Over the last few days I have been copied in on a great deal of correspondence about a new paper in Science from Tom Karl and colleagues, which has "blatant act of political propaganda" written all over it. The claim is that the pause in surface temperature rises is an artefact of the data and that a great deal of jiggery pokery is peformed on the numbers it is possible to get a graph that shows continued warming. The pause is no more.
This could only be written with Paris in mind.
Fortunately, Science distributed the paper to journalists sufficiently early for it to be widely circulated and quite a few people have now had a look. Some of them have even stopped laughing for long enough to write down their thoughts.
GWPF have a lengthy press release here, examining each of the eleven (!!) errors in the surface temperature records that Karl et al claim that nobody else has noticed before. It points out that the authors have decided that Argo sea surface temperature data can be ignored because it's not surface data (it's taken at 5m depth). Instead they prefer measurements from buoys and ships (from up to 15m down!) which they then adjust. They also apply a completely implausible uplift to sea temperatures during the last few decades because, it is alleged, methods of SST measurement have been changing. To call the paper, as GWPF do, "a highly speculative and slight paper that produces a statistically marginal result by cherry-picking time intervals" seems to be a masterful piece of British understatement.
Meanwhile, stateside, Bob Tisdale and Anthony Watts are doing a splendid job in unravelling what is going on. In particular their Figure 4 showing how adjustments to the sea surface data are producing warming in the present and cooling in the past are astonishing, as is Figure 5, which shows how each iteration of the dataset gradually increases the amount of warming and cooling added. The also describe how the pre-hiatus period has been cooled, so that it looks like what was previously a hiatus is now a period of warming. Almost unbelievably, their largest changes to the data happen in the last few decades, when the raw data is best.
Desperate, desperate stuff and a sad day for science.