The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project puts PR before peer review

UPDATE: see this new story

BEST: What I agree with and what I disagree with – plus a call for additional transparency to prevent “pal” review

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Readers may recall this post last week where I complained about being put in a uncomfortable quandary by an author of a new paper. Despite that, I chose to honor the confidentiality request of the author Dr. Richard Muller, even though I knew that behind the scenes, they were planning a media blitz to MSM outlets. In the past few days I have been contacted by James Astill of the Economist, Ian Sample of the Guardian, and Leslie Kaufman of the New York Times. They have all contacted me regarding the release of papers from BEST today.

There’s only one problem: Not one of the BEST papers have completed peer review.

Nor has one has been published in a journal to my knowledge, nor is the one paper I’ve been asked to comment on in press at JGR, (where I was told it was submitted) yet BEST is making a “pre-peer review” media blitz.

One willing participant to this blitz, that I spent the last week corresponding with, is James Astill of The Economist, who presumably wrote the article below, but we can’t be sure since the Economist has not the integrity to put author names to articles:

The full article is here. Apparently, Astill has never heard of the UAH and RSS Global Temperature records, nor does he apparently know that all the surface temperature records come from one source, NCDC.

Now compare that headline and subtitle to this line in the article:

It will be interesting to see whether this makes it past the review process.

And, The Economist still doesn’t get it. The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question, it is the magnitude and causes.

I was given a pre-release draft copy of one of the papers, related to my work as a courtesy. It contained several errors, some minor (such as getting the name of our paper wrong i.e. Fell et al in several places, plus a title that implied global rather than USA) some major enough to require revision (incorrect time period comparisons).

I made these errors known to all the players, including the journal editor, and the hapless Astill, who despite such concerns went ahead with BEST’s plan for a media blitz anyway. I was told by a BEST spokesperson that all of this was “coordinated to happen on October 20th”.

My response, penned days ago, went unheeded as far as I can tell, because I’ve received no response from Muller or the Journal author. Apparently, PR trumps the scientific process now, no need to do that pesky peer review, no need to address the errors with those you ask for comments prior to publication, just get it to press.

This is sad, because I had very high hopes for this project as the methodology is looked very promising to get a better handle on station discontinuity issues with their “scalpel” method. Now it looks just like another rush to judgement, peer review be damned.

Below is my response along with the draft paper from BEST, since the cat is publicly out of the bag now, I am not bound by any confidentiality requests. Readers should note I have not seen any other papers (there may be up to 4, I don’t know the BEST website is down right now) except the one that concerns me.

My response as sent to all media outlets who sent requests for comment to me:

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In contradiction to normal scientific method and protocol, I have been asked to provide public commentary to a mass media outlet (The Economist) on this new paper. The lead author,  Dr. Richard Muller has released me from a previous request of confidentiality on the matter in a written communication on 10/14/2011. 10/15/2011 at 4:07PM PST in an email.  The paper in question is:

Earth Atmospheric Land Surface Temperature and  Station Quality [Tentative title, may have changed] by Muller et al 2011, submitted to the AGU JGR Atmospheres Journal, which apparently has neither completed peer review on the paper nor has it been accepted for publication by JGR.

Since the paper has not completed peer review yet, it would be inappropriate for me to publicly comment on the conclusions, especially in light of a basic procedural error that has been discovered in the methodology that will likely require a rework of the data and calculations, and thus the conclusions may also change. The methodology however does require comment.

The problem has to do with the time period of the data used, a time period which is inconsistent with two prior papers cited as this Muller et al paper being in agreement with. They are:

Fall et al (2011), Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends J. Geophys. Res.

http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/r-367.pdf

and

Menne et al  (2010), On the reliability of the U.S. surface temperature record, J. Geophys. Res.

Both papers listed above (and cited by Muller et al) do an analysis over a thirty year time period while the Muller et al paper uses data for comparison from 1950 – 2010 as stated on lines 142-143:

“We calculated the mean temperature from 1950 to the present for each of these sites, and subtracted the mean of the poor sites from the OK sites.”

I see this as a basic failure in understanding the limitations of the siting survey we conducted on the USHCN, rendering the Muller et al paper conclusions highly uncertain, if not erroneous.

There is simply no way siting quality can be established as static for that long. The USHCN survey was based on photographs and site surveys starting in of 2007, plus historical metadata. Since the siting of COOP stations change as volunteers move, die, or discontinue their service, we know the record of siting stability to be tenuous over time. This is why we tracked only from 1979 and excluded stations whose locations were unknown prior to 2002. 1979 represented the practical limit of which we assumed we could reasonably ascertain siting conditions by our survey.

We felt that the further back the station siting changes occurred, the more uncertainty was introduced into the analysis, thus we limited meaningful comparisons of temperature data to siting quality to thirty years, starting in 1979.

Our ratings from surfacestations.org are assumed to be valid for the 1979 – 2008 period, but with Muller et all doing analysis from 1950, it renders the station survey data moot since neither Menne et al nor Fall et al made any claim of the station survey data being representative prior to 1979. The comparisons made in Muller et al are inappropriate because they are outside of the bounds of our station siting quality data set.

Also, by using a 60 year period, Muller et al spans two 30 year climate normals periods, thus further complicating the analysis. Both Menne et al and Fall et al spanned only one.

Because of the long time periods involved in Muller et al analysis, and because both Menne et al and Fall et al made no claims of knowing anything about siting quality prior to 1979, I consider the paper fatally flawed as it now stands, and thus I recommend it be removed from publication consideration by JGR until such time that it can be reworked.

For me to comment on the conclusions of Muller et al would be inappropriate until this time period error is corrected and the analysis reworked for time scale appropriate comparisons.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature analysis methodology is new, and may yield some new and potentially important results on siting effects once the appropriate time period comparisons are made. I welcome the BEST effort provided that appropriate time periods are used that match our work. But, by using time period mismatched comparisons, it becomes clear that the Muller et al paper in its current form lost the opportunity for a meaningful comparison.

As I was invited by The Economist to comment publicly, I would recommend rejecting Muller et al in the current form and suggest that it be resubmitted with meaningful and appropriate 30 year comparisons for the same time periods used by the Menne et al and Fall et al cited papers. I would be happy to review the paper again at that time.

I also believe it would be premature and inappropriate to have a news article highlighting the conclusions of this paper until such time meaningful data comparisons are produced and the paper passes peer review. Given the new techniques from BEST, there may be much to gain from a rework of the analysis limited to identical thirty year periods used in Menne et al and Fall et al.

Thank you for your consideration, I hope that the information I have provided will be helpful in determining the best course of action on this paper.

Best Regards,

Anthony Watts

cc list: James Astill, The Economist, Dr. Joost DeGouw, JGR Atmospheres editor, Richard A. Muller, Leslie Kaufman, Ian Sample

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Despite my concerns, The Economist author James Astill told me that “the issue is important” and decided to forge ahead, and presumably produced the article above.

Here is the copy of the paper I was provided by Richard Muller. I don’t know if they have addressed my concerns or not, since I was not given any follow up drafts of the paper.

BEST_Station_Quality (PDF 1.2 MB)

I assume the journalists that are part of the media blitz have the same copy.

I urge readers to read it in entirety and to comment on it, because as Dr. Muller wrote to me:

I know that is prior to acceptance, but in the tradition that I grew up in (under Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez) we always widely distributed “preprints” of papers prior to their publication or even submission.  That guaranteed a much wider peer review than we obtained from mere referees.

Please keep it confidential until we post it ourselves.

They want it widely reviewed. Now that The Economist has published on it, it is public knowledge.

There might be useful and interesting work here done by BEST, but I find it troubling that they can’t wait for science to do its work and run the peer review process first. Is their work so important, so earth shattering, that they can’t be bothered to run the gauntlet like other scientists? This is post normal science at its absolute worst.

In my opinion, this is a very, very, bad move by BEST. I look forward to seeing what changes might be made in peer review should these papers be accepted and published.

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UPDATE: Judith Curry, who was co-author to some of these papers, has a post on it here

Also I know that I’ll be critcized for my position on this, since I said back in March that I would accept their findings whatever they were, but that was when I expected them to do science per the scientific process.

When BEST approached me, I was told they were doing science by the regular process, and that would include peer review. Now it appears they have circumvented the scientific process in favor of PR.

For those wishing to criticize me on that point, please note this caveat in my response above:

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature analysis methodology is new, and may yield some new and potentially important results on siting effects once the appropriate time period comparisons are made. I welcome the BEST effort provided that appropriate time periods are used that match our work. But, by using time period mismatched comparisons, it becomes clear that the Muller et al paper in its current form lost the opportunity for a meaningful comparison.

Given the new techniques from BEST, there may be much to gain from a rework of the analysis limited to identical thirty year periods used in Menne et al and Fall et al.

My issue has to do with the lost opportunity of finding something new, the findings may agree, or they may be different if run on the same time periods. I think it is a fair question to ask since my peer reviewed paper (Fall et al) and NOAA’s (Menne et al) paper both used 30 year periods.

If BEST can run their comparison on the 30 year period for which our data is valid, instead of 60 years, as stated before, I’ll be happy to accept the results, whatever they are. I’m only asking for the correct time period to be used. Normally things like this are addressed in peer review, but BEST has blown that chance by taking it public first before such things can be addressed.

As for the other papers supposedly being released today, I have not seen them, so I can’t comment on them. There may be good and useful work here, but it is a pity they could not wait for the scientific process to decide that.

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UPDATE2: 12:08 PM BEST has sent out their press release, below:

The Berkeley Earth team has completed the preliminary analysis of the land surface temperature records, and our findings are now available on the Berkeley Earth website, together with the data and our code at

www.BerkeleyEarth.org/resources.php.

Four scientific papers have been submitted to peer reviewed journals, covering the following topics:

1. Berkeley Earth Temperature Averaging Process

2. Influence of Urban Heating on the Global Temperature Land Average

3. Earth Atmospheric Land Surface Temperature and Station Quality in the United States

4. Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures

By making our work accessible and transparent to both professional and amateur exploration, we hope to encourage feedback and further analysis of the data and our findings.  We encourage every substantive question and challenge to our work in order to enrich our understanding of global land temperature change, and we will attempt to address as many inquiries as possible.

If you have questions or reflections on this phase of our work, please contact, info@berkeleyearth.org.  We look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Muller

Founder and Executive Director

Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature

www.berkeleyearth.org

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

I’m still happy to accept the results, whatever they might be, all I’m asking for is an “apples to apples” comparison of data on the 30 year time period.

They have a new technique, why not try it out on the correct time period?

UPDATE4: Apparently BEST can’t be bothered to fix basic errors, even though I pointed them out, They can’t even get the name of our paper right:

http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_Station_Quality

I sent an email over a week ago advising of the error in names, got a response, and they still have not fixed it, what sort of quality is this? Fell et all? right under figure 1

And repeated six times in the document they released today.

Sheesh. Why can’t they be troubled to fix basic errors? This is what peer review is for. Here’s my email from October 6th

—–Original Message—–
From: Anthony Watts- ItWorks
Date: Thursday, October 06, 2011 3:25 PM
To: Richard A Muller
Subject: Re: Our paper is attached
Dear Richard,
Thank you for the courtesy, correction:  Fell et al needs to be corrected to
Fall et al in several occurrences.
When we complete GHCN (which we are starting on now) we’ll have a greater
insight globally.
Best Regards,
Anthony Watts

Here is the reply I got from Dr. Muller

—–Original Message—–
From: Richard A Muller
Date: Friday, October 14, 2011 3:35 PM
To: Anthony Watts- ItWorks
Subject: Re: Our paper is attached
Anthony,
We sent a copy to only one media person, from The Economist, whom we trust to keep it confidential.  I sent a copy to you because I knew you would also keep it confidential.
I apologize for not having gotten back to you about your comments.  I particularly like your suggestion about the title; that is an improvement.
Rich
On Oct 14, 2011, at 3:04 PM, Anthony Watts- ItWorks wrote:
> Dear Richard,
>
> I sent a reply with some suggested corrections. But I have not heard back
> from you.
>
> Does the preprints peer review you speak of for this paper include sending
> copies to media?
>
> Best Regards,
>
>
> Anthony Watts

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UPDATE 5: The Guardian writer Ian Samples writes in this article:

The Berkeley Earth project has been attacked by some climate bloggers, who point out that one of the funders is linked to Koch Industries, a company Greenpeace called a “financial kingpin of climate science denial“.

Reader AK writes at Judth Curry’s blog:

I’ve just taken a quick look at the funding information for the BEST team, which is:

Funded through Novim, a 501(c)(3) corporation, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study has received a total of $623,087 in financial support.

Major Donors include:

– The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund ($20,000)

– William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation ($100,000)

– Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (created by Bill Gates) ($100,000)

– Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000)

– The Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation ($50,000)

We have also received funding from a number of private individuals, totaling $14,500 as of June 2011.

In addition to donations:

This work was supported in part by the Director, Office of Science, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 ($188,587)

So now (pending peer-review and publication) we have the interesting situation of a Koch institution, a left-wing boogy-man, funding an unbiased study that confirms the previous temperature estimates, “consistent with global land-surface warming results previously reported, but with reduced uncertainty.

The identities of the people involved with these two organizations can be found on their websites. Let the smirching begin.

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JeffC
October 20, 2011 10:51 am

I warned you that this would happen when they asked you to assist … I hope you really aren’t suprised to have gotten fleas from these dogs …

REPLY:
I took the BEST team at their word, without ascribing motives. Perhaps they started out with the best of intentions, but got paved along the way. – Anthony

October 20, 2011 10:51 am

Yawn. World is not warming.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001
Courtesy of HadCRUT, the IPCC prominent global dataset.
REPLY: The world HAS warmed in the past century, but not in the last 10 years according to the HadCRUT data you offer in the plot above- Anthony

peetee
October 20, 2011 11:01 am

Certainly, the absence of peer-review is a telling criticism… clearly, in the absence of peer-review a rigorous pass through SPPI should have been pursued!
REPLY: or maybe WWF or Greenpeace or IPCC?

Paddy
October 20, 2011 11:08 am

The BEST group are a collection of academics rent seekers flying the false flageof rational and ethical scientists.

Gary
October 20, 2011 11:08 am

The BEST analysis? WORSE than we thought.
Were graduate students involved?

Septic Matthew
October 20, 2011 11:12 am

the Economist has not the integrity to put author names to articles
That’s not an issue of “integrity”. Sometimes they publish critical letters. Send them a letter and see whether they publish it. If they don’t, you can put it up here.

crosspatch
October 20, 2011 11:17 am

Despite my concerns, The Economist author James Astill told me that “the issue is important”

Yep, highly important that we get this information out while it still validates the meme, no sense in waiting for a correction that might produce a different result.
Sheeesh.

Toto
October 20, 2011 11:17 am

(BTW, toto is a different person)
Looking on the bright side, Richard Muller is just confirming what we already knew: peer review sucks (and pal review sucks more). pal-MSM review is not going to help though; he’s daft if he thinks that will help the science. I do like the phrase “mere referees”.

Bloke down the pub
October 20, 2011 11:24 am

It seems like there is some international deadline approaching whereby the Team feel the need to get all their cards on the table as quickly as possible.
REPLY: Probably COP17 in Durban. I was excoriated for suggesting the media blitz of papers leading up to Copenhagen in 2009 was “coordinated”, we’ll see how this plays out. – Anthony

Jeff D
October 20, 2011 11:25 am

A little saying in my office that we have come to live by.
There are two types in the world Squirrels and Skunks. You can run up and hug a squirrel with no danger of being sprayed. You can even hug a skunk but knowing he is a skunk allows you to protect yourself if he decides he wants to spray you.
The one that scares us is the skunk that looks like a squirrel. And the world is full of them……

Ged
October 20, 2011 11:27 am

@Septic Matthew
“That’s not an issue of “integrity”. Sometimes they publish critical letters. Send them a letter and see whether they publish it. If they don’t, you can put it up here”
Errr, what? The Economist isn’t putting the author name on the articles it publishes, that’s what Anthony is talking about. It has nothing to do with publishing critical letters, but allowing correct attribution of written works so one knows who is behind what penned piece. And that is a matter of “integrity”. I personally don’t see it as a big issue, though.

toto
October 20, 2011 11:27 am

The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question,
Could you please point that out to Fred “myth of rising temperatures” Singer?

REPLY:
He may have been referring to the last 10 years, see graph in comment above. – Anthony

Theo Barker
October 20, 2011 11:27 am

Post-normal science has been biting us since at least 1946.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/at-work/education/radiations-big-lie

October 20, 2011 11:30 am

Rather than snow, peer review is a thing of the past. And The Economist has used “the heat is on” so many times, it makes me sick.

October 20, 2011 11:30 am
Gil Dewart
October 20, 2011 11:30 am

As with comedy, and there is a lot of that here (apparently unintentional), timing is all-important. Over what time span is it, or was it, or will it be getting warmer or cooler or whatever. If there is any purpose at all here it seems to be obfuscation.

William
October 20, 2011 11:33 am

The Economist article could have noted that there is in the paleoclimate record cycles of warming and cooling.
The Economist article could have noted there was been no warming for the last 10 years.
The Economist article could have noted that for some unexplained reason sea level has started to fall.
The Economist article could have noted that there are published papers that provide data and analysis support the assertion the planet’s total feedback response to a change in forcing is negative (planetary cloud increases when the planet is warmer) rather than positive (planet amplifies temperature changes). If the planetary feedback response is negative, rather than positive the warming due to a doubling of CO2 will be around 1C.
The Economist article could have noted that skeptics do not dispute that the planet has warmed in the last part of the twentieth. The question is how much of the 20th century warming has due factors other than CO2 and how much will the planet warm in the future due to CO2 increases.
The three hypotheses that have been floated to explain the lack of warming in the last 10 year.
1. Increased sulfur dioxide emissions from China. (Does not explain why most of the warming has occurred at high latitudes particularly in Northern Latitudes.)
2. Increased volcanic activity in the equatorial region. (This paper noted that analysis of top of atmosphere radiation did not support hypothesis 1.
3. Heat is moving to the deep ocean. No explanation as to why the heat is suddenly moving to the deep ocean. No explanation as to why sea level is now dropping.
Copied from the above comment, ncluding Anthony’s reply to the above comment:
” Yawn. World is not warming.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001
Courtesy of HadCRUT, the IPCC prominent global dataset.
REPLY: The world HAS warmed in the past century, but not in the last 10 years according to the HadCRUT data you offer in the plot above- Anthony”

Scott Covert
October 20, 2011 11:34 am

What ever happened to objective journalism? You write both sides of a story and let the reader decide what is true. All I see here is blind acceptance on one side and putting words in the mouths of skeptics on the other. I think most skeptics agree that the earth is warming since the LIA and CO2 does indeed absorb some infrared energy.
There is more to the debate than is it warming or not and frankly warming is not debatable, “global warming” is but a warming trend in the instrument/ proxy record is clear. What is most certinly not clear is any negative consequences that are unavoidable.

rw
October 20, 2011 11:35 am

Is there any commentary in the paper as to why the DMI Arctic temperature records show no net warming after 50 years? Isn’t this where the warming should be most pronounced?
I’m also troubled by the many rural temperature records I’ve seen (from 3 continents) which indicate that the hottest decade of the 20th century may have been the 30’s.
Most of all I’m bothered by the subtext in all of this: that careful measurement isn’t really required – averaging will always do the trick.
Toto, peer review isn’t perfect, but in my experience it’s usually adequate. (Recall W. Churchill’s remark about democracy: that it’s the worst political system in the world, except for every other one that’s been tried). The trouble comes if an entire field has become too politicized and polarized; then all bets are off and we’re into post-normal (or is it post-modern?) science.

DirkH
October 20, 2011 11:35 am

Probably Muller hopes to re-ignite the AGW panic to sell some geo-engineering ideas.
http://jer-skepticscorner.blogspot.com/2011/04/best-novim-and-other-solution.html
http://www.mullerandassociates.com/index.php

JEM
October 20, 2011 11:36 am

The Economist has been pushing for carbon taxation for years, it would be expecting far too much for them to change their tune.

Bill Illis
October 20, 2011 11:37 am

The paper doesn’t say what smoothing parametre/program they used.
From my work with US temperatures I know the US temperature anomaly is extremely variable. It needs to be smoothed over 12 or more months to approximate what Best has charted. This is not described in the paper or perhaps it is also in the unpublished to date Rohde et al 2011.
For example, this is what the strict (unsmoothed) monthly anomaly for the US looks like (to March 2011).
http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/348/usmonthlyanomnomvavgmar.png

TheGoodLocust
October 20, 2011 11:37 am

So, who got it in their BEST little heads that they needed to have a “media blitz?” Perhaps this is what they are being taught in all those courses and seminars telling them how they need to communicate the dangers of global warming better.
I’d be curious if they’ve had any contact with members of Realclimate – and all the manipulation that goes along with them.

GaryM
October 20, 2011 11:37 am

BEST appears simply to be another manifestation of the climate science rapid response methodology. It was not about doing science, but was a PR response on the issue of uncertainty in the temperature record raised by the surfacestations.org project. It was done as rapidly as possible – Muller testifying about preliminary conclusions just before the publication of Fall et al (2011) being the most obvious previous evidence.
I wonder if the timing of this media blitz has anything to do with some other climate news currently being widely discussed, the release of Donna Laframboise’’s new book on the dysfunctional IPCC? It’s all about controlling the message.

Eric Barnes
October 20, 2011 11:39 am

Below is a quote from the conclusion section of the BEST paper. Note the use of the weasel words, “may” and “unduly”. IMO, if the paper can’t even make a proper conclusion, it’s junk. It doesn’t even need to be taken seriously.
“conclude that poor station quality in the United States does not unduly bias estimates
of land surface average monthly temperature trends. No similar study is possible for the rest
of the world because we do not have indicators of good/bad station quality;
however, the lack of a significant difference in US stations suggests that such effects may
be minimal.”

rw
October 20, 2011 11:40 am

I suggest a change of acronym to BESTS: the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Show.

October 20, 2011 11:42 am

Is this a scientific study or a statistical analysis/manipulation aka “math”? Politicians use statistics. Perhaps we actually need “iteratively re-weighted” scientific studies before some biased outlet like The Economist spews their propaganda. So, we have NYT, The Guardian, and The Economist seeking quotes. Makes me think the paper contributors sat in a room and discussed who should get copies so that their position would pass “media review.” Maybe one of the contributors could weigh in…or iteratively re-weigh in on this.

Mack
October 20, 2011 11:43 am

I love how the cartoon depicts lab-coated and expedition-garbed scientists in the field recording temperature data on clipboards–not by volunteers.

CinbadtheSailor
October 20, 2011 11:44 am

“REPLY: The world HAS warmed in the past century, but not in the last 10 years according to the HadCRUT data you offer in the plot above- Anthony”
I was under the impression that Satellite data and Argo data also showed no significant temperature rise in the last 10 years

Laurie Bowen
October 20, 2011 11:46 am

Can’t win a “war” if there is no war . . . can’t have a war if there is no “enemy” . . . don’t have an “enemy” . . . . make one??

P Wilson
October 20, 2011 11:46 am

the world has warmed in the last century, but not the last 10 years.
So say you Anthony, and that those timescales invoke others. 1850-1875 was the coldest period of the entire Holocene and the 19th century was a particularly chilly one.
Of course, many are acquainted with the Holocene as a time-scale and understand that 3/4 of the last 12,000 years have been warmer that the last 50 years, so it depends on the starting point, although we do attribute the holocene with the rise of global warming then cooling, then warming again (optimum-Roman warming – MWP – little ice age – MIS1). Call these Preboreal, Boreal, Subboreal, Atlantic -Subatlantic with events of warming and cooling within these cycles (maunder, Dalton etc) so we are in an interglacial in what is currently an ice age. So the temperature performance of the last 100 years is unexceptional.

andrew
October 20, 2011 11:57 am

So why is it cooling so much now? see amsu SST and UAH

andrew
October 20, 2011 11:59 am

Weel according to that plot it has STOPPED warming since 2001 or 1998 whatever….So it is NOT warming now and especially not right now see above re etcSSTS

Dave
October 20, 2011 11:59 am

Anthony.
I admire your knowledge and devotion very much.I read the articles at WUWT daily and very rarely disagree.
I was extremely worried when your first wrote you were involved with the BEST project, They never intended to let you play in the the halls of wisdom, They told you you can play the game without providing the rules. They were professing impartiality in name only. They played you like a violin, but so what, even the best of us get suck punched often?.
Now we need to regroup and keep on with the good work, in spite of this set back we are winning the battle with truth, facts and conviction as you will see eventually.

stevo
October 20, 2011 12:07 pm

“The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question”
Oh really? Could have fooled me with your constant hyping of cold weather and downplaying of warm weather.
REPLY: Well Stevo, we all know that your perception is “chilly” so I’m not surprised at your anonymous snark, it is what you do- Anthony

Jeremy
October 20, 2011 12:17 pm

The economist is fighting a straw man – skeptics do not deny that the world is warming!
This is deceitful propaganda journalism of the worst kind!

Gary Hladik
October 20, 2011 12:18 pm

“I know that is prior to acceptance, but in the tradition that I grew up in (under Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez) we always widely distributed ‘preprints’ of papers prior to their publication or even submission. That guaranteed a much wider peer review than we obtained from mere referees.”
Um, there’s a difference between peer review and “press review”. Circulating a “preprint” among professional colleagues (like Anthony) before or during formal peer review seems like a good way to improve the science. Circulating a “preprint” to the news media will not improve the science, but will certainly have a political impact.
Congratulations, guys. You’re now politicians. Personally I consider it a step down from scientist, but I guess it beats working for a living.

Brian H
October 20, 2011 12:18 pm

As for the warming, a recent analysis of the record as a signals problem resulted in this:

The increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration which is another time series shows a smooth accelerating increase ending in a linear trend of about 2ppmv/year over the past decade. This time series does not contain this predominent 65 year period so increase in CO2 concentration cannot be the driver of observed global temperature change; full stop!

Fourier analysis is free of any ideological bias and, provides incontrovertible proof that there is no possible significant relationship between CO2 and global temperature as claimed by the IPCC.

and this:

There is no temperature cycle that in any way correlates to either CO2 emissions or CO2 concentration other than the recovery from the Little Ice Age with its associated ocean heating causing increased outgassing of CO2 from the oceans in response to the lowered saturation point from increased ocean temperatures.

toto
October 20, 2011 12:19 pm

FWIW, the Berkeley site is back up and running. All 4 preprints are available there.
Check out the one on UHI.

Brian H
October 20, 2011 12:22 pm

Above are from the comments by Norm Kalmanovitch on JC’s posting, Does the Aliasing Beast Feed the Uncertainty Monster?

Septic Matthew
October 20, 2011 12:28 pm

Ged: Errr, what?
I could have worded it better. My suggestion that he write a letter was independent of my saying that omitting author names was not a matter of integrity. Editors rewrite the articles submitted by the authors, so the editor is responsible.

Dave
October 20, 2011 12:35 pm

Anthony,
You should be careful around certain letters… as we’ve just seen, the letter “M” for Muller needs to be approached with a great deal of trepidation… as should the letter “T” for Trenberth.
You stand heads and shoulders above the members of “The Team” and I don’t doubt that that they will try to use your best attributes and good nature against you.
Speaking of team… Go Sabres!!! Now there’s a hockey team…

OregonPerspective
October 20, 2011 12:35 pm

Anthony, what you ask can now be done, and hopefully someone will do it.
Because the Berkeley group has made both their data and their methods available for download.
Any objections you have can now be tested.
That’s better that peer review.

October 20, 2011 12:37 pm

Anthony I knew it was BEST, soon as you wrote. Makes me want to go back to John Daly’s rural records and if I had time I’d get in touch with the present record-keepers and find stations where we can actually trace the full record. Egad, even one station in the whole world with complete history recorded, would help.
However, let me offer once again for WUWT, my page on UHI – the elephant in the sitting room to remind folk of the real temperature record issues.

Mooloo
October 20, 2011 12:37 pm

but we can’t be sure since the Economist has not the integrity to put author names to articles
Why does this show lack of integrity? It was the way all newspapers worked for a very long time (and most articles in my local newspaper are unsigned.) It is intended to remove the ego out of writing.
The reverse is columnists who strive to insert their personality into every article. Something the British are less keen on.
(Also, I think quite a lot of their articles are group efforts, which makes naming troublesome.)

Phil
October 20, 2011 12:40 pm

The surface stations survey has apparently been the only attempt to do simple quality control on the “thousands of temperature stations” used to calculate temperature reconstructions and/or constructions. As stated in this post, the review of siting quality can at best be stretched back to 1979. I think that is generous. Nevertheless, prior to 1979 there is no credible evaluation of siting quality for any meaningful number of weather stations. The best that can be argued probably involves stations sited at airports, but these have their own siting biases (biased high, because if an airport station errs on the low side, it may lead to a crash). Accordingly, the vast majority of weather data (i.e. pre-1979) has had no evaluation of siting quality as well as no calibration records or calibration checks of the temperature measuring instruments themselves. Given the small magnitude of the warming trend (less than 1 degree C over a century), the quality issues should be given more weight.
In conclusion, it bears repeating that the BEST effort, as well as others that are similar, is NOT a quality assured record of past temperatures. Instead, they (BEST and the others) are reconstructions based on a number of different assumptions and corrections, each of which has its own uncertainty that should be added to the uncertainty inherent in the raw records.

JJ
October 20, 2011 12:44 pm

Step one: recognize when you are being manipulated.

Jeremy
October 20, 2011 12:46 pm

For those that want to poke fingers in the eyes of those claiming that “the world has not warmed.” Even accepting that the world has warmed, there is the question of degree. How much has UHI or land-use change near the instruments affected this presumed warming? If it accounts for 50% of a 1C change over a century, why should anyone worry at all? Would it then be unfair to say, “The world is not warming,” and mean the world simply isn’t warming in any unexpected way?
When you say, “The world *IS* warming,” there is an inextractable implication that it is warming unexpectedly. If it were warming within the bounds of reason or historical knowledge, then it *is not* news, and not worth saying. In fact, if the world gains X degrees C over Y years, but the noise level on that is 20 times X a year, it is actually fair to say that the world *is not* warming with the implication that it is not warming unexpectedly.
This *IS* a game of semantics, period. The argument continues to be pushed forward with clever use of language that the Earth is known to be warming catastrophically. Then when someone questions this by saying, “well, no, we’re not really warming up,” those who believe in a cataclysm of future warming suddenly become very specific and math-oriented, demanding the skeptics acknolwedge 0.1 degree C rises in decades as proof they are correct.
Temperature variations within known historical limits are NOT news and in fact cannot be used as evidence of presumed man-made catastrophic warming. Yet the CAGW supporters do this very thing all the time, even in this very thread of comments. It is nonsense, and while they may be correct in pointing out those who incorrectly state *zero* warming, they must be called out for conceding to a level of warming that makes them look like the truly paranoid alarmists they are.

Jim G
October 20, 2011 12:48 pm

And, of course, the fact that warming is far better for all life on this planet rather than cooling, is always ignored. How about another round of glacier advance compared to all the supposed problems coming our way from global warming?

Wayne Delbeke
October 20, 2011 12:50 pm

Berkley has joined the list of has been universities with their hand out for CAGW handouts ….

jthomas
October 20, 2011 12:58 pm

Funny how you climate change deniers all of a suddenly like “peer review”.
REPLY: Funny how a well established university team of professors, previously published that way, suddenly doesn’t – Anthony

DavidM
October 20, 2011 12:59 pm

I’m confused,
I thought the whole point of BEST was to have an open and transparent dataset that anyone could access that hadn’t been smoothed and averaged and re-smoothed by the usual suspects. So, for example, someone could plot all night-time temps from a given station against that stations day-time temps, or someone could plot only truely rural staions in a given area against urban stations. This seems like more of an audit of the original record than a new and open “unadjusted” record that anyone can use.
Did I misunderstand the intent of BEST?

DirkH
October 20, 2011 1:00 pm

Hoi Polloi says:
October 20, 2011 at 11:38 am
“The Graudian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/20/global-warming-study-climate-sceptics
Ah, the Grauniad article mentions the Novim Group explicitly. It’s marketing for them.

hstad
October 20, 2011 1:02 pm

Anthony, you been taken to the woodshed! Lesson – you cannot play by their rules! Giving them the benefit of the doubt is like coming face to face with a 300 pound bear – will he attack or not?

DirkH
October 20, 2011 1:03 pm

Mooloo says:
October 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm
“The reverse is columnists who strive to insert their personality into every article. Something the British are less keen on.
(Also, I think quite a lot of their articles are group efforts, which makes naming troublesome.)”
That’s why all British TV newsspeakers have to wear identical Guy Fawkes masks, BTW. The Brits just aren’t that keen on knowing who’s talking to them. /sarc

Laurie Bowen
October 20, 2011 1:08 pm

The Economist needed some hits on their web site . . . new marketing strategy to me . . . can’t verify it, but it would be my shot in the dark!

AGW_Skeptic
October 20, 2011 1:10 pm

My emaill to BEST:
I was really looking forward to the BEST project results.
Then you go and make a dumb-a$$ed move like this.
Nothing yet peer-reviewed, simple typo mistakes uncorrected after advance notification, and different time series comparisons for the UHI paper.
Not to mention the full-court PR campaign. Just what are you trying to accomplish here?
It may be salvagable if you ever get it right – we’ll see – certainly off to a really bad start.
Way to blow a great opportunity – unless of course, this was the plan all along!

James Forbes
October 20, 2011 1:18 pm

Tell us again about how UHI skews the temperature record, and then you can recant again. Good times.

JJ
October 20, 2011 1:20 pm

My commentary, posted on the Economist website:
The title and the text of the article say ‘the world is warming’.
The unreviewed scientific paper the article claims to be summarizing does not address world temperatures. It is limited to land temperatures. Given that the land referred to comprises something less than 25% of the world, it is erroneous to make the claim that ‘the world is warming’ on this basis.
Further, the world is not a two dimensional object. Vast quantities of heat move vertically through the atmosphere, and more importantly (because of their massive heat capacity) the world’s oceans.
In point of fact, the world is not warming, and has not been for more than a decade. Given that the title of the paper clearly states that only land surface temperatures are referenced, the reporter cannot even have read that far and legitimately arrived at a conclusion regarding the world as a whole. Evidently, he is simply parroting the talking points of the papers’s authors’ PR campaign.
This is the quality of reporting that the Economist is proud to proffer?

Jay
October 20, 2011 1:23 pm

Mr Watts, above you said “Apparently, Astill has never heard of the UAH and RSS Global Temperature records, nor does he apparently know that all the surface temperature records come from one source, NCDC.”
Exactly what would the author have missed. This?
http://tinyurl.com/439nzcz
It seems that all the temperature records are in agreement in terms of short-term temperature variations and more importantly the underlying trend. So your seeming criticism that the data is somehow biased really does not have much merit. That there is are biases on the absolute amplitudes of the temperature is a non sequitur since satellite and ground sensors samples at different altitudes.
REPLY: Straw man argument. Astill cites 3, a clear omission. – Anthony

Keith
October 20, 2011 1:24 pm

When we initially heard that Berkeley was producing a global temperature history, many of us thought it would be towards the shaky end of the post-normal scientific spectrum. However, dare I say that it’s worse than we thought?

son of mulder
October 20, 2011 1:30 pm

From the London Times today on economists
‘We snigger at fortune-tellers yet continue to take seriously the word of economists, a profession definable as “people who have found a way to retain professorial tenure even when their predictions turn out to be entirely wrong”.’
Interestingly ‘climatologists’ is clearly interchangeable with ‘economists’.

October 20, 2011 1:30 pm

I recommend Muller start with a spelling and grammar check. e.g. in the abstract:

indicating a temperature uncertainties greater than
Such basic spelling and grammar quality control should be done before submitting it to formal peer review.

October 20, 2011 1:31 pm

PS I see the same message would help me with my draft posts!

TomRude
October 20, 2011 1:37 pm

The fact that anyone would give credence to BEST attempt is beyond me. The focus of this attempt, using anyway the same NCDC data is ridiculous pseudo science. It is as if Jones was redoing Mann’s work and came with the same results…
Now that the dEconomist would publish this with such triumphant exhuberance is no surprise.
Is it the same clown who wrote about the Ineson et al. 2011 paper:
“Dr Ineson found that at low UV levels the stratosphere in the tropics was cooler, because there was less UV for it to absorb, which meant the difference in temperature between the tropical stratosphere and the polar stratosphere shrank. That changed the way the atmosphere circulated, and as those changes spread down into the lower atmosphere they made it easier for cold surface air from the Arctic to come south in winter, freezing chunks of northern Europe. These conditions looked similar to those seen in the past two cold European winters—which occurred at a time of low solar activity. The Arctic itself, in models and in real life, was warmer than usual, as were parts of Canada. In contrast, northern Europe, swathes of Russia and bits of America were colder.”
LOL “That changed the way the atmosphere circulated, and as those changes spread down into the lower atmosphere they made it easier for cold surface air from the Arctic to come south in winter”… those changes spread down… HOW? Of course no synoptic process is offered by Ineson and co. but the dEconomist cares little about that…

ZT
October 20, 2011 1:38 pm

Strange that the ‘BEST’ team would elect to take the Pons and Fleischmann approach to science. Presumably their failing careers cannot now avoid the attractive gravitational pull of a grateful nation’s taxpayer’s largess.
I’m looking forward to the BEST team’s explanation for the Gore experiment – perhaps they’ll be able to detect the errant neutrons.

Walter Sobchak
October 20, 2011 1:42 pm

“The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question”
Maybe I am not well enough informed to be a skeptic, but I do not understand how the question of global mean temperature can be answered by the available data before the satellite era. If modern surface station data is as low quality as your map above indicates, why should we think that data from 80 or 120 years ago is any better. Shouldn’t we expect it to be worse. How much do we know about instrument calibration i the pre-modern era? How many observers used a vernier to read their instruments, or were consistent in their time of day reading.
I am also flummoxed by the idea of averaging error ridden data. Doesn’t that make the mean noisier? I do not understand how we can give any credence to global means based on pre-satellite data.
Until these questions are answered I am still to stupid to even be a skeptic.

BioBob
October 20, 2011 1:45 pm

Let’s see the error bars and error calculations on that 100 years (plus or minus) of data folks.
Sure, there could be an increase in temperatures globally or in the USA for a certain period but I will be damned if someone can actually find it in all the statistical noise that is ACTUALLY present and rarely presented from those datasets.
How anyone can accurately claim point 8 degrees C Global temperature increase over the last 150 or whatever years within all the improperly calculated (with trash measurement error, standard deviation, and distribution) is beyond me. Anyone who has attempted to reconcile variance among 3 or 20 closely distributed, simultaneous samples with poorly calibrated or legacy instruments would recognize the absurdity of claimed accuracy from a few thousand discontinuous sampling disparate histories over the entire globe for 100+ years..
GIGO simple final

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 1:49 pm

The BEST paper is one grand example of a Red Herring fallacy. Richard Muller had agreed with Anthony that the main topic of the paper would be criticisms of the surface temperature record with special emphasis on Anthony’s station siting research. By changing the period used from 30 years to 60 years, they changed the topic of the paper. They substituted a similar seeming but incomparable topic for the original. This is good old academic chicanery at its most flagrant. Shame on them.
As regards publishing in the Economist before the actual work is peer reviewed, BEST offers clear proof that they are not motivated by science but by a desire to contribute to the Warmista propaganda mill.
The BEST people show that their instincts are not for science but for propaganda. Genuine scientists are more interested in the scientific explanations that they produce than in a record of temperature. Genuine scientists would publicize their statistical techniques and their accounts of errors in the record. These people triumphantly announce that their record shows that Earth is warming. Their goal is propaganda.
Finally, there is the matter of the huge knife stuck in Anthony’s back. That knife is the symbol of Muller’s personal betrayal of Anthony’s trust. Shameless.

JeffG
October 20, 2011 1:54 pm

The world HAS warmed in the past century, but not in the last 10 years according to the HadCRUT data you offer in the plot above
Actually all that plot shows is that the *surface* hasn’t warmed in the last 10 years. There is more to the “world” than the surface, including parts where the temperature is not well-monitored (such as the deep oceans.)

Al Gored
October 20, 2011 1:55 pm

Same old trick.
Widely publicize and plant the scare story in the public mind, then very quietly correct/adjust/revise later.
On the bright side Anthony, while they did ‘suck you in’ a little on this – and your good faith was admirable if misguided here – you are now in a prime position to stir this pot very effectively.
Not peer reviewed even by Team peer review. And the REQUESTED review by you ignored.
No way to spin their way out of that. But in the meantime this conveniently named ‘BEST’ story will be pushed full tilt by the usual suspects.

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 1:56 pm

OregonPerspective says:
October 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm
“Anthony, what you ask can now be done, and hopefully someone will do it.
Because the Berkeley group has made both their data and their methods available for download.
Any objections you have can now be tested.”
You overlook the fact that their research was not done on the topic proposed by Anthony, his 30 years of siting data, but on a 60 year period that makes the research incomparable to the original topic. They cleverly changed the topic without acknowledging the very real effects of doing so. This is one technique for hiding the pea.

P.F.
October 20, 2011 1:57 pm

My “concern for the future” meter just moved higher.
When taking these BEST efforts together with the Occupy Wall Street debris, Ottmar Edenhofer’s statement a year ago at the IPCC, the urgency of the far left, the imposition of the numerous “Climate Action Plans,” Obama’s Progressive Collectivism, and the collapsing economy, I’m getting a sense there is a deliberate global move to tyranny. I think we are in for a rough ride next year.

October 20, 2011 1:58 pm

With the code and data posted anybody with matlab can redo the study from 1979 to 2010.

DirkH
October 20, 2011 2:01 pm

A certain Richard Black at the BBC reports the un-peer-reviewed Muller results:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15373071
He defends the release before peer review as a return to the way how science should be done; praises it as a new wiki-style openness.

Paul Maynard
October 20, 2011 2:03 pm

The Economist
As no one has mentioned it. The Economist house style is never to credit it’s journalists. Look through any edition and you will not see any bylines.
I stopped reading it when it went pro AGW and the Euro. Like the FT, it’s now wrong on most stuff.
Cheers Paul

Andrew
October 20, 2011 2:04 pm

We warned about this when Richard Muller was corresponding with WUWT and now we are warning about the Trenberth deal. Dont fall for it. They are trying to suck you into having some respect for them which they don’t deserve as stoogy scientists to further the financial commitment to AGW. The fact is there has been no warming since 1998 so it not true in any case apart from the other myriad causes discussed ad infinitum here. Question do you or anybody here feel that its hotter than it was 40 years ago?

TomL
October 20, 2011 2:05 pm

The spin I’ve seen so far is that the skeptics have been proven wrong because the new results still show a temperature increase over the last 200 years. The new results also show no increase over the last 10 years but nobody is talking about that.

Keith
October 20, 2011 2:07 pm

If they were looking for maximum media exposure for their shameful chicanery, they really should’ve consulted with NATO and the Libyan NTC before going ahead with the splash today. Shame…

jack morrow
October 20, 2011 2:09 pm

It’s similar to a conservative going on MSNBC. They shouldn’t do that and you shouldn’t have agreed to what you did-both will suffer the consequences I suspect.

Keith
October 20, 2011 2:10 pm

Of course, Richard Black isn’t slow off the mark. And slap me in the face with a wet haddock if the graph to illustrate the story isn’t what I think it is.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science_and_environment/
P.S. Are Black, Mann and Schmidt actually the same person?

DirkH
October 20, 2011 2:15 pm

Keith says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm
“P.S. Are Black, Mann and Schmidt actually the same person?”
Somebody make a C For Climate mask… like this one only with Mann/Black/Schmidt’s face:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15359735

Jeff D
October 20, 2011 2:22 pm

Yep took his work and turned it into a hockey stick.
That has got to sting. Sorry Anthony.
REPLY: No worries, down maybe, but not out. I still have the upper hand, they just don’t know what I know at this point. – Anthony

Alan
October 20, 2011 2:27 pm

Does wassupwiddat care about the truth? No. They go on a childish rant when a Berkley study validates the science done by other institutions. Who’s paying you guys? The Koch Bros? Are you addicted to hydrocarbons?
REPLY: Well, Koch isn’t paying us Alan, but they are paying BEST, see the funding list:
http://berkeleyearth.org/donors.php
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000)
…and please get back to us when you can reconcile that after your short circuits stop. – Anthony

Stephen Pruett
October 20, 2011 2:32 pm

Did BEST start with raw data or did they use “adjusted” data such as shown in plots from GISS?

October 20, 2011 2:32 pm

“That guaranteed a much wider peer review than we obtained from mere referees.”
Hmmm, mere referees? I wonder if that will be peer reviewed?

Tom
October 20, 2011 2:33 pm

The zombie who wrote that piece for The Economist saves up his biggest salvo for the last sentence, presented without evidence as a statement of fact: “That means the world is warming fast.” If he had put it in the first par, I could have spent the ensuing 10 minutes of my life doing something else: the author is an AGW propagandist.

October 20, 2011 2:33 pm

All the gnashing of teeth because BEST didn’t use Tony’s 30 years. Why would they? Tony’s 30 years is opinion not fact. Best is allowed to frame their own parameters.
REPLY: Oh please, has all that isolation on the cold Canadian village you live in affected your ability to reason? You’d be ripping me a new one if I claimed I knew what the siting conditions were in 1950. Of course you’d be ripping me a new one anyway, because it is what you do on all the other blogs.
On the plus side, it put your buddy Joe Romm in an impossible position now, since this study was funded by the Koch brothers, which he has an irrational hatred of like you.
Anthony

October 20, 2011 2:37 pm

‘I am also flummoxed by the idea of averaging error ridden data. Doesn’t that make the mean noisier? I do not understand how we can give any credence to global means based on pre-satellite data.”
All data is error ridden. If the errors are normally distributed, then its doesnt make the mean noiser.
At some point skeptics will realize that the best arguments against AGW are found WITHIN the science. The world is getting warmer. The measurements of that are uncertain, but we know that it is warmer now than in the LIA. We’ve got good estimates of how much warmer.
The surface record over the last 30 years is well correlated with the satellite record. That gives us confidence that records PRIOR to this period are also reliable.. They didnt magicillat improve post 1979. The last 10 years are also well correlated with an absolutely pristine land record ( The climate reference network)
So what are the GOOD arguments within the science?
C02 warms the planet, the question is how much. That’s the real debate. join it

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 20, 2011 2:39 pm

Gee Anthony, it’s like you were expecting you and the surfacestations work were going to be treated fairly.

Frank
October 20, 2011 2:41 pm

You are spending way to much time writing your blog and putting together comments of your colleagues in a desesperate attempts to make them feel bad. Maybe you should go back to your studies and finally write a real scientific paper instead of ranting against the real work of others? Just my 2c… It is easy to be negative, destroying and criticizing, it is more difficult to fight entropy and build something useful.

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 2:45 pm

DirkH says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm
“A certain Richard Black at the BBC reports the un-peer-reviewed Muller results:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15373071
He defends the release before peer review as a return to the way how science should be done; praises it as a new wiki-style openness.”
Knowledge belongs to the Proletariat, Comrade. /sarc

Luther Wu
October 20, 2011 2:46 pm

P.F. says:
October 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm
My “concern for the future” meter just moved higher.
When taking these BEST efforts together with the Occupy Wall Street debris, Ottmar Edenhofer’s statement a year ago at the IPCC, the urgency of the far left, the imposition of the numerous “Climate Action Plans,” Obama’s Progressive Collectivism, and the collapsing economy, I’m getting a sense there is a deliberate global move to tyranny. I think we are in for a rough ride next year.
_____________________________________________
What, me worry?
http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=9017&dir=18|830|845

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 2:47 pm

steven mosher says:
October 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm
“With the code and data posted anybody with matlab can redo the study from 1979 to 2010.”
Anyone who recognizes a Red Herring fallacy can reveal it and undo it. But the original work is still a Red Herring and the blame resides with its creator.

October 20, 2011 2:53 pm

They use the same apparently ADJUSTED data and you expected different results???
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
There is simply no way to FIX the temp record without recertifying the adjustments and how they are applied. Then they need to go out and survey the CALIBRATION of ALL the instruments to get a VAGUE idea of how much bias there might be and was.
Why do I have to remind you that about 2/3 of the alledged warming is caused by the adjustments?? While they are in question it is simply a bad comedy routine.
The Koch Brothers should ask for their money back!!!

Not telling
October 20, 2011 2:54 pm

You are a pathetic hack Anthony Watts. You should be ashamed of yourself. Your blog continues to spiral downhill.
REPLY: Ah, lessons in integrity from a person that has not the integrity to out his names to his words. Gotta love it – Anthony

jimmi_the_dalek
October 20, 2011 2:54 pm

I won’t comment on the way that these studies have be publicised, except to say that it looks like bad manners at the least.
However there is a general misconception regarding peer review in this thread, both in the original posting, and in the comments. Peer review does not solely refer to the process of getting a paper published, though that is part of it. However the much more important part of peer review is what happens AFTER publication, when you can read the paper and comment on it. So they have made available the texts, and the data, and the methodology – if you don’t like, publish a response – that will be your ‘peer review’.

SSam
October 20, 2011 2:56 pm

The BEST scam money can buy.
Yeah, my statement doesn’t’ really contribute… but this “sham” of research doesn’t’ seem to contribute very much either.

Mooloo
October 20, 2011 2:57 pm

DirkH says:
That’s why all British TV newsspeakers have to wear identical Guy Fawkes masks, BTW. The Brits just aren’t that keen on knowing who’s talking to them. /sarc

Your sarcasm is off target. One of the features of British TV news is that it is relatively depersonalised. There is little of that feature “anchor” who acts to give a personal link, as in the US.
Some UK newsreaders are liked, for sure, but they don’t become the equivalent of Don Rather, Glen Beck etc. They are liked for their professionalism and demeanour, but not because of the personal slant they bring.

October 20, 2011 2:59 pm

kuhnkat wrote: “They use the same apparently ADJUSTED data and you expected different results???”
No, they used raw data, and examined it different ways. The results are consistent with other studies.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 20, 2011 3:04 pm

From Frank on October 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm:

(…)Maybe you should go back to your studies and finally write a real scientific paper instead of ranting against the real work of others? (…)

You mean like the real scientific paper he co-authored, Fall et al 2011?

(…) It is easy to be negative, destroying and criticizing, it is more difficult to fight entropy and build something useful.

Yes, starting and running the surfacestations project was difficult and was built into something useful, as this website was likewise. Your comments, however, show you like being easy.

Ralph Woods
October 20, 2011 3:05 pm

It used to be the devil’s in the details. Now it’s the devil makes up the details…
Time to face reality- these folks are not just fear mongers and pathological, they are evil.

October 20, 2011 3:06 pm

Frank,
You come across as clueless on this issue, which has been percolating for the past half year. Try to get up to speed before you post your nonsense:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/13/second-best
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/07/some-true-journalism-my-thanks-to-tom-chivers
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/04/quote-of-the-week-its-a-doozy
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/04/pielke-sr-on-sampling-error-in-best-2-preliminary-results
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/01/pielke-sr-on-the-muller-testimony
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/expect-the-best-plan-for-the-worst
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/06/briggs-on-berkeleys-best-plus-my-thoughts-from-my-visit-there
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/19/fred-singer-on-the-best-project
Those are just some of the articles exposing Muller as a two-faced slippery eel devoid of ethics. BEST is simply warmist propaganda. If they were honest, they would have a skeptic co-chair and an equal number of skeptical scientists. But BEST is controlled from top to bottom by the alarmist crowd. Read the articles above and find out for yourself.

Rob Honeycutt
October 20, 2011 3:07 pm

I thought you guys were all about more openness and transparency in the scientific process. I think you’re seeing what transparent looks like. I’d suggest rather than complaining you all get busy reading the papers and see if you can find errors before they submit the final version. That’s the point.
The people on the BEST project are some pretty heavy hitters. I sincerely doubt they’ve left many stones unturned, but who knows, you guys might get lucky and find a major error.
Like my southern daddy used to tell me, “Quit yer bellyaching’ and git to work.”

pyromancer76
October 20, 2011 3:07 pm

Told ja so. Only sneaky (self snip) lefties at Berkeley (and other UC campuses). So sad. Still, a good thing you tried and now you can expose the rot in the so-called science and so-called peer review.

Jean Parisot
October 20, 2011 3:09 pm

This has been PR oriented since they chose their name. They knew they needed a confounding analysis to muddy the waters around the poor data quality of the surface temperature record. Expect to see something like this on the CO2/Atmospheric trace gas measurements and Satellite temperature data. They know the public and media can’t comprehend statistics and are going to abuse them.

Warren Berman
October 20, 2011 3:12 pm

HELLO EVERYONE….but 150 years or 10 years are insignificant in geologic time….for anyone to state warming as opposed to a normal cycle of this planet is assuming that the mere flyspeck of earths time we have been here is a “normal”. Thank goodness we are in an interglacial period, otherwise Toyota would be making hybrid snowmobiles. Most people, on both sides of the discussion know it is not about climate, but about the world leaders/governments wanting more control of people and money. Do the “warmists” or “deniers” want to discuss what the average temperature was in New York during the last glacial period?…..Probably not. And the “warmists” talk about it hasn’t been this warm in over 1000 years……and at that time Standard Oil and Ford didn’t exist………sorry, but the whole discussion is stupid, when the it is all based on speculation and computer modeling, and temperature readings over a very short historic time span AND the devices used for measurement are at best approximate.

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 3:17 pm

How come your complaint (or you can give a BEST name for all I care);
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/15/turbo-post-normal-science-by-press-peer-review-optional/
was posted on 15 October 2011.
While at an EARLIER time, as you clearly state above;
“The lead author, Dr. Richard Muller has released me from a previous request of confidentiality on the matter in a written communication on 10/14/2011.”
strongly suggests that per the 14 October 2011 (one whole day prior to your subsequent post that I linked to above) written communication (email) you were already released from said confidentiality aggrement.
Moving the goal posts? Please explain. Thanks.
REPLY: Simple, I made a typo, and got the date wrong when I wrote that: I meant to say Oct 15th. Here’s the email from Muller with his release. As you’ll note, The first comment on that piece appeared at October 15, 2011 at 11:53 am, I didn’t hear from Muller until later. I had asked him why I shouldn’t just release his study now. He didn’t want me too, but allowed me to talk to the Gaurdian. PR was obviously more important than taking any early criticism on the paper. – Anthony
—–Original Message—–
From: Richard A Muller
Date: Saturday, October 15, 2011 4:07 PM
To: Anthony Watts- ItWorks
Subject: Re: Our paper is attached
Anthony,
Yes, of course I trust you to do that.
Rich
On Oct 15, 2011, at 2:38 PM, Anthony Watts- ItWorks wrote:
> Well then since you trust me, I assume then you have no problem with me
> discussing the paper with the Economist reporter as the reporter has
> requested?
>
>
> Best Regards,
>
>
> Anthony Watts

Bruce
October 20, 2011 3:18 pm

“The world HAS warmed in the past century”
More accurately: In the USA (and probably all of North America) even with UHI adding as much as 7-9C to urban temperatures in the Northeast (NASA’s claim) only 2 or 3 years are warmer than 1934 (and the demotion of 1934 is very suspicious).
Has it really warmed in the USA since 1934? I think it is very debatable.
(Reference: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/heat-island-sprawl.html)

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 20, 2011 3:19 pm

From Mark S on October 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm:

No, they used raw data, and examined it different ways. The results are consistent with other studies.

Coming from someone who identified themselves as one of Tami’s Troupe by linking their name right to the sometimes-musician’s site, of course we’ll trust your words as absolute proof without any supporting evidence. Well actually, we won’t.

David H
October 20, 2011 3:19 pm

I let my subscription to the Economist lapse in August of this year because of their failure to apply reasonable journalistic standards to the science reporting of ‘climate change’ and the cost benefit analysis of supposed mitigation actions. As a regular reader since the 1980s I miss reading the magazine, but while they continue to publish unresearched and superficial claptrap I shall find my information elsewhere.

October 20, 2011 3:23 pm

Steve Mosher,
There is no argument that the surface temperature has increased since the LIA and whether that is due to a general increase in the thermal state of the earth per se, or due to an increase in atmospheric Co2 seems to be the issue.
What seems not to have occurred to all of the contributors in this discussion is the possibility that the standard theory in use might be incomplete. Instead it is assumed it is correct and lacking any other physical mechanism to explain the observed warming, assume it to be the remaining factor, humanity.
How a part of the biosphere existing under a thin film of gas (the atmosphere) can affect the thermal state of earth mass remains puzzling, if not bizarre, but when one thinks with a limited number of ideas, then that limits the number of explanations one can use, and if one can’t explain it under the existing paradigm then either bizarre or miraculous explanations are all one is left with.
Scientifically if the data can’t be explained by the prevailing theory, then the theory itself has to be questioned, and I suggest that using the theory of the plasma universe will allow rather more prosaic, physically realistic, explanations for the data.

JeffG
Reply to  Louis Hissink
October 20, 2011 3:44 pm

Louis Hissink wrote that “There is no argument that the surface temperature has increased since the LIA and whether that is due to a general increase in the thermal state of the earth per se, or due to an increase in atmospheric Co2 seems to be the issue.”
I try to stick to the data, and given the data I don’t see how you can say this. Measurements show less heat escaping the Earth, and it seems to be blocked at the absorption frequencies of CO2, methane, and the increased amount of water vapor (Harries’ 2001 paper in Nature, and followups). I’ve been a skeptic for a long time, but anymore I’m having a hard time ignoring all the measurements and data. I disliked Muller going before Congress when he had only 2% of his analysis completed, but now that his project has reaffirmed the existing conclusions I’m having to wonder.

Jeff D
October 20, 2011 3:23 pm

I saw the beginnings of this several weeks ago and commented about it on another post. CAGW PR and damage control at its finest. Mass amounts of BS studies and a conference to vindicate Mann, Mann vindicating Mann conference, This dweeb reporter now Vindicating Jones using a new study !!. While at the same time Hansen claim that the CAGW group was loosing. This clearly a rally of the troops and bring back the status of those that fell under the sword of ClimateGate.
Vindication is the new party line for the CAGW group. They have to. None of the key indicators for the silly theory is hitting the mark. By vindication it allows them to bring the trash science they generated back into the main stream.
Wait for it, we now have warming by an independent source, and I predict that sea level rise will get an adjustment to show rise again, As well as an increase in ocean temp to substantiate Kevin’s missing heat. This was alluded to in the BBC article as well. Now just in time for the AR we have fully discredited all the Skeptics and in one fell swoop vindicating all those caught in the ClimateGate affair. Seems pretty well orchestrated to me.

Bruce
October 20, 2011 3:31 pm

Mosher: “C02 warms the planet, the question is how much. That’s the real debate. join it”
Bright Sunshine was up in the 1990s. Bright Sunshine warms the planet, the question is how much.”
Albedo was down in the 1990s. A darker albedo warms the planet, the question is how much.
UHI was up in the 1990s. UHI makes it appear the planet is warmer, the question is how much.
Why do you always ignore everything but CO2 Mosher?

Not telling
October 20, 2011 3:36 pm

I didn’t post my name because your blog is infested with delusional ingrates from whom I would prefer to keep my identity private. You’re still a hack. Don’t you ever get sick of the pathetic company you keep on this blog?
REPLY: No, but I do get sick of anonymous cowards lecturing me on issues of integrity. – Anthony

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 3:37 pm

So now your are moving the goal posts again?
“Also I know that I’ll be critcized for my position on this, since I said back in March that I would accept their findings whatever they were, …”
“… but that was when I expected them to do science per the scientific process.”
So why did you NOT make such an exact statement back in March 2011?
What EXACTLY did you say back in March 2011 about the BEST efforts, in context even?
So what was once an unequivocal statement in March 2011 has turned into the most equivocal statement in October 2011.
Moving the goal posts indeed. 🙁
REPLY: Because they gave me no reason to expect they’d pull a stupid stunt like this. My mistake was trust, a mistake I won’t make again with them. There’s nothing I could write that would satisfy you junior, but I will say this. If you want to accuse me of integrity issues, at least have the courage to put your name to your words. Otherwise, your’s is just another anonymous rant among many. – Anthony

Bruce of Newcastle
October 20, 2011 3:39 pm

“since the Economist has not the integrity to put author names to articles”
Anthony – that is unfair and I believe untrue. Whereas I’ve not continued my subs to NewSci or SciAm, I’ve continued to subscribe to the Economist for a couple decades despite their execrable and uncharacteristically inconsistent views on global warming .
I can say they ARE consistent with the particular policy of not naming in-house article writers BECAUSE the content of the article is considered the editorial view by the Economist. They clearly take great care in editing, you can see that in the very few spelling errors and typos.
I disagree strongly with their editorial line on global warming, but I do not accept unjustifiable criticism of those I disagree with.
And on their plus side their write up of the CLOUD results was reasonably fair.

4 eyes
October 20, 2011 3:43 pm

I don’t understand why they simply didn’t get the paper fully peer reviewed which is the process we all want to see. I am very suspicious of motives here because they had promised the results would be published earlier than this and now there is a rushed bypass of due process. Nevertheless there are many amateur and professional analysts and statiticians out there who will happily and thoroughly trawl through every bit of the paper. This wasn’t an experiment, it was just an exercise in data gathering and has very little do with climate change.

Kevin MacDonald
October 20, 2011 3:43 pm

Anthony Watts says:
“The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question, it is the magnitude and causes.”
Except:
Juraj V. says:
October 20, 2011 at 10:51 am
“Yawn. World is not warming.”
andrew says:
October 20, 2011 at 11:59 am
“Weel according to that plot it has STOPPED warming”
JJ says:
October 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm
“In point of fact, the world is not warming”

BioBob says:
October 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm
“Sure, there could be an increase in temperatures globally or in the USA for a certain period but I will be damned if someone can actually find it”
And yes, I’m aware these comments refer to the last decade, but even then they are only true if you cherry pick your dataset, choose a time period too short to provide a statistically significant result and ignore the energy expended in ice melt, deep ocean warming, etc.

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 3:48 pm

REPLY: Simple, I made a typo, and got the date wrong when I wrote that: I meant to say Oct 15th. Here’s the email from Muller with his release. As you’ll note, The first comment on that piece appeared at October 15, 2011 at 11:53 am, I didn’t hear from Muller until later. I had asked him why I shouldn’t just release his study now. He didn’t want me too, but allowed me to talk to the Gaurdian. PR was obviously more important than taking any early criticism on the paper. – Anthony
_______________________________________________________________________________
Then I would kindly suggest that you correct the date in your original text above, to avoid any potential timeline issues that other people might make similar to the one I made.
People might not see your reply this far down in the thread, you have corrected to record for me, it’s just a typo, just edit it, and move on. I’m moved past it already. Thanks.
REPLY: Already done – Anthony

October 20, 2011 3:54 pm

So, you’re complaining about the lack of peer review when you yourself published a report with Joe D’Aleo via Heartland and SPPI two full years before you got around to publishing a paper on your own surfacestations project? Okaaaay….
REPLY: And what I learned from that episode, never having published a scientific paper before in my life, was that peer review was important, Muller, a well published and established scientist, went the opposite direction and corralled a media blitz to kick it off. But I’m sure you’ll go ahead and write a trashing article at SR as you’ve done before. Go ahead, ignore what has just happened and pile on like everyone else. – Anthony

gbaikie
October 20, 2011 3:56 pm

REPLY: The world HAS warmed in the past century, but not in the last 10 years according to the HadCRUT data you offer in the plot above- Anthony”
Hasn’t it warmed in last century and a half?

Mike Abbott
October 20, 2011 4:00 pm

It is well-documented that the increase in land surface temperatures reported from the 1940s to 2000 in the official datasets is largely the result of upward adjustments applied to relatively flat raw temperature data (i.e., the homogenization process.) For example, on the NCDC web page that describes the adjustments made to the USHCN dataset, it is stated that “The cumulative effect of all adjustments is approximately a one-half degree Fahrenheit warming in the annual time series over a 50-year period from the 1940’s until the last decade of the century.” A graph accompanying that statement dramatically shows that effect. (See http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html.)
Given the dramatic effect of those adjustments — they largely account for the trend reported in the final datasets — shouldn’t any verification of those datasets include an analysis of the reasonableness of those adjustments? Did the BEST researchers do this? How did they handle the homogenization process?

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 4:02 pm

REPLY: Because they gave me no reason to expect they’d pull a stupid stunt like this. My mistake was trust, a mistake I won’t make again with them. There’s nothing I could write that would satisfy you junior, but I will say this. If you want to accuse me of integrity issues, at least have the courage to put your name to your words. Otherwise, your’s is just another anonymous rant among many. – Anthony
_______________________________________________________________________________
I think we’ve already been there, done that. We’ve had this exact same exchange some time ago (a couple of years ago, I believe).
Trying to change the argument to one of identity, I see.
My birth name is Everett Francis Sargent, Jr.
My license shows my name to be Francis E Sargent (my mother preferred that name).
Francis E. Sargent is my pen name, in the literal sense, that’s how I sign my name.
Most people I know just call me Frank.
Do you need any other specifics as to my identity?
Now can we get back to the subject matter per se?
REPLY: Sure, just sign all your posts that way from now on and it will never be an issue – Anthony

October 20, 2011 4:06 pm

Unless BEST actually take on board the feedback given here and on other thoughtful blogs – they will not have a hope of convincing anyone half knowledgeable that they have actually applied properly the scientific method. Trouble is the other half will fall for it hook line and sinker.
Myself I have anyways being somewhat suspect of a project run by academia to provide a definitive independent result ‘above’ the results provided by other academics – smacks of trying to make the science even more settled…
What we really need is a community run project, following the Open Source model, that finally puts this whole issue to bed – or at least provides a bar against which the quality of other work can be assessed. Won’t be easy but would be a force to be reckoned with.

David Davidovics
October 20, 2011 4:07 pm

Anthony, this doesn’t help but I remember warning you to keep a very close eye on the pea under the thimble. I hate being right about this because I did like many of the things Muller said. I really wanted to believe he was the real deal.

Maus
October 20, 2011 4:11 pm

Mosher:
“If the errors are normally distributed, then its doesnt make the mean noiser.”
If ain’t is. And I’m certainly unaware of any publications from BEST on Urban Cold Islands; perhaps you could point me to them.
“At some point skeptics will realize that the best arguments against AGW are found WITHIN the science.”
The science of Sociology, sure.
“The world is getting warmer. The measurements of that are uncertain, but we know that it is warmer now than in the LIA. We’ve got good estimates of how much warmer.”
The world is getting colder. The measurements of that are uncertain, but we know that it is colder now than in the MWP. We’ve got good estimates of how much colder.
Seems it’s just as valid to drive the conversation in one direction as it is another. eh, Mosher?

Former_Forecaster
October 20, 2011 4:11 pm

“Hasn’t it warmed in last century and a half?”
Yes, absolutely. Ever since the end of the Little Ice Age. Wait. I forget–does current propaganda claim the Little Ice Age did or didn’t occur?
I can’t help but wonder:
These people can’t even agree amongst themselves whether or not past climatic events, such as the Little Ice Age or the Medieval Warming, even occurred, Isn’t it just a bit arrogant to say that you know with certainty what the future climate holds in store, when you can’t even agree on climatic trends of the recent past?
Silly me. That question would only apply if we were talking about *science*.

October 20, 2011 4:12 pm

“…I would accept their findings whatever they were…”
WHAT’S UP with the crossed fingers. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! And I’ll use my real name.

Luther Wu
October 20, 2011 4:14 pm

gbaikie says:
October 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm
Hasn’t it warmed in last century and a half?
___________________
Know what?
150 yrs ago (roughly speaking) marks the end of the “Little Ice Age”.

gbaikie
October 20, 2011 4:15 pm

What is the average global land temperature
What is the average ocean temperature
Not talking about Temperature Anomalies, but global temperature is around 15 C
What is land average and ocean average?

October 20, 2011 4:15 pm

‘Given the dramatic effect of those adjustments — they largely account for the trend reported in the final datasets — shouldn’t any verification of those datasets include an analysis of the reasonableness of those adjustments? Did the BEST researchers do this? How did they handle the homogenization process?
The USHCN adjustments have all been poured over by skeptics and others. me inlcuded. The only issue of note is the uncertainty associated with the adjustments.
To my knowledge BEST has handled the issue in the best way known which is to split stations into shorter segments as indicated by station changes. So that way “adjustments” are empirically made as a part of the entire estimation process.

October 20, 2011 4:18 pm

I saw this report triumphed on he BBC so thought I’d look elsewhere. Now I know it’s not even Peer Reviewed and getting all the plaudits I think I might have a go at this science thing myself. How hard can it really be? /sarc

October 20, 2011 4:20 pm

Maus:
“If ain’t is. And I’m certainly unaware of any publications from BEST on Urban Cold Islands; perhaps you could point me to them.”
I was trying to explain to someone with a valid question about “errors” in data how averaging can be proven to work. That’s just basic math.
WRT Urban cold Islands. They certainly exist. You can find them yourself. Just download the software and run the code. You dont like BEST software, write you own. or use mine, or RomanMs or Nicks.
urban warm islands exist urban cool islands exist. same with rural.
The real question is do these facts make a difference in the global temperature average?
Not the local average.. Note tokoyo versus its neighbors.. not japan.. the WHOLE average.. all the stations.. BEST paper says no. You have their code, you have their data. knock yourself out

Steve in SC
October 20, 2011 4:20 pm

Anthony, I believe you were warned about this possible outcome and you even experienced some of the behavior in the beginning. Don’t say you were not warned. Do not act surprised. The result was very predictable.

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 4:20 pm

steven mosher says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm
“C02 warms the planet, the question is how much. That’s the real debate. join it”
The debate is about Muller’s behavior in attempting to create a media circus, skipping peer review, and betraying Anthony’s trust. Please try to focus.

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 4:24 pm

“If BEST can run their comparison on the 30 year period for which our data is valid, instead of 60 years, as stated before, I’ll be happy to accept the results, whatever they are. I’m only asking for the correct time period to be used. Normally things like this are addressed in peer review, but BEST has blown that chance by taking it public first before such things can be addressed.”
_______________________________________________________________________________
So if BEST releases all their data and codes, you know fully transparency, what’s to stop someone else from using a 30-year base period (for CONUS or OCONUS or whatever geographical region one chooses to use) that is exactly the same as the two papers you’ve mentioned above?
I mean, if this makes the 30-year base period BEST results so diffenent from the results that others have produced, than a Reply to the AGU JGR (and any other BEST papers using the 60-year anomaly period) would seem to be in order. Shouldn’t it?
AFAIK. that’s how things are usually handled in the scientific literature.
As an aside, what specifically invalidates all surface temperature datasets taken prior to 1979?
Because you said so?
REPLY
” As an aside, what specifically invalidates all surface temperature datasets taken prior to 1979? ”
Wow, reading comprehensions fail. Way off the mark junior. I’m taking about my OWN dataset, the surfacestations survey dataset, which in our own peer reviewed paper we did several different analysis on the 1979-2008 period, as did NOAA’s Menne et al. The reason: we couldn’t ascertain siting quality that far back, there simply is no metadata. Muller should have realized this and done identical comparisons. He didn’t. I notified him of the issue and he still stuck with it. If you can tell me what the siting characteristic of the USHCN weather stations in the USA were during the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s then I’ll gladly retract my concerns.
Until then, they stand – Anthony

MichaelM
October 20, 2011 4:30 pm

To any interested party – this analysis would be way beyond me to accomplish, but it’s curious to me how much greater the temperature trend is from CRN 1 to CRN 2 stations. Why would the CRN 2 stations trend warmer than CRN 3 and 4, and be so simliar to the awful CRN 5 stations.
To get to the point…a really thorough analysis would examine the urban distribution as well as equipment histories (recording length) between CRN 1 and 2..and then also CRN 2 and 3 perhaps. As Steven Mosher always likes to point out, it seems to me there is still much to be done with the sorting out of Metadata and issues surrounding station citing and urban bias.
(to reiterate, the groupings by Fall et al and BEST of CRN 1,2,3 or 4,5…etc. are fascinating and novel, but my point above addresses a couple comparisons I haven’t yet seen. (could’ve missed em))
_Michael

Richard "Heatwave" Berler, CBM
October 20, 2011 4:34 pm

Anthony…
Have you found evidence of a +3C (+5F) systematic error for class #4 sitings and +5C (+9F) for class #5 station sitings? My experience has been quite different. I wrote on this in the guest blog that I wrote on Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.’s site (you reposted this) on bad numbers remaining uncorrected from Laredo. A change in siting characteristics for an existing site from class #1 to class #5 would, without question, introduce a bias into the record. My experience, and the Berkeley study (if I read it correctly) suggests an absolute error of a fraction of a degree with a class #5 station.

REPLY:
Trends versus daily Tmax/Tmin – Anthony

Kevin MacDonald
October 20, 2011 4:37 pm

Former_Forecaster says:
October 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm
“Silly me. That question would only apply if we were talking about *science*.

Okay, so we’ve been warming since the end of the little ice age, and the centennial warming trend is accelerating, what is your scientific explanation for this?

AlexS
October 20, 2011 4:41 pm

“The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question”
I certainly question it.
As if anyone know what is the earth temperature – and not even enterring in definitions what should measured – to 0.X Cº precision with an incomplete temperature recording even today to not talk about 100 years ago.

October 20, 2011 4:41 pm

Have you and Joe D’Aleo ever told Heartland and SPPI to stop distributing that white paper? Have you ever explicitly acknowledged that your own data disproved the conclusions you wrote in that white paper? Has Joe?
You attacked the Menne paper when it came out and you’re attacking BEST now, even though your own paper agrees with both analyses – surface station location and UHI don’t significantly alter the US temperature record. So rather than playing the victim card, why don’t you try some contrition first.

REPLY:
Why don’t you look at what has actually occurred here? I’m arguing because with BEST’s new methodology, they may have been able to find something Menne and I could not. But because they used the wrong time period, it (the siting error signal) likely got swamped in the cooling period of the 40–70’s
Now consider the reverse. If I had made a claim that from recent photographs and metadata gathered from NOAA, I was able to ascertain what the siting conditions of a station looked like in 1950, I’d be vilified. Even NOAA knew enough about our siting data not to do this. Muller didn’t, and he’s invalidated his own study with this error. All I’m asking for is a identical time period. If there’s a difference, great we learned something new. If not, I’m happy to accept it because it matches the other studies including my own.
Why is that so hard to understand? – Anthony

kramer
October 20, 2011 4:46 pm

I got an email today from the BEST team saying they finished graphing just the data (unadjusted) from rural stations only but I can’t find it on the link they gave me.

October 20, 2011 4:47 pm

Publishing articles or “papers” in non-reviewed places is not new or surprising. It is one way of spreading the word. If you are intending to publish in reviewed journals then one should not preempt the process. This is not science by scientists is is science by pseudosciences in the political science and advertising departments. Once errors are out it is very hard to call them back. To bad this was an opportunity to build credibility. Now only one missed.

Mike Abbott
October 20, 2011 4:49 pm

Hoi Polloi says:
October 20, 2011 at 11:38 am
The Graudian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/20/global-warming-study-climate-sceptics

That article includes this gem:
“However, the Berkeley study found that the so-called urban heat island effect, which makes cities warmer than surrounding rural areas, is locally large and real, but does not contribute significantly to average land temperature rises. This is because urban regions make up less than 1% of the Earth’s land area.”
I hope WUWT readers appreciate the absurdity of that statement. The author apparently thinks that skeptics believe that urban heat islands increase overall land temperatures. (The skeptic’s claim is that the UHI introduces a bias into temperature datasets, which is a far cry from saying the UHI increases average land temperatures.)
By the way, I read the BEST article on UHI and found it fairly convincing. I’m a skeptic and I think they make a strong case that there is no UHI bias in the datasets (or it is a little negative.) I think Anthony came to the same conclusion previously.

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 4:51 pm

“I sent an email over a week ago advising of the error in names, got a response, and they still have not fixed it, what sort of quality is this? Fell et all? right under figure 1
And repeated six times in the document they released today.”
But spelled correctly 11 other times.
In other words the same two totals, 6 as Fell and 11 as Fall, in their 30 September 2011 copy vs their 17 October 2011 copy, so appearently they have not made the necessary correction yet.
Maybe you can go through both versions word-by-word, and tally the results, so that we can see if this is just an error of omission, or if they’ve just singled your paper out from the editing process.
I mean seriously, what’s the big deal? Surely this will be corrected prior to actual publication, particularly what with you all making such a big deal over a very minor pre-publication error.
REPLY: It goes to the overall sloppiness, such as claiming they can know what the station siting quality is as far back as 1950 Can’t make up metadata where there isn’t any. And they can’t be troubled to correct it? You were bent out of shape over a date, which I corrected within minutes, now you want to give Muller a pass for not fixing a problem in week, after being notified? Sheesh.
Show me how to get station siting metadata for 1950, still waiting there on your flash of genius junior. – Anthony

Simon Nasht
October 20, 2011 4:51 pm

So, let me see if I understand it this. We have been continuously attacking the peer review process as corrupt, yet when Muller publishes his data ahead of peer review – so there can be no suggestion the process isn’t open- he is to be attacked?
Apparently the data in question is analysed back to 1950. Anthony says his data only goes back 30 years. So somehow Muller’s more comprehensive analysis is less valid?
Meanwhile we seem to be expending an awful lot of energy examining the behaviour of journalists instead of thinking about the conclusions that BEST has come to: the much vaunted question of Heat Islands turns out to be a non-issue. I am surprised, even disappointed that this is the case. But we must open our minds to new information based on rigorous analysis.
Question the analysis by all means, but let’s not pretend they are not important and highly significant.
REPLY: Muller can’t make up station quality data where there isn’t any, that’s the issue. We have no siting metadata valid from 1950-1979. Even NOAA knew enough not to make this fatal mistake. – Anthony

John Whitman
October 20, 2011 4:51 pm

Anthony,
I am beginning to see, through your postings about the journey you have taken to publish in a science journal and now with this BEST experience, that there are parallel cultures . . . government ones, academic ones, media ones, blogosphere one and private enterprise ones.
You are ramping up fast in the academic one . . . you will be a better man for it. You have a lot of support.
And you are providing me with a valuable education by your activities. Thanks.
John

Konrad
October 20, 2011 4:53 pm

I find it surprising that Richard Muller missed one of the most interesting findings of Fall et all. For the worst sited stations Tmin was found to rise faster than Tmax. AGW believers have often postulated that UHI or micro site problems would “raise all boats equally”. However Fall et all shows that the worst rated stations exhibited a slight warming with a reduced diurnal range, previously claimed to be the exclusive signature of AGW. Sadly Dr. Muller states in his papers’ conclusion that diurnal maxima and minima were not addressed. Further to this there appears little in the BEST paper that indicates any reliable method for determining the difference between gradual micro site degeneration, gradual UHI increases and a gradual AGW trend.
The BEST paper references the Fall et all paper that was kept confidential until peer reviewed, despite one of the authors having new media access to millions of readers per month. Regardless of the content of the BEST paper, Dr. Muller appears to have chosen the wrong PR. He has chosen press release over peer review. He has chosen propaganda. He has chosen poorly. Sceptics will never forgive and the Internet will never forget.

D. J. Hawkins
October 20, 2011 4:55 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
October 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm
OregonPerspective says:
October 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm
“Anthony, what you ask can now be done, and hopefully someone will do it.
Because the Berkeley group has made both their data and their methods available for download.
Any objections you have can now be tested.”
You overlook the fact that their research was not done on the topic proposed by Anthony, his 30 years of siting data, but on a 60 year period that makes the research incomparable to the original topic. They cleverly changed the topic without acknowledging the very real effects of doing so. This is one technique for hiding the pea.

What’s the adage about a lie getting half way around the world while the truth is getting its shoes on? Supposing that the data and methods they published allow their work to be reproduced, what happens if re-analysis of the data based on the 1979 starting point leads to a different conclusion? The MSM will have long moved on, and we’ll be a day late and a dollar short.

Maus
October 20, 2011 4:56 pm

Mosher:
“That’s just basic math.”
Yes, you already stated the “if” case. Stating it twice doesn’t make your case stronger. Show me the math that allows us to establish that our errors are normally distributed about the mean we don’t know. Now show that when we know things are skewed in one direction.
“You can find them yourself. Just download the software and run the code.”
In other words: “No, there aren’t any peer reviewed papers. My assertion is correct and you will trust me as a learned man on this issue.”
It seems to me that this is a pretty glaring hole in the data. Certainly you, arguing as strongly as you do for approaching this within science, can point me to the peer reviewed publications that establish the normal distribution of these errors when accounting for both UHI and UCI.

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 5:05 pm

“REPLY: Why don’t you look at what has actually occurred here? I’m arguing because with BEST’s new methodology, they may have been able to find something Menne and I could not. But because they used the wrong time period, it (the siting error signal) likely got swamped in the cooling period of the 40–70′s
Now consider the reverse. If I had made a claim that from recent photographs and metadata gathered from NOAA, I was able to ascertain what the siting conditions of a station looked like in 1950, I’d be vilified. Even NOAA knew enough about our siting data not to do this. Muller didn’t, and he’s invalidated his own study with this error. All I’m asking for is a identical time period. If there’s a difference, great we learned something new. If not, I’m happy to accept it because it matches the other studies including my own.”
Anthony,
You are right on the money. Your case is clear as the finest crystal. Your argument is flawless. Those who have raised objections to you on this post have presented nothing by way of serious criticism. Though you are not wasting your time in response to them because you continue to articulate your case beautifully.
What everyone should recognize is that Anthony’s post is about Muller and Best’s behavior toward Anthony and about BEST’s desire for media attention over-riding their commitment to the normal practice of science. Anthony’s post is not about climate science but about very specific behavior on the part of a few climate scientists, Muller and the others at BEST.
Muller and BEST’s desire for media attention caused them to make their work public before it passed peer review. Peer Review might reveal that some of the work must be changed. Whether it does or not is not to the point. The point is that BEST valued media attention over the normal process of peer review. So, Muller and BEST chose to make headlines with work that might very well have to be rejected. Such behavior is not characteristic of honest and forthright men.

October 20, 2011 5:06 pm

You may or may not have a point with regard to their analysis – re-run their calculations for the last 30 years, as Mosher has recommended to others here, and find out. At a minimum, this pre-release publication will improve their final product, and maybe the final paper will have both a 60 and 30 year siting signal shown, specifically to address your criticisms. We have no way of knowing at this instant.
But you didn’t actually answer my questions, Anthony.

Richard "Heatwave" Berler, CBM
October 20, 2011 5:10 pm

Hi Anthony…I am asking if you have found evidence of a systematic +3C (+5F) absolute error for Tmax/Tmin for class #4 stations and >+5C (>+9F) for class 5 stations in your personal research of these numerous sites. I am not speaking of trends…I am asking about systematic errors in measured Tmax/Tmin temperatures .
Richard “Heatwave” Berler, CBM

REPLY:
NOAA did a study on this, and closed CRN5 stations as a result, see this:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/23/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-48-noaa-admits-to-error-with-baltimores-rooftop-ushcn-station/
I also looked at a CRN5 station in Orange county, CA that had issues
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/08/23/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-69/
Anthony

wayne
October 20, 2011 5:16 pm

“””Bruce says:
October 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm
Mosher: “C02 warms the planet, the question is how much. That’s the real debate. join it”
Bright Sunshine was up in the 1990s. Bright Sunshine warms the planet, the question is how much.”
Albedo was down in the 1990s. A darker albedo warms the planet, the question is how much.
UHI was up in the 1990s. UHI makes it appear the planet is warmer, the question is how much.
Why do you always ignore everything but CO2 Mosher?””
Because Mosher now makes some portion of his living on CO2. He has to push CO2. CO2, CO2, CO2. Tis all about money, not actual science like albedo, clouds, and faulty sites, Most everyday-person I talk to now knows this (thanks to site’s like WUWT and the skeptical science minds willing to shout… STOP AND LOOK AT IT AND DATA YOURSELF. You have a college degree. You have the ability!). The ship-shod methology of these “climate scientists” makes me sicker as every day passes. They prefer a one dimensional view of our world, radiation up or down, never sideways, and in a 1d world their figures (Trenberth,Keihl) are wrong to boot! Look to some good astophysicists to solve this problem properly.

barry
October 20, 2011 5:16 pm

L Skywalker writes:

Makes me want to go back to John Daly’s rural records and if I had time I’d get in touch with the present record-keepers and find stations where we can actually trace the full record.

Excellent! There is one person who has commented in this thread who wants to roll up their sleeves and do some work.
Whereas kakada writes:

Coming from someone who identified themselves as one of Tami’s Troupe by linking their name right to the sometimes-musician’s site, of course we’ll trust your words as absolute proof without any supporting evidence. Well actually, we won’t.

kakada could easily verify what Mark has said, but instead stops well short of that mark with a personal jibe.
So much of this thread is sniping based on unreasonable assumptions.
Anthony Watts and the team in Fall et al corroborated – with qualifications – the US average temperature record. While there may be siting issues that affect diurnal range variation, these seem to cancel each other out for average temps – and that result is consistent with errors being averaged out for large data samples. Of course, these findings are not the first or the last word, and the authors rightly caveat their conclusions.
The result that UHI is not a strong influence on global (as opposed to local) average temperature records is pretty robust by any reasonable measure. There are a few score blog posts, including from skeptics, that take raw data and adjusted data and compare, raw data for airports, rural and urban stations and find that the difference is not much – and usually in an unexpected direction, same as the BEST results.
Jeff ID took raw data and produced a warmer centennial temp record than HadCRU etc. Over at Lucia’s, Zeke and others have verified the robustness of the official records, with some slight differences, of course. The general consensus in the scientific literature also is that UHI has a negligible influence on hemispheric and global temp records. The semi-popular, or ‘blog’ consensus – including work from skeptics – is strongly that siting issues have been dealt with fairly well in the temp records, and that UHI is not an important factor. If the work collated is limited to in-depth analysis (as opposed to anecdotes, unoriginal work, or too-small samples), the general conclusion is near-unanimous.
In this regard, it is not reasonable to assign bad motives to any and every result that runs counter to your predilections.
Eventually skepticism must shine on one’s own position.
(I’m happy to post links to blog posts from skeptics and others analysing raw and adjusted data, data from rural, airport, urban etc – just say the word. There are many. Just wanted this post not to get stuck in the spam filter)

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 5:16 pm

Brian Angliss says:
October 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm
BEST’s research is not the issue being discussed here. The behavior of Muller and BEST toward Anthony is the issue. BEST’s research uses a 60 year period instead of a 30 year period. Anthony believed in good faith that they would use the 30 year period. At worst, they pulled a bait and switch. At best, they owe Anthony an apology and an explanation. The issue here is not scientific but moral.

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 5:23 pm

Wow, reading comprehensions fail. Way off the mark junior. I’m taking about my OWN dataset, the surfacestations survey dataset, which in our own peer reviewed paper we did several different analysis on the 1979-2008 period, as did NOAA’s Menne et al. The reason: we couldn’t ascertain siting quality that far back, there simply is no metadata. Muller should have realized this and done identical comparisons. He didn’t. I notified him of the issue and he still stuck with it. If you can tell me what the siting characteristic of the USHCN weather stations in the USA were during the 1950′s, 1960′s and 1970′s then I’ll gladly retract my concerns.
Until then, they stand – Anthony
_______________________________________________________________________________
So in your surfacestations.org effort, did this effort start circa 1979?
I’ll assume the answer to the above is no.
So somehow the USHCH datasets from the 1940-70 era are suspect because … ? Because your surfacestations.org efforts did not exist back then?
Give us one good reason why the records are suspect, if you don’t mind. A reason that is scientifically testable and falsifiable. Otherwise, you’ve just moved the goal posts so high as to make it impossible for anyone to pass your own subjective criteria.
All surface temperature datasets all over the world are suspect prior to 1979 (or some other arbitrary date of your own choosing) because … ?
As to the last half of your reply, use their datasets/coded, use your 30-year base period, if significantly different from the 60-year results (the subset covering your 30-year base period, that is), than a formal reply would seem to be in order to JGR.
That’s the normal process for carrying forward a true scientific debate. Just because they didn’t do it your way does not invalidate their results.

1DandyTroll
October 20, 2011 5:23 pm

So, essentially, a bunch of lefty hippies putting how the public view them before honest due process. Why am I not surprised that communist are more concerned with how others view them…

October 20, 2011 5:23 pm

Theo, Anthony has no leg to stand on to complain here, given he did the same thing in 2009 with Joe D’Aleo. It’s hypocritical of Anthony to complain about it, especially since the Heartland Institute/SPPI white paper got a great deal of media attention and, to the best of my knowledge, neither Anthony nor Joe have retracted that white paper or asked Heartland to do so. If Anthony has asked for retraction, then it should be a simple matter for him to prove it.

brett jobson sydney australia
October 20, 2011 5:32 pm

The Guardian report says that a 1deg c rise since 1950 confirms that all deniers are wrong. Another analysis of the same so-called data shows that the temperature rise since about 1800 is somewhat less than 1 deg c. What conclusions are to be drawn from this?

Dave Springer
October 20, 2011 5:39 pm

JeffC says:
October 20, 2011 at 10:51 am
“I warned you that this would happen when they asked you to assist … I hope you really aren’t suprised to have gotten fleas from these dogs …”
Mega dittos.
Told you, Anthony, at the outset BEST was a rubber stamp with a predetermined outcome.
Nothing different could possibly come out of Berkeley. Get real. Muller would have been committing professional suicide if he’d come with anything in the least bit critical of the establishment narrative. You’d need to get a study done by a university in eastern Europe or Asia to get an honest opinion. Maybe Czech Technical University in Prague where the faculty is still celebrating their right to express an honest thought…

1DandyTroll
October 20, 2011 5:41 pm

@Brian Angliss says:
October 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm
“You may or may not have a point with regard to their analysis[…]”
“But you didn’t actually answer my questions, Anthony.”
Apparently, obviously, he did. :p

Pat Frank
October 20, 2011 5:42 pm

Muller & co. show no apparent understanding of the systematic measurement error that plagues surface temperature sensors. They don’t reference any of the papers that discuss this problem, they don’t discuss the problem of systematic sensor error — except as regards to siting problems, which are irrelevant to the issue of inherent sensor measurement error — and demonstrate no awareness that systematic temperature sensor measurement error can correlate regionally.
The problem of inherent systematic sensor error completely vitiates any judgement that surface temperature time series is accurate merely because the time series from surface station A correlates well with the analogous series from surface station B, X km away.
Climate scientists seem mesmerized by this correlation, and appear unable to see beyond it. This shows a real failure of analytical thinking.

October 20, 2011 5:45 pm

gbaikie says:
“Hasn’t it warmed in last century and a half?”
The planet has warmed along a clear trend line since the LIA. The warming has not accelerated over the past 150 years, the past 50 years, or the past decade. In fact, the past decade has resulted in less warming than usual since the LIA.
Using a zero baseline [or any flat temperature baseline] for a y-axis when constructing a graph routinely – and falsely – shows a rapidly accelerating recent warming. This is false. The alarmist clique [which includes Muller and his BEST crowd] deliberately uses deceptive charts that ignore the natural temperature trend that has been occurring at the same rate since before the industrial revolution began. Lying with charts is no different than lying with statistics.

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 5:53 pm

REPLY: Sure, just sign all your posts that way from now on and it will never be an issue – Anthony
_______________________________________________________________________________
Why?
I’ve been using EFS_Junior consistently on several climate related blogs for these past few years.
That’s my only excuse, sameness, consistency, and screen name recognition.
Why don’t you demand the same accuracy in name identification from all your many readers?
I mean I asked a simple question, you said something in the past, that you now say with additional qualifiers. That was all I did. You are certainly free to change your own mind at anytime, for whatever reason, as you have done so here. That is all.
You would appear to have some particular fixation with true identity, which for some reason, I have never before encountered elsewhere’s on these Internets.

johanna
October 20, 2011 5:54 pm

To recap my comment of last March, I hope you are right in trusting these people, but I very much fear that you are wrong.
They have been proved to be deficient both in terms of ethics and of science. They have double-crossed you, and used your good name to peddle propaganda. Not to mention setting you up with the media without even the courtesy of asking you.
Glad to read that you still have a shot or two in your locker. But beware of that friendly invitation to the model demonstration you have received. You may shortly afterwards see headlines like ‘renowned skeptic sees the light’.
Desperate times for the Team are generating desperate measures, just like pre-Copenhagen.

Slackermagee
October 20, 2011 5:56 pm

We’ve had some big ‘findings’ and subsequent, acrimonious withdrawals (see the latest news on the XMRV virus work) in biology. I’m sure millions went down the tubes looking into, then again into refuting that garbage. When it was all said and done though, papers went out proclaiming XMRV to be garbage.
Where are your papers? Where’s the call of BS? If you don’t put something out there it’ll never change the flow.
When we look in on this ‘debate’ from outside the climate sciences… we really do shake our heads quite a bit at the skeptics. No references, no papers, nothing that’s come through any sort of peer review!

October 20, 2011 5:58 pm

Muller & co. show no apparent understanding of the systematic measurement error that plagues surface temperature sensors. They don’t reference any of the papers that discuss this problem, they don’t discuss the problem of systematic sensor error — except as regards to siting problems, which are irrelevant to the issue of inherent sensor measurement error — and demonstrate no awareness that systematic temperature sensor measurement error can correlate regionally.
Wrong.
The actually discuss Folland 2001 and take issue with his calculation of measurement error.
And they have a unquire method of estimating it. If you have an issue take it up with the Nobel prize winner

October 20, 2011 6:00 pm

Theo they explain clearly why they picked 1950.
Anthony thinks 1979 is better
Anybody want to bet that the answer wont change when people get the matlab and run a 1979 case?

October 20, 2011 6:01 pm

“Because Mosher now makes some portion of his living on CO2”
sorry, the only income I make is on the book. go figure your wrong about me and C02

October 20, 2011 6:05 pm

Maus.
To show that the erors are normally distributed is pretty easy.
1. sensor errors.. go look at CRN data tri redundnat errors.
2. Adjustment errors: Go read karl and look at the validation tests
3. Micro site; go read Anthony’s paper
4. UHI: Best, jones, parker, peterson
Next

barry
October 20, 2011 6:05 pm

Judith Curry, who contributed to some of the BEST papers, has commented on their release:

“In my relatively minor role in all this, I have had virtually no input into the BEST PR strategy. I have encouraged making the data set available as soon as possible. They were reluctant to do this before papers had been submitted for publication, and cited the problems that Anthony Watts had with releasing his surfacestations.org dataset before papers were accepted for publication. IMO, two of the papers (decadal and surface station quality) should have been extended and further analyzed before submitting (but that very well may be the response of the reviewers/editors.) I agree that it is important to get the papers out there and not be scooped on this by others, especially since Muller and other team members have been giving presentations on this. I have no problem with posting the papers before they are accepted for publication, in fact I encourage people to post their papers before publication.
In terms of how effective the team’s overall PR strategy has been, that is a subject that is certainly open to debate. But my impression is that the group has been honest brokers in all this in terms of trying to improve our understanding of the surface temperature data, while maximizing the impact of the data set and their research.

http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/20/berkeley-surface-temperatures-released/

Bill Illis
October 20, 2011 6:06 pm

Why do these two papers show a different land temperature graph. It appears they are supposed to be the same but they are not. All of the various temperature series are different in the two charts.
See Figure 8:
http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_Averaging_Process
See Figure 1:
http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_Decadal_Variations
I am also concerned with the 12 month moving average smoothing process they used and the fact that the end-points do not exhibit a 6 month cut-off for example, it looks they jsut keep running a 12 moving average to the end. In addition, the entire GHCN database does not need to be smoothed with a 12 month moving average. Only regional series that have huge variability like the US for example needs to be smoothed. These are supposed to be the top statistical experts but I am seeing serious quality control issues in these papers.
Using the 1950 to 2010 US series for siting (when it is only valid for 1979 to 2009) is just another example of slopiness.

mandas
October 20, 2011 6:06 pm

[snip. Try saying whatever your trying to say a little more politely. ~dbs, mod.]

Bill H
October 20, 2011 6:10 pm

Let me get this straight..
BEST takes the temps… averages them.. then compiles them into a program which then extrapolates what the real temps were…
Then they take those findings and places them into a paper… refused to properly vet/review the paper and refuses to correct even basic errors…..
The IPCC, MET, EAU, CRU all use this same method of falsification by model… then try and get people to act out of emotion and not reason… thinking….
Nothing more than the Obama Hand of the EPA justifying the need for regulations now without thinking or science to back it up….
HAS ANYTHING CHANGED SINCE CLIMATE-GATE? looks like buisness as usual to me..
Bill

EFS_Junior
October 20, 2011 6:14 pm

So now (pending peer-review and publication) we have the interesting situation of a Koch institution, a left-wing boogy-man, funding an unbiased study that confirms the previous temperature estimates, “consistent with global land-surface warming results previously reported, but with reduced uncertainty.”
The identities of the people involved with these two organizations can be found on their websites. Let the smirching begin.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Pretty much a non sequitur, given the following;
“All donations were provided as unrestricted educational grants, which means the donor organizations have no say over how we conduct the research or what we publish. All of our work and results will be presented with full transparency.”
http://www.berkeleyearth.org/donors.php
What two organizations?

BioBob
October 20, 2011 6:15 pm

“Kevin MacDonald says:
October 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm …these comments refer to the last decade”
——————————————-
My comments have no particular reference to the last 10 years or any particular period. Dunno why you included that particular segment but my point was the data is so bad and the actual and possible errors so large that no scientist with a solid grounding in statistics and sampling could discern the signal from the error and standard deviation noise. My comments refer to the ENTIRE HISTORY of garbage environmental temperature collection and probably include satellite measurements or we would not see 400+ degree Lake Michigan surface temperatures integrated into the dataset.
================================================================
“steven mosher says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm
All data is error ridden. If the errors are normally distributed, then its doesnt make the mean noiser.”
————————–
Sorry bubba. All data is NOT “error ridden”. You show a remarkable ignorance/cavalier attitude concerning the sources and types of scientific measurement error.
There are a number of different types of error and sampling error of a normally distributed population is the least of them and the most correctable, provided the assumptions which underlay the statistics are met. Unfortunately for the global temperature data, this assumption completely and demonstrably false.
1) instrument calibration error is not likely to be normally distributed
2) the limits of instrument observability are never normally distributed and are irreducible constants
3) sampling siting and measurement bias is rarely normally distributed and pervasive in surface station data.
4) arbitrary corrections to actual observations is not likely normally distributed.
5) made up data like that mentioned in “harryreadme.txt” is probably not normally distributed [LOL – WTF ????]
6) and most important of all, a single nonrandom unrepeated observation from a nonrandom location in a time series is NEVER drawn from a normally distributed population even though this comprises 100% of every temperature data set I have ever seen.

Bill H
October 20, 2011 6:16 pm

Slackermagee says:
October 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm
When we look in on this ‘debate’ from outside the climate sciences… we really do shake our heads quite a bit at the skeptics. No references, no papers, nothing that’s come through any sort of peer review!
——————————————————————————————–
if your screaming for lack of real peer review you need look inward to the warmers.. they used the same 30 individuals to circular peer review their work… Now we tear apart the work and show you folks where your wrong and warmers get all butt hurt.. when you all can do science without peer review by circular method then come on back an complain.. until then….. have a nice day.

Dave Springer
October 20, 2011 6:18 pm

Bruce says:
October 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm
“Why do you always ignore everything but CO2 Mosher?”
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=One%20Trick%20Pony

October 20, 2011 6:21 pm

Slackermagee says:
“When we look in on this ‘debate’ from outside the climate sciences… we really do shake our heads quite a bit at the skeptics. No references, no papers, nothing that’s come through any sort of peer review!”
That’s what you get for living in a self-reinforcing echo chamber of censoring blogs populated by a relatively small group of like-minded head nodders. FYI, this is one of the few sites that allow all points of view [within site Policy, of course].
So shake your head all you want. The fact is that you cannot show any global harm or damage as a result of more CO2. And you cannot show any verifiable evidence that the global temperature rise from 288K to 288.8K over the past century and a half has caused any harm. And wake me the day the alarmist cult discovers the scientific method and the complete transparency it requires. Michael Mann still refuses to cooperate with other scientists, thirteen years after his universally debunked MBH98 and its original hokey stick chart.
And regarding the corrupt climate pal review system, even Nature was forced to issue a Correction to MBH98. If it weren’t for psychological projection, the alarmist crowd would be at a loss for words.
•••
Kevin MacDonald claims that the global temperature rise is accelerating — by using a WFT chart as his ‘authority’! Earth to MacDonald: You can show most anything with WFT [see my links @5:45 pm above]. For example, we can see that the trend line from the LIA is normal, natural, and nothing to be alarmed about. Over the past year the CET record has plunged faster than at any time during the past 160 years; that is hardly “accelerating warming”.
Arm-waving about a natural cycle in order to demonize “carbon” is what scientific iliterates and/or those with an agenda do. We see it in the media every day. It’s just ignorant pseudo-science.

charles nelson
October 20, 2011 6:23 pm

Slacker…your attempts at ‘even handedness’ just give you away.
If you ‘shake your heads’ at the skeptics (note use of the term ‘we’) who in the main use the official data provided by your very own noaa, nasa, cru etc to discredit the scare…then I imagine you could shake your head till it spun through 360 degrees and fell off, at the sleazy behaviour of your climate gate buddies.)
Your science may be crap..but to give credit where it’s due…your (note the use of the term ‘your’) PR machine is still much, much better than ours.

Bruce
October 20, 2011 6:28 pm

UHI contaminates all recent data making the present warmer than the past. Air conditioning is now ubiquitous. It wasn’t int he 1930s. There are numerous studies showing urban centers warming by 1C, 2C and even more as hot moist air was pumped into the streets of Tokyo and Paris (examples). A/C units were not there in 1934. And the USA has only two years warmer than 1934. UHI probably means than 1934 is still the warmest year in US history.
77 years ago. It isn’t any warmer than it was … even with UHI contaminated datasets.

October 20, 2011 6:35 pm

steven mosher says:
“If you have an issue take it up with the Nobel prize winner”
Oh, please. Appeals to authority play a weak hand on this site. Algore got the Nobel, too. Should we take it up with him?

Myrrh
October 20, 2011 6:36 pm

TomL says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm
The spin I’ve seen so far is that the skeptics have been proven wrong because the new results still show a temperature increase over the last 200 years. The new results also show no increase over the last 10 years but nobody is talking about that.
When you begin measuring from the lowest point of a cold period which is low because the preceding period had higher temperatures, and longer timescales show there are many such periods of temperature rises followed by temperature falls, what do you expect to see now?
Temps in this our period, post Little Ice Age, is still on a downward slope from the beginning of the Holocene, the rises and falls merely hiccups on the way back into the Ice Age we’re still in..
Sceptics are sceptics because they think.
………………..
Anthony, you’ve obviously touched a raw nerve on the AGWBeastie from the attacks here…

October 20, 2011 6:37 pm

Bill H – You’re attacking climate scientists for pal review, I get that. Do you similarly attack Lindzen and Choi for attempting the same thing at PNAS (where the pal review was rejected along with their paper) and Remote Sensing (where it worked, and we all know the results of that, don’t we)?
Just curious.

October 20, 2011 6:43 pm

Bill Illis, read the papers. The paper which describes the methodology only used the GHCN dataset.

David Falkner
October 20, 2011 6:47 pm

Ha! It’s an important topic, they say. Apparently too important to get right.

aceandgary
October 20, 2011 6:47 pm

so the article starts by complaining this paper hasn’t passed peer review? What happened to all the screaming that the peer review system was broken? How come I don’t hear that now?

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  aceandgary
October 20, 2011 7:15 pm

aceandgary commented
so the article starts by complaining this paper hasn’t passed peer review? What happened to all the screaming that the peer review system was broken? How come I don’t hear that now?
…and will commenters and posters here accept the BEST results if the paper DOES pass peer-review?

Konrad
October 20, 2011 6:48 pm

steven mosher says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm
“C02 warms the planet, the question is how much. That’s the real debate. join it”
That’s an easy one.
Those doing the black body calcs claim around 1 degree of warming for a doubling of CO2 from pre industrial levels* without feedback. However Earth is not a black body. 71% of the surface is ocean.
So divide that 1 degree of warming into two parts. 0.29 degrees for land and 0.71 degrees for oceans.
Now multiply 0.71 by 0.3 to get the realistic effect of backscattered LWIR on water that is free to evaporatively cool. (missing heat Kevin?)
Add this 0.213 degrees back to the 0.29 degrees for land to get 0.503 degrees of warming for a doubling of CO2.
Now multiply that 0.503 degrees by 0.5 to account for negative water vapour feed back, giving 0.2515 degrees of warming for a doubling of CO2. (* ignoring issues such as dodgy pre industrial CO2 levels determined from ice cores with diffusion problems.)
Conclude that 0.2515 degrees of warming will be neither dangerous nor catastrophic.
Further conclude that with a CO2 sensitivity this low there are not enough known or projected fossil fuel reserves to burn to cause dangerous or catastrophic global warming.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 20, 2011 6:49 pm

Anthony,
I went to give the Trenberth meeting post one last look before closing the tab, found this:

UPDATE: this meeting is canceled, I will not be attending – Anthony

Any relation to the above nonsense?

Jenn Oates
October 20, 2011 6:59 pm

I really want to be surprised at this. I am trying really really hard to be surprised, but I just can’t. Unfortunately. Alas.

October 20, 2011 7:19 pm

aceandgary says:
“so the article starts by complaining this paper hasn’t passed peer review? What happened to all the screaming that the peer review system was broken? How come I don’t hear that now?”
Are you that clueless?
The climate pal review system is broken. And it’s clear that Mueller had his fingers crossed behind his back the whole time, as I showed in my post links @October 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm above. You’re conflating Mueller’s duplicity with his conducting of an obviously choreographed PR campaign. Are you that blind to what’s going on? Because we’re not.

Jeff D
October 20, 2011 7:21 pm

I think Anthony has figured out what the striped squirrel really is. Trust is hard, sometimes you take a chance and hope you don’t get burned. That lesson cost me $50,000. I am not near as trusting. Now trust must be earned not given freely. I know that goes against Willis views but personal experience does color ones actions.

gbaikie
October 20, 2011 7:22 pm

*What is land average and ocean average?*
No one have quick answer?
How about rough guess ocean average temperature is more than 15 C
And Land average is around 0 C
It seems like a good trivia question, but I don’t get any quick answers.
And for any vaguely interested in climatic, it seems to me it ought to be known.
Land area of countries
Russia % of world: 11.5% [17,098,242 km 6,601,668 mi]
Antarctic: 8.9% [14.2 million sq km (about 5.5 million sq miles) in summer]
Canada: 6.7%
China: 6.5%
United States: 6.5%
Brazil: 5.7%
Australia: 5.2%
India: 2.3%
Argentina: 2%
Rest each has less than 2%
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_outlying_territories_by_total_area
This is only 47.3 % of land area.
And more than half of the 47.3% is countries or continents which are pretty cold:
Russia, Antarctic, and Canada.
Perhaps an interesting question is what country which more than 1% of the land area
has the highest average temperature.
Anyone have a guess? I have no clue.
I know it’s probably Indonesia: 1.3% of the land area.
But before get to that what is average temperature of Russia?
Antarctic is:
“The average temperature on the Antarctic continent is -49 C”
http://www.gma.org/surfing/antarctica/antarctica.html
Oh trivia:
“The highest average annual temperature in the world, possibly a world record, is the 94°F, at Dalol (or Dallol), Ethiopia.”
But it’s a town not a country, anyhow.
Coldest extremes:
Antarctica –129
Oimekon, Russia -90
Verkhoyansk, Russia -90
Greenland -87
http://www.weatherexplained.com/Vol-1/Record-Setting-Weather.html
Trying to figure out Canada average temperature:
this charts of when average temperature go below freezing:
http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/e0010733
I know that frost level/permafrost anyplace with permafrost should have average temperature below freezing.
And looks like more half Canada has permafrost.
“Permafrost, or soil that is permanently frozen, covers about 63 percent of Russia, but has been greatly affected by climate change in recent decades.”
So I would say Canada and Russia have average temperature of 0 C or lower.
Or about 25% of land area average temperature is somewhere around -10 to -15 C
Here is Indonesia bragging about it’s temperature:
“The average temperature in Indonesia is 27.7 °C (82 °F)”
http://www.climatetemp.info/indonesia/
Anyhow as guess it seems if don’t add temperature for the elevation being above sea level the average land temperature does seem to be somewhere around 0 C.
Also seems fairly rare that anyone finds it useful to describe their country in terms of it’s average temperature.
Of course with Ocean you huge areas which are over 28 C and Oceans can’t get much below freezing unless you measuring the air temperature above the ice. Not considered here:
http://www.climate4you.com/SeaTemperatures.htm#Recent%20sea%20surface%20temperature

FleshNotMachine
October 20, 2011 7:23 pm

So Anthony, I have to ask: what evidence *would* convince you of AGW?

joe
October 20, 2011 7:24 pm

that’s too bad. i think i heard this Muller guy a few times on the Dr. Bill Wattenburg radio show and he seemed like an honest man. supposedly had the most popular physics class or something like that at UC Berkley. maybe it says something about our universities.

Walter Sobchak
October 20, 2011 7:24 pm

Stepen
“All data is error ridden. If the errors are normally distributed, then its doesnt make the mean noiser.” [sic]
Again. How do we know whether the errors are normally distributed? And, even if they are normally distributed in modern times can we know what the distribution was before?
“The world is getting warmer. The measurements of that are uncertain, but we know that it is warmer now than in the LIA. We’ve got good estimates of how much warmer.”
To say that the world is warmer now than it was in a time period dubbed the “Little Ice Age” is not saying very much. “measurements … are uncertain … We’ve got good estimates” is indecipherable.
“The surface record over the last 30 years is well correlated with the satellite record. That gives us confidence that records PRIOR to this period are also reliable.”
The second sentence does not follow from the first. The correlation may be maintained by “adjustments” to the surface record, or it maybe that modern instruments and techniques are far superior to those used in previous eras.
“They didnt magicillat improve post 1979. The last 10 years are also well correlated with an absolutely pristine land record ( The climate reference network)” [sic]
Then weather measurement would be the only sphere of activity related to measurement generally that has not vastly improved over the last 30 years. The subject of “adjustments” is addressed above.
“C02 warms the planet, the question is how much. That’s the real debate. join it”
CO2 cannot warm anything. It is not a source of energy.

October 20, 2011 7:27 pm

FleshNotMachine says:
“…and will commenters and posters here accept the BEST results if the paper DOES pass peer-review?”
Absolutely… IF the results are per the scientific method, and the data is testable and verifiable. But that’s the rub, isn’t it, kool-aid drinker? As Harry the programmer stated, he fabricated outright fourteen years of temperature data. The whole global warming scare is based on bad and/or invented data.
Defend that, if you think you can.

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  dbstealey
October 20, 2011 8:28 pm

Smokey commented
-> “…and will commenters and posters here accept the BEST results if
-> the paper DOES pass peer-review?”
Absolutely… IF the results are per the scientific method, and the data is testable and verifiable.
The second is already satisfied, no? BEST has made their data and programs available on their Web site: http://berkeleyearth.org/dataset.php
So we only have to focus on your first point. Now, what does “per the scientific method” mean?

JK
October 20, 2011 7:35 pm

Oh, this is rich!
Oh, boohoo, they tricked us! Oh, they released this before it was peer reviewed! Oh, they put everything out in public, which isn’t the scientific process! Oh, they didn’t pick the time period we did! Oh, we shouldn’t comment on anything not peer reviewed, Oh, we will NOT accept this duplicity when we liked him so much! Oh, they were in league with “the team” all the time, we know it!

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 7:37 pm

FleshNotMachine says:
“…and will commenters and posters here accept the BEST results if the paper DOES pass peer-review?”
Of course not. Anthony has clearly stated the reason. His agreement with Muller was for work on the last 30 years but Muller switched to 60 years. Muller can redo his work for 60 years. However, this post is not about science but morality. Muller practices Bait and Switch.

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 8:40 pm

Theo Goodwin commented
His agreement with Muller was for work on the last 30 years but Muller switched to 60 years. Muller can redo his work for 60 years.
Does Anthony accept the results for the 30-yr period? It’s BEST’s analysis, after all, and their publication. Hence their choice of what data to look at. It limits their results in one respect, but strengthens them in another. All scientists in a collaboration rarely agree no exactly how a project should proceed.
However, this post is not about science but morality. Muller practices Bait and Switch
Like all science, the results are about the real physical world and independent of anyone’s morality. It’s unfortunate that anyone’s feelings were hurt, but that’s for the collaboration to work out amongst themselves. If Anthony’s name is on the paper(s), he can request it be removed. He can submit a rebuttal paper, or a letter, to the journal. In any case, the world is going to focus on the study itself, as they should.

October 20, 2011 7:38 pm

Smokey, download the code and data from BEST and run it with this:
http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/
Knock your socks off!

Pat Frank
October 20, 2011 7:39 pm

Very poor reply, Steve. Folland, et al., 2001 never consider systematic sensor measurement error and your argument from authoritative Nobelism carries no weight.
I’ve searched Muller et al’s unpublished paper (thanks for linking the pdf, Anthony). They don’t at all consider the systematic error that plagues even well-sited surface temperature sensors. This systematic error need not at all average away as 1/sqrtN, and may even increase as new measurements are added in to an average.
Unfortunately for Muller — and equally for Jones and Hansen — it’s impossible to recover the weather-induced systematic error of past measurements. The only way to approach it is by an empirical and widely distributed calibration experiment using homologous instruments (I.e., an array of LiG thermometer-CRS shield set-ups spread across a selection of varied climates), and then apply that error estimate to past measurements. But no one has set up such a calibration experiment, and after-the-fact theory-based error models seem like little more than a hopeless exercise in false precision.

October 20, 2011 7:40 pm

We need a catchy name for this “accept their findings” coarse of events. Retract-gate. No. Renege-gate. Alliterative. Better but no. Got it! Abro-gate. Yep, that’s it! Abro-gate!

Pat Frank
October 20, 2011 7:44 pm

Holy cow, BioBob gets it, in spades. Great summary!

Maus
October 20, 2011 7:44 pm

Mosher:
“To show that the erors are normally distributed is pretty easy.”
One should certainly hope. But given that you’re failing admirably at the task does give one pause. So here’s a lesson in the basics for you: To show that it’s normally distributed requires that you already have the mean calculated from other sources and instruments. These can then be compared to each other for relevancy.
You with me so far, or are the basics beyond you?
The Urban Heat Island is defined as a temperature anomaly that has a positive delta with regards to the expected value. By definition it is not normally distributed about the mean. In case you were a complete neophyte to basic thinking I threw in the ‘Urban Cold Island’ so that the relevancy would be crystal clear to you.
However, you’re claiming that they *are* normally distributed about the global mean. This is a different matter and quite intriguing. So rather than having you continue to bluster and sputter over your demonstrated ignorance in calculating basic averages? Provide me a proper citation to a paper that demonstrates that the UHI and UCI are symmetrically distributed about the global mean. Certainly, as an established author you know how to cite a paper properly?
Or are those basics beyond you as well?

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 7:50 pm

Error! Muller can redo his work for 30 years. The last 30 years.

Pat Frank
October 20, 2011 7:51 pm

FnM, we’d need evidence of a falsifiable climate model with predictive resolution in the 1 W/m^2 range.
That’s the “evidence,” and the only evidence, of AGW that any science-minded person should require.
But we don’t have one. Therefore, most believer’s criterion of evidence for AGW is clearly unscientific.

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  Pat Frank
October 20, 2011 9:03 pm

Pat Frank commented
FnM, we’d need evidence of a falsifiable climate model with predictive resolution in the 1 W/m^2 range.
How can this depend on models? It seems to me it has to depend on observations. After all, no model can predict the future, because no one knows the exact path the world will take for CO2/CH4/NO2… emissions, land use changes, …

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 7:55 pm

aceandgary says:
“so the article starts by complaining this paper hasn’t passed peer review? What happened to all the screaming that the peer review system was broken? How come I don’t hear that now?”
Let me do this for you in stark colors, black and white. The Warmista are those who trumpet the glory of peer reviewed work. Yet here is Muller choosing to violate the peer review system. Some terms that describe such behavior are Hypocrite, Back Slider, Two Faced, and so on.
We criticize Muller for violating peer review, and especially harshly, because he is one of those who constantly trumpets the glory of the peer review system. We are applying his standards to him and emphasizing that he is not applying them to himself.

Jerry
October 20, 2011 8:00 pm

Anthony, I’d like to ask you what I think is a highly relevant question: what is Mueller’s reaction to your study showing that there are significant temperature differences in Stevenson screens painted with latex paint compared to those painted with whitewash? Your study on that topic is simply irrefutable, and can be easily reproduced by anyone willing to take the time and effort to do so. It’s important because it clearly shows that a systematic upward bias in temperature measurements absolutely has been introduced into the historic temperature data. If the BEST method of analysis does not reveal such a trend, then something is very wrong with it.

Toto
October 20, 2011 8:03 pm

rw says:
October 20, 2011 at 11:35 am

Toto, peer review isn’t perfect, but in my experience it’s usually adequate. (Recall W. Churchill’s remark about democracy: that it’s the worst political system in the world, except for every other one that’s been tried). The trouble comes if an entire field has become too politicized and polarized; then all bets are off and we’re into post-normal (or is it post-modern?) science.

I get Churchill and W.C.Fields confused. Great sound-bite, but what does it really mean? The full quote and its context are interesting but OT.
Regarding peer review, I would say sometimes adequate, often dismally not. It is tradition bound; we could do better now. Getting wide input before publication is not a bad thing; the question is: what will BEST do with it? It’s quite the shotgun approach; will they even see or read most of the responses?

Richard "Heatwave" Berler, CBM
October 20, 2011 8:03 pm

Thanks Anthony…those 2 rooftop exposures are good examples. Glad they were done away with. When looking at Baltimore City (gross example of a class #5 site!) vs. BWI, I note annual mean temperatures about +1.8C (+3.1F) for city over BWI. The records suggest that individual days have wandered +5C (+9F) above BWI. Tmax average +0.8C (+1.4F) above BWI, Tmins average +2.2C (+3.9F) above BWI. Tucson’s class #5 record of 117F is just 1.1C (2F) above the Tucson WSO 115F record, and .5C (1F) below the 118F at the Tucson Magnetic Observatory. My MMTS would be described as class 5, and I find that it’s readings are not discernably different from readings that I have made with traceable thermometers in a large adjacent field well away from the manmade surfaces. In the 25 years that I have operated the MMTS, my absolute TMax is 114F. Surrounding towns within 75 miles have recorded 116F in the case of Encinal, Freer, and Zapata, 114F in Hebbronville. With the work that you have done with numerous class 4 & 5 sites, can you estimate the systematic error in Tmax/Tmin for these classes as a whole (My experience in looking at the data from the monthly climatological data from Texas coop stations and my own measurements in the field and from my MMTS suggests that the siting errors are a good fraction of an order of magnitude below the >5C (>9F) error that is attributed to class 5 stations in your paper. I know that you were quoting that number from other papers…I’m wondering what your experience has been in this regard.

Jerry
October 20, 2011 8:04 pm

Anthony, I’d like to ask you what I think is a highly relevant question: what is Mueller’s reaction to your study showing that there are significant temperature differences in Stevenson screens painted with latex paint compared to those painted with whitewash? Your study on that topic is simply irrefutable, and can be easily reproduced by anyone willing to take the time and effort to do so. It’s important because it clearly shows that a systematic upward bias in temperature measurements absolutely has been introduced into the historic temperature data. If the BEST method of analysis does not reveal such a trend, then something is very wrong with it.
(Suggestion for future experiment: use that nifty IR imaging camera you used to refute the Climate 101 Gore experiment to show the differences between IR absorption/reflection on latex and whitewashed Stevenson screens. Also, please tell us the make and model of the tool. I wouldn’t mind buying one of them for similar studies of my own.)

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 8:07 pm

Brian Angliss says:
October 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm
“Theo, Anthony has no leg to stand on to complain here, given he did the same thing in 2009 with Joe D’Aleo.”
Brian, you are one extended fallacious whine. What Anthony did with D’Aleo is irrelevant to this topic.
I have set forth some of the moral wrongs committed by Muller and BEST against Anthony. They are set forth right up above in plain English. Address them. Then you can have a debate. All you are doing at this time, bringing up entirely different matters such as D’Aleo, is flailing the air.

Reply to  Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 9:16 pm

Funny, Theo, but last I checked, the title of this post was “The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project puts PR before peer review.” Anthony did that very thing (by his own admission earlier in these comments) with the Heartland piece he wrote with D’Aleo regarding early results of the surfacestations project. Put simply, Anthony committed the same sin he now accuses Muller of committing, and it’s hypocritical of Anthony unless he’s asked that his original Heartland paper be taken down. This is especially true given that Anthony’s own paper showed that the original Heartland white paper was wrong.
If he’s asked Heartland to remove the paper (or, now that I think about it, attach a warning as to the wrongness of the paper) then Anthony isn’t a hypocrite. If he hasn’t, then he is a hypocrite. And if he’s a hypocrite on this issue, then that cast a pall over this entire post. I’d personally say that is a more fundamental issue than what Muller did or didn’t do and whether it was or was not moral/ethical. But that’s just me.

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 8:12 pm

steven mosher says:
October 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm
“Theo they explain clearly why they picked 1950.
Anthony thinks 1979 is better”
There are two sides so you get to pick yours and that is the end of the matter. That is the road to moral idiocy. Anthony had an understanding with Muller. Muller betrayed Anthony’s trust. Can you even recognize the terminology of morality?

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 8:14 pm

Anthony,
This post proves that you have no choice but to stand alone. Any contact with Warmista will be turned into an industry of hatred directed toward you. Clearly, it would be a horrendous mistake for you to accept Trenberth’s invitation.

Richard "Heatwave" Berler, CBM
October 20, 2011 8:15 pm

And as an addition, today is a nice example of my class #5 site vs. area temperatures within 75 miles:
Laredo MMTS 88F
Laredo AWIS 89F
Faith Ranch (SW Dimmit county) 87F
Cotulla 88F
Zapata 88F
Hebbronville 87F
This is not to say that class #5 sites should be utilized in climate change studies…I question the large systematic errors that are attributed to these sites in your source for your table of site class vs. expected error.
Richard “Heatwave” Berler, CBM

Leo Morgan
October 20, 2011 8:39 pm

“The issue of “the world is warming” is not one that climate skeptics question, it is the magnitude and causes.”
For myself I would add:
And the validity of the models, the anticipated impacts of warming, (including their projected economic effects) and the appropriate response if their forecasts were accurate.

Wayne Delbeke
October 20, 2011 8:49 pm

What this thread shows is that NO ONE really knows what is going on (except maybe the geologists) … there are folks with axes to grind on both sides while the chickens run around either saying the sky is falling or they are headless … but for most of us it will still be chicken soup and whether it is half a degree warmer or colder than usual won’t matter a whit. It just goes to show the whole IPCC/Global Warming thing is a huge scam with a lot of money for pretenders on both sides of the issue. Meanwhile, I shall go fill out my forms for my zero tillage carbon credits and my tree farm carbon credits and shoot a few wild beasties around the oil well for dinner and add a fish or two from my fish pond … /sarc off (sort off) regards, Wayne, from my oily Alberta horse powered ranch. ;-(

David Ball
October 20, 2011 8:50 pm

Anthony (and anyone else planning to attend), I am hoping you will go into the Trenberth arena with eyes wide open. The past actions of these fellows should not be discounted. You always say that ” malice cannot be assumed where incompetence will suffice” ( paraphrasing). Neither is acceptable IMO.

Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 9:00 pm

FleshNotMachine says:
October 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm
“Does Anthony accept the results for the 30-yr period? It’s BEST’s analysis, after all, and their publication. Hence their choice of what data to look at. It limits their results in one respect, but strengthens them in another. All scientists in a collaboration rarely agree no exactly how a project should proceed.”
Can you define one single moral concept? Can you apply it? I think not. It is really wonderful when people like you identify yourselves so clearly. I shall studiously avoid you.

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  Theo Goodwin
October 20, 2011 9:12 pm

Theo Goodwin commented
Can you define one single moral concept? Can you apply it? I think not. It is really wonderful when people like you identify yourselves so clearly. I shall studiously avoid you.
Science isn’t about morals — it’s about describing the world.

John Dodds
October 20, 2011 9:04 pm

About the BEST releases and the Peer Review
THe 1896 Arrhenius paper that blamed CO2 for the greenhouse effect warming, was apparently also peer reviewed. HOWEVER Mother Nature shows every NIGHT that it is the reduction in incoming energy photons and NOT the CO2 in the greenhouse effect that is responsible for the change in temperature: ie more photns means warming, fewer photons means cooling.
This means that EVERY SINGLE paper from 1896 thru NOW that blames CO2 for warming, or uses this basis is wrong, and the Peer Reviewers have missed it. Does that make peer review a reliable mechanism?

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  John Dodds
October 20, 2011 9:15 pm

John Dodds commented
HOWEVER Mother Nature shows every NIGHT that it is the reduction in incoming energy photons and NOT the CO2 in the greenhouse effect that is responsible for the change in temperature: ie more photns means warming, fewer photons means cooling.
This means that EVERY SINGLE paper from 1896 thru NOW that blames CO2 for warming, or uses this basis is wrong, and the Peer Reviewers have missed it. Does that make peer review a reliable mechanism?

AGWers blame CO2 for _additional_ warming, not _all_ warming. Let’s at least admit they’re not completely incompetent.

October 20, 2011 9:06 pm

FleshNotMachine says:
“Now, what does “per the scientific method” mean?”
It means the complete transparency of all data, metadata, methodologies, and everything else related to the authour’s conclusions. How else can the claims of runaway global warming be replicated?? Wake me when the alarmist contingent complies with transparency. So far, they have always stonewalled.
Picking and choosing which cherry-picked information to provide is just playing pseudo-science games. When Steve McIntyre states that all his requested information has been provided, I’ll be satisfied. Until then, your conniving and mendacious side is just being anti-science. As usual.

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  dbstealey
October 20, 2011 9:21 pm

Smokey commented
It means complete transparency of all data, metadata, methodologies, and everything else related to the authour’s conclusions. Wake me when the alarmist contingent complies. So far, they have stonewalled.
BEST provides all this. What are they lacking?
And very, very little historical findings in science would fit this bill, either now or at the time they were published. Where is Kepler’s data that proved his third law? Or the data that BEST’s Perlmutter used to prove accelerating expansion of the universe? Or the nightly raw data that showed a lack of sunspots during the Maunder Minimum?

FleshNotMachine
October 20, 2011 9:10 pm

Theo Goodwin says:
Error! Muller can redo his work for 30 years. The last 30 years.
It’s BEST’s project — they can do it for whatever period they want, and their results apply accordingly.
if anyone else, like you or Anthony, wants a different time period, they should do it themselves and publish their own paper. BEST already provides a framework to start from.

Steve Garcia
October 20, 2011 9:13 pm

Muller: “I know that is prior to acceptance, but in the tradition that I grew up in (under Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez) we always widely distributed “preprints” of papers prior to their publication or even submission. That guaranteed a much wider peer review than we obtained from mere referees.”
Is he serious? Peer review is BY THE REVIEWERS SELECTED BY THE JOURNAL, not by a wide number of scientists.
No. What he is saying is that he wants to spoil the objectivity of the possible reviewer population before the official reviewers get a chance to review it.
Shame on this man. He is a total insider in the politics of science (see his Wikipedia entry), and Anthony was set up to believe that he was going to be given a part in it as a pursuit of objective truth. It has been, and will quickly even more so become, a political stab in the back. Muller was never going to pull the rug out from under those the government and the U.N. favor.
Anthony, ya got taken, Dude.

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  Steve Garcia
October 20, 2011 9:37 pm

feet2thefire commented
Is he serious? Peer review is BY THE REVIEWERS SELECTED BY THE JOURNAL, not by a wide number of scientists.
On this Muller is right. Physicists (at least) have a long history of sending their pre-peer-reviewed papers around, to friends and colleagues and, in the last several decades, to many institutions as preprints. And they give seminars. Their work gets evaluated via these routes just as it does in peer-review.
It’s important to remember that a paper that passes peer review isn’t necessarily right. Peer review just means it isn’t obviously wrong, that it recognizes past work, and that it meets scholarly standards. Lots of peer reviewed papers published in journals are wrong. It is the community who ultimately decides on a paper’s correctness and worth, in a long, crooked process.

jc
October 20, 2011 9:17 pm

I am a relatively new observer to this “debate”. I am quite ready believe that AGW is occuring if there is clear evidence to support this, and if other possible variables are fully investigated and understood.
Over the past month I have not read posts here or elsewhere with the conceit that through my evaluation of the underlying science that I personally will be able to balance various factors to the extent that I can independently form a scientifically based view. Others feel they can and perhaps that is justified, or at least, their contribution may be significant in refining an understanding.
The above discussion has been inspired by an evaluation of the credibilty or otherwise of temperature data collection methodology. Some of the above seems to consist of repetition – perhaps inevitable given the format – and more or less mindless pointscoring associated with evasion and basic intellectual dishonesty. The balance gives the impression of sincerly seeking clarity, whether pursued coherently or not. There is no doubt that a forensic examination of any claims is obligitory to understanding anything.
What is striking to me about this “debate” is how easily the basic point is lost or obscured. The most basic question about this study is: why is it neccessary? How is it remotely possible that only now, after a quarter of a century of an escalating crisis, that this most rudimentary evaluation is occuring? How is it that it would seem to be occuring only because one man from outside the established scientific and educational institutions realized that what should have been automatic – the evaluation of any implications of modifications to data collection methodology – was not done? How can such a situation have possibly arisen? Billions upon billions of dollars have been expended on this area of inquiry. To ensure the capacity to accurately measure what is occuring is the very first priority. Without that not only is it impossible to know with certainty what is occuring, but it is also impossible to make progress on understanding what might be effecting this. This is not a requirement for science alone, it is the mechanism by which people utilize their intelligence. Scientific method is merely the formalization of this.
The point of this post is to urge all participants to always look at the basics first and to maintain an overview. Regardless of the legitimacy – or otherwise- of the above study this recent process should bring to centre stage the core question of why this was not done 25 years ago. This is beyond extraordinary, it is frightening.

October 20, 2011 9:22 pm

John Dodds – you’re kidding me, right? The exact same physics that describes how CO2 moderates temperature is responsible for ensuring that heat seeking rockets work right and that industrial CO2 lasers function. It’s all one and the same. You can’t have one without the other.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 20, 2011 9:29 pm

From David Ball on October 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm:

Anthony (and anyone else planning to attend), I am hoping you will go into the Trenberth arena with eyes wide open. (…)

Dear Dr. Ball,
As I noted in a comment above, Anthony has stated the meeting was canceled.

Gordon
October 20, 2011 9:31 pm

“I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.“
— Anthony Watts

October 20, 2011 9:34 pm

FNM says:
“BEST provides all this. What are they lacking?”
Transparency. They purport to use fictinal data that was totally fabricated. Get a clue. Peruse the Harry_read_me file. You need to get up to speed on climate fraud. Check out the “Climategate” header.

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  dbstealey
October 20, 2011 11:17 pm

Smokey commented
Transparency. They purport to use fictional data that was totally fabricated.
Please specify exactly what data you claim was fabricated.

Brian H
October 20, 2011 9:36 pm

FleshNotMachine says:
October 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm
Smokey commented
-> “…and will commenters and posters here accept the BEST results if
-> the paper DOES pass peer-review?”
Absolutely… IF the results are per the scientific method, and the data is testable and verifiable.

The second is already satisfied, no? BEST has made their data and programs available on their Web site: http://berkeleyearth.org/dataset.php
So we only have to focus on your first point. Now, what does “per the scientific method” mean?

No, a thousand times NO! “testable and verifiable” does NOT mean “tested and verified”, merely that it is capable of being so. Peer-review is a first, minimal hurdle for “presentability”, and says little or nothing about validity. THAT comes later, from surviving all the slings and arrows the related scientific community can throw at it.
And, furthermore, passing peer review isn’t even a guarantee of minimum presentability. All sorts of junk that happens to stroke the reviewers’ prejudices and preconceptions makes it through. Time and well-crafted challenges are the only real “proof”. To use the pudding analogy, the scent is the peer review, but the replication and testing (and application) are the “eating”.

Not Chuck Collins
October 20, 2011 9:38 pm

Jim Spice says:
October 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm
“…I would accept their findings whatever they were…”
WHAT’S UP with the crossed fingers. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! And I’ll use my real name.

Jim Spice is just the name you post to blogs under. Your real name is Chuck Collins. You and your wife Linda live in Wisconsin. You’re a dishonest leftist troll.

Chuck Nolan
October 20, 2011 9:59 pm

I understand that for we climate followers this is big news but, the public was already told the earth is warming, NY will be under water and the consensus is in. I don’t think this will be big news to the general folks. They have put CAGW behind them. The problem is Obama and the EPA. This administration wants another/new revenue stream providing more money to spend. Plus, they can just make up the value of the credits at will. (and they will)

James of the West
October 20, 2011 9:59 pm

It is their paper after all, so they can publish when they want and accept the consequences. If they are crazy enough to go public before basic reviews are completed and simple errors are corrected it will only reflect on them and their lack of attention to detail and needless haste – surely its no skin off anybody elses nose though.

John Brookes
October 20, 2011 10:14 pm

Muller used to be a card carrying “skeptic”. What happened to him?

October 20, 2011 10:49 pm

I always suspected that BEST was set up just to nullify the findings of your surfacestations project. A lot of effort was put into creeping down the historic temps and relocating stations to take full advantage of UHI, then you come along to upset the applecart. Something must be done, and the rapid response team doesn’t have time to waste.

October 20, 2011 10:53 pm

It is time to revisit some comments made March 31 – April 3, 2011 in WUWT Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst. – Willis Eschenbach.
Part of the comments were objections to a “scalpel and suture” technique and how that might destroy the critical low frequency data in the records.
In Dr. Muller’s PR blitz, he writes this in a WSJ Opinion piece.

Many of the records were short in duration, and to use them Mr. Rohde and a team of esteemed scientists and statisticians developed a new analytical approach that let us incorporate fragments of records. …. Rather than try to correct for the discontinuities in the records, we simply sliced the records where the data cut off, thereby creating two records from one.

— Dr. Muller, WSJ Eur Oct. 21, 2011.
The word “Scalpel” does not do justice to this work. “Meat Ax” is more fitting.
Anyone with a passing knowledge of the Fourier domain must realize that the low frequency components of the temperature record spectrum are now gone and any low frequency content at the end is purely a fabrication of the analyst who somehow spliced them back together.
Dr. Muller wants peer review? Here it is. Take it to any signal processor. Take it to someone who knows information theory. If the technique is “simply” as his own words attest, it is a fatal flaw in the data processing.

Nylo
October 20, 2011 10:54 pm

The news is already in the spanish media. They are putting the following words in the mouth of Richard Muller:
“Mi esperanza es que este estudio sirva para convencer a los sanamente escépticos y a los que expresaron sus legítimas dudas”, admite ahora Richard Muller. “A los negacionistas no les vamos a convencer nunca: no les interesa la ciencia”.
Translated:
“My hope is that this study will be useful to convince those healthily sceptics and those who expressed legitimate doubts”, admits now Richard Muller. “We won’t be able to ever convince the negationists, they are not interested in science”.

Neil Jones
October 20, 2011 10:57 pm

BBC radio news has just implied that this paper “proves” that the CRU did not manipulate data to show warming.

pauline
October 20, 2011 11:10 pm

Whilst mutttering darkly at the TV last night, a programme called Climate Wars, my teenager asked a question which highlights well the problem, ‘mum, these guys are all experts and scientists, you aren’t, therfore they must be right and you are wrong’, I didn’t expect my teenager to be of this opinion as she has a curious mind, so what chance does the rest of the world stand when confronted with wall to wall AGW and other illusions from a body of people they see as experts and esteem as part of the scientific community. I did wonder what the fall out would be if and when these scientists are proved wrong.
Convincing said teenager that mum might be right for once was futile, hints and suggestion welcome

Phil
October 20, 2011 11:13 pm

From: Berkeley_Earth_Averaging_Process
The authors appear to criticize Folland et. al. 2001 (from Page 12):

We note that the correlation in the limit of zero distance, R(0) = 0.8802, has a natural and important physical interpretation. It is an estimate of the correlation that one expects to see between two typical weather monitors placed at the same location. By extension, if we assume such stations would report the same temperature except that each is subject to random and uncorrelated error, then it follows that 1 − R(0) = 12.0% of the non-seasonal variation in the typical station record is caused by measurement noise that is unrelated to the variation in the underlying temperature field. Since the average root-mean-square non-seasonal variability is ~2.0 C, it follows that an estimate of the short-term instrumental noise for the typical month at a typical station is ~0.47 C at 95% confidence. This estimate is much larger than the approximately 0.06 C typically used for the random monthly measurement error (Folland et al. 2001). Our correlation analysis suggests that such estimates may understate the amount of random noise introduced by local and instrumental effects.(emphasis added)

Although the authors do not reference Frank, Patrick 2011: Imposed and Neglected Uncertainty in the Global Average Surface Temperature Index, the following appears to touch on Frank 2011 (from page 12):

However, our correlation estimate would not generally include long-term biases that cause a station to be persistently too hot or too cold, and so the estimates are not entirely comparable.

Beginning on page 14, there is a section titled “Homogenization and the Scalpel.” This section is very important in that it distinguishes the methodology of this approach from prior approaches. There are two key points, however, that may affect the validity of this paper:

The first step, cutting records at times of apparent discontinuities, is a natural extension of our fitting procedure that determines the relative offsets between stations … as an intrinsic part of our analysis. We call this cutting procedure the scalpel. Provided that we can identify appropriate breakpoints, the necessary adjustment will be made automatically as part of the fitting process.(emphasis added)

There is no discussion of what effect there would be on the conclusions of the paper if the requirement of “identify(ing) appropriate breakpoints” is not met or only partially met.
Second, the authors, for this paper, did not use the “scalpel” to create breakpoints due to station moves and instrumentation changes. Given the importance which station moves and instrumentation changes have been given in the literature, the conclusions of this paper maybe should be marked with an asterisk. One could presume that this may be evidence of rushing the paper out to the public.
There is also a third point and it is one that the authors did not discuss when perhaps they should have done so. They discuss creating breakpoints unnecessarily, but they do not discuss the effect of missing breakpoints that are necessary.
They state that unnecessary breakpoints should be trend neutral, but they could amplify noise and increase the resulting uncertainty, but, it seems to me, that would not create overstatements in the conclusions. However, it has been well documented that missing necessary breakpoints, such as station moves and instrumentation changes, is not trend neutral and that, following the discussion in the paper, missing such breakpoints may result in underestimating uncertainty.
In the section on “Outlier Weighting,” a parameter is chosen (from page 17):

This choice of target threshold, 2.5e, is partly arbitrary but was selected with the expectation that most of the measured data should be unaffected.

A sensitivity analysis of this parameter might be a good idea to see how the final conclusions may be affected. In Steig, et al. 2009, the addition of an outlier filter changed a slight cooling trend in Antarctica in Comiso et al. 2000 to a slight warming trend. Much was made of this change.
In the section on “Reliability Weighting,” good record keeping is rewarded with greater weighting, but there is no discussion as to whether the better records are also representative. To illustrate using a perhaps unfair comparison, a station that is poorly sited with faulty instrumentation may be given a high weighting due to great diligence of the record keepers.
Normally, when an experiment is conducted, this does not become an issue, as location and calibration of sensors is done beforehand and data that is found to not comply with location and calibration standards is never used. In climate science, however, poor adherence to standards or lack of performing the most minimal quality assurance does not generally mean that such compromised data is disregarded. Indeed on page 18, the authors state:

Due to the limits on outliers from the previous section, the station weight has a range between 1/13 and 2, effectively allowing a “perfect” station record to receive up to 26 times the weight of a “terrible” record.(emphasis added)

It cannot be emphasized enough that “perfect” does not mean that the station is well sited or that the instrumentation is properly calibrated or that recalibrations are or were done periodically. In fact, prior to 1979, there is essentially no reliable information as to siting quality and there is little to no information on instrumentation calibration for all years except probably at airport stations. On page 19, the authors state:

Implicit in the discussion of station reliability considerations are several assumptions. First, we assume that the local weather function constructed from many station records, (the “weather” term), will be a better estimate of the local temperature than any individual record could be. This assumption is generally characteristic of all averaging techniques; however, we can’t rule out the possibility of large-scale systematic biases. Our reliability adjustment techniques can work well when one or a few records are noticeably inconsistent with their neighbors, but large scale biases affecting many stations could cause such comparative estimates to fail. Second, we assume that the reliability of a station is largely invariant over time. This will in general be false; however, the scalpel procedure discussed previously will help us here (unless necessary breakpoints are missed). (emphasis and comment added)

Again, the inability to rule out “large-scale systematic biases” seems to touch on Frank 2011. The authors should discuss Frank 2011 even if they disagree with that paper, as it forms part of the relevant literature.
In the section titled “Uncertainty Analysis,” the authors state on page 20:

In general, it is impossible to directly quantify structural uncertainties, and so they are not a factor in our standard uncertainty model. However, one may be able to identify model limitations by drawing comparisons between the results of the Berkeley Average and the results of other groups (but not if they all have similar faults). (comment added)

The lack of controls in climate science cannot be emphasized enough. Comparing (potentially bad) data to other (potentially bad) data may not result in conclusions that are as robust as they seem.
On page 31, the authors state:

In previous work, it has been argued that instrumentation changes may have led to an artificial warm bias in the early 1900s (Folland et al. 2001, Parker 1994). To the degree that our reconstruction from that era is systematically lower than prior work (Figure 8), it could be that our methods are more resistant to biases due to those instrumental changes (but the authors excluded instrumentation changes). (comment added)

Did the authors forget that, on page 16, they stated that they had disregarded instrumentation changes when using the “scalpel”?
In the data file (I downloaded the *.txt files, but I presume the Matlab files are identical), there are approximately 385 stations without valid latitude or longitude values (stations 113227 through 113612), yet these same stations appear to have valid temperature data. It is not clear how the authors used these stations in their methodology, as valid latitudes and longitudes would seem to be a requirement.
_________________________________________________________________________
Anthony: I couldn’t find a link to Frank 2011. Would it be possible to include it, if you have it?

October 20, 2011 11:26 pm

FleshNotMachine says:
“Please specify exactly what data you claim was fabricated.”
Years of temperature data were FABRICATED:
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/555/it6i9ciu3h.jpg

Richard G
October 20, 2011 11:30 pm

steven mosher says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm
“So what are the GOOD arguments within the science?
C02 warms the planet, the question is how much. That’s the real debate. join it”
________________________________
Correction: C02 FEEDS the planet, the question is how much. That’s the real debate. join it.
That’s better. Feed me Seymore.

P. Solar
October 20, 2011 11:37 pm

this will probably never get noticed in all the hubub and 250+ posts but the real problem with their choice of period is the old trough to peak trick.
http://tinypic.com/r/10za9zq/7
Here are the 50 year trends in global temp, periods starting in the year shown. Pick your start year according to the result you want to show. The innocent and seemingly objective choice of “the last 50 years” is precisely the trough to peak of the dominant variation in the record. What they have measured with such care has more to do with natural cycles than the current non cyclic trend.
What Joe public will take home from all this is the OMG! one degree is 50 years, it’s worse than we thought. I mean, that’s 2C per century !!!
Anthony, It’s not just compatibility with your paper that is at issue here. Whatever the merits of their stats methods, the choice of period is far from objective.

October 20, 2011 11:52 pm

FleshNotMachine says:
October 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm
“It’s BEST’s project — they can do it for whatever period they want, and their results apply accordingly. If anyone else, like you or Anthony, wants a different time period, they should do it themselves and publish their own paper. BEST already provides a framework to start from.”
Nope! Anthony’s surfacestations project provided the framework, and the challenge to the falsified temp records. BEST is a response to that, so it’s up to Muller to apply the appropriate time period and not resort to cheating.

FleshNotMachine
Reply to  Slacko
October 21, 2011 12:22 am

Slacko commented
Nope! Anthony’s surfacestations project provided the framework, and the challenge to the falsified temp records. BEST is a response to that, so it’s up to Muller to apply the appropriate time period and not resort to cheating.
BEST analyzed *more* data than Anthony suggested, not less. On a Venn diagram, Anthony’s dataset of concern is a subset fully contained within the dataset BEST analyzed. How is this an objection, even theoretically?
REPLY: Gosh you are dense. Nobody knows, not you, me, NOAA, BEST, or anyone else what the siting quality of a weather station was 60 years ago, when the surfacestations.org project only guaranteed data 30 years. You can’t make up metadata where there is none, even NOAA’s Menne et al knew not to do this and also used a 30 year period. BEST chose 60 years for their rush to judgement trial by compliant media paper, in contradiction to two peer reviewed papers that used 30 year data. The error BEST made is a fatal one, that should be addressed in peer review, but of course that’s all moot now since they achieved their goal of bloviating all over the world media without that pesky peer review getting in the way.
BTW you’ve changed your previous handle used here in violation of published site policy, so in the troll bin you go.
-Anthony

gbaikie
October 20, 2011 11:52 pm

“Convincing said teenager that mum might be right for once was futile, hints and suggestion welcome.”
Tell kid to study the science necessary to show that you are wrong.
Kind of obvious.
It should great motivation for kid to do some study.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
October 20, 2011 11:54 pm

Question:
In Update #2, coming from a press release, it says:

The Berkeley Earth team has completed the preliminary analysis of the land surface temperature records, and our findings are now available on the Berkeley Earth website, together with the data and our code at
http://www.BerkeleyEarth.org/resources.php.

(Did wordpress try to make that a full URL like it’s done with name-dot-com becoming http://name-dot-com?)
They say that’s where the data and code is found, yet the actual link to that name is:
http://berkeleyearth.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=d8548cad5e5305433c810b0d4&id=69f78b51e4&e=08079d0c8f
The http://www.berkeleyearth.org/resources.php address appears to work. So why the trickery with the press release link?

FleshNotMachine
October 20, 2011 11:59 pm

Smokey commented
-> “Please specify exactly what data you claim was fabricated.”
Years of temperature data was <i.FABRICATED:
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/555/it6i9ciu3h.jpg

It is far from clear that this excerpt means he fabricated data.
The entire HARRY_READ_ME file is here: http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/HARRY_READ_ME.txt
(or rather, we assume it’s the file, and it hasn’t been altered, and it is the same as taken from CRU computers).
Scroll down to where “Harry” writes:
“Here, the expected 1990-2003 period is MISSING – so the correlations aren’t so hot! Yet
the WMO codes and station names /locations are identical (or close). What the hell is
supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have 🙂 ”
That, and what follows in the file, more likely indicates that the programmer is making up a *method* to handle the missing data correlating the two stations — not that he made up data.
So he decides to give the user of his program one of three choices:
“1. Match them after all.
2. Leave the existing station alone, and discard the update.
3. Give existing station a false code, and make the update the new WMO station.”
Is there any indication or evidence of which of these three choices users of his code made in every instance of missing data?
Or if they made any of them?
Or if his code was ever used at all?
Or if the code was used and the user(s) made a choice other than #2, how this affects the final results.
So there is no evidence anyone “fabricated data” — you have jumped to an unwarranted conclusion.

Pat Frank
October 21, 2011 12:46 am

FnM, the meaning of data (observations) in science is established by a falsifiable physical theory, only. Climate models are the representation of the physical theory of climate. Only they, supposing they were falsifiable, can establish the causal meaning of the evidence of recent warming.
However, they are not falsifiable and not capable of doing so. They are artificially tuned to produce 20th century climate; their physical uncertainty limits have never been established; even the discussion of errors deep in the back of the IPCC ARs show climate models cannot resolve any climate process at 10 W/m^2 resolution, much less 1 W/m^2. Therefore, the observation of a warmer climate cannot be assigned to human-produced CO2 or to any other specific cause.
What you call “evidence” of AGW is merely guilt by tendentious assignment.