Now, another voice has come forward. The British paper Mail Online says that “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.” (See article here.) Dr. Curry is a member of the BEST team and co-author of the four papers Dr. Muller released.
The Mail article goes on:
“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 leveling off’.
See Dr. Curry’s version of the Mail interview on her blog here.
The Mail Online article included the graph below. The top panel shows the temperature data, which stopped in 2006, as published by Dr. Muller. The bottom panel shows the last ten years of BEST data including 2011 so far. The bottom panel shows a graph with level temperatures in spite of continuing increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Dr. Curry, on her blog, says of the graph, “I agreed that the way the data is presented in the graph ‘hides the decline.’”
The phrase “hide the decline” refers to a now infamous part of the Climategate emails where we learned that in the construction of the Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph, tree ring proxy temperature data that had been used for most of the graph started to decline. It was therefore truncated and surface temperature data was substituted in order to hide the decline and make it appear that warming was accelerating.
Dr. Curry adds in her criticism of the BEST graph, “There is NO comparison of this situation to Climategate. Muller et al. have been very transparent in their methods and in making their data publicly available, which is highly commendable.”
Meteorologist Anthony Watts says on his blog, referring to the flatness of the temperature during the last ten years versus what was depicted on the BEST graph:
Indeed Best seems to have worked hard to obscure it. They present data covering .. almost 200 years… with a short x-axis and a stretched y-axis to accentuate the increase. The data is then smoothed using a ten year average which is ideally suited to removing the past five years of the past decade and mix the earlier standstill years with years when there was an increase. This is an ideal formula for suppressing the past decade’s data.
Watts also comments on how Muller handled the press and peer-review in the post: The BEST whopper ever.
To get the full story to date, read my last post, the Mail article, and Dr. Curry’s article, all linked above. There are additional links of interest within Dr. Curry’s post.
I will reiterate that the BEST study dealt with only (rather unreliable) surface temperature data and does not attribute causes to temperature change.
For my perspective on climate change see: