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 Berkeley project's biggest private backer, at $150,000, is the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.
Damned liberal academics. I'm sure their original position was just a ruse.
I am not sure the sticking point is so much whether warming is happening but that it's AGW.
Actually that isn't even the sticking point according to his testimony. The real sticking point is getting a more accurate number for man-made component if it is to dictate policy. (A reasonable point)
Prior groups at NOAA, NASA, and in the UK (HadCRU) estimate about a 1.2 degree C
land temperature rise from the early 1900s to the present. This 1.2 degree rise is what we
call global warming. Their work is excellent, and the Berkeley Earth project strives to
build on it.
Human caused global warming is somewhat smaller. According to the most recent
IPCC report (2007), the human component became apparent only after 1957, and it amounts to â€śmostâ€ť of the 0.7 degree rise since then. Letâ€™s assume the human-caused
warming is 0.6 degrees.
The magnitude of this temperature rise is a key scientific and public policy concern. A
0.2 degree uncertainty puts the human component between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees â€“ a factor
of two uncertainty. Policy depends on this number. It needs to be improved.
Berkeley Earth is working to improve on the accuracy of this key number by using a
more complete set of data, and by looking at biases in a new way.
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