During much of the last decade, LLNL researcher and University of California Physics professor Richard Muller has been something of a darling too the right-wing GW deniers. In December 2003 Muller published a column in the MIT's Technology Review, announcing support for the contentions of notorious climate change skeptics Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. In a follow up column, dated October 2004, Muller stated,

Canadian scientists Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have uncovered a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program that was used to produce the hockey stick. In his original publications of the stick, Mann purported to use a standard method known as principal component analysis, or PCA, to find the dominant features in a set of more than 70 different climate records.

But it wasnt so. McIntyre and McKitrick obtained part of the program that Mann used, and they found serious problems. Not only does the program not do conventional PCA, but it handles data normalization in a way that can only be described as mistaken.

Now comes the real shocker. This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. This method of generating random data is called Monte Carlo analysis, after the famous casino, and it is widely used in statistical analysis to test procedures. When McIntyre and McKitrick fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape!

This statement made Muller a hero to the critics of GW. This brought Muller to the attention to the infamous right wing anti-AGW oil billionaires, the Koch Brothers. Muller had supported the argument of Weather forecaster Anthony Watts, that surface temperature data for the United States was an artifact of the location of temperature measuring platforms. Most official weather measuring were located in inappropriate locations where man made structures - buildings, parking lots, etc. - interfered with temperature readings. Watts had under taken a project document the problem by having his fellow GW skeptics document the weather station location problem by photographing the weather stations. These photographs showed that not only some, but most of the weather stations poorly placed, thus seemingly confirming Watts theory. However. in a paper published by the Journal of Geophysical Research, Matthew J. Menne, Claude N. Williams Jr., and Michael A. Palecki amassed evidence that the Watt hypothesis required further testing. They wrote,

Given the now extensive documentation by surfacestations.org [Watts, 2009] that the exposure charac- teristics of many USHCN stations are far from ideal, it is reasonable to question the role that poor exposure may have played in biasing CONUS temperature trends. However, our analysis and the earlier study by Peterson [2006] illustrate the need for data analysis in establishing the role of station exposure characteristics on temperature trends no matter how compelling the circumstantial evidence of bias may be. In other words, photos and site surveys do not preclude the need for data analysis, and concerns over exposure must be eval- uated in light of other changes in observation practice such as new instrumentation.

Thus definitive confirmation would have to come by comparing the data from well chosen location weather stations with data from poorly chosen location data. This project was large and complex, and Muller helped organize it with the help of Koch brother money. The Muller "Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project" was to be a major test of GW theory. If it could demonstrate that the the temperature trends observed in weather station date was an artifact of weather station locations, then a serious blow would be struct against the the GW hypothesis.

Muller's findings did not turn out to be the triumph for the anti-GW crowd that they had expected. Muller told Congress last winter:

We have done an initial study of the station selection issue. Rather than pick stations with long records (as done by the prior groups) we picked stations randomly from the complete set. This approach eliminates station selection bias. Our results are shown in the Figure; we see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups

We have also studied station quality. Many US stations have low quality rankings according to a study led by Anthony Watts. However, we find that the warming seen in the "poor" stations is virtually indistinguishable from that seen in the "good" stations.

We are developing statistical methods to address the other potential biases.

By the end of this summer the statistical study was completed, and the findings were such that GWs skeptics were wishing that Richard Muller had never joined theur cause. The problem was, as Muller explained to Congress,

poor station quality

although poor station quality might affect absolute temperature, it does not appear to affect trends, and for global         warming estimates, the trend is what is important


Our key caveat is that our results are preliminary and have not yet been published in a peer reviewed journal. We have begun that process of submitting a paper to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, and we are preparing several additional papers for publication elsewhere.

In his congressional testimony, Muller paid tribute to many of the leaders of the anti-AGW movement, even though he rejected their contention:

Without the efforts of Anthony Watts and his team, we would have only a series of anecdotal images of poor temperature stations, and we would not be able to evaluate the integrity of the data

This is a case in which scientists receiving no government funding did work crucial to understanding climate change. Similarly for the work done by Steve McIntyre. Their "amateur" science is not amateur in quality; it is true science, conducted with integrity and high standards.

What ever hopes the anti-GW crowd took from Muller's remarks, they were dashed when he recently published the study's conclusions in the Wall Street Journal.

Over the last two years, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project has looked deeply at all the issues raised above. I chaired our group, which just submitted four detailed papers on our results to peer-reviewed journals. We have now posted these papers online at www.BerkeleyEarth.org to solicit even more scrutiny.

Our work covers only land temperature—not the oceans—but that's where warming appears to be the greatest. Robert Rohde, our chief scientist, obtained more than 1.6 billion measurements from more than 39,000 temperature stations around the world. Many of the records were short in duration, and to use them Mr. Rohde and a team of esteemed scientists and statisticians developed a new analytical approach that let us incorporate fragments of records. By using data from virtually all the available stations, we avoided data-selection bias. Rather than try to correct for the discontinuities in the records, we simply sliced the records where the data cut off, thereby creating two records from one.

We discovered that about one-third of the world's temperature stations have recorded cooling temperatures, and about two-thirds have recorded warming. The two-to-one ratio reflects global warming. The changes at the locations that showed warming were typically between 1-2ºC, much greater than the IPCC's average of 0.64ºC.

To study urban-heating bias in temperature records, we used satellite determinations that subdivided the world into urban and rural areas. We then conducted a temperature analysis based solely on "very rural" locations, distant from urban ones. The result showed a temperature increase similar to that found by other groups. Only 0.5% of the globe is urbanized, so it makes sense that even a 2ºC rise in urban regions would contribute negligibly to the global average.

What about poor station quality? Again, our statistical methods allowed us to analyze the U.S. temperature record separately for stations with good or acceptable rankings, and those with poor rankings (the U.S. is the only place in the world that ranks its temperature stations). Remarkably, the poorly ranked stations showed no greater temperature increases than the better ones. The mostly likely explanation is that while low-quality stations may give incorrect absolute temperatures, they still accurately track temperature changes.

When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn't know what we'd find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

Over the last two years, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project has looked deeply at all the issues raised above. I chaired our group, which just submitted four detailed papers on our results to peer-reviewed journals. We have now posted these papers online at www.BerkeleyEarth.org to solicit even more scrutiny.

Our work covers only land temperature—not the oceans—but that's where warming appears to be the greatest. Robert Rohde, our chief scientist, obtained more than 1.6 billion measurements from more than 39,000 temperature stations around the world. Many of the records were short in duration, and to use them Mr. Rohde and a team of esteemed scientists and statisticians developed a new analytical approach that let us incorporate fragments of records. By using data from virtually all the available stations, we avoided data-selection bias. Rather than try to correct for the discontinuities in the records, we simply sliced the records where the data cut off, thereby creating two records from one.

We discovered that about one-third of the world's temperature stations have recorded cooling temperatures, and about two-thirds have recorded warming. The two-to-one ratio reflects global warming. The changes at the locations that showed warming were typically between 1-2ºC, much greater than the IPCC's average of 0.64ºC.

To study urban-heating bias in temperature records, we used satellite determinations that subdivided the world into urban and rural areas. We then conducted a temperature analysis based solely on "very rural" locations, distant from urban ones. The result showed a temperature increase similar to that found by other groups. Only 0.5% of the globe is urbanized, so it makes sense that even a 2ºC rise in urban regions would contribute negligibly to the global average.

What about poor station quality? Again, our statistical methods allowed us to analyze the U.S. temperature record separately for stations with good or acceptable rankings, and those with poor rankings (the U.S. is the only place in the world that ranks its temperature stations). Remarkably, the poorly ranked stations showed no greater temperature increases than the better ones. The mostly likely explanation is that while low-quality stations may give incorrect absolute temperatures, they still accurately track temperature changes.

When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn't know what we'd find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

Global warming is real.

So much for GW evidence being a scientific hoax. So much GW science being careless.

The war over global warming is over, although the war over AGW is not over. Many of the more sophisticated AGW skeptics have acknowledged that global warming is real, but continue to argue that human CO2 emissions are not its cause. The case for such views is crumbling, however. The sophisticated critics point to the work of two climate scientists, Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen to support their beliefs. But these two researchers are not without their own critics, and indeed their conclusions have received troubling questions. Recently as I pointed out:

The work of Climate Change denier Roy Spencer has recently been demonstrated to contain large scientific errors. (see here, here, here, here, and here, here, and here), while a recent paper by Texas A&'M professor Andrew Dessler offers a devastating critique to the skeptical claims of both Spencer and MIT Professor Richard Lindzen. Needless to say the Climate change skeptics are not folding their tents yet, but their days are numbers.
The argument that AGW is a Liberal hoax is in shambles, while the case is growing that AGW skepticism is growing steadily weaker. What has not yet surfaced, although it is obvious, is the argument that GW and AGW skepticism has been a Libertarian/Conservative hoax all along. Almost without exception AGW and GW skeptics identify themselves with Conservative and Libertarian political causes. Right wing Talk Radio figures have fanatically backed the Global Warming hoax line, while Fox News, notorious for its lies about about all sorts of issues, has repeatedly parroted the anti-GW, anti-AGW lines. AGW skeptics have been virtually lionized by Fox News. While right-wing Republican Presidential candidates Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rick Santorium, all reject GW or AGW out of hand.

Michele Bachmann demonstrated her profound understanding of science,
Carbon dioxide is not a harmful gas; it is a harmless gas ... And yet we're being told that we have to reduce this natural substance and reduce the American standard of living to create an arbitrary reduction in something that is naturally occurring in the Earth.
Herman Cain believes that he is qualified to determin what real science is and what its conclusions are,
I don't believe ... global warming is real. Do we have climate change? Yes. Is it a crisis? No. ... Because the science, the real science, doesn't say that we have any major crisis or threat when it comes to climate change.
While Rick perry believes that scientists are manipulating data,
I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects. I think we're seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.
If you want' to believe Perry's statement about scientists, don't ask him about his undergraduate science grades. Clearly many Republicans Presidential candidates support the right-wing anti-science hoax.