Quote of the week – Judith Curry weighs in on BEST

Whoo boy. Judith writes:

Muller bases his ‘conversion’ on the results of their recent paper?

So, how convincing is the analysis in Rohde et al.’s  new paper A new estimate of the average surface land temperature spanning 1753-2011?   Their analysis is based upon curve fits to volcanic forcing and the logarithm of the CO2 forcing (addition of solar forcing did not improve the curve fit.)

I have made public statements that I am unconvinced by their analysis.  I do not see any justification in their argument for making a stronger attribution statement than has been made by the IPCC AR4.    I have written MANY posts that critique the IPCC’s attribution analysis.  Here I try to give a sense of the challenges in attributing climate change to causal factors.

See her post here.

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49 thoughts on “Quote of the week – Judith Curry weighs in on BEST

  1. “The closest in approach is the Lean and Rind analysis, which considers all of the external forcings (with units, not just curve fits) and discusses their uncertainties.”

    I was unaware that we had discovered them all…

  2. Yeah, I have said for a long time that CO2 forcing, as it currently exists in the science literature, is simply the manifestation of uncertainty. All we do is take what we THINK we know drives climate and assign the remainder the CO2. Bad science.

  3. I think the quote of the week from Dr. Curry should be “No one that I listen to questions that adding CO2 will warm the earth, all other things being equal.”

  4. [REPLY: Yes, but you may also note what may well be an "unprecedented and controversial" BBC act: mentioning Anthony's paper and providing a link as the last word. -REP]

    you think anyone is going to go there???? “sceptical blogger” hardly an invitation to discover more….

    [REPLY: No. Perhaps, though, BBC readers will be curious enough to follow that link… as long as it stays there…. -REP]

  5. The BBC weather man warned us in rural areas of the north of the UK to watch out for a ground frost tonight , It is mid summer for crying out loud – ”global warming’ is freezing our socks off here !

  6. “spurious doubling” in quotes. Does this mean the BBC:
    doesn’t understand what “spurious doubling” means
    didn’t read the paper so don’t know what the hypothesis is for the “spurious doubling”, or
    Read the paper but still didn’t understand the hypothesis?

  7. Trying to fit empirical data to a model with a SINGLE variable is called ‘statistical regression’. Trying to fit empirical data to a model with MULTIPLE variables is called ‘deconvolution.’
    Discerning the difference between deconvolution and lying requires an electron microscope.

  8. Under no circumstances can human activity have any impact on the environment, world ecosystems or global sustainability. And if you truly believe that I have some space acreage I would like to sell you. Enjoy your time on this planet while it lasts as it lasts not.

  9. more soylent green! says:
    July 30, 2012 at 10:08 am
    ======

    FIrst off, there is nobody who believes that more CO2 will not result in more warming. The question is, will that warming be closer to 0.1C or 10.0C.

    So quite with the insulting strawmen.

    Secondly, your attempt to put words into Dr. Curry’s mouth is highly inaccurate and merely points to your inability to actually form an intelligent response.

  10. But, strictly on a business -model- innovation perspective, you’ve got to hand it to Muller.
    (1) claim to be a skeptic who possesses the superior intellect of an astro physicist.
    (2) claim a miraculous conversion upon looking at the data. Make sure people know that unlike those lesser intelligent climate scientists, you looked at the data using the superior intellectual skills of an astrophysicist.
    (3) the media, who find arithmetic challenging, promote Muller to celebrity. After all, he was a skeptic who now validates their world view. Oh, and did I mention he’s an astrophysicist – how dreamy.
    (4) the funding sources, upon.seeing that Muller is a media celebrity who is able and willing to promote the agenda, shower Muller with grant money.

    …a strategy well executed.

  11. Odd how that appeared after my formal complaint to them earlier today, it will be interesting to see what weasely words they try to excuse their biased alarmism with!

  12. MarkW says:

    “FIrst off, there is nobody who believes that more CO2 will not result in more warming. The question is, will that warming be closer to 0.1C or 10.0C. So quite [sic] with the insulting strawmen.”

    I see that MarkW has never heard of Dr. Fernc Miskolczi, a well-known peer reviewed author.

    Dr. Miskolczi gives the temperature rise for a doubling of CO2: 0.00 ºC.

  13. MarkW says:
    July 30, 2012 at 11:21 am
    more soylent green! says:
    July 30, 2012 at 10:08 am
    ======

    FIrst off, there is nobody who believes that more CO2 will not result in more warming. The question is, will that warming be closer to 0.1C or 10.0C.

    So quite with the insulting strawmen.

    Secondly, your attempt to put words into Dr. Curry’s mouth is highly inaccurate and merely points to your inability to actually form an intelligent response.

    First, read under JC Summary, third paragraph on Dr. Curry’s site. (http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/30/observation-based-attribution/) . It’s an exact quote.

    Second, what’s the strawman?

    Third, “secondly” isn’t the proper usage of the word “second.”

  14. MarkW says:
    July 30, 2012 at 11:21 am
    @ more soylent green!: “First off, there is nobody who believes that more CO2 will not result in more warming.”

    First off, you’ve made one hell of an overarching assumption.

  15. “There is a truly stomach-emptying article on this from the BBC today, they even have a quote from Mann!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19047501

    [REPLY: Yes, but you may also note what may well be an "unprecedented and controversial" BBC act: mentioning Anthony's paper and providing a link as the last word. -REP]”

    Three cheers for linking to Anthony’s posting, but stop and just look at the lead graphic in the BBC posting!!!

    Notice the stunning temperature rise caused by human contributed CO2!!!

    Muller et al need to review: http://www.colderside.com/Colderside/Temp_%26_CO2.htm

  16. Bill Tuttle says:

    July 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    MarkW says:
    July 30, 2012 at 11:21 am
    @ more soylent green!: “First off, there is nobody who believes that more CO2 will not result in more warming.”

    First off, you’ve made one hell of an overarching assumption.

    Agreed.

    Also, more CO2 may not result in any measurable warming that can be directly attributed to the additional CO2, at least with our present abilities.

    There may be a lot of folks who agree with that.

  17. I think that giving a link to WUWT is the first indication that Auntie Beeb has lifted her skirts slightly and is making the first moves toward preparing an exit strategy from Warmism as the world refuses to warm and public opinion in the UK mocks the people who say otherwise..

  18. It isn’t proven the human produced CO2 is the reason CO2 levels are rising, despite isotope ratio arguments. There are other potential sources (even larger) than anthropogenic origin. The interesting aspect is the increase in CO2 itself, that is, the fact that the equilibrium has shifted. We know CO2 turns over in about 10 years. So whatever CO2 man has emitted over the last century is largely gone. And yet CO2 levels are still going up. Something else is behind the increase, not our use of fossil fuel.

    Then we get to the question of the significance of CO2 to trapping heat. That’s the work of Mayer, O., et al., Baloney. Water vapor matters and dwarfs any contribution of CO2. Both are variable, not static at any location on the Earth. There is only a tiny window of additional absorption where CO2 may contribute to surface IR absorption beyond that due to water vapor alone. Far more likely CO2 responds to temp change and does not cause any significant change.

  19. The new gold standard in climate science.

    Ignore prior science, ignore unsupportive data, ignore other scientists’ contributions, mess correlation with causation, simplify climate to a single factor, trumpet non reviewed results through willing main stream media, do not allow comments in the Guardian and elsewhere. tell a fairy tale about a converted sceptic and crown the “result” with a very good looking picture and a very convincing name “BEST”. Why do we pay so dearly for climate science, if main stream media get all they desire from a Mr. Mueller ?

  20. MarkW says:
    July 30, 2012 at 11:21 am

    more soylent green! says:
    July 30, 2012 at 10:08 am
    ======

    FIrst off, there is nobody who believes that more CO2…….
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Mark, if you haven’t figured this out yet, Soylent is a fellow skeptic. It was the qualifier Curry used which we should notice, (all things being equal).

    Personally, I’m one of them who believe the earth is self regulating, and in the end, we’ll see minimum or no change.

  21. tomwys says: “Three cheers for linking to Anthony’s posting, but stop and just look at the lead graphic in the BBC posting!!!”

    I couldn’t believe it either! A bit of passive aggression maybe–toward the PC media agenda?

  22. I see someone said that no one thought that adding more CO2 would not cause a rise in temps. Well, I guess I must confess that I am skeptical of that. There must be an upper limit to what warming CO2 can do. Any lab experiments that show this?

  23. I’m repeating my prior post with the correct link at the end (I inadvertently deleted the last character!)

    tomwys says:
    July 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    “There is a truly stomach-emptying article on this from the BBC today, they even have a quote from Mann!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19047501

    [REPLY: Yes, but you may also note what may well be an "unprecedented and controversial" BBC act: mentioning Anthony's paper and providing a link as the last word. -REP]”

    Three cheers for linking to Anthony’s posting, but stop and just look at the lead graphic in the BBC posting!!!

    Notice the stunning temperature rise caused by human contributed CO2!!!

    Muller et al need to review: http://www.colderside.com/Colderside/Temp_%26_CO2.html

  24. A point which Muller seems to miss is that (assuming his data is correct) he has proved that CO2 concentrations rose when it was warmer in the pre-industrial era, and fell when it was cooler. This without any significant human input. Therefore, what he has (inadvertently) said is that year-2000 temperatures would have given rise to year-2000 CO2 levels anyway, with absolutely no help from us!

    If that is true, then it suggests that recent human CO2 emissions CANNOT be the driver for temperature changes. Instead it seems to confirm the Vostok findings, that CO2 levels depend on temperature. Albeit in this case with less delay involved.

    Basically a footshooting exercise for the cAGW promoters, once the implications are understood.

  25. heard on BBC radio last nite in quick succession:

    second last question. Sackur mocks the PM about what she is doing about the most fundamental question facing Bangladesh. global warming which threatens the loss of everything for 30 million Bangladeshis from sea level rise:

    BBC: Hardtalk: Bangladesh PM: Government ‘never indulges in corruption’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9741427.stm

    podcast: with “Pulitzer-prize winning” MSM “journo” Steve Coll, as BBC describes him – on his book on Exxon; how Exxon funded the “anti-science” side of CAGW, tho details are hard to obtain? how Exxon were deniers but changed position in 2009:

    BBC: Business Daily: Exxon Mobil
    The climate change policies of America’s biggest oil company, Exxon Mobil.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/bizdaily

  26. for those who don’t want to download the BBC’s Exxon podcast.
    “Americans’ belief in climate change”? pumped millions into “studies”? Hochschild is not exactly objective:

    8 June: NYT: Adam Hochschild: Well-Oiled Machine
    ‘Private Empire,’ Steve Coll’s Book About Exxon Mobil
    For some years, the company claimed that human contributions to global warming were negligible and gave millions of dollars to organizations that churned out studies accordingly. In the last few years, the corporation has subtly, gradually pulled its head out of the sand on this issue, not admitting earlier errors but simply stressing that the world’s economies still demand huge amounts of oil and gas — which is, alas, true.
    Exxon Mobil executives care less about Americans’ belief in climate change, Coll suggests, than they do about Americans’ belief in punitive damages from lawsuits…
    Despite these quibbles, the book assuredly does what it sets out to do: show the inner workings of one of the Western world’s most significant concentrations of unelected power. And just how that power is wielded matters enormously because oil companies play such a crucial role in the carbon economy to which we are so fatefully attached

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/books/review/private-empire-steve-colls-book-about-exxon-mobil.html?pagewanted=all

  27. The Curry statement…”No one that I listen to questions that additional CO2 will warm the Earth”….is clarified by the statement….”robust observationally constrained quantification of the contributions of different forcings”.

    You ‘constrain observations’ with the false hypothesis that CO2 captures or redirects more energy leaving the planet than that same CO2 can capture or redirect as sunlight entering the planet system. The vibrational ‘capture’ time is a billionth of a second, with transfer to N2O2 lasting several more billionths of a second. At that point, radiational energ is converted to kinetic, convective energy that is NOT heading downward, unless part of a warm air mass being blown over a colder Earth surface. “No one that I LISTEN TO QUESTIONS CELESTIAL SPHERES”. Amazing how flat the Earth hypothesis advocates constrain not just ‘observation’ but dialogue. There is NO Carbon forcing from any level of CO2. The 350 trillion cubic miles of 2500F molten rock and 310 million cubic miles of 4F ocean couldn’t be bothered with this trailing factor trace gas….get over it. Refusing to ‘listen’ is an ineffective debate tactic for the underqualified.

  28. It is quite remarkable what type of characters have been attracted by the unprecedented money and attention from this primitive branch of science. Another Gleick moment in climate science.

  29. Hoser, the Warmistas use the following argument: “We have eliminated all other causes for warming, that only leaves CO2″.

    There are obvious flaws with this argument.

    a) It assumes that the complex processes of the atmosphere are fully understood.
    b) That the initial conditions are fully known to total precision

    The proper scientific approach is for them to DISPROVE the null hypothesis, that the observed changes are insignificant, not unusual and explicable by natural processes i.e. that the changes are natural.

  30. So Curry and McIntyre both reviewed and rejected the BEST “paper”, and it has not been published. Funny what happens to “climate science” when the peer review system operates the way it should. Muller’s media push is not BEST’s preliminary effort, it’s the whole thing, so he (and sweet Elizabeth, his controller) are making the best of it.

  31. P.S. It’s notable that both Watts and McIntyre were mislead and screwed around by the BEST team, and then considered themselves absolved from playing nice with confidentiality. Something similar happened with Curry.

    Muller seems to burn bridges with great abandon. I wonder if there’re more to come …

  32. Robert of Ottawa says:
    July 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Hoser, the Warmistas use the following argument: ‘We have eliminated all other causes for warming, that only leaves CO2′.

    “There are obvious flaws with this argument.”

    Exactly right. That is a textbook example of the Argument ad Ignorantium, the argument from ignorance fallacy: ‘Since we can’t think of any other reason, then the cause must be due to CO2.’

    Nonsense. The coincidental rise of CO2 with the natural global warming since the Little Ice Age has not caused the temperature trend [the green line] to accelerate.

    If a 40% rise in CO2 causes no acceleration of temperature, the obvious conclusion is that the effect of CO2 is negligible; it is too small to measure. If the USHCN is the “gold standard”, why is there so little corellation with CO2?

    And here is the BEST graph, with both before and after temperature ‘adjustments’. Were Muller and Curry being honest? Or were they simply cementing their position at the public grant trough?

    Draw your own conclusions.

  33. But not everyone thinks adding co2 causes warming. It does cause an addition downward flux of energy. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to warming:

    “Reginald Newell, MIT, NASA, IAMAP, co2 and cooling”

  34. Mpaul says (July 30, 2012 at 11:36 am): “But, strictly on a business -model- innovation perspective, you’ve got to hand it to Muller.
    (1) claim to be a skeptic who possesses the superior intellect of an astro physicist.”

    Muller: “Hello. I’m very skeptical of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming claims!”

    Alarmist: “Hello. You should reconsider, because there’s much more money in alarmism and–”

    Muller: “Stop! Stop. You had me at ‘hello’.”

  35. @jmotivator: You wrote: [Yeah, I have said for a long time that CO2 forcing, as it currently exists in the science literature, is simply the manifestation of uncertainty. All we do is take what we THINK we know drives climate and assign the remainder the CO2. Bad science.] Bingo! This could be the best statement that sums up the junk that passes for science which drives our economy down the tubes!

  36. The Sydney Morning Herald website seems to have withdrawn its article from earlier today claiming that Australian climate sceptics were still ‘defiant’ after Muller’s self-aggrandizing stunt. Perhaps they realised that it was too much like ‘defying’ a dead sheep.

  37. Muller was on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio, at prime time tonight and was presented as the “denier who saw the light” he characterised himself as a sceptic of AGW who has had his road to Damascus experience. Mann was on the CBC a couple of months ago promoting his new book. There was hardly a dry eye in the house as he railed against the nasty deniers but he didn’t mention Muller – funny that.

  38. “The 350 trillion cubic miles of 2500F molten rock and 310 million cubic miles of 4F ocean couldn’t be bothered with this trailing factor trace gas….get over it.”

    Shouldn’t that “4F” be “4 degrees C”?

  39. corio37 says:
    July 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    The Sydney Morning Herald website seems to have withdrawn its article from earlier today claiming that Australian climate sceptics were still ‘defiant’ after Muller’s self-aggrandizing stunt. Perhaps they realised that it was too much like ‘defying’ a dead sheep.

    BESTED & BUSTED!

    I think THAT’S the quote of the week!

  40. That is indeed a very astute observation regarding the BBC, as one commenter made earlier. For those in the MSM to finally admit or recognise a major site such as WUWT, which is against their CAGW scare program, speaks volumns.
    One wonders if the light is finally dawning on their false, self invented religion. We will have to wait and see. There does not seem to be too much argument against Anthony’s new research paper either. Maybe they now have nothing left to argue with except what their imaginations can formulate.

  41. Muller is wining the PR war , does anyone think that the news agencies will revisit this story once the actual work of BEST breaks cover , especial if on review its found to be nonsense?

  42. pat says:
    July 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    for those who don’t want to download the BBC’s Exxon podcast…..
    ____________________________
    Pat, do not forget the Rockefeller family exerts quite a bit of influence on Exxon link The Rockefellers also helped fund CRU link

    It seems the Rockefeller Foundation also funded Ludwig von Mises during his first years in the USA
    link Perhaps a bit of “Controlled Opposition” comes into play. After all how can the dumb activists shout the “Evil Deniers are funded by Big Oil” if Big Oil funding does not exist at least in part? Shell and BP funding of CRU, a Shell oil VP (Ged Davis) being a facilitator of the last IPCC emissions scenarios as well as big oil Mogul Maurice Strong chairing the First Earth Summit and Kyoto would sure make them look really really divorced from reality if they could not point to the meager funding doled out the Heartland by Exxon.

  43. Dr. Judith Curry should have been able to point to an experiment that quantified the contribution of CO2 to warming. I’ve spent a lot of hours on the internet looking for just such an experiment. So far all I’ve found is the Mythbusters video. A search for “spectroscopy of carbon dioxide” didn’t yield useful results either. Help anyone?

    If at present levels of CO2 the atmosphere is already nearly opaque to radiation in part of the mid-IR and all of the far-IR regions, how is increased CO2 going to change this?

    My main problem with ACO2 warming comes from the Vostok ice cores. The lags can be plausibly explained, but what about the highly elevated CO2 levels maintained for thousands of years after substantial temperature drops?

    (I’m posting this same comment on a Climate Charlatan site to see who gives the better answer. WUWT is more tolerant of dissent but not particularly helpful to those of us wishing to learn.)

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