What the BEST data actually says

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

My theory is that the BEST folks must have eaten at a Hollywood Chinese restaurant. You can tell because when you eat there, an hour later you find you’re hungry for stardom.

Now that the BEST folks have demanded and received their fifteen minutes of fame before their results have gone through peer review, now that they have succeeded in deceiving many people into thinking that Muller is a skeptic and that somehow BEST has ‘proven the skeptics wrong’, now that they’ve returned to the wilds of their natural scientific habitat far from the reach of National Geographic photographers and people asking real questions, I thought I might take a look at the data itself. Media whores are always predictable and boring, but data always contains surprises. It can be downloaded from the bottom of this page, but please note that they do not show the actual results on that page, they show smoothed results. Here’s their actual un-smoothed monthly data:

Figure 1. BEST global surface temperature estimates. Gray bars show what BEST says are the 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) for each datapoint.

I don’t know about you, but Figure 1 immediately made me think of the repeated claim by Michael Mann that the temperatures of the 1990s were the warmest in a thousand years.

WHAT I FIND IN THE BEST DATA

Uncertainty

I agree with William Briggs and Doug Keenan that “the uncertainty bands are too narrow”. Please read the two authors to see why.

I thought of Mann’s claim because, even with BEST’s narrow uncertainty figures, their results show we know very little about relative temperatures over the last two centuries. For example, we certainly cannot say that the current temperatures are greater than anything before about 1945. The uncertainty bands overlap, and so we simply don’t know if e.g. 2010 was warmer than 1910. Seems likely, to be sure … but we do not have the evidence to back that up.

And that, of course, means that Mann’s claims of ‘warmest in a mill-yun years’ or whatever he has ramped it up to by now are not sustainable. We can’t tell, using actual thermometer records, if we’re warmer than a mere century ago. How can a few trees and clamshells tell us more than dozens of thermometers?

Disagreement with satellite observations

The BEST folks say that there is no urban heat island (UHI) effect detectable in their analysis. Their actual claim is that “urban warming does not unduly bias estimates of recent global temperature change”. Here’s a comment from NASA, which indicates that, well, there might be a bias. Emphasis mine.

The compact city of Providence, R.I., for example, has surface temperatures that are about 12.2 °C (21.9 °F) warmer than the surrounding countryside, while similarly-sized but spread-out Buffalo, N.Y., produces a heat island of only about 7.2 °C (12.9 °F), according to satellite data. SOURCE

A 22°F (12°C) UHI warming in Providence, and BEST says no UHI effect … and that’s just a couple cities.

If there were no UHI, then (per the generally accepted theories) the atmosphere should be warming more than the ground. If there is UHI, on the other hand, the ground station records would have an upwards bias and might even indicate more warming than the atmosphere.

After a number of adjustments, the two satellite records, from RSS and UAH, are pretty similar. Figure 2 shows their records for global land-only lower tropospheric temperatures:

Figure 2. UAH and RSS satellite temperature records. Anomaly period 1979-1984 = 0.

Since they are so close, I have averaged them together in Figure 3 to avoid disputes. You can substitute either one if you wish. Figure three shows a three-year centered Gaussian average of the data. The final 1.5 years are truncated to avoid end effects.

Remember what we would expect to find if all of the ground records were correct. They’d all lie on or near the same line, and the satellite temperatures would be rising faster than the ground temperatures. Here are the actual results, showing BEST, satellite, GISS, CRUTEM, and GHCN land temperatures:

Figure 3. BEST, average satellite, and other estimates of the global land temperature over the satellite era. Anomaly period 1979-1984 = 0.

In Figure 3, we find the opposite of what we expected. The land temperatures are rising faster than the atmospheric temperatures, contrary to theory. In addition, the BEST data is the worst of the lot in this regard.

Disagreement with other ground-based records.

The disagreement between the four ground-based results also begs for an explanation. Note that the records diverge at the rate of about 0.2°C in thirty years, which is 0.7° per century. Since this is the approximate amount of the last century’s warming, this is by no means a trivial difference.

My conclusion? We still have not resolved the UHI issue, in any of the land datasets. I’m happy to discuss other alternative explanations for what we find in Figure 3. I just can’t think of too many. With the ground records, nobody has looked at the other guys’ analysis and algorithms harshly, aggressively, and critically. They’ve all taken their own paths, and they haven’t disputed much with each other. The satellite data algorithms, on the other hand, has been examined minutely by two very competitive groups, UAH and RSS, in a strongly adversarial scientific manner. As is common in science, the two groups have each found errors in the other’s work, and when corrected the two records agree quite well. It’s possible they’re both wrong, but that doesn’t seem likely. If the ground-based folks did that, we might get better agreement. But as with the climate models and modelers, they’re all far too well-mannered to critically examine each other’s work in any serious fashion. Because heck, if they did that to the other guy, he might return the favor and point out flaws in their work, don’t want that kind of ugliness to intrude on their genteel, collegiate relationship, can’t we just be friends and not look too deeply? …

w.

PS—I remind folks again that the hype about BEST showing skeptics are wrong is just that. Most folks knew already that the world has been generally warming for hundreds of years, and BEST’s results in that regard were no surprise. BEST showed nothing about whether humans are affecting the climate, nor could it have done so. There are still large unresolved issues in the land temperature record which BEST has not clarified or solved. The jury is out on the BEST results, and it is only in part because they haven’t even gone through peer review.

PPS—

Oh, yeah, one more thing. At the top of the BEST dataset there’s a note that says:

Estimated 1950-1980 absolute temperature: 7.11 +/- 0.50

Seven degrees C? The GISS folks don’t even give an average, they just say it’s globally about 14°C.

The HadCRUT data gives a global temperature about the same, 13.9°C, using a gridded absolute temperature dataset. Finally, the Kiehl/Trenberth global budget gives a black-body radiation value of 390 W/m2, which converts to 14.8°. So I figured that was kind of settled, that the earth’s average temperature (an elusive concept to be sure) was around fourteen or fifteen degrees C.

Now, without a single word of comment that I can find, BEST says it’s only 7.1 degrees … say what? Anyone have an explanation for that? I know that the BEST figure is just the land. But if the globe is at say 14° to make it easy, and the land is at 7°, that means that on average the ocean is at 17°.

And I’m just not buying that on a global average the ocean is ten degrees C, or 18 degrees F, warmer than the land. It sets off my bad number detector.

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Brian H

And long-duration stations with continuous records show no or negative change over the 20th Century:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/24/unadjusted-data-of-long-period-stations-in-giss-show-a-virtually-flat-century-scale-trend/#comment-776101

The slight upward temperature trend observed in the average temperature of all stations disappears entirely if the input data is restricted to long-running stations only, that is those stations that have reported monthly averages for at least one month in every year from 1900 to 2000. This discrepancy remains to be explained.

For shame, Willis.
Demanding “evidence” of a religious cult on a matter of faith.

Doug Proctor

And Mueller and the BEST team (outside of Youknowwhodat) say to their critics ……..
That’s what I thought.

The Koch brothers should demand their money back. What garbage.

oMan

Willis: very helpful and it highlights how much work still needs to be done on what should be foundational datasets. I know the following is a little off-topic but it flows out of the assessment you offer. Namely, I will be interested to see how, if at all, the BEST papers evolve with “peer review.” I don’t understand why the authors took on the reputational risk (and some possible risk to good relations with the publishers) by issuing press releases and drafts of their papers before peer review and final publisher acceptance. There is a good reason for doing things the other way around: not wasting the public’s time for one thing, not looking like a fool for another. Now to mitigate or manage those risks the authors will be tempted to externalize the cost by suppressing corrections that might be advisable or vital. There will be enormous pressure on the reviewers not to change anything important. If the reviewers insist on such changes, there will be enormous pressure on the publishers to ignore or fudge them. If that doesn’t work, then the authors will be forced to eat very public crow, and so will everyone who ran down the hill with them. What induced them to assume that risk? What was the magic of their being able to issue press releases now?

Willis,
The only stunning thing about the BEST results is that they don’t help in any way to resolve the issue. They simply add additional uncertainty, as is clearly reproduced in your fig.1, showing that anything might have happened to the mean global average temperature over the past 210 years from 3degC warming to 2degC cooling. 
In other words the BEST results are useless for making any useful prediction whatsoever over whether the world has warmed or not, alarmingly or otherwise. This is the true conclusion which, of course, the alarmists will be entirely incapable of seeing.

kramer

I emailed the BEST team a while ago asking if they could just plot the rural, unadjusted data. I got an email a few days ago saying it’s done.
My question is, if the rural data unadjusted data agrees with the adjusted and unadjusted data, why bother to adjust the data at all?

moptop

They did a pairwise comparison for 500K pairs of series and over 4K miles, I think, they found no correlation between stations. If there is a long term global trend, shouldn’t that correlation show up?

Willis Eschenbach

kramer says:
October 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I emailed the BEST team a while ago asking if they could just plot the rural, unadjusted data. I got an email a few days ago saying it’s done.
My question is, if the rural data unadjusted data agrees with the adjusted and unadjusted data, why bother to adjust the data at all?

Dunno, kramer, good question but lacking information … where did they post it up, what did they say they had done, how did they decide if a site is “rural”, what time span are we talking about, what does “agrees with” mean in their and your mind … some links and details would help.
w.

Al Gored

You must hand it to them on one PR front. Coming up with the ‘BEST’ acronym no doubt fools some people, and will continue to do so even if it turns out to be the worst data set.
In any case, seems like they have done a fine enough job of confirming the rebound out of the Little Ice Age which, for me, says it all.

mpaul

Willis, there’s a lot of good work here, but I think it will be obscured by all of the ad hom is your opening paragraphs. If we are going to persuade the persuadable (as opposed to preach to the choir) then I think we need to dial it back a bit.

I’m convinced. I’m changing my position as a skeptic who thinks the world is warmer than it was to a skeptic who thinks the world is warmer than it was. Thanks, BEST!

Alex Heyworth

oMan says:
October 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm
What induced them to assume that risk? What was the magic of their being able to issue press releases now?
http://www.cop17-cmp7durban.com/

DocMartyn

I always though a 95% CI was the area under a curve which showed 95% of the data when N was large.
Have a look at figure 3 of the UHI paper; the 95% of the slope is +/- about 1.5 degrees.

HaroldW

Willis,
Klotzbach et al. 2009 ( here and correction here) suggests several possibilities for bias in the land record other than UHI. I don’t think that any of the other possible factors have been quantified though.

ImranCan

I do not understand why the “land” temperature data set is of relevance at all. The earth’s surface is 70% water and this body of water contains ~ 1000 times the energy of the atmosphere, Indeed the temperature of the atmosphere is totally dictated by the sea temperatures – one only has to notice the effect of the Gulf stream on Western Europe to see that.
So if we want to see real earth warming or cooling and the magnitude of it, we must just look at ocean temperatures. Why is there this fixation on the land ?

Willis Eschenbach

moptop says:
October 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

They did a pairwise comparison for 500K pairs of series and over 4K miles, I think, they found no correlation between stations. If there is a long term global trend, shouldn’t that correlation show up?

Not necessarily. There is a commonly believed fallacy out there, which is that good correlation of data indicates good correlation of trends. I discussed this in a post called “GISScapades“.

wobble

Excellent post, Willis.

Media whores are always predictable and boring, but data always contains surprises.

Ironic, isn’t it?

You suspect BEST are not serious when their numerical data are posted only in Text format, to judge from their site at WE’s link above. At least GISS and ESRL-NOAA provide data in formats eaily brought into Excel etc.

The BEST page says
“The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study has created a preliminary merged data set by combining 1.6 billion temperature reports from 15 preexisting data archives.”
Yet when I download the alleged data file it is only a mere 57KB zipped and only consists of two uncompressed files of 243KB and 14KB… and certainly do not contain 1.6 billion temperature reports!!!
“% This file contains a detailed summary of the land-surface average
% results produced by the Berkeley Averaging method. Temperatures are
% in Celsius and reported as anomalies relative to the 1950-1980 average.
% Uncertainties represent the 95% confidence interval for statistical
% and spatial undersampling effects.
%
% The current dataset presented here is described as:
%
% The preliminary version of the complete Berkeley Earth dataset
%
%
% This analysis was run on 27-Sep-2011 16:42:54
%
% Results are based on 37633 time series
% with 14502771 data points
%
% Estimated 1950-1980 absolute temperature: 7.11 +/- 0.50
%
%
% For each month, we report the estimated land-surface average for that
% month and its uncertainty. We also report the corresponding values for
% year, five-year, ten-year, and twenty-year moving averages CENTERED about
% that month (rounding down if the center is in between months). For example,
% the annual average from January to December 1950 is reported at June 1950.
%
% Monthly Annual Five-year Ten-year Twenty-year
% Year, Month, Anomaly, Unc., Anomaly, Unc., Anomaly, Unc., Anomaly, Unc., Anomaly, Unc.
1800 1 -1.447 2.505 -0.890 0.766 -0.461 0.524 -0.424 0.512 -0.477 0.475
1800 2 -2.132 2.928 -0.898 0.735 -0.463 0.523 -0.425 0.508 -0.481 0.474

2010 4 -1.035 2.763 NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN
2010 5 1.098 2.928 NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN”
This is bogus since it is not the raw data but once more mysteriously processed data.
BEST where is the raw data please? ALL OF IT!!! Please provide the download link. Thank you.

moptop

Thank you for that Willis.
Now another point. Figure 6
http://www.berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_Averaging_Process
Doesn’t this show that, at least in the northern hemisphere, where all of the thermometers were, that it was pretty warm about 1800?

DirkH

Recently the BBC started to use the word “skeptic”, even acknowledging that some exist. Maybe this was preparation for Muller’s PR blitzkrieg; and maybe they will continue to use the word “skeptic” for the Mullerite opportunists / GISS imitators; and you-know-what for us. So maybe this was simply an exercise in “improving the communication” of science a la “skepticalscience”; i.e. by claiming a word and redefining it. Wouldn’t surprise me at all; they did it with the words “liberal” and “progressive” before.
Some fun: Google trends for the words “climate” and “Al Gore”.
http://www.google.com/trends?q=climate%2C+al+gore&ctab=0&geo=us&geor=all&date=all&sort=0
Notice
– the seasonal dependency in the chart for “climate” (looks like people are more worried in Winter)
– the long term decline of “climate”
– the non-event that Al Gore’s CRP was
– the 2010 spike for Al Gore (hint: not climate-related)

Richard M

BEST’s denial of the UHI effect will get them into trouble.
The one climate related thing an unscientific person can do is read the thermometers in their cars. They have seen the UHI effect with their own eyes. When BEST tells them they are crazy they will have doubts about BEST’s credibility.

Brian D

And this is how it is being reported in NZ:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1110/S00058/experts-respond-analysis-confirms-global-warming-data.htm
Interesting to see the potential reviewers comments in advance. And whom they choose to ask for a view.

philip Bradley

I’d be cautious about drawing UHI conclusions from Buffalo, NY.
Buffalo and its surrounding area has a very unusual winter micro-climate due to prevailing winds and the proximity of lakes Erie and Ontario.
Its common to encounter a raging blizzard near Buffalo and have bright sunshine a couple Ks down the road.

Willis Eschenbach

mpaul says:
October 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Willis, there’s a lot of good work here, but I think it will be obscured by all of the ad hom is your opening paragraphs. If we are going to persuade the persuadable (as opposed to preach to the choir) then I think we need to dial it back a bit.

You’re likely right, mpaul. But the arrogance of Muller and his merry men knows no bounds. He got Anthony to lend him his Surfacestation data, and then broke a confidentiality agreement to traduce Anthony’s work in front of Congress, of all places. He knew it would get maximum media exposure there …
He also promised the most transparent, ethical, straightforward, purely scientific effort yet … then he goes and engages in shameless self-promotion prior to his work even passing peer review.
Me, I’ve had it up to here with being lied to by Muller, I’m fed up to my eye-teeth with his tricks and his whoring for the media. Sure, I could pretend Muller is an honest and honorable man like you recommend. But his actions have shown him to be a cunning snake. It is not my habit to address snakes as though they were honorable men.
Note, however, that none of these are “ad hominems”, as I make no claim that Muller being a snake has affected his mathematics or altered his results in the slightest. The data is the data, it says what it says despite Muller’s reptilian ways. I am not arguing against the data, there is no ad-hominem.
Look, mpaul. Almost no one in the climate establishment will stand up and call a spade a spade. They will never censor, condemn, or even criticize another climate scientist. The Eleventh Commandment for climate scientists is “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow climate scientist”, and they follow it religiously. Near as I can tell the AGW establishment scientists have had their gag reflexed surgically removed, it’s the only explanation I can think of that explains their actions. There is a deafening silence out there, just like after Climategate, scientists are acting like Muller is a straightforward, ethical scientist.
So as usual, I end up being one of the few people willing to be the kid in the story of the Emperor and his new clothes. I’m not going to say he’s well dressed, mpaul, I’m not going to pretend that Muller is “gentleman from sole to crown”. He is a deceptive, sneaky man, an activist who professes neutrality and pretends to be a scientist, a man who thinks nothing of throwing someone to the wolves, a panderer for his latest findings. And as far as I’m concerned, all you guys acting like he is a decent man, and advising me not to mention the Emperor’s nudity, are accomplices in his deception.
So rather than you advising me to be all calm and peaceful about this, how about I advise you to be less calm and peaceful, and to stand up and denounce bad science wherever you find it? I’m tired of people playing nice when folks are trying to sentence the poor to a lifetime of un-obtainably expensive energy. I’m sick of the silence surrounding egregious scientific malfeasance. I’m upset, yes, and you’re right, it does affect my writing. I’m upset that people are not outraged at this attempt to assuage some liberal guilt by making energy, the lifeblood of the poor, more and more and more expensive with each passing day.
However, I don’t see my being upset as a bad thing. It’s just what’s so. What would be a bad thing would be if if I were to pretend I wasn’t upset, as you advise me to do, if I were to lay down false honeyed words and omit certain facts in order to “persuade the persuadable”.
The problem is, mpaul, that that would make me exactly like Muller, putting on a false front simply to attract converts. Sorry, but I hope you can see why that’s not my style. I tell the truth as best I see it, and I trust that people are wise enough to look past my being upset, to look at the reasons why I’m upset, and to see that I am honestly recounting my experience and my ideas and my judgements. To date, I haven’t been disappointed placing my trust in folk’s common sense.
Thanks for your thoughts,
w.

tokyoboy

I would like to see the satellite graph (Figure 2) after correction for the El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions, where fairly strong El Ninos took place for both. Anyone? Thanks.

Doubting Thomas

Figure 3. is interesting. BEST looks worst.
I don’t think the BEST papers can be read as stating that there is no UHI effect. Rather they seem to say that UHI makes no difference in the calculated temperature anomaly. In other words, urban areas, while overall hotter, have the same trend of rising temperature as non-urban areas over the period analyzed. But it’s not clear to me that their analysis was sufficiently rigorous. If they looked at only a few years of data, around large but relatively static urban areas, they might find no effect or little effect on the calculate anomaly. However, looking at many years of data around a growing urban area might (probably would?) show temperatures rising faster than surrounding non-urban areas.
There’s also the question of micro-climates around sensing stations, which are so clearly shown in Andrew’s Surface Station data. It might be that non-urban areas are affected as much, or even more, by very-localized heat sources (AC units, barbecues, cars, planes, etc.).
BEST and others show most of the warming occurring since 1980. Isn’t that about the time that electronic sensors began to replace old-fashioned glass thermometers, and didn’t the use of electronic sensors require moving sensors closer to structures (heat sources) because the cables have a limited useful length? The warming stops around 2000, which could be around the time that most sensors had been upgraded and moved closer to artificial heat sources.
Anthony’s surface Station data is great stuff. But since most of the warming occurred outside the U.S., it could be more revealing to look at the history and metadata for stations that actually show the measured warming.
Another point that really bothers me; is the raw data lost? Do we no longer have the daily high and low temperatures? A CO2 warming signature should show more warming on cold nights. It sure would be helpful is we could see that data. Is anyone really going to complain if CO2 warming causes -30°C nights in Siberia to be -28°C nights?
One of the BEST color graphics shows most of the warming over the past hundred years occurred in the Arctic, north-central Russia, and central Asia. If that warming mostly occurred on cold nights, our Russian and Central Asian cousins might be willing to ship us oil at a discount, provided we promise to burn it all quickly.
dT

Hi Willis
Any chance of getting your analysis in front of the editors, reviewers and so on at the Journal that is publishing the BEST thing???
All the best to you…
Stu

Dave

Dear Willis.
Thanks for your tireless research and hard work, you are a champion and a welcome breath of fresh air in the search for clarity and truth your post always bring enlightnment.
Keep up the good work.

andyd

pwl: you’re a certified official goose. That’s the analysis data set. Download the raw data set here: http://www.berkeleyearth.org/data.php

mpaul might have a point about dialing it back. From a selfish point of view, I hope you do not. You have a delightful way of expressing opinions that makes what you write worth reading. It is far better to be “over the top” and remembered than staid and ignored.
“hour later be hungry for stardom.” Delicious! And on point. BEST’s conclusion that UHI cannot be quantified in the data, or at least separated from the urban and rural sites will haunt them and IPCC. If you cannot find any UHI signature in your best data, how can you possibly find any human signature at all in the temperature records. It has all the hallmarks of being hurried to meet a deadline for stardom.
Stay colorful. Stay yourself, Willis.

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta

oMan says:
October 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm
“What was the magic of their being able to issue press releases now?”

Literally, the $64 million question?

P.G. Sharrow

@ Willis; In my opinion, your characterization of the beserkeley BEST project as a den of snakes is incorrect.
This smells of a pack of Rats to me. pg

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

From pwl on October 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

BEST where is the raw data please? ALL OF IT!!! Please provide the download link. Thank you.

From their Data set page, first line:

The Berkeley Earth data set is now publicly available here.

There you find:

* Preliminary text dataset: download
* Preliminary Matlab dataset: download

During an attempted download (I’m on dial-up), the size of the text version was reported as 253Mb. And if I’d let it finish doing nothing else online and nothing went wrong, it’d only take about 11 hours…
By the note on the download page though, these are the TAVG files. More detail, but not exactly all that raw.

Tim Minchin

on a hot day in any australian city you’ll find over 250,000 a/c units on full power. each one is providing radiative forcing of over 35 watts sq/m. That’s around 2 degrees over 25 square kilometres.

John Blake

Willi Eschenbach, per reply to MPaul: Stay brave and true, cherish Honor above all. “Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness for righteousness’ sake, for they shall be saved.”

Gary Hladik

Willis Eschenbach says (October 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm): “Me, I’ve had it up to here with being lied to by Muller, I’m fed up to my eye-teeth with his tricks and his whoring for the media. Sure, I could pretend Muller is an honest and honorable man like you recommend. But his actions have shown him to be a cunning snake.”
Hah! That’s nothing! I hear the cad won’t even pick up hitchhikers! 🙂

dp

To quote myself from Dr. Curry’s blog:

I went from profound disappointment in the quality, character, and abuse of the science to being disgusted, angry, and unforgiving of the quality and character of the scientists.

In the matter of changing one’s mind over time regarding this topic of climate.

Just read an interview with that skeptic Muller from Oct 2008
http://www.grist.org/article/lets-get-physical
HTH can the MSM refer to him as a former skeptic. He is a warmist to the core. Check out this opinion about Al:
“The important thing is not getting Al Gore out of his jet plane; the important thing is solving the world’s problem. What we really need are policies around the world that address the problem, not feel-good measures. If [Al Gore] reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion — which he does, but he’s very effective at it — then let him fly any plane he wants.”
I agree with you Willis, he is a slimeball.
h/t ZI in comments on Climateaudit.org
Hal

Doug in Seattle

The open source raw data of the BEST project are where? All I have seen since the marvelous presser are the monthly and annual averages. Perhaps they are out there and I have missed announcement.

Legatus

I don’t know about you, but Figure 1 immediately made me think of the repeated claim by Michael Mann that the temperatures of the 1990s were the warmest in a thousand years

Uhhh, sooo, whats the big deal? Sooo, we had a medieval warm period 1000 years ago, it was warm, people were happy. Then it got cold, people were not happy (those that lived through it). Now it is the same temperature as 1000 years ago (and people are happy again), so I have to ask, what, exactly, is “unprecedented” here? We have been this warm before, we are again now, what, exactly, has changed? What, exactly, is there to be concerned about? Or can it be shown that 1000 years ago was a time of danger and death from all that heat? Did the sea rise and cover all of them then? Did all the animals go extinct? All the forests and crops die off? What, exactly, did happen?
Now, if you can show me that it is much much warmer than it was 1000 years ago, much warmer than it has ever been, why, that would be something else.
And the 1990′s huh, what about the 2000′s, what about the 2010′s? What has happened since those 1990′s, and why?
Mr Mann, call me when you actually have something to say.

Jeff D

Willis,
Don’t hold back tell us how you really feel 🙂
You are just saying what we are all feeling. Thanks for having the balls to do so.

Dave Worley

What, the paper does not “support the findings of the models”?
What is the world coming to? If this keeps up there will never be global unity!
Lucky for them the press held up their end of the planet by not reading the report and covering for the scientists by announcing that the skeptics had been vanquished yet again!
/snark

G. Karst

My motto is:
Say what you mean – Mean what you say!
Continue doing that Willis, just keep in mind, that it is extremely difficult to do BOTH, when one is angry. Some, of my greatest chagrin, originates from an angry violation of my motto. GK

Another excellent post by Willis.
[Logo stolen borrowed by me from google images.☺]

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Doug in Seattle said on October 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm:

The open source raw data of the BEST project are where? All I have seen since the marvelous presser are the monthly and annual averages. Perhaps they are out there and I have missed announcement.

Apparently you missed my comment giving the links to the large data set, check it for yourself to see if it is raw enough.
===
Too bad the group couldn’t have been slightly more descriptive in their title. Berkeley Earth Atmospheric Surface Temperature would have been near perfect and more accurate.

David Ball

” Hey guys, we’re losing the general public. Let’s go on the offensive!!”
” Yeah, maybe we can sucker punch a few good natured skeptics along the way.”
” Just in time for our next rendezvous !!”
” (All) Kumbaya, …”

David Ball

Feel free to delete. My version of what the BEST data actually said.

Robert

Willis,
you made the mistake of using GISS without having it properly using a land-mask. The met only dataset is not a “land-only” dataset like NOAA’s land only, Best’s land only or Hadleys… When you properly account for this the differences between GISS and BEST are very small. Why didn’t you show NOAA by the way? I don’t understand how someone can include hadley but doesn’t include NOAA considering how vastly superior their method is (empirical orthogonal function and what not compared to CAM). Anyways all i’m saying is that your graph there would look way different if you used the right land masked form of GISS and if you showed NOAA. Please show due diligence next time around. This was discussed at LUCIA’s long ago (re the issue with GISS).