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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)

Shub

You are as dishonest and misleading as Muller is.

I think I am done here.

Translation: I am running away without answering you because I can't answer you. I'm being offensive to try and cover up what I am really doing here.

Nov 1, 2011 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Anyone who's interested:

All this fuss about the recent flat trend needs context. Let's go through BEST from 1970 and look at cooling trends.

Imagine that you had claimed that warming had stopped, AGW debunked etc in:

1980

1988

1995

2001

2005

In every case, you would have based your statement on less than a decade of cooling.

In the present case, we have less than a decade of data that exhibits a warming trend (yellow line).

This seems an odd basis on which to claim anything much.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD

You are (once more) missing the entire point! I have not made any claims, I have copied your (quite definitively sounding) claims, and asked you what you base them on, what (if anything) you meant.

The 'explanations' delivered so far have been largely nonsense, and/or completely ignoring relevant pre-satellite issues.

The impression is that you were just waffling on, expressing your hopes.

Now, if sheer ignorance (and wishful hoping) were the reason for your initial claims, I'd understand. (That's my contention presently) And indeed you have not backed them up by anything more than 'it is considered to be so' .. or your 'physics' babble about 'energeticaly insignificant'

Also, your switching to personal insinuations and attacks at me reaffirms that view. So pleas, if you had anything, anything at all, of substance behind your dismissal of a possible UHI issue, please seplain what it was. (And make sure it is more solid than mere blathering)

PS You make more strange (uninformed) statements too. BEST does not at all address causation, ie nowhere is the A in AGW strengthened (or weakened) by a new set of land temperature reconstructions

Nov 2, 2011 at 7:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Yup, that's definitely trolling.

Nov 2, 2011 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Nope BBD, and you are still completely without any substance.

Here is your initial claim:

What UHI problem? It has been clearly established that UHI is an energetically insignificant (climatologically negligible), localised surface boundary layer effect.

In short, it is a non-argument. What is the purpose of pursuing non-arguments if you seek to maintain credibility?

And I wasn't even the first to observe and react over the implied silliness, James P did so too, imedeately. To whom you replied (and what Ilater saw first):


Then explain why the 14,000ft/600mb lower tropospheric temperature as measured by satellite is in very close agreement with the surface temperature records.

Monthly, annual, inter-annual and decadal variation are almost in lock-step.

If the surface temperature records were corrupt, this would not happen. Unless UHI can directly heat the troposphere at 14,000 ft. Which it cannot.

Why are we even talking about this after BEST has debunked this always-weak argument? As I said above, why flog on with a non-argument if you wish to be taken seriously?

Now, there are a couple of things severely wrong with that description of the issues, I've pointed out some. But first I simply asked you what meant:


Do I understand you correctly, that you claim UHI is not (any more) an issue with the surface station record?

Or is that remark and its relevance restricted to the last three decades?


to which you just copy pasted the previous comment (above) and started with your little conspirace tirade:


Do you suggest that UHI was a problem before the satellite era? And that the climate scientists are, either through carelessness or malpractice failing to account for this properly?

If so, what evidence do you have for this? And why did BEST not detect the error/conspiracy/whatever?

And although I repeatedly tried to get you back on track again, asking where your claim came from or was absed on, the closest to an answer was:


UHI past and present is not considered to be a significant factor in distorting surface temperature reconstructions

That's all. 'Not considered to .. '! (the energetically insignificant, cities heating troposhere up to 14000 ft etc where red herrings). The quite good satellite agreement indicated something different (any UHI-effect not worsening during those decades).

But not only do you not seem to realize your first or second fallacy, you also started ranting about 'conspiracy theorist' and 'troll' .. which is quite remarkable from somehone who thought that it was about cities heating 14000 ft of the troposphere, that trend comparisons today exclude contamination during the preceding 100+ years, and who demand that I provide evidence for claims I haven't made.

Personally I think that's just plain stupid.

But I usually assume that people bring up the best arguments they have (left)

Nov 2, 2011 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

JN

But not only do you not seem to realize your first or second fallacy, you also started ranting about 'conspiracy theorist' and 'troll' .. which is quite remarkable from someone who thought that it was about cities heating 14000 ft of the troposphere, that trend comparisons today exclude contamination during the preceding 100+ years, and who demand that I provide evidence for claims I haven't made.

I did NOT think that 'it was about cities heating up the troposphere'. That was to illustrate that UHI (if any) is bound by the DIVERGENCE IN TREND (negligible) between ST and TLT records during the satellite era.

I DO understand your point about earlier ST recons potentially being influenced by UHI but there's no evidence. The majority view - ably confirmed by BEST - is that UHI is and was and ever-more shall be a NON-ISSUE.

Your persistent trolling on this shows that:

- you have not understood my comments (repeatedly)

- you believe that there are issues with the pre-satellite ST recons that are being suppressed

- which makes you a conspiracy theorist.

And that is the end of this conversation.

If you wish to continue, get back on topic.

Which is the nonsense meme that a few years flat temperature means that AGW is 'refuted' and ludicrous arguments between Muller and Curry arising from same.

Above, you will find a graph which comprehensively debunks the current belief that a short flat trend means anything at all. Take a look.

Talk about that.

Nov 2, 2011 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Well, at least some progress BBD. If you did not think the UHI issue was about cities heating up the troposhpere (which it never was, of course) your 'energetically insignificant' and energy in 14000 ft 600 mb were strawmen.

But you are wrong about the divergence, an observed divergence would indicate that a (possible UHI) effect would continue to evolve during those decades where comparisons are possible.

An already existing bias in the surface reconstructions (present before 1979) would not be picked up if the agreement was good thereafter. You do realize that satellite measurements need to be calibrated against some (assumed) correct observed absolute value, and that what is reported is deviations ('anomalies') from that value. (The same goes for surface reconstructions, but that calibration is implicit in the assessing algorithm).

You do realize that sattelites don't measure temp in °C directly, but instead microvawe radiation from oxygen, which is closely connected to temperatures (vertical temperature profiles)!? And you do also realize that the way this calibration and calculations are done, differ among the two groups.

You are aware of the need to calibrate your microwave spectra to an (assumed) correct value when tuning your method!? Are you not?

And still once more: I was not the one making definite claims about this being a debunked non-issue. You were!

Now you add 'the majority view' as your main 'argument'. Which would, if taken seriously, be equivalent to claiming 'The (latest) IPCC report got it right' at every time


But you are wrong again: I understand your comments, and (after some questioning) also where I think you got it wrong. And I have not talked about surpressed or malpractice (but I have not ruled out poor science, which is abundant in the field). 'Conspiracy theorist' is still just stupid.

Furhter I don't anybody has claimed that AGW is refuted because of temps flatlining for a decade. Instead quite a few on the alarmist side want to dismiss that fact by instead talkning about the trends, what they still are, or the non signicance of the existing temp observations for a previous trend. Even if that trend in it self was not significant.

Again it seems you are missing what the debate is really about. Curry objected too Muller implying that the present flatlining could not be observed. Which is true, but only if you take centered decadal averages up to 2006.

It is somewhat strange that you try to 'debunk' as a nonsense meme.

Wrt "that a short flat trend means anything at all", I would resond that the trends constructed previously, or longer ones including that interval, mean exactly as much. They don't have any predictive value by themselves ..

Nov 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Jonas

You are aware of the need to calibrate your microwave spectra to an (assumed) correct value when tuning your method!? Are you not?

What's your point?

- that satellites are calibrated to some surface T measurement? (they aren't)

- that absolute values matter? (They don't; that's why trend comparison is the correct method for placing bounds on UHI)

I know enough about MSUs. Stop insinuating that I am an ill-informed idiot. You've said that once to often now.

An already existing bias in the surface reconstructions (present before 1979) would not be picked up if the agreement was good thereafter.

So the ST recons are artificially warmed up to agree with the satellite MSU recons of TLT? So warming prior to 1979 is exaggerated and non-satellite recons should be set aside?

So you can argue that emissions are not a problem by getting rid of data that you don't 'like' on the flimsiest basis (assertion - not proof - of unreliability)?

No way.

And still once more: I was not the one making definite claims about this being a debunked non-issue. You were!

And I still am. Your evidence to the contrary is where? I've asked to see some evidence at least three times now.

Wrt "that a short flat trend means anything at all", I would resond that the trends constructed previously, or longer ones including that interval, mean exactly as much. They don't have any predictive value by themselves .

Disingenous. This blog is full of people claiming that AGW is debunked because of 9 years of flat trend. The whole fuss between JC and RM just introduced more confusion and encouraged more 'sceptical' nonsense. But you are right - both of them said daft things in public.

I still think you are a conspiracy theorist, albeit one lacking the courage to admit it (for fear of ridicule, perhaps?).

Nov 2, 2011 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Look BBD

Stop moving the goalposts please! And seriously consider abandoning the name calling ..

You made that claim, and after many and repeated questions you came up with

1. It is considered to ... be as you say, and thereafter
2. It is the majority view ..

Well, that might very well be so, but is no argument at all. It's an expression of belief. If that's all you had, I accept that but you might be "lacking the courage to admit it (for fear of ridicule, perhaps?"

I have made no claim. Even said I don't know if it has any significance, and if, how big (or just is an unresolved controversy). But hand waiving like yours, and what I have seen by the 'consensus' has not been convincing. Did you get it this time? I don't know. You claimed you did. In no uncertain terms. And when asked, you started waffling ..


And who the heck is talking about 'getting rid of data I don't like' or whether 'emissions are the problem or not'? That has nothing to do with attempting to assess historical land temperatures. Why does such activist thrash talk turn up here?

The question is whether the available historic temperature data also correctly represents the chosen metric 'global mean temperature' over some 150 years. Or if it is contamined by various effects. That there are contaminations, all of the groups are aware of, they address those i different manners.

The question is if those 'adjustments' also correctly capture all such effects. Claiming that they finally do today, after all previous revisions is quite a tall order. And what a 'majority' (among whom) considers is still mostly an opinion.

Further, you are wrong about 'absolute values'. A difference in trend indicates that there is a systematic error, or discrepancy among two different measurements. It does not tell you the origin. A coinciding trend, shows merely that such a discrepancy cannot be detected. It certainly does not show that there hasn't been one before (and strictly, it doesn't even show that there isn't one now, only that there are no trending net differences)

Trends can estimate levels (certainly not establish bounds) for a change in an possible UHI effect, during the observed time interval. They certainly cannot asses, estimate (or place bounds) on earlier such changes.

This really is elementary stuff, and I'm surprised you are challenging it. But you have really been clinging to your trends resolving it all, haven't you?

You say:


So the ST recons are artificially warmed up to agree with the satellite MSU recons of TLT? So warming prior to 1979 is exaggerated and non-satellite recons should be set aside?

I don't understand at all what you are trying to say here!? In the previous sentences you claimed that 'absolute values' didn't matter. And here, you argue the opposite!? According to you (and I agree), there would be a problem if the trends (had they been available) did not agree (with a one sided bias), during some earlier part(s) of the 150+ year reconstruction. Because then your absolute levels wouldn't (couldn't) agree during the entire time span. And if absolute levels don't agree quite well (and esp on the average) during the entire period, they wouldn't be measuring the same metric.

Again, this is entry level stuff .. and I am surprised you are fighting it with all kinds of bizarre accusations.

Then you seem to get things mixed up. I tell you that trends by themselves do not carry any predictive value, and you respond that people argue AGW is debunked because 9 years without noticable warming.

As I told you, I have not seen anybody making that claim. Your emotionally skewed reading of comments may have interpreted them in that way, but that claim I have not seen being made. What has been said is that the lack or warming for over a decade is a real problem for the AGW-hypothesis (in its 'consensus' form, and I agree) but not that AGW itself is debunked. CAGW is having a rough ride, that's correct. But that was not what you wrote.

And seriously, the amount of nonsense (present on both sides) is really not an argument for the climate threat side. If you'd compare the piles, you would see only one of them. And I really hope you are aware of which one that is ...

Nov 2, 2011 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

JN

No. Enough. You have not understood or are deliberately mangling my earlier comments. I've said all I am going to say. You want to believe UHI is of any real relevance, go ahead. Plough your increasingly lonely furrow.

Nov 2, 2011 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I believe that you have presented what have understood ... considered and majority view ... and that I believe .. but is not very relevant.

But your 'approach' here sounds very stupid ... twisting other's words, denying your own.

Your call!

Nov 2, 2011 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

JN

DNFTT. Also DNF any DT.

Nov 3, 2011 at 3:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterVenter

BBD

Retire from this, refresh, rejoin. Your contributions are almost always erudite and considered, and valued. Even if you occasionally point people (me included) up dead ends. Don't bloody mention sphagnum.

Jonas

You make a decent point. I don't know whether you were trying to tantalise everyone, BBD included, with it. The denouement wasn't worth the time spent. Get to the point.

Are we over this? Back to the topic - interesting to see Muller on camera talking about BEST, the coverage and the real meanings on WUWT.

Nov 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Gixxer

Retire from this, refresh, rejoin.

I did! (Nov 2, 2011 at 10:49 PM)

But thanks for the excellent advice.

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

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