Talk:Berkeley Earth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Environment / Climate change  (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This environment-related article is part of the WikiProject Environment to improve Wikipedia's coverage of the environment. The aim is to write neutral and well-referenced articles on environment-related topics, as well as to ensure that environment articles are properly categorized.
Read Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ and leave any messages at the project talk page.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Climate change task force.
 

Update material[edit]

RS's only please!


--Pete Tillman (talk) 18:24, 1 April 2011 (UTC). Last update: Pete Tillman (talk) 21:33, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Joe Romm and related sources[edit]

I don't have a problem in using the California Watch source, but I do in using the Grist (magazine) and Climate Progress sources to source what the activist Joe Romm wrote. Grist appears to be an activist website (for example, the story headline "Texas Gov. Rick Perry, climate crank, considering presidential run") and is funded by liberal foundations, while Climate Progress, as part of the Center for American Progress is actually overtly liberal. From WP:IRS, "For information about academic topics, scholarly sources and high-quality non-scholarly sources are generally better than news reports. News reports may be acceptable depending on the context." Neither source seems to qualify as a "high-quality" source. Drrll (talk) 16:20, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

What are you talking about? Climate Progress is Romm's blog, and clearly a reliable source for Romm's opinion. And as you can see from Romm's WP entry, his opinion is notable. Rd232 talk 17:43, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Why are his very passionate opinions relevant to an article on an academic topic? Would we include the opinions of a scientist who is a climate change skeptic, published in a clearly conservative source, in other academic WP articles about climate change? Worse than that is stating a fact--not an opinion--that Muller's daughter works on the project. That assertion of fact is sourced to the article in the liberal Grist, which itself sources it to a student newspaper. Again WP:IRS calls for "scholarly sources and high-quality non-scholarly sources" for articles about academic topics. Drrll (talk) 23:36, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
BTW, BLP requirements for high-quality sources would also apply to the claim about the daughter. Drrll (talk) 23:43, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
"Why are his very passionate opinions relevant" - see the article about him. I'm not about to quote from it when it's a click away, and amply demonstrates his significance. Also your characterisation of him as a mere "activist" when he is a Fellow of the AAAS is... wrong. Rd232 talk 15:42, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Here is the entirety of what is said about the Center for American Progress blog posting critical of BEST in the Calif. Watch source:
Curry and Muller are both seen as climate skeptics by many in the climate science world. A recent blog post at Climate Progress examines these scientists and the funding for the project.
So the statement "Climate-change activist Joe Romm has strongly criticized the BEST project in Grist magazine and in his Center for American Progress blog" can't be supported by the source. That it was Joe Romm can't be supported nor can that he strongly criticized BEST, just that the CP blog post examines Curry and Muller and the funding of the project. Drrll (talk) 16:51, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
The statement is footnoted to Romm's Grist article, and the California Watch source links to a copy of the same article on Romm's blog as part of the statement you quote, so it's perfectly clear what's going on. Rd232 talk 17:01, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Again, how can a source with a headline like "Texas Gov. Rick Perry, climate crank, considering presidential run" and which accepts donations from such hard-left foundations as the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy and the Tides Foundation be considered a high-quality source? And merely being linked within a reliable source doesn't automatically confer reliable source status upon the linked source nor it does mean that the contents of the linked source can be described. Drrll (talk) 17:42, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I refer the honourable gentleman to the remarks I made earlier, viz, Romm is a reliable source for his opinion, and his opinion is notable. If you don't like it, dispute resolution is that way. Rd232 talk 17:47, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, he is a reliable source for his own opinion within his own BLP, and his opinion may be notable if it were included in an acceptable reliable source. Would you be OK with including in a climate change article information from a site like this if it were linked within in a reliable source? Drrll (talk) 17:58, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

NYTimes resource[edit]

Global Warming Indeed Under Way, Contrarian Panel Says October 20, 2011, 3:08 PM ... A team at the University of California Berkeley that set out to test the temperature data underlying the consensus on global warming has concluded that the mainstream estimate of the rise in the earth’s surface temperature since 1950 is indeed accurate. It has warmed about 1 degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), the researchers say. The data sets and research papers are here, along with charts and a video. See http://www.berkeleyearth.org/ For related wikipedia discussion, see Talk:Global_warming#New_study_.28from_BEST.29_confirms_warming_trend 99.35.15.107 (talk) 04:42, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Ross McKitrick[edit]

McKitrick's blog (http://www.rossmckitrick.com/) states that he was one of the peer reviewers for these papers, that he has twice recommended they be rejected, and that the BEST papers don't appear to have been accepted for publication by any peer-reviewed journal. If it can be confirmed McKitrick was a peer reviewer, or that these papers haven't passed peer review, this page will have to reflect that. 2.28.218.13 (talk) 07:59, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

While McKitrick's blog is undoubtedly a source for his own fringe views, it is a WP:SPS and under that policy is not a reliable source for anything else, especially claims about third parties. Our article is clear that the papers are undergoing peer review, we don't state that they have passed peer review or have been accepted for publication . . . dave souza, talk 10:38, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Dave, please hold your "fringe" personal opinions, per WP:BLP. BEST has an update on the peer review status at Revkin's dot Earth blog -- scroll down to updates, per Eliz. Muller. --Pete Tillman (talk) 16:48, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Still premature, Pete, please learn that blogs have very limited use as sources. Also note that it doesn't contradict our article. As for fringe, see WP:FRINGE. . dave souza, talk 17:05, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Dave, referring to McKitrick's "fringe views" is particularly unjustifiable here, as McK has published several peer-reviewed papers on UHI, which is why JGR selected him as a reviewer for the BEST UHI submittal -- which has apparently been sent back for further revisions. His review comments make interesting reading.
I'm not sure what blog you are complaining about -- surely not Revkin's dot Earth column? Anyway, I agree it's premature to add McK's review comments here -- better to wait for a 3rd party article. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 00:02, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

New paper is out[edit]

http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/results-paper-july-8.pdf --Pjacobi (talk) 11:45, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Still preliminary, not peer reviewed. Reliable secondary sources needed for any discussion of this much hyped set of papers. . . dave souza, talk 13:33, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Nature News has an article on the new BEST draft paper [1], which also covers criticisms from McKitrick and Curry. Might be some material we can use. --Pete Tillman (talk) 20:43, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Muller and Curry's former positions[edit]

It is time to take this issue to the talk page.

IP editor 203.100.215.221 seems unhappy that Muller and Curry are noted in this article as being skeptical of earlier temperature reconstructions. That editor has twice elided reference to this fact. Once it was claimed the source was tendentious and the assertion was wrong. The second time it was claimed to be an uncited assertion.

  • Both Muller and Curry have made their positions well known, as documented on their respective Wikipedia pages.
  • BEST's impact is partly because the BEST study was carried out by well-known critics of earlier studies. It is proper to mention their previous positions here.
  • I tried to clean up the language to be more precise (the original language had just called them skeptics), I think it can't be criticized as being incorrect.
  • I think that there is no need to provide citations for their positions here, since they are documented in their respective (and wiki-linked) Wikipedia pages.

I think I may have violated the special revert rules that apply global warming articles. I apologize, I wasn't thinking about that. I think the IP editor with whom I disagree may have also violated the rule, but I'm not sure.

If other experienced editors have an opinion, please chime in. M.boli (talk) 19:17, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

In my limited understanding, both have previously been rather credulous about political criticisms of climate science and have been "skeptical" in the everyday sense of "disbelieving" rather than being scientifically skeptical in actually doing peer reviewed research in these criticised areas. The BEST project has involved both in proper research with an able lead scientist (due credit to user:Dragons flight) and both have tended to publicise preliminary aspects of the findings rather than wait for peer reviewed publication. If we discuss their views, we need reliable sources specifically related to the topic of this article commenting on their views: it's not good enough to point to their bios which may be based on sources unrelated to the BEST project. Having said that, the sections concerned seem to be badly lacking in sources: the thing to do to meet WP:V and WP:NOR policies is find sources discussing BEST that describe those involved, and modify the section to match what these sources say. In our own words, of course, we must avoid wp:plagiarism or copyright violations. . .dave souza, talk 20:28, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

What I got from that is you think there should be cites in this article, specifically hooked to BEST. Very well, Muller's NYT op-ed is now the cite for his position. I don't have a throroughly credible cite for Curry yet that is specifically linked to the BEST study. Curry has decided not to sign to the project's findings, by the way. M.boli (talk) 06:19, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, that's the idea. Caution is needed with op-eds, but since it's written by himself it clearly expresses his views. Something similar would be needed for Curry, her statements may be rather nuanced or ambiguous so care is required. By the way, my recollection is that the project is producing a series of papers so she may be signing to only some of them. . . dave souza, talk 08:36, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi, I'm the IP guy. My objection was both to bad or non-existent references, as well as the fact that the two scientists positions are much more nuanced than what people with an axe to grind are claiming. M.boli has now provided a cite, which is good, but unfortunately, it's still wrong. Please see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/aug/03/scepticism-climate-study-richard-muller

Yet the story in the press - describing a 'sceptic's' Damascene conversion - doesn't seem to make sense. In fact, in his 2009 book Physics for Future Presidents, Muller doesn't question the fundamentals of climate science, or indeed that humans are contributing to the greenhouse effect.

(Emphasis mine) I'm not sure what exactly he was supposed to be a skeptic about.

Asked if it's really accurate to say he was ever a sceptic, Muller replies: "I have considered myself only to be a properly sceptical scientist. Some people have called me a denier - no, that's completely wrong. If anything, I was agnostic.
"I just hope that some people like you will read my books and papers, and read what I say - not what people say I say."

(Emphasis mine) I think that speaks for itself. Let's leave it out. Cheers 203.100.215.221 (talk) 09:07, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

What he says is "CALL me a converted skeptic. . . It’s a scientist’s duty to be properly skeptical. I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated or just plain wrong. I’ve analyzed some of the most alarmist claims, and my skepticism about them hasn’t changed. . . . Polar bears aren’t dying from receding ice, . . . And it’s possible that we are currently no warmer than we were a thousand years ago, during the “Medieval Warm Period”,"[2] On Facebook, Mann lists "8 fibs" told by Muller in an interview. For example, from the transcript Muller alleged that Mann "has claimed that there was no Medieval warm period" which is blatant nonsense: even the initial press announcement of MBH99 includes comments by Mann, and concludes "The latest reconstruction supports earlier theories that temperatures in medieval times were relatively warm, but "even the warmer intervals in the reconstruction pale in comparison with mid-to-late 20th-century temperatures," said Hughes." . . . dave souza, talk 19:56, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
He certainly seems to have a problem with some of Mann's work, and he's definitely scathing of non-scientific alarmism in the media, but that doesn't mean he objected to global warming theory per se. He says in his op ed "Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming." He's talking about specific problematic studies -not the general theory itself. Cheers 203.100.215.221 (talk) 20:09, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
He certainly seems to have a problems with dissing several areas of climate science, but then... . . dave souza, talk 23:16, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Both Muller and Curry before this project had been critical of other temperature record reconstructions. It is the nub of what is noteworthy about their participation on this team. It is what I wrote. Their various other positions related to global warming are being either over-simplified or minutely parsed by assorted axe-grinders, as illustrated above. However that is not germane. What is germane is that two high profile, technically qualified critics of previous studies participated in this study.

When adding the cite, I further quoted Muller on former doubt. Perhaps his language is a little strong, but his claim in his essay is that his disagreements with others' methods led him to doubt that their conclusions were valid. Having performed his own study, he sees no doubt any more. It is all of a piece, and really a narrow issue related to the validity of temperature reconstructions. Maybe I should reword the article to make this more ecplicit? Curry (it seems) still has reason to doubt some of the conclusions, and if a good source shows up that should be added. Anyway, that's how I see it. M.boli (talk) 20:31, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

M.boli, if you're referring to me with your "over-simplified or minutely parsed by assorted axe-grinders" then I think you must not have read the link I provided (here it is again: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/aug/03/scepticism-climate-study-richard-muller). Calling someone a "global warming skeptic" is usually reserved for people who don't accept the mainstream scientific position. This clearly isn't the case with Muller. Here are some other quotes:
Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate. I would love to believe that the results of Mann et al. are correct, and that the last few years have been the warmest in a millennium.
Love to believe? My own words make me shudder. They trigger my scientist's instinct for caution. When a conclusion is attractive, I am tempted to lower my standards, to do shoddy work. But that is not the way to truth. When the conclusions are attractive, we must be extra cautious.
The public debate does not make that easy. Political journalists have jumped in, with discussion not only of the science, but of the political backgrounds of the scientists and their potential biases from funding sources. Scientists themselves are also at fault. Some are finding fame and glory, and even a sense that they are important. (That's remarkably rare in science.) We drift into ad hominem counterattacks. Criticize the hockey stick and some colleagues seem to think you have a political agenda-I've discovered this myself. Accept the hockey stick, and others accuse you of uncritical thought. Richard Muller December 17, 2003 see http://www.technologyreview.com/news/402357/medieval-global-warming/2/
Here's another one in Wired from 2008:
Muller: Global warming. There is a consensus that global warming is real. There has not been much so far, but it’s going to get much, much worse. The thing I would tell the president is that the global warming, according to the global consensus — that’s the IPCC scientists, who won the Nobel Prize — the global warming of the future is going to come from the developing world. It’s the exploding economies of China and India and Asia that are going to be responsible for the CO2. see http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/11/physics-the-nex/
Please read both articles in order to reassure yourself that I'm not quote mining. Cheers 203.100.215.221 (talk) 21:40, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi IP, what you're doing is looking up previous statements by Muller to support your view that these are his real opinions, and contradict his current statements. Which may be true, but the issue is that Muller is promoting this current study with the claim that he's "a converted skeptic". These previous statements make no reference to BEST, so aren't admissible as sources for this article: if you think they make a relevant point, then some source should have made the synthesis you're trying to put together. . . dave souza, talk 22:28, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Frankly the issue is that you're not looking at the cites I'm giving you. The "synthesis" is not mine, but that of Ros Donald in the Guardian/The Carbon Brief. Please look again http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/aug/03/scepticism-climate-study-richard-muller This was an interview with Muller after his NYT op ed. His earlier statements only confirm it. Cheers 203.100.215.221 (talk) 03:50, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

This discussion is off the rails. Before this study Muller had been a loud and contentious pain, not only seizing on and repeating every remotely plausible criticism of temperature studies but also gratuitously flinging accusations of misconduct. He says he has undergone a conversion experience about the existence of warming.

That he wrote a physics book where he knows his physics doesn't change that. That he said "global warming is real" in an interview doesn't change that he publicly and loudly disputed most of the temperature reconstructions. Nothing else that 203.100.215.221 has posted here contradicts any of that.

(In fact, that interview is completely consistent with his knowing the physics, and also not believing that much warming had happened yet.)

My language describing him earlier was accurate and sourced, and it stuck closely to the issue at hand.

Let me also note that the Carbon Brief blog also talks about Judith Curry, who seems to have been lost in this discussion. And my sentence describing her position has been completely elided for no apparent reason. M.boli (talk) 12:25, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

These are issues related to the new announcement, and appropriately discussed in a section about that announcement which I've started. While I'm rather cautious about the blog, it's been published by the Grauniad and so may qualify under WP:NEWSBLOG. It certainly gives a useful source for responses to the announcement, and Muller's replies to these responses. More responses can be sourced from a c Graun article and a newsblog:[3][4] Also worth checking the BEST FAQ. . . dave souza, talk 18:38, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I still don't see any criticisms of Muller's published statements, despite numerous RS critical comments, most notably of his (imo, and of many) naively oversimplified CO2 vs temp curve. As it stands, this section is seriously out-of-balance. Will return as time permits. Pete Tillman (talk) 21:56, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Rohde et al 2012, A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011[edit]

I think this is the first peer-reviewed publication by BEST. Published (or in press) at a new online journal, "Geoinformatics & Geostatistics: An Overview" and available online (full text) at http://www.scitechnol.com/2327-4581/2327-4581-1-101.php

The most provocative (imo) graph from this study is only available in the press release, http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/berkeley-earth-press-release-july-29.pdf The chart attributes specific dated temperature drops to known volcanic eruptions, and is very interesting, even if it hasn't yet passed peer-review. Pete Tillman (talk) 04:43, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Note about Name Change[edit]

I moved the page from Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature to Berkeley Earth and updated the corresponding text to reflect the nomenclature that the program has been using for about a year now. ("Surface Temperature" was dropped when the program expanded into additional areas beyond just temperature analysis.) In the interest of full disclosure, I work for Berkeley Earth. To avoid COI issues, I don't want to be in the business of making more substantive changes, though there are a variety of details in the page that could be updated. For example, Berkeley Earth is now separately incorporated as its own non-profit, and has separated itself from Novim (the non-profit that originally helped organize the program). Dragons flight (talk) 05:44, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

I also went ahead and updated the logo to the current one, as I don't believe doing so will be in any way controversial. Dragons flight (talk) 00:55, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Requests from Berkeley Earth[edit]


Berkeley Earth, my employer, would like to suggest a number of changes to this article. As an employee who also happens to have a lot of Wikipedia experience, I've been asked to relay those requests. Dragons flight (talk) 00:58, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Infobox Suggestion[edit]

I'm going to start by suggesting an infobox be added, with the information shown at right as a jumping off point. Dragons flight (talk) 17:25, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Berkeley Earth
Founded 2010
Founder(s) Richard Muller and Elizabeth Muller
Headquarters
Area served Global
Focus(es) Climate science, education/communication and global warming mitigation
Method(s) Scientific analysis
Motto A Measured Approach: Climate Science + Strategic Analysis
Formerly called Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature
Website berkeleyearth.org

Suggested Lead[edit]

My employer would also like to suggest that the lead paragraph be update to reflect the fact that Berkeley Earth is now incorporated as its own non-profit, as well as a change in name, and expanded areas of focus. Dragons flight (talk) 17:43, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Existing text

The Berkeley Earth project is an effort to resolve criticism of the current records of the Earth's surface temperatures by preparing an open database and analysis of these temperatures and temperature trends, to be available online, with all calculations, methods and results also to be freely available online. Berkeley Earth is a project conceived of and funded by the Novim group at University of California at Santa Barbara.[1] Berkeley Earth's stated aim is a "transparent approach, based on data analysis."[1] "Our results will include not only our best estimate for the global temperature change, but estimates of the uncertainties in the record."[2]

Suggested text

Berkeley Earth is a Berkeley, California based independent non-profit focused on climate science and strategic analysis. Berkeley Earth was founded in early 2010 (originally called the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project) with the goal of addressing the major concerns of skeptics regarding global warming and the land surface temperature record. The project's stated aim was a "transparent approach, based on data analysis."[1] In February 2013, Berkeley Earth became an independent non-profit. In August 2013, Berkeley Earth was granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the US government. Berkeley Earth is now expanding scientific investigations, educating and communicating about climate change, and evaluating mitigation efforts in developing and developed economies.[3]

Misleading sentence[edit]

The following sentence is somewhat inaccurate, as the stations don't all continue to the present day. Dragons flight (talk) 01:04, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Existing text

About 1/3 of temperature sites around the world reported cooling over the past 70 years (including much of the United States and northern Europe).

Suggested correction

About 1/3 of temperature sites around the world with records of 70 years or longer reported cooling (including much of the United States and northern Europe).

Updated funding[edit]

The summary about funding is over 2 years old now. A more up-to-date summary would be:

Existing text

The Berkeley Earth project is funded by unrestricted educational grants totalling (as of March 2011) about $635,000.

Suggested update

Berkeley Earth has been funded by unrestricted educational grants totaling (as of December 2013) about $1,394,500.[4]

Additional programs of work[edit]

Berkeley Earth has undertaken a number of additional projects since establishing itself as an independent non-profit. See for example: [5] and the subsections [6] [7] [8]. One of my colleagues wrote a couple sentences on this that might be incorporated into this page. Dragons flight (talk) 01:27, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Brief description of expanded scope

Since the publication of its papers in 2013, Berkeley Earth has broadened its scope. Berkeley Earth has three program areas of work: 1) further scientific investigations on the nature of climate change and extreme weather events, 2) an education and communications program, and 3) evaluation of mitigation efforts in developed and developing economies, with a focus on energy conservation and the use of natural gas as a bridging fuel.

Also, as the Berkeley Earth organization now encompasses multiple projects within its own non-profit, the phrase "Berkeley Earth project" used in the wiki article may need to be revised for clarity. Dragons flight (talk) 02:15, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Applied the above suggested changes - tweak as needed. Vsmith (talk) 16:27, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Dragons flight (talk) 21:01, 6 December 2013 (UTC)