A group of scientists known for being skeptical about climate change has analyzed two centuries’ worth of worldwide temperature records, unsurprisingly confirming that the Earth is indeed getting warmer.
Lead author Richard Muller of the University of California, Berkeley, said “The valid issues raised by skeptics, when addressed fully and in detail, do not significantly change the answer.”
The project, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature, has compiled information from 15 sources going back to 1800. The conclusion? Land temperatures have risen by 1 degree Celsius since 1950. This is in line with the existing global temperature records from NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the UK Met Office. The 1 degree Celsius is for warming above land masses, so it’s not an entirely global estimate as yet.
The researchers also found that including weather stations in cities, which are warmer than rural areas, makes little, if any, difference to the overall trend in rising temperatures.
BEST has also debunked the myth thrown out by blogger Anthony Watts that temperature data is unreliable since so many weather stations are in places that would give inaccurate readings, such as next to an air conditioning vent or heat source. They found that there is no notable difference due to where a stations are placed.
The Berkeley team will release the information on their own website, followed by publishing in a peer-reviewed journal.
Bob Ward, policy and communications director for the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, had perhaps one of the most notable statements about the findings:
“So-called ‘sceptics’ should now drop their thoroughly discredited claims that the increase in global average temperature could be attributed to the impact of growing cities. More broadly, this study also proves once again how false it was for ‘sceptics’ to allege that the e-mails hacked from UEA proved that the CRU land temperature record had been doctored. It is now time for an apology from all those, including US presidential hopeful Rick Perry, who have made false claims that the evidence for global warming has been faked by climate scientists.”
As profoundly unsettling as the result is, it is still interesting to see that skeptics, when taking a close and thorough look at the evidence, have come up with similar conclusions to those already convinced by the data.
Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center