Sunday, November 13, 2011

Exposing the "Science" Behind Climate Change Deniers

On Ethan Siegel's Blog Starts With a Bang, he analyzes data from the BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project) which was supposed to settle the question is Global Climate Change occurring.  Strangely, this study was funded in part by the Koch brothers and Richard Muller who headed the project was a vigorous skeptic of climate change.  When the BEST study found that indeed, the data did show a warming trend many were surprised.  It was also amazing how closely the data from the BEST study correlated with NOAA, NASA and other studies. 
But there was one dissenter, Judith Curry the sole climatologist assigned to the study, disagreed and stated that the global warming trend had slowed and the data that Richard Muller presented in the  BEST results hid the decline.
"In Prof Curry’s view, two of the papers were not ready to be  published, in part because they did not properly address the arguments of climate sceptics.
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.
‘To say this is the end of scepticism is misleading, as is the  statement that warming hasn’t paused. It is also misleading to say, as he has, that the issue of heat islands has been settled.’" [1.]
 It's a great read, and Ethan Siegel explains very clearly so it's easy to see how Prof. Curry manipulated the data to create what some are calling fraudulent claims.   You can find it here.
[1.] The Daily Mail interview with Prof. Curry
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  1. "Richard Muller who headed the project was a vigorous skeptic of climate change. "

    Ooops, I think you've been drinking the kool-aid again. That's not what Muller said recently, he said
    "It is ironic if some people treat me as a traitor, since I was never a skeptic -- only a scientific skeptic," he said in a recent email exchange with The Huffington Post. "Some people called me a skeptic because in my best-seller 'Physics for Future Presidents' I had drawn attention to the numerous scientific errors in the movie 'An Inconvenient Truth.' But I never felt that pointing out mistakes qualified me to be called a climate skeptic.""

    Do you always like to mislead your readers like this?

  2. Anonymous, thanks for commenting. "Misleading readers?" From the same Huff Po piece that you quoted Richard Muller states in the same article: "I certainly feel that there is lots of room for skepticism on the human component of warming… Scientists,have a professional responsibility to be skeptical."

    Muller also said in a recent interview: "The skeptics raised valid points and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago," Muller said in a telephone interview.

    Finally, there is no way that the Koch brothers would have financed the BEST study if they didn't feel that Richard Muller was in fact somewhat skeptical of climate change. The only misleading that's being done is by the fossil burning industries who have a vested interest in continued CO2 emmissions.