New Climate Study Finds Concerns on Earth Temperature Measurements Unfounded

Last week, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project published the preliminary results of a study to assess whether models that indicate warming of the earth’s surface temperatures are accurate. This effort emerged following the East Anglia University email hacking incident of early 2010 and was aimed, in part, to explore critiques that the methodology of obtaining temperatures from around the world were overestimating global warming. The initiative was led by Richard Muller, a professor of physics at UC Berkeley, who has expressed concern over some elements of past climate science. It was funded in part by a $150,000 grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. Charles Koch is one of the Koch Brothers, who’ve been identified as leading funders of institutions opposed to action on climate change.

Preliminary results of the BEST study (four papers have been put out for peer-review, but they’ve also been made public) indicate that the conclusions of warming from existing models are, in effect, accurate. It is yet another independent confirmation of the scientific consensus on global warming. Muller has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal’s European edition that’s worth reading. A key segment:

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.

The BEST study is a pretty big deal. It was picked up by a number of leading global news outlets. You can read that coverage here:

The Economist

New York Times blog
The Guardian

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