Just before we switched the blog over, I mentioned preliminary results from the Berkeley Earth project. This project, led by climate skeptic Richard Muller and funded by the eeevil Koch Brothers (and including Saul Perlmutter, who won this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics), was determined to do the most thorough analysis of global warming data yet. As I said then:
This is actually a pretty staggering and thorough piece of work, although it’s not entirely complete. You can read Ronald Bailey for a summary. They looked at over 39,000 temperature stations (4-8 times what anyone else has used). They carefully investigated the assertions of Anthony Watt, who has noted that many weather stations are located close to heat sources (conclusion: yes they are, but no it’s not causing the warming). They took random samples from the data to see if they could reproduce the measured trend. And they keep finding the same thing, only more reliably than any of the more hyped climate scientists.
At the time, they were doing a preliminary analysis of 2% of their data. They’ve now finished the full sample:
Global warming is real, according to a major study released today. Despite issues raised by climate skeptics, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study finds reliable evidence of a rise in the average world land temperature of approximately 1 C since the mid-1950s.
Analyzing temperature data from 15 sources, in some cases going back as far as 1800, the Berkeley Earth study directly addressed scientific concerns raised by skeptics, including the urban heat island effect, poor station quality, and the risk of data selection bias.
On the basis of its analysis, according to Berkeley Earth’s founder and scientific director, Professor Richard A. Muller, the group concluded that earlier studies based on more limited data by teams in the United Sattes and Britain had accurately estimated the extent of land surface warming.
This is the temperature study we’ve been waiting for. I’m under no illusion that it will quiet the conspiracy theorists. But in a reasonable debate, this would put to bed talking points about Climategate, weather stations, normalization and heat island effect. Their analysis agrees almost completely with both HadCRU and NOAA and NASA. All the data are available from their website — one stop shopping for those who keep claiming, incorrectly, that the data are not available. The four papers they are publishing address a variety of other related issues.
It also demonstrates how important skeptics — real scientific skeptics — are for this debate. McIntyre and McKitrick’s criticism of the hockey stick didn’t disprove it in the end, but they made the result far more reliable. And Muller’s skepticism has now made the temperature data five times more robust than it has ever been.
One last note before my points disappear in an AGW comment shitstorm: this should also shut up some of the liberals claiming the Koch Brothers are the quintessence of evil. They helped fund this study and have made no effort to interfere or bury the results, despite the serious implications for their business interests. Of course it won’t silence them. Religions can survive without God, but not without the devil. And the secular religion of progressivism needs its Kochy devil, even if they don’t quite fit the role.
OK. Fight nice now.