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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Koch-funded WORST Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project implodes -- the most infamous, incompetent, and unethical climate change deniers (Anthony Watts, Steven Mosher) are part of the BEST team!

Bombshell 2: BEST's Project Chair Richard Muller confirms ClimateProgress reporting, contradicts WattsUpWithThat

by Joseph Romm, Climate Progress, March 22, 2011

The key conclusions from Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project have been made public by its project chair, Richard Muller.  In a talk Saturday (near the end), Muller explained that BEST has been analyzing large quantities of data, they have started writing a draft report, and what he can say now is:
  • “We are seeing substantial global warming”
  • “None of the effects raised by the [skeptics] is going to have anything more than a marginal effect on the amount of global warming.”
None of that should be a surprise (except to a few deniers).  If you listen to the entire video (which I don’t recommend without multiple head vises), it’s clear the Muller himself is a volcano of long-debunked denier talking points and misinformation (which I’ll re-debunk later).  So when Muller says the data show “substantial global warming” and the effects raised by the skeptics are “marginal,” you know he’s not overstating things.

Now I hadn’t watched that video when climatologist Ken Caldeira emailed me essentially the same exact set of conclusions, which he asked me to post (see Exclusive: Berkeley temperature study results “confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU”).

Again, I thought the conclusions were obvious, but I published his email in part because I wanted to smoke out the deniers.  A number of climate scientists had told me they believed the deniers were working feverishly to change and/or spin the main results.  What I didn’t know — what few people knew — was that the hard-core deniers in fact had unprecedented access to the BEST work-product.  That gives the lie to BEST somehow being a transparent effort to work the data independently and restore “credibility” to the global temperature record, something the record didn’t actually need.

My post was far more successful than I ever imagined.  The deniers — Steven Mosher and Anthony Watts — went ballistic, since they obviously thought they were going to be able to control how the final product was shaped and spun.  As we’ll see, they publicly admitted some astonishing things that truly call into question the objectivity and transparency of BESTWORST [Worst "Objective" Reanalysis of Surface Temperatures].

For instance, although Watts claims to have intimate knowledge of BEST’s work product and claims he’ll abide by their results, his latest blog post is utterly at odds with them.  Also, it seems like the deniers got BEST to post a response to Caldeira on their website saying “The Berkeley Earth team feels very strongly that no conclusions can yet be drawn from this preliminary analysis” — without even realizing that Muller had already drawn the exact same conclusions and publicly announced them!  But I’m getting ahead of myself now.

UPDATE:  The eye-opening transparency blurts from the deniers continue.  As a commenter points outMosher now states that he is actively working with BEST.  

Guess they’ll have to change the FAQ again!

Let’s go back to what disinformer Mosher wrote in various comments on CP:
There is no DRAFT paper….
There are some draft figures, some charts, that a few of us have seen. These charts are made with 2% of the data.

… I think I have a pretty good idea which draft chart he has seen.
Mosher, who is not to anyone’s previous knowledge associated with this project in any respect (unlike Caldeira, who is both a climatologist and a funder), has full up-to-the-minute access to everything BEST is doing. Mosher appears to be claiming to be such an integral part of what is going on that he knows everything Caldeira has seen.

Where are the auditors demanding an independent, fully transparent study?

As I hoped, my post led the discredited denier Anthony Watts to blurt out both his involvement and his intentions at WattsUpWithThat:
I’ve also seen a lot of other things, some things Caldieira [sp] hasn’t seen that the BEST team has shared with me.
Wow!  Double wow, actually.

So the person on the Internet most responsible for spreading disinformation on global warming, particularly disinformation on the surface temperature record, has seen things that Caldeira — a project funder and one of the country’s top climatologists — hasn’t seen.

Not only that, but Watts asserts on his blog, that “the BEST team has shared” the stuff with him — this ain’t some leak.

Now let’s be clear here. Muller, in the video, says “There are some real deniers out there….  They should be ignored.”

Certainly if one were to create a list of “real deniers” who should be ignored, Watts would be near the top.

Watts approvingly reprints denier manifestos that claim global warming “is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind” — see here. As I’ve written, such a statement is anti-scientific and anti-science in the most extreme sense. It accuses the scientific community broadly defined — including the major journals and all of the major scientific organizations in this country — of conspiring in deliberate fraud.

Watts has perhaps more than any other leading anti-science blogger, viciously smeared scientists and urged his readers to do the same (see Watts urges WattsUpWithThat readers to disrupt Forbes blog: “shout them down in the comments section”).

Watts infamously coauthored a “report” accusing top U.S. scientists of various kinds of misfeasance and malfeasance in the global temperature record.  It was utterly debunked last March (see Wattergate: Tamino debunks “just plain wrong” Anthony Watts).  As Tamino wrote, “your use of false claims to accuse NOAA scientists of deliberate deception was not just mistaken, it was unethical.”

Watts never retracted the attacks.  Instead, last Memorial Day, Watts directly questioned the patriotism of both Tamino and Rabett (see “Peak readership for anti-science blogs?“) leading Tamino to write, “This just might be the most loathsome thing Watts has yet done with his blog.”

But it wasn’t.  Just last week, on March 19, Watts published this absurd statement:
many of the best AGW scientists are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to push their personal AGW agenda
Yet WattsUpWithThat offered not one single fact or link to back up that deplorable falsehood.
So I ask BEST, why are you sharing your entire work-product with hard-core deniers you say should be ignored?

Mosher writes in the comments:
I believe BEST will confirm what people like Zeke Hausfather, tamino, nick stokes, RomanM, and I have independently confirmed: the answers given by CRU and GISS are largely correct.
So again, we have yet more confirmation from a denier that any changes from the issues raised by the likes of Watts will be marginal, just as Caldeira had said.

After spilling the beans about his too-intimate knowledge of what BEST is doing, Mosher tries a mini-walk back:
Its best just to consult the FAQ
with only 2% of the data run it’s not appropriate to characterize results or to report on preliminary findings. Certainly Zeke Hausfather or I could have come back from Berkeley and blogged about what has been shown to Ken. However, both of us had sense enough to realize that preliminary results are just that. Nothing of consequence. So, I think you will find that the FAQ clarifies the issue surrounding the advisability of early reporting or leaking if you want a better word for it.
Ah, what a comedian!  Mosher who is in the business of misrepresenting people on climate based on false claims, has no credibility to lecture anyone else on whether they should publish true ones.

But the point is Muller, the project chair, obviously didn’t write the FAQ and apparently never even saw it, since he had already “inappropriately” characterized the results and reported on preliminary findings.  The mystery deepens.

Then Mosher dug himself in even deeper with another comment:
After your post, the team was contacted. And before I wrote my comment the team was contacted. A new FAQ has been released to try to clarify some of the confusion you have created….
Note the use of the passive voice.  Twice!  Normally these guys are eager to take credit for things, but now Mosher has created the most tortured grammatical construction just to avoid saying the obvious.

Where are the auditors?

Now here’s where it gets truly funny.  It seems like the deniers got BEST to post the response, since it uses a key phrase:
We are first analyzing a small subset of data (2%) to check our programs and statistical methods… 
A preliminary analysis of 2% of the Berkeley Earth dataset shows a global temperature trend that goes up and down with global cycles, and does so broadly in sync with the temperature records from other groups such as NOAA, NASA, and Hadley CRU.
Who really uses the phrase, “up and down with global cycles” most?  Really?

Again, the FAQ states “The Berkeley Earth team feels very strongly that no conclusions can yet be drawn from this preliminary analysis” — without even realizing that Muller had already drawn the exact same conclusions as Caldeira and publicly announced them the day before!  And indeed, Mosher himself admits that, based on his obviously excellent insider knowledge, he expects BEST to vindicate CRU and GISS.

If you are looking for someone who created confusion, it’s Mosher and this FAQ — whoever wrote it.  And then there is Anthony Watts.

Why did BEST in its FAQ say that the analysis of the 2% subset “shows a global temperature trend” when Watts asserts:
That 2% subset they refer to is some weather stations in Japan. They chose Japan because it made for a compact insular test case for the code, combining rural, urban, and airport stations under one organization’s output to keep it simple. Like Ken Caldeira, I’ve seen that preliminary 2% output. I’ve also seen a lot of other things, some things Caldieira hasn’t seen that the BEST team has shared with me.
So Watts claims to not only know what randomly chosen data was, but why it was chosen.  Exactly how closely is he working with BEST, that he even knows what a funder like Caldeira hasn’t seen?

More importantly, are we to believe that BEST would say a 2% subset could show a global trend if it’s all weather stations in Japan, a very tiny country? That makes no sense at all.  Either BEST is confused or Watts.

Where are the auditors demanding answers?

Finally, Watts reveals his true agenda:
The issue hasn’t been the slight warming over the past century, we’ve always conceded that there is some. The issue has always been magnitude, uncertainties, and cause. With the BEST project, we’ll get closer to the ground truth of magnitude and uncertainties….
So his goal is to try to reduce the magnitude and push up the uncertainties in the final report.  Okay.

But then he repeats something he wrote earlier:
I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.

Caldeira says the analysis supports “in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU.”  Even Mosher says, “I believe BEST will confirm … the answers given by CRU and GISS are largely correct.”

And project chair Muller has stated what the main findings are:
  • “We are seeing substantial global warming”
  • “None of the effects raised by the [skeptics] is going to have anything more than a marginal effect on the amount of global warming.”
That directly contradicts Watts.

So the question is, will Anthony Watts keep his word and concede, finally, that there has been substantial warming in recent decades and that the results given by CRU and GISS are largely correct.

Or will he find a way to change the final results?

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