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« Snow in New England | Main | Sits vac »
Sunday
Oct302011

Curry on BEST

Popcorn time. Read this in the Mail on Sunday:

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Muller’s team has accused him of  trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped.

Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller’s claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a ‘huge mistake’, with no  scientific basis.

Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST project’s four research papers.

 

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Reader Comments (214)

Jonas N

It shows that you are clueless wrt to the issue about whether a possible UHI effect has contaminated the surface station record, or more precisely, the reconstructed global mean temperature based on such surface stations.

Okay, I'm clueless. How does UHI heat up the entire troposphere?

But we are talking about something else

We are talking about measurements of energy in the climate system. Surface and 14,000ft/600mb. They match. Why and how, if UHI is distorting the surface temperature record?

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Since nobody wants to talk about warming trends in BEST, here are some more:


Using the full BEST series, including the April 2010 outlier:

1999 - 2010 0.23C/decade

1998 - 2010 0.16C/decade

1997 - 2010 0.21C/decade

1996 - 2010 0.27C/decade

1995 - 2010 0.23C/decade

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

They even give a stupid reason for their lies.

Thank you for confirming that you believe the whole AGW thing to be lies.

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Can you name the statistical test used to determine if a data point is an 'outlier'?

Don't Google it.

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

@Shub Oct 31, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Of course, Muller misled the public. Muller and his publicity wing misled the public.

They even give a stupid reason for their lies.

"The publicity is so that the IPCC can’t ignore BEST"

Yep. The lack of respect for the public is positively mind-boggling. I wonder if they gave any thought to how utterly damaging this is to the credibility one is likely to place in their "results" (in the minds of those who are able to think for themselves - which seems to exclude most of the MSM who are glomming on to their "message")

Then again, perhaps BEST were simply taking a page out of the IPCC's well-thumbed "communications" playbook (and in delivering the new, improved, official "reason", Muller mangled the message!)

And in other news ... <sigh> Looks like a certain commenter is bound and determined to once again drag a thread as far away from the topic as s/he possibly can.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

Hilary

The solution is again DNFTT. Trolls live based upon people feeding them. There are always out to obfuscate, divert and sabotage threads and they are dishonest people, proven by their actions.

Nov 1, 2011 at 6:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterVenter

BBD, nobody claims that the UHI effects heats the entire troposphere. Did you really think that this was the argument? The now "debunked .. always-weak argument"!?

Need I remind you that surface stations are not "measurements of energy in the climate system"!?

Do you even know how the various measurements are calibrated? Or that that they need to be calibrated?

The graphs you provided showed two things:

1. That they now agreed fairly well wrt their short term variations, and
2. That they also agreed fairly well wrt to (calibrated) level.

Additionally they showed somewhat differing trends, which might (or might not) be due to some systematic errors or just differences, picking up various changes/variations/fluctuations in mutually different ways.

As I've said before: I don't think the UHI is as big an issue nowadays since satellite data is available and generally considered reliable.

But your initial claim was something quite different, and you have still not addressed that, or even indicated what you meant?

(I hope can put the strawman UHI-energetically heating the entire troposphere aside)

Nov 1, 2011 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Venter

Trolls live based upon people feeding them. There are always out to obfuscate, divert and sabotage threads and they are dishonest people, proven by their actions.

That's twice you have called me dishonest on this thread.

Now you either show exactly where and how, or you apologise and withdraw your comment.

BH - I am absolutely sick of this. Please moderate.

Nov 1, 2011 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Hilary

You too! You appear to be going blind as well ;-) This is very worrying.

- Jonas N is determined to talk about UHI.

- I am trying to talk about BEST and whether warming has ended (bang on topic, no?)

See for example, comments at Oct 31, 2011 at 8:59 PM and Nov 1, 2011 at 12:27 AM.

The problem here is that nobody seems to be able to see these comments. It's as if everyone is now partially sighted.

It's very, very odd.

Nov 1, 2011 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

Instead of indulging in your standard diversionary tactics, how about actual engagement on warming trends in BEST?

You can start by re-reading my comments at Oct 31, 2011 at 8:59 PM and Nov 1, 2011 at 12:27 AM. You will see that I am careful not to place too much emphasis on the April 2010 outlier (answer your own question, if it troubles you). I said:

Can we reasonably assume the correct value to lie between 0.18C/decade and 0.27C/decade?

That's the decadal trend 2000 - 2010. 0.18C with the outlier. 0.27 without it.

Nov 1, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD, iff you show me where exactly in this thread I call you as dishonest specifically, I'd be much obliged. I made a general comment about dishonest trolls and not to feed them. Why does it affect you? Do you consider yourself as one then?

Nov 1, 2011 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterVenter

What was BBD doing with his loooong days before the Bishop opened up shop?

Nov 1, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

"What was BBD doing with his loooong days before the Bishop opened up shop?"
Nov 1, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Maurizio Morabito

Personal attacks eh? How charming.

Nov 1, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

BBD--
I don't think it's quite correct to call the April 2010 BEST point an "outlier", which has the connotation (at least to me) of being statistically inconsistent. If you look at the BEST data files, you'll see that the last two months, April & May 2010, have a stated uncertainty of almost 3 deg C, as compared to prior months with uncertainties of ~0.1 deg C. Those final two months must have substantially incomplete raw data, as far as the BEST sources are concerned. If using WoodForTrees, your trend line should end no later than 2010.25. [WoodForTrees doesn't have a weighted-least-squares trend calculation, which would reduce in a natural way, the influence of those last two points. One can make such a computation in Excel or otherwise, but it's not nearly as convenient as WoodForTrees.]

Nov 1, 2011 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

BBD

You can start, right at the beginning. Re-read (assuming you've read this once before) Justin Webb's question to Muller and Muller's answer.

I stumbled across this from Muller in 2003. in an article about the hockey stick:

Some people think that science is served by open debate between left-handed and right-handed advocates, just as in politics. But the history of science shows it is best done by people who have two hands each. Present results with caution, and insist on equivocating. Leave it to the president and his advisors to make decisions based on uncertain conclusions. Don't exaggerate the results. Use both hands. We cannot afford to lower our standards merely because the problem is so urgent.

Nov 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

HaroldW

If you look at the BEST data files, you'll see that the last two months, April & May 2010, have a stated uncertainty of almost 3 deg C, as compared to prior months with uncertainties of ~0.1 deg C. Those final two months must have substantially incomplete raw data, as far as the BEST sources are concerned. If using WoodForTrees, your trend line should end no later than 2010.25.

Thanks for dropping in. I was aware of the huge uncertainty over April and May 2010 which is why I termed April as an outlier. You are technically right, of course, but is it worth splitting hairs over?

If you look at my comment at Oct 31, 2011 at 8:59 PM you will see that I include series truncated at 2010.2.

I used the full series at Nov 1, 2011 at 12:27 AM because I just knew that someone like Shub would jump in and make a fuss if I used the truncated series.

Agreed wrt WfT OLS vs Excel, but as you say, WfT is fast and fun, and more importantly, transparent and shareable.

I think there's going to be some nonsense on this thread today, so please look back in if you get the chance. Sanity and relevant knowledge are always welcome.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Venter

BBD, iff you show me where exactly in this thread I call you as dishonest specifically,

A childish evasion that utterly discredits you. Keeping quiet would have been the better option.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

Let's talk about the thread topic. BEST and 'has warming stopped'. If you do not wish to discuss this, silence is safest. Otherwise you might be accused of trolling, or obfuscation, or dishonesty or goodness only knows what ;-)

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Maurizio

What was BBD doing with his loooong days before the Bishop opened up shop?

Making shedloads of money.

You?

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"...someone like Shub..."

That is a positive step. Now take a few more in the same direction. Instead of air-quoting your own words, please, read Justin Webb's question to Muller. I assure you, ... it is very much the topic of this thread, and related to your silly woodfortrees graphs.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub

1) link to it if you want me to read it

2) explain why data and graphs are 'silly'?

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD -
I didn't mean to be splitting hairs; I was trying to justify the omission of the last two month's results on objective statistical grounds. [I would rather that they weren't included in WfT's sequence at all, given the unreliability.] Calling it an outlier, I was afraid, might subject you to cherry-picking charges.

Unfortunately, I won't have much chance to check the thread today -- off to work now, and I'm without power at home. I didn't arrive here until after the first 160 comments; perhaps when I return to it, there'll be 300! That's three hundred with an exclamation point, not three hundred factorial. :)

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

BBD

It seems your 'understanding' of UHI and how it was 'debunked', albeit on topic, is exhausted.

I also not that you spend far too many comments on speculating about other commenters personalities. I know it is hard to resist at times, especially after having been at the receiving end too ..

But I can't see it is getting you anywhere, and it certainly diminishes the credibility of your own complaints about similar stuff ...

But I'm still curious: Why and how did you assess that the UHI issue was debunked? Particularly if you thought of it as 'cities heating the entire troposhpere'

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Jonas

UHI past and present is not considered to be a significant factor in distorting surface temperature reconstructions. You think otherwise? Fine. I beg to differ. You need to provide evidence, including evidence as to why BEST's findings are incorrect. You have not done so. I also get the feeling that you are not quite as clued-up as you would like me to think. Your previous commentary was a little confused and aggressive at times, which is a sure sign.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

What do you mean 'link you to it'? This thread has run for 170+ comments, and it is about the Rose Daily Mail article and the major premise of the article - Curry's statements to Rose and Muller's claims to the BBC's Justin Webb. Geoff Chambers helpfully provided the transcript of the complete interview, which is crucial in determining whether David Rose misrepresented Muller in his article, in any way. It was the same passage that was picked up and analysed by David Whitehouse at GWPF, and by James Delingpole, except that readers here, are able to examine the Muller reply in its full context. It contains the very concept you are air-quoting. Wrongly. It contains the reason for why I concluded Muller is dishonest as well. That was not my impression of him before, but I see him in a different light now.

Instead of reading the discussion and following the flow of argument, you've just wasted the past three dozen or so comments. I saw you doing this, and where you were headed with your woodfortrees graphs, and asked you to read Webb's question. You haven't. Instead you insist on making the thread a place for discussion of your concerns. It is little wonder that you look dishonest.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

HaroldW

Understood. Sorry to hear about the power cut. A PITA. Ditto work. Still, I'm not so sure now that there will be much to miss. Shub thinks 'my' WfT graphs are 'silly'. I think you get the picture...

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

If you have a point, make it. Quote it. Spit it out.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD

I don't know how significant the UHI factor is or was. And I don't know whom you refer to when you say " is not considered ", it sounds like sombody's opinion.

And many of the discussions and pubished attempts to dismiss it, have not been very convincing (my opinion)

But I didn't make that claim 'always weak and now debunked', You did! And from what I've seen so far without any justification at all. (No, even worse: referring to 'eenergetically insignificant')

And no, I don't need to find BEST's assessed land- and surface station based temperature assessments incorrect. I don't think they are, which doesn't mean they are indisputable.

But the topic is, if someone, based on what these stations say can dismiss UHI as 'insignificant and debunked'. From what I've seen, there has been some handwaiving, but no proper argument or analysis.

And note, you claimed that it always was a weak argument. That too, sound much more like you are just opining .. especially since you now tell me about your 'feelings' (about me) just after I recommended that you put them aside ..

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Jonas

I've explained why the agreement between satellite TLT data and surface T reconstructions shows that the latter are not significantly distorted by UHI 1979 - present. You seem to think that there's a conspiracy to falsify earlier surface temperature reconstructions. I don't. To me, that's a conspiracy theory and I don't indulge in that kind of thinking. I'm getting fed up with this exchange as to me it reads like you:

- are probably a conspiracy theorist

- haven't really understood the way satellite observations validate surface reconstructions

- are trying to pick a fight anyway

I don't think this exchange is going anywhere.

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

So it's guilty conscience. The fact that you took a comment about trolls and dishonest to consider it meant you means you acknowledge that that is exactly the behaviour you've been exhibiting. LOL.

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenter

Shub

If you have a point, make it. Quote it. Spit it out.

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Venter

See Nov 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

LOL again, somebody's lost for words.

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenter

Shub

Here is an honest approach to resolving the problem.

- Do not use trends for periods under a decade

- Do not use the highly uncertain data points for April 2010 and May 2010

And lo and behold: Muller is correct. The first full decade trend using the most reliable data is 0.27C/decade for 2000 - 2010. This sits well with what happens if you step back at yearly intervals (below). Note that the BEST FAQ states:

Some people draw a line segment covering the period 1998 to 2010 and argue that we confirm no temperature change in that period. However, if you did that same exercise back in 1995, and drew a horizontal line through the data for 1980 to 1995, you might have falsely concluded that global warming had stopped back then. This exercise simply shows that the decadal fluctuations are too large to allow us to make decisive conclusions about long term trends based on close examination of periods as short as 13 to 15 years.

And that's it. All the rest is 'sceptics' trying to 'refute AGW' instead of understand the science.

BEST excluding the April 2010 and May 2010 data points:

2001 - 2010 0.13C/decade WARNING: 9-year trend

2000 - 2010 0.27C/decade

1999 - 2010 0.30C/decade

1998 - 2010 0.22C/decade

1997 - 2010 0.27C/decade

1996 - 2010 0.32C/decade

1995 - 2010 0.27C/decade

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD
you asked why no one would take you on in regard to the warming detail you gave, 1/11 12:27.
You asked me 31/10 10:34: what I thought of your analysis.
I said in my original comment that I was not up to your level of debate and that should have idicated that I was not able to engage you on details.
Where I lose respect for you is in your lack of discussion on the point I raised in regard to the caveats from BEST' You sailed on with an interpretation the "publication" said you should not.
My orginal opinion of you stands.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterKilted Mushroom

BBD
You have read (and understand) what others have written if you want them to read what you have written.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Kilted Mushroom

- everybody else is interpreting the BEST data to suit their 'sceptical' agenda.

- why do I have to keep my mouth shut?

- I don't care what your opinion of me is

- I do care about your views on the comment at Nov 1, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

I have read, and understood as you suggest. My comment is self-explanatory. Your response is waffle.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

OK BBD

I was (and have been) asking you, because what you said sounded so outlandish.

It seems you are very unaware of what the issue with the UHI effect is and was.

Re: The agreement among surface station and satellite reconstructions during three decades

What that agreement shows is that any such effect (most likely) is not evovling further during those decades. That if there is/was an UHI effect in the data, it has not been increasing (further) during those decades (or at least not much more than the slight difference in trends)

It does not tell you how much and if the surface data prior to that was and is contamined. That's why I have been asking how you could claim that it 'always was a weak argument' or that it never has been an issue ... questions you have avoided every time.

The BEST data makes some efforts to adress the issue but their explicit argument was that:


"the fraction of the Earth's land area denoted as urban by the MOD500 analysis is only 0.5%. Even if all these urban areas had a heat island effect as large as that of Tokyo, roughly 3C per century, the contribution to the world average once properly weighted for land area would be only 0.5% of that, or 0.015C per century."

which not at all is the issue. The issue is whether or not actual existing stations have experienced a transition from rural towards urban for the time span where they provide data. And how large percentage of (esp early) stations have gone through that. (The percentage of urban land area is a red herring, not the relevant measure, and I was surprised to read that in their argument)

Well, as you say. This exchange possibly is not getting you anywere. And I think your 'answers' so far probably describe your level of understandning, and what you claimed here was barely mor than your opinion ... and that's OK.

Your oinions about other commenters are still irrelevant though.


It does not show that there is/was none in the sets to begin with.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Jonas

What it shows is that you are a conspiracy theorist and I am not.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Sorry, that paragraph should have read:


Re: The agreement among surface station and satellite reconstructions during three decades

What that agreement shows is that any such effect (most likely) is not evovling further during those decades. That if there is/was an UHI effect in the data, it has not been increasing (further) during those decades (or at least not much more than the slight difference in trends)

It does not show that there is/was none in the sets to begin with.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

It also indicates that although you have looked at the graph I linked, you have not grasped its implications. This is troubling. Why devote all your time and energy to chasing imaginary (or barely significant) UHI contamination in the pre-1979 data? When you could - and should - be thinking about the slope of the trends in the graph.

However, if the intention is to obfuscate and distract, then of course it makes every kind of sense to latch on to UHI (or any distraction really) and ride it for all it's worth.

The beautiful irony here is that it's me that keeps getting accused of trollery and thread-hijacking.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

If you have read Webb's question to Muller, how come you are posting the crap that you are?

Nov 1, 2011 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

BBD

I wouldn't talk about 'grasping implications' after your 'energetically insignificant'.

You still have not delivered one argument for why and how you'd know that it is 'only imaginary and barely significant'. I have seen you repeating that claim, and not even attempting an explanation or ratinale.

I can look at slopes too, but they contain no new information. And in my experience, people despeerately wanting to discuss trends and their slope are steering away from the real data readily available. For that reason!

And once mor you feel (!) that you have to speculate about motive.

And let me remind you once more: You made definitive claims about the UHI issue, not me. I only asked what you meant. And that was a trifle more sensitive, it appears ...

Nov 1, 2011 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Shub

If you have read Webb's question to Muller, how come you are posting the crap that you are?

Okay. Show why it is crap. Go on, do some proper work. Show me where the errors are.

I can show you a trend of 0.27C/decade straight out of BEST data. What have you got? Nothing but talk. As usual. And it's getting noticed. And you are getting rattled.

Anyway, come on, let's have some proper trend analysis out of you instead of more talk.

Nov 1, 2011 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Jonas

You haven't provided any evidence for your claims. And I did ask, way back upthread. Please stop trolling on about this, it's boring.

You are a conspiracy theorist aren't you?

Nov 1, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@Venter Nov 1, 2011 at 6:05 AM


Hilary

The solution is again DNFTT. Trolls live based upon people feeding them. There are always out to obfuscate, divert and sabotage threads and they are dishonest people, proven by their actions.

Agreed, Venter. However, there are two characteristics I think you've missed: most of the time, they're amusing. And they have enough self-awareness to realize that they're not fooling anyone, so they just run away (until the next time!) Qualities that I have not noticed in the commenter to whose actions I had very briefly alluded as after-thought, en passant!

This particular individual has a rather unique practice of appointing her/himself as official "interpreter" of what the thread is about, and then keeps flailing and flogging until everyone else deserts the thread. Leaving a trail that is (IMHO) most uninteresting for any newcomer who, having stumbled across the thread, might anticipate - from the actual content and context of the top-post and the early visible comments - that it would be worth reading (to the bitter end!)

Which would be almost amusing if the tone s/he chooses to adopt weren't so blatantly abrasive - and if s/he could learn to be gracious.Or, at the very least, learn to be less repetitive and more imaginative in the baseless insults to which s/he invariably resorts - and a lot less imperiously self-centred.

But that's virtual life, eh?!

Nov 1, 2011 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

Hilary

Instead of your usual trick of running me down, how about a reality check?

- I am on topic on this thread except where trolled by Jonas N

- You are ignoring the substantive stuff - see Nov 1, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Or are you another one of these Shub-type commenters: all waffle?

Nov 1, 2011 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"Show me where the errors are."

Your error is, that you haven't read what Muller's answer to Webb was. So you cannot understand why what he did, was tantamount to lying, and misleading the public.

You are as dishonest and misleading as Muller is.

I think I am done here.

Nov 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

interestingly, McIntyre, who started out quite hopeful re BEST, has come to the view that it is worse than CRU. His main observation is that it shows a trend far higher than the satellite data:

"I don’t see anything in the BEST corpus that would cause a reasonable person with views on recent temperature change informed by satellite data to now prefer CRU or BEST as more probable measurements of land temperature change in the satellite period. It seems entirely reasonable to me that someone would attribute the difference between higher CRU and BEST trends and satellite trends not to the accuracy of CRU and BEST with flawed data, but to known problems with surface stations and, in the case of BEST, to artifacts of Mennnian methodology. I don’t plan to spend much more time on it."

Nov 1, 2011 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

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