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Bombshell: Koch-Funded Study Finds ‘Global Warming Is Real’, ‘On The High End’ And ‘Essentially All’ Due To Carbon Pollution

By Joe Romm  

"Bombshell: Koch-Funded Study Finds ‘Global Warming Is Real’, ‘On The High End’ And ‘Essentially All’ Due To Carbon Pollution"

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ten year data analysis comparison graph

The decadal land-surface average temperature using a 10-year moving average of surface temperatures over land. Anomalies are relative to the Jan 1950 – December 1979 mean. The grey band indicates 95% statistical and spatial uncertainty interval.A Koch-funded reanalysis of 1.6 billion temperature reports finds that “essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.” Via BEST.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) is poised to release its findings next week on the cause of recent global warming.

UPDATE (9 pm, 7/28): A NY Times op-ed by Richard Muller, BEST’s Founder and Scientific Director, has been published, “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic.”

Here is the money graf:

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

Yes, yes, I know, the finding itself is “dog bites man.” What makes this “man bites dog” is that Muller has been a skeptic of climate science, and the single biggest funder of this study is the “Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000).” The Kochs are the leading funder of climate disinformation in the world!

It gets better:

Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.

These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming.

In short, a Koch-funded study has found that the IPCC “consensus” underestimated both the rate of surface warming and how much could be attributed to human emissions!

UPDATE (9 AM, 7/29): The UK Guardian has a good story up, “Climate change study forces sceptical scientists to change minds: Earth’s land shown to have warmed by 1.5C over past 250 years, with humans being almost entirely responsible.”

And here’s an amusing tweet from a top U.S. climatologist, Michael Mann:

Below is some background on BEST followed by a longer excerpt of the op-ed.

A group of scientists led by one well-known skeptic, Muller — and whose only climatologist listed is Judith Curry, a well-known confusionist [see Schmidt and Annan and Steig andVerheggen, and CP] — decided to reexamine all of the temperature data they could get their hands on. I broke the story of their initial findings in March 2011 (with the help of climatologist Ken Caldeira) – see 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.”

The top figure is an updated chart of their findings from March of this year. They found a lot of warming.

Indeed, their key paper from 2011 found:

… our analysis suggests a degree of global land-surface warming during the anthropogenic era that is consistent with prior work (e.g. NOAA) but on the high end of the existing range of reconstructions.

So the only remaining question for BEST was: What is the cause of that warming? Of course, those who read ClimateProgress or the scientific literature already knew the answer to that question (see the 12/11 post, It’s “Extremely Likely That at Least 74% of Observed Warming Since 1950″ Was Manmade; It’s Highly Likely All of It Was).

BEST is set to release those findings this week. The excellent UK Guardian reporter, Leo Hickman, tweeted earlier today that “Significant climate-related news will be breaking on Guardian website in next 24-36 hours” and then he tweeted an hour ago the link to the excerpt of Muller’s op-ed.

Here is more of the op-ed:

How definite is the attribution to humans? The carbon dioxide curve gives a better match than anything else we’ve tried. Its magnitude is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect — extra warming from trapped heat radiation. These facts don’t prove causality and they shouldn’t end skepticism, but they raise the bar: to be considered seriously, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as carbon dioxide does.

Well, in fact, to be seriously considered, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as does CO2 — and it must offer some mechanism that counteracts the well-known warming effect of CO2. Not bloody likely.

The careful analysis by our team is laid out in five scientific papers now online at BerkeleyEarth.org. That site also shows our chart of temperature from 1753 to the present, with its clear fingerprint of volcanoes and carbon dioxide, but containing no component that matches solar activity. Four of our papers have undergone extensive scrutiny by the scientific community, and the newest, a paper with the analysis of the human component, is now posted, along with the data and computer programs used. Such transparency is the heart of the scientific method; if you find our conclusions implausible, tell us of any errors of data or analysis.

What about the future? As carbon dioxide emissions increase, the temperature should continue to rise. I expect the rate of warming to proceed at a steady pace, about one and a half degrees over land in the next 50 years, less if the oceans are included. But if China continues its rapid economic growth (it has averaged 10 percent per year over the last 20 years) and its vast use of coal (it typically adds one new gigawatt per month), then that same warming could take place in less than 20 years.

Science is that narrow realm of knowledge that, in principle, is universally accepted. I embarked on this analysis to answer questions that, to my mind, had not been answered. I hope that the Berkeley Earth analysis will help settle the scientific debate regarding global warming and its human causes.

Hope springs eternal. Unless, you’re a denier. Then the expression is “nope springs eternal.”

I asked Caldeira for a comment on Muller’s op-ed. He writes:

I am glad that Muller et al have taken a look at the data and have come to essentially the same conclusion that nearly  everyone else had come to more than a decade ago.

The basic scientific results have been established for a long time now, so I do not see the results of Muller et al as being scientifically important.  However, their result may be politically important.  It shows that even people who suspect climate scientists of being charlatans, when they take a hard look at the data, see that the climate scientists have been right all along.

Who’d have thunk it? Not the Kochs….

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231 Responses to Bombshell: Koch-Funded Study Finds ‘Global Warming Is Real’, ‘On The High End’ And ‘Essentially All’ Due To Carbon Pollution

  1. Will Koroluk says:

    I’d like to think that this report might be poltically important, but I doubt it will be. Genuine skeptics might be convinced, but there isn’t much genuine skepticism among the deniers. They’ve got too much invested in the status quo to let a little thing like science change their minds. Consider Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper: His objective is to sell bitumen from the tar sands–the more the better. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about science.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Or about the future of humanity’s children. Does he have any of his own? If so his actions are even more heinous.

    • Lollipop says:

      I think this is important because, as I suspect we will see later today and WUWT, a significant change in strategy that will be deployed across the deniersophere. The second half of the op-Ed is the tell. They are going to accept that the globe is warming, but try to convince us that it isn’t going to hurt us. The new field of battle will be about impacts. And I expect, like most right wing crusades, their mouthpieces will all step into line on this new attack. We’re going to start hearing about how climate change can’t be attributed to any specific weather event, about how ecosystems can adapt, about how slow ice melt is and so on. The old line of arguement was untenable, so they have found a new one. For the first time ever, I await Anthony Watt’s post detailing the new line of arguments that will be rolled out through websites, talking heads, and blog commenters.

      • cervantes says:

        Indeed. Muller just has to throw in this: ” It’s a scientist’s duty to be properly skeptical. I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated or just plain wrong. I’ve analyzed some of the most alarmist claims, and my skepticism about them hasn’t changed.

        Hurricane Katrina cannot be attributed to global warming. The number of hurricanes hitting the United States has been going down, not up; likewise for intense tornadoes. Polar bears aren’t dying from receding ice, and the Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035. And it’s possible that we are currently no warmer than we were a thousand years ago, during the “Medieval Warm Period” or “Medieval Optimum,” an interval of warm conditions known from historical records and indirect evidence like tree rings. And the recent warm spell in the United States happens to be more than offset by cooling elsewhere in the world, so its link to “global” warming is weaker than tenuous.” Note the glaring red herring about the Himalayan glaciers, an error in an early IPCC report which is ancient history; the reference to the probably localized medieval warm period; the baseless denial of the impact on polar bears; I could go on. The point is he’s preparing the fallback position, “yeah, it’s getting warmer, but so what?”

        • Joanne says:

          Drought, that’s what. Massive, massive drought, which brings massive starvation. Regarding our polar bears, yes, the ice is disappearing. Researchers who just came back are saying that the arctic ocean will be ice free by 2014. There is massive drought around North America and the world. Are you aware of this?

      • Mike Roddy says:

        Word on the street is that Anthony has been in bed for three days, with a stack of tranquilizer bottles on his nightstand. When he wakes up, he will plan his exile to a remote village in Sri Lanka, and try to negotiate a non extradition contract.

      • Leif says:

        Indeed, as if the ecocide of Earth’s life support systems were the preferred solution above stopping profits from the pollution of the commons…
        There is a long nasty fight ahead yet. Money does not talk, it swears…

      • Tinkerbell says:

        this strategy has to have a profit angle involved … just sayin’

        • Leah Schade says:

          Here’s the profit angle – when Muller was interviewed by Rachel Maddow earlier this week about this report, she asked him what should be done. Did he say that we should be switching to solar, wind, geothermal? No – he said that natural gas is the answer. I actually screamed at the TV – this would be going from the frying pan into the fire! Fracking is part of the problem – not the solution! But there is an incredible amount of money to be made from natural gas – so that’s the money angle. Interestingly, Rachel Maddow did not press him on this beyond the “water on fire” image, which he dismissed, saying that fracking can be done safely. Why did she not pursue? Almost every other commercial break on MSNBC contains a propaganda commercial for the natural gas industry. Wouldn’t want to bite the hand that feeds them, would they?

          • RT1 says:

            I was just talking to a utility guy today who mentioned that there are fourteen inspectors who watch what he does. How many are watching the fracking operations in Pennsylvania…? Zero. There is zero oversight because the republican controlled state legislature and the republican governor didn’t want to slow the money train so he didn’t give the unlicensed utility commission oversight authority… What’s that? No the DEP or EPA have no authority over drilling operations either. Oh, when it poisons the ground and surface water they can step in, but not before. It’s such a sweet deal. He told me they were drilling the wells and lining them with bare steel pipe, no cathodic protection, no assurance that concrete reinforcement was in place. Disaster…

      • climatehawk1 says:

        Similar take here: http://realisticbeinggreen.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/beware-the-trojan-horse/ . Also consistent with Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil acknowledging recently that global warming is real, but arguing that we can adapt.

        • Adapt??? explain to me how we adapt to the fact that its methane gas held in place by the temperature called freezing ?? In fact what are the estimates of tonnage that are held within the confinds of the deep say of the Gulf of Mexico? How many more degrees of temperture rise will it take to release the methane gases frozen in the artic tundra, the peat bogs and marshs that are now frozen? please do note we can expect some to be released from frack drilling for gas and oil, and remember its potentially 20 times more poliutant than Co2. AND we are to adapt???

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            We can adapt the same way the dinosaurs adapted to changed climatic conditions after those unwanted guests dropped in.

      • RH factor says:

        Not so damn fast – There needs to be more penalty behind this especially when we are about to do Nothing except to back slap “yeah we show’d em’ and this does not cut it! Meanwhile our sewer – the atmosphere – for us and them keeps getting soiled.

      • Phil Calafati says:

        Sadly, I agree with your prediction and your observation that much of the op-ed leaves the issue open to more political stalling tactics. The very last denialist (read: GOP) recourse I can imagine will be, “yeah, it’s happening, and yeah, we’re the cause, but here’s an implausible solution that fits cleanly into sound bytes for uninformed and disengaged voters, a solution that conveniently suits corporate interests.”

        The question that nobody seems to be asking is why this issue suddenly demands such a high burden of proof–especially when it has already been subjected to some of the most rigorous peer review in the history of science. Denialists are self-described skeptics, and “skepticism” suddenly allows for complete dismissal of almost all available experimental data.

        In the past, when children were suffering and dying from polio, scientifically disengaged parents gladly took their doctor’s word for it that the vaccine was safe and effective (and, say, whatever happened to polio?). But now, in the face of global catastrophe and human extinction, we need to be 100% sure, certain to an unprecedented degree. God forbid we should be wrong and improve the environment for no good reason.

        Kinda makes you wonder who’s really doing the talking in this “debate.”

    • Shelley says:

      I hate to say it but we don’t have to look to Canada to see politicians disregarding the facts.

      The White House has done little to counter-act global warming. I still expect it to OK the Keystone Pipeline.

      • Cody says:

        No, Keystone won’t be approved unless Obama is not re-elected. Mr. I-don’t-pay-enough-taxes paid too much for the BNSF railroad to haul all that oil. The pipeline people didn’t donate enough to Huey’s campaign.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      As Lollipop says, the deniers have no case, but when their heads pop up this time- as on WUWT- they need to be slapped, and hard, with whatever their spin turns out to be.

      As Caeser Germanicus said about the German tribes, “You must hit them, hit them again, and once more if they try to get up. Only then will they respect you”.

      The silence from the Obama Administration here is troubling. Why don’t they use this as a reason to actually go forward? Oh, I forgot, they are too busy handing out drilling permits.

      • ZoeyKay says:

        You seem to forget that Obama can’t do much about without bills going through John Boehner’s do-nothing Congress.

        • PJMD says:

          That’s not the point. The point is that he’s not even trying. His “All of the Above” energy strategy is a complete cop out, sadly, but not surprisingly. He’s either a very good actor or he underwent a spinectomy between the election and the inauguration.

    • Paul Magnus says:

      el monstruo del lago ness. …. The monster !

      And that’s not Harper, but the shape of that graph I am referring to….

    • Fiona Mackenzie says:

      It certainly won’t educate Kochs, who knew it all along and put it in writing in 2002.

    • Andrew says:

      If only he were indifferent to science! That would be better than actively hostile, viz. his regime’s policy of muzzling and de-funding government scientists who raise uncomfortable truths. A while ago there was even a scientific protest march in Ottawa to fight the cutbacks and secrecy. This government is positively medieval when it comes to science. If Galileo was around, they’d torture him.

  2. Icarus says:

    My biggest problem with this result is that Muller has previously demonstrated himself to be dishonest and deceitful. Why should we accept his study just because it confirms what we already knew from numerous different (trustworthy) sources and multiple lines of evidence? I think the right thing to do, as AGW realists, would be to dismiss it on the basis that Muller has destroyed his own scientific reputation. Let’s ignore Muller’s study and focus on scientists who can be trusted.

    • Joe Romm says:

      It’s the coauthors that keep him honest. Like Art Rosenfeld.

      • Icarus says:

        Fair enough, I can see your point – I just think it may be unwise to hail this result from someone who has previously argued against AGW in bad faith. Muller wasn’t just honestly mistaken before, he was deliberately misrepresenting the facts and slandering decent and honest climate scientists. How do we know he won’t do so again in the future?

        • Jack Burton says:

          Yes, I agree! Clearly there is more to this than meets the eye. Why does a man of such dubious past activities suddenly turn into an honest broker of facts, data and scientific analysis?
          Does this pass the smell test? I am for ignoring his study and sticking with the scientists whose research has been consistent and always focused on the truth no matter whether it confirms global climate change due to fossil fuel burning or calls some parts of it into question.
          I feel that the debate is over, I see the need for as much study as possible to clear up what is in the future, but is their any doubt the direction we are headed?
          As for Harper in Canada. He does not care about future generations, he cars about money.

          • Shaun Paine says:

            Gentlemen as do you, I mean if you where not doing all this “Research” where would you be getting your fat GRANTS from. I dare say a lot of you would be T.V. weathermen on the Saturday afternoon news or testing new shampoo formulas for some third rate cosmetics company. | Don’t ignore/throw out data that doesn’t fit or at least don’t keep getting caught at it and maybe some of us skeptics might believe you.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            Money and power, although they are the two sides of the same coin.

          • chris says:

            I think lollipop hit the nail on the head. I believe they have figured out that denial is really no longer a viable option. The pool of sheeple has grown smaller and smaller with regard to climate change. They now have to shift the message to things like impact and if we can “afford” to worry about eco-regulations in the face of these terrible job losses. They WILL spin this and I believe this is the initial salvo of the campaign.

      • Wayne Roth says:

        Joe, I was under the understanding that Richard Rohde was a main “working” scientist on the BEST report. He was also the author of Globalwarmingart, a website that I used to visit all the time which for some reason is no longer available. Can you confirm this and do you know what happen to that great website?

        Deniers long ago dismissed the BEST report because of Curry’s criticisms but the more the public gets honest news, the better our chances of turning around AGW.

      • Gordon says:

        and let’s not forget Robert Rohde, who i believe was behind “Global Warming Art”…

    • Cugel says:

      As Joe Romm says, not everybody involved in the analysis is called Muller. The Kochs appear to have assumed that by paying the pipers they’d hear the tune they wanted – something which may well have been their experience up to now.

      Who on Earth thought BEST was a good idea? It was never going to work out well for the denial movement. It’s worked out well for Muller’s public profile though, so perhaps it originated with him.

      • thanes says:

        I agree. I wonder why we haven’t seen them throwing a tantrum yet about how buying research in climate isn’t as good a return as funding Economics Chairs at the University of Chicago.

    • otter17 says:

      I don’t know. While reputation and honesty is certainly important in the scientific arena, a study that goes against its own potential biases and corroborates mounds of other evidence is still another piece added to the pile.

      Nevertheless, I think ignoring its importance is certainly in order, especially considering Muller’s grand standing leading up to the study. He may have changed his mind, which is to be applauded somewhat, but his importance is certainly very low in this area of science.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Why not err on the side of compassion, and assume, unless and until some new development occurs, that Muller has really seen the error of his ways? Better late than never.

        • Elise says:

          Hear, hear. Hearts change. Eyes open. These things happen, and maybe it’s happened to Muller. As we all know, the full truth about the climate is profoundly scary, not something anyone WANTS to know.

          There’s no question that some of the deniers are paid-off, a few quite possibly psychopaths—but not all of them. So why don’t we stop wasting energy on combat, which allows deniers to focus on how no one listens to their insightful subtleties, as opposed to focusing on the material itself. Opposition locks people into place, including us right-minded people, ha ha. Let’s stop fighting and move forward to address the coming issues.

          Here’s a good replacement topic for who-struck-John: How can we stop farmers from using fossil water for spray irrigation? It matters because spray irrigation loses a lot of water to evaporation. In Australia, I’m told that all irrigation is now underground, and that should be true all over the world—especially for the deep aquifers of so-called fossil water, such as the Ogalalla and the similar deposit under the Sahara. Our great-grandchildren will need that water, in particular because it is potable—and if new water can’t reach these deep deposits, neither can pollution. That water is precious beyond belief.

          Joe, you have enough clout to suggest an international commission to discuss land use: where must we put in forests to sop up what rain there is and put it safely underground? Geologists know where aquifers recharge: Are we using that information? And what agreements can world governments and corporations reach about fossil water? Let’s not wait till it’s gone to talk.

      • PJMD says:

        He’s quite telegenic and entertaining. Watch for a spot on Fox next. The Dr. Phil of climate change perhaps.

    • DrFredB says:

      Muller dishonest and not trustworthy? Nonsense!

      The reason his skepticism carried so much weight is that he is a physicist of impeccable credentials and integrity–and I say that even though I’ve always been firmly convinced of the consensus view and critical of unthinking deniers who are not truly skeptical.

      Muller’s skepticism was not denial. It was rooted in a scientist’s obligation to challenge any hypothesis unless the evidence supports it.

      I am gratified to see that when Muller looked at the evidence with his appropriately skeptical eyes, he found that he was mistaken in his earlier assessment regarding global warming and now, it appears, the anthropogenic nature of that warming.

      This should be the final nail in the deniers’ coffin.

      • Robert says:

        Muller’s skepticism on global average temperature rise, because the “evidence didn’t support it” is nonsense. The evidence has supported it long before today.

        He disses the work of the entire community, and now continues to claim that his study is the reason to accept, not the others. Putz. It’s like saying he’s skeptical of the evidence for the atomic nucleaus because he himself didn’t perform the Ruhterford experiments. Double putz.

      • gf says:

        I doubt that the damage has been done.
        He can effectively now say he was on the right side of history, but so what, it will be like making a page 50 retraction where the original story ran on page 1.

      • Poptech says:

        That is pure nonsense, Muller was never a skeptic,

        http://www.populartechnology.net/2012/06/truth-about-richard-muller.html

        “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.”
        - Richard Muller, 2008

        “There is a consensus that global warming is real. …it’s going to get much, much worse.” – Richard Muller, 2006

        “Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.” – Richard Muller, 2003

        • caerbannog says:

          You have a point, poptech — Muller is way too competent to qualify as your kind of “skeptic”. In fact, a college undergraduate who is able to code up a straightforward gridding/averaging program would be too competent to qualify as a “skeptic” in your eyes.

          The bottom line is, it isn’t all that hard for someone with decent computer programming skills to verify that all the skeptics’ favorite claims about the global temperature record are completely wrong.

          Proving that UHI is insignficant — straightforward programming/data-crunching project.

          Proving that you don’t need “homogenized” data to confirm the NASA global temperature results results (you can do it with raw data) — straightforward programming/data-crunching project.

          Proving that Watts’ “dropped stations” claim is bogus — straightforward programming/data-crunching project.

          All of the above can be done in a matter of days by a competent programmer/analyst.

          Now the question is, why, in all the years that you guys have been going on and on about supposed problems with the temperature data, didn’t you ever roll up your sleeves and do the few days of coding/data-crunching work needed to test your claims?

          I suspect that it has something to do with political ideology trumping competence.

    • Lewis Cleverdon says:

      Joe -
      “Well, in fact, to be seriously considered, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as does CO2 — and it must offer some mechanism that counteracts the well-known warming effect of CO2. Not bloody likely.”

      I’ve long seen the point you make above as critical in discrediting denialism – and one that should be applied full bore by Mann, Trenberth, Hansen, Holdren et al.

      Where -after 20 years of fossil funded debate, is the alternative explanation for warming that just happens to coincide so neatly with what CO2 & minor GHGs should be doing, and what is its mechanism for preventing them from acting as they should, or is there yet another unknown-to-science phenomena fulfilling that preventive role so neatly ?

      This is the killer argument that Rohde could make, but I don’t know how strongly the BEST study authors are going to play it. Muller’s NYT blurb seems arse-covering at best, while the primary temperature finding appears to be misrepresented as 2.5F. This is taken from the Best data at 1800, and ignores the fact that the trend at that point was at about 3.17F (1.76C)below the present temp. There seems no more justification for quoting warming based on the temperature at the top of the noise than at the bottom a few years later – which would have given a warming of 3.6F (2.0C).

      For this reason I don’t share Icarus view that the Best study should be ignored – I think leading scientists – and bloggers – should adopt its evidence of longer stronger past warming and maximize its use in demanding commensurate action – by the White House – as the paramount priority.

      Regards,

      Lewis

    • Fiona Mackenzie says:

      He may not be credible, but at worst this takes him out of the debate entirely, having taken both sides.

  3. caerbannog says:

    With the global-temperature record headed back into the news cycle, I figure that now would be a good time to re-pitch some material that I put together, material that shows in a very visual sort of way how incredibly robust and reliable the NASA/NOAA/etc global-temperature results are.

    I put everything into a zip file that contains the following:

    1) Image showing the official NASA/GHCN global temperature results vs. temperature results computed from *raw* data taken from fewer than 70 *rural* stations (aka “sparse rural stations”) scattered around the globe.

    2) A Google-Earth perspective of the locations of the temperature stations used by NASA.

    3) A Google-Earth perspective of the locations of the (fewer than) 70 rural sstations used to generate the “sparse rural stations” results.

    4) A README file that explains (without getting too technical) just how the “sparse rural stations” results were computed.

    The zip-file can be downloaded from (http prefix removed to keep this post out of the spam bin): tinyurl.com/globaltemperatureresultsV2

    If you find the above material helpful/instructive, please share it co-workers/friends/family.

    • Tim Palmer says:

      Just a feedback FYI.

      I was able to get to the “read me first” but unable to download anything else.

      Also could not copy the https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0pXYsr8qYS6RW13ZUQ1RFJ4cGM/edit URL so typed it in. Result? “This page does not exist”
      :-(

      • caerbannog says:

        I just tried it — seems to work for me at this end (I also made sure that I was signed out of my docs.google account). I noticed quite a bit of other download activity (8-9 other users), so people are getting in.

        Maybe Google docs can’t handle too many incoming connections… but that doesn’t seem very Google-like.

        Go ahead and see if you have any better luck with this link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0pXYsr8qYS6YU53a2w0dFJxQmc/edit?pli=1

      • caerbannog says:

        I know what the problem is — if the file is just a flat text file, you can look at it by clicking directly on the link.

        If it’s an image file, you have to click on the little “down-arrow” button over on the right side of the google-doc window. You will get a pop-up menu — select “download” and you’ll be good to go.

        The google-doc interface could use a little more “human factors” work…

    • Mike Roddy says:

      The media has ignored the report, or quietly put it on the back pages. This is disgraceful.

  4. Lou Grinzo says:

    Perhaps my cynicism is running amok yet again, but this looks to me like the first of a series of deniers constructing an exit strategy for themselves in the face of overwhelming evidence that they were wrong.

    For some time I’ve wondered how the high-profile deniers would back down. Some will no doubt follow Muller’s lead and say, “Hey, I finally got around to checking the data, and golly — all those warmist alarmist people were right all along!”

    Some, like the more politically motivated, will simply keep doubling down until they lose too many viewers/readers/voters, and then leave the stage or attack climate scientists for “not making a sufficiently compelling case”.

    • Jack Burton says:

      Wonderful points you make. We now know the facts and denial has become a useless exercise. You may indeed be right, some hard core deniers who were out front in public with their denial may be looking for an exit strategy. They are feeling boxed in by rising temperatures and weather extremes coming daily. They are fearful that the public is beginning to get it. I see less and less denial coming from some very vocal friends who were always ready to put in their denial dogma whenever the climate subject came up. I notice the loud silence from many public figures who were always making their denial points in the media.
      The deniers are losing faith in their own denial, the facts are becoming unarguable.
      Lets watch and see how many more seek exit strategies in the coming years.

    • EmuBob says:

      I agree. Denialists are finally being mugged by the facts on the ground. Every supporter of this site knows that AGW denialism must collapse sooner or later. So do the smarter people on the denialist gravy train. And now they now know that that ship is sinking sooner rather than later. They also know that denialists and their stooges will (rightly) be discredited and reviled and want to avoid that fate.

      May it happen soon. Now that we are seeing extreme weather events world-wide it is probably too late to avoid much worse climate change consequences.

    • Exit strategy prior to the undeniable — Kind of like Sandy Weill, creator of “too big to fail” at Citibank, now saying we should break up the big banks and bring back Glass-Steagall.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        When it comes to money (trillions) and the power that flows from it, I am always intensely skeptical of poachers turned game-keepers.

    • AlC says:

      Whatever it takes. Maybe we need to let them save face in order to move forward.

      We should all call denialist politicians and point to this study to suggest that the time has come to change their positions.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        It is a really dire ethical problem as to what to do with the knowing, ideologically motivated, denialists. Offering them amnesty is what Jesus ‘Turn the cheek seventy times seven’ Christ would have recommended, although this is, in my opinion, the gravest crime in human history. It might marginally aid the process of getting real political action commenced, although the Rightwing ideological fanatics show no sign of backtracking yet. However it really seems to me that it is imperative that the big denialist financers and enablers must, one day, face justice for crimes against humanity of staggering malevolence. To grant impunity to these creatures would, I believe, be a gigantic moral error.

        • Mike Roddy says:

          There will be consequences, Mulga. The World Court venue that specializes in crimes against humanity will haul in Koch, Tillerman, Boyce, and Murdoch, even if their heads are bobbing around on wheelchairs by then. Justice must be served.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            “..heads bobbing about on wheelchairs”??!! Is that the type with added pike-staffs? I’ll have mine in black.

      • thanes says:

        I’d like to agree but can’t.
        Obama let Bush and Cheney go, even though after all is said and done a dispassionate evaluation of evidence would show they are war-criminals. The damages and cost of the war are still not fully understood and continue to play havoc on our political system and economy. The fact is Bush cynically manufactured a causus belli for a war he decided he wanted Sept 12th, 2001 for selfish reasons. Without the nation acknowledging that, we are still suffering from the damages inflicted on our political and civic institutions to 1) allow the war be started and 2) as a result of the war. We are just as likely to invade another place for no reason next year if Romney’s foreign policy team gets in.
        Amnesty, shmamnesty. Criminals need to be punished, otherwise the crimes and damages go unrecognized and the injuries smolder.

        • As you might know by now Romney has brought the subject of Israel attacking Iran out for open discussion; and that he agrees with it! All this while we’re still licking our wounds from the Bush wars, and the economy crisis that followed.Has anyone ever;running for office done such a thing as this? So here we sit while this supposably candidate for president of this country bouncers from country to country embarassing our integrity and our world status. Talk about deniers? these people that back him have litterly millions of Americans believeing Obama jacked up the National Debt to 15 trillion dollars. And that the daily cost of those wars are debts Obama created. So explane to me just how anyone can convince our government to pass any bill which might enable our country to combat the global climate issue, spending money we don’t have. In most cases these are the same people that can’t and or won’t believe there is a climate issue until there is no longer a view of the sun or food to eat. I say this because they are some of our peers that will vote for the next president, and all this being said ,”we better have the right one in office.”

  5. Dallas says:

    Unfortunately, the deniers won. They have stalled so long that it’s too late to do anything to stop the very worst of the predictions. Even if the USA magically managed to end all burning of fossil fuels today, China, India, and Russia would not. There is $100 Trillion in fuel still buried below the surface, and every single gram is going to be burned. Further, we are already starting to see the effects take place. We’ve already hit the tipping point and we need to acknowledge that there is no way to stop it now.

    Environmentalist should rethink our efforts. Prevention won’t work, we’ve already got cancer. Now we need to start lobbying local, state, and federal governments to begin preparing for the worst. Build levies, build reservoirs, strengthen infrastructure, etc. And, we need to start seriously thinking about remediation of the global atmosphere. There is still time to act on those fronts.

    If it’s any consolation, we likely actually hit the tipping point in the 1970′s. Our best efforts in the past 40 years have mostly been in vein anyway.

    • Rabid Doomsayer says:

      Essentially I agree with you. But consider how much we spend keeping alive the very elderly when they will live at most a few years more, what value then should we place on keeping all of humanity for a few more decades.

      We are way past being committed to a level of change that our society, as it is, will be unable to cope with. But the sort of changes we need to make in mitigation are also the sorts of changes that will help us cope with what is coming.

      These necessary changes will change society. That is what is feared more than anything by the deniers. Their definition of socialism is very, very, wide and they truly believe better dead than red

      • David F. says:

        There’s still time to avert the worst consequences. This type of “defeatist” attitude will ensure nothing changes. Behavior modification experts have always stressed the importance of providing people with an “out”(i.e. a way to avoid the danger).

        It certainly won’t be easy. But if we start acting now, future warming can still be limited to less than 2C.

        • AlC says:

          AMEN!

        • thanes says:

          Put me in the AMEN choir, too, brother! Tell it!

          The only words from my mouth for the next 12 months will be about “House Bill 3242 The Save Our Climate Act”- Carbon Tax or Death! US Green Party lays it out plainly and Paul Krugman’s book supports it!
          If we want to save our world and save our economy in 18 months-
          1) HR 3242
          2) WWII scale government investment- 10% of GDP by July 2013 (1 trillion dollars or 5 times global renewable investments in 2011) followed by 30% GDP the twelve months after that.

          • Sorry thanes, in case you hav’nt heard ; congress and the senate have reached an agreement toblock Obamas every move, to make him a lame duck president. They have also convinced half of the American public that Obama’s the reason the National Debt is at 15trillion dollars. The need for any funding for the HR3242 will fall on deaf ears. Not only are congressmen and senators convinced this climate change is bogus they were convinced months ago that this was a very expensive challenge,and that in no-way could wqe afford to fund it. Let me say this the way I’m reading some of these comment makes me wonder where some of you have been, I have nearly a day to day contact with some that believe and others who don’t,but the main consensus is the funding, congress won’t even pass the jobs bill, don’t expect any help from the senate as don’t forget they have first dibs on investing into stocks you and I will never see, like the keystone XL pipeline, why do you suppose they are pushing it so hard??? To those of you that would like to consider this a scientific issue, take a seat, this is anything but , your standing or sitting in the pathway of progress,(especially when its they who have invested in) theres Fracking everywhere , and the products shipping and the refineing. Heres one for you to ponder “just as many of us are calling for Romney’s tax returns, CALL ON CONGRESS AND THE SENATE TO DISCLOSE EACH AND EVERYONES INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS”! Then you might have a rough idea of why they block Obama.

        • Artful Dodger says:

          No David. The 2C window of opportunity closed with the collapse of Copenhagen. Durbin has solidified the agreement that no discussion of substance will occur before 2016. Implementation? “JSTFUA”…. No, we’re fighting for the lesser of two evils now, choosing between 4 and 7C…

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            At those temperatures the ‘evils’ are rapid species extinction, or slightly more leisurely species extinction. I for one do not imagine for a second that our global civilization can cope with two degrees Celsius rise, and all that will flow from that, climatically, agriculturally, economically and geo-politically.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        The Right’s definition of socialism is the same as there definition of Hell which, ironically, they borrowed from Sartre. Both are ‘…other people’.

    • Robert says:

      What science to you point to that suggests these tipping points have already been surpassed?

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        I think that the loss of Arctic summer sea ice, and all that is flowing from that, is not just a tipping-point, but a point of no return. I’d really like to see some mechanism outlined where this does not lead to amplification of northern warming, the release of vast quantities of methane and the rapid disintegration of the Greenland ice-sheet.

        • Mike 22 says:

          Outline from a fact based worlder.

          a) Deploy the low carbon technology we have now on the fastest possible schedule (there are tons of studies showing how this goes–and it works)

          b) Aerosols over the arctic, cool the region down. (risky, do some tests asap, but we need to block sunlight up there for a few decades at least)

          c) Start forests everywhere one can. We really need to start sinking carbon again.

          • Lewis Cleverdon says:

            Mike – well said.

            The triple strategy – of the rapid global emissions control that the C&C framework allows, plus albedo restoration and carbon recovery, offers an entirely feasible path to eventual climate stability. It seems likely to take the rest of this century to fully cleanse the atmosphere, but it can be done.

            The defeatist nonsense Dallas spouts above is not merely self-indulgent, it is utterly damaging to the morale people need to campaign effectively.

            For this reason, my bet is that after the BEST report denialism will continue to try to soak up activists time in useless debate but will quietly switch its core efforts into propagandizing defeatism. To somebody convinced its hopeless, what’s the point of trying ?

            While Dallas may be entirely unaware of this dynamic, I wish that he/she would consider carefully before making such unfounded assertions how people are supposed to distinguish them from the similar efforts of those who are paid to delay effective action.

            Regards,

            Lewis

        • Artful Dodger says:

          No M-M, loss of summer sea ice is reversible, but the opportunity will be extremely fleeting… it will only take an increased in forcing of about 3 or 4 watts per sq. meter to drive the Arctic ocean into a perennially ice-free state. Compare this to the 15 or 20 w/m^2 increase in forcings required to get to the first sea ice free Summer.

          So perhaps 3 or 4 more decades with BAU warming until the sea ice doesn’t come back at all, even in Winter. Who knows how insanely we will react to the Sheng Kwong gong of the first ice free summer? Well, we do know how state oil will react… drill bearly drill.

    • Paul Magnus says:

      NO, they haven’t won. We/They thought/thing they have/did, but in reality we’ve all lost.

    • pbeeg says:

      Well, they haven’t won, because their object was not to–bwah-hah-hah-HAH!–destroy the world, but to preserve their wealth and power. There comes a time when they realize that they’re in the same room with the closing walls as the libruls and the scientists. They tend to believe two things: a) that great wealth will insulate them from anything and b) ‘we’ll think of something.’
      But long before the seas flood Manhattan, we’ll start experiencing massive dislocations in society. What happens to all those outsourced companies when the food riots and plagues begin in China? When the monsoons fail in India for years in a row and the phone bank buildings are burned by mobs? What happens when destabilized states around the world nationalize foreign industries? What happens when Singapore decides that it wants those rich aliens’ money after all?
      How far above sea level are the Cayman Islands?
      And we’re getting close enough to the payoff that it doesn’t look like we’ll ‘think of something’–not when you’re bad-mouthing left and right the people you’re counting on to do that. Those cold-fusion-powered aerogel dirigibles reprocessing CO2 with their genetically-engineered chloroplast skin (® 2012 Peter B. Gillis, so don’t try stealing it) might actually not get built in time. The Mars Colony and the great orbital solar mirrors have to get built first.
      So maybe they can begin to see the wallls…

  6. squidboy6 says:

    What will the Kochs and their brethren do now, hire more crackpots and fund more Fox News types?

    It’s time for them to come clean and use their wealth to reverse the CO2 trends. Plus it’ll provide jobs!

    My guess is they will continue to dodge the issue and the predictions of 20 years instead of 50 years will happen instead.

  7. Mark P. Kessinger says:

    I wonder if the Koch brothers tried to stop payment on the check . . .

  8. jimspice says:

    “Who’d have thunk it? Not the Kochs…”

    Nor Anthony Watts who promised to “accept whatever result they [BEST] produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.”

    • Mike Roddy says:

      The Kochs knew it all along. They are Deerfield and MIT. Money is all they care about though, since they are truly James Bond Villain characters, happy to preside over humanity’s ultimate destruction.

  9. Solar Jim says:

    Nice to know this former denier has essentially confirmed the year-long hand calculations of Svante Arrhenius, presented in 1896. Too bad humanity has just locked and loaded the ecosphere with over a trillion tons of fossil carbonic acid gas, and has a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure set up for releasing another trillion tons.

    It’s also too bad Mother Nature’s eventual full response appears to be “non-linear.”

    • “locked and loaded” is a good term to describe the momentum of the existing fossil fuel infrastructure: as in “that pipeline is locked and loaded to shoot a gigatonne of CO2 into the climate.”

    • Is this a ploy to frighten the deniers? Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the mixture of CO2 and rain water considered acid rain? Have any of you researched the out come of the frozen methane gas above and below the oceans being released? If we started now we could with extreme measures curb the climate conditions to a point that we may be in complete control of it in a few decades, Scientific American has compilied some of the scientific ideas that were in response to their inquireies of remedies to help solve the crisis. Yet nothing of the methane gas… only keep it frozen.

  10. Tyw says:

    Keep watching. If billionaires can make money from “going green” they will, even while continuing to destroy our neighborhoods with fracking in the interest of selling all our oil to China.

  11. James Corbett says:

    People who talk about the need to understand “both” sides of this issue are creating a false equivalency, unless they’re talking about the two political sides. As for science, only one side has support from the data. Treating the issue as if it had two sides is like offering holocaust deniers equal time with real historians.

    • DVR says:

      I couldn’t agree more, just because there are competing ideas or even hypothesis’, it doesn’t mean they are all equally valid.

      [SIG]
      Data is KEY, Methodology is KING. Results should be a LOGICAL end-point of good DATA evaluated using IMPECABLE METHODOLOGY!

      • Artful Dodger says:

        lol DVR, you’ve just leaked the working title to the new Kevin Costner/Sean Connery “Cops’n'Robber Barons” flick: The Impeccables

        Who will be cast as Randolph and Mortimer Koch? How about Joe Pesci and Danny Devito?

        ;^)

        • Artful Dodger says:

          Ooh, and how about starring Robert Redford as Jim Hansen, and Mathew McNaughton as Michael Mann?

  12. Mike Roddy says:

    This was expected. Berkeley Physics people have a certain amount of pride in being able to discern evidence.

    I believe that Richard was one step ahead of the Kochs, knew what the data would tell him, and wanted to make a few bucks off a quite silly controversy.

  13. John Morgan says:

    I was just reading the comments at “Reason.com”, where this article first appears and the readers there still are not convinced. There are looking for reasons why it isn’t true. Sad.

    • How can you stand spending your time reading sites like “Reason.com?” Or, is just a “know your enemy” thing for you?

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        It might be the same reason I still read Murdoch’s psychotic ‘The Australian’. It is morbidly fascinating to see just how deranged these far Right ideologues can become.

  14. Dano says:

    Isn’t this just recycling an old story??

    Best,

    D

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Co2 correlates with temperature – new findings.

    RESEARCH CLOSES GAP BETWEEN WARMING AND CO2 RISE
    Feedbacks in the climate system – in which warming is linked to natural CO2 increase, driving further warming – may operate faster than previously thought.

    Dr Pedro says the study of natural warming only underlines the speed at which human-created climate change has occurred. He says 8000 years’ worth of natural CO2 increases have been created in the 200 years since the industrial revolution.

    “Just as the steady increase in CO2 helped to melt the ice caps and warm the earth out of the ice age, the rapid increase now in CO2 is also driving up temperatures, only at a much faster rate,” he said. “What we’re doing now is over a hundred times faster.” http://climateprogress.net/climate-science/item/research-closes-gap-between-warming-and-co2-rise.html

  16. prokaryotes says:

    Michael E. Mann
    about an hour ago
    Folks have asked for my comment on the new finding by Richard Muller’s “BEST” Team. Here it is:

    There is a certain ironic satisfaction in seeing a study funded by the Koch Brothers—the greatest funders of climate change denial and disinformation on the planet–demonstrate what scientists have known with some degree of confidence for nearly two decades: that the globe is indeed warming, and that this warming can only be explained by human-caused increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. I applaud Muller and his colleagues for acting as any good scientists would, following where their analyses led them, without regard for the the possible political repercussions (they are of course almost certain to be attacked by climate change deniers for their findings). https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMannScientist?ref=stream

    • tmac57 says:

      ‘Skeptic’s’ spin on Dr. Mann’s statement:

      “Michael Mann does about-face! Now says that the Koch brothers “are the greatest…!” “

  17. Robert says:

    Having read his Op-Ed, what contiues to strike me about Muller is arrogance. He’s duplicated results that have been out there for 20 years, found — surpise surprise — that the conclusions of thousands who have, you know, studied this were correct. And then claims that the other consensus conclusions are wrong. (e.g., polar bears are not dying from receding polar ice — so he’s a wildlife ecoogist, now, is he?)
    Putz.

    • Gordon says:

      Yes, Robert… i was just reading near the end of the NYT op-ed… ugh…

      “Hurricane Katrina cannot be attributed to global warming.”
      –okay… sure… my uncle bob smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years and died of lung cancer… but smoking only increased the likelihood he would… i can’t say it did… still i understand there is much yet to learn of how global warming may affect frequency and/or intensity of hurricanes…

      “The number of hurricanes hitting the United States has been going down, not up;”
      — the number HITTING the US? And again, perhaps somewhat self-contradictory with the first statement – if global warming is reducing the temperature gradient from tropics to pole, and reducing wind shear, then perhaps global warming will lead to reduced frequency of hurricanes…as i understand it, most likely reduced temp gradient from equator to pole will reduce wind shear, which will reduce total number, but increased SST will likely increase the strength of those that do form… still, i thought there has been a general increase in number in the Atlantic in recent decades…

      “likewise for intense tornadoes. ”
      – are they decreasing? still, at best a straw man, as i’ve not really seen a climate scientist trying to make a claim as to how warming will definitively affect tornadoes…

      “Polar bears aren’t dying from receding ice,”
      – they aren’t? seems i’ve read a number of stories on this very blog about declining polar bear populations… haven’t read that receding ice has been eliminated as a contribution…

      “and the Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035. ”
      — another straw man at best? this refers to the great IPCC controversy…

      “And it’s possible that we are currently no warmer than we were a thousand years ago, during the “Medieval Warm Period” or “Medieval Optimum,” an interval of warm conditions known from historical records and indirect evidence like tree rings. ”
      — this seems grossly incorrect. Potholer has a new video on this subject, too…

      “And the recent warm spell in the United States happens to be more than offset by cooling elsewhere in the world, so its link to “global” warming is weaker than tenuous.”

      – more than offset? really? haven’t the last three months of global anomalies been more than 0.5 degrees? is that “more than offset?” i’m confused… the last three months have been nice red squares on the NASA GISS color plot of global temp anomaly…

      this was like a total rant of inane nonsense… an amalgam of myths and misrepresntations, of straw men and… and… delusional knights tilting at windmills…

    • Sou says:

      Exactly. Still building strawmen and making disparaging remarks about scientific fields he knows nothing about. (He cannot even distinguish between what science has found and what’s written on denier websites.)

      Maybe Muller is now angling for some funds from Shell to study trends in polar bear populations in the Arctic, hoping to claim glory from another about-face.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      Muller learned at Louis Alvarez’ knee, and decided to become a jerk, just like he was. I also heard from a Berkeley friend that his tests for students were evil, full of traps and impossible questions.

      The thing is, Muller is accomplishing more with this than any of us could, due to his tentacles to all of the deniers, who he is now renouncing. Muller deserves praise, for his good old Berkeley smarts and for the final result. Berkeley physicists are all a little crazy anyway, so let’s forgive him for that.

  18. Bob Geiger says:

    Politically, this should be powerful. These are skeptical scientists funded by denying corporate interests. Is anyone going to believe that they are part of the alleged grand conspiracy of left-wingers and climate scientists supposedly seeking grants? I think this is huge news and we should use it as such. Over and over again. The “bombshell” headline is overused on this site, in my opinion, but this time it is thoroughly justified.

    • David F. says:

      I’m inclined to agree with you. Obviously, there are some out there who will never accept the fact that global warming is real. But this study is still important in that it thoroughly debunks a lot of the myths out there. So, in that regard, it might help to shift the discourse on this issue in the coming years.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Bob, the hardcore, Rightwing denialist zealots will have no trouble fitting this into their paranoid phantasies. Jesus Christ could return and declare anthropogenic climate change true, and the denialists would remind us that he was a not-so-secret pinko, who attacked the money-changers, financial entrepreneurs of their day.

  19. David says:

    So, has the report been deleted, burned, buried and denied it ever existed yet?

  20. David F. says:

    I think this is significant for a couple of reasons, in addition to the fact it was a Koch-funded study. First, the study largely debunks many of the silly denier arguments regarding the temperature record. Second, it actually finds a slightly greater increase in temperature than the existing records, while including more data points and extending the records further in time.

    I can see why some are a little disappointed in Prof. Muller for his earlier skepticism of the data, but at least he kept any biases or preconceived notions out of his research for this project. There is a lot of mis- and disinformation out there, so it’s possible even a renowned physicist could get lost in the shuffle. I really didn’t appreciate the enormity of global warming until I decided to look at the data myself back around 2005. Once I looked at the actual data, I realized that it had warmed significantly since the late 19th century. To be honest, I’m not too surprised the BEST study found a somewhat greater trend. Some of the very old records from the Army Signal Corps really show an entirely different climate pre-1850 in most of America.

  21. Sou says:

    Interesting, but not what I’d call a bombshell.

    Muller can’t help himself, can he. Even though he finds his surface temperature analysis is consistent with all the other global surface temperature analyses he continues to build strawmen to knock down (Himalayan glaciers for goodness sake! How puerile is that?)

    I wish he would accept that, while his team can analyse global temperature trends, it’s obvious from his off-topic comments that he doesn’t have a handle on the field of climate science and is in no position to critique the myriad areas beyond his expertise – ie virtually all climate science. (Based on what he wrote, Muller hasn’t even done a lit search on the topics he criticises. He’s just spouting TeaParty nonsense.).

  22. John Mason says:

    Hold the front page!

    Breaking news: Wheel reinvented, found to work best when circular and strengthened by spokes and arranged in one or more pairs – shocking new study reveals. ;)

    Lou’s comments above re – exit strategies are noted with interest. Makes me wonder if this is what was behind a certain website going into ‘lockdown’ mode this past few days. Are these things by any chance related? I think we should be told.

  23. AlC says:

    Exit strategies…perhaps the Kochs diversified out of the oil business, buying timber and synthetic fiber companies, as a hedge against the possibility that oil drilling and refining would be curtailed.

  24. AlC says:

    Joe,

    That is a nice plot at the top of this article. Where did it come from? Is it something that can be used by others in making presentations?

  25. Leah Parks says:

    I Agree with Icarus’ reply to the article “Let’s ignore Muller’s study and focus on scientists who can be trusted.”

    I too would be cautious when quoting Muller’s article. The following Muller claims seem to be too much of blanket comments and inflammatory. I question whether Muller has he done the studies on these conclusions he also posted in the Op-ed?

    “It’s a scientist’s duty to be properly skeptical. I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated or just plain wrong. I’ve analyzed some of the most alarmist claims, and my skepticism about them hasn’t changed.

    Hurricane Katrina cannot be attributed to global warming. The number of hurricanes hitting the United States has been going down, not up; likewise for intense tornadoes. Polar bears aren’t dying from receding ice, and the Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035. And it’s possible that we are currently no warmer than we were a thousand years ago, during the “Medieval Warm Period” or “Medieval Optimum,” an interval of warm conditions known from historical records and indirect evidence like tree rings. And the recent warm spell in the United States happens to be more than offset by cooling elsewhere in the world, so its link to “global” warming is weaker than tenuous.”

    I can see his next claim being that there is warming, but the earth is not going to be adversely affected…Or some other tricky thing. Then he will say that the environmentalists agree with him here and, therefore, this legitimizes his statements.

  26. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    The lack of humility + the look what I’ve discovered, like he had never denied or even knew anyone else was working on it is what we elders call Fish Fry. It has a bad smell that lingers for days, smelling up the house for a week. There has to be more to this than he suddenly decided to check the data. It seems that with the U.S. finally dealing with the results of my generations oil frenzy it isn’t going to PAY to be a denier anymore. Sort of like the Maya 2012 predictions, just 5 months left to make a buck than it all comes to an end when the world doesn’t.

  27. Gillian King says:

    Muller breaches the second line of defences for CC Deniers. Two more to go…

    1. It’s warming (breached!)
    2. Human activity is a cause (breached!)
    3. It will have catastrophic consequences
    4. We can reduce the risk.

    These are four defensive positions adopted by deniers. As each line is breached, they fall back to the next line. Just like the defences of medieval castles.

    Outlined here…. http://bit.ly/QA6oq8

  28. Jack says:

    A lot of people are simply saying Muller is just repeating results, but they are missing Muller’s brilliance here and what he is actually bringing to the table with this work and why the deniers like Watts see him as such a threat.
    You see, for the deniers no matter how many confirming studies scientist publish the deniers can still just continue cast doubt on the temperature record, why?? Because while normal scientific work is published, the data, methodology and programs typically are not disclosed, at least not all aspects of it, this makes scientist the effective gate keepers in a way. This allows deniers to attack scientists and to cast doubt on their motivation and trustworthiness. i.e. “they are just doing it for the grant money”.
    The brilliance of Muller is that he realized that without full disclosure the debate and doubt casting on the temperature record can continue indefinitely, but if the proof is laid out for all to see and question – AND no one can disprove the conclusions, then this short circuits the debate and doubts casting, full stop.
    Muller realized that you can’t argue against the existence of something that is shown to exist openly for all to see. That’s why he made such a big deal about disclosing every aspect of the work.
    With this work Muller is has driven a stake through the heart of deniers, sure there will still be hard core diners, but it’ll be so much harder for deniers to convince people, the comeback will now forever be “sure but it’s all there on paper for all to see, you go and disprove it”.

    • Martin Vermeer says:

      Jack,

      you don’t know what you’re talking about. The data has always been out there for anyone to download. And as to methods, didn’t you notice that even amateurs using their own simplified methods — like caerbannog on this very thread, or tamino, or, let’s not forget Sir Muir Russell — manage to handily do precisely what loudmouth Muller and friends burned all those Koch dollars for?

      But yes, today is a good day for those who like to see egg on deniers’ faces ;-)

    • Charles says:

      Jack, I appreciate your points but I have to agree with Martin. The data have always been available; the argument that they have not been available is a canard. Likewise, “it’s all about funding” is a meme put forth by “sceptics” who don’t have a clue about how research is funded.

      The deniers will persist until their ideological worldviews change–and Muller’s work will not play a huge part in that happening, although it might make a difference for a few.

    • Artful Dodger says:

      I think Mr. Spock summarized it best when he said “only Nixon can go to China”…

      Maybe only a rabid denier can convince the T-Right wing that climate change is real…

      but I don’t think so.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Artful, the Republican Right were far more sane back in Nixon’s day. The process of the steady descent by the Right into various types of deracinated sub-fascist mass imbecility over recent decades has been a textbook example of reversion to the mean, vindictive, nasty and vicious. I really find some of the comments allowed on Rightist blogs simply stupefying, not just in the florid psychopathy and depths of fulminating hatred they espouse, but in the ready acceptance they receive from the like-minded and the total absence of concern from blog ‘Moderators’.

  29. pete best says:

    The UK began burning coal around 1750 (a portrayed in the Olympic opening ceremony using Brunel as its catalyst) and today what do we find? Well everyone is still burning coal 250 years later and oil and gas for that matter although they came in prominence later.

    So what does this tell us, well for me it states that by the time you relaise your mistake its got momentum and the engineering surrounding it is so well understood and costs so well known that moving ot anything else could never compete. The one source of energy that we have invented called nuclear has got so much issues surrounding it that it can never be seen to be a replacement for any of the fossl fuels.

    Therefore politicially fossil fuels are wonderful for they create the environment for progress (which they have) and for jobs and for a life worth living etc. Its an easy sell giving my children what I never had (growing up poor whereas children do better. Its such an easy sell that not even ACC can budge it for so many politicians and economists see getting off of fossil fuels as nigh on impossible as per the socolow wedges seem to be indicating.

    The idea of us all driving around in hybrids and then electric cars and vehicles is totally unlikely and even if we did its not likely to save us for it takes 50-100 years to deploy that sort of a solution. The same applies to heating your house and powering your TV and other appliances (which we have more of these days.

    Its not hard to be a skeptic and even just a ignorer and even with the finist scientific anlysis and warnings it matters not for its a massive planet sized tanker that aint turning anytime soon.

    • Lollipop says:

      I agree with you in some sense, but I think once you can see the crops failing, once you experience the horrific heat fueled by CO2, once you accept that doing the right thing is better than winning, that is a hard position to maintain. Global warming is a really tough moral issue, and it is a moral issue, not just a scientific one. I’d like to think that as a southerner, if I had lived in 1830 I would have been an abolitionist. I likely would have died before I saw the civil war and certainly before the civil right movement. I can’t know what I would have done then, but I do know what I can do now. And even if I (I’m youngish still, but not that young) don’t live to see the end of coal and oil burning, Id rather know I at least did my best with the moral challenges of my time.

    • Toby says:

      pete best,

      It took humanity thousands of years to discover that crap and drinking water should not be mixed.

      As soon as they did (about 1850), something was done about it quite fast, even though it cost a hell of a lot of money to construct sewage systems in cities like New York and London. Nowadays we consider proper management of sewage and human effluent to be a prime concern of public health.

      Now that we know that CO2 in larger quantities and the earth’s atmosphere are not a good mix, we should be equally unhesitating about doing something about it.

      • Gillian King says:

        Yes, but no one had a vested interest in keeping the crap right there in the drinking water.

        • Lollipop says:

          Oh, but sadly there were vested interests against it, from the Economist: Suffering and evil are nature’s admonitions; they cannot be got rid of;  and the impatient attempts of benevolence to banish them from the world by legislation, before benevolence has learned their object and their end, have always been more productive of evil than good.

          http://skepticalscience.com/CCCMpolitical.html

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            It’s really hard to tell whether that comes from Economist circa 1860, or last week. That’s one thing you can say about the Right-they’re consistent.

      • Fiona Mackenzie says:

        In this hemisphere, we have allowed economic control to devolve on people whose own papers acknowledge global warming as early as 2002, along with the decision not to tell the people because “they’ll just panic.” Why would it change now, when they know they’ll be the last to die of it?

    • Solar Jim says:

      “Therefore politicially fossil fuels are wonderful for they create the environment for . . .”

      Actually, they create a social environment of political economy known as Fascism (broader meaning).

      I understand your viewpoint but I disagree with much of your analysis and apparent resignation to subservience. Saying that fossils have given us a great life is like saying that passengers had a great ride . . . on the Titanic.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        One billion people are starving, poverty afflicts billions, one Western society after another is being put through the ‘austerity’ meat-grinders (as was the poor world in the ’80s and ’90s under IMF and World Bank ‘sado-monetarism’). The people who ‘benefited’ most from the economic system that is destroying us are the 1%. The rest got ‘thirty golden years’ up to the mid-’70s, mostly replacing the destruction of WW2, then elite greed and widening inequality scuppered the system. Ecological catastrophe sneaked up on them, because they are ‘one-dimensional men’, interested only in money-all else is ‘externality’.

    • Leif says:

      That tanker’s course will be altered when faced by a bigger force. A Manhattan size ice burg from the rapidly melting Arctic perhaps. I would suggest that the collective will of Humanity could serve that purpose as well. It is not like progressives want to stop capitalism per say, just factor “collective good” into the equation. Stop profits from polluting the commons for starters.

  30. Ernest says:

    This could be our closest “Nixon goes to China” moment esp. if Muller keeps writing those Op Ed pieces in the WSJ.

  31. Scott says:

    Anyone who believes or even thinks that we need or needed a Koch or Koch related study to confirm what thousands of climate scientists have already determined to be true, needs to be schooled even further.

  32. Lollipop says:

    I hate to rai on the parade, but I think this blog post here ,http://realisticbeinggreen.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/beware-the-trojan-horse/ is almost certainly correct. Let’s see what new tripe Watt’s spews this afternoon before we celebrate.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      You are right that Muller is too weird to be trusted, but he’s not going to say something idiotic such as we will be just fine on a warmer planet. As for MWP, Himalayan glaciers, polar bears etc, those are just side shows, little known to the public.

      • Lollipop says:

        Muller isn’t going to say it, Anthony Watts et al are going to say it. I could be wrong, but when WUWT goes out of lockdown today I expect that to be the headline. Or something close to it. Anything to stop the political support for ending carbon pollution.

        • Lollipop says:

          Guess I was wrong, Watts is doubling down on the whole “there is no temp increase” thing. Wow. I gave them too much credit.

  33. Lollipop says:

    I hate to rain on the parade, but I think this blog post here , http://realisticbeinggreen.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/beware-the-trojan-horse/
    is almost certainly correct. Let’s see what new tripe Watt’s spews this afternoon before we celebrate too much. At best, we’ve won a battle we were already winnng.

    • Toby says:

      Lollipop,

      I think the post is an over-reaction. The response of most climate scientists I have seen is a jaded “So you’ve finally confirmed what the rest of us knew in 1995, Dick? Big deal.”

      I do think that Muller is trying to sieze the spotlight away from reputable scientists like James Hansen and Michael Mann. In fact, that was probably always one of his goals. But I do not see the Main Stream Media jumping all over this story – yet.

      Certainly, Marc Morano has taken against Muller with a series of personal assaults that are par for him.

      Another bright spot is that the science community are suspicious of Muller as a limelight-seeker, but there is great respect for Ralph Rohde, the man directly responsible for the analysis. Some reckon Rohde is keeping Muller honest.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      It’s speculation that Muller will join hands with deniers in claiming that we will enjoy the balmier 2-3C hotter climate. That is too silly a claim for him to make, and even the weirder deniers aren’t making it in view of the latest barbeque in the heartland.

    • Dino says:

      Lollipop: It is far easier to attack someone retreating downhill than it is to attack someone uphill. Indeed, now is the time to attack. The real issue is whether it is possible to create a movement that will not only intellectually challenge the skeptics but demand changes in policy.

      • Lollipop says:

        I agree completely. Let’s get to it.

        • Thanks for sharing my blog, Lollipop. We ought to put pressure on news outlets, e.g. The Guardian, The New York Times, anyone that will listen that Muller’s findings will perversely only serve the aims of the denier industry.

          • Lollipop says:

            Sadly, I’ve given up on the news media. Direct action is where progress is made. Texas Blockade is coming up soon and I look forward to seeing the inside of a Texas jail cell.

  34. Beverly Hill says:

    Well how about that!

  35. Joan Savage says:

    The BEST study gives fossil fuel industry an indirect blessing by pointing to the temperature trend over many generations, back to 1800.

    Substantiation of that long-term trend limits risk of a CERCLA-type environmental lawsuit against any one company or group of companies.
    Make no mistake, the funders of the BEST study can get a good return on this investment.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      Yes, but we were burning coal, and especially, furiously cutting down forests in the 19th century. Human forcings didn’t start with Exxon.

      • Lollipop says:

        But clear knowledge about the consequences did come ithe Exxon era, just because they didn’t start party doesn’t mean they don’t have an obligation to end it. Of course, Joan is right. But a gal can still enjoy being right.

  36. Bonnie says:

    HHHHE. What you, fools, have not noticed is that, it’s not even. THe weather is shifting unevenly. Some colds area ARE indeed, getting hot, while it’s the opposite elsewhere.

    THere’s also the matter of sealevels rishing in places like Europe, the sea is chip, chipping away at the edge, while areas like the U.S. Midwest are becoming deserts.

    All this is happening slowly, slowly, so one almost doesn’;t notice. And it started years ago. Every nows and gthedn, one heard of flooded areas in Germany,etc.

    Now it’s accelerated. Today there’s areas in Japan, where the soil has liquified, AND in India, too.

  37. Lou Grinzo says:

    I’m seeing these comments about Muller “confirming” what scientists knew two decades ago, and I keep waiting for James Hansen to walk into the room, toss a copy of this 1988 Congressional testimony on the table, and then walk out without saying a word…

    Still, if Muller’s antics move the needle in the right direction, I welcome them. We’re very far down the wrong path, in terms of already emitted CO2 and infrastructure lock-in, so far, in fact that we can’t afford to turn away help from almost any quarter.

    Everyone here, please remember that this is, if anything, a very tiny step in the right direction, and the best we can hope for is a miniscule shifting of the goalposts by the deniers.

  38. bob h says:

    This is akin to discovering that 2+2 = 4.

    The driving force behind climate change is the imbalance between solar radiation coming in and that going back out to space, something that is calculable using 100 year old science with well-known parameters. Anybody who questions this is a dunce.

  39. punun maximus says:

    So now when rich [insert racial slur, which really = ethnic group here] “entreprenours” has established that there is global warming, let us wait a few more years for them to establish once things go FUBAR, humanity will suffer more than the planet will.

    Then a few years later we can establish that the impact by owners of oilcompanies and the likes with their propaganda and actions versus sun, air and waterpower has had a too negative impact on the technological progression, enough so that even with the rapid developement of new technologies regarding it, we will still be screwed.

    Obviously it’ll be the elite in the oilproducing countries who get the blame and not the owners of the profit and the debtmarket.

  40. gorp says:

    It’s probably too late to do anything about this, though.

    Melting permafrost will release methane, which is some 20x more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. It only accelerates from here.

    • Lollipop says:

      I’d still rather go down fighting for what is right. We’ve already lost so much on the environmental front, but there is still quite a bit we haven’t. We don’t have time for despair.

      • BJ says:

        As pessimistic as I am about the fate of the biosphere, I agree with Lollipop and others. We’re grievously clubbing the planet’s ecosystems around the head, but we can still try to stop ourselves from using that club to sodomise our life-support system too.

        It’s now a choice between bad and worse, and bad will always be better than worse. At least, it will be until there is no daylight left between the two – let’s hope we manage to get off our arses before then…

    • Well gorp, seems so far you and I are the only 2 who realize that once the perma frost the tundra,the massive Russian plains and bogs,and the deep sea caches of frozen methane gas are released, there will be no turning back. It will only take a rise of 1or 2 degrees to start the defrost in motion, the other point that goes without saying the flow of ocean currents, will eventually stop, as there will be no draw from cold to warm. All I’v seen is CO2 which can be removed with the right process, I have yet to see how methane gas can be removed. This whole scenario, is begining to look like the aftermath of the 9/11 event which the deniers were there calling themselves the truthers, (Senator Ron Pauls followers on You/ Tube) where they claimed no planes crashed, that we did this to our own people, and on and on…Sometimes you have to step back and let everyone do there thing,I’ve told the fools time after time it may be the start of natures changing but what we’ve done since the early 50′s has added insult to injury. I may not be here to see it but be sure the deniers as you call them will be the first to cry out,and all the kings horses and all the kings men won’t be able to save the least of them.

  41. Carol says:

    So . . do we shrug our shoulders and stand by while this country elects another— lesser of two evils– President again? Joe, do you feel leadership in this country—-in other countries as well—- is insignificant in this, the most critical issue that humanity has ever faced? It certainly seems that way given that no one (in any form of media) is adequately addressing the fact that this country is on the verge of electing a President (Obama or Romney) that is going to nudge, if not push, humanity and every organism on this planet over the cliff.

    Why is this not being vociferously addressed on this forum? Why is it impossible for a third party to be taken seriously in this Presidential race?

    Joe, you seem to be optimistic regarding the number of people who understand the crisis we are immersed in.
    If this is the case, why isn’t who we elect as a leader in 2012 and how this person intends to address climate change the number one issue that is raised on this forum?

    There are brilliant people who read and respond to your excellent, factual articles. There are no deniers here and we get it. What I do not get is why there isn’t more outrage over the fact that Obama has been a failure when it comes to climate change yet many who know this are simply shrugging their shoulders saying, “he’ll be better than Romney” or . . “I’ll vote my conscience– for a third party– even though they haven’t got a chance” (the Green Party can’t even get in on the “debates”). Can you—can anyone—- help explain this?

    • colinc says:

      “This” results from all of us being programmed, pigeon-holed and played via the narcissism of small differences. Check that last term on Wikipedia and note the last quote. As consequence, “society” is nothing more than a dysfunctional conglomeration of fruity, little clubs all predicated on abjectly baseless beliefs.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        That’s how ‘They’ like it. It’s called ‘Divide and Rule’ and it’s the basis of sham democracy in capitalist economies.

        • Eric Schubring says:

          I agree Mulga. Thanks for saying it, but does it leave us anything to do or is it that this is what it looks like as humankind regresses to the mean-ness?

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            Eric, from my reading and experience of people, I’m certain that humanity has a bright future if we get rid of the parasitic elites who sit like incubi and succubi on humanity’s back, and the operating system that they have created to optimise their bloodsucking-capitalism. A radically egalitarian, global, society that values all human life and encourages all human potential could do wonderful things. A society based on insatiable pleonexia and fear and hatred of others must destroy itself, the ghastly process we are now experiencing.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      It’s not just the oil companies, it’s the banks and the 1% who have been rolling in the fossil fuel income the last few years.

      Obama is afraid of them, and thinks that serious action would crash the economy. He hasn’t figured out yet that contraction is inevitable, and we might as well get started on it.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Better to attempt a controlled descent when the plane is aflame, than attempting to simply go on flying.

    • Leif says:

      If the Nation allowed a first and second choice in our elections, then a third party could show its colors and voters not throw away their vote to the “lesser of two evils.”

      • Carol says:

        Thanks for your response Leif . . so true. How to get a critical mass to move in this direction?
        It’s hard to get people to even talk about our plutocracy (with the exception of a few brilliant, brave souls such as Bill Moyers) as the country inches toward yet another corporate sponsored election. Some would rather stay stuck in blame games and spewing venom every which way. Not an effective way to move forward for positive change. At a minimum—-don’t throw tomatoes at the choir. Channel your anger where it’s more useful.

        Loved the movie Syrianna, Artful Dodger—-thanks, may have to watch it again.

        Mulga/Eric—-your comments are always cathartic, incisive, thought provoking and very much appreciated!

        Am still waiting to hear ideas on how to alter the destructive path of the USA.

        To Joe Romm: will you feel good about voting for Obama?
        Do you think he will provide the leadership necessary for the #1 issue humanity faces? If so, please explain. If you cast your vote for Obama reluctantly or because there is no other choice —–why are we not talking about this?

    • Artful Dodger says:

      Carol, watch the film “Syrianna” with George Clooney. It answers your “why” question…
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365737/

    • Eeric Schubring says:

      Thank you posing the question “OK, we get it, now what?” which it seems so many even in this vaunted venue are not. That none seem to address your question or raise it on their own (at least not here) causes me to recall those old cliches about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic or fiddling while (this new) Rome burns or as if this intellectual/scientific gab fest is just a game of musical chairs on a still-sinking ship. All this talk, talk, talk, write, write, write is just another example of our collective learned helplessness, and our clever electronic inventions have only relegated us to a kind of pixelated peonage.

      We need to take our authority from the duopolist elite — by whatever means necessary and voting only encourages the bastards.

    • CAROL,where have been? Obama can’t even get his jobs bill passed, the senate and congress have made a pact to block any and every move that Obama makes , to make him a “lame duck president”. What you don’t know and it keeps popping up is there exists as never before;( because its never been there before, racism) sure you’ll hear;” oh now their gonna call it racism, bigotry, black this and that”. It shows; they cover their ass but, for what other reason would the republican party stand in front of the American people, and refuse to let Obama pass a jobs bill? If I could afford it I spread the word across this country to every community. For God’s sake the republican party let Bush double the National Debt, to 15 trillion dollars, 2 wars, 2 massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and to add insult to injury again, they’ve pinned this to Obama including the remainder of the wars cost still; going on. If this seems unbelieveable it almost is until you do your home work and research it. Don’t you realize that our great senators have privie to insider information in the stock market that they can invest in, long before you or I could. Does the Keystone XL pipeline ring any bells? Why do you think John Boehner is pushing the bill to allow them to build it? Heres one for you to push for the release of portfolios of investments for our congressmen and senators, not a snowballs chance in hell we’ll ever see them we can’t even see Romneys tax returns, any questions? At this point you can cast your vote to anyone you desire.

      • Eric Schubring says:

        I think the question being asked is, in the face of all of this, the greed, the corruption, the malfeasance, the ineptitude, the cowardice, the stupidity, the seeming willful ignorance you describe and what appears to place us in the middle of a perfect storm, is what’s to be done?

        Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

        I have a young friend who, when I talk about what I see, hear, read and think, cuts me off with “unless you’ve got some plan of action, Eric, or you’re gonna do something, then I’d rather change the subject. Otherwise it’s all just smart talk and lotsa words.”

        I see a lot of that here. Not that I or people like Carol presume to have an answer to the question, but I for one would like to hear some ideas.

  42. Nick Palmer says:

    I wonder if Watts’ big announcement will be that he is cancelling his surface stations project (photographing air conditioners near thermometers etc) because he finally accepts that his “anomalies” are no explanation at all for the observed warming that he now accepest is really happening?

  43. David Lewis says:

    Muller deserves to be ignored as the arrogant clown he is.

    Consider what he says he thinks science is, in this quote from his NYTimes piece:

    “Science is that narrow realm of knowledge that, in principle, is universally accepted”.

    What this actually means, to him, is that “science” is that narrow realm of knowledge that he accepts. Who cares?

    Why does anyone think this formal announcement will change history? Its been known for some time what BEST found.

  44. Peter M says:

    After all these comments- one thing is for certain- little has changed. Emissions will continue to rise- changing to renewable energy will proceed far too slowly, and the climate will continue to decay, while pushing beyond the 2017 ‘infrastructure limit’ of 450ppm.

    On a darker note- the United States in failing to lead on the issue of climate change will bare the most sizable ethical burden in the future when all hell lets lose.

    • Peter , I beg to differ with you we the people will bare the burden as we do for the transgressions of the Bush administration, and the National Debt.

    • Carol says:

      Well said Peter. I agree.
      It would be nice if Joe (Bill M and others) would address what you say so succinctly furthermore I wish they would address our upcoming plutocratic election (which they will be participating in I presume?)
      All of this feels surreal . . . a live and updated version of Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” while the world is garishly celebrating sports via the Olympics. The Titanic analogy continues to grow stronger every day.

  45. Peter Carter says:

    [Muller] says ‘These facts don’t prove causality ‘ Wrong! By common sense causality is obvious. By the Bradford Hill criteria causality is proven for sure. The weight of evidence is overwhelming.

  46. The Oracle says:

    We’re toast. Our goose is cooked.

  47. Lollipop says:

    And the other shoe falls: Watts has just released a “study” claiming that the thermometers are compromised and so the warming demonstrated by BEST is based on faulty data. I presume some debunking is in order?

    • David Lewis says:

      Obviously, deniers are going to find, after a careful few nanoseconds of non study, that either the BEST data or the BEST analysis is bad.

      That link you supplied to Revkin shows him to be right in there leading the charge debunking BEST on the analysis front: he’s quoting Judith Curry who says its “not at all convincing”.

      Out of all climatatologists on the planet who have an opinion, Revkin singled out Curry: “she has it right”.

      • Mike Roddy says:

        I agree with you about Curry, David, and Revkin is especially [snip]

        I don’t understand your jumping on Muller, though, whose results could have a major impact. It doesn’t matter much that he’s an asshole, or that he’s throwing bones to the deniers. We need a lot more apostates, or nothing will change.

        • David Lewis says:

          I agree with the “we need a lot more apostates” idea. And there are far worse out there, planet killers who I’d say deserve prosecution for the delay they are responsible for causing. This guy isn’t in their league. But he is pathetic.

          This clown enters climate science with his first actual research which was aimed at proving his unfounded belief that no previous researcher had the slightest bit of a clue, and ta da, after studying the problem, he announces the guy who didn’t have a clue was himself.

          Imagine he happened to be skeptical about relativity. Bozo the Clown, with no previous record of contributing to contemporary thought about physics, says “three years ago he identified problems in previous” relativity “studies that threw doubt on the very existence of” relativity, but now he’s done his first work actually looking at it and he’s a “converted skeptic”.

          Einstein stops shaking in his boots.

          Its preposterous.

          It would matter if he was eminent in climatology and this publication meant the end of a serious debate about fundamentals that had been unresolved among the most eminent scientists in the field for a long time. But he’s the exact opposite of eminent in climatology. And there hasn’t been debate about what this bozo is worried about among the top researchers for some time.

          • Mike Roddy says:

            The public doesn’t know these details, David, and like it or not, public perception is what moves the needle in DC, after money, of course.

            Let Muller tell his story. The other side certainly doesn’t like it, and he’s torturing them far more than us. Let’s let him keep doing it.

      • tmac57 says:

        That’s the:
        ‘Those very smart people who agree with me’ syndrome.

    • David F. says:

      The Watts study is just a typical bait-and-switch tactic designed to detract from the BEST study. For those of you who don’t think the BEST study is significant, ask yourself why would Anthony go through so much trouble to release his study on the same day Prof. Muller came forward with his thoughts.

      I read through the Watts paper, and its mostly insignificant. Unlike BEST, it only focuses on U.S. temperatures and is only based on a 30-year time frame. He concludes the U.S. warming is 1/2 of what has been reported, but he only reaches that conclusion by eliminating adjustments made by NOAA/NCDC to correct for KNOWN cooling biases, such as the switch from the so-called “Cotton Region Shelter” to MMTS sensors. These adjustments were derived from actual observation-based data and the methodology published in peer-reviewed journals.

      So tread carefully with the Watts study… clearly, its release was designed to divert attention to BEST, and it hasn’t yet been subject to scrutiny. Doubt it will get picked up by any journal of repute, at least not in its current state. There may be some validity to the new methods of station homogenization, but the claims by Anthony are unfounded.

  48. Ben Lieberman says:

    Revkin, in an update, cites Anthony Watts: Anthony Watts has posted a package at his blog on a new paper (like Muller’s pre-publication) concluding that United States temperature trends in recent decades “are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.” This is meant as a challenge to Muller’s conclusions, given that much rests on the substantial warming in recent decades.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      Watts is trying to bullshit his way out of this one, something that is second nature to him anyway.

  49. Renee Soule says:

    Since when to converted climate-deniers get to show up as heros? For shame. “I told you so” doesn’t mean much, in the long run.

    Let’s keep galloping forward, and let them eat dust.

  50. Geoff Beacon says:

    None of the 150+ comments above mention

    In short, a Koch-funded study has found that the IPCC “consensus” underestimated both the rate of surface warming and how much could be attributed to human emissions!

    The IPCC underestimates climate change and suffers from what Hansen calls “scientific reticence” as well as political pressure to downplay climate change. Remember it is an Intergovernmental Panel. Scientists are not in charge of governments, politicians are.

    For some of my specific concerns see EU climate policy badly out of date?

    • tmac57 says:

      I have been hearing for years now that the IPCC findings,far from being ‘alarmist’,have actually been fairly conservative (reticent perhaps?)I suspect this is because of political pressure,in an effort to make the whole process more palatable to certain factions for pragmatic reasons, but like the political climate in the U.S.,it has caused an unwarranted shift toward a less rational position.

      • David Lewis says:

        Stephen Chu on the IPCC, just after Climategate hit the news:

        “On balance if you look at all the things the IPCC… has been doing over the last number of years, they were trying very hard to put in all the peer-reviewed serious stuff. I’ve actually always felt that they were taking a somewhat conservative stand on many issues and for justifiable reasons…. They should be able to say that this is serious science and take a somewhat conservative view.

        If you look at the climate sceptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It’s very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want. In the end, the core of science is deeply self checking”.

        quote taken from thinkprogress

  51. pkien says:

    Do the authors have stock in geo-engineering companies?

  52. Robert In New Orleans says:

    Wow, the all knowing, great and powerful Oz (aka Dr. Muller) has descended from Stratos to approve the seating chart in the Titanic’s Grand Ballroom.

    Laugh, cough, gag, snark, …

  53. Texas Aggie says:

    One thing this event DOES show is that if you have a scientifically oriented education and mindset, then you are open to accepting evidence that contradicts your “beliefs.” I suspect that if someone grounded in a nonscience discipline looked at the same evidence, they would alter the evidence, not their beliefs.

    Carl Sagan addressed this phenomenon a long time ago.

    “In science it often happens that scientists say, “You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,” and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.”

  54. David F. says:

    Here is the link to the BEST study report:

    http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/results-paper-july-8.pdf

    It’s a very interesting read. Goes into a lot of detail about the statistical methods employed, and looks at the data in a number of ways. The BEST team seems to have used a somewhat novel approach to the problem of site & instrument changes that largely eliminates the need for adjustment. Rather than adjust for the changes to create a continuous record for each site, it treats each change as creating a new site. They also discuss how they created estimates back to 1753, and how the uncertainty intervals were computed. The greater variability in the record then is due to the fact that the estimate is drawn mostly from sites in Europe and North America, combined with active vulcanism during that period. Many of the dips correspond to known periods of active volcanic activity.

  55. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    Paper hasn’t been published yet. I’m curious as to which journal would consider publishing already well established science that is at least a decade old. Unless the group has come up with new methodologies or new analyses these papers don’t really warrant journal publication, do they?

    If published, doesn’t it give validation to his statements that there were serious problems with all analyses done previously? And if not published though, we’ll see comments like “well that wasn’t published in a peer reviewed journal”, which just gives deniers an excuse to ignore it/discredit it–which they’ll do regardless, so again, why publish old science if there’s nothing new there.

    • David Lewis says:

      Their claim is they are bringing “new methods of analysis” to a dataset larger than anyone else ever compiled.

      The clown’s daughter says it amounts to “a new and improved estimate of the global land temperature going back 250 years” that has been reviewed by “dozens of top scientists”.

      The grande fromage, the Top Clown himself has announced (rim shot) that “These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”.

      If I was running a journal I couldn’t possibly publish this unless it lived up to these claims. It doesn’t appear to contradict previous work.

  56. Peter Wood says:

    I’m looking forward to the Koch brothers now instead devoting their resources to doing something about climate change.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      Don’t hold your breath.

      Watts’ latest “report” drew 792 comments on WUWT. We have a long way to go.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        I well remember when people said that the internet would lead to great things as the public exchanged opinions and learned from one another. Alas, the Right have simply grown ever more vicious, in their slowly turning gyre of an echo-chamber as all the morally insane ‘ditto-heads’ screech like demented budgies. Then again, the first talk-back radio host in Australia was Barry Jones, quiz champion, Parliamentarian and super-erudite and civilized adornment to our society. Needless to say, his show was the polar opposite to today’s landscape where talk-back is entirely far, far Right, and populated by florid hate and fearmongers. Capitalist social and moral devolution, the descent of Man back into the primordial slime.

  57. I have to admit I pursued the Koch brothers, with the responce that they were greedy , and were basicly,trying to control Americas free government. Even though I researched both and found they gave millions of dollars to medical research and many other oraganizations that either fund or do research for humanitarian use. Of course they also donate much to political parties , candidates,and organizations, thinking they have a common goal. I’m wondering if for some reason they are afraid our country is leaning the wrong direction and they feel obligated to fund those that claim, they will strengthen our values. All one really has to do is check out the true values of those running for office to see how things seem to change so dramaticly once they have the office. It makes it look as though the average Americasn citizen missed the speech where this candidate said what his true intentions were. I would be remiss in not saying that if they wanted to solve Americas economic problem they could do this without the support of the government, or any potential candidate. They could be a very large part of this countries history, probably as high ranking as the original signers of the Constitution, but will they? Well I don’t know why they funded this climate study but its got my attention, as much of my time is now spent researching and blogging on the climate’s changing. With as many people that are opposing the fact its happening, this study holds much to combat that opposition. One can only wonder what if they were to change tactics, and back the people and I’m not talking about the political parties! Would or could either party challange a movement larger than both parties,I doubt it. I really hope I hav’nt made a mistake in giving kudos to the Koch brothers for their efforts to enlighten the world on the climate changes. Time will tell all. Oh and if vyou really ,really want to know the Koch brothers,”Wikipedia” them!

  58. Andrew says:

    Did I hear the word ‘fracking’ mentioned in relation to ‘Koch’? Seems like Koch and reverse-carbon sequestration aren’t going away any time soon. Given the considerable investment in hydrocarbon technology and infrastructure I see many decades yet of amortization and tax write-off ahead. Woe betide our children and grandchildren.

  59. “I don’t like to BEST, but…”

    – by Horatio Algeranon

    We’ve just made
    A Nobel find
    The sky is blue
    With black behind

    The grass is green
    The sun is hot –
    And so is fire
    (But ice is not.)

    And global warming
    Is actually real
    Berkeley Earth
    Has clinched the deal.

    Our climate science
    Is simply the BEST
    More roboast
    Than all the rest.

  60. David Lewis says:

    Eli Rabett’s take on whether any of the papers BEST produced will ever be published:

    “Sure sounds like [the journals they've submitted to so far are saying] well, you need to think about some of this stuff more clearly”.

    And:

    “Eli, being the suspicious type would bet that the referees reports were the equivalent of did you think we fell off the turnip truck? Other people figured this out years ago, your data set is interesting, but just because something is new to you, don’t mean it is new to the world.”

  61. Frank Zaski says:

    KOCH’S WORST INVESTMENT? Climate change is probably hurting their profits, “purchased” reputation and legacy far more than any perceived benefit from fighting it.

    IS CLIMATE CHANGE HURTING KOCH INDUSTRY PROFITS? They too are probably selling off cattle, fertilizer sales are probably down (farmers don’t fertilize dying plants, dry fields); drought has driven up costs for their corn based ethanol, etc. Plus, the drought will hurt the overall US economy which will also hurt other Koch sales. (This would be a good project for a financial analyst.)

    LEGACY IS IMPORTANT TO BIG EGOS. As more stories like this come out and more people know about the Koch brothers nasty antics, their reputation will diminish. They probably thought they had their legacy already sealed with big donations. (Add these questions to a survey; what percent of people know anything about the Koch brothers, and of this group, what is their perception on 4 or 5 choices (climate, taxes, pollution, interfering with democracy?)

  62. GodisDead says:

    If 40% of US citizens still believe the Earth is only about 6000 years old then they are obviously immune to scientific argument of any kind. Looking at scientific data is supping with the devil who uses it to undermine the faith of the faithful

  63. It’s not going to be published in its current form. JGR has already rejected it. It makes claims not supported in the data. Read McKitrick’s review to see the valiant efforts Ross made to try to help them out. It clearly has some useful information and techniques that ARE supported, the major glaring error being attribution (among many others)

  64. Kirk Welch says:

    I honestly don’t know what the hell I’m talkin about there as I’m not a climatologist, scientist, geologist or anything else but a person living in Central NE in the US. what I am is a progressive Liberal, and what I do know is it’s dry here. corn fields are drying up, there was just a story on yahoo news this morning about small farmers in Wisconsin I believe, that will have no crops to sell this yr because of drought. I watch the NetGeo channel and see the reports of the glaciers melting at an alarming rate. I moved to NE in 1980 and it was not uncommon at that time to have 3 feet of snow on the ground by the end of Oct. Now we’re lucky to have 3 feet all winter! we haven’t had a decent rain in 4 months here. I don’t need scientific research on the atmosphere to convince me that something is bad wrong. I was in UT last yr. for 3 weeks, I ride as a hobby and as I ascended out of Salt Lake City up into the Mnts. I could see the layer of smog covering the city.

    Denialist my ass, they are greedy a holes that don’t give a rats ass about the future of this country or the world, remember you will never see a Brinks truck following a hearse. as far as Obama he was set up to fail from the start. I do believe he had all intentions of making the changes he campaigned on but as is always the case the conservatives don’t want change as it cuts into their profits, add to that the bigotry and racism of the right wingers and religious zealots and they have blocked him at every turn. 1. there needs to be a serious discussion about birth control in the US (birth reduction ) would be a better choice of words. reduce the population and you reduce the carbon footprint but that will never happen as it would be like suggesting that it’s safer to go to a regulated brothel than a bar to find a sexual partner, lol. Remember this country is all about Pro Life and a fetus is a person the second it is conceived. We as a people united need to stop the destruction of the rain forests in it’s tracks now not later. I’m willing to pay a higher price for fuel if it means a real return in cleaner air and less carbon emissions. I am in total agreement on the use of underground irrigation as I see it first hand here in the corn belt. Pivot irrigation is a huge wast of water and on top of that it is very expensive to use, it needs to be stopped. I have read reports that state that marijuana seed is a viable alternative to corn for renewable ethanol production. I would like to see more on this. Marijuana is a weed, it is very drought tolerant and bugs don’t like it so fewer pesticides are needed. when every thing else is dead marijuana thrives, lol. this is simple look at it in yer face logic and yet….

  65. Lance J Konover says:

    Thank you for posting this!
    It is amazing that the Kochs funded this completely scientific study – and that it was released at this time! Boggles my mind!
    I can’t think that Charles Koch is happy about it, from what I understand, “livid” would likely be closer!
    At any rate, however it happened, it is the final nail in Imhofe and Sessions coffin as far as climate change is concerned – there is no question now.
    None.
    Now it will have to be a naked power play – much harder to disguise – but they will use all of the smoke and mirrors they can find!
    They have wounded themselves badly!!

  66. Art Mensor says:

    This is unbelievable. The Koch Bros. will surely never use this group again……….

    If they do happen to believe it, JUST WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY WILL DO ABOUT IT?

    With all their polluting businesses I’m betting nothing.

  67. Davis Straub says:

    Near the end of July 2008, I wrote the following to Richard Muller:

    Hi Richard,

    I would normally be quite loath to contact the author of a book that I had just finished, but one thing kept nagging at me so that I have put my feelings aside and have sent you this short note.

    BTW, as a graduate in physics from UCSC, I quite enjoyed your book and your approach.

    But, pages 292-295 just didn’t seem to match up to the standards that you set in the book re evidence, and the concerns that you raised in the pages just previous to this section, “The Hockey Stick.”

    Re the last paragraph on page 294 through 295.

    From here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/02/dummies-guide-to-the-latest-hockey-stick-controversy/

    7) Basically then the MM05 criticism is simply about whether selected N. American tree rings should have been included, not that there was a mathematical flaw?

    Yes. Their argument since the beginning has essentially not been about methodological issues at all, but about ‘source data’ issues. Particular concerns with the “bristlecone pine” data were addressed in the followup paper MBH99 but the fact remains that including these data improves the statistical validation over the 19th Century period and they therefore should be included.

    8) So does this all matter?

    No. If you use the MM05 convention and include all the significant PCs, you get the same answer. If you don’t use any PCA at all, you get the same answer. If you use a completely different methodology (i.e. Rutherford et al, 2005), you get basically the same answer. Only if you remove significant portions of the data do you get a different (and worse) answer.

    There is also further discussion of the issues of the source of that data, the Medieval warming period, and Eurocentrism here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=7

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=114

    Does it matter that you are wrong (or appear to be wrong) about the “hockey stick” being wrong (it is quite difficult to follow exactly which “hockey stick” and which wrong we are all referring to)? The “hockey stick” appears to be basically correct, and that no one, not Al nor the Canadian government are in error to have taken that actions that they took.

    To me this means very simply, that I’m not sure that you have done the physics correctly, and that may mean that you’ve not done it correctly in other areas of the book. So we have a conundrum when it comes to providing advice to say, “Future Presidents” who are relying on us (you) to do it right.

    Thanks.

    Davis Straub
    http://ozreport.com/
    http://ozreport.com/worldrecordholder.php
    http://ozreport.com/location.php
    Jackson Hole, WY, USA

    His reply:

    —– Original Message —–
    From: “Richard Muller”
    To: “Davis Straub”
    Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:04 PM
    Subject: Re: Regarding your advice to future presidents

    Dear Davis,

    There is no doubt about the hockey stick being wrong. The National Academy reviewed this issue, and I was a referee for the National Academy report. They did a very good job. Their conclusion is that the climate is now warmer than it has been in the last 400 years. We have known that for decades. The hockey stick conclusion, that it is warmer than it has been for 1000 years, is simply not supportable by the scientific evidence.

    If you have not read the National Academy report, I recommend you do that.

    Richard Muller

    I recently heard Richard on NPR. I said that he stood by everything that he wrote in this book.