Clarification on BEST submitted to the House

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

Also – in case you have not seen it, this new analysis from an independent private climate data company shows how the siting of weather stations affects the data they produce. – Anthony

——————————————————————————————

As many know, there’s a hearing today in the House of Representatives with the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and there are a number of people attending, including Dr. John Christy of UAH and Dr. Richard Muller of the newly minted Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project.

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

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

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

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

A PDF version of the letter below is here: Response_to_Muller_testimony

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

Chairman Ralph Hall

Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

2321 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Figure 1 Findings of siting quality from the surfacestations project

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

Figure2 – USHCN Station in Tucson, AZ

Photograph by surfacestations.org volunteer Warren Meyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The abstract of the 2007 JGR paper reads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthony Watts

Chico, CA

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
guam

Intriguing Post, bad enough to be using corrupted sites, to then quietly eradicate them hoping no one would notice, only to have someone photograph the “vanishing evidence” is too funny for words.
They cant even clean the mess up properly 🙂

John Peter

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

At risk of spoiling your upcoming paper, it might be nice to release at least one figure showing that there is a difference in trend between well sited stations (CRN1 or CRN12) and bad station. Simply playing around with the already released data shows otherwise, and apparently BEST came to similar conclusions using the full set, e.g.: http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/USHCN-CRN.png
Figuring out the difference between the BEST results and your own (and determining which approach is more valid) would help improve the quality of the resulting paper.
REPLY: Zeke, Thanks. Just an FYI, that data back then was ultra preliminary, and had errors in it, which is why I asked NCDC’s Menne not to use it. It had been posted on the website for the sole purpose of showing volunteers what had been surveyed so far, and had not undergone any quality control of any kind. It was never intended for data analysis. – Anthony

Roger Knights

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

It’s a bodge.

Robert

Way to go Anthony! Keep the pressure on!

Mike Bromley

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

John in L du B

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

Alexander K

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

Dr T G Watkins

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

eadler

Here is a link to the testimony,
http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Muller_Testimony_31_March_2011
The key part of Muller’s testimony is the following:
Let me now address the problem of
Poor Temperature Station Quality
Many temperature stations in the U.S. are located near buildings, in parking lots, or close to heat sources. Anthony Watts and his team has shown that most of the current stations in the US Historical Climatology Network would be ranked “poor” by NOAA’s own standards, with error uncertainties up to 5 degrees C.
Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming? We’ve studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no.
The Berkeley Earth analysis shows that over the past 50 years the poor stations in the U.S. network do not show greater warming than do the good stations.
Thus, although poor station quality might affect absolute temperature, it does not appear to affect trends, and for global warming estimates, the trend is what is important.
Our key caveat is that our results are preliminary and have not yet been published in a peer reviewed journal. We have begun that process of submitting a paper to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and we are preparing several additional papers for publication elsewhere.
NOAA has already published a similar conclusion – that station quality bias did not affect estimates of global warming – — based on a smaller set of stations, and Anthony Watts and his team have a paper submitted, which is in late stage peer review, using over 1000 stations, but it has not yet been accepted for publication and I am not at liberty to discuss their conclusions and how they might differ. We have looked only at average temperature changes, and additional data needs to be studied, to look at (for example) changes in maximum and minimum temperatures.
In fact, in our preliminary analysis the good stations report more warming in the U.S. than the poor stations by 0.009 ± 0.009 degrees per decade, opposite to what might be expected, but also consistent with zero. We are currently checking these results and performing the calculation in several different ways. But we are consistently finding that there is no enhancement of global warming trends due to the inclusion of the poorly ranked US stations.

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

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

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

Doug Proctor

By forcing the release of preliminary work, those in charge diminish the impact of the final results and the need to consider seriously any result different from the initial release. Plus the initial release tends, because of human nature, to be less uncertain than the final. I’ve experienced it in industrial science many times.
Those who wish the initial results discussed have an agenda supported by the general conclusion they have heard of. So they go, See! I had it right. Later when the results are more nuanced, you can’t get past the initial enthusiasm for the results, and if your results are different, then you aren’t trustworthy, so they get to dismiss anything different from what they wanted to hear.
It’s a good technique and impossible to avoid if you are dependent on the powers goodwill.

Jessie

Thank you Anthony ….. for your curiosity, your interest and your application. You did this as a citizen and with your responsibilities to your family. Outstanding.
and my thoughts as to the post, more eloquently iterated by Alexander K says: March 31, 2011 at 8:03 am
especially
“c) the BEST team are proceeding with a report to Congress with incomplete data, incomplete testing of methadology, incomplete methadology and without your co-operation which was supposed to be part of the deal.”

Curiousgeorge

This has gotta be the most polite broadside I’ve ever read. 🙂 Nice job, Anthony. 🙂

stephen richards

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

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

juanslayton

…the majority of cooperative observers contacted had no knowledge of their stations being part of the USHCN…
I have been surprised by how many of the observers I talk to are not aware of this. Especially since the weather service maintain a respectable PR effort directed at the COOP volunteers. I would think that inclusion in the USHCN would be a real motivator.

PJB

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

PJB

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

bobbyj0708

I dislike appearing to look like a conspiratorial nutjob but having read Muller’s book “Physics for Future Presidents” I have always doubted the man is impartial about CAGW. When you read his book the chapters on energy, terrorism, nuclear weapons and such are all logical and predicated upon what’s known from a physical standpoint. And then you get to the global warming chapter and it becomes “well, I know that the evidence is sketchy but trust me, I know what I’m talking about”.
I know Muller excoriated Mann and the team on Youtube but I really believe Muller is a dyed in the wool warmist. I don’t trust him. Read his book and see for yourself.

Bowen

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

Robert Austin

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

wsbriggs

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

James Sexton

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

Evan Jones

the majority of cooperative observers contacted had no knowledge of their stations being part of the USHCN
You can go farther than that. Not one of the ~100 people I interviewed knew they were a part of USHCN — including one NWS office! (“We’re part of HCN? I didn’t know that.”) And almost none even knew what USHCN was.
And as Juan says, it is definitely a motivator. Everyone I spoke with was quite intrigued by the news, and one said now he knew that, he’d never miss another reading.

James H

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

Larry Hamlin

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

kwik

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

crosspatch

Wow, and you didn’t even have to get into the whole “removing high altitude and rural stations from the network” thing!
I pass by some salt evaporation ponds owned by Cargill Salt from time to time. There have been what look like portable weather stations next to one of the ponds. The placement of them is interesting in that they have managed to place them on the South side of a line of small railroad cars, sort of like the kind you might see in a mine. Also, directly under the temperature sensor are some black jugs that look like they could hold fuel or something, maybe they are batteries. But every time I pass by those things I look at them and shake my head thinking they did everything they could to make those stations read as warm a temperature as possible.
They are at the far end of Seaport Blvd. in Redwood City if anyone wants to have a peek at them. They are on private property behind a fence but are clearly visible from the road.
They look like they are there in order to obtain data for modeling the evaporation of that water but I would guess they aren’t getting accurate data unless they are attempting to more closely simulate conditions out in the pond itself or something.

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

Coalsoffire

Anthony,
It looks like Muller played you like a violin.
NOAA had to steal your lunch, but Muller talked you out of it.

Stephan

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

izen

I must admit to feeling a little sorry for Dr Muller and the BEST group. Both ‘sides’ of this issue (warmists and skeptics) seem to have got their retaliation in first. Apparently on the assumption that if they declare results that contradict that ‘tribes’ POV they can claim ‘I told you so….’
In fact they seem to be in a no-win situation.
If they confirm that there are problems with the instrumental record and we will have to place more reliance on other measurement sources, satellite and bio-proxies then the AGW crowd will dismiss them as paid shills for partisan politics given the first presentation of their work is for a congress committee of known partiality.
And if they announce that the instrumental record is consistent with all other sources showing a warming climate then the anti-AGW ‘side’ will reject them as tools of the establishment who are cavalier and premature with the work of others and lack transparency in the methods/data used, making announcements in a political forum before openly presenting the scientific methodology in the peer-reviewed literature.

Jeff Carlson

I have no doubt the BEST project is a put on and I think Anthony will do harm to his reputation if he delays withdrawing his support. They are going to use your good name to drive their own agenda.
Based on what you described today they are not acting like scientists and have become advocates …
It appears you may have been hoping to mix your vanilla ice cream with their dog droppings and that the mix results in edible ice cream …
They do not act in good faith sir …

kwik says:
March 31, 2011 at 9:03 am
Is Muller an undercover Warmist? Isn’t it strange how many warmist’s that have german ( DDR?) names? Hansen, Schmidt, ….and Muller???
hehe. Just kidding.

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

Bowen

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

Steve Keohane

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

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

Dwight Eisenhart

Why are we not going to the satellite data at this point in time. It is not affected by UHI biases and has much better coverage. Deep down, I fear the main reason is that the satellite data cannot be manipulated in the same manner to come up with the answer that is desired to meet the AGM message. This is a sad conclusion, but the only one that makes sense to me.
Also, the plots that I have seen of the urban data sets does not show much of an increase. Is there a link to the composite temp data based solely on the urban record alone somewhere??? I have seen some but do not remember where they were.
DDE

Bowen

OK S. says: I’ve been listening to the subcommittee hearing (from the streaming link at CA). March 31, 2011 at 9:11 am
OK S . . . . How about a link to that stream . . . so I can check it out.
REPLY: there’s a link on the BEST FAQs page, I’ll add it to the post also. – A
REPLY2: Well there WAS a link, and now gone. Anybody?

Jeremy

*HEAVY SIGH*
Politics and Science should be as separate as religion and politics.

Dan Zeise

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

juanslayton

CA has a link

eadler

Here is a link to the submitted testimony:
http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Muller_Testimony_31_March_2011
It was working as I write this. I have it downloaded on my computer.
He says that the Anthony’s concern about bad stations didn’t affect the temperature trends, even though it affects the temperatures, based on the BEST team’s analysis, in agreement with what NOAA said about this. He also said that the increase in temperature since 1957 was about 0.7C and of that 0.6 was due to AGW.

DCA

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

DCA

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

eadler

Steve Keohane says:
March 31, 2011 at 9:26 am
From the Executive Summary
We have also studied station quality. Many US stations have low quality rankings
according to a study led by Anthony Watts. However, we find that the warming seen in
the “poor” stations is virtually indistinguishable from that seen in the “good” stations. They must be kidding…
Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming? We’ve
studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no.
Making these kind of statements with such minor analysis, can only support the supposition of a bias, at least a preconception of the outcome, regardless of an analysis. This just removed any optimism I had for an honest look at the numbers.
The number of stations was deemed sufficient to make a comparison between good and bad stations, and he came up with a confidence interval on the comparison.
I realize that you are disappointed that the results didn’t turn out as you have been led to suspect, but what reason do you have to believe that this was not an honest impartial look at the numbers? NOAA did an analysis that showed the same thing. Do you have any other analysis that leads you to believe this is a mistake or dishonesty? Can you provide a link???

Green Sand

izen says:
March 31, 2011 at 9:21 am
I must admit to feeling a little sorry for Dr Muller and the BEST group. Both ‘sides’ of this issue (warmists and skeptics) seem to have got their retaliation in first. Apparently on the assumption that if they declare results that contradict that ‘tribes’ POV they can claim ‘I told you so….’
In fact they seem to be in a no-win situation.

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

bobbyj0708

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

DCA

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