New study dismantles Muller's BEST claims

Tuesday 31 July 2012 at 8:22 pm. Used tags: , , , , , , ,

half the warming trend artificial

As news outlets breathlessly pronounce "climate-change denier" Dr. Richard Muller (See: Is Muller a denier?) admitting he was wrong in a NYT op-ed piece, a new paper has been released that turns Muller's outrageous claims on its heels. This comes as an ever-growing list of scientists are releasing more and more peer-reviewed reports dismantling the man-made global-warming consensus.

As previously reported here, Anthony Watts et al have released a new study that shows half the global warming in the United States is artificial due to NOAA station siting problems and post-measurement adjustments.

Muller, in his NYT op-ed piece, claims the verdict is in: "Global warming is real and greenhouse-gas emissions from human activity are the main cause." He presupposes his argument based on his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project (BEST), a reconstruction of temperature data.

What Watts et al have shown is that not only are the temperature records 'spuriously doubled', but that a major contributing factor to inaccurate data keeping is weather-station siting problems.

In an article by NYT's Andrew Revkin, Dr. Judith Curry has even declined to be listed as a co-author on the BEST results. She states:

Their latest paper on the 250-year record concludes that the best explanation for the observed warming is greenhouse gas emissions. Their analysis is way oversimplistic and not at all convincing in my opinion.

There is broad agreement that greenhouse gas emissions have contributed to the warming in the latter half of the 20th century; the big question is how much of this warming can we attribute to greenhouse gas emissions. I don’t think this question can be answered by the simple curve fitting used in this paper, and I don’t see that their paper adds anything to our understanding of the causes of the recent warming. That said, I think there are two interesting results in this paper, regarding their analysis of 19th century volcanoes and the impact on climate, and also the changes to the diurnal temperature range.

And David Appell, who runs the science blog Quark Soup, remarks, "What they've [BEST team] done sounds like -- well, like what a bunch of physicists would do, not what climate science needs (and what climate scientists do)."

Appell notes ascribing climate to a specific cause is like, "figuring out the structure of DNA than it is like figuring out the laws of quantum mechanics -- simple curve-fitting ("exponentials, polynomials") doesn't cut it. In fact, it makes you look kind of foolish. If it were that simple climatologists would have done it in the 19th century (and, of course, they've all tried curve-fitting on the second week of their research, then hid those papers in a bottom drawer.)"

Roger Pielke, Sr., a meteorologist and college professor, calls the new Watts et al paper a "game changer." He notes this new paper has, "very effectively shown that a substantive warm bias exists even in the mean temperature trends." See Global Historical Climate Network.

Pielke goes on to note that Watts' new results also undercut Mr. Muller's BEST claims as he is using data from "mostly the same geographic areas as for the NCDC, GISS and CRU analyses, but he is accepting an older assessment of station siting quality as it affects the trends."

By not utilizing the research from Watt's research, Muller is relegating his own study "to a footnote of a out-of-date analysis."

Pielke also opines that Muller's BEST claims are "an embarrassment" and that his op-ed statements regarding rising temperatures of earth's land of 2.5°F in the past 250 years, including 1.5°F over the previous 50 years, from greenhouse-gas emissions are "easily refuted."

Guardian blogger James Delingpole writes, in usual snarky way, about the whole affair:

So, in the spirit of magnanimity in total crushing victory I would urge readers of this blog not to crow too much about the devastating blow Watts's findings will have on the Guardian's battalion of environment correspondents, on the New York Times, on NOAA, on Al Gore, on the Prince of Wales, on the Royal Society, on Professor Muller, or on any of the other rent-seekers, grant-grubbers, eco-loons, crony capitalists, junk scientists, UN apparatchiks, EU technocrats, hideous porcine blobsters, demented squawking parrots, life-free loser trolls, paid CACC-amites and True Believers in the Great Global Warming Religion.

That would be plain wrong.

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