Pielke Sr: No surprise about BEST

Dr. Roger pielke confirms a point made in comments in my earlier post on BEST about all data coming from a single source, which is the National Climatic Data Center. (NCDC)

By Dr. Roger Pielke Senior

Comment On The Article in the Economist On Rich Muller’s Data Analysis

On Climate Etc, Judy Curry posted

Berkeley Surface Temperatures: Released

which refers the Economist article

A new analysis of the temperature record leaves little room for the doubters. The world is warming

The Economist article includes the text

There are three compilations of mean global temperatures, each one based on readings from thousands of thermometers, kept in weather stations and aboard ships, going back over 150 years. Two are American, provided by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one is a collaboration between Britain’s Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (known as Hadley CRU). And all suggest a similar pattern of warming: amounting to about 0.9°C over land in the past half century.

The nearly identical trends is no surprise as they draw from mostly the same raw data!

I discussed this most recently in my post

Erroneous Information In The Report “Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes

The new Muller et al study, therefore,   has a very major unanswered question. I have asked it on Judy’s weblog since she is a co-author of these studies [and Muller never replied to my request to answer this question].

Hi Judy – I encourage you to document how much overlap there is in Muller’s analysis with the locations used by GISS, NCDC and CRU. In our paper

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. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-321.pdf

we reported that

“The raw surface temperature data from which all of the different global surface temperature trend analyses are derived are essentially the same. The best estimate that has been reported is that 90–95% of the raw data in each of the analyses is the same (P. Jones, personal communication, 2003).”

Unless, Muller pulls from a significanty different set of raw data, it is no surprise that his trends are the same.

84 thoughts on “Pielke Sr: No surprise about BEST

  1. Anthony, I hope Dr. Muller had the courtesy to let you know about (x-posted from BH where I was when I found it):

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html WSJ October 21, 2011

    The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism
    There were good reasons for doubt, until now.

    By RICHARD A. MULLER

    Are you a global warming skeptic? There are plenty of good reasons why you might be.

    As many as 757 stations in the United States recorded net surface-temperature cooling over the past century. Many are concentrated in the southeast, where some people attribute tornadoes and hurricanes to warming.

    The temperature-station quality is largely awful. The most important stations in the U.S. are included in the Department of Energy’s Historical Climatology Network. A careful survey of these stations by a team led by meteorologist Anthony Watts showed that 70% of these stations have such poor siting that, by the U.S. government’s own measure, they result in temperature uncertainties of between two and five degrees Celsius or more. We do not know how much worse are the stations in the developing world.

    Using data from all these poor stations, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates an average global 0.64ºC temperature rise in the past 50 years, “most” of which the IPCC says is due to humans. Yet the margin of error for the stations is at least three times larger than the estimated warming.
    […]
    Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.

    Over the last two years, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project has looked deeply at all the issues raised above. I chaired our group, which just submitted four detailed papers on our results to peer-reviewed journals. We have now posted these papers online at http://www.BerkeleyEarth.org to solicit even more scrutiny.
    […]
    Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.

    REPLY: No, he didn’t your notice is the first I’ve seen of it. But no matter – Anthony

  2. Once again, it’s proven you can’t pull a bucketful of gold out of a septic tank, and all the bucketfuls pulled out will look remarkably similar, smell about the same as well. Go figure.

  3. While the paper does use GHCN data, the last line mentions “In another paper, we will report on the results of analyzing a much larger data set based on a merging of most of the world’s openly available digitized data, consisting of data taken at over 39,000 stations, more than 5 times larger than the data set used by NOAA.” So you may hold out hope that this much larger dataset will show different results, but having worked with much of that data myself (GSOD, GHCN-Daily, ISH, etc.) I wouldn’t advise holding out much hope. Its also worth mentioning that the BEST approach uses raw (rather than homogenized) data and applies their own novel method to deal with breakpoints, but obtains results quite similar to those of NOAA.

    The current paper is mostly about developing new methods for station combination (least squares method), homogenization (the scalpel), and spatial interpolation. The next will be a synthesis of the various additional temperature records that they have compiled.

  4. Oh gee, they’ve toned it down a hair. We’re “doubters” now. But what they seem to forget is that nobody doubts or denies anything. The world warms. The world cools. The sea rises. The sea falls. Sorry, we just doubt that the world is climatically invariant, which is your REAL issue, and one you cannot sidestep. The whole crumbling house of cards is built on that constancy premise, so any change must have a “cause”, but it can’t be just normal…or natural. Get over it….!

  5. The arithmetic mean of Tmax and Tmin is not the ‘average temperature’.

    In order, get an ‘average’ you would need to sample randomly or at fixed times and average.

    Its time to move on to better datasets than Tmin/Tmax, which do exist, eg in Australia there are fixed time temperature datasets going back 60 years.

    And surprise, surprise these datasets don’t show anything like the warming the Tmin/Tmax datasets show.

    What they do show is a marked warming just after dawn that reduces thru the day and no warming at all at night.

    Something is increasing Tmin, and that something is increased early morning solar insolation due to reduced haze and particulate pollution over the last 50 years.

  6. Let’s see, which book will I buy from this site:
    The Hockey Stick Illusion or
    Climategate: The Crutape Letters or
    The Great Global Warming BLUNDER – How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists or maybe
    Evidence-Based Climate Science: Data opposing CO2 emissions as the primary source of global warming?
    Or should I just buy the coffee cup that pictures a scientist lying to me, in order to protect his grant money? That one makes me laugh! Or the T-shirt with the dumb scientist that his heating up the weather station with a barbeque. UHH, barbeques are HOT you dummy! LOL.
    Whichever it is, gotta move fast, losing Muller is shaking my faith!

  7. Even with 95% overlap in the underlying data, having three independent analyses does serve a purpose. Namely it constrains the extent to which the results can have been bent to achieve the desired result. Also the Climategate revelations essentially completely destroyed the credibility of the CRU so having other people look at the data is helpful.

  8. I thought the science was settled and us sceptics were deniers, mentally deficient and/or deluded?
    These people remind me of very insecure children; constantly needing reassurance that what little Johnny says about them in the playground isn’t true, is it?

  9. The first comment above quotes Muller as saying :

    “Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.”

    Sorry, what are we disagreeing with ?

  10. I think Muller et al may need to do more to distinguish between (1) absolute levels in UHI and non-UHI sites, (2) respective trends thereof, (3) trends in the rates of change of the trends, and (4) eliminate all data sets before 1950, as it was only then that global coverage reached 70%.

  11. From my quick read of this post, I have to add that my take is different. What I really see here is in the category of replication – did they handle their given data correctly, given their conclusions? This is not merely basic, it is fundamental to sound science.

    The uncertainties are well noted – something lacking in the breathless SPM media stories and their many iterations. After this come questions about data adjustment and alterations over time – a huge issue, officially untouched. Which means “Trust us – we’re scientists.”

    Another issue is data supplementation: should other data sets (for instance, one thinks of DMIs arctic data) be included or not? This is also a large, looming issue.

    In short, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Then the pronouncements will gain force, because the data will speak loud and clear.

  12. @- Pielke Sr
    “Unless, Muller pulls from a significanty different set of raw data, it is no surprise that his trends are the same.”

    The point is not that three groups find the same trend in the same data, its that NONE of the studies show any significance difference in trend between urban and rural sites. The meme that the warming is exaggerated by the UHI effect is refuted.

  13. “philip Bradley says:
    October 20, 2011 at 11:31 pm
    The arithmetic mean of Tmax and Tmin is not the ‘average temperature’.”

    It is definitely an average. However, it is not necessarily an accurate arithmetic mean of all possible temperatures in that population (of a particular moment in time), which is, I think what you are getting at. A single non-random measurement from a population is NEVER an accurate representation of a normal distribution (n=1 lol), which means that many of the parametric statistics employed by AGW “scientists” could and probably does generate misleading and inaccurate results.
    .

  14. Wow, the BEST people sure are confident. From their two page summary of the main findings (pdf):

    Four scientific papers setting out these conclusions have been submitted for peer review and will form part of the literature for the next IPCC report on climate change.

    1. They ALREADY know their papers WILL pass peer review and be published and WILL be used for the next IPCC report. What’s the deadline? Is there enough time for any revisions?

    2. That’s a manual copying from the document. Using two different pdf readers, all that would copy-and-paste was a string of nonsense characters. So much for “open and accessible.” Anyone else get that problem?

  15. The BEST analysis is not based on data. It is based on monthly averages. Monthly averages are not a measurable quantity – they are a construction. Monthly averages have been computed “at least 101 different ways” (Peterson, Vose 1997). Mathematically, monthly averages are a strange sort of smooth, albeit with windows of different length (sometimes 28, sometimes 30 and sometimes 31 days) and computed at different intervals. A 30-day moving average would make more sense. It seems, at first blush, that the BEST analysis does not assign any uncertainty to the monthly averages themselves. Indeed, in the file called data.txt, the column labeled “uncertainty” has the value 0.0000 for all monthly average statistics for all stations.

  16. Unless, Muller pulls from a significanty different set of raw data, it is no surprise that his trends are the same.
    ————-
    I also would have been surprised if the results had been different, as I also understood that the raw data was pretty much the same.

    However the point of the exercise was to prove whether or not the other analyses were faulty due to either bad analytical techniques or due to deliberate data fudging.

    It is now proven that that many of the accusations made against climate scientists in this area were false.

    Although I expect that many of the people who will not believe no matter, what will now expand the scope of their favorite conspiracy theory to include the BEST researchers.

  17. Curious statements found in that two page summary (bold added):

    The Berkeley Earth study did not assess temperature changes in the oceans, which according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have not warmed as much as on land. When averaged in, they reduce the global surface temperature rise over the past 50 years — the period during which the human effect on temperatures is discernable — to about two thirds of one degree Celsius.

    and

    What Berkeley Earth has not done is make an independent assessment of how much of the observed warming is due to human actions, Richard Muller acknowledged. As a next step, Berkeley Earth plans to address the total warming of the oceans, with a view to obtaining a more accurate figure for the total amount of global warming observable.

    1. They know the human effect is “discernable” (should be discernible) in the last 50 years, although they have not assessed how much of the warming is human caused. Thus the revealed assumption is that humans have had a large enough effect to discern from the records. Is that a valid assumption?

    2. They also know how much of a difference figuring in the oceans makes when figuring the land+sea global warming amount, and will now start figuring how much ocean warming there was to get accurate numbers to figure out what is the land+sea global warming amount. Nothing like the confidence of knowing what the result will be before looking for it.

    And having read here many times about the paucity of historical ocean temperature data and the headaches of constructing records resembling anything like reliable and accurate, the BEST team must indeed have a very confident set of cojones!

  18. The BBC are going gangbusters on the melting planet this morning – have even rolled out the Phil Jones ‘significant warming since 1995′ trope.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

    Ok, maybe not a conspiracy but sure smacks of an orchestrated PR drive ahead of Durban. But I guess they think the public is too stupid to notice.

  19. Posted on October 20, 2011 by Anthony Watts

    By Dr. Roger Pielke Senior

    Comment On The Article in the Economist On Rich Muller’s Data Analysis

    “The nearly identical trends is no surprise as they draw from mostly the same raw data!”

    I think there are some excellent high frequency global temperature reconstructions for the last two millennia (A. Moberg et al.) and they should be the reference for any scientific method to explain the causes. Because of the well known oscillations of the axis of the earth (chandler wobble), atmosphere (QBO) and ENSO [frequency ratio: 4:2:1] it seems to be important to discriminate these terrestrial impedances from the heat power current variation from the Sun.

    There is no scientific need for trends in understanding the reconstructed global temperature spectra; each high frequency peak has a cause.

    There is a difference in the meaning of reconstructed (absolute) temperature values and its frequencies. The meaning of the frequencies is higher, because they my lead to a physical mechanism. There is no real global temperature, there is a variable heat source named Sun which drives the local temperatures over the time superimposed by the terrestrial impedances.

    There is a temperature table from UAH since AD 1659 available including the average temperature of each year. Despite the amplitude of that data it is remarkable look at a comparison of this high frequency data with some synodic frequencies of couples in the solar system with rough hand fitted amplitudes:

    This graph may demonstrate that the method filtering (“trend”) high frequency temperature data is problematic; it suppresses important high frequency data for the idol of a ‘democratic best absolute global temperature trend’.

    V.

  20. If you want to see a genuine re-analysis of the raw data rather than just another Tmin/Tmax rehashing, see: J.-L. Le Mouël et al., Evidence for a solar signature in 20th-century temperature data from the USA and Europe, C. R. Geoscience (2008)1.

    Funny how the peer-reviewed re-analysis of J.-L. Le Mouël et al., 2008 merited no headlines apart from WUWT and other skeptic outlets, while BEST’s non-peer-reviewed rehashing it in THREE INCH headlines around the world.

    Speaking only for myself, I’ve never had much of a problem with HadCRUT3, apart from their misrepresentation of the uncertainty in the data & analysis. GISTEMP is the one in which “the nature of the measurements obtained” appears to have been improperly influenced “so that the key evidence can be obtained.”

    BEST has basically added a fourth GIGO to the mix.

  21. I still think that my main conclusion of the temperature data collected proves one thing and one thing only.The temperature measured at airports (where too many stations are located) has increased due to construction, increase passenger volume and changes in airplanes

  22. Forgive me for a simple-minded question, but what does this “new” approach mean, regarding Hansen’s “adjustments.”

    Is the BEST data saying “adjustments” are not needed, in which case we can throw away Hansen’s “adjustments?”

    Does the BEST data include Hansen’s “adjustments,” in which case we are where we started?

    Does the BEST data include a whole new family of “adjustments?”

    Is the raw data truly “raw?”

  23. Well, they show that the atmosphere over land has warmed over 150 years! I see no evidence to link this to human activities, just coincidence so far, but they conclude that this is proof of human CO2 emissions causing warming? Weird! Also the BBC claimed this morning in the 7:00am news on Radio 2 this group used to be “skeptical” but now miraculously they are now warmist!

  24. Also I forgot to ask, why does their graph stop in 2006, this is tail ending 2011 now so why the convenient cut-off date? That makes me suspicous for a start!

  25. Skeptics have no issue with the world warming…. It’s natural…. The same with Climate Change. That is natural too…. The issue is the anthropogenic component of the warming as is proposed by the AGW hypothesis…. Why do the AGW proponents keep trying to tell us what our arguements are?

    Now…. can they get on with directing us to their observational data that shows this anthropogenic signal of warming so as to confirm their Hypothesis….. To date, there has been no such data.

  26. I’ve been looking at the GHCN data from a different perspective, so I wasn’t looking at the data from a global trend standpoint. Yesterday, I did a quality control exercise. By selecting 15 stations at random, 4 had series that lasted nearly a century, but contained minimal data, 3 had unexplained “jumps” in the data of well over 2oC ,two showed negative trends and the rest showed positive trends in region of 1.2 C/century. Were one asked to make a judgement on data of this quality in process control or medicine, one would decline to do so.

    The primary data appears to me to be very uncertain. I am well aware that statistics is the art of making judgements in the light of uncertainty, but I am unimpressed by the quality of the primary data.

  27. In one of the papers, BEST presents a random selection of the 39,000 stations which were not used by the other groups. The dropped stations in other words.

    Figure 1: it is quite different.

    http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_Decadal_Variations

    One thing to note is using a baseline of 1950 to 1980 and then charting the data from 1950 to 2010 will naturally force the lines to appear to match up in the middle. They all average Zero from 1950 to 1980. They will naturally look to be the same in this period. This is a very important point that chart viewers need to take in account. [I’m a numbers/chart person so perhaps this is just something that I’m tuned into but it is a real effect].

    It is only at the end points where differences will appear in a chart designed like this (as in Figure 1, where the random BEST stations are 0.3C below GISS/Hadcrut and 0.4C below NOAA in 2010) .

    BEST random – ends at 0.54C in 2010.

    NOAA All – ends at 0.95C in 2010.

  28. This is a seriously coordinated media event, I’ve just been on the Telegraph web-site where the “Pro” posters are out in force. Along with the usual insults and lack of substantiated “science” there is now comparison with the Taliban just for good measure.

  29. Can anyone explain this to me:

    The Little Ice Age is accepted by practically everyone. We are coming out of the LIA. It is expected that the world will warm when it comes out of a cold period. If we all agree that the world warms when it exits a tiny ice age, then why are we all surprised that the world is warming?

  30. izen says:
    October 21, 2011 at 12:07 am
    @- Pielke Sr
    “Unless, Muller pulls from a significanty different set of raw data, it is no surprise that his trends are the same.”

    The point is not that three groups find the same trend in the same data, its that NONE of the studies show any significance difference in trend between urban and rural sites. The meme that the warming is exaggerated by the UHI effect is refuted.”

    Concerning UHI I think that Roy Spencer did some work showing that UHI effect can and does happen in very small rural communties, which if true brings UHI back into force as a strong factor in average temperature. Lucy does a good write up on UHI here…http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/UHI.htm which I would like to see Steve Mosher comment on.

  31. The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism
    There were good reasons for doubt, until now.

    By RICHARD A. MULLER

    Are you a global warming skeptic? There are plenty of good reasons why you might be.

    Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.

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

    For many, including many journalists, a simple take-away from this will be that “global warming skeptics” are wrong.

    There is absolutely no reason for Muller to use this terminology. The revelation of his analysis isn’t that we have been warming (since the end of the LIA), it is that the possible error in the global temperature reporting system may be less than we thought.

    I guess “Global Temperature Reporting systems error less than we thought” wouldn’t show enough “team spirit” as a heading that wrongly belittles skeptics.

    But, to be fair, let’s do a quick test:

    all the “skeptics” who do not think we have been warming since the end of the LIA, raise you hand.

    Hmm… I don’t see any hands raised. Seems pretty conclusive to me.

    Even so, I’m sure Muller has fooled some of the people, at least this time.

  32. Considering nobody knows the composition of the land directly around half the stations, I find it amazing they can discern “rural”….

  33. Zeke Hausfather – I realize that he has a much larger set of locations, but many of them are very short term in duration (as I read from his write up). Moreover, if they are in nearly the same geographic location as the GHCN sites, they are not providing much independent new information.

    What I would like to see is a map with the GHCN sites and with the added sites from Muller et al. The years of record for his added sites should be given. Also, were the GHCN sites excluded when they did their trend assessment? If not, and the results are weighted by the years of record, this would bias the results towards the GHCN trends.

    The evaluation of the degree of indepenence of the Muller et al sites from the GHCN needs to be quantified.

    Perhaps they have done these evaluations. However, from my reading of their work, I have not yet seen it.

  34. Apart from the spelling error – “Why do the AGW proponents keep trying to tell us what our arguements (sic) are?” …. EXACTLY. They are champs at knocking down straw men.

  35. Why don’t we all just accept the fact that the earth is warming and move on from there? How many studies coming to the same conclusion does it take?

  36. No one as far as I can see has denied that the earth has got warmer, what they do deny is that the cause is Co2 a trace gas, 0.038 % of the available gas in the atmosphere, it is crazy.
    There is a big orange ball in the sky, we call it the SUN, it waxes and wanes, gets hotter and cooler. maybe, just maybe that is the culprit, but it is not taxable, yet>

  37. I agree with the comment early on in the thread. The so called “average” of Tmax and Tmin cannot be statistically supported. If global warming is real, the signature will be much clearer in the details of temperature over a 24 hour period, each day, over each season, and over at least 70 to 80 year periods.

  38. rpielke says: October 21, 2011 at 6:22 am
    “What I would like to see is a map with the GHCN sites and with the added sites from Muller et al.”

    In a comment at Judy Curry’s I mentioned a KMZ file which shows the 36700 BEST stations in Google Earth. I’m hoping to extend this to show GHCN also, much as you suggest, when Ive been able to get the years of observation for the BEST sites.

  39. thedudeabides says:
    October 21, 2011 at 6:52 am
    Why don’t we all just accept the fact that the earth is warming and move on from there? How many studies coming to the same conclusion does it take?

    No one is arguing that the Earth’s climate hasn’t warmed over the last 400 years. HadCRUT3 and OHC (Levitus) indicate no warming over the last decade – But that doesn’t mean that the millennial-scale warm up since ~1600 AD has ended.

  40. I really do not care if the earth is warming.I hate the cold , it kills people really quickly. I do really care that the blame be laid at the door of a trace gas, of which mankind contibutes an even tinier amount. This trace gas, is now the excuse for trillions of extra charges being applied to energy prices, green taxes etc, Old folk will die, turning off their heating because the bills are now too high. It is a form of genocide, keeps the health costs down (sarc) but maybe?

  41. The issues for us here in the non-alarmist camp are not the temperatures for the last 30 years (well, not in terms of alarmism), but the way that the temperatures prior to this have been massaged to make the last 30 years “the warmest ever” (TM).

    So far, all that BEST have done is to say (and I don’t make any comment on how accurate their statement is) that the flaws in the collection of US data pointed out in the Surface Stations project don’t matter and that the previously published surface temperature records are broadly accurate (for the last 30 years).

    Now, since very few people in the non-alarmist camp have ever denied that it has got warmer in the past 30 years, what does this do to the position that anthropogenic CO2 is not the cause of warming? Nothing. Nada. Zilch

    Even Muller says this. So, his point that “being a skeptic just got harder” is nothing more than a straw man argument and reveals that he is not the “independent reviewer” that he claims to be.

    Game over as far as I am concerned – this is another bucket of whitewash.

  42. s Lord Beaverbrook mentions above, Keenan’s response at Bishop Hill’s place is worth a read: Keenan’s response to the BEST paper

    Demonstrating that “global warming is real” requires much more than demonstrating that average world land temperature rose by 1°C since the mid-1950s. As an illustration, the temperature in 2010 was higher than the temperature in 2009, but that on its own does not provide evidence for global warming: the increase in temperatures could obviously be due to random fluctuations. Similarly, the increase in temperatures since the mid 1950s could be due to random fluctuations.

    In order to demonstrate that the increase in temperatures since the mid 1950s is not due to random fluctuations, it is necessary to do valid statistical analysis of the temperatures. The BEST team has not done such.

    I want to emphasize something. Suppose someone says “2+2=5″. Then it is not merely my opinion that what they have said is wrong; rather, what they have said is wrong. Similarly, it is not merely my opinion that the BEST statistical analysis is seriously invalid; rather, the BEST statistical analysis is seriously invalid.

    Read the whole exchange.

  43. Philip Bradley said

    The arithmetic mean of Tmax and Tmin is not the ‘average temperature’.

    BioBob and Pamela Gray had the same complaint, and I’ll add to it.

    If you had a signal that had upper and lower bounds, such as an analog pusle-width modulated signal (commonly used to control servos in robots and model airplanes, where the ratio of how much 1 to how much 0 is what matters), the max is ALWAYS 1 and the min is always 0. By their method, the average is always 0.5 no matter what’s being sent, which means they can’t even detect that the signal carries information.

    Yet if you had a constant-energy noise spike on a DC ground wire in an electrical cable (sometimes a sharp narrow peak and sometimes smaller and fatter, based on random things like the capacitance coupling to your hand) instead of 0 volts with an occassional constant energy spike, they’d be claiming the AVERAGE voltage in the ground wire was running from 50 to 200 with dramatic and intereting trends.

    So already, they get a FAIL is signal processing and analysis.

  44. Nick Stokes – This is an excellent resource. One of the key questions is the extent that the Muller et al analysis added sites in order to expand the geographic coverage. If the data is from mostly the same geographic regions, the added data would not be expected to add much beyond GHCN. Roger

  45. This is a complete furfy…. the BEST data only goes to 2007! Am I correct? That’s what the graph above shows. No wonder its a joke. PLease add in 2007 to current its gone way down! Current anomaly for Oct 2011 is about +0.18C see UAH satellite data. If the above graph is true the BEST data should be completely discarded as it does not reflect the past 6 years trend which is crucial for the AGW premise.

  46. Tim Minchin

    Have a look at AMSU satellite temperatures for the last 10 years (600mb) you might learn something NO the earth has not been warming for the past years …so you are 100% wrong. While your at it, you might as well look at sea temps and you will find that SST’s (sea surface temperatures) are now COLDEST on record.

  47. Izen,

    “The point is not that three groups find the same trend in the same data, its that NONE of the studies show any significance difference in trend between urban and rural sites. The meme that the warming is exaggerated by the UHI effect is refuted.”

    Is that really what the data shows? I thought they applied “corrections” for UHI, and that is what is used in the published temperature datasets.

  48. “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong….”

    looks like anthony can finally turn off the website, he’s been proven wrong by his own rules…

  49. The earth is warming. We already knew that, but thanks for at least making the effort in getting the station data correct now, which is at least in part due to the efforts of this blog and the surfacestations.org project. Congratulations on putting the pressure on and advancing science, guys.

    Either way, this result does not negate the null hypothesis of this warming being caused by natural variation or other non-CO2 causes such as land use as we continue to develop. This is particularly apparent in light of no additional warming for the past 13 years and accelerating CO2 accumulation. This shows dissonance with the CO2 = warming link.

    And no, aerosols aren’t the cause of the no variation. Nor is deep ocean heat accumulation likely either.

    I don’t understand that virtually every other scientist of any reputation can admit when they don’t know and put forth the best arguments as to why their theories could be incorrect – then make a case why their conclusion is more likely – and AGW scientists just tow the doctrine line and express undue certainty.

    Maybe this will be the next domino to fall and quality will finally permeate this field.

  50. @- Vince Causey says: Re:-[The meme that the warming is exaggerated by the UHI effect is refuted.]-
    “Is that really what the data shows? I thought they applied “corrections” for UHI, and that is what is used in the published temperature datasets.”

    GISS and HADCRU have used small adjustments to compensate for any UHI effect. The ‘skeptic’ claim has been that these “corrections” are insufficient to allow for the UHI effect which has resulted in an artifactual overestimation of the degree of global warming.
    The BEST group examined this issue explicitly using the raw data. This is what Mr Muller states –

    “To study urban-heating bias in temperature records, we used satellite determinations that subdivided the world into urban and rural areas. We then conducted a temperature analysis based solely on “very rural” locations, distant from urban ones. The result showed a temperature increase similar to that found by other groups. Only 0.5% of the globe is urbanized, so it makes sense that even a 2ºC rise in urban regions would contribute negligibly to the global average.
    …. When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

  51. Thanks Pamela Gray,

    I sometimes feel like a lone voice, when I point out the problem is the Tmin/Tmax datasets combined with the false assumption they accurately represent the daily average temperature.

    Use the same methodology as BEST has done, and you will reach the same erroneous conclusion.

  52. @- S Basinger says: October 21, 2011 at 9:32 am
    “Either way, this result does not negate the null hypothesis of this warming being caused by natural variation or other non-CO2 causes such as land use as we continue to develop. This is particularly apparent in light of no additional warming for the past 13 years and accelerating CO2 accumulation. This shows dissonance with the CO2 = warming link.”

    ‘Natural variation is a description, NOT a cause. The only alternative you suggest is land use?
    Would this match the pattern of warming seen in the data?

    How dissonant is the “no additional warming for the past 13 years” and the rising CO2? How much do you think it should have warmed in the last 13 years from CO2 if AGW theory is correct? I think BEST comes up with around 0.09/decade, perhaps double that for the recent decades. So around 0.2degC might be coming from CO2 rises. But ENSO variations can equal that through a single cycle so it is not improbable the smaller signal could be swamped over 13 years. Perhaps make it a few years longer, 15 maybe…

    -“And no, aerosols aren’t the cause of the no variation. Nor is deep ocean heat accumulation likely either.”-

    I admire the certainty with which you make these claims and would welcome some supporting argument. especially in the light of –

    -“…– and AGW scientists just tow the doctrine line and express undue certainty.”

    @-tegirinenashi says: October 21, 2011 at 10:15 am
    “It is much easier to follow just two stations, not subject to UHI
    -[link to Antarctic data]-
    They are remarkably flat which confirms hypothesis that nothing really changed in the climate.”

    So Antarctic stations are representative of the global climate?
    Perfectly Obvious Exactly. -grin-

  53. @izen Sure antarctic stations are best sited, properly maintained, and exhibit little noise (due to low day/night time temperature variations?) This is again reduces to whom you trust.

  54. Why ten year average and why end at 2006? I smell a rat. Completely obscures the fact that there has been no warming since 1997 (15 years). Anything to keep the gravy train rolling, I guess.

  55. Bill Illis,

    You are quite right. Look at Figure 1. BEST temp in 2010 is the same as in 1968!!! No warming for 42 years.

  56. Izen,

    No warming for 15 years (1997-2011). At 3-4C per century rise (IPCC estimate), then temp increase should be 0.45 – 0.6 C. This is not even close to the satellite data record. Finally, how many years of non-warming disproves CAGW? 18 yrs? 20 yrs?

  57. One hundred years ago, our ancestors in northern California cut many huge blocks of ice to store them for use throughout the year. We can’t do that today. We know that the climate here is warmer – no argument there. Just don’t blame the warming on homo sapiens.

  58. izen said @ October 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm
    “@-tegirinenashi says: October 21, 2011 at 10:15 am
    “It is much easier to follow just two stations, not subject to UHI
    -[link to Antarctic data]-
    They are remarkably flat which confirms hypothesis that nothing really changed in the climate.”

    So Antarctic stations are representative of the global climate?
    Perfectly Obvious Exactly. -grin-”

    Vostock & Law Dome ice cores are claimed to represent global temperatures (not to mention GISP1 & GISP2). If the ice core records are representative of global temperatures what specifically negates the use of Antarctic station temperature records for the same purpose?

  59. Henry@Philip,Bob,Pam,George, Dr.Pielke

    Great to see some support for my idea.
    Understand that it is alleged that due to increased green house gases in the atmosphere, heat is trapped that cannot escape from earth. So if an increase in green house gases is to blame for the warming, it should be minimum temperatures (that occur during the night) that must show the increase (of modern warming). In that case, the observed trend should be that minimum temperatures should be rising faster than maxima and mean temperatures. That is what would prove a causal link.
    What I have discovered so far from my (silly?) carefully chosen sample of 15 weather stations is that the overall increase of maxima, means and minima was 0.036, 0.012 and 0.004 degrees C respectively per annum over the past 35 years. So the ratio is 9:3:1. Assuming that my sample is representative of all those stations listed, I have to conclude that it was the maximum temps (that occur during the day) that pushed up the average temps. and the minima. So either the sun shone more brightly or there were less clouds. Or, even, perhaps the air just simply became cleaner (less dust? Are there records on that?).
    I also noted that the warming on the NH is totally different to that of the SH. There is virtually no warming in the SH as seen by the means and minima whereas in the NH, the ratio of the increase in maxima, means and minima is about 1:1:1, amazingly.
    Again, if it were an increase in CO2 or GHG’s that is doing the warming, you would expect to see the exactly the same results for NH and SH because these gases should be distributed evenly in the whole of the NH and SH hemisphere. So, even here, we again must conclude that it never was the increase in CO2 that is doing it. The only logical explanation I can think of is the difference in the rate by which the earth is greening. In South America we still had massive de-forestation over this period whereas Australia and Southern Africa have large deserts. Obviously, the NH has most of the landmass and here everyone seems to be planting trees and gardens. A recent investigation by the Helsinki university found that 45 countries were more green then previously out of a sample of 70.
    Paradoxically, the increase in greenery is partly due to human intervention, partly due to more heat coming available (increase in maxima!) and partly due to the extra CO2 that we put in the air which appears to be acting as a fertilizer/ accelerator for growth.
    For my data, see:

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    (make a copy for yourself of the tables)
    Now, if we could have the 3 plots for the Best figures? That would help.

  60. @-Chris Nelli says: October 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm
    “No warming for 15 years (1997-2011).”

    I am unable to find a zero trend in any global dataset of temperature for the last 15 years. most indicate around 0.1degC, but with ENSO cycles five times as large overlying that. This appears to be the record with the least warming trend.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1997/to:2011/trend/plot/uah/from:1997/to:2011

    Perhaps you have an alternative dataset that you think more credible with no warming trend ?

  61. tegirinenashi says

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/20/pielke-sr-no-surprise-about-best/#comment-774013

    henry@\tegirinenashi
    You can only make that statement for the SH. Not for the NH.
    And it confirms my findings. See my previous comment.
    The reason why I did not use the antarctic data is because I could not find them (the actual data) and I also could not get maxima and minima.
    But even the means will perhaps help me,
    if you could direct me to the original data that make up those 2 plots?

  62. izen;
    The H0 does not have to specify specific alternate causality. It merely asserts that the H1-proposed cause does not have significant support. “Natural variation” is as specific as it needs to be.

  63. tegirinenashi: “It is much easier to follow just two stations, not subject to UHI”

    As BEST says, one third of the stations in their record show cooling. The problem with using only two records is that it is very easy to claim that they are cherry picked.

    But I do think you have a point. I think if we could find 50 stations around the world that were pristeen; never moved, never had their elevation changed, no construction around them, continous record for fifty years, and simply used their averaged raw output, I would trust that result more than all of the over processed data that we currently call global temp records. The trick would be to identify those pristeen stations before you ever looked at their records. And then trust their result after you do get their record. That way you would avoid allowing yourself to cherry pick.

  64. Izen: The point is not that three groups find the same trend in the same data, its that NONE of the studies show any significance difference in trend between urban and rural sites.

    That’s because the rural sites aren’t rural. The only requirement for a site to be classified as rural is that it not have more than 50% build coverage. That makes many suburbs rural. The requirement also says that for urban areas, the over 50% build must be contigous with no breaks for a minimum of one square kilometer. That also means that many small cities are classified as rural. And the growth rate in small cities and suburbs can be higher than in highly built urban areas where there is little room for more build.

  65. izen says:
    October 22, 2011 at 2:53 am

    @-Chris Nelli says: October 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm
    “No warming for 15 years (1997-2011).”

    I am unable to find a zero trend in any global dataset of temperature for the last 15 years. most indicate around 0.1degC, but with ENSO cycles five times as large overlying that. This appears to be the record with the least warming trend.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1997/to:2011/trend/plot/uah/from:1997/to:2011

    Perhaps you have an alternative dataset that you think more credible with no warming trend ?

    If you click on “raw data” you get data:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/data/uah/from:1997/to:2011/trend/plot/uah/from:1997/to:2011

    #Time series (uah) from 1978.92 to 2011.75
    #Selected data from 1997
    #Selected data up to 2011
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0116653 per year
    1997 0.0650968
    2011 0.228411
    #Data ends
    #Number of samples: 2
    #Mean: 0.146754

    So, 1.17°C per century, that isn’t too steep, down in the noise really. How does that compare to the earlier recovery from the LIA?

  66. Tito;
    I also recall seeing recent info that the UHI effects start very small, and are almost logarithmic (diminishing returns). The first level of habitation build-up does most of the work; thereafter it’s gilding the lily.

  67. Zeke Hausfather says:
    October 21, 2011 at 12:05 am
    “Dr. Pielke,
    I believe the BEST results using all 39,000 stations can be found here: http://berkeleyearth.org/movies.php
    As Mosh mentions, the data and code is also available for download.”

    Interesting to watch Zeke. Especially as there seems to be a correlation between the rise in stations and the rise in temperature ;-)

  68. Henry@Dave Springer

    You remember that thing we discussed some time ago?
    You said that the oceans only gives up 20% of its solar heating which would explain matters with the CO2.

    I did some checking and testing on this. It did not work out as you predicted.
    I think you are wrong.

    In the case of the leaf chart here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/24/the-earths-biosphere-is-booming-data-suggests-that-co2-is-the-cause-part-2/

    I am finding an extraordinary correlation between warming in the red areas and actual cooling in the blue areas. In other words, if you pick a blue area, you will find mean temperatures declining,
    if you pick a red area you will mean temperatures rising.

    So, seeing that the overall chart shows more red (the earth is blooming) it explains the extra warming noted of the past decades. It is more vegetation that traps more heat.

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