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Global WarmingScience

Global Warming Is Real Says New Comprehensive Study

‘Global warming is real’ says a new study released by researchers from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group, which finds ‘reliable evidence’ of a global increase in the average land temperature of approximately 1°C since the mid-1950s.

The Berkeley Earth study looked at data from 15 sources (available here for those interested) which went back as far as 1800 in some cases, and addressed scientific concerns raised by those who continue to doubt the idea of global warming, ‘including the urban heat island effect, poor station quality, and the risk of data selection bias.’

“Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the U.S. and the U.K.,” said Berkeley Earth’s founder and scientific director, Professor Richard A. Muller. “This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions.”

Muller noted that the group had concluded previous studies had accurately estimated the extent of land surface warming despite their more limited datasets.

Robert Rohde, lead scientist for Berkeley Earth, noted that “the Berkeley Earth analysis is the first study to address the issue of data selection bias, by using nearly all of the available data, which includes about 5 times as many station locations as were reviewed by prior groups.” This was in response to concerns raised by scientists looking at studies carried out by NOAA, NASA, and the Hadley Center, who had also found that the land was warming by approximately 1°C since the mid-1950s. The concerns raised by sceptics suggested that these studies relied on ‘ad-hoc techniques that meant that the findings could not be duplicated.’

Elizabeth Muller, co-founder and Executive Director of Berkeley Earth, said she hopes the Berkeley Earth findings will help “cool the debate over global warming by addressing many of the valid concerns of the skeptics in a clear and rigorous way.”

Specifically, the Berkeley Earth study concludes that:

  • The urban heat island effect is locally large and real, but does not contribute significantly to the average land temperature rise. That’s because the urban regions of Earth amount to less than 1% of the land area.
  • About 1/3 of temperature sites around the world reported global cooling over the past 70 years (including much of the United States and northern Europe). But 2/3 of the sites show warming. Individual temperature histories reported from a single location are frequently noisy and/or unreliable, and it is always necessary to compare and combine many records to understand the true pattern of global warming.
  • The large number of sites reporting cooling might help explain some of the skepticism of global warming,” Rohde commented. “Global warming is too slow for humans to feel directly, and if your local weather man tells you that temperatures are the same or cooler than they were a hundred years ago it is easy to believe him.” In fact, it is very hard to measure weather consistently over decades and centuries, and the presence of sites reporting cooling is a symptom of the noise and local variations that can creep in. A good determination of the rise in global land temperatures can’t be done with just a few stations: it takes hundreds — or better, thousands — of stations to detect and measure the average warming. Only when many nearby thermometers reproduce the same patterns can we know that the measurements were reliably made.
  • Stations ranked as “poor” in a survey by Anthony Watts and his team of the most important temperature recording stations in the U.S., (known as the USHCN — the US Historical Climatology Network), showed the same pattern of global warming as stations ranked “OK.” Absolute temperatures of poor stations may be higher and less accurate, but the overall global warming trend is the same, and the Berkeley Earth analysis concludes that there is not any undue bias from including poor stations in the survey.

For anyone and everyone interested, Berkeley Earth have provided the four papers that they have submitted for peer review in the hopes to ‘invite additional scrutiny’ as well as their data sets, analysis programs and other aspects of their research.

Source: Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature




4 comments
  1. Floydo

    Zach, your statement “global warming caused by humans is a FACT” is incorrect, because to be a fact it has be something that is found in nature. The statement “Global warming is caused by humans” cannot be a fact because it is only a conclusion derived from the observation of facts. This would be nitpicking on my part were it not for the propensity of your side of the issue to, as you demonstrate so admirably, appeal to authority as your entire argument. You equate having many celebrated intellectuals on your side of the issue as enough to turn your belief into a fact. It doesn’t.
    For me, having ten or one hundred or a hundred thousand people on the side of an argument means nothing. If you equate numerical superiority with truth then you will spend most of your life in the dark.
    As to the article, I did not think the accuracy of the temperature record was too much of an issue, but it was the hypothesis that human’s contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere was going to cause catastrophy.
    I haven’t seen anything that proves this latter hypothesis in any convincing way.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      I’m not surprised of your opinion. You must not have looked into the matter very far. If you had (as I have) you would see why every scientific body in the world backs up the conclusion.

      Please, go do your homework before you make wild claims on our site.

      Global warming is very clearly human-caused.

  2. Duncan

    I don’t believe sceptics (like myself) are denying climate change exists, what is being argued is why. Aslo, this carbon tax will not make a shred of difference to the climate, it is cyclic, it always has been and always will be. What is not known is the extent of the change, as man has not gone through it before, so any money being thrown around due to this should be used to develope strategies on how to survive this change, and regardless of what arguments are used to the contrary, I do not believe the climate cares just how much money is being sacrificed in the hope it will go away, because like the future, you can’t stop it, no matter how hard you pray or wish it so. My thoughts.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      scroll to the bottom of this comment to see who says it’s a fact that climate change is caused by humans.

      climate changed before? not like this…

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm

      just a natural cycle?

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/1500-year-natural-cycle.htm

      not worth stopping it from getting totally badshit out of hand? better to adapt? when was the last time you could adapt to floods as high as buildings, droughts that kill huge percentages of the world’s crops and floods that kill more, hurricanes that crush cities, new diseases no one could predict?

      are you aware at all that anyone who has looked into the matter has seen that the cheapest option is to limit accelerated global warming and climate change by cutting our greenhouse gases as fast and as much as possible?

      your suggestion to adapt would be like there being a clear solution for a potentially deadly fever and without that solution one’s fever would never go down and you saying that they should not buy the medicine for $5 but adapt to the fever.

      also see:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

      255 Leading Scientists, 11 Nobel Laureates Write Letter Supporting Climate Scientists & Climate Science ( http://planetsave.com/2010/05/07/255-leading-scientists-11-nobel-laureates-write-letter-supporting-climate-scientists-climate-science/ )

      17 Nobel Laureates Call for “fundamental transformation and innovation in all spheres and at all scales in order to stop and reverse global environmental change” ( http://planetsave.com/2011/05/21/17-nobel-laureates-call-for-%E2%80%9Cfundamental-transformation-and-innovation-in-all-spheres-and-at-all-scales-in-order-to-stop-and-reverse-global-environmental-change%E2%80%9D/ )

      BEST Study (Climate Science Skeptic Study) Finds Global Warming is Real — Global Warming Deniers Are Pissed (What’s New?) ( http://planetsave.com/2011/10/22/best-study-climate-science-skeptic-study-finds-global-warming-is-real-whats-new/ )

      Note: these organizations say global warming caused by humans is a FACT:

      U.S. Agency for International Development
      United States Department of Agriculture
      National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
      National Institute of Standards and Technology
      United States Department of Defense
      United States Department of Energy
      National Institutes of Health
      United States Department of State
      United States Department of Transportation
      U.S. Geological Survey
      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
      University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
      National Center for Atmospheric Research
      National Aeronautics & Space Administration
      National Science Foundation
      Smithsonian Institution
      International Arctic Science Committee
      Arctic Council
      African Academy of Sciences
      Australian Academy of Sciences
      Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
      Academia Brasileira de Ciéncias
      Cameroon Academy of Sciences
      Royal Society of Canada
      Caribbean Academy of Sciences
      Chinese Academy of Sciences
      Académie des Sciences, France
      Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
      Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina of Germany
      Indonesian Academy of Sciences
      Royal Irish Academy
      Accademia nazionale delle scienze of Italy
      Indian National Science Academy
      Science Council of Japan
      Kenya National Academy of Sciences
      Madagascar’s National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences
      Academy of Sciences Malaysia
      Academia Mexicana de Ciencias
      Nigerian Academy of Sciences
      Royal Society of New Zealand
      Polish Academy of Sciences
      Russian Academy of Sciences
      l’Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
      Academy of Science of South Africa
      Sudan Academy of Sciences
      Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
      Tanzania Academy of Sciences
      Turkish Academy of Sciences
      Uganda National Academy of Sciences
      The Royal Society of the United Kingdom
      National Academy of Sciences, United States
      Zambia Academy of Sciences
      Zimbabwe Academy of Science
      American Academy of Pediatrics
      American Association for the Advancement of Science
      American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
      American Astronomical Society
      American Chemical Society
      American College of Preventive Medicine
      American Geophysical Union
      American Institute of Physics
      American Medical Association
      American Meteorological Society
      American Physical Society
      American Public Health Association
      American Quaternary Association
      American Institute of Biological Sciences
      American Society of Agronomy
      American Society for Microbiology
      American Society of Plant Biologists
      American Statistical Association
      Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
      Botanical Society of America
      Crop Science Society of America
      Ecological Society of America
      Federation of American Scientists
      Geological Society of America
      National Association of Geoscience Teachers
      Natural Science Collections Alliance
      Organization of Biological Field Stations
      Society of American Foresters
      Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
      Society of Systematic Biologists
      Soil Science Society of America
      Australian Coral Reef Society
      Australian Medical Association
      Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
      Engineers Australia
      Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
      Geological Society of Australia
      British Antarctic Survey
      Institute of Biology, UK
      Royal Meteorological Society, UK
      Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
      Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
      European Federation of Geologists
      European Geosciences Union
      European Physical Society
      European Science Foundation
      International Association for Great Lakes Research
      International Union for Quaternary Research
      International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
      World Federation of Public Health Associations
      World Health Organization
      World Meteorological Organization

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