Exclusive: Berkeley temperature study results “confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU”

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"Exclusive: Berkeley temperature study results “confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU”"

BREAKING UPDATE:  The head of the Berkeley team, Richard Muller, confirmed at a public talk on Saturday that they have started writing a draft report and based on their preliminary analysis, “We are seeing substantial global warming” and “None of the effects raised by the [skeptics] is going to have anything more than a marginal effect on the amount of global warming.”

BOMBSHELL:  In the comments, discredited climate science disinformer Steven Mosher asserts, “There is no DRAFT paper….  There are some draft figures, some charts, that a few of us have seen.”  Yes, Mosher, who is not to anyone’s previous knowledge associated with this project in any respect (unlike climatologist Ken Caldeira), has full up-to-the-minute access to everything BEST is doing. Amazing. So much for it being an independent, fully transparent study.  In fact, Muller stated on Saturday,”We’re even starting to write the paper.”

To repeat, Climatologist Ken Caldeira sent me the following email message for publication this weekend (and he had rechecked this message before I ran it):

I have seen a copy of the Berkeley group’s draft paper, which of course would be expected to be revised before submission.

Their preliminary results sit right within the results of NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU, confirming that prior analyses were correct in every way that matters. Their results confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU.

Their analysis supports the view that there is no fire behind the smokescreen put up by climate science deniers.

Note:  Caldeira helped fund the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study, but didn’t participate in it.

In one sense, this finding isn’t news, since there have never been any credible challenges to the surface temperature data other than the smoke blown by the climate science deniers.

Indeed, we have very good reason to believe the data that were attacked the most, that collected by the Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, (unintentionally) lowballed the rate of recent warming (see The deniers were half right: The Met Office Hadley Centre had flawed data “” but it led them to UNDERestimate the rate of recent global warming).

But in another sense, this finding is news, since the study looked like it was a set-up from the start.

I first broke the story of the dubious nature of BEST back in mid-February — see “Richard Muller, Charles Koch, Judith Curry and the implosion of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study:  How to kill a potentially not-bad idea in 5 easy steps.”

The goal of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study was to assemble some clever scientists and statisticians “to resolve current criticism of the [global] temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions.”  For a study supposedly aimed at boosting credibility in the surface temperature data record, however, its flaws in conception and operation were beyond head-exploding:

  1. It was co-chaired by Richard Muller (author of widely debunked books, blog posts and Wall Street Journal op-eds).  Muller himself has actually worked to undermine credibility in well-established science and doesn’t have a great grasp of basic climate science (see here) or energy (see “here).
  2. Muller got co-funding for the study from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation!  It’s hard to imagine a more irresponsible and anti-scientific person than Charles Koch.  CP and CAP have long detailed the role of the billionaire brothers of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch, in destroying American prosperity.  We now know Koch Industries outspends Exxon Mobil on climate energy disinformation.
  3. BEST claims its team includes “climate experts,” but the only climatologist listed is Judith Curry, one of the most debunked climate scientists (see Schmidt and Annan and Steig and Verheggen, and CP for starters).  Curry mainly seems on the team to give Muller the thinnest veneer of climatology credibility, since she herself has written, “I participated loosely in this project, mostly as a resource person calling their attention to any new papers or blog posts that I thought were relevant and as a sounding board for ideas.  As they have begun analyzing the data, I have completely refrained from commenting on the process or preliminary results, I have only made suggestions regarding where they might publish their analyses, etc.”
  4. In a remarkable demonstration of bad judgment, Muller installed his daughter Elizabeth Muller, as project manager!
  5. In even more remarkable demonstration of bad judgment and conflict of interest, it turns out Muller has a consulting company, GreenGov.biz, part of Muller & Associates, whose aim is to “provide politically-neutral counsel that is broad in scope while rooted in the hard facts of state-of-the-art science and engineering” in energy and climate policy.  Richard Muller is President and Chief Scientist.  Who is the CEO? Elizabeth Muller! Two other members of the BEST team are technical advisors to Muller & Associates.

So it looked to several climate scientists that I have spoken to that the BEST effort was stacked with confusionists and funded by deniers in order to push a dubious message and advance Muller’s for-profit consulting business.

The problem for Muller, however, was that there’s really no way to turn the surface temperature data into something that it isn’t.  Even hard-core deniers haven’t been able to put a dent into it:

And BEST isn’t run by hard-core deniers, the kind who don’t have any professional scientific reputation and hence can just make crap up.

So it’s no surprise at all that, as Caldeira reported to me, “Their results confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU.”

Still, it will be interesting to see if Muller finds a way to spin this dog-bites-man result into something that can generate media attention and business for his consulting company.

In that regard, it must be pointed out that BEST looked only at the global LAND temperatures, so they have completely ignored the place where climate science predicts the overwhelming majority of the warming is going.

Ocean temperatures set records in 2010.  And two major scientific studies from 2009 demonstrate that when you look at where 90% of the human-caused warming was expected to go “” the oceans “” you find steady warming in recent years.  Here’s the key figure from one of those studies

Time series of global mean heat storage (from 0 to 1.24 miles).

The second study, led by NOAA, “An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950,” concluded:

[S]ince 1950, the planet released about 20 percent of the warming influence of heat-trapping greenhouse gases to outer space as infrared energy. Volcanic emissions lingering in the stratosphere offset about 20 percent of the heating by bouncing solar radiation back to space before it reached the surface. Cooling from the lower-atmosphere aerosols produced by humans balanced 50 percent of the heating. Only the remaining 10 percent of greenhouse-gas warming actually went into heating the Earth, and almost all of it went into the ocean.

“Total Earth Heat Content [anomaly] from 1950 (Murphy et al. 2009). Ocean data taken from Domingues et al 2008.”

See also the Skeptical Science post on ocean warming.

Because BEST ignored the ocean data — and the myriad other independent datasets that demonstrate human-caused warming — their confirmatory analysis of the land data simply can’t make any broader  conclusions, much as Muller may try.   The bottom line is that the climate system is warming, which the 2007 IPCC report called “unequivocal” and which the 2010 National Academy of Sciences review called a “settled fact.”

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96 Responses to Exclusive: Berkeley temperature study results “confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU”

  1. davidgswanger says:

    This is great, if unexpected, news. Does anyone know what climate deniers
    were anticipating from this?

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    Wait a minute, 4 independent institution agree to the same conclusion when it comes down to the earth temperature analysis. Even when deniers are involved! And a big lol for the Koch tentacle.

    And a great! If they deny the next time anything related, it becomes pretty obvious – crystal clear now how they contradict them self.

  3. Peter M says:

    Most of the deniers all over the web where touting Mullers group as the final say that warming is not happening. This is sure to deflate their euphoria.

  4. Brett says:

    I’m pretty sure when the data is released, it will show a lesser increase in land temperatures than previous analyses and will be used by skeptics to further question the effect of UHIs. The positive is that all of the data will be readily available for examination which can’t be a bad thing for science.

  5. Gar Lipow says:

    Caldeira is not, as far as I know, a denier, not even a borderline one. So why did he help fund this? Also I did not know he was personally rich enough to fund something like this. What am I missing?

    [JR: He advises Bill Gates. Caldeira is not a denier in the least! Quite the reverse.]

  6. Joan Savage says:

    Joe nailed the significant limitation of the BEST report, land temperature trend only.

    A statistical inference between land temperature only and the 4% increase in atmospheric moisture would be bogus, as it would lack ocean surface temperature.

    But, does “land temperatures” also leave out the upper atmospheric temperatures? How much does “land temperature” actually include measure of soil and rock temperature?

    The “land and atmosphere” is a combined category in Murphy et al. (2009) graph, so that’s not a quick answer.

    I have yet to see a review of global soil temperature. (Maybe I should look harder.) Given permafrost melt, the transfer of heat deeper into the soil is likely to be occurring elsewhere. For many temperate zone plants, soil temperature is a key factor in bud and leaf formation and the movement of fluid in plant tissue.

  7. caerbannog says:

    This should not be surprising at all.

    Reproducing the NASA/NOAA/CRU results very closely is almost embarrassingly easy.

    As I mentioned in previous posts here, I “rolled my own” simple gridding/averaging routine and used it to process *raw* GHCN data to see how my results would stack up with “officially published” results.

    And here’s a plot of my own “hand rolled” global land temperature results compared with NASA’s: img195.imageshack.us/img195/6175/caerbannogvnasalandinde.jpg (the http prefix was removed so as to avoid triggering any spam filters, so copy/paste into your browser’s url window). The image was scaled down to conform to another message-board’s formatting requirements, but is still big enough to show the close match between my results and NASA’s results (BTW, the NASA results in the plot were copied/pasted directly from the NASA/GISS website).

    As you can see, not only did I reproduce NASA’s long-term warming results almost exactly, I didn’t do such a bad job of matching the NASA year-to-year “wiggles” as well. And this from *raw* (i.e. *not* homogenized/manipulated/whatever) public-domain temperature data.

    I’d like to emphasize how simple and straightforward this was. I was able to get these results with just a long-weekend of “spare time” programming work. (I could have done it even more quickly if I had a hard deadline to force me to “focus”. )

    I would also like to emphasize the fact that I didn’t even look at the details of NASA’s temperature computation procedures. The results were generated from a routine written from scratch based upon my memory of the basic temperature anomaly averaging procedure.

    I’m saying this not to brag, but to emphasize how easy and straightforward it is to confirm the NASA/NOAA/CRU global temperature results. The procedure involves nothing more than junior-high math (i.e. averaging) and first-year undergraduate computer programming skills. An on-the-ball college student with a couple of semesters of programming (Java/C++/whatever) would have no trouble doing what I did.

    In fact, this whole project could be broken down into a series of very do-able high-school AP or college-freshman programming/homework assignments.

    Some rhetorical questions:

    How many years have Anthony Watts and the army of Koch-funded global-warming deniers been attacking the NASA/NOAA/CRU global temperature results?

    In all those years of attacking NASA/NOAA/CRU, how much competent data analysis have they performed to back up their claims?

    Remember folks, a competent programmer/analyst could have performed the necessary analysis in just a couple of days, analysis work that the deniers were unwilling/unable to peform in *years*. So is it incompetence or dishonesty (or some combination thereof) that has prevented deniers from accomplishing in *years* what they should have been able to accomplish in a few days? I mean, the temperature data are freely available, all the programming/analysis software is freely available, and no technical skills beyond college-freshman-level programming are required.

    (Note to Joe: This is my second try — I’m not sure that my first post made it through. If it did and is being held for moderation, then go ahead and nuke this post.)

  8. caerbannog says:


    I’m pretty sure when the data is released, it will show a lesser increase in land temperatures than previous analyses and will be used by skeptics to further question the effect of UHIs. The positive is that all of the data will be readily available for examination which can’t be a bad thing for science.

    Just want to follow up here to make it clear to everyone that all of the data needed to verify the NASA/NOAA/CRU results are already readily available for examination. (i.e. in the above-quoted statement, “will be” really should be changed to “are”).

    In its land-temperature computations, NASA uses *only* freely-available land temperature data — i.e. the exact same data that I used in my own little project.

  9. Dr.A.Jagadeesh says:

    Excellent analysis. The criticism on global warming is not real will be put to rest with these authentic and authoritative studies.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

  10. dhogaza says:

    caerbannog:

    True enough, but one thing BEST claims to have done is to have added data from a lot more stations, so if true, the *amount* of freely-available data will be increased. Perhaps their funding has been useful after all, though we won’t really know until everything’s available.

  11. GFW says:

    What Journal are they going to submit to? It’s hard to get a purely confirmatory article published – ok, apparently they used more stations, but that’s a pretty weak claim of originality.

    Assuming it is published, the result for Muller is a very relevant (if also redundant) paper with his name and those of other members of his consultancy on it. So it’s a win for him regardless of the conclusions of the paper.

  12. Aaron Lewis says:

    Ice and water can be solid and liquid at the same temperature, however, the water contains a lot more heat. The transition form sea ice and anchor ice (solid frozen sea water that sinks in sea water) takes-up a lot of heat that is not accounted for in any temperature study.

    This study, underestimates total accumulation of heat as a result of AGW.

  13. dhogaza says:

    GFW:

    It’s hard to get a purely confirmatory article published – ok, apparently they used more stations, but that’s a pretty weak claim of originality.

    They claim to have developed a purely statistical methodology for rejecting poor stations, dealing with UHI, discontinuities due to TOD issues, etc, without use of station metadata or human judgement (which apparently is lacking for many of the stations they’re adding in).

    So there apparently are some claims of originality here …

  14. dhogaza says:

    station metadata or human judgement (which apparently is lacking for many of the stations they’re adding in).

    metadata apparently lacking, not human judgement :)

  15. Lou Grinzo says:

    Assuming this finding is as solid as Caldeira says (and I have no reason whatsoever to doubt his comment, just to be clear) I can’t express how much I’m looking forward to seeing the deniers try to back peddle away from this study and change the subject at the same time.

    The virtual popcorn is on me, folks.

  16. Trent1492 says:

    I have been watching Professor Muller’s lecture on climate change given yesterday at U.C Berkeley. I have not finished it yet but 20 minutes into it Professor Muller has:

    1. Implied that since Chinese CO2 emissions have risen dramatically it is pointless for the U.S to do anything.

    2. Claimed that Antarctica is gaining ice.

    3 Minimized the temperature rise of the past couple of decades.

    4. Said that the past thirteen years have seen no rise in temperatures.

    5. Claimed that increased cloud cover will mitigate temperature increase.

    6. Implied in a brief mention that Polar Bears are not in any present danger.

    7. Mentioned Al Gore at least a half dozen times.

    Lecture can be seen here:

    http://scienceatcal.berkeley.edu/lectures/2011/03

    [JR: How are you watching it?]

  17. Prokaryotes says:

    “Professor Muller’s lecture on climate change given yesterday at U.C Berkeley”

    What a disgrace for Berkeley.

  18. Neal J. King says:

    Trenti492, #16:

    I’ve looked at your link, and I find only a description of the talk, not a link to the talk itself.

    I did find a recording of a talk he gave towards the end of last year (but now I can’t locate it).

  19. Susan says:

    I’m watching it here:

    Appears to be a video of his live lecture:

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13429263

  20. Zetetic says:

    I agree that should be amusing to see how this is rationalized by the denialists.

    I’m extra curious to see what Curry has to say about this. I expect that she’ll say something along the lines of how she didn’t disagree with the science, but rather it was the politics surrounding AGW that she disagreed with. All while ignoring that most of the politics concerning the issue comes from the denialist/delayist camp.

  21. dhogaza says:

    I expect that she’ll say something along the lines of how she didn’t disagree with the science, but rather it was the politics surrounding AGW that she disagreed with.

    No, she’ll continue arguing about attribution, claiming that natural variation as the answer can’t be ruled out, that GCRs etc might be the real cause of observed warming, and that given the fact that we don’t know everything, we should assume we know nothing that’s worth taking action on …

  22. Susan says:

    In talking about global warming, Mueller says this:

    “The real problem is coming from the emerging economies. Unless we set an example that they can afford to follow, we’re not setting an example that they will follow because they have a poor economy.”

    “There is a scientific consensus. Not everybody agrees with it but there is a consensus. I don’t agree with everything in the consensus. But there is a consensus.”

    “There’s a very important truth about global warming but because it was exaggerated to get people’s hearts concerned, now people are being disillusioned.”

    “We’ve lost a lot of it [credibility] … simply because scientists have gotten into politics and now give you only the side that they want you to conclude on. So there we go — no global warming for 13 years.”

  23. dhogaza says:

    So there we go — no global warming for 13 years.

    Not …

    even …

    close.

    People who cherry pick the 1998 El Niño always forget they have to *carefully* cherry pick the 1998 El Niño even.

  24. dhogaza says:

    evenT …

  25. Mike Roddy says:

    Watts, Curry, McIntyre et al must be mining every chart and sentence to try to find something that supports their case. In a long report such as this one, they are sure to succeed, though it will take some serious contortions to do so.

    Muller is clearly nutty, but my old friend Dr. Barasch from Berkeley told me that he has too much self respect to fudge the data, at least in a written report (as opposed to the spin in his speech at Berkeley). Muller succeeded in working Koch and his friends, and getting a nice chunk of money out of them. He doesn’t earn any respect from me for doing so, since the stakes are a lot bigger than putting more money in the bank.

    Muller, along with Lindzen, is an example of why scientists often suffer from the same human frailties that the rest of us do. We need to defeat the deniers on all levels, including more subtle areas of understanding. But Muller does deserve a nod for at least not making up numbers here.

  26. john atcheson says:

    You can be sure deniers will “mine” the report for out-of-context statements that appear to support their attempts to deceive … and given the players, they will find them. The balance of the report will be left in the dust while the choice tidbits race out across the Internet.

  27. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I’d wait until the report is finalised and published. Of course the denialists will spin it and say night is day, and dung chocolate, as ever, but this whole endeavour had denialismo written all over it to such a degree that this preliminary finding seems quite puzzling. Herr Muller gives a really engaging lecture it must be said. He seems not to have neglected even the most preposterous denialist canards. He is clearly aiming it straight at the Dunning Kruger tendency, who will, no doubt, be beguiled. Perhaps he is penning a populist denialist tract, a la the inimitable Plimer, and wants some cheap publicity.

  28. Christopher S. Johnson says:

    Ken Caldeira is heavily featured in the film, Acid Test, about ocean acidification. Once broadcast on Discovery Channel and now available for free in HD on Vimeo.

    http://vimeo.com/9431503

    And an out takes from the film with are Ken here:

    http://vimeo.com/13349444

  29. Christopher S. Johnson says:

    Sorry for the syntax. Should read, “And out takes from the film, with Ken, are here.”

  30. Neal J. King says:

    Trent1492, #16:

    I think you are interpreting what Muller is saying too harshly:

    1. Chinese CO2 emissions:
    He does not say it’s useless for the U.S. to do anything, but indicates that, on current trends (9% annual growth for the next 20 years), China’s input will be far greater.

    2. Antarctica gaining ice:
    Yes, he gets this wrong.

    3. Minimized temperature rise of past couple of decades:
    I didn’t get this from what I heard. In general, he accepted that the temperature rise was real and dangerous.

    4. “No rise in temperature for the past 13 years”:
    This is taken out of context: He clearly accepts the general trend. This statement came in connection with the destructive impact that Climategate had on public acceptance of scientific expertise: thus, statements about cold winters disproving global warming, or 13 years disproving general trends, get credulous attention. I think the blame he places on the scientists in Climategate is wrong and is based on a misunderstanding of the facts; but he is not asserting that anything that happened in the last 13 years challenges global warming.

    [JR: No, it isn't taken out of context. And he is quite wrong here -- it is an elementary mistake and one that a physicist should not make.]

    5. Increased cloud cover:
    He said that increased cloud cover “might” reduce warming, not that it “will”.

    6. Polar bears:
    Yes, he got it wrong on the polar bears.

    7. Al Gore:
    Yes, he doesn’t like Al Gore because he doesn’t present things the way a scientist should; of course, Al Gore is not a scientist. There are things that I don’t like about Gore’s presentation; but I agree that Muller’s take is unduly negative.

    In his talk, Muller did not bottom-line the results, because they want to get it all set up properly before doing that, to avoid leaning on the scale. But he indicated that the various issues raised by skeptics (urban heat island, etc.) could only have a marginal effect. The final result was not going to be markedly different from the general expectation, from the IPCC.

    Interestingly, he did not mention Judith Curry. Was she dropped from the team?

    I think this study will put the nail in the coffin about whether global warming is happening or not. The fact that Muller does not agree with every point of the scientific consensus (although he does admit that there IS a scientific consensus, and that that IS the way science works) boosts rather than harms the credibility of the result.

  31. James Crabb says:

    In Mullers presentation he also appears to suggest Coral bleaching has not been occuring.

    His statement there has been no warming over the last ten years is truly astounding.

    I guess he felt like he needed a bit of that sweet sweet denier spotlight.

  32. Jeffrey Davis says:

    I don’t know how anyone can look at the temperature/co2 graphs of the last million years and believe that clouds will dampen temperature. They just don’t. Milankovich forcings are trivial compared to greenhouse gases and yet when they’re applied to the climate, temps rise like an elevator.

  33. Prokaryotes says:

    Jeffrey Davis “I don’t know how anyone can look at the temperature/co2 graphs of the last million years and believe that clouds will dampen temperature“

    Or just look at venus atmosphere and a few very creepy scenarios come up …

    “Sulfuric acid is produced in the upper atmosphere by the sun’s photochemical action on carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and water vapor.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus#Clouds

    For example russian or chinese geoengineering affords to put sulphur into the atmosphere or the projected geomorphological uptake and relate volcanic eruptions.

  34. James Crabb says:

    If Clouds acted to counteract warming due to rising CO2, why has there been warming over the last thirty five years? when is this magical Iris supposed to start closing?

  35. Lou Grinzo says:

    With all due and considerable respect for my fellow CPers, I think it’s very premature to say that this or any other study will put an end to the deniers arguments that there is no warming or it isn’t caused by anthropogenic CO2 emission or whatever the heck any one or them chooses to claim on any given day. If that were the case, then one of the N prior studies would have accomplished the same result.

    With the incentives and fossil fuel money behind them, the deniers will be with us for a very long time.

  36. Wit's End says:

    “Google Takes On Climate Change Skeptics With New Technology Effort”

    http://www.countercurrents.org/Gallucci180311.htm

    and now Bill Maher wonders why Republicans obsess over non-existent problems instead of solving real problems, like climate change:

    http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/534126/bill_maher%3A_republicans_are_like_meth_addicts%2C_always_focused_on_imaginary_problems/

  37. Rob Honeycutt says:

    Funny how when deniers are forced to do real science they keep coming up with the same data as real scientists.

  38. Mike says:

    I saw Richard Muller on Fox News. He was being interviewed by Juan Williams about the nuclear crisis in Japan for O’Reilly’s show. Muller minimized the dangers and even said there would likely be no deaths in Japan do to the reactor problems. What bothered me is that he is not an authority on nuclear power. He should not have agreed to be interviewed as an expert outside his area.

    http://www.billoreilly.com/show?action=latestTVShow
    March 18

  39. Prokaryotes says:

    Perhaps we could geoengineer a solution: Squirt a few million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight, emulating the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption. We’ll certainly get pretty sunsets. Or we could foam up the oceans to increase reflectivity. Many people find such ideas scarier than warming because of the threat of unintended consequences.

    Another option is that we could learn to live with global warming. Despite claims to the contrary, storms aren’t increasing. The rate of hurricanes hitting the U.S. coast has been constant for a century, and the number of damaging tornadoes has been going down. Will Happer, a former director of research for the Department of Energy, argues that additional CO2 may have helped the agricultural revolution. And chilly Berkeley might be nicer with a few degrees warming.

    But the bottom line is that 80% cuts in U.S. emissions will have only a tiny benefit. The bulk of our effort is best directed at helping the emerging economies conserve energy and move rapidly toward efficient solar, wind and nuclear power. Developing cheap carbon capture and sequestration is also a priority. Above all, we need to recognize that make-the-West-bear-the-burden Copenhagen proposals are meaningless.

    Mr. Muller is professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of “Physics for Future Presidents”

  40. Vic says:

    James Crabb @ 34,

    “If Clouds acted to counteract warming due to rising CO2, why has there been warming over the last thirty five years? when is this magical Iris supposed to start closing?”

    The magic begins the very same day extra plant growth consumes all that yummy plant food.
    Too bad it also happens to be the same day that hell freezes over.

  41. Andy says:

    I have no respect for Juan Williams. So now he works for FOX? How fitting. I remember distinctly how he interrupted and badgered Daniel Shurr while Daniel was reading verbatim from a Reuters story on air about the Nigerian yellow cake fiasco. When Daniel read that experts found the letter (later found to have been a fake) was a fraud, Juan’s right wing ego couldn’t take it anymore and right there on the air he interrupted Daniel’s reading and said that couldn’t be true and then proceeded to argue with his fellow broadcaster. I’d never heard anything like that before. Totally unprofessional. Juan’s commentary proved to be wrong time and time again. He should have been fired from NPR long before he was.

  42. David W says:

    Quoted directly from the Berkeley site.

    “A preliminary analysis of 2% of the Berkeley Earth dataset shows a global temperature trend that goes up and down with global cycles, and does so broadly in sync with the temperature records from other groups such as NOAA, NASA, and Hadley CRU. However, the preliminary analysis includes only a very small subset (2%) of randomly chosen data, and does not include any method for correcting for biases such as the urban heat island effect, the time of observation bias, etc. The Berkeley Earth team feels very strongly that no conclusions can yet be drawn from this preliminary analysis.”

    Seems they can say 2% is not sufficient to draw ANY conclusions but you believe it is. I wonder how many posters here actually bothered to even check for themselves.

    [snip. TOS violation]

    But I’m sure you’ll delete this post before anyone gets to read it.

    NVM though I’ve posted this on a number of other sites including a mention of the comment on having posted here. Its a nice test for others to see how balanced your moderation is.

    [JR: Other than a gratuitous three-word characterization of my post that is both utterly inappropriate and unjustified based on the rest of your comment, why should I delete this comment? Well, OK, you misrepresent my post, but that is just a reflection on you and the anti-science crowd you represent.

    What relevance is some undated statement on their website to Caldeira's statement about their new draft report?

    To repeat, one of the world's leading climate scientists (who helped fund the project) has seen the draft report and explains what it means in an email. He asked me to post that explanation on my website. I did so.

    Note that your phrase "you believe it is" demonstrates that you didn't even read this post. The post is not about what I believe. It is what one of the world's leading climate scientists has written.]

  43. ianash says:

    It will be interesting to see how Curry spins this one – my bet is that it will be the usual dissembling, ambiguous half support for the science but playing up the ‘uncertainties’.

  44. Dan Olner says:

    caerbannog: “The procedure involves nothing more than junior-high math (i.e. averaging) and first-year undergraduate computer programming skills. An on-the-ball college student with a couple of semesters of programming (Java/C++/whatever) would have no trouble doing what I did.”

    Hopefully you’ll read this: did you keep notes on the process you went through? It’d be interesting to see it.

  45. Orkneygal says:

    Is Ken Caldeira willing to disclose how he gained access to this un-published work?

    [JR: Already 'disclosed'. As stated, he's a funder and it's standard for funders, especially experts in the field, to see draft reports.]

  46. Adam R. says:

    @Lou Grinzo I think it’s very premature to say that this or any other study will put an end to the deniers arguments that there is no warming or it isn’t caused by anthropogenic CO2 emission…

    Indeed. The “controversy” was never really about the data or the physics. No imaginable research result will shut the deniers up. Their ideologies–and paychecks–will keep them yapping even when the ocean is rising around their knees.

  47. Phil Clarke says:

    Some pushback from the Berkeley team …

    “A preliminary analysis of 2% of the Berkeley Earth dataset shows a global temperature trend that goes up and down with global cycles, and does so broadly in sync with the temperature records from other groups such as NOAA, NASA, and Hadley CRU. However, the preliminary analysis includes only a very small subset (2%) of randomly chosen data, and does not include any method for correcting for biases such as the urban heat island effect, the time of observation bias, etc.

    The Berkeley Earth team feels very strongly that no conclusions can yet be drawn from this preliminary analysis. ”

    http://www.berkeleyearth.org/findings

    [JR: I wouldn't call this undated statement "pushback from the Berkeley team" since I doubt most of the team was involved in writing the statement, since most haven't been involved in much of the rest of the study except to provide a thin veneer of credibility.

    In any case, to repeat, one of the world's leading climate scientists has seen the draft report (which goes beyond the preliminary analysis) and explains what it means in an email. He asked me to post that explanation on my website. I did so.]

  48. Neal J. King says:

    In his talk, Muller also states that, although they haven’t generated the final results yet, that he expects that the various issues raised by the skeptics would have only a marginal effect: the final picture will not look markedly different from the IPCC results.

  49. Mike says:

    Perhaps the B team & Ken could be persuaded to let the draft be posted.

  50. Neal J. King says:

    #49, Mike:

    You mean, like, publication before publication? I wouldn’t see any point in that. It’s not a theoretical paper, it’s a re-analysis.

    I wouldn’t do it.

  51. caerbannog says:


    Dan Olner says:
    March 21, 2011 at 5:23 am

    caerbannog: “The procedure involves nothing more than junior-high math (i.e. averaging) and first-year undergraduate computer programming skills. An on-the-ball college student with a couple of semesters of programming (Java/C++/whatever) would have no trouble doing what I did.”

    Hopefully you’ll read this: did you keep notes on the process you went through? It’d be interesting to see it.

    Here’s a quick summary.

    1) Read/unpack the GHCN monthly mean data file (v2.mean). For each month
    and year, average the temperature data into one temperature time-series
    for all stations sharing the same 5-digit WMO “base” id.

    Arrange the temperature data into an array indexed by WMO station
    “base” id number, year, and month.

    That’s freshman programming assignment #1.

    2) For each WMO station id number (per 1), compute the 1951-1980 average
    temperature for each month of the year. That is, compute the 1951-
    1980 average for each station for Jan, for Feb, for March, etc.

    These are the station “baseline” temperatures. Arrange these baseline
    temperatures into an array indexed by WMO “base” station id number and
    month.

    For each WMO base id, compute the temperature anomalies by subtracting
    the proper monthly baseline temp from each WMO id year/month
    temperature. I.e. subtract the Jan baseline from all Jan station
    temperatures, the Feb baseline from all Feb station temperatures,
    etc.

    These are the station temperature anomalies.

    That’s freshman programming assignment #2.

    3) Read and unpack the GHCN v2 station metadata file, saving the
    station id numbers and their latitudes/longitudes. Compute
    the average lat,long of all stations sharing common 5-digit
    “base” WMO id numbers.

    Arrange the lat/long data into an array indexed by the 5-digit
    WMO station ids.

    That’s freshman programming assignment #3.

    4) Subdivide the Earth into 20 degree by 20 degree (at the equator)
    grid cells. (Other grid dimensions can be used, but 20×20 was big
    enough to make sure that most land grid-cells had station data.)

    As you move away from the equator, adjust the longitude
    dimensions of the grid cells so that each grid cell has approximately
    the same land area. Nothing fancy here needed — an approximate
    answer based on crude approximations where you assume a 2-D
    “rectangular” Earth is good enough (i.e. don’t even bother with
    any fancy 3D spherical trig).

    That’s Freshman programming assignment #4.

    5) For each grid-cell, identify the stations with lats/longs inside
    that grid cell. Average the station anomaly data together to get one
    average anomaly per year/month for that grid cell. Repeat for all
    grid-cells.

    Arrange the data into an array indexed by grid-cell number, year
    and month.

    That’s freshman programming assignment #6.

    6) For each month/year, average the grid-cell anomalies together
    to compute a single global average temperature anomaly for each
    month/year.

    For each year, merge all months per year into single annual
    average temperature anomalies.

    That’s freshman programming assignment #6.

    7) Write the results computed in (6) into a standard CSV-formatted
    ASCII file. Import into your favorite spreadsheet (OpenOffice or
    Excel) and generate an temperature-anomaly vs. time (XY) plot.
    Compare with NASA’s official “meteorological stations” results.

    That’s the final assignment.

    Back in the bad old days of Fortran-4 and punch-cards, the above
    exercise would have been a major undertaking. But with the assistance
    of higher-level software development utilities (Java Class Libraries,
    C++ Standard Template Libraries, Boost libraries, etc. much of the
    low-level programming “grunt work” is no longer necessary). In
    particular, I found the C++ STL “map”, “set” and “vector” container
    templates quite helpful. They helped make the project simple enough
    to tackle in a long weekend.

    The most difficult parts of the above series of tasks are bookkeeping-related. I.e. keeping track of gaps in the station data and making sure that the station data gaps are properly accounted for in the averaging/merging process. It’s bookkeeping, not rocket-science. And that’s where the Java Class Libraries, C++ Standard Template Libraries, etc. come in quite handy.

    With proper guidance, on the-ball compsci/engineering/science college students should have no trouble tackling a project like this at the end of their freshman year.

    Like I said, the math is junior-high level (simple averaging), and the programming skills needed can be learned in a couple of semesters.

  52. Turboblocke says:

    Note that the BEST data set is over five times the size of GHCN. So their 2% is the equivalent of over 10% of GHCN.

    We are using over 39,000 unique stations, which is more than five times the 7,280 stations found in the Global Historical Climatology Network Monthly data set (GHCN-M) that has served as the focus of many climate studies.

    http://www.berkeleyearth.org/study

  53. Lou Grinzo says:

    Neal: Yes, there certainly would be a point to doing it, as it would take away the deniers’ last line of defense — “we don’t know what they really did, so they must be lying if they got a result we didn’t like.”

    This is the core issue with the deniers: The more they get what they keep asking for (even though in many cases they already have it and are too dense to realize it), the tougher it is for them to make a case, even to their fellow deniers.

    Apply lots of skepticism (in the original, unsullied meaning of the word) and lots of transparency to the problem, and guess what — the true experts in the field are right, after all, and the deniers have nothing at all to stand on.

    But again, no one here should be lured by the siren call of objective truth. This is not a purely scientific issue, and it hasn’t been anything close to one for years. It’s a brass knuckle political campaign that includes deniers willing to employ everything from cherry picking of data to death threats.

  54. caerbannog says:

    Following up a bit here…

    The procedure I described above can be further simplified by dispensing with the gridding — just compute simple “dumb averages” of the station anomalies instead. That eliminates the only non-junior-high math step (grid-cell size computations), and it still gives you “in the ballpark” global-average temperature anomaly results. The “simple dumb average” approach will give you results quite similar to NASA’s “Northern Latitudes” temperature index (which should not be surprising, because a lion’s share of the GHCN stations can be found in the temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere).

    Regarding message 52 above — I would not expect that increasing the temperature database size would change the global average results very much. The GHCN data set is highly oversampled over much of the Earth’s area (there are a few thin spots, but for the most part, the land-surface sampling is quite dense).

    In my own experimentation with the GHCN data, I found that I could choose 10 percent (or even fewer) of the stations at random and still get global-average results that were pretty similar to what you get when you process the whole data set.

    In fact, I generated ensembles of global-average results based on different random “1 out of 10″ GHCN station selections, and plotted them up. All of my ensemble results produced similar warming trends, even though I made no attempt to ensure complete global coverage in my random “1 out of 10″ selections. (There some variation in the results as one might expect, but all my ensemble results were quite consistent in terms of long term temperature trends that they produced).

    The current GHCN data set really is amazingly robust. No matter how you slice and dice it, you get a warming trend quite consistent with the NASA/NOAA/CRU results.

  55. J. Bob says:

    #7 caerbannog says
    “How many years have Anthony Watts and the army of Koch-funded global-warming deniers been attacking the NASA/NOAA/CRU global temperature results?”

    At least Watts isn’t afraid to publish differing opinions.

    Here is a my computed average of the 5 data sets, HadCrut3, NOAA, GISS, UAH, RSS, covering the time span from 1850. This used a 10, or 0.1 cycles/yr., MOV, 2-pole Chev. “filtfilt” & a Fourier Convolution filter.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/comb_gl_ave_10yr_fil-5kOdT.jpg

    It has a couple of interesting features, including a gain a flattening over roughly, last 8 years. This latest apparent dip, is similar to the one in the 1040’s, and with some longer period filters, similar to the one in the 1875-1885 period.

  56. caerbannog says:

    Re 55:

    That “dip” over the past few years is not constrained by any “future” temperature data. It may be nothing more than an “edge effect” artifact. Calling it a dip comparable to the 1940′s or 1875-1885 period at this is premature. The previous “dips” in your filter output incorporate “future” data. The “dip” over the past few years isn’t so constrained and cannot yet be compared to the previous “dips”.

    One must be careful about interpreting the “data edge” outputs from non-causal filters.

  57. steven mosher says:

    “Mike says:
    March 21, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Perhaps the B team & Ken could be persuaded to let the draft be posted.”

    There is no DRAFT paper. Ken made a mistake or Joe misrepresented him.
    There are some draft figures, some charts, that a few of us have seen. These charts are made with 2% of the data.

    [JR: So Steven Mosher is posting on CP (with emphasis) that "There is no DRAFT paper." That would suggest that Mosher, who is not to anyone's previous knowledge associated with this project in any respect (unlike Caldeira), has full up-to-the-minute access to everything BEST is doing. Amazing. So much for it being an independent, fully transparent study.

    In fact, it is Mosher who is in the business of misrepresenting people. The quote Caldeira sent me was specifically for publication, and he rechecked the lines prior to publication. Muller himself stated on Saturday "We're even starting to write the paper."

    So please, take your misinformation and misrepresentations elsewhere.]

  58. Leave it to Mosher to decide that you have misrepresented Caldeira or Caldeira made a mistake.

    What a jerk!

    Caldeira made no mistake and you misrepresented no one.

    Mosher misrepresents for a living!

  59. steven mosher says:

    Sorry.

    ken wrote that he had seen a copy of draft paper.

    richard says that they have STARTED to write the paper.

    I believe if you ask Ken if he has seen an actual draft paper OR if he has seen a series of charts compiled from early runs of 2% of the data,
    he may refine his comments.

    I think I have a pretty good idea which draft chart he has seen.

    [JR: Like I said, Ken wrote what he wrote and reviewed it. "Draft paper" is what he meant. Apparently you believe you are such an integral part of what is going on -- you've seen so much of the work product -- that you know everything he has seen. Amazing.]

    One of the nice things about BEST is that they have held off running the entire dataset through the algorithm as they developed it.

    So, even as of today, the entire dataset has not, to the best of my knowledge, been run through the system. For some graphics tests, I think Robert may have run a larger sample for some graphics work; there is a very cool animation I saw on my visit.

    To be clear. I believe BEST will confirm what people like Zeke Hausfather, tamino, nick stokes, RomanM, and I have independently confirmed: the answers given by CRU and GISS are largely correct.

    the benefit of BEST is as follows:

    1. the use previously unpublished data sources with improved spatial coverage.

    2. the use a SUPERIOR statistical methodology. One that is close to that created by Tamino, Nick Stokes, And RomanM

    3. No requirement for empirical adjustments.

    4. more robust calculation of uncertainty measures.

    the only drawback I see in their project is their use of MATLAB. To remedy that I’ve volunteered to refactor their code in R so that more people can use it to prove to themselves that the temperature record is reliable. If any of your readers would like to help they can contact me.

  60. steven mosher says:

    Its best just to consult the FAQ

    http://www.berkeleyearth.org/FAQ

    with only 2% of the data run it’s not appropriate to characterize results or to report on preliminary findings. Certainly Zeke Hausfather or I could have come back from Berkeley and blogged about what has been shown to Ken. However, both of us had sense enough to realize that preliminary results are just that. Nothing of consequence. So, I think you will find that the FAQ clarifies the issue surrounding the advisability of early reporting or leaking if you want a better word for it.

    [JR: It is a bit late to walk back your earlier comments of insider knowledge. That said, Muller has already discussed the preliminary results in public. And one of the funders, who happens to be one of the leading, climatologists in the country, has commented on what he has seen, and asked me to publish it. Spare me the lecture on advisability of early reporting -- you guys hardly do anything else!]

  61. Neal J. King says:

    #53, Lou Grinzo:

    Oh, I understand why YOU or OTHER people would want to SEE it. But if it were MY study, I’d make it public when I thought it was ready: not a day later, and certainly not a day sooner. Why put out a set of numbers that I thought might change? Particularly, when the changes would be due to algorithmic modification. What advantage would there be for the authors?

    This isn’t a theoretical paper, where I might be interested in seeing if people get the argument, or blow it out of the water with a couple of good insightful questions. It’s a re-analysis, everybody knows what it means, and basically everyone knows roughly what the results are going to be.

  62. Neal, this thing was promoted to the unsuspecting public as research for the definitive answer with regard to the temperature datasets — the BEST analysis — the better analysis.

    Well, is it or isn’t it?

    They didn’t even include the data on ocean temps — too difficult for them or would have taken too long.

    Now Muller can dance around and say he did the best analysis and trot out his gob-smackingly ridiculous pronouncements (many of which are dead wrong) on just about anything, including being interviewed on Faux News about the nuclear incident in Japan — way far afield for him.

    It is all about Muller’s fame and funding.

  63. Mike says:

    @57: I just said “draft”, not “draft paper.” But in any case could the inchoate document be made public? I am not saying they must do this. I respect the right of the authors to wait until the paper is ready for prime time if they wish. But given that differing views of it are being bandied about, posting the “whatever you want to call it” might be helpful.

    @58: There is no need to call the guy a jerk.

    [JR: I don't have the draft document. I just reported what Caldeira wrote me.]

  64. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    robert #61, the rise of the nincompoop Dunning Krugerites to ascendancy, particularly in the Anglosphere countries is indicative of the fatal flaw of ‘capitalist democracy’. In a democracy where everyone has the same vote, whether they are intelligent or imbecilic, knowledgeable or pig ignorant, humane or a closet totalitarian and omniphobic bigot, and where the worst and most primitive impulses and prejudices of the lowest types are constantly fed, fomented and exacerbated by Rightwing media and plutocratic propaganda, you must end up in circumstances such as we are enduring now. In other capitalist states the elites are not quite as deranged and still see an enlightened populace as a social good and competitive advantage (although the Anglosphere poison is slowly infecting European elites, as well)so the obscurantism, and anti-scientific, pre-Enlightenment hysteria of the Anglosphere is viewed with alarm and dismay. Meanwhile, in China, where no such ideological cult exists, where science and rationality are still seen as goods, and where the basest and most ludicrous religious imbecility will never take root, scientific and technological progress is seen as an unqualified good, and as the path out of ecological destruction.
    While I’m certain that the rational and sane fraction of US society will still make considerable contributions to humanity’s fight for survival, the great danger is that the Right will not only control US politics fully after Obama goes, happily, into that good night in 2012,but will then set out on a ‘Crusade’ to impose their irrational fundamentalist theology on the rest of the planet. These after all, are people who see themselves as ‘God’s’ emissaries here on earth, and who happily, wistfully, long for the Apocalypse, when they will be ‘raptured’ while the rest of us un-Godly types burn in damnation. This pathopsychology leads them to view all resistance to their fundamentalist manias as impiousness and diabolism, which makes them hard, well, impossible, to rationally negotiate with.

  65. MarkB says:

    Given Muller’s poor demonstrated knowledge of climate issues, the lack of any real independent review process of this effort, and significant Koch funding, I don’t know how anyone can take it seriously. So what if {insert unreliable source here} confirms scientific research.

  66. J. Bob says:

    #56 caerbannog,
    one can get into trouble with the “filtfilt” method at the end points, but the Fourier, at least in my opinion, holds up much better at the endpoints. One way we used to check was to compare a “echoed” (unfiltered signal ) and see how it compared to the original signal, and error noted.

    Enclosed is a comparison graph between the Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) & Fourier filtering, using the CRU data set from 1856 to 2004. “On the Trend, Detrending and Variability of Nonlinear and Nonstationary Time Series” by Wu, Huang, Long and Peng. This data set would seem to be typical of global temperature sets. From my comparison results, they track quite well, even to the end points.
    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/cru-fig-6-NMyC0.gif

    Another method to check the filter was to look at the difference between the raw & filtered data. Using the HadCRUT3gl data set, with three types of lo-pass filters. The MOV, forward-reverse “filtfilt” 2-pole Chev. & Fourier Convolution filter (Fc=0.1 cycles/year), one gets the upper graph on the picture below.

    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/filter_er_10yr-g6l8y.jpg

    Looking at the lower graph, the difference (cyan curve), between the raw and filtered Fourier data, the filtered is pretty well centered in the middle of the input data. Computing a simple mean and Std. Dev for this difference is labeled. Assuming a Gaussian distribution, that would give a 3 sigma filter error of about 0.27 deg. Thus providing a metric, or figure of merit.

    Not mathematically perfect, but what my old fluids professor would note as “barnyard” math OK.

  67. ianash says:

    Would be interesting if the emails from the BEST group came out eh?

  68. ianash says:

    From the Carbon Brief (about BEST):

    “Given the team’s ambition and the reams of data they will be working with, it’s surprising that not one qualified climate scientist has been employed to oversee the analysis closely.

    Anthony Watts, retired TV weatherman, climate sceptic and owner of Watts Up With That? has been invited to take part in the research. His blog was among the sceptic sites to push the “Climategate” story attacking published climate scientists.

    Watts reports that he was in regular correspondence with Muller before the project’s launch and that he “spent the day with the BEST team yesterday at Lawrence Livermore Berkeley Laboratories”. However, he is not named on the BEST website and he has not yet revealed his exact role.

    It is unclear whether the research will be published in a peer review journal.”

  69. Zetetic says:

    @ ianash:
    To heck with the BEST emails… I want to see the emails for Koch Industries, Exxon, coal power, etc!

    Now that would be interesting! ;)

  70. Phil Clarke says:

    Joe,

    The ‘findings’ text on the BEST website was not there before Saturday.

    Given Mr Watts’ reaction when I quoted Ken C on WUWT – he jumped down my throat and accused YOU of lying, he was confusing KC’s words with your posting of them but I put that down to general cluelessness – I infer that he too has seen some preliminary output from the project.

    [JR: Good to know. You have nailed Watts, for sure. Muller's comments, however, render the 'findings' text meaningless.]

  71. steven mosher says:

    JR.

    After your post, the team was contacted. And before I wrote my comment the team was contacted. A new FAQ has been released to try to clarify some of the confusion you have created:

    ” NEW – What do your results show?

    The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project has not yet done the analysis of the full data set with the corrections to produce a global surface temperature trend. We are first analyzing a small subset of data (2%) to check our programs and statistical methods and make sure that they are functioning effectively. We are correcting our programs and methods while still “blind” to the results so that there is less chance of inadvertently introducing a bias.

    “A preliminary analysis of 2% of the Berkeley Earth dataset shows a global temperature trend that goes up and down with global cycles, and does so broadly in sync with the temperature records from other groups such as NOAA, NASA, and Hadley CRU. However, the preliminary analysis includes only a very small subset (2%) of randomly chosen data, and does not include any method for correcting for biases such as the urban heat island effect, the time of observation bias, etc. The Berkeley Earth team feels very strongly that no conclusions can yet be drawn from this preliminary analysis.”

    [JR: I LOVE your use of the passive voice. Reminds me of "mistakes were made." You are definitely getting better at phrasing your walk back, but your original comments stand as do mine. Again, this post by BEST had already been superseded by Muller's own comments! Hmm, was it presuperseded So if Muller can comment, obviously Caldeira can too! And obviously I can report both. I didn't create any confusion -- but you sure as heck did!]

  72. Beesaman says:

    Why not wait for the published paper? Or are we saying here that scientists have to bow to media pressures. Not very professional to be leaking drafts of drafts etc in my view, or even be reporting them. I expect the scientific team involved would not have acquiesced to this. Why do we feel there is this need to pre-judge or comment? If we are confident in the process let it run, if not and we are confident in the rest of the science why worry? There is something not quite right about all of this.

    [JR: I might agree with you, had Muller not 'leaked' the results himself the day before my blog post!]

  73. Nick says:

    Of course it’s a tad premature to bother making statements,but hell,let’s not take it all so seriously please.Who really cares? The world does not lack for global temperature analyses. It’s expected that this analysis will support the others…because they are carried out in a technically valid way.

    It is fun though to watch Mosher squirm about appropriate process,when he will dispense with it whenever it suits him…

  74. Neal J. King says:

    #63, Tenney Naumer:

    I think this study was promoted as a re-analysis of the land measurements, on a consistent “nothing up my sleeves” basis, and attempting to take into account well-known objections that have been raised by skeptics. That seems to be what it is.

    In this context, the fact that Rich is somewhat skeptical about some aspects of the scientific consensus is a “feature, not a bug”: because he’s ending with results that seem to be entirely in-line with the conventional wisdom. This whole situation seems to be turning into a scientific “Trojan horse” for the deniers, because several of them gave approval to the project early on.

    Is that a feather in Muller’s cap? Is he going to crow about it? Yeah, probably. Scientists are human beings, and human beings are like that. But the scientific enterprise has evolved to work with human beings as they are, there’s no need requirement that they become saints before becoming scientists (and, sadly, no expectation).

  75. Neal J. King says:

    #73, Beesaman:

    I agree with you, I don’t see any need for leaking of preliminary results. It’s not as though they’re competing with a different group (I think that’s a motivation for leaks in big particle-physics consortia).

    However the final final results come out, I expect people will want to study the analysis. I hope and expect that they are designing the study to be transparent to this sort of inspection and review.

  76. Yvan Dutil says:

    #73 Very often preliminary scientific results are presented in talk or trough private communication well before the official scientific publication. This is part of the normal scientific process as it allows you the test the water and get preliminary critics before the publication of the official paper. Also, jerk knee reaction are very good topic for further papers since they tend to create controversy and additional citations.

  77. J Bowers says:

    Steven Mosher — “There are some draft figures, some charts, that a few of us have seen.”

    * Remind us again of how you got to see this material.
    * Who sent you the material?
    * Did it come from Inhofe’s office?
    * Who else are the “few of us”? McIntyre? Watts? Id? Please clarify.
    * How, exactly, did you get to be on the list of recipients? What are your qualifications for input?
    * Have you had any contact with any sponsors, particularly Koch? Is he who you got the material from?

    Steven Mosher — “After your post, the team was contacted. And before I wrote my comment the team was contacted.”

    * Who contacted the team? Was it you directly, or a group that you are part of?

    Transparency, please, Mr Mosher.

  78. caerbannog says:


    Anthony Watts, retired TV weatherman, climate sceptic and owner of Watts Up With That? has been invited to take part in the research. His blog was among the sceptic sites to push the “Climategate” story attacking published climate scientists.

    Watts has absolutely no qualifications to take part in a project like that. He has no technical or analytical skills; in fact, he’s nothing more than an incompetent hack.

    And for those out there who would dismiss my claims about Watts, I would like to present you “Exhibit A”: wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/28/a-look-at-4-globaltemperature-anomalies/ (scroll down to the histogram discussion).

    If you can’t figure out where Watts went wrong, then it’s time to go back for another helping of basic high-school math/science.

  79. J Bowers says:

    Ah, thanks caerbannog.

    “Watts reports that he was in regular correspondence with Muller before the project’s launch and that he “spent the day with the BEST team yesterday at Lawrence Livermore Berkeley Laboratories”. However, he is not named on the BEST website and he has not yet revealed his exact role.”
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/03/the-best-idea-reconsidered

    Shades of Lisbon.

  80. Neal J. King says:

    I think Muller is just trying to include Watts to incorporate some input and get buy-in. I can’t imagine that he’ll have any chance to put his thumb on any scales.

    By the way, as a Berkeley native: There is NO SUCH THING as “Lawrence Livermore Berkeley Laboratories.” There is “Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory” and “Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.” Berkeley and Livermore are two different towns, about 32 miles apart, so they can’t share a laboratory.

  81. Robin says:

    I’ve never visited this group before, so am lacking a lot of background on those who post here regularly. As someone who over the last 16 years has obsessively collected time series data that are supposed (believed, hypothesised) to be related to climate, and then runs various analyses on them I am always very interested in the comments of others who do the same. I tend to skate over contributions that appear to me to be written by people who have never carried out such analyses themselves. Thus I am especially interested in the insightful and erudite contributions of J Bob (# 55 and 67) which are truly enlightening. Of especial interest is the recent climate history, from, say, the mid 1990s, which is neatly displayed in J Bob’s graphics. This time period covers the era of the highest (and increasing) concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide that have existed in historical times. Simple trend analyses of monthly anomalies for this period make interesting reading. I’ll not attempt to do this here, although it is very simple. Anyone who can drive a spreadsheet can do it in a minute or so, though Excel (etc) are unlikely to show the hyperbolic confidence intervals for the trend line and possible future values of individual observations. However, I’d recommend that you have a go at it, and come back here with conclusions/comments.

    Please have a care with /any/ smoothing procedures. They decrease information content although they do make for the prettier publishable graphs that journalists and politicians seem to crave.

  82. steven mosher says:

    Hey Joe,

    It turns out that Ken did in in fact read a draft paper by the group.
    It’s just NOT a draft paper on the issue at hand. Its a draft paper
    on Oceanic indices. That draft paper has a preliminary chart of the global land temp. That preliminary chart is taken from a 2% run.

    There are 3 other papers the group is working on. So Ken read a draft. That draft paper IS Not the draft on the new approach to calculating the temperature series. That paper has just one or two sections done.

    [JR: Amazing, if true!]

  83. Phil Clarke says:

    Brief observations and queries:-

    1. Mr Watts owes Dr Romm an apology for branding him a liar.. a difference in interpretation is no untruth. A man of honour would withdraw and apologise.

    2. I find it hard to square this circle …

    BEST: A preliminary analysis of 2% of the Berkeley Earth dataset shows a global temperature trend that goes up and down with global cycles, and does so broadly in sync with the temperature records from other groups such as NOAA, NASA, and Hadley CRU. However, the preliminary analysis includes only a very small subset (2%) of randomly chosen data.

    Watts: That 2% subset they refer to is some weather stations in Japan.

    Perhaps someone on the inside track could explain how data from a single country can be described as random, or be extrapolated to the global trend? Heck, let’s just release all the emails.

    3. Best thing to do with BEST…. wait until they release their formal results, complete with caveats, footnotes. methods & data.

    [JR: Watts is always incoherent at best. And if Watts made a practice of apologizing for his errors, he'd wouldn't have room on his blog for anything else.]

  84. DeNihilist says:

    I really don’t get why all the “heat” about this new method. Logic dictates that the results are going to be comparable to what has already been published.The only difference that I can think might occur, is the error bars may be tightened somewhat by the use of more stations.

    Otherwise it is accepted that the earth has been warming so what?

  85. majava says:

    Was reading on wuwt that Mosher was supposedly blocked by Joe. So there I went, hoping for Mosher-free comments at CP, and guess what? he’s all over the place! C’mon! ;)

    [JR: He was hoisting himself with his own petard!]

  86. Tommy Roche says:

    Joe,
    Have you any way of verifying the truthfulness of what S. Mosher says in post 83 ? If he is making this up then the only correct action here is to call him on it.

  87. MartinJB says:

    I think one of the reasons that people are asking about seeing preliminary results is the apparent (and hither-too undisclosed???) involvement of someone like Watts. When someone with Watt’s negligible credibility and profound, umm, integrity gap, is involved, it’s only natural to want to see more frequent updates on the progress and results of the work.

    Cheers y’all.

    –MartinJB

  88. Neal J. King says:

    #88, MartinJB:

    As long as Watts isn’t allowed to fiddle with the input numbers or make undocumented alterations to the data-analysis algorithms, what difference does it make? As long as the architecture of the study is set up to be open, all the data processing steps should be visible.

  89. MartinJB says:

    Neal,

    that’s a lovely, if somewhat naive, sentiment. With a lack of trust it rather falls apart (see your “as long as…” statement). Thus the desire to see intermediate work product.

  90. Neal J. King says:

    MartinJB:

    I doubt they could allow for fudging capability without leaving obvious holes in the process; and since the whole point of this procedure is to make all the data and hooks available, they wouldn’t get very far before someone caught them. It would be scientific suicide.

    Based on what I’ve heard about Muller and Rohde, neither of them would be up for that kind of short-sighted stupidity; and why would Caldeira fund it?

    [JR: Muller would. He has, basically. The rest is a long, long story....]

  91. MartinJB says:

    Neal,

    you’re missing something. Between the original structuring of the project AND the recent exchanges (and especially the outbursts from Watts and Mosher), whatever confidence people might have had in the transparency and objectivity of this project have been compromised. OK, so you have some confidence in the project. Don’t dismiss the well-grounded concerns others may have, based on past experience with some of the players here. Part of the reason this project exists is that, despite a multitude of confirmations, some still doubt the existing temperature reconstructions.

  92. DeNihilist says:

    But Martin, as Neal says, so long as the data and code are open source the chances of “fudging” are very small. Of course there will be some who will disagree with the methodologies employed, that’s to be expected. In the end as you state, there are already four or five major temp reconciliations, and this new one will more then likely support the previous sets. The difference being, that this time, the views of the contrarions will have been allowed a voice, so hopefully this will put to rest this tired argument and we, society, as a whole can move onto the next battle.

    There wil be some,who no matter what wil never trust the temp series’, but they are getting more and more marginalied, and as is the saying, “this BEST series should put the final nail into the coffin of opposing a warming planet”

    :)

  93. Eli Rabett says:

    Nick Stokes has a 60 station reconstruction. Matches GISSTEMP, HadCRUT, NOAA.

  94. Hank Roberts says:

    > Muller … video stream
    Low-resolution — his slides are unreadable.
    Has he posted the slides online anywhere, or a transcript of this talk?

  95. Hank Roberts says:

    > steven mosher says:
    > March 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm
    > Hey Joe,
    > It turns out that Ken did in in fact read
    > a draft paper by the group.
    > It’s just NOT a draft paper on the issue at hand.
    > Its a draft paper on Oceanic indices.

    BOST? BEOST? BEOIST?

    Looking to the oceans because — why? — the Earth Surface temperature isn’t making them happy?