Sunday, October 30, 2011

BEST and a growing controvery.

Some time ago it appeared that the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) Study was going to be a new review, critically supported by both those that believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming and those more dubious about the quality of the data that had led to that conclusion. The first papers have been released, and the controversy over what they found, which seemed relatively minor at the beginning, is now starting to get some notice.

Bishop Hill has drawn attention to an article in the London Mail on line in which Dr. Judith Curry voices concern about the papers and the way the information was released. Up in Canada, Steve McIntyre is raising more points of concern in successive posts at Climate Audit. And within the comments at both sites there are further growing areas of contention being identified.

I have, as those who read the individual state reviews that have been posted here over the last two years (and which are listed down the left side of the page) my own concerns. I have sent these to the attention of the BEST Executive Director. To validate their reality I went back to each of the data tables used to generate the graphs for each state, and checked them for correctness. I found that at the beginning the curves for temperature variance with latitude, longitude , elevation and population had included the temperatures for the GISS stations in a state as well as the USHCN station data. This is a mistake, as the continuing study showed how different the two sets of data are. I have thus re-plotted the data using only temperatures for the USHCN set (both homogenized and for the TOBS data).

I will now go back and change the plotted graphs for each state to make sure that they are the correct ones, but this may take a few days, so in the mean time, please be patient.

In the meanwhile you might ponder this plot which is figure 4 from their paper on the Urban Heat Island Effect.

Map of stations in and near the United States with at least 70 years of measurements; red stations are those with positive trends and blue stations are those with negative trends. (The BEST Project).

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