So what does the hothead community think of Muller?
For one thing, they can’t be happy with his science, which attributes past warming almost exclusively to carbon dioxide increases. Hansen has a whole host of other “forcings,” including black carbon (soot) that Muller simply eschews.
The hotheads are also surely upset that Muller doesn’t acknowledge that sulfate emissions from the combustion of coal and forests countervail warming.
Penn State climatologist and renowned hothead Michael Mann gave Muller’s conclusions his review in a Facebook post from last weekend: “At this rate, Muller should be caught up to the current state of climate science within a matter of a few years.”
Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has to wonder how Muller could have ignored the effect of water vapor changes in the stratosphere, which she says are responsible for 15% of warming since 1980 (and are also implicated in the lack of warming since 1996).
As a result of these and other peccadilloes, the BEST team has yet to publish one peer-reviewed paper, despite conspicuously dominating the op-ed pages for a year now. Their critical paper on the “urban heat island” — which concludes there isn’t one — has been outright rejected. Apparently, the BEST team doesn’t believe that it is warmer in downtown Washington, D.C., than it is in rural Virginia, thanks in part to the waste heat from all the money changing hands, some of which funds BEST.
I am waiting for Muller to respond that his forecast was a typo, and that he meant degrees Celsius rather than Fahrenheit (the units explicitly used earlier in his op-ed). Even so, he would still come in far below the IPCC, which bills itself as “the consensus of scientists.” Let’s hope he wasn’t that careless.
Welcome to the lukewarm club, Dr. Muller.
Patrick J. Michaels is Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.