And that started on Sunday, when a British newspaper said one of Muller’s co-authors, Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry, accused Muller of another Climategate-like scandal and trying to “hide the decline” of recent global temperatures.
The Associated Press contacted Curry on Sunday afternoon and she said in an email that Muller and colleagues “are not hiding any data or otherwise engaging in any scientifically questionable practice.”
The Muller “results unambiguously show an increase in surface temperature since 1960,” Curry wrote Sunday. She said she disagreed with Muller’s public relations efforts and some public comments from Muller about there no longer being a need for skepticism.
Muller’s study found that skeptics’ concerns about poor weather station quality didn’t skew the results of his analysis because temperature increases rose similarly in reliable and unreliable weather stations. He also found that while there is an urban heat island effect making cities warmer, rural areas, which are more abundant, are warming, too.
Among many climate scientists, the reaction was somewhat of a yawn.
“After lots of work he found exactly what was already known and accepted in the climate community,” said Jerry North, a Texas A&M University atmospheric sciences professor who headed a National Academy of Sciences climate science review in 2006. “I am hoping their study will have a positive impact. But some folks will never change.”
Chris Field, a Carnegie Institution scientist who is chief author of an upcoming intergovernmental climate change report, said Muller’s study “may help the world’s citizens focus less on whether climate change is real and more on smart options for addressing it.”
Some of the most noted scientific skeptics are no longer saying the world isn’t warming. Instead, they question how much of it is man-made, view it as less a threat and argue it’s too expensive to do something about, Otto said.
Skeptical MIT scientist Richard Lindzen said it is a fact and nothing new that global average temperatures have been rising since 1950, as Muller shows. “It’s hard to see how any serious scientist (skeptical, denier or believer _ frequently depending on the exact question) will view it otherwise,” he wrote in an email.
In a brief email statement, the Koch Foundation noted that Muller’s team didn’t examine ocean temperature or the cause of warming and said it will continue to fund such research. “The project is ongoing and entering peer review, and we’re proud to support this strong, transparent research,” said foundation spokeswoman Tonya Mullins.
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature site: http://www.berkeleyearth.org/index.php
Judith Curry’s blog on the study and her supposed criticisms: http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/30/mail-on-best/
Santa Fe climate conference: http://bit.ly/rQknVi