Muller in the Guardian
Feb 27, 2011
Bishop Hill in Climate: Surface

The Guardian interviews Berkeley's Richard Muller about his new surface temperature record. This is a really interesting article on several levels. Firstly, it manages to mention sceptical views without denigrating them and manages to take on board Muller's support for some parts of the sceptical case without seeing him as the devil incarnate:

[For Muller to] concede that climate sceptics raise fair criticisms means acknowledging that scientists and government agencies have got things wrong, or at least could do better. But the debate around global warming is so highly charged that open discussion, which science requires, can be difficult to hold in public. At worst, criticising poor climate science can be taken as an attack on science itself, a knee-jerk reaction that has unhealthy consequences. "Scientists will jump to the defence of alarmists because they don't recognise that the alarmists are exaggerating," Muller says.

There are also some fascinating details of the new record - it will not be a gridded series, but will weight series according to how reliable they are.

Publishing an extensive set of temperature records is the first goal of Muller's project. The second is to turn this vast haul of data into an assessment on global warming. Here, the Berkeley team is going its own way again. The big three groups – Nasa, Noaa and the Met Office – work out global warming trends by placing an imaginary grid over the planet and averaging temperatures records in each square. So for a given month, all the records in England and Wales might be averaged out to give one number. Muller's team will take temperature records from individual stations and weight them according to how reliable they are.

Exciting times, I would say.

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