Britain to be hit by “entirely typical weather”

Extremely average

Extremely average

The Daily Mash:

TEMPERATURES in the UK are going to fall sharply over the coming weeks because that is what happens at this time of year, it has been claimed.

Meteorologists believe that winter, a spell of short, cold days commonly defined as a season, will be more or less exactly what you would expect.

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “Household fuel costs will rise considerably as families try to increase the temperature of their homes.

“People on the verge of death may die.

“Ice and snow will create icy, snowy conditions.

“Your car will refuse to start.

“Because it’s winter.”

Speaking of extreme weather, how long will it take for the headbangers at Skeptical Science to label Richard Muller a filthy denier for this:

It is wise to be cautious about the panic that sets in when a storm kills a large number of people. People search for reasons to believe the storms are worse than in the past, even if the numbers contradict them. Victims naturally wish to explain why loved ones died and they look for a villain — and they can find one in global warming.

But global warming does not obviously lead to increased or more violent tornadoes. It is possible, for instance, that the increased energy brought by the higher temperatures of global warming is less significant than global warming’s reduction in the north-south temperature difference (the poles warm more than the Equator). The latter could reduce the kind of hot-cold weather fronts that generate severe storms. The current climate models are simply unable to make a clear prediction, and reduced tornadoes from global warming are just as plausible as increased ones.

One thing is clear, however: The number of severe tornadoes has gone down. That is not a scientific hypothesis, but a scientific conclusion based on observation. Regardless of the limitations of climate theory, we can take some comfort in that fact. (source)

Throw another heretic on the barbecue.

Reaction to Muller's BEST announcement

BEST or worst?

The media have lapped up Richard Muller’s “Damascene conversion” story, with some journalists even going so far as to call him, laughably and shamefully, a “denier”.

It’s a story too good to be true. A man who has erred and strayed from the Cause has “seen the light” and realises the error of his ways. Funny how the religious imagery keeps cropping up in relation to climate change…

Anyway, the reality is that Muller was never a sceptic and by carrying out science by press release is simply engaging in acts of self-aggrandisement (not my words, but those of Michael Mann).

Andrew Orlowski writing in The Register takes apart the claims:

Richard Muller’s Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, which began with goodwill from all corners of the climate debate, has made a series of bold announcements (without benefit of peer review) to the effect that global warming is definitely serious and definitely caused by humans. This has aroused derision among formerly supportive climate sceptics, caused an eminent climatologist to abandon the project, and even drawn criticism from generally alarmism-sympathetic media commentators.

Muller, professor of physics at UC Berkeley, is often regarded as a climate sceptic because he has frequently criticised the techniques used by climate scientists in the past and because he accepted funding for BEST from libertarian oil billionaire Charles Koch. When BEST launched in the wake of Climategate, it vowed to be “an independent, non-political, non-partisan group”, with Muller promising that “there will be no spin, whatever we find”. Critics of the existing temperature establishment, including well known sceptics Anthony Watts and Doug Keenan, welcomed it.

However each announcement has been aggressively trialled in the press not only before the peer review process had judged them ready for publication – which may not be a major issue – but also before anyone outside the BEST project could examine the papers at all. This requires the ordinary reader to take BEST’s accompanying press releases on blind faith – which is not a barrier for some journalists, but is far short of acceptable practice. (source)

Read the whole thing.

Also take a look at Jo Nova’s response:

Almost all the coverage of the Muller and BEST results confounds three different points, is poorly researched and mixes up cause and effect. Richard Muller is shamelessly promoting himself as something he is not, and his conclusions are nonsense on stilts that defy rational explanation.

Everyone knows hot air rises off concrete, yet scores of people get befuddled by statistics. The maths-talk is irrelevant. If your analysis tells you that thermometers next to combustion engines and industrial exhaust vents is recording global warming — your analysis is bunk, and we don’t need a peer reviewed paper to say so.

Muller’s three claims:

  1. He’s a converted skeptic. (Naked, demonstrably wrong, PR.)
  2. The world has warmed by 0.3C/decade. (He’s half right — he’s only exaggerating 100%.)
  3. That it’s mostly due to man-made emissions. (Baseless speculation.)

As far as public policies go the only point that matters is 3, but most of the conversation is about 1 and 2. Worse, most journalists and many so-called scientists think evidence for warming is the same as evidence that coal fired power stations did it. How unscientific. (source)

Kudos to Ben Cubby at Fairfax for actually deigning to speak to Jo about this and reporting it. They still manage to illustrate the story with a picture of cooling towers which are giving off … steam.

Muller flip-flops on scepticism

PR disaster?

He who lives by the media spin cycle dies by the media spin cycle. Just over a week ago, in an article in the Wall Street Journal, Richard Muller of BEST claimed that you couldn’t possibly be sceptical of global warming alarmism any more (see here), thanks to his temperature data set showing that the planet had indeed warmed – knock me down with a feather.

But now, in a new interview, he’s back-pedalling fast, as Tom Nelson reports:

Around the 2:45 mark of Part 1, referring to his recent Wall Street Journal article, Muller says “I never said you shouldn’t be a skeptic. I never said that.”

From his article:

Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer.

Just before the 5-minute mark, Muller is asked if he’s in the Al Gore camp. Muller: “Al Gore camp? That’s ridiculous…what I point out is that most of what appears in An Inconvenient Truth is absolutely either wrong, exaggerated, or misleading.”

At the 8:45 mark, he says scientists will “endorse Al Gore, even though they know what he’s saying is exaggerated and misleading. He’ll talk about polar bears dying even though we know they’re not dying…”.

In Part 2, he’s asked about Eugene Robinson’s Washington Post piece.

[Q] It says “What Dr Muller says proves that the skeptics are wrong and they’ve got to get on the cap and trade train”.

Muller: “That’s ridiculous. I mean, some people say I proved that there was no ClimateGate. No. NO! The ClimateGate thing was a scandal. It’s terrible what they did. It’s shameful the way they hid the data.”

Muller is trying very hard to have a foot in both camps, but it’s getting harder and harder to maintain.

Richard Muller interview, Part 1 – YouTube

Richard Muller interview, Part 2 – YouTube

BEST: as usual, it's WORSE than we thought

Hardly the BEST...

I love it when warmists start throwing custard pies at each other. In this case, however, it’s far more than that.

You will recall that the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project (BEST) announced earlier this week (providing pre-publication drafts that had not been peer-reviewed to the press) that the earth was indeed round and not flat, in other words that, in a shocking revelation, temperatures have been rising for the last couple of hundred years (see here). That was supposed to silence the deniers once and for all. Except we all knew that anyway – it was nothing but a feeble straw man, which sceptics ridiculed mercilessly.

And now it gets far, far worse, as Judith Curry dumps about twenty tonnes of fetid bat-poo on the BEST project. It’s dynamite:

[T]oday 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.

Her comments, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, seem certain to ignite a furious academic row. She said this affair had to be compared to the notorious ‘Climategate’ scandal two years ago.

Like the scientists exposed then by leaked emails from East Anglia University’s Climatic Research Unit, her colleagues from the BEST project seem to be trying to ‘hide the decline’ in rates of global warming.

In fact, Prof Curry said, the project’s research data show there has been no increase in world temperatures since the end of the Nineties – a fact confirmed by a new analysis that The Mail on Sunday has obtained.

‘There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’

However, Prof Muller denied warming was at a standstill.

‘We see no evidence of it [global warming] having slowed down,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. There was, he added, ‘no levelling off’.

A graph issued by the BEST project also suggests a continuing steep increase.

But a report to be published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation includes a graph of world average temperatures over the past ten years, drawn from the BEST project’s data and revealed on its website.

This graph shows that the trend of the last decade is absolutely flat, with no increase at all – though the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have carried on rising relentlessly.

‘This is nowhere near what the  climate models were predicting,’ Prof Curry said. ‘Whatever it is that’s going on here, it doesn’t look like it’s being dominated by CO2.’

Prof Muller also wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal. It was here, under the headline ‘The case against global warming scepticism’, that he proclaimed ‘there were good reasons for doubt until now’.

This, too, went around the world, with The Economist, among many others, stating there was now ‘little room for doubt’.

Such claims left Prof Curry horrified. 

‘Of course this isn’t the end of scepticism,’ she said. ‘To say that is the biggest mistake he [Prof Muller] has made. When I saw he was saying that I just thought, “Oh my God”.’ (Mail on Sunday)

OMG indeed. So pull up a chair, grab the popcorn and enjoy the show.

Read it all at the link.

More at WUWT here (toward whom the hat is gratefully tipped)

More at GWPF here.

You can't be a sceptic anymore, sez warmist

Best or worst?

The blogosphere is abuzz with the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project (BEST), the stunning conclusion of which seems to be “the planet is warming”. Even more stunning is that this is somehow supposed to be the ultimate rebuttal to filthy sceptics and deniers the world over.

Er, sorry to disappoint, but no it isn’t. We all knew the world was warming, and has been since the end of the Little Ice Age. We accept that. So, what’s your point again?

BEST’s results, which are based on surface temperature records from thousands of land-based stations across the globe, also seem to magically “disappear” the Urban Heat Island effect, despite the fact that previous studies have shown it to be a substantial component of recent temperature rises. BEST also seems to be able to take the fat, hairy sow’s ear of shonky surface temperature stations (many of which are located close to man-made heat sources like airports and air conditioning units) and turn them into a dainty silk purse of accurate global temperature. Whether this is successful or not I will leave up to you to decide. A technical post at Watts Up With That? looks at the statistical methods employed.

Richard Muller’s article in the Wall Street Journal concludes thus:

When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.

But let’s just look at that last sentence again:

How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.

So the key issue that sceptics raise, the attribution of present day warming to human effects, is something not addressed by BEST. For Muller to claim that this puts the final nail in the sceptics’ coffin is ridiculous. We all agree the planet is warming, it’s a question of how much of that warming is due to man, and how much is due to nature.

Climate Depot takes the BEST project and Muller’s WSJ article to the proverbial cleaners here (with stacks of links to other criticisms)

Delingpole has a great piece here – it is well worth the read.

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