, it still accounts for the issues addressed in that report. It is my hope that your complete and thorough exploration of the USHCN network siting and methodological problems (slated to be published this year?) will prompt another, more thorough reanalysis of the USHCN data, and a Version 3 dataset. I certainly think that your work represents an important critique of the quality control of the data recording stations, methodology, and practices of government agencies.

    I am curious as to why a post on this blog from 2010 says the Menne et al. 2010 paper was based on a 43% total of the network surveyed and that (at the time in 2010) your current dataset is 87% of the network surveyed. Yet, this post/letter says Menne et al. 2009 was based on the same report which was a 70% survey of the network and you are currently at 82.5% of the network surveyed. These are two major inconsistencies in what you have said, and I would appreciate you addressing them for me. Especially as this was a letter intended to be included in the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s record for the hearing on Climate Change today.

  104. “Without the efforts of Anthony Watts and his team, we would have only a series of
    anecdotal images of poor temperature stations, and we would not be able to evaluate the integrity of the data.
    This is a case in which scientists receiving no government funding did work crucial to
    understanding climate change.”

    Yes, indeed. And while I’m proud of Anthony and the team’s efforts (and my own small participation) it is a disgrace that what Muller rightly describes as “crucial” had to be done by volunteers with no official sanction or assistance.

    Billions and trillions they are willing to spend. A few million for “crucial”? Not so much, if it will lead to embarrassment.

  105. dp says:
    March 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm (Edit)

    “My point was and remains Muller’s report was no surprise to me – it was expected. At least by me. I really do think the “team” won this big and it is just one more aspect of the frau* going on in climate science. I think Muller was a ringer from the outset.”

    Muller is not a member of the Hockey Team, he’s an astrophysicist who is more well known for his theory of Nemesis, a hypothetical companion red dwarf star or brown dwarf orbiting our solar system in 28 million year orbits, that has remained undetected because most red dwarfs that are known have never had their distance from our Sun measured, and we are incapable of detecting brown dwarfs easily in interstellar space, at least until the data from WISE is fully analysed. Nemesis is thought to be responsible for disturbing the orbits of Oort Cloud comets that are thought to be the cause of the impacts that trigger the periodic mass extinctions of life on Earth.

  106. It is an outrage that the of the 0.7C increase since 1957, 0.6C can be blamed on AGW. Behind that statement is the assumption/belief that natural warming from 1850 suddenly ended in 1957. From 1910 to 1942 the temp rose 0.44C; that is said to be “natural”. The temp dropped from 1942 to 1965 by 0.2C; that is supposed to be suppressed warming by aerosol pollution or (depending on the writer) a “natural” cooling. So AGW is responsible except when it is not.

    Such short-term, non-critical thinking.

  107. Class Act Anthony!

    And the quote of the day?

    “They cant even clean the mess up properly :)”

    (ouch)

    :D

  108. @ Steve Mosher “We have known for quite some time than ANY collection of 100 sites picked randomly gives you the same answer.”

    Is that really true?
    If so, then are you saying that any two cherry picked selections, which would, by definition, both be subsets of all random selections, of 100 sites would show the same answer?

    Suggests to me that if that is true then the data is little more than bollocks.

    Excuse the vernacular.

  109. BEST a sneaky way to soften the climbdown? Buy some time and protect some butts?And later show more honest results to save own butt? What me cynical toward climatology?

  110. MackemX says:
    March 31, 2011 at 5:14 pm (Edit)

    @ Steve Mosher “We have known for quite some time than ANY collection of 100 sites picked randomly gives you the same answer.”

    “Is that really true?
    If so, then are you saying that any two cherry picked selections, which would, by definition, both be subsets of all random selections, of 100 sites would show the same answer?”

    Because any random sampling has the same average amount of sites that are absolute crap.

    i.e. Garbage A In = Garbage A Out = Garbage B In = Garbage B Out

    Its axiomatic.

  111. Initially, I cautiously gave the BEST project team the benefit of the doubt status.

    I am removing the benefit and becoming more doubtful.

    I have seen many project teams in my professional career. Their project team leadership looks weak based on their handling of the House Committee hearing.

    John

  112. I learned early on, that research is a dog eat dog rush to kill your opponent. And it matters little what methods you use. Steal it, beg for it, play nice for it, then beat your opponent to the punch. I learned that the nicer the face, the darker the motivation. The exceptions were so rare that I ended up trusting no one. And ended my not-yet-off-the-ground science career.

  113. steven mosher says:
    March 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    While some of your observations on micro-siting may be correct, they are mere side-issues. Your invocation of the Law of Large Numbers really misses the crux of the issue when sampling from a HETEROGENOUS population with severe biases that are unknown a priori. When there are more bad records than good ones in a data base, the mean of independent, random sampling trials will almost surely converge to the mean of the unknown biases. The solution lies in AVOIDING demonstrably biased records altogether, not in increasing the uncertainty bounds, which cannot be determined accurately in any practical case. BTW, if you Google the Berkeley Statistics Dept. portal on LLN and perform trials with low probabilities of success (as in finding a good record by chance), you might learn something pertinent to the problem.

  114. I came late to WUWT this day and am very disappointed by this news. When I just now described this double-cross to my husband, he exclaimed “Ah, post-normal science!” I guess he has been listening to my climate rants.

    Condolences to you, Anthony. This must be a bitter pill.

  115. It is unfortunate though that they are removing some of the worst sited stations with the worst errors….when they should be keeping them for comparison to newer nearby better located stations to correct the data error and be able to repeat the process on how the data was corrected….

    But I guess that is what happens when politics trump science….you get ass covering.

  116. You do not go before Congress and present preliminary results … if you have integrity.

    I don’t care how many caveats they toss in. A person with integrity simply states they don’t know.

  117. mikelorrey said at:
    March 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Muller is not a member of the Hockey Team, he’s an astrophysicist who is more well known for his theory of Nemesis…

    I know all that. I didn’t say he was a member of the team or even that he won. His report is favorable to the team and they will exploit it. It is not favorable to those how believe the data have been tortured into compliance by the team.

    However, I am now willing to add his name to the list of active team members who will advocate to their death the CAGW mantra.

  118. For Steve Mosher and his excellent thoughts:

    Prof. Muller found that with his small 2% sample, without the additional work he has yet to do, that there has been about 0.1 degree less increase in warmth than in the “establishment” land based record. That 0.1 degree reduction vs. the “establishment” is in the last 15 years (see the figure in his testimony). This is the time period of the satellite record. So in a broad brush sort of way, if Prof. Muller’s 2% sample is about right in the end, it kind of corroborates the 32 year satellite record difference with the land based record — 0.1 degree difference in just 30 plus years is a big difference. It may mean that the trends from the satellite record are more reliable than the trends for the land record — in the last 30 years. So now, what happens when you project the satellite temperature trends?

    This is back of the envelope. Steve, anything you want to say about the satellite record vs. what Prof. Muller testified, and about the trend in the satellite record (1.4 degrees warming per century)?

  119. Mosher’s curious satisfaction with random selection from data largely compromised is precisely the kind of statistics-for-first-year-psyche-students that has built a climatology house of cards held up by duct tape blodges (definitely a climsci term). The intelligent course is to take only the best stations and then do your random selections. If you can agree with this my luke warm friend, you may find yourself shifted at least to neutral (which is, of course, recognizes there has been warming out of the little ice age as the main part of the show with a minor contribution from co2 and some from land use changes. Hey were talking about what a rise of what? A degree C in 150 yrs. Tell you believed it would be a lot warmer by now 15 years ago (a sixth of a century ago) .

  120. I’m not quite this cynical, but it almost makes you wonder if his YouTube rant was a “false-flag” performance, done to give his “re-do” of the research which then marvelously comes to the approved Consensus Conclusions look like a rigourous 3rd-party validation, at last, hurrah, hurrah!

    Nah, a prominent Berkley liberal scientist would never stoop so low. Hardly ever.

  121. In reading Anthony’s post and all the comments, 2 items stuck out in addition to others mentioned.

    1. Why did Muller use ‘1957’ as the reference year for ‘warming since’? Did he really mean 1977 instead of 1957? Do any of the major temperature indicies show warming starting in 1957?

    2. How is it even possible the initial BEST research could determine that 0.6 degree of the total 0.7 degree warming is due to humans? Did Muller really state this or is this what is being inferred by others?

  122. Anthony

    If and when you stand before the pearly gates, and you are asked about your admission ticket, I think this particular post is sufficient. I wish I had something even remotely comparable on my CV. You have identified the crux of the matter, you have given voice to people like Lubos Motl and Steve Mosher, so that we have an interesting debate. Anything you do after this is just cream in the coffee. And I wish you many more coffees with cream (just hoping).

  123. I am reluctant to challenge Steven Mosher, yet I feel that I must.
    He says that it is established that UHI has a very small effect and that in addition, it is the trend that is important, not the absolute temperature and that UHI does not affect the trend, other than by a step wide rise, I presume.

    Well Steve, I have examined a very small sample of sites in Australia, both urban and Rural.
    In particular I can point to two major cities, where for very special but different circumstances, the impact of UHI on maximum temperature can be observed very clearly.

    At each of these sites, there was no discernable UHI impact before certain dates and the temperatures before then were trendless at each location, although fluctiating, for one hundred years or thereabouts.
    After certain changes occurred for two completely different reasons (20 years apart), UHI stepped in and the temperature began to rise in each location in steady linear trends. These trends can by no means be described as minor or of no account.

    I have raised this issue on several occasions already.
    I will be pleased to provide my data and my explanations to Anthony on request.

    Because of my own work on temperature data, I am very sceptical to say the least, when anybody claims that UHI is not a major factor in the rising numbers measured by the major climate indices. I will NOT call these numbers true indicators of global temperature!

  124. When it comes to UHI even the UK Met / BBC show a 3°C difference between London and other town and a night time difference of greater than 5°C at some locations and on clear nights. London has grown relatively slowly (extent) in the last 50-100 yrs when other towns have grown rapidly. Norwich, for example, tends to have a temperature about 1-2°C lower than London in the day but about the 3°C at night. This trend has accelerated of the past 50yrs. At one time, Norwich was as populated a London.

  125. steven mosher says:
    March 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm
    A few notes.

    There is nothing wrong whatsoever with Muller and company releasing preliminary results to congress or the public or to private citizens. That is the whole point of TRANSPARENCY and OPENNESS.

    I can agree with Steven that openness and transperancy are important an an element of that has been demonstrated by Muller. I can also agree that the release of prelim results can sometimes be useful but Sorry Steven, I can’t agree with you here even though my disagreement is probably not important.

    Prof. Muller should not have released either his opinion (which is known to be biased toward AGW) or parts of his data to this committee. Why? Because this is a release of data to a political entity which will in all probability distort or misinterpret what he has to say. This situation required discretion and he has failed that miserably. What’s worse, in my experience, the full and final results will be ignored by those people who have received the result or opinion they wanted from the preliminary release. Finally, I believe he released data which wasn’t his to release in the form of an opinion into a political environment and that is fundamentally wrong BUT understandable from a scientist.

  126. John says
    This is back of the envelope. Steve, anything you want to say about the satellite record vs. what Prof. Muller testified, and about the trend in the satellite record (1.4 degrees warming per century)?

    Over the past 30 yrs! Trend of previous warming by surface thermos 1.4°C/cent ! Trend since 1650 who the hell knows.

  127. May I suggest a very simple confirmation of UHI?
    If your car has an outside temperature display, the next time you park your car in a large parking lot (Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kroger), note the temperature when you drive out. Now drive to a place where there are trees and shade (home, if you are lucky). Note the temperature difference.

    REPLY: I have a solution for that here – Anthony

  128. Roger Knights says:
    March 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, Schellnhuber….and Muller???

    Schneider, Romm, Steig, …
    (But the numbers don’t add up and it wouldn’t mean anything if they did.)
    _______________

    Currently the History channel is airing a show about Hilter’s scientists.

  129. As a land surveyor back in the seventies we used to have thermometers on our steel tapes so we could adjust horizontal measurements. We would see increases of up to 10 degrees F on asphalt and concrete surfaces. It is also true in wheat fields just after harvest when the stubble is decaying and the dark soil is exposed.

  130. I must challenge steven mosher’s statement that @ Steve Mosher “We have known for quite some time than ANY collection of 100 sites picked randomly gives you the same answer.”
    Picked Randomly how?
    In one Country?
    One Continent?
    One Hemisphere?
    Or do you mean that no matter what data you put in to the “massaging” programs used by the teams that you always get the same Trend answer out?

    Did you note that the graph presented by Muller shows their historical data is strangely different to the “old” historical data.
    What happened to the very warm 1930s in his graph, which was recognised as being present in the “Raw” data prior to it being homogenised.

    Other people on this and many other Forums have analysed the raw data from many many sites and found completely different results to the Trend shown in the Graph prsented by Muller.

  131. steven mosher says:
    March 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    … We have known for quite some time than ANY collection of 100 sites picked randomly gives you the same answer.

    Steven Mosher, having roughly 39,000 global stations available, you are saying that any 100 randomly picked stations will give the same results. My Congressman will be VERY interested in this information from you. I am assuming this is after homogenization, for the raw data does not appear to show this pattern. You seem to be pointing directly at the big-boy climate data collection centers.

    Do you mind me asking by name who the “we” are you mention that have always known?

  132. Feeling a bit suckered are we, Andrew? Welcome to the world of vested interests. Yours were compromised the day you agreed to participate in a scientific “mainstream event”. I don’t blame your for trying, but in the competitive world of “recognition” you need to understand that “truth” and “intellectual integrity” are impediments to the game of “recognition”. Try and fathom Al Gore’s “recognition” for a primer to the game.

  133. Just a simple question here.

    Mr Watts seems to suggest that the ‘weather station’ at Ardmore is operated by the US Historical Climate Network and that ‘they’ ‘removed it’. Correct me if I am wrong here but aren’t meteorological stations operated by the US Weather Service? If USHCN (or joe public) want data from USWS, they can ask for it. But they have no control over what data is available.

    This isn’t so surprising really is it? Its all in a name really. US HISTORICAL Climate Network.

    They don’t run meteoroligical stations. They simply collect old data previously recorded. They don’t deal with the thermometer. Rather with what someone else recorded the thermometer as saying.

    Yet Anthony thinks ‘they’ are fudging something! Based on what?

  134. Glenn Tamblyn says: April 2, 2011 at 1:06 am
    Yet Anthony thinks ‘they’ are fudging something! Based on what?

    Have you looked at the surface station project on this site?

  135. Thank you very much Anthony!
    Very good article, in my opinion. Your good work for humanity can never be paid justly enough. It is high time we start using only satellites to learn anything about our planet as a whole.

    But lets not forget that even if the north of the Earth shows more elevated land surface temperatures lately, we still don’t know that this increase is “anthropogenic”, nor that it has anything to do with CO2.

    I am more interested in learning whether CO2 produces, or not, a “greenhouse effect”.
    On this, I reading http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Understanding_the_Atmosphere_Effect.pdf
    (Joseph E. Postma, M.Sc. Astrophysics, Honours B.Sc. Astronomy. March 2011, .pdf)
    [a work in progress]

  136. Andres Valencia? . . . only satellites to learn anything about our planet as a whole!

    Right on the face of it . . . this would be a big mistake . . . generally gauges are like dictionaries or watches they eliminate petty arguments of opinion . . . and without those gauges, satellites would not have evolved as they have . . . (in my opinion) . . .It’s like the pitcher pump existed before the electric water pump . . . and it will always have it’s place where there is not electricity . . .

    I also, do think the cost of acquiring knowledge and understanding in our current political “climate” must be considered . . . Smart people of integrity can not afford to work for free, and should not be expected to.

    NASA Study Goes to Earth’s Core for Climate Insights

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311140706.htm

    Satellites Act As Thermometers In Space

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040422002701.htm

  137. Yes, satellites can now cover the whole planet fast. To me, clearly the best for learning about the temperatures and vapor content at different heights, cloud cover, and much more.

    Alas, history will always remain and grow, and meander around. Never to be forgotten.

    Amateurs work for free most of the time, our reward is not monetary, but donations sure help along the way.

  138. Interesting discussion. After reading Steven Mosher’s posts I was going to suggest that UHI may not be significant in temperate/warm climates, but is still likely to be in colder zones (and iirc Lucy Skywalker’s analysis of Siberian stations confirmed UHI is especially significant in winter months). Russian scientists were also scathing of CRU’s station selection techniques irrc). AussieDan’s findings suggest that UHI is apparent in Australian data, and we all know that the New Zealand data is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Anthony hasn’t had his full say yet, and I have not checked what the Chiefio is latest thinking on this yet. So my gut feeling is still that there has been some warming but half of the 0.7C warming can can be put down to UHI/dodgy date selection/homogensisation and bald adjustments. At the very least I would say that there’s a lot of uncertainty out there. As the creator of this graph (iirc Jim from NYC) has often pointed out, there does not seem to be much signal for AGW in the CET and 10 other long term temperature records – http://oi49.tinypic.com/rc93fa.jpg To me it just looks like we had a warm decade (or rather a series of mild winters in the northern hemisphere) in the 1990s. Nothing to panic about, and it seems to be getting colder again now anyway.

    It is sad to see Muller appear to suggest that CO2 can be blamed for 0.6 of the 0.7C warming, when there is no evidence for this. Natural variation, cloud cover changes, oceanic and solar magnetic cycles are all much more likely to be the cause, rather than an increase in atmospheric CO2 from 0.0285% to 0.0385% .

  139. Hopefully this will be constructive criticism. After reading your letter for the Congressional record I came away thinking that it was written for scientists, not laypeople (like our Congress critters). I suspect many folks eyes would just glaze over before they figured out what points you were making. My suggestion is that future inputs like this should have more introductory material with less technical content before you go into the technical details (which I think still belong in there).

    Cheers!

  140. I think there are several things that surprise me about this debate.

    Firstly, that the effect of UHi on temperature is potentially huge yet we try to discount it. The Romans knew about the effects of UHI and numerous historic studies through the ages have commented on the urban effect. Many stations started off in a cool field and have since been engulfed by urban development so are likely to be warmer than otherwise they would be. Consequently very many stations within the record are affected by uhi to varying degrees as the places that contain the thermometers have changed utterly in nature.

    Secondly, the efffects of station ‘movement’ is a big factor. Those sites not engulfed by development have often been moved-some a number of times- and the micro climate being measured is therefore often very different to the ones they started off with.

    Thirdly, we greatly overstimate the historic accuracy of these figures and ignore two factors in this. The first is that thermometers were accurate to perhaps one degree-no more. Secondly the methodology at each site-until very recent times-differed from each other-there was no ‘handbook.’ For example, measurements might be taken at varying times of day, the thermometer were sited at different heights, not all were shaded correctly, night time temperatures were not always known.

    Sorting out trends from all that mass of flawed information and coming up with a ‘ global’ figure back to 1880, supposedly accurate to tenths or hundredths of a degree, is stretching a point.

    Hubert Lamb (the first Director of Cru) identified 1750 as the point at which glaciers had begun melting. The long term instrumental temperature records indicate a warming that can be traced back to 1659-our wealth of observations indicate we have been warming (with numerous advances and reverses) since 1607. The GISS records from 1880 plug into the end of this warming trend and do not herald the start of it.

    It should come as a surprise to no one that the Earth is warmer today than it was during the Sporadic Little Ice age. What is perhaps a bigger surprise is that the temperature increase is not greater. CET in 1659-the first year of the record was 8.83C. In 2010 the last year of the record it was…. 8.83C.

    We had a slightly warm decade through the 1990’s in some places not dissimilar to the 1730’s and other periods.

    We really must get away from the idea that we know a ‘global’ temperature back to 1880 that is accurate to tenths of a degree. We don’t. Incidentally I would be interested to hear Mosh’s take on SST’s. This must be the most ludicrous ‘scientific’ measurement known to man yet we solemnly produce data from it supposedly accurate to hundredths of a degree. Sheer hubris.

    Tonyb

  141. The obvious question to the statement ‘there is no difference between bad stations and good stations data’ is;

    Why have we spent a lot of time and money setting and implementing standards of placement [distance from buildings, height from ground, cutting back foliage, designing screen sizes, changing paints etc.] if they all give the same quality data?

    If I were a manager/politician I’d want to know why we wasted money.

    A follow up question might be;

    Why are we removing many ‘poor’ stations when their data are fine?

  142. The Oort Cloud: A hypothetical reservoir of comets in orbit around the sun located beyond the detection capabilities of current technology.
    The Nemesis Star: A hypothetical brown dwarf in orbit around the sun located beyond the detection capabilities of current technology.
    So we have a specialist who creates the hypothesis of a Nemesis star that interacts with the hypothetical Oort cloud to produce a catastrophe that cannot be verified. The perfect description of a climate scientist.

  143. “Good better best, do not let it rest, until your good is better, and your better best”
    This was the motto cast into the iron ends of horse drawn water carts in Australia made by a Mr Furphy.
    These were used widely in WW1 to supply our troops with water, these roving soles dishing out water also spread rumours and untruths. To this day in our fair land the spreading of untruths in wide spread fashion are known as Furphies.
    Cover your A##se Anthony I feel this BEST mob are spreading Furphies for gain and your diminishment.

  144. A query to Steven Mosher in relation to his statement Mar 31 @3.18 pm in answering Lubos.

    “And that wont change vene after you look at UHI. UHI is not that large. We know this by looking at rural only sites. i know this from looking at long rural records. we know this by looking at UHA”.

    I understand about this in relation to UAH however in regard to rural records I don’t understand. My understanding is that there is plenty of work done which suggests there is an logarithmic relationship between population density and UHI i.e. the increase in the UHI effect is greatest at lower population densities and decreases as population densities increase.

    Sure as the UHI effect is cumulative large cities might be expected to have a larger UHI component compared with a rural site. However it’s the rate of population increase together with the absolute population (the rate will be greatest at lower population levels) that will determine the UHI effect on temperature trends. Rural site rates compared with urban site rates, per se- irrelevant.

    Roy Spencer showed some interesting work on this a year ago and was going to publish. Here’s the link: –

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/page/9/

  145. Thge more I read about Muller, the more I believe he deviously portrayed himself as a skeptic who didn’t accept the current CAGW meme. He even convinced the Koch brothers to fund BEST – then he did a complete about face and announced his presumed conclusions to the world without sufficient facts in hand.

    Now the NY Times is weighing in, saying BEST has shown the same results as heavily grant funded scientists despite the fact that Muller’s self-serving conclusions are based on little evidence. Further, prominent skeptical scientists seem to be generally missing from the BEST staff. But of course, the discredited Phil Jones is on board.

    Muller pulled a fast one. That is becoming increasingly clear.

  146. Anyone remember Peter and his Dad, looking at Urban vs Rural GISS data? They selected 28 pairs of US cities, and then compared averages and trends.
    This was covered on WUWT in December 2009:
    Picking out the UHI in climatic temperature records – so easy a 6th grader can do it!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/picking-out-the-uhi-in-global-temperature-records-so-easy-a-6th-grader-can-do-it

    Anthony said: They used a simple pairing of rural and urban sites to show the differences. This shows why homogenization, which smears all the data from urban and rural sites together, is a bad idea, and gives trends that don’t exist in reality.
    ———————————-
    I actually extracted those 28 pairs of data, using the same cities and extraction as used by Peter and his dad, and did my own analysis. For years 1900 -2006 from GISS web site for the list of paired locations, my results:

    Rural temperature slope, DegC per century = 0.57
    Urban temperature slope, DegC per century = 1.07

    More results, all in DegC:
    ……………….Rural ……..Urban
    Minimum …….5.8………….7.2
    Maximum ….22.4…………23.3
    Average………13.1………….14.3

    *There are 6 of 28 (~20%) Rural negative slopes (cooling).
    *None of the Urban temperature slopes are negative/cooling.

    Note – the only data ‘clean up’ was to remove the “999” error/missing placeholder values from the GISS data before doing the calculations.
    Dave

  147. I surveyed some of those stations. In all but one case I was able to talk to the observer. One station was visited and seen by me but I did not photograph it or make a report, because the observer refused permission. The observer had a home renovation in progress. The temperature station had been pulled from the ground and was leaning against the north side of the garage… still reporting temperatures.

  148. bobbyj0708, March 31, 2011 at 8:38 am:
    I dislike appearing to look like a conspiratorial nutjob but having read Muller’s book “Physics for Future Presidents” I have always doubted the man is impartial about CAGW. When you read his book the chapters on energy, terrorism, nuclear weapons and such are all logical and predicated upon what’s known from a physical standpoint. And then you get to the global warming chapter and it becomes “well, I know that the evidence is sketchy but trust me, I know what I’m talking about”.

    I know Muller excoriated Mann and the team on Youtube but I really believe Muller is a dyed in the wool warmist. I don’t trust him. Read his book and see for yourself.”

    Anthony, there are others here who are vigorously advising you to withdraw your (scientific) support. Don’t be a patsy for Obama-Soros-elitists-crony corporatists(the-ones-who-make-the-big-bucks-from-parading-around-AGW). They are beginning the soft-sell for Obama’s second term. UCB is pure left!

  149. Muller fails to select control groups for his random 100 data site investigations. Sites should be picked based on a variable under investigation and then compared against controls. A smaller random selection compared to a larger random data set is not proper investigative technique. But the worst of it is, I think he knows that and is hoping tax payers don’t know that.

  150. With over 85% of the stations sited in such a way as to introduce a greater than +- 1 C error, it would seem difficult to measure a .7 C increase in temp..

  151. UHI is not that large. We know this by looking at rural only sites.

    Look at Valentia Observatory, Ireland. It is categorized as “rural” in GHCN, but if you read the station notes in World Weather Records and note the discontinuity in the temperature series at 1951, you will see that UHI can affect rural stations as well.

  152. I was suspicious of BEST from the very beginning, and expressed that here when it was first posted. I’m sickened that it appears I was right. Sometimes I hate being right. BEST had all the earmarks of a sucker punch in the making.

    Now we can wait for the proclamation from BEST that their results come with the approval and support of the denier crowd and skeptical scientists.

  153. In an email exchange with Rich Muller, he reiterated he will make all data available, as stated on the BEST site. No time frame was provided.

    Regarding other points, the preliminary nature of the data is painfully called out in the testimony. And it would be a real shame if any breech of trust occurred with Anthony Watts. Everyone should be very grateful to Anthony for his important work to purify the data. Without a good measuring stick, how can you verify a theory? If Dr. Muller does indeed publish everything he has promised, the truth will come out about this and probably many other unresolved issues.

    Some have called Muller a warmist. I think he is, as he states: “. . . if the global warming models are right, and they’re very likely right, we are going to have global warming.” This is from his talk were he discusses, among other things, the actual issues with global warming, and living with it:


    4:35

    (extracted from a point where he notes the biggest agreed to uncertainty is cloud cover).

    Frankly, one reason I find AGW the theory so distasteful is the politics and theatrics surrounding it, and I hope to see the egotistical, self aggrandizing nature of some of the IPCC minions crushed. I’ll settle for good science, and trust we will get it from Muller for at least the surface temperatures.

  154. Muller’s motivation or intent to deceive is irrelevant. His testimony has damaged his credibility. With or without the support of his research team, Muller has discredited the project in its entirety and, whatever the results, they will be rejected as biased.

    That Muller would want to create a controversy after their public declaration of neutrality and professionalism, as well as the hard work of the team and time of consulting researchers, is perplexing.

  155. It just doesn’t matter how good the temperature data actually is. It is good enough to show that global warming existed from 1850 through 1880, 1910 throiugh 1940, and 1970 throiugh 1998. ie 30 out of every 60 years. Muller’s results are fine.
    The problem is what caused the variation? The idea that adding CO2 can add extra energy to cause warming is absurd. CO2 can NOT create energy. or don’t you believe in the Laws of physics and conservation of energy? There MUST have been added energy photons to cause more Greenhouse effect warming. So go looking for a source of energy since the sun has changed very little since the 1960s. You can find one explanation in “Gravity causes Climate Change” in http://www.scribd.com. The relative movement of Jupiter in its orbit causes more or less gravity in Earth, and more of less energy to cause warming or cooling. There is a 60 year Jupiter Saturn resonance orbit which maximizes its closeness to earth every 60 years (1880, 1940, 1998…). There are also 5 -12 year Jupiter orbits in 60 years. The Earth temperature fluctuates daily, yearly, every twelve years and every 60 years, every 1000 years, every 100,000 years for ice ages…. We get daily yearly, 12 year and 60 year temperature cycles., 1998 to 2010 being an example of the latter. The daily cycle is causes by the Earth’s rotation. The sun adds more energy in the morning & less in the evening. The temperature goes down at night, IN SPITE of man adding more CO2. The yearly cycle is caused by the Earths eccentric orbit relative to the sun, and the variation in incoming energy.. When Jupiter is closer (every 12 years- eg 1998, 2010…), then the potential energy of Earth (relative to Jupiter) is lower & so the heat energy is higher. When Jupiter is further away then the potential energy is higher & the heat energy is converted to potential energy & it gets colder. This is why it got warmer (Russian Fires) before Jupiter reached its closest point in Oct 2010, & got colder for the winter. Man can not control the orbit of Jupiter. Man cannot control these energy cycles.

    Then since it is the energy variation , not the CO2 (When it rains and adds more of the GHG water vapor it doen’t get warmer does it?), that causes warming and cooling, then the EPA finding of CO2 causing global warming is in error. It is just an excuse for taxing the people. Reducing the CO2 will not reduce the temperature.

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

    If it doesn’t matter whether a temperature sensor is in a grassy field far from a city or on top of building in a growing city, then that sets off alarm bells.

    It appears the data (much of of which is not raw) has been corrupted before BEST looked at it.

  157. While I’ve tremendous respect for A.W. and all the work he’s done, I can’t help feeling much ambivalence about this whole issue. In the context of the greater battle against the warmist agenda, there’s seems too much to lose if it turns out the temps are consistent with those that have been previously published…

    So what if there’s actually been “X” degrees of warming? This is simply not the real issue it seems to me. The issue is and should be the wild leap the warmists have taken in attributing this warming to CO2. As we all know, the earth has been warming for several hundred years. There’s no study anywhere ruling out natural drivers. THAT should be, it seems to be, the main focus of the skeptics’ side…

    Already the AGW crowd is crowing. I nearly puked over P. Krugman’s NYT’s column today. Newspapers everywhere are already conflating the likely substantiation of the “global warming” temperature record with GLOBAL WARMING in the AGW sense…

    Much to lose in the PR war it seems to me..

  158. @Smokey who says:
    April 4, 2011 at 5:04 am
    The more I read about Muller, the more I believe he deviously portrayed himself as a skeptic who didn’t accept the current “CAGW meme.”

    Meme – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    A meme is a unit of social information. It is a relatively newly coined term and identifies ideas or beliefs that are transmitted from one person or group …

    Internet meme – Know Your Meme – Meme (disambiguation) – Memetic engineering
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme – Cached – Similar

    Watch CAGW New National Ad!
    On October 21, 2010, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) unveiled a …
    http://www.cagw.org/includes/watch-cagw-new-national-ad.html – Cached – Similar

    I get so . . . . confused . . . Smokey.

  159. John Dodds says:
    April 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

    The idea that adding CO2 can add extra energy to cause warming is absurd. CO2 can NOT create energy. or don’t you believe in the Laws of physics and conservation of energy?

    This really makes me cringe. Put your hand on the hood of a white car that’s been sitting in full sun for a while. Then do the same thing with a black car. If you understand the law of physics one tiny bit you’ll know the answer to that without actually burning your hand.

  160. Dave Springer: “Put your hand on the hood of a white car that’s been sitting in full sun for a while. Then do the same thing with a black car. If you understand the law of physics one tiny bit you’ll know the answer to that without actually burning your hand.”

    The sun makes things warmer when the albedo is low.

    Less clouds = warmer earth.

  161. The BEST study is actually surprisingly damning of other efforts.

    http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Muller_Testimony_31_March_2011

    The Berkeley Earth agreement with the prior analysis surprised us, since our preliminary results don’t yet address many of the known biases. When they do, it is possible that the corrections could bring our current agreement into disagreement.
    Why such close agreement between our uncorrected data and their adjusted data? One possibility is that the systematic corrections applied by the other groups are small. We don’t yet know.

    The odds of choosing only stations which dont suffer the biases described by Anthony Watts is 0.1 ^ (2% x 39,000 stations) = a number so small my calculator cant calculate it.

    Yet the temperature series BEST derived from the resulting data series matches NOAA etc, even though BEST is not correcting for known bias.

    The only conclusion I can draw is NOAA etc. are not correcting for Urban Heat Island, and other known biases.

    RIP AGW.

  162. “Muller pulled a fast one. That is becoming increasingly clear.”

    I agree.

    Academics live by publications. I had the experience of using university facilities to store a data file of mine. A young professor used my data file to write several papers. I was annoyed as he never even asked me! It took me years to build that file for my own research,

    I expect Muller will publish papers on AWs data files on stations before AW gets his published. I felt so sorry for AW I made him a donation.

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

    Its time to stop flogging this dead horse.

  164. I thought one of the premises of the BEST project was that everything was going to be done blind and no real data analysis was going to be done until all methods had been tested and validated.

    The initial trumpeting of super vigilant , objective science seems to have quickly blown away.

    Announcing half-cock preliminary results is already going back on the basic ground rules under which they declared they were going to operate. That they should also do this in the form of an official, legal deposition to the House committee is not only dishonest but a betrayal of all they claimed to stand for.

    Having seen Muller’s climate change lecture on youtube, I cannot say I’m surprised on his bias.

    I am however, shocked that he has the affront to present this debacle to congress.

    I had my doubts about this project with Muller as head honcho but decided to withhold judgement until they published their results.

    It seems that Muller has just decided it is time to judge the project.

    Whatever they finally publish , even if they review and find there is a some drift due to poor data, it will not matter. They have already influenced congress, they will be quoted long and far by all the alarmist team as having validated the climate record.

    All this on unpublished , non peer-reviewed work.

    Their project was a LIE.

  165. Eric Worrel says: “The only conclusion I can draw is NOAA etc. are not correcting for Urban Heat Island, and other known biases.”

    AFAIK, they don’t claim to . They do stuff like “homogenisation” The results of which do not correspond to the application of the methods they claim to use to that data. So clearly they do something else that is undocumented (and in fact contrary to what is documented).

    Some of the results of this dark magic have been clear aberrations of anything that could happen in the real world. Many examples have been shown here and elsewhere.

    Most of this data has been through the blender so often it’s no longer possible to tell if it’s beef or beans.

  166. m says:
    April 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    “What’s so bad about cutting down on emissions?”

    what emissions do you mean? Toxic waste? PCBs and radioactive waste in the rivers? DU? Industrial pollution of ground water? 50.000 million barrels of crude and toxic dispersant into the gulf?

    Yeah, lets cut emissions.

    the sooner we remember what pollution REALLY means the better.

  167. m says:
    April 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm
    “What’s so bad about cutting down on emissions?”

    Nothing . . . . on the face of it . . . But, if it’s going to raise the cost of a Kwh right out of the hands of the average citizen it’s commonly known as NOT cost effective. Cost of a Kwh has gone up 150% for me in the recent past . . . it is an unsustainable trend. . . a hockey stick if you will . . .

    The same as . . if you can’t get bread . . . cakes are pretty much are out of the question . . . only different.

  168. Bob W. wrote “Too bad Paul Krugman hasn’t gotten that word. This commentary in April 4 NYT is sickening.”

    Agreed. I was absolutely nauseated. I couldn’t read most of it, but the tone and a few excerpts were enough. Why are these people so full of rage?

  169. m says:
    April 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm
    “What’s so bad about cutting down on emissions?”

    Nothing. How long can you hold your breath?

  170. JUst to add, Krugman’s column supports my point re PR. The AGW proponents are absolutely drunk with joy over the way the Muller’s study seems to be headed. Which is why I don’t believe it’s a battle we should be fighting all that hard… because we seem to be embracing the premise that a few fractions of a degree of global warming really means there’s GLOBAL WARMING. We’re not of course, but that’s how it will be played……

  171. m says:
    April 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm
    What’s so bad about cutting down on emissions?

    All of us invite you and encourage you to cut down on emissions. However, you do not seem to understand that what we are discussing is the government taking money from us against our will to cut down on emissions. Do you recognize the difference and that it is important to a free society? If so, there maybe some hope for you. If not, you are just another watermelon – the red on the inside stands for communism.

  172. Just as I thought. This site is monitored by the Thought Police who censure words that describe who they are and don’t support their position.

    REPLY: No, just rude and insulting people who don’t pay attention to site policy. You are welcome to resubmit sans those issues. – Anthony

  173. You are an idiot. Too bad you won’t be alive 50 years from now when the dire consequences of climate change have ravaged the earth.

    REPLY: Hmm, angry advice on future climate from a financial firm. Everybody is an expert it seems. – Anthony

  174. linda says:
    April 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm
    “You are an idiot. Too bad you won’t be alive 50 years from now when the dire consequences of climate change have ravaged the earth.”

    You mean like it did to the Sahara Forrest?

  175. Are these the same surface stations (with error margins of 1 deg C or more) used to “compute” temperatures two figures past the decimal point? Whatever happened to the “significant digit” rule?

  176. Paul Krugman, yet another unqualified climate critic from the Times, like his friend Tom Friedman, knows nothing about Climate or science either but he knows an opportunity when he sees one. The opportunity to call Muller a skeptic!! To use him as a dead fish to beat Anthony( who is a surrogate and symbol of smart. skeptical people on this issue, but he does more than just talk and that worries these guys; they want to shut him up. Here’s another tissue of falsehoods from the Times:

    [snip – I can’t allow a reprint the entire article in comments due to copyright issues but here is the link:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/opinion/04krugman.html – Anthony ]

  177. This is an exact replay of the political ambush on Chris Landsea of NOAA by the IPCC at a Harvard University Press conference/mugging about 7 years ago, this is detailed in the recent work by Booker on the Real Global Warming Disaster. That’s why Landsea resigned, on an issue of principle, which is also at work here.

  178. @Bruce

    You may have missed my point. Hopefully it isn’t lost on Dodds.

    Dave Springer says:
    April 4, 2011 at 11:11 am

    John Dodds says:
    April 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

    The idea that adding CO2 can add extra energy to cause warming is absurd. CO2 can NOT create energy. or don’t you believe in the Laws of physics and conservation of energy?

    This really makes me cringe. Put your hand on the hood of a white car that’s been sitting in full sun for a while. Then do the same thing with a black car. If you understand the law of physics one tiny bit you’ll know the answer to that without actually burning your hand.

    The idea that adding black pigment to paint adds energy to the car is absurd. Yet it makes the surface of the car hotter. Mr. Dodds therefore has some pondering to do about how things that modify radiative absorption and reflection (like pigment in paint and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) really can cause the temperature of things to change.

  179. Just a quick aside, some on the left are cheering this as a victory for ‘their side’, and at least one, C. Johnson, of you know where, is calling Dr. Muller a denialist.

  180. This is the bit that jumped out at me:

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

    The claim here is that they actually compared ‘good’ vs ‘poor’ stations in an effort to find bias and basically found none. Of course we should always take preliminary statements with a grain of salt until the actual journal papers are published, but this really is a big deal if it stands up to peer review.

  181. lapogus says:
    April 3, 2011 at 2:19 am

    “It is sad to see Muller appear to suggest that CO2 can be blamed for 0.6 of the 0.7C warming, when there is no evidence for this.”

    Actually there is evidence of it. Human activity emits X amount of CO2 annually. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases by X/2 annually. It is reasonable to assume that were it not for human emission atmospheric CO2 would not be increasing.
    The absorptive properties of some gases (including C02) to long wave radiation is as much of a fact as facts get in science having been first experimentally measured in many gases over 150 years ago by John Tyndall.

    An increase of 0.7c in average surface temperature going from 280ppm CO2 to 380ppm should be a little less than 0.5c. The remainder of the rise comes from anthropogenic methane which is usually, if misleadingly, lumped together with CO2 without specifically mentioning that about a third of the greenhouse warming isn’t CO2.

    The greenhouse warming effect of additional greenhouse gases isn’t linear. It’s a case of diminishing returns. The next 100ppm increase in CO2 will cause only half as much warming as the prior 100ppm. It works out that for every CO2 doubling beginning at 280ppm the expected surface temperature rise is about 1.1c.

    The problem is that 1.1c per doubling is the exact opposite of catastrophic. It’s beneficial – longer growing seasons, greater photosynthetic efficiency, and less water needed per unit of plant growth.

    So… to get from BAGW (Beneficial Anthropogenic Global Warming) to CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) climate boffins invented, out of whole cloth, an amplification mechanism where every degree of CO2 GHG warming causes an additional 2 degrees of water vapor GHG warming. That amount of warming would perhaps be catastrophic. In order to provide any evidence whatsoever that this water vapor amplification is real the climate boffins must cherry pick a historic temperature starting point that is low and compare it to today. They need every single tenth of a degree over Muller’s 0.7c they can get in order to support the amplification hypothesis. The evidence is all against them as it’s rather well established in the geologic column that the earth in the past has had CO2 levels far far higher than today (10x or more higher) and was only warmer by the UN-amplified amount we’d expect and there was never a runaway greenhouse which the catastrophic climate boffin model must certainly entail.

    I believe what we are seeing is a combination of climate boffins wanting their work to be seen as very very important and hence very very deserving of rich and increasing funding. Leftist politicians are latching onto it because they see it as a means to expand their empires through greater control and taxation. Then there’s the starry eyed ecoloons who basically hate modern civilization for what it does to the natural environment and believe that reducing CO2 emissions will help save the earth from the effects of industrialization.

    All I’m interested in is the truth and I believe the truth is that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are beneficial to both humanity and the biosphere as a whole. If you happen to adore barren rocks and ice in the natural world then CO2 is bad for that but most of the rest of the living world is not enamored of brutally cold winters and permanently frozen ground. The tree huggers appear to have morphed into ice huggers. Ain’t that a hoot?

    Natural variation, cloud cover changes, oceanic and solar magnetic cycles are all much more likely to be the cause, rather than an increase in atmospheric CO2 from 0.0285% to 0.0385% .

  182. Dave Springer: “The idea that adding black pigment to paint adds energy to the car is absurd. Yet it makes the surface of the car hotter.”

    The idea adding 2 or 3 more coats of black paint to an already black car would add energy is absurd.

    Adding more CO2 in between the Co2 molecule that has already stopped the IR and thinking that would cause more IR to magically come into being … now thats absurd.

    However, what is even more absurb is suggesting Co2 is the only thing that has changed in climate over the last 100 years.

    Land use, more bright sunshine, less aerosols because pollution cleanup, more humidity etc etc.

    If T = some combination of a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h and you only measure and count c and dimiss any affect of a,b,d,e,f,g,h has, you are really, really dishonest.

    The IPCC and AGW supporters deliberately and wifully ignore all the other changes.

    They ignore all the T increases that came before CO2.

    It is a sad corruption of science.

  183. Dave Springer: “Actually there is evidence of it. Human activity emits X amount of CO2 annually. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases by X/2 annually. It is reasonable to assume that were it not for human emission atmospheric CO2 would not be increasing.”

    This statement draws a false conclusion. Neither the natural sources nor the natural sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide have been accurately quantified. The geologic record shows that CO2 concentration is a consequence, not a cause, of changes in temperature. Given the size of those natural sources and sinks, human emissions are a rounding error.

    There is no greater blunder in science than the statement “It is reasonable to assume…”

    You just failed the Sherlock Holmes test.

  184. Why does not someone show the following information in the congressional hearing?

    IPCC: For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.

    http://bit.ly/9pwVyH

    Here is a graph that compares the above projections of the IPCC with the actual warming rate of 0.03 deg C per decade.

    http://bit.ly/hzs82o

  185. Dave Springer said;

    “It is sad to see Muller appear to suggest that CO2 can be blamed for 0.6 of the 0.7C warming, when there is no evidence for this.”

    Actually there is evidence of it. Human activity emits X amount of CO2 annually. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases by X/2 annually. It is reasonable to assume that were it not for human emission atmospheric CO2 would not be increasing.”

    Dave, Temperatures have risen fractionally since the end of the Little Ice Age. Are you in effect saying that it was warming caused by man that ended that epoch?

    tonyb

  186. Dave

    Re my message concerning the LIA ending. I appreciate you have a nuanced view on CAGW so this is a reotorical question for you but one that warmists might want to argue so intetested in your viewpoint.

    tonyb

  187. linda says:
    April 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    You are an idiot. Too bad you won’t be alive 50 years from now when the dire consequences of climate change have ravaged the earth.

    Oops, point of fact, linda: using atmospheric CO2 concentrations as the critical driver, the ipcc’s own CO2=CAGW Climate Science hasn’t yet managed to get even one of its unique, different or changed-from-natural-climate predictions right.

    But look no farther than your own statement, linda. Since for you the term “climate change” means or is the same as “CO2=CAGW”, you have also fallen into the same trap the ipcc Climate Science Propaganda Op. laid for others but fell into itself: as far as your and the ipcc’s own, allegedly scientific use of “climate change” is concerned, by changing the usual definition now there can be no “climate change” whatsoever except for fossil fuel CO2-caused Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming!

    The simple fact revealed by its “climate change” word-use game is that since ipcc “Climate Science” has purposefully manipulated itself, and its own “science”, into the denialistic position of having to say there has never been any prior “climate change”, and likewise that there won’t be any “climate change” at all unless fossil fuel CO2 causes CAGW, the U.N.’s “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” gives very strong evidence that either it doesn’t understand its own words, possibly even to the point of being self-deluded by them, or else it intends to try to delude people like you via a classic “perception is reality” Propaganda Operation.

    Because that’s all the ipcc’s CO2=CAGW Climate Science really is.

  188. I don’t understand why you’ve bothered to point out in great detail that some temperature recording points have been removed. It’s a good thing, right? If they’re controversial, removing them is the right thing to do. Even if they don’t affect the overall results, it’s better to move them and be above reproach.

    So I don’t get why you rail against the siting of stations, and then rail against them being moved.

  189. I just scanned Muller’s testamony. His level of science becomes instantly clear.

    “Human caused global warming is somewhat smaller. According to the most recent
    IPCC report (2007), the human component became apparent only after 1957, and it
    amounts to “most” of the 0.7 degree rise since then. Let’s assume the human-caused
    warming is 0.6 degrees
    .
    The magnitude of this temperature rise is a key scientific and public policy concern. A
    0.2 degree uncertainty puts the human component between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees – a factor
    of two uncertainty. Policy depends on this number. It needs to be improved.”

    Now IPCC actually defined “most” to be its unequivocal literal meaning of “more than 50%”.

    So why does this great scientist and renowned physics professor decide to ASSUME they meant 85.7% ?

  190. Muller says to congress: “In an initial test, Berkeley Earth chose stations randomly from the complete set of 39,028 stations. Such a selection is free of station selection bias.”

    No professor, random selection contains random bias. To state it is “free” of bias is untrue. But you know that already don’t you, because you have a long career in science and the help of top level statisticians on your team.

    If one then wanted to produce a predetermined result, one may then do as many random selections as is necessary and select the ones with desired random bias.

  191. Jeremy says: “I don’t understand why you’ve bothered to point out in great detail that some temperature recording points have been removed. It’s a good thing, right? ”

    Yes, I’m not sure why Anthony slates this. He repeatedly says it is done “quietly”,

    The metadata should record the reason for site removal or discontinuation as being poor quality of the equipment. I doubt this is being done. Maybe that’s what he means about being quiet. If that’s the case, the point should be made clearly .

    This is in fact a backhanded recognition of his work. Although it’s a good job we have the photos and evidence of the station survey.

  192. BillyBob says:
    April 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Dave Springer: “The idea that adding black pigment to paint adds energy to the car is absurd. Yet it makes the surface of the car hotter.”

    The idea adding 2 or 3 more coats of black paint to an already black car would add energy is absurd.

    Right you are, BillyBob. But we’re not talking about adding more paint. We’re talking about adding more pigment. If you take a gallon of white paint and put thimbleful of black pigment in it turns a shade of gray. Paint the car with that and the car will be warmer sitting in the sun than a white car. Add more pigment to get a darker shade of gray and it gets warmer than the lighter shade. It isn’t a perfect analogy of course. Greenhouse gases work selectively by allowing visible light to pass right through to warm the surface but then hamper the escape of invisible long wave radiation. A better analogy is with insulation. It’s absurd to say that putting insulation in your attic will add heat to your home in the winter. But by the same token it won’t take as much energy added from your furnace to maintain the same indoor temperature. The sun is our furnace. If we add more insulation in the attic (CO2) and the sun (our furnace) keeps adding the same amount of energy the temperate will rise and it rises due to the better insulation. This part of the global warming narrative is beyond credible dispute. The arguable part is

    1) the water vapor amplification
    2) the magnitude of natural warming/cooling
    3) the practical ramifications.

    My position is that

    1) there is no water vapor amplification
    2) natural climate variation is far greater
    3) without water vapor amplification the practical ramification is highly beneficial

    The earth has been in an ice for the past 3 million years with a recent cyclicity of 100,000 years of glaciers covering everything north of Washington, D.C. with a mile thick sheet of ice followed by 10,000 years of glacial retreat back to the poles. At the present moment we’ve had over 10,000 years of glacial retreat. Therefore the LAST thing we should be worrying about is global warming. Unless you happen to think that ice ages are a good thing. Then you’re a nutcase totally disconnected from reality i.e. an ice hugger. The new tree hugger is an ice hugger – just as loopy, still self-annointed saviors of mother nature, but with a new and improved windmill boogeyman with which to tilt.

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

    It might have become apparent at that point but there hasn’t been more or less anthropogenic warming in recent years. Anthropogenic emissions have been rising at an exponential rate since the 18th century. The greenhouse effect of CO2 decreases exponentially with increasing amounts of it. The combination of those two facts means that anthropogenic GHG warming has been consistently the same each decade for almost 200 years. The total of it over all that time is a bit less than 0.5c with the remainder of the 0.7c being due to anthropogenic methane. This small linear increase in average temperature rides on top of vastly larger natural variations. The latter half of the 20th century has been dominated by temperature rise associated with multidecadal ocean temperature oscillations particularly the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMDO) which has a 60 year period where 30 years is cooling and 30 years is warming. Other ocean cycles, ENSO and PDO, have different cycle lengths which combine with AMDO to either increase or decrease it making the 60-year cycle a bit less predictable in magnitude and timing. When all three happen to have their peaks or valleys aligned we get abnormally high/low events. I believe I’ve read here that we had a bit of a perfect storm with these cycles all peaking together in the 1990’s with the mother of all El Nino’s (ENSO) putting a capstone on it in 1998.

    On top of these ocean cycle are solar cycles with periods ranging from 11 years (sunspot cycle) to centuries (waxing and waning magnitude of the 11 year cycle) and then there are galactic cycles which have periods in tens or even hundreds of millions of years. All these solar and galactic cycles combine to determine the flux of high energy cosmic rays (actually heavy particles moving near the speed of light) which impact the upper atmosphere and cause a cascade of other particles upon impact. The cascade event is thought to produce condensation nuclei which throttles the formation of high altitude clouds. More or fewer high altitude clouds governed by more or fewer cosmic rays means more or less sunlight is reflected which in turns means more or less warming insolation from the sun reaches the surface. Tiny variations in cloud cover have huge effects on surface temperature. Clouds are the Achilles heel of global circulation models (GCMs) upon which the climate boffins rely to make their doom and gloom predictions.

    Dig it: nobody really knows what the “average” albedo of the earth is or how much it varies over time. Attempts to measure it are not in satisfactory agreement with a range that varies by about 7% (33%-40%). The measurements all agree on one thing however – albedo varies from year to year. A 1% change in albedo has a far greater effect on average surface temperature than all the anthropogenic forcings combined. So we have to consider what anthropogenic soot is doing to albedo, anthropogenic aerosols, land use changes, and a whole raft of natural variations as well. Sorting out the anthropogenic from the natural appears to be quite impossible. All we can do is theorize about anthropogenic CO2 and methane and say what happens if everything else remains equal. The thing is that nothing else remains equal for long and the other things that don’t remain equal effectively mask anthropogenic forcings because the natural variations are potentially so much larger and, to a large degree, unpredictable.

  194. Lol yep I’m sure nobody takes into account the area around the stations changing. You’re the only one who figured it out, great job, smart guy.

    REPLY:
    Then show it. Show me me where they’ve done it specifically and report back here along with an explanation of why they have a specification for it and only 1 in 10 stations actually adhere to it. – Anthony

  195. Dave Springer: “But we’re not talking about adding more paint. ”

    Yes you are. Another layer of the exact same paint.

    The only thing different about adding more CO2 is that it takes less distance fromt eh ground to absorb the energy.

    Instead of 30m, a doubling of CO2 causes all the warming to occur in 15m.

    Another doubling causes all the warming in 7.5m.

    etc etc.

    Now, if you have any science that suggests the warming occurs in say 10 miles at current ppm and then 5 miles at a a doubling, I’l look at it.

    But the figures I’ve seen say the distances are minsicule.

    And it don’t matter whether CO2 warms 30m,15m or 7.5m from the ground.

  196. Great work…. I have another theory about why land surface stations might be producing temperature readings which appear to be rising now more rapidly than prior to 1950 or so. In the past 60 years, Europe and North America have undergone rapid REFORESTATION. The forests in North America had become seriously depleted during the 1850 to 1950 period of time as wood was being harvested at a very rapid pace to accommodate the needs of rapidly increasing populations. After WWII North America and Europe started to improve forest management procedures. During the next 50 years much of the depleted forest acreage was restored. During the past 60 years the biomass of the forests in Europe and North America has increased dramatically. That’s probably good. However, that also means that a great deal of additional ground water is now being evaporated daily from those trillions of new leaves every day. This constitutes a change in the biosphere which would likely increase land based temperatures slightly simply as a result of the slightly elevated state of H2O of now vs pre 1950. If H2O is responsible for 80-90 of the GE, and if this occurs in a logarithmic manner, eg k*ln(H2Onew/H2Oold; k=5 or so stefan bolzman adustment) than increasing average H2O only slightly from say 10,000 ppm to 10,500 ppm might ADD as much as .2dC to any temperature anomaly occurring from 1950 to 2010???

  197. In a recently published paper Dr. Hans Jelbring demonstrates that the theory that radiative forcing dominates the Greenhouse Effect is simply wrong. Using a model earth to explain his beliefs, Dr. Jelbring concludes that most of the GE is simply the result of gravity working on the entire mass of atmospheric gases, O2 and N2 included which creates the lions share of the GE here and on most planets with substantial atmospheres,eg Venus, Saturn, etc.

    In Dr. Jelbring’s words.. “The generally claimed importance of “greenhouse” gases rests on an unproven
    hypothesis (ref 1). The hypothesis is based on radiative models of energy fluxes in our
    atmosphere. These are inadequate, since radiative processes within the atmosphere are poorly described, convective energy fluxes are often inadequately described or
    omitted, and latent heat fluxes are poorly treated. The whole GE in these models is
    wrongly claimed being caused by “greenhouse gases”. The considerations in this
    paper indicate that effects of the greenhouse gases, other radiative effects, and
    convection effects all might modulate GE to a minor unknown extent. Hence, the atmospheric mass exposed to a gravity field is the cause of the
    substantial part of GW. The more atmospheric mass per unit planetary area, the greater GE has to develop. Otherwise Newton’s basic gravity model has to be dismissed.”

    http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/FunctionOfMass.pdf

    If Jelbring is right, than CO2 which constitutes a very small portion of the total mass of the atmosphere ON EARTH, would likely be responsible for only a tiny fraction of the entire GE. Note, in Jelbrings view, the green house gases are all of the gases in earth’s atmosphere. In the end, he argues that the GE is simply a function of the height of the atmosphere D, times g/cp.. g = gravity and cp = specific heat capacity of air which is about 1.006. So for earth, where the atmosphere exists mostly below 15,000 meters, the GE is equal to the lapse rate between .1 bar and the earth’s surface.

    This is an interesting observation which, if true, turns the entire AGW argument upside down! Those who are interested in climate change would find his views to be interesting at the least!

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