NOTE: See the UPDATE at the end of this post.
I didn’t expect Judith Curry to embarrass herself more than she did with her fawning over Murry Salby’s folly. But she’s topped (perhaps I should say “bottomed”) herself by a huge margin.
Anthony Watts was so excited he actually suspended his blog hiatus to report the story. He quotes the GWPF that “BEST Confirms Global Temperature Standstill,” and cites a story in the Daily Mail reporting that Judith Curry (a member of the Berkeley team) has roundly criticized Richard Muller (leader of the Berkeley team), on much the same basis. He quotes Curry herself, from the article:
As for the graph disseminated to the media, she said: ‘This is “hide the decline” stuff. Our data show the pause, just as the other sets of data do. Muller is hiding the decline.
In this post I’d like to examine another claim made in one of the Berkeley papers, that there is a periodic fluctuation in the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) with period about 9.1 years.
In the preceding post we examined criticism of one of the Berkeley team’s papers, Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures (Muller et al. 2011, hereafter referred to as M2011), by a fake skeptic. Now I’ll offer my own critique.
The more I study this paper, the less I like it. There are a few serious problems and some bogus numbers. They’ve taken steps which don’t invalidate analysis but do make it a helluva lot harder. And there are unanswered questions which are relevant to the central theme. In fact the more I think about it … maybe I was to hard on Doug Keenan? Nah.
I have quite a lot to say about this paper, so I’m going to do so in two posts. In this, the first, I’ll address some of the statistical issues as well as one of the central results.
Now that I’ve had the chance to study some of the other papers from the Berkeley team, I’d like to offer my thoughts on Decadal Variations in the Global Atmospheric Land Temperatures (Muller et al. 2011). But first, I’ll comment on another comment about that paper. It has already come under attack from the WUWT crowd, specifically from Doug Keenan. His criticisms are neither valid nor objective, in fact in my opinion his comment amounts to ignorant sniping of the worst kind.
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature team has reported the results of their first studies of surface temperature records. They have submitted four papers for publication, you can get copies of them here.
Ironically, Anthony Watts has already posted about one of the papers, roundly criticizing their efforts. In a textbook example of “sour grapes,” he complains that they’re making results public before acceptance in a peer-reviewed journal, and about their use of trends over a 60-year period rather than a 30-year period which would match the analysis in Fall et al. Neither objection has any merit. The choice of a 60-year period has only one drawback: it gives Anthony Watts an excuse to whine. The pre-acceptance release is actually rather standard practice in the physics community (that’s one of the things the ArXiv is for).
In my opinion it’s clear what Watts is really upset about — the results from the Berkeley team have confirmed that the other main global temperature estimates (NASA GISS, NOAA/NCDC, and HadCRU) got it right, and that station siting/urban heat island effects are not responsible for any of the observed temperature increase. The real reason all these analyses (including Berkeley’s) show temperature rise is: the globe is warming.
RealClimate has given us one of their most important posts ever.
The theme is that even a brief period of inaction — a mere 7 years — costs a lot. In makes the task much harder, and even then we can expect a sizeable amount more CO2 in the atmosphere when all the dust clears. It really drives home the point that although the distastrous phase of global warming may be decades away, every year counts, every ounce of prevention is worth a gigatonne of cure, and even a single more decade of inaction makes things dramatically worse.
I fully expect that soon — by the end of this decade — things will be so clear that even the Inhofes of this world will no longer have any political traction, the need for action will be so obvious. But as this RC post makes clear, we simply can’t afford to waste another decade.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t bother to point out an RC post because most readers here also regularly read RC. Even if I did, I’d just link to the post. But this is so important, I’d like to reproduce the post in its entirety. I’m confident that the RC authors are OK with this (it’s reproduced with fidelity), but if they request that I don’t then of course I’ll retract this re-posting.