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Critics' review unexpectedly supports scientific consensus on global warming

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:39 AM
Original message
Critics' review unexpectedly supports scientific consensus on global warming
A team of UC Berkeley physicists and statisticians that set out to challenge the scientific consensus on global warming is finding that its data-crunching effort is producing results nearly identical to those underlying the prevailing view.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was launched by physics professor Richard Muller, a longtime critic of government-led climate studies, to address what he called "the legitimate concerns" of skeptics who believe that global warming is exaggerated.

But Muller unexpectedly told a congressional hearing last week that the work of the three principal groups that have analyzed the temperature trends underlying climate science is "excellent.... We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups."

The hearing was called by GOP leaders of the House Science & Technology committee, who have expressed doubts about the integrity of climate science. It was one of several inquiries in recent weeks as the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to curb planet-heating emissions from industrial plants and motor vehicles have come under strenuous attack in Congress.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-climate-berkele...
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:41 AM
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1. jesus fucking christ on a pogo-stick
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:42 AM
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2. See also
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Yah, there is a piece up in Editorials too. nt
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:42 AM
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Ha! The Kochs want their money back. nt
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
9. koch DID finance this study
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:42 AM
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3. reproducability and independent verification -- a pillar of science
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:46 AM
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4. Initial Findings
http://berkeleyearth.org/findings

Initial Findings

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project has not yet done the analysis of the full data set with the corrections to produce a global surface temperature trend. We are first analyzing a small subset of data (2%) to check our programs and statistical methods and make sure that they are functioning effectively. We are correcting our programs and methods while still blind to the results so that there is less chance of inadvertently introducing a bias.

A preliminary analysis of 2% of the Berkeley Earth dataset shows a global temperature trend that goes up and down with global cycles, and does so broadly in sync with the temperature records from other groups such as NOAA, NASA, and Hadley CRU. However, the preliminary analysis includes only a very small subset (2%) of randomly chosen data, and does not include any method for correcting for biases such as the urban heat island effect, the time of observation bias, etc.

The Berkeley Earth team has been working very hard over the past two weeks, and has now also taken an in-depth look at the issue of station quality. This analysis has been done on 100% of the stations that have been ranked by the Watts team and is therefore distinct from the 2% results. All of the sites ranked by Watts are located in the United States.

All of these results are preliminary, and the Berkeley Earth team would be more comfortable sharing them after they had been published in a peer-reviewed journal. However, Dr. Richard Muller was called to testify before congress on 31 March 2011. We did not solicit this presentation, but understand that congress needs our best testimony. For this reason we have shared some preliminary results. Richard's testimony, with the preliminary results included, is available here.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. From Mullers testimony
http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Muller_Testimony_31_...


In an initial test, Berkeley Earth chose stations randomly from the complete set of 39,028 stations. Such a selection is free of station selection bias.

In our preliminary analysis of these stations, we found a warming trend that is shown in the figure. It is very similar to that reported by the prior groups: a rise of about 0.7 degrees C since 1957. (Please keep in mind that the Berkeley Earth curve, in black, does not include adjustments designed to eliminate systematic bias.)


The Berkeley Earth agreement with the prior analysis surprised us, since our preliminary results dont yet address many of the known biases. When they do, it is possible that the corrections could bring our current agreement into disagreement.

Why such close agreement between our uncorrected data and their adjusted data? One possibility is that the systematic corrections applied by the other groups are small. We dont yet know.

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:02 AM
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6. recommend
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:29 AM
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7. Krugman was scathing & very funny on this, particularly re. the Climatebaggers . . .
EDIT

But back to Professor Muller. His climate-skeptic credentials are pretty strong: he has denounced both Al Gore and my colleague Tom Friedman as exaggerators, and he has participated in a number of attacks on climate research, including the witch hunt over innocuous e-mails from British climate researchers. Not surprisingly, then, climate deniers had high hopes that his new project would support their case.

You can guess what happened when those hopes were dashed.

Just a few weeks ago Anthony Watts, who runs a prominent climate denialist Web site, praised the Berkeley project and piously declared himself prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. But never mind: once he knew that Professor Muller was going to present those preliminary results, Mr. Watts dismissed the hearing as post normal science political theater. And one of the regular contributors on his site dismissed Professor Muller as a man driven by a very serious agenda.

Of course, its actually the climate deniers who have the agenda, and nobody whos been following this discussion believed for a moment that they would accept a result confirming global warming. But its worth stepping back for a moment and thinking not just about the science here, but about the morality.

EDIT

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/opinion/04krugman.htm...
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