Nature pans BEST and Muller PR antics, prints letter from Dr. Singer

Scientific climate

Nature 478, 428 (27 October 2011) doi:10.1038/478428a
Published online 26 October 2011

Results confirming climate change are welcome, even when released before peer review.

excerpts:

Of course, reproduction of existing results is a valid contribution, and the statistical methods developed by the BEST team could be useful additions to climate science. But valid contributions and useful additions alone do not generate worldwide headlines, so the mas-sive publicity associated with the release of the papers (which were simultaneously submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research) is a curious affair.

There was predictable grumbling at the media coverage from within the scientific community, which saw it as publicity in lieu of peer review. Reporters are more than happy to cover the story now, while it’s sexy, but will they cover it later, when the results are confirmed, adjusted or corrected in accordance with a thorough vetting? The short answer is no, many of them will not. Barring an extraordinary reversal of message, the wave of press coverage is likely to be only a ripple when the papers are finally published. And this is what upsets the purists: the communication of science in this case comes before the scientific process has run its course.

Members of the Berkeley team revelled in their role as scientific renegades. Richard Muller, the physicist in charge, even told the BBC: “That is the way I practised science for decades; it was the way every-one practised it until some magazines — particularly Science and Nature — forbade it.”

This is both wrong and unhelpful. It is wrong because for years Nature has explicitly endorsed the use of preprint servers and confer-ences as important avenues for scientific discussion ahead of submis-sion to this journal, or other Nature titles. For example, on page 493 this week we publish a paper that discusses the dwarf planet Eris, based on results that the lead author presented (with Nature‘s knowledge and consent) at a conference several weeks ago. Journalists are, of course, welcome to report what they come across in such venues — as several did on Eris. What Nature discourages is authors specifically promoting their work to the media before a peer-reviewed paper is available for others in the field to read and evaluate.

Muller’s statement is unhelpful because such inflammatory claims can only fuel the heated but misguided debate on climate-sceptic blogs and elsewhere about the way science works and how it treats those who insist on viewing themselves as outsiders.

===============================================================

Nature printed this letter from Dr. Fred Singer, which I was also given a copy of via email:

Fred Singer said:
Dear Editors of Nature:

What a curious editorial [p.428, Oct.26} ? and how revealing of yr bias!
"Results confirming climate change are welcome, even when released before peer review."
(emphasis added)
You imply that contrary results are not welcomed by Nature. But this has been obvious for many years.

Why are you so jubilant about the findings of the Berkeley Climate Project that you can hardly contain yourself? What do you think they proved? They certainly added little to the ongoing debate on human causes of climate change.

They included data from the same weather stations as the Climategate people, but reported that one-third showed cooling — not warming. They covered the same land area " less than 30% of the Earth?s surface " housing recording stations that are poorly distributed, mainly in the US and Western Europe. They state that 70% of US stations are badly sited and don't meet the standards set by government; the rest of the world is likely worse.

But unlike the land surface, the atmosphere has shown no warming trend, either over land or over ocean — according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons. This indicates to me that there is something very wrong with the land surface data. And did you know that climate models, run on super-computers, all insist that the atmosphere must warm faster than the surface? And so does theory.

And finally, we have non-thermometer temperature data from so-called "proxies": tree rings, ice cores, ocean sediments, stalagmites. They don't show any global warming since 1940!

The BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) results in no way confirm the scientifically discredited Hockeystick graph, which had been so eagerly adopted by climate alarmists. In fact, the Hockeystick authors never published their post-1978 temperatures in their 1998 paper in Nature ? or since. The reason for hiding them? It's likely that those proxy data show no warming either. Why don't you ask them?

One last word: You evidently haven't read the four scientific BEST papers, submitted for peer review. There, the Berkeley scientists disclaim knowing the cause of the temperature increase reported by their project. They conclude, however: "The human component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated." I commend them for their honesty and skepticism.
********************************************************************
S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project. His specialty is atmospheric and space physics. An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is co-author of Climate Change Reconsidered [2009 and 2011] and of Unstoppable Global Warming 2007.
***********************************************************************

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77 Responses to Nature pans BEST and Muller PR antics, prints letter from Dr. Singer

  1. Jeff D says:

    Anthony,
    Don’t make me crack the whip! Back to work on your paper.

    Love the article though :)

  2. MangoChutney says:

    Richard Black’s piece was pretty appalling and he refused to acknowledge BEST’s statement that the A in AGW may be overestimated

    Let’s hope he is one of the 2000 to lose his job in the BBC cuts, although in his case it should be for indulging in cut and paste journalism

  3. Brian H says:

    Blood in the water. In a feeding frenzy, the sharks discover they are now potential food. Oops!

  4. Larry Fields says:

    I thought that Nature was a Warmist rag. I’m pleasantly surprised that they published Dr. Singer’s thoughtful letter.

    I’m not particularly astute about politics. Are journal editors beginning to retreat from their former extremist positions? Is there some kind of sea change going on here?

  5. Al Gored says:

    Jon Stewart on The Daily Show tonight stupidly – Al Gore IQ level – used this BEST press release as proof that Climategate concerns were all bogus and that it proves the science was AOK.

    It was really pathetic. Stewart is becoming more biased and predictable daily.

  6. Al Gored says:

    Oops. To clarify. Not THIS Nature articleor letter. Just the BEST press story circulating in the MSM.

  7. crosspatch says:

    Implied? They came right out and said it in plain English here:

    the heated but misguided debate on climate-sceptic blogs

    So “climate sceptic” blogs are “misguided” according to Nature. An interesting position for a “science” journal to take. Again, nobody has disputed that climate changes, we are disputing the NATURE of the change and if humans have any significant impact or if it is natural variation.

    Nature has just made fools of themselves in my opinion.

  8. Ralph says:

    The Global Warming industry reminds me of the Ground Nut Scheme in Tanzania, in the 1950s. A grand project, publicly funded by the British government, to grow nuts in Africa.

    Everyone was for this project, especially those who could profit from it and draw wages from it. Shame, however, that they did not survey the climate and weather in Tanzania, to see if nuts would actually grow there…. But the project struggled on, until it was finally killed off by a fatal and undeniable reality – no nuts.

    The AGW scam will be the same. Those who profit from it, through grants and wages, will struggle on with their scam for as long as possible, until the reality on the ground finishes them off. Unfortunately for us, unless we have a few real hard winters (like the Sunspot and PDO data suggest may happen), the reality of no AGW may take a few decades to manifest itself. (Just how long are the public prepared to believe scare stories that are not based upon reality?)

    .

    BTW. It was from the failed nut project, that the term NUTTERS (in the plural) was derived. So what will the AGW crowd be called in the future? WARMERS? HOTTERS? ALARMERS?

    .

  9. Jeff D says:

    Larry Fields says:
    October 27, 2011 at 12:33 am
    Is there some kind of sea change going on here?
    __________________
    Yep, pressure is being brought on several levels. Political with the use of the Inspector Generals office hammering the EPA, FOIA lawsuits for Cloud IPCC email traffic as well as Mann’s emails from UVA, and the simple fact that the freaking planet has cooled for the last 10 years with an increase of CO2 has pretty much put taken the wind out of AGW sails.

    Hanson said it best, we are loosing, he was right.

  10. Milan Salek says:

    With all due respect, I have found find this statement of dr. Singer inaccurate: “But unlike the land surface, the atmosphere has shown no warming trend, either over land or over ocean — according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons”. Low-to-mid troposphere does exhibit some warming trend of 0,14 dg. C per decade (see UAH/RSS data). How is this trend dangerous and how it corresponds to the GCM models, is another issue (I personaly do not see any alarming rate).
    See http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html
    More interesting, though, is the first sencence of the editorial: “Results confirming climate change are welcome, even when released before peer review.” A clear exhibition of their bias. It shows that any message saying, e.g., “no detectable temperature trend in last 10 years” is simply unwelcome, which is important message for potential authors.

  11. Tom says:

    It’s alright for you Americans; your world is still rational. The Australian parliament has recently voted for an assault of $23 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions on our economy based on the IPCC’s evidence-free suppositions about climate. A chorus of chanting hippies is our new ruling class; a quirk in our constitution means we cannot vote down this madness for another two years. As in World War II, we desperately require your ingenuity in defence of our liberty and will reward you with a renewed commitment to our defence of yours. God bless America!

  12. oMan says:

    Great letter by Singer but too subtle by half. The main fight has long since moved to mass media, where Muller stole a march and where Jon Stewart and other Demi-gods of the culture are taking his distortions and making them worse. As the saying goes, “a stern chase after a lie is a long one.”

    Will truth (and honor, justice, etc) prevail? Maybe, eventually, to a degree. The issue is, what will ever force the bulk of people to reconsider their acceptance of the embedded meme about AGW/CO2? People only change when it pays to do so, or hurts not to. When does the pain come? And how much of it is needed before they figure things out?

  13. oldseadog says:

    “….. heated but misguided debate…..” .

    Why misguided?

    Oh, wait, I forgot. The Science Is Settled.

    Silly me.

  14. Nature hasn’t “printed” Singer’s letter; it’s just a comment on one page of the electronic version. More like a blog comment than a letter to the editor.

  15. DirkH says:

    “Results confirming climate change are welcome, even when released before peer review.”

    Nature, you shouldn’t tell everyone; you’re supposed to keep this a secret.

  16. Andrew says:

    It seems to me that perhaps because the world is not warming anymore Nature has decided to start playing it safe at last!

  17. stevo says:

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

    What a surprise that turned out not to be true.

  18. Stephen Richards says:

    Usual inane comment from you. Would you like to enlighten us to what the ‘results were and which one Anthony and us have not accepted. I would suggest that your IQ will probably make it impossible for you to do but give it try and surprise us.

    Let me get you started. “The a part of AGW is probably overstated”.

  19. DocMartyn says:

    “And finally, we have non-thermometer temperature data from so-called “proxies”: tree rings, ice cores, ocean sediments, stalagmites. They don’t show any global warming since 1940!”

    Let for a moment assume that the four BEST papers are a completely accurate description of local/global temperature changes. Firstly, they show that the Earth has undergone an unprecidented amount of heating in the last 100 years. Secondly, they show that one third of land area reports that during this time of global heating, the temperature trend is negative.
    This means that the use of a tree as a thermometer is completely invalidated. There is no way to calibrate an individual tree or group of tree to temperature because of the land temperature heterogeneity. A particular local may report cooling, when 50 miles away heating is occurring or vise versa. The distribution of temperature rates shows that the use of proxies for temperature reconstruction cannot be used to estimate past temperature, unless one assume the possibilities of error are +/- 1.5 degree per century.

  20. An Inquirer says:

    Milan Salek says @ October 27, 2011 at 1:09 am disputes Singe’rs claim of no warming trend in the atmosphere by referring to satellite data. If you read Singer’s claim, you will note that it refers to sateliite and balloon data. You need to add ballon data to your reference before you can dispute his claim. Satellite data started in the low point of temperatures in the last half century, so an increase in that data is not surprising.
    Singer does not provide a reference for his claim, so I do not know if its validity.

  21. An Inquirer says:

    In response to stevo @ October 27, 2011 at 3:50 am:
    Quite juvenile. You show little appreciation or understanding of the broken promises and how that can affect the other party’s previouis commitment.

  22. JohnWho says:

    Have the Berkeley EST papers been published yet?

    Can any of us either accept or reject the final paper before it is published?

    We can, however, reject the manner in which it is being publicised prior to being published.

  23. drop366 says:

    “Nature printed this letter from Dr. Fred Singer,”

    Nature didn’t print a letter from Dr. Singer. Dr. Singer left a comment on the Nature web site, which anyone can do.

  24. Jonathan Jones:

    Nature hasn’t “printed” Singer’s letter; it’s just a comment on one page of the electronic version. More like a blog comment than a letter to the editor.

    I assume WUWT has given a misleading impression. But through WUWT Fred Singer’s letter will already have become known to far more people than if Nature had printed it. A net benefit to the world in my estimation. Thanks Anthony.

  25. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    How many more weeks until the Durban COP?

    We can expect much more Science by PR leading up to that gong show as the warmongers, desperate to get some momentum back, try and repair their leaking, listing & sinking boat.

  26. MarkW says:

    “And this is what upsets the purists: ”

    Only purists think it is important to actually follow the scientific process?

  27. Gail Combs says:

    Tom says:
    October 27, 2011 at 2:05 am

    It’s alright for you Americans; your world is still rational. The Australian parliament has recently voted for an assault of $23 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions on our economy based on the IPCC’s evidence-free suppositions about climate. A chorus of chanting hippies is our new ruling class; a quirk in our constitution means we cannot vote down this madness for another two years. As in World War II, we desperately require your ingenuity in defence of our liberty and will reward you with a renewed commitment to our defence of yours. God bless America!
    __________________________________________
    How about several large ships to transfer our nutters, Al Gore, Obama, most of Congress, Uni Proffs et al to Nullarbor and transports your realists to the USA.

    Confiscation of all assets prior to relocation in Nullarbor of course is mandatory. Those assets will be used to pay of foreign US debts.

  28. Ian L. McQueen says:

    The CBC Radio 1 program “The Current” interviews the Canadian (federal) environment minister, Peter Kent, at 0900 local time Thursday. Canucks in western regions can hear it live. For others, the program will be available via their website (cbc.ca) as long as there is a live broadcast in one of our timezones. It will also be available as a podcast through cbc.ca within a day or two.The interview is a sad thing from start to finish. If Kent is talking straight and not concealling an opposite government policy with soothing (to the warmists) words, he is completely in thrall to the warmist hypothesis, referring to the “cataclysmic” future results if we do not meet the UN target of no more than 2°C temperature rise and talking constantly of meeting our obligations, etc. Thoroughly sickening.

    IanM

  29. Max Hugoson says:

    “Nature”, “Science”, science “hoity toits” and what the British call “Prigs” (look it up).

    I Note this comment:

    “Muller’s statement is unhelpful because such inflammatory claims can only fuel the heated but misguided debate on climate-sceptic blogs and elsewhere about the way science works and how it treats those who insist on viewing themselves as outsiders.”

    OK, guys, consider this – LOADED LANGUAGE and “prejudice” are not becoming of REAL “scientists”.

    Misguided? How misguided? Finding out the errors in analysis (Hockey Sticks anyone, or the pentalty for “high sticking”?

    And why the specific mention of “climate-sceptic blogs”? (This is really an oblique reference to WUWT. If we want to get into “EMOTION”, hey I can play that game too. You “hoity toits” are scared out of your WITS by WUWT, too bad.)

    Frankly, I see the coming DEMISE of the hoity toit Journals. Eventually people will realize that instead of “cutting edge”, they now represent the equivalent of the “inquisitor”.If you are not within “orthadoxy” you are to be banned, punished, imprisoned, mocked, or all of the above.

    OK, OK…I guess being critical of the “Science by Newspaper” is a good start. Also, publishing Singer’s letter is primo. But really, what drives HUMANS to the frailty of existance such that the above quote is considered necessary or proper? (And do the people that wrote it have any concept of the “irony” that they promote themselves as “objective scientists” and then write using “loaded” language.)

  30. Theo Goodwin says:

    stevo says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:50 am
    “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong”

    “What a surprise that turned out not to be true.”

    BEST played Bait and Switch on Anthony. He expected a 30 year period. Without consultation, they substituted a 60 year period.

  31. TomT says:

    Tom “It’s alright for you Americans; your world is still rational.”
    Sorry mate, you clearly don’t know much about America.

  32. TomT says:

    “stevo says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:50 am
    “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong”
    What a surprise that turned out not to be true.”

    Stevo old chap, I don’t think Anthony was referring to results that have not been peer reviewed. Furthermore he has not questioned the results as much as he is questioning the releasing of the paper to the press before it is reviewed. In any case there is nothing wrong with what Antony and other posters here have done, which is to question the methods that they used to produce the results. What type of superstitious age of science world do we live in where it is illegitimate to question the methods used to get scientific results? Surely analyzing methods is part of the scientific method.

  33. ferd berple says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    October 27, 2011 at 6:39 am
    BEST played Bait and Switch on Anthony. He expected a 30 year period. Without consultation, they substituted a 60 year period.

    Has BEST documented why they did this? The reason for choosing 60 years when there is only 30 years of data doesn’t make statistical sense, unless you are trying to prove something that is not supported by the data.

    As I understand the situation they came to Anthony for his data on station siting, which covers a 30 year period. Outside this period, there is no data. The two other papers that have recently dealt with this both use the 30 year period.

    Thus, by going for a 60 year period, it would appear that BEST has no data on which to base any conclusions that relate temperature to station siting, which would by necessity include the UHI analysis.

  34. Alex the skeptic says:

    I have just read a piece in
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/candid-comments-from-global-warming-climate-scientists/
    Entitled: Candid Comments From Global Warming Climate Scientists
    Which goes as follows:
    Earlier in the article:
    >>Where was the heat going? Trenberth repeated the question time and again.
    Recently, working with Gerald Meehl and others, Trenberth proposed one answer. In a paper published last month, they put forward a climate model showing that decade-long pauses in temperature rise, and its attendant missing energy, could arise by the heat sinking into the deep, frigid ocean waters, more than 2,000 feet down. The team used a new model, one prepared for the next U.N. climate assessment; unlike past models, it handles the Pacific’s variability well, which ”seems to be important,” Trenberth said.<>Trenberth questions whether the Argo measurements are mature enough to tell as definite a story as Hansen lays out. He has seen many discrepancies among analyses of the data, and there are still “issues of missing and erroneous data and calibration,” he said. The Argo floats are valuable, he added, but “they’re not there yet.”<<
    So, first Trenberth hails his computer model to high heaven, then, because the Argo measurements show a completely different reality tah his models, he, Trenberth, does not question his computer model(s), no, but he goes and questions the calibration of the Argo floats, which measure temperatures from the surface of the oceans deep down to 700 meters. This is the 'science' we are getting today. But it is more close to a séance than science.
    If we have to question the accuracy of the Argo floats, machines that were built recently with the most modern of technologies, diving deep down into the oceans getting a profile at every level of the oceans, integrating all the energy down there. What should we base our climate science on? Is it on the Argo floats or on land based weather stations prone to all the UHI and human induced errors that come with them? Or should we base our science on computer models that have to be continuously correcetd so as to make them approach reality. That same reality which proves the models wrong, always?
    One other point: The BEST report is based only on land-based station records, that is, measurements of atmospheric temperatures. Now, the atmosphere is only 1/270th the mass of the oceans. Now, if the atmosphere has warmed by say 0.6C while the oceans are found to have cooled by say 0.1C, then the net result would be a cooling of 0.1 C less a bit of the planet, and not a warming.
    Conclusion: BEST was a useless exercise at best. A WORST study most probably.

  35. SteveP says:

    Has anyone actually tried to access the published ‘raw’ BEST data? I have. First of all its not raw data, its Monthly averages. These are the first 5 lines of ‘data.txt’:

    % File Generated: 04-Feb-2011 13:56:55
    % Dataset Collection: Berkeley Earth Merged Dataset – version 1
    % Type: TAVG – Monthly
    % Version: LATEST – Detrended
    % Dataset Hash: 2d3b328547f21959cc751d402ed2a426

    Secondly, what does ‘Detrended’ refer to and why does it need a ‘Latest’ version?
    Thirdly, we are told mankind is doomed if AGW is true so why does Nature ‘welcome’ this apparently bad news from Best? Would they jump for joy if someone confirmed an asteroid was heading for Earth?
    Finally, why on earth would Best publish this data in a file of size 600MB? Too big for Excel, Word and only barely able to open in Wordpad? So no one would bother to read it perhaps?

  36. ferd berple says:

    TomT says:
    October 27, 2011 at 6:55 am
    Surely analyzing methods is part of the scientific method.

    Not when the conclusion of the study is written first, and the data then chosen to support this conclusion. If 30 years of data doesn’t show what you want, increase it to 60 and see if this will deliver the results you seek.

    One of the criteria for any valid statistical studies is that you define the parameters of the study before you begin the study. Otherwise there is always the temptation to change the parameters midway through the study to deliver the results you expect.

    If station siting and UHI have no effect on temperature, then why is there a divergence between the temperature records and the long standing station records? The longest standing stations should most closely follow the temperature records if the records are accurate. However, if the records are changing as stations are added and removed, then temperature is driven by station siting.

    For example, say I have a station that has been continuously recording for 100 years that shows no warming. If I now site another station close by that station, next to a heated building, and average the two readings, it will now appear that the temperature is increasing.

    Similarly, if I have two stations close to each other. One is next to a heated building, the other is on a hillside and consistently shows lower temperatures. If I now remove the station on the hillside, because it is remote and expensive to maintain, the temperatures will now show an increase in this area.

    Thus when studying UHI you should not ONLY be analyzing temperature as BEST has done, rather analyzing if urbanization is influencing the choice of site selection. If the number of stations in urban areas is increasing as a percentage of stations overall over time, then this factor in itself can skew the results.

  37. Luther Wu says:

    stevo says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:50 am

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

    What a surprise that turned out not to be true.
    __________________________________________
    stevo- keep up!
    Are your reading comprehension skills lacking, or are you just another flamer/propagandist?

  38. ferd berple says:

    Alex the skeptic says:
    October 27, 2011 at 7:10 am
    Trenberth questions whether the Argo measurements are mature enough to tell as definite a story as Hansen lays out.

    Because Trenberth proposes that the heat is moving from the atmosphere (surface) to the oceans below 2000 meters. He knows it is true because his model (oracle of trenberth) says it is true.

    The problem for Trenberth is that the Argo floats are not showing any heat moving from the surface downwards, so it must be the Argo floats that are wrong.

    Argo is perhaps the most comprehensive temperature measuring device every created. It was intended to prove the case for AGW. Every expectation was that it would provide the evidence and a very large amount was invested by many nations to create the system.

    The problem for climate science is that Argo is showing the unthinkable. It shows that the planet is not warming. Therefore, Argo must be wrong.

  39. Dung says:

    Folks there is a new argument in town relating to AGW and it aint about warmists v deniers. Everything discussed in this thread and on this blog is really interesting but in terms of helping governments decide on energy policy it is irrelevant.
    The truth is that if you ask an honest scientist how much of “all there is to know about his field of knowledge” the human race currently knows or understands, the answer will be less than 1%.
    Take the subject popularly known as Climate Science ; in reality this includes physics, mathematics, geology, meteorolgy, chemistry and some others.
    There are many branches of scientific research where each new discovery is valuable. If medical research makes a new discovery about our DNA, it could result in a new cure for one type of cancer and lives would be saved. There are other areas of research where only total knowledge and understanding has any value and one of these is climate science.
    What do we need to understand/know in order to predict how, when and why our climate will change?
    We need to know exactly how many factors affect our climate and we need to understand exactly how each of those factors works.
    Let us enter the silly season and say we know there are only 10 factors that affect our climate. Extending the sillyness let us say that we totally understand 9 of those factors and can predict with total confidence and to the nth degree exactly how our climate will react to each of them. Then we know absolutely nothing about how our climate will change.
    We do not know how big the 10th factor will be, we do not know whether it is warming or cooling, we do not know if it is constant or cyclic or random.
    If only there were only 10 factors.
    You only need read the IPCC reports to see how many known factors we have no clue about and who knows how many factors influence our climate that we are not yet aware of?
    It would be polite to say that the scientists who are currently advising world governments on how the activities of the human race are affecting our climate might be described as disingenuous. I can think of much more accurate but unprintable explanations.

  40. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    stevo says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:50 am
    “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong”

    What a surprise that turned out not to be true.
    ++++++

    Yeah, you said that already and no one cares. Are you hoping it will fly this time?

    What result did they provide that proved any one of his premises wrong? BEST says the bulk of the stations are not sited properly, that world is been warming and that the human contribution has been over-estimated. So? What of it? We at WUWT know that already because we discuss it endlessly.

    Is the world warming at the moment? If so, can you prove it? The US thermometers prove it is not, and in fact the temp is dropping in winter at 3.8 Deg F per decade (over the past decade). But is this reliable? They are not sited correctly, remember? BEST confirms it. What’s not to like: a reanalysis that shows the data is not reliable, but if treated as if it is, 2/3 confirm warming (over a long period) and 1/3 saying ‘cooling’. None of it reports what is happening now (last 10 years). Not very helpful.

    All 14 years that Beavis and Butthead were on the air, the crime rate in the US went down and the economy improved. Correlation or causation? They are back tonight so let’s see what happens. As soon as the new series is broadcast, I confidently predict that the economy and the crime statistics will change, and you can hold me to that prophecy. When they do change, I want a grant to study the phenomenon because I am obviously onto something.

  41. Douglas DC says:

    Douglas Dc says:
    October 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Help Over at Don Surber’s blog, he’s getting attacked by Warmists for being an unbeliever!
    Willis? Joe B. Anthony,? Seems they are really upset at the BEST criticism..
    Having some firepower might help, As this bunch is the “SEE the science is SETTLED!”
    Here’s the link:
    http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/45086#comments
    From tips and notes post yesterday..

  42. I agree with Al Gored, not with Al Gore; Jon Stewart was idiotic on The Daily Show last night.

  43. ferd berple says:

    Why does Trenberth say that heat is accumulating below 2000 meters?

    From the Argo website:
    What is Argo?
    Argo is a global array of 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats that measures the temperature and salinity of the upper 2000 m of the ocean.
    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

    Of course the heat is accumulating below 2000 meters – the reason is that Argo doesn’t measure that part of the ocean. What a coincidence – not.

  44. oMan says:

    Re: Trenberth and the heat that “must be down there” in the ocean, below the ARGO measurement horizon. Is that thermodynamically plausible? Heat diffuses. In all directions. How can it end up “down there” in a discrete volume, without leaving a signature for ARGO to read? I recognize that there are thermoclines and currents and so forth: could they possibly achieve this remarkable result? (I say nothing about the silliness of ignoring the ARGO data in order to pursue the preferred picture generated inside a computer with cherrypicked data).

  45. stevo says:

    If he wasn’t going to accept the results, he shouldn’t have said he would do. He’s going to quite some lengths to rubbish them, even before they are published. You can argue that they have somehow misbehaved. Maybe that could even be true. But the fact remains that he said he would accept the results, and now does not. Why did he say he would?

  46. David in Georiga says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, the BEST temperature reconstruction for the US shows that the LIA did indeed exist, and was fairly deep. If the temperatures in England and Europe also have the LIA in their records (and they do) then we need to also check Asia. Unless the South Hemisphere showed warming of more than a degree C, from 1600 to 1900, then the LIA affected the temperature of then entire globe, and the Mann hockey stick graph is completely refuted.

    This means that the BEST data will help to show that our current “man made” temperature is more likely simply a rebound from the LIA to temperatures very close to what we had before. If we assume that the current temps (0.4 above an arbitrary zero line) are the result of all of that horrible man made CO2 warming, then we’ve got very little to worry about. After all, that’s less than a degree per century of warming, even after all of the extra “forcings.” With the logarithmic nature of CO2 based warming, more of the same would equal less than a full degree of warming by 2100, not the 3 to 6 degrees they are forecasting. This is good news.

    It also shows that we had more than a degree of warming in the last 200 years that were completely natural (since we’ve more or less ruled out any AGM affect prior to 1957, right)? Every time I hear that we’ve warmed 1.2 degrees since 1860, I think “so what? it was 100% natural warming for the most part, and welcome warming at that.”

    If even half of the current warming is natural, then the CO2 effect is completely harmless. I suspect we’ll discover that more than half of what we’ve seen in the 19th and 20th century is natural, and we will discover that the 21st century will show us no warming at all, despite ever climbing CO2 levels. If this is so, then we’ve been mislead by the “thousands of concerned scientists” and they should all be prevented from using their degrees to claim any special knowledge or authority in the future.

    How about a pledge from all “climate scientists” who hawk man made global warming to renounce their degrees should CAGW turn out to be false? If we don’t have significant warming by 2025, anyone who claimed that we will should turn in their Ph.D.s and retire in shame.

  47. Chuck Nolan says:

    crosspatch says:
    October 27, 2011 at 12:50 am
    Implied? They came right out and said it in plain English here:

    the heated but misguided debate on climate-sceptic blogs

    So “climate sceptic” blogs are “misguided” according to Nature. An interesting position for a “science” journal to take. Again, nobody has disputed that climate changes, we are disputing the NATURE of the change and if humans have any significant impact or if it is natural variation.

    Nature has just made fools of themselves in my opinion.
    —————————————-
    I agree but, I also have a real problem with the “C” in CAGW.
    That’s the real exaggeration and that’s where everyone admits to the lie. Even Al Gore thinks it’s acceptable to lie for this important crusade to save the world and line his pockets.
    Whether or not man is the cause of a few degree change in temperature doesn’t mean much if negative effects can be overcome over time.

  48. morbidangel says:

    ^^Agreed. Watts did say that, on this very blog. And also I love how ‘left a comment on the internet’ is equated to ‘Nature prints letter’. Amusing.

  49. crosspatch says:

    Firstly, they show that the Earth has undergone an unprecidented amount of heating in the last 100 years.

    I don’t think you understand how silly that statement sounds in context of what happened immediately BEFORE that warming. The Earth had just undergone cooling unprecedented since the Younger Dryas. From the MWP to the bottom of the LIA, the Earth had undergone dramatic cooling. The coldest portion of the LIA was the coldest period in the Holocene since the Younger Dryas. What was witnessed was the recovery from that extreme cold to more normal temperatures. We have still not recovered to temperatures seen in the MWP.

    So yes, your statement is true, but in context with the cooling that happened before the warming, it looks completely expected. Most of the warming in the recovery from the LIA happened from the late 1800′s to the 1930′s. From the 1940′s to the middle 1970′s temperatures cooled. This is the period when CO2 emissions ramped up the most. There has been no warming globally since the early 2000′s.

    But the odd thing is how one side of a curve is pointed to yet the other side is ignored. We had unprecedented cooling followed by unprecedented warming. What is unusual about that?

  50. JPeden says:

    stevo says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:50 am

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

    What a surprise that turned out not to be true.

    “I know you are but what am I?” “I know you are but what am I?” “I know you are but….

    …………………………………………………..

    “stevo says:
    October 27, 2011 at 8:22 am”

    I know you are but what am I.

  51. CodeTech says:

    stevo, your question was answered several times in this thread alone.

    If you’re going to ask questions, you could at least take the time to read the answers.

  52. Archonix says:

    Stevo, if I say to you “I will paint your house” and you respond that you’ll accept that whatever colour it may be, would you then be annoyed if I painted your car instead?

    The situation is analogous. BEST promised to study the issue of station siteing and accuracy, which would necessitate sticking to the 30 year period covered by the surface stations project. They then switched to “proving” that the world is warming, which is a completely different issue.

    Frankly, if you can’t see the problem with that, then you’re an obtuse nit.

  53. Anthony Watts says:

    SteveO doesn’t want to understand that I accept much of what was written, but not everything. See here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/21/best-what-i-agree-with-and-what-i-disagree-with-plus-a-call-for-additional-transparency-to-preven-pal-review/

    He’s conveniently missed this article so he can have a snarkfest in the comfort of anonymity, which is what people with his MO typically do. All the denigration, none of the risk.

    He’s also missing that it isn’t just me panning BEST; when Nature and RealClimate does it, you know there are problems. But I *have to accept it uncritically*, because I made the mistake of trusting them once when I visited them personally and they told me their plan.

    Had I known they were going to make a media blitz like this, skipping peer review before announcing, and told me they’d do a 60 year study on my 30 year metadata, I never would have made that statement.

    If that makes me gullible for trusting Dr. Richard Muller, so be it. – Anthony

  54. JPeden says:

    stevo,

    When are you and your cohorts going to give up your infantile perseverations and turn to the cash value of your own meme, applied to you: the fact that CO2 = CAGW has been effectively falsified, since its alleged hypotheses have not produced even one relevant correct, empirically confirmed prediction yet!

    “I know you are but what am I?”

    What, no principles?

  55. JPeden says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

    But I *have to accept it uncritically*, because I made the mistake of trusting them once when I visited them personally and they told me their plan.

    Never trust a Progressive or anyone displaying any significant amount of political correctness. It is their mind. A deal is never a deal, even if it’s in writing. Never give them any of your business. Do not trust them with anything of value. I have personal and more removed examples, too. It’s rather horrifying.

  56. some science nerd says:

    So then when it get’s peer reviewed and published you guys will accept it? I doubt it.

  57. Chris says:

    “And finally, we have non-thermometer temperature data from so-called “proxies”: tree rings, ice cores, ocean sediments, stalagmites. They don’t show any global warming since 1940!”

    It is demonstrably false and an outright lie to claim paleoclimate proxies show no warming since 1940. Not that I’m caught off guard that Fred Singer is attempting to pass misinformation off as facts.

  58. stevo says:

    It’s pretty obvious that his bold statement about accepting whatever result was based on the strong expectation that their result would conform to his prejudices. He was sure they were going to find less warming than everyone else. When they didn’t, the Watts backlash began.

    “its alleged hypotheses have not produced even one relevant correct, empirically confirmed prediction yet”

    Awesome comment. Tropospheric warming, stratospheric cooling, nights warming more than days, winters warming more than summers, less outgoing mid-IR radiation and more downward mid-IR radiation are among the empirically confirmed predictions. If there were “not even one”, then no-one would subscribe to the theory. But if there were “not even one”, it would mean that the atmosphere, uniquely in the universe, did not obey the laws of physics.

  59. John B says:

    Anthony, Nature did not print a letter from Fred Singer. Singer posted an online comment on their editorial. Very different, wouldn’t you say?

  60. Robert in Calgary says:

    Stevo says….

    “You can argue that they have somehow misbehaved. Maybe that could even be true.”

    It is true.

    Stevo, you seem to have a very shady standard of ethics. Your prejudices seem to driving some very oddball comments.

  61. morbidangel says:

    @John B: Haha, I can only imagine how the Wattsphere would have erupted if a climate scientist had posted a comment on the very same Nature editorial and it was featured on a pro-AGW blog as being ‘printed’ by Nature. Oh snap.

    @Chris: I am a paleoclimatologist and I have seen post-1940 warming with my own samples, forget BEST.

  62. Smokey says:

    stevo says:

    “Tropospheric warming… If there were ‘not even one’, then no-one would subscribe to the theory.”

    The “theory” [actually a conjecture] is falsified by stevo’s own statement, because the tropospheric warming didn’t happen as predicted. Tropospheric warming, the model-predicted “fingerprint of global warming” never appeared, although it was widely predicted by the alarmist crowd. Empirical evidence such as radiosonde balloons showed that the models were wrong.

    So will stevo be a stand-up guy, and per his own statement admit that “no one will subscribe to the ‘theory’”?

    Not a chance.

  63. stevo says:

    Smokey, what a shame you don’t understand what “tropospheric warming” is. It’s what the BEST dataset revealed, that was already shown by the GISS, RSS, HADCRUT and UAH datasets. The greater warming seen at higher altitudes is something different, not specific to greenhouse gas warming but generally expected for any warming in response to external forcing. And also empirically confirmed – see Santer et al. 2008, Intl. J. Climatol., 28, 1703

  64. John B says:

    Smokey,

    You really need to drop the “fingerprint of global warming” trope. Firstly, Stevo was referring to “tropospheric warming”, i.e. the part of the atmosphere in which weather happens, and you are referring to the “tropical tropospheric hotspot”. Secondly, the hotspot, or lack of it, or inabilitiy to measure it, whatever, is NOT a “fingerprint of global warming”, as even Dr Roy Spencer acknowledges:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/10/hotspots-and-fingerprints/

    You are misinterpreting the IPCC figure that is reproduced on the page I linked. The hotspot is a model prediction that arises from any warming, no matter what its cause, as a consequence of adiabatic lapse.

    The real “fingerprint of global warming” is the stratospheric cooling, which you can see in figure (d) and which has been observed.

  65. Gail Combs says:

    stevo says:
    October 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

    If he wasn’t going to accept the results, he shouldn’t have said he would do. He’s going to quite some lengths to rubbish them, even before they are published. You can argue that they have somehow misbehaved. Maybe that could even be true. But the fact remains that he said he would accept the results, and now does not. Why did he say he would?
    __________________________
    Because Anthony made the mistake of thinking they were honest gentlemen.

    Unfortunately Lying Manipulators are much more common then honest gentlemen. It is why most small businessmen now use contracts instead of a handshake (Anthony should have) It is why businesses do not accept checks. Why you have to pay before pumping gas….

    I have had the discussion about the decline in honesty with many small business people over the last decade. I have yet to talk to one who has not noticed the problem.

  66. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @stevo
    October 27, 2011 at 11:20 am
    It’s pretty obvious that his bold statement about accepting whatever result was based on the strong expectation that their result would conform to his prejudices.
    +++++++++

    Perhaps the only one exhibiting prejudices here is you. You seem to be prejudiced against Anthony and are looking for a way to smear him. He has already pointed out that he thinks the main conclusions are correct, howver there are other serious deficiencies with the matter. You seem to think this simple case of BEST behaving badly will create an opportunity for you to stretch anything that happens into something that makes Anthony to appear to not be a man of his word. He entered the ‘relationship’ in good faith. That good faith understanding was created by Muller. Nnow we know Muller was tricking him. Anthony understands that he has been tricked. Any promised induced by false promises are invalid.

    You, Stevo, want to use Muller’s success at tricking Anthony to make it appear than Anthony is somehow ‘wrong’ or ‘unreliable’ on the basis that he was tricked by Muller rather than to put the blame on the one responsible.

    Why would you want to do that, Stevo? Is it because you are prejudiced against the skeptical views Anthony (quite rightly) holds that there is something very fishy about this whole ‘global warming’ panic? My conclusion, based on your statements, is that you are indeed probably prejudiced against certain ideas and people and therefore might not to be considered a reliable witness. You can, of course, change that quite easily.

  67. Ulrich Elkmann says:

    @Larry Fields:
    “I thought that Nature was a Warmist rag.” It WAS. But in the 130 years before, Nature built up a reputation as THE leading organ of science reporting – from confirming the theory of relativity to the announcement of the structure of DNA; publishing a paper on a significant new aspect of how nature worked could be seen as a guarantee for a Nobel prize. Now that the AGW story has fallen apart, in general and in every detail, they find themselves reduced to the level of a fringe political propaganda rag.
    An unenviable position: a sudden U-turn would be a blatant admission of former idiotical advocacy; a gradual backing down looks like obstinate boneheadedness in the face of having been shown up as that idiot.

  68. Gail Combs says:

    David in Georiga says:
    October 27, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Unless I’m mistaken, the BEST temperature reconstruction for the US shows that the LIA did indeed exist, and was fairly deep. If the temperatures in England and Europe also have the LIA in their records (and they do) then we need to also check Asia. Unless the South Hemisphere showed warming of more than a degree C, from 1600 to 1900, then the LIA affected the temperature of then entire globe, and the Mann hockey stick graph is completely refuted….
    _____________________
    Dr John Daly tore the hockey stick apart here: hockey stick: http://www.john-daly.com/hockey/hockey.htm

    His rural stations world wide are here: http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stations.htm

    Dr Daly said the LIA ended 1830. These are the longest running of his rural stations (1800′s) Do not forget Frank Lancer’s work showing the influence of the ocean on coastal temps as you look at these graphs.
    Capetown S. Africa, 1857: http://www.john-daly.com/stations/s-africa.gif
    Kimberley S. Africa, 1897 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/kimberly.gif
    Madagascar, 1889 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/madagasc.gif

    Adelaide Australia 1857 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/adelaide.gif
    Adelaide/Mildura Australia Airport 1857 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/Mildura.gif
    Alice Spring Australia 1879 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/alice-sp.gif
    Cape Otway Australia 1865 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/c-otway.gif
    Wilson’s Promontory Australia 1877 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/wilsons.gif

    Chatman Island NZ http://www.john-daly.com/stations/chatham.gif
    Hokitika NZ http://www.john-daly.com/stations/hokitika.gif

    Bikaner India 1879 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/bikaner.gif
    Darbhanga India 1876 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/gauhati.gif
    Srinagar India 1893 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/srinagar.gif

    Turkmenistan 1883 http://www.john-daly.com/stations/krasnovd.gif

    China http://www.john-daly.com/stations/macao.gif
    China http://www.john-daly.com/stations/nanning.gif

    Japan http://www.john-daly.com/stations/osaka.gif

    RUSSIA:
    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/kirensk.gif
    (1856) http://www.john-daly.com/stations/nikolaev.gif
    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/siberia.gif
    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/salehard.gif
    (1881) http://www.john-daly.com/stations/turuhans.gif

    Also see: http://www.john-daly.com/index.htm (Perhaps the site “Keepers” can point you to the raw data.)

  69. Smokey says:

    John B links to Dr Spencer, who states:

    “I have never been convinced that there is ANY fingerprint of anthropogenic warming.”

    The problem is that the alarmist crowd is the originator of that silly prediction. Now that it’s been falsified, they’ve once again moved the goal posts, this time to stratospheric cooling. Earth to the alarmist crowd: the stratosphere is cold. So I guess you believe that validates your latest scare story.

    In order to rescue their ‘tropospheric hot spot’ prediction, the alarmists are beginning to split hairs within the troposphere. It still doesn’t support them. The models are wrong. So who should we believe? Models? Or our lying eyes?

    The fact is that the planet is still naturally warming from the LIA. There is no testable evidence that the small amount of CO2 emitted by human activity has caused any acceleration of warming. That is honest science, not alarmist scientology.

  70. stevo says:

    [snip. Calling Anthony Watts dishonest, or even implying it, gets you snipped. I've known Anthony for years, and I don't know anyone more honest. This is not your blog, where you can say anything you want. ~dbs, mod.]

  71. stevo says:

    [snip]

  72. avicenna2020 says:

    No body can handle with such phenomenon.

  73. The dividing lines in America become more marked, more pronounced, all the time. What is America heading for?

  74. barry says:

    BEST played Bait and Switch on Anthony. He expected a 30 year period. Without consultation, they substituted a 60 year period.

    Neither Anthony Watts nor his data are central to the BEST project, which looked at far more than the work compiled by surfacestations.org. BEST were not required to ‘consult’ with Anthony about the approach they took. The study is supposed to be independent, and asking permission on how to proceed from anyone outside the group would be completely unsatisfactory. Should the authors have gotten permission from NOAA or GISS about how to treat their data?

    BEST are laying out their data, programs and methods on the web for all to see and tinker with. Rather than whining about what they should have done, critics should roll their sleeves up and do the work they think should be done.

    REPLY: Oh please. Both papers published on the subject used 30 year periods because the siting metadata isn’t valid for 60 years. NOBODY, not me, not NOAA, not BEST has any clue what the siting conditions were 60 years ago. NOAA knew not to do that for the same reasons that I did. But if I had done it, extrapolated siting conditions to 60 years out, I’d be excoriated for doing so. Double standard.

    And you know what? I told them of the issue days before, when they gave me an early copy of the paper, I pointed out that issue and even told them where they made spelling errors. Muller acknowledged receipt but was “too busy” to get those corrections in before the media blitzkrieg. The paper went out, spelling errors and all. Such professionalism.

    They did it wrong, and they dedicated a whole paper to this siting exercise of mine. We’ve already falsified it, and unlike these opportunistic media seekers at BEST we aren’t making a press release, giving pre-release copies to reporters, we aren’t blogging on it, and we aren’t making a scene. We are going through peer review, doing it the right way. Tough noogies if you don’t like it that. And no, I’m not interested in your further opinions on the subject. I get tired of being dissed by people like yourself that don’t have the courage to put their name to their words and do nothing but complain, offering nothing to the work. Man up Barry come out of the closet and have the courage to put your name to your words telling me what I’ve done wrong and why BEST is right, or shut up and wait for us to do the science properly, like BEST should have. Instead they screwed the pooch (as pilots say).

    If you want to comment further, and tell me why I’m wrong, put your name on it buddy. Have the courage to stand up for what you believe in and what you write like I do every day. Then we’ll be on equal terms. Otherwise you are just another anonymous coward wasting my time.

    - Anthony

  75. barry says:

    Speaking of double standards, Anthony, when you apply the ‘anonymous coward’ criticism equally to the myriad anonymous ‘skeptic’ posters here who ridicule and smear and scorn working scientists, there’s a glimmer of a possibility I’ll take this particular bugbear of yours seriously.

    I will continue to post under ‘barry’. If you prohibit my criticism just because it is anonymous then it’s not me who should be manning up. Next post will be substantive, assuming you don’t ban me. I think you make a couple of good points.

    REPLY:
    Diversion. I’m right here, and asking you to be on equal terms, you decline, so I’m not interested. You want the diss without the risk. Coward. Wait for the paper to be published, then you can comment about. it.- Anthony

  76. biddyb says:

    I haven’t been around for a while so someone may have posted this elsewhere, but the UK government (well I assume it is the government, I need to check out who/what “sustainable gov” is) has latched onto the press release and paper with great gusto
    http://www.sustainablegov.co.uk/central-government/energy-and-climate-change/global-warming-sceptics-silenced-by-new-evidence?utm_source=Extravision&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2027/10/11
    Mostly good responses, though, so maybe it has been posted somewhere already.
    Just goes to show the reason why these press releases are made so that they can be picked up by journalists looking for others to do their work for them and quangos, ngos, etc. needing to maintain the world-is-warming-the-end-is-nigh-unless-we-tax-the-beejaysus-out-of-you mantra

  77. Lane Sharman says:

    Many know the historical record of Dr. Singer. He will never admit to a warming trend from man-made causes. It is beyond his mental schema … Exxon-Mobil paid for Dr. Singer’s brain food some time ago … it is really difficult to deny the hand that fed you … and, might feed you again. Data base schemas are reconfigured to admit new field data … same applies to the mental schema … Singer’s owns a mental schema locked into a single model invalidated by new data.

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