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« Scientific heresy | Main | Memo: don't mess with JC - Josh 126 »

Curry express

The Daily Express picks up on the tiff between Judith Curry and Richard Muller.

IT IS well to point out that Prof Curry is not disputing the one degree Celsius increase. She is disputing Prof Muller’s suggestion that temperatures haven’t levelled off in the last decade.

Indeed she says this global warming standstill since the end of the Nineties – which has been completely unexpected – has wide-reaching consequences for the causes of climate change and has already led many climate scientists to start looking at alternative factors that may have contributed to global warming, other than carbon gas emissions. In particular she has mentioned the influence of clouds, natural temperature cycles and solar radiation.

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Reader Comments (92)

The Mail and the Express?

Have you ever noticed how it's only nasty right-wing comics that carry this rubbish - not actual newspapers?

That should tell you something.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

"actual newspapers"

Which are..?

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Seems like Zed's small flicker of humanity used up all the energy, back to the business of being nasty.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

"Which are..?"
Nov 1, 2011 at 11:26 AM | James P

Times, FT, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph at a push, although it's more like the Maily Telegraph these days.

Papers that actually seem to have some journalistic principles, and assume their readers have at least some minimal level of inteligence.

The Mail and the Express are tabloids pandering to the worse sides of human nature, and a quick flick through confirms that their primary reporting is on the weight and clothes of Z-list celebrities.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

As usual, we have an ad hominem attack on the bearer of the message rather than an analysis of what was actually said.

Prof Curry is not disputing the one degree Celsius increase.
She is disputing Prof Muller’s suggestion that temperatures haven’t levelled off in the last decade.
The global warming standstill since the end of the Nineties has been completely unexpected (to many).
It has wide-reaching consequences for the causes of climate change.
It has already led many climate scientists to start looking at alternative factors that may have contributed to global warming
The influence of clouds, natural temperature cycles and solar radiation are possible candidates.

All true.
Nasty newspaper for pointing this out.

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

@ ZedsDeadBed

Presumably you believe that newspapers that support the idea that the "human right" of foreigners found guilty of murder or man-slaughter to remain in Britain after serving their sentence are nice, civilised newspapers. Do you think Judith Curry is talking rubbish? If not then why do you dismiss reports of her views as "rubbish"?

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

"The Mail and the Express are tabloids pandering to the worse sides of human nature," Zed.

Ah! So that's why you spend so much of your time posting at the DM.

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterGW

She means sort of vaguely lefty, I think
Those in line with her own prejudices.
And she criticises us for being closed-minded. Sheesh!

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

"She means sort of vaguely lefty, I think"
Nov 1, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Mike Jackson

The Times, the FT and the Telegraph? Did you actually read my comment?

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

"Z-list celebrities" - priceless, Zed!

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Enough oxygen.

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Nice to see some more clarification coming out on this story !
oh and dez all the papers you hate have editorials which means they can say what they want like just like left ones you feed your bias off so your point is?

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered Commentermat

stop feeding the troll

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Daily Express, "climate chance zealots" !!!!!!!!!! LOL

Perhaps we have the birth of new phrase 'Climate Chancers' to describe those such as Prof Muller - it seems apt considering the circumstances of his recent entry into this debate claiming that he was a skeptic.

As for UHI being discounted by BEST. Comparison with UAH and RSS highlights once again the land surface temps and satellite temps over land are divergent. That has yet to be explained.

Of interest is the first half of the 19th century. BEST not only shows a marked downward trend from 1850 to 1800, which diverges from the Hockey Stick, but also large swings of a degree or so in land temps over very short periods, roughly 20 years. This corresponds well with the change in temps from ~1980 to ~2000 and indicates that such swings in land temps are not unprecendented

The problem as ever is attribution. Climate Chancers have yet to find the AGW signature in the troposphere or in the oceans (Trenberth's private nightmare).

To summarise:

1. BEST created a strawman for MSM consumption.

2. BEST tried to hide and deny the current stasis in global temps.

3. BEST at best is an independent analysis of a common dataset that has known problems.

4. BEST land temps, like CRU, GISS, etc, are too high to claim AGW attribution.

5. BEST diverges from the satellite record, UHI cannot be discounted.

6. BEST further undermines the Hockey Stick, current rate of change in temps are not unprecedented.

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Nov 1, 2011 at 11:18 AM | ZedsDeadBed

"The Mail and the Express?

Have you ever noticed how it's only nasty right-wing comics that carry this rubbish - not actual newspapers?

That should tell you something."

Please respond to matthu's post and enlighten us as to exactly which parts of the Express's article are 'rubbish', and why. I assume, of course, that you have actually read it.

I do wonder if you actually read the Times, FT, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph - all of which are quite as capable of printing tripe as any other newspapers.

Nov 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

"the tiff between Judith Curry and Richard Muller"



Nov 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Daily circulation: Express, 625952. Guardian, 232566. A search of the Guardian for 'Judith Curry' reveals the last mention to be 27th February with this statement from Muller;

"We are an independent, non-political, non-partisan group. We will gather the data, do the analysis, present the results and make all of it available. There will be no spin, whatever we find."

Looks like The Express currently occupies the high ground on reporting climate issues.

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Who did Johann Hari write for again?

And that lunatic Monbiot?

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

The Times, the FT and the Telegraph? Did you actually read my comment?
I sure did. With the possible exception of the Telegraph — and I'm not sure about that these days — I stand by what I said.
Certainly I stand by my comment that you believe that only the papers that tie in with your personal prejudices can be called "actual newspapers".
Not a very open-minded attitude, wouldn't you say?
Ever thought of practising what you preach?

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Hi Bish, love your posts, but must admit the clueless jobless troll is also entertaining. Although she's an amateur compared to some gaming web sites I frequent.

As to the MSM picking up the story, Muller reckons he's a convert but I haven't noticed anyone mention the slight conversion of Dr Curry anywhere?

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

When I castigated mainstream climate scientists on Curry's blog for having fallen for the entirely false 'back radiation argument**, I had expected to be taken apart by 1000s of greenie apparatchiks from the Marxist equivalent of Al Qua'eda training camps, like the UEA, for having dared to question the proclamations of the divine Trenberth and Hansen

Instead, not a dicky bird. Amazing! Have the true scientists in climate science suddenly waken up to realise the immense harm to science for which they are responsible by believing the charlatans,the scientific Elmer Gantrys turning we hope soon into Jimmy Swaggarts as they plead forgiveness?

$120 billion bet on fake science. Who would have thunk it?

**It's 'Prevost Exchange Energy' which can do no thermodynamic work. Subtract from it as a function of height above the earth's surface the upward IR and you get the real radiative signal, exponentially-decreasing from Beer's Law. The 1st AIE supposed to hide it doesn't exist except for very thin clouds, and is replaced by heating, the real AGW.

Come on Zebedee, I'm itching to hear your views on the fraud.....;00

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Mike Jackson

If you believe the Times and the FT to be lefty newspapers, then you are so hopelessly right-wing and subjective, that you are beyond reasonable discourse.

Only a tiny fraction of the population would try and argue that those papers are lefty. People so far to the right, that they view everything which isn't actively frothing at the mouth in indignation at every change over the last century, as socialist.

I find both papers far too right-wing for my tastes, and I'm not even particularly hard-left. But then I have some measure of objectivity - something which clearly eldues you.

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

I hope the troll has been so well fed here that she can leave us alone now for a few days.

Nov 1, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil D

ZDB believes that if you are a working lower middle class home owner then you shouldn't have a voice in society. You should just keep on paying your taxes and keep your mouth shut. You have no right to an opinion on anything. And if you should happen to express an opinion then it doesn't count because you are a Daily Mail reader.
That is the demographic of the Daily Express and the Daily Mail. In fact, more women read the Daily Mail then men and we all know how ultra right wing women are.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTeryrS

"I find both papers far too right-wing for my tastes"

If you don't like reading stuff you don't agree with, what are you doing here?

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

The Express article looks like high quality popular journalism to me: timely, important, lucid, generous to all parties mentioned, and encouraging readers to think for themselves. I suspect the tocsin-obsessed 'environmental correspondents' so beloved by much of the mass media, and by issuers of press releases everywhere, will be rather perturbed by such clear, coherent, civilised, and contrary to their conventional wisdom writing. It might threaten 'the narrative' for heaven's sake. How dare she write such stuff!

On the other hand, I say 'Well done, Julie Carpenter!'.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Another part of the fraud I'd like explained is how we can have a global temperature without any input from sixth of world surface, ie Africa. Anyone like to argue that pre-colonialism, Africans had technology and capacity to make accurate daily temperature recordings? Anyone ,like to argue that we occupied Ghana before 1895, so even at best could have only slightly over 100 years of records? Anyone like to argue that the minor colonial officials who took temp records were properly trained, conspicuously diligent and knew how to calibrate their equipment? Anyone like to argue that such records as were obtained were not for the exacting puposes of 'climate science' but just to give the blokes in London an idea of what might or might not be grown in some godforsaken hole: rough and ready, 'good enough' but no good for science? Anyone care to dispute the rapid urbanisation in Africa, that means measurement sites must have moved in most cases, and has that been accounted for? Anyone care to argue that since decolonisation, the quality of the stats has crashed (yeah, during Congo's or Angola's semi-permanent civil wars, dutiful civil servants were daily toddling down to the measury thing, making the records and sending to hq where they have been safely stored for years and years, notwithstanding the slaughter all around...). So how have Jones Trenberth and the rest dealt with Africa, eh? A bit of infilling here, a bit of extrapolation there, an informed guess there? And thats science. And much of the above could apply to South America and Asia too. So we actually know what the global temperature was, do we, against which we can say it has risen, can we? Come on someone, tell me why I'm completely wrong. If I'm not, I don't see why climate science, in its present incarnation as mankind's saviour from global warming, is taken seriously for a moment

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

ZDB has probably never heard the old advice of "Believe nothing that you read and only half of what you see."

It has been my experience that journalists rarely have a clue when it comes to science and technology issues, their editors having even less. But then I must admit a bit of a bias. I don't do well with people trying to tell me what I'm supposed to think, particularly when I happen to know the sort of coursework it takes to get a journalism degree.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56


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 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Bill, I believe we are seeing some slight waverings amongst the faithful. It's not easy to explain the 10 year hiatus in temperature while CO2 output carries on apace. Waving your arms and saying it's "aerosols" isn't washing even among the faithful (in the science community that is, the environmentalists are still out to lunch). I can't see, after the vitriol that's been poured on the sceptics in the scientific community, how they can back away from the whole thing with any grace, so my best guess is they'll fight to the end.

Dreadful rag the Express, but they've nailed it here. As for the Guardian (200,000 readers) it has been taken over by people who call themselves "progressives" who want to progress us back to poverty.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

What is becoming clear is that whatever is happening in the climate, it is not extreme, it is not unequivocal, and it is at best near the fringes of error bars and confidence:
This is not the long ballyhooed climate catastrophe the AGW climatocrats claimed.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

BBD: Have you popped in from anotherr dimension where you're having a conversation with Shub?

My twopenn'th. I agree with you on the ten year trends, but what we have on the table is a ten year hiatus, statistically speaking, while CO2 has continued to rise. Given that we've been led to believe from the climate science community that CO2 and CO2 only, is the problem, remember 485,000 scientists agreed with AR4 SPM, so it must be true, the fact that's risen and temperatures haven't is a problem well worth looking into.

It's warming, but the temperature records are crap, and interpolating (climate science speak for "making up") temperatures into the records where ther are none, no matter how statistically sophisticated, and then making pronouncements as though they're gospel a la Muller, Hansen, Jones et al is, shall we say, disingenuous.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

As for the trolls, I suggest an experiment: ignore their efforts at hijacking the thread. Discuss the issue itself, not what the trolls cynically tries to reframe the issue into.

Nov 1, 2011 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Now Roger Pielke Jr is jumping back into the debate again:

"BEST, so far, has not examined the role of land use/land cover change on their temperature trends. They do not even seem to be aware that this is an issue... they have failed to adequately consider the range of issues that are yet to be resolved and have prematurely reported their findings and conclusions both in their submitted papers and in their media interactions."

It seems to me that it is the "actual" newpapers that have jumped the gun on this one and publicised the exact spin that Muller wanted to disseminate.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Telegraph article By Julie Carpenter said,

"IT IS well to point out that Prof Curry is not disputing the one degree Celsius increase. She is disputing Prof Muller’s suggestion that temperatures haven’t leveled off in the last decade."

Indeed, corroborating that view:

From an article by Dr. Richard Lindzen & Dr. David Douglass (October 23, 2011) entitled 'Muller’s findings of warming are ‘nothing remarkable’ — BEST study does not alter Climategate’s ‘serious breaches of ethics’ which was posted at Climate Depot:

"Existing land based records of temperature, showing a small net warming since 1950, are probably correct (at least within the unreported uncertainty limits). As to whether estimates over the oceans (which cover 70% of the earth) are reliable is left open."

We look to the BEST Project to provide the final calculation of uncertainties of its results and methods at least by the time it is published . . . we expect this given their yearlong PR about openness and transparency.

On the scientific objectivity of signifying meaning in pieces of a time series of temperature data, I liked this:

The commenter 'Nullius in Verba' said on JC’s ‘Best on Mail’ post,

“And if you classify all intervals giving a warming trend as “honest” and all intervals that don’t as “dishonest”, that’s dishonest.”

I commend the open and reasonably balanced skeptical climate science discourse in the MSM brought about by BEST Project’s fumbling pre-publication PR strategies; PR strategies shown to be inconsistent and misleading (to say the least).


Nov 1, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman


BBD: Have you popped in from anotherr dimension where you're having a conversation with Shub?

Yes! This was meant for the previous curry on BEST thread. Apologies. Although it is fully on-topic here despite what hunter says.

It's not easy to explain the 10 year hiatus in temperature while CO2 output carries on apace.

Ah. There are two types of people in this 'debate'. Those who seek to understand and those who seek to 'falsify AGW'. The latter are going to look a bit silly when the warming resumes.

This reminds me of 2008. Remember that? There was a fairly strong La Nina and a lot of people got rather over-excited and called the end of AGW. Then we had the 2010 El Nino.

Personally I'm fascinated by the 'hiatus'. But I don't share the confidence of everyone else here who thinks that it's the end of AGW. It's a hiatus. A pause.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Nov 1, 2011 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

OT, but this (and Zed’s bleatings) reminds me of an incident long ago, when the Express was owned by Lord Beaverbrook and had managed to upset the Duke of Edinburgh, who had responded by calling it a ‘bloody awful newspaper’.

Next day’s Giles cartoon (also in the Express) showed Lord B being marched off to the Tower, opining that “at least he reads it, or he wouldn’t know it was a bloody awful newspaper”...

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Error in my opening quote in my comment @ Nov 1, 2011 at 3:19 PM.

It should be:

Telegraph Daily Express article By Julie Carpenter said,

My apologies.


Nov 1, 2011 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

As you might expect, Dr. Curry's report is more nuanced:

"I had a 90 minute meeting with Richard Muller this evening.

I have to say that there isn’t much that we disagree on."

Note that she ends with the topical Josh cartoon....

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter D. Tillman

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:33 PM | ZedsDeadBed

Not actually me obviously. But more fuel to the fire of my theory that some people who post on this blog are not very nice people, and yet another reason why I divulge no personal details whatsoever, except the occasional passing gastronomic reference.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


“everyone else here who thinks that it's the end of AGW”

GW or AGW? It’s an important distinction, and I've yet to be convinced that AGW existed in the first place.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Have you ever noticed how it's only nasty right-wing comics that carry this rubbish?

Nonsense. The notion that, because many critics of the AGW hypothesis and its political agenda are politically conservative and often (though emphatically not always) talk tosh, criticism of the hypothesis is therefore territory exclusively inhabited by the political right is illogical.

It is offensive to those (such as me) who have been active in left-wing causes since before, I suspect, you were even born. Far more important is that it is historically incorrect. Margaret Thatcher above all put AGW on the world stage and Al Gore (probably the most unprincipled, right-leaning "Democrat" to draw breath in a pretty competitive field) took up where she left off.

BTW, I note that you list "The Times" among the papers that "seem to have some journalistic principles". Well, no wonder I'm muddled. There was me thinking it was part of the portfolio of that paragon of investigative probity, News International.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB


We've had our differences, but what just happened is seriously bloody out of order.

Whoever you are: you lose by default when you start up with nonsense like this.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Then we had the 2010 El Nino.
And what looks like another hefty La Nina in the offing.
I don't know whether this is the "end of AGW" or not and I suspect, BBD, that neither do you. I agree that at the moment it is best described as a hiatus.
What intrigues me is the effort that is being put into finding excuses for this pause. Anything except the possibility that CO2 is not quite the demon that it's made out to be whether because feedback is negative or at best less positive than some people believe or because there are other factors at work which mitigate any warming effects that CO2 might have or because the 30-year cycle which we know exists over-rides other effects.
Note: not "masks", which is the warmist claim, bit "overrides".
A few more La Ninas and we'll have the answer perhaps.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson


Nov 1, 2011 at 3:33 PM | ZedsDeadBed



You got my vote for this week's "Splattered Keyboard Award".

It is nice to have chuckles all the way down, even when climate subjects are being discussed.

Disclaimer to this comment to ZDB: No Actual Trolls, real or virtual, where fed either intentionally or accidentally in the posting of this comment. Consider this comment to be like "Caffeine Free Diet Coke" . . . of no nutritional value at all.


Nov 1, 2011 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

"BTW, I note that you list "The Times" among the papers that "seem to have some journalistic principles". Well, no wonder I'm muddled. There was me thinking it was part of the portfolio of that paragon of investigative probity, News International."
Nov 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM | DaveB

Obviously I secretly think that only the Graun and the Indy are the truly principled ones, as they're a bit lefty, like me. But I do try and be a bit objective about those to Starboard. I like to hope that the evil claws of NI aren't as tight on the Times as they are on most of its other titles, I hope I'm right - it's something of an institution. I automatically tut a lot when I flick through it, because of its politics, but there's always a few articles that genuinely grab me and seem on the button and honest.

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Whoever faked Zed, please don't. It just gives them yet more reason to pigeonhole everyone here as loons. It has crossed my mind that Zed faked the whole fake as a double bluff, so they could fein outrage, but let's try to keep the paranoia down to a dull roar.

Zed, you don't have to be obnoxious to make a point, we already mostly enjoy having you here, it would be boring to talk to ourselves all the time, but there is a limit to how much disruption people will bear. Please examine your motives for being here - are you trying to convince, convert, ridicule or disrupt? You're only managing the latter at the moment.

Nov 1, 2011 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Whoever faked Zed, please don't.

I quite agree. She is our ZED and we will protect her, even if we disagree. You are completely out of bounds playing that game.

Nov 1, 2011 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


"Not actually me obviously"

Pity - if it had been you (as JW confirms) it would have been genuinely funny. Don't be so quick to take umbrage next time!

Nov 1, 2011 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P
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