“Global warming is real, according to a major study released today. Despite issues raised by climate change 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.” The media release continues:
“Analyzing temperature data from 15 sources, in some cases going as far back 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 States and Britain had accurately estimated the extent of land surface warming.
“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.,” Muller said. “This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions.”
Previous studies, carried out by NOAA, NASA, and the Hadley Center, also found that land warming was approximately 1°C since the mid‐1950s, and that the urban heat island effect and poor station quality did not bias the results. But their findings were criticized by skeptics who worried that they relied on ad‐hoc techniques that meant that the findings could not be duplicated. 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.”
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.” This will be especially important in the run‐up to the COP 17 meeting in Durban, South Africa, later this year, where participants will discuss targets for reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for the next commitment period as well as issues such as financing, technology transfer and cooperative action.
The Berkeley Earth team includes physicists, climatologists, and statisticians from California, Oregon, and Georgia. Rohde led the development of a new statistical approach and what Richard Muller called “the Herculean labor” of merging the data sets. One member of the group, Saul Perlmutter, was recently announced as a winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics (for his work in cosmology).
The Berkeley Earth study did not assess temperature changes in the oceans, which according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have not warmed as much as land. When averaged in, they reduce the global surface temperature rise over the past 50 years ‐– the period during which the human effect on temperatures is discernable ‐‐ to about two thirds of one degree Centigrade. 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 the 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.
Four scientific papers setting out these conclusions have been submitted for peer review and will form part of the literature for the next IPCC report on Climate Change. They can be accessed on: www.BerkeleyEarth.org.
A video animation graphically shows global warming around the world since 1800.
Berkeley Earth is making its preliminary results public, together with its programs and dataset, in order to invite additional scrutiny. Elizabeth Muller saidthat “one of our goals is to make the science behind global warming readily accessible to the public.” Most of the data were previously available on public websites, but in so many different locations and different formats that most people could access only a small subset of the data. The merged database, which combines 1.6 billion records, is now accessible from the Berkeley Earth website:
What Berkeley Earth has not done is make an independent assessment of how much of the observed warming is due to human actions, Richard Muller acknowledged. As a next step, Berkeley Earth plans to address the total warming of the oceans, with a view to obtaining a more accurate figure for the total amount of global warming observable.
A good overview of the significance of this is here:
Key words from the final paper, page 12, 2nd last paragraph:
“In that case the human component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated.”
Geoff Brown says
For Nigel Calder’s reading of the Berkeley Earth Study Temperatures see http://calderup.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/the-long-pause-in-warming-confirmed/
Julian Braggins says
The use of the word ‘denier’ sets off alarm bells, few skeptics are denying there has been (past tense) some warming, but the paper offers no proof of cause.
Urban areas may only be 1% or less of the area of the Earth, but unless the UHI is accurately compensated for, the extrapolated areas of their temperature records influence a far greater area of the land, and often adjoining sea areas.
Their definitions of non urban records are pretty laughable too, suburbs and airports would be included, so not considered for UHI effects.
Ian Thomson says
Yes Julian ,
A parallel to urban vs non urban , is the still evolving row, over students from quite remote places being declared urban for Austudy rules .
Ask Sen Fiona Nash, she has been trying to get someone to read a map.
Agree on ‘denier”
Alas Cohenite is desperately trying to spin his way out. http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/tag/decadal-variations-in-the-global-atmospheric-land-temperatures/
I am reminded of Tom Quirk’s analysis here… http://jennifermarohasy.com/2009/05/global-temperature-revisited/ . In summary, there is significant agreement between official measures of global temperature over the last decade or so. And no significant warming over this period.
Considering a longer period, since 1950 (as I gather the Berkeley study does), warming has not been dramatic. One degree or less… nothing to get excited about.
The new findings could be spun in this direction… confirmation that there has been some warming, but no climate crisis.
Wellll – depends on whether you’re measuring trend or noise http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/trend-and-noise/
Does the science suggest we should be currently having a climate crisis?
Your link dismisses the BEST analysis in respect of AGW and long term natural trending; it then discusses how AMO and presumably PDO do not cause trend as shown by other papers; we have had this argument before; that is the asymmetry and therefore trend capacity of PDO:
I’ll note this about BEST; it ostensibly gets rid of UHI; if UHI as a result of the accelerating urbanisation of humanity cannot affect trend how is it that the CO2 byproduct of that urbanisation can?
And I should add, luke, your reference misses the BEST point; that is, it focuses its view via the quintic polynomial [why did they use a quintic luke?] on the decadal, post 1950 period; they find that variability dominates this period because the longer term AGW and complete cycles have been removed; what is left is the [up]phase of the AMO which is shown to produce the temperature movement.
The more I think about it your link to The Way Things Break is dumb.
John Sayers says
“The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just confirmed the pioneering research conducted by Anthony Watts, the author of the prominent Web site “Watts up with that?. Watts showed in a 2009 report (right) that the U.S. Historical Climate Network (USHCN) surface temperature record is unreliable. The GAO now concurs.”
Ian Thomson says
It’s beginning to be a long time between feeds for you blokes now.
I’d be careful of this little snack mate.
Another Ian says
From comments at
October 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm
Apparently, you are not aware of this:
Muller & Associates
Richard Muller , President and Chief Scientist
GreenGov is a service offered by Muller & Associates
Helping governments build energy strategies that are right for them
Government energy policy is increasingly confounded by the complex interplay of international treaties, fluctuating prices, declining reserves, and a rapidly growing array of technological developments. Energy policy involves economics, energy security, and climate change. For some initiatives, these issues may be addressed simultaneously. For others the potential solutions might be in direct conflict. Coal, as one example, is abundant in some countries, but it is also a strong emitter of carbon dioxide
Clean Energy – demystifying emerging technologies and avoiding costly “misinvestments
We know that in order to be effective, solutions must be sustainable.
Hats what they say, here is what you said:
3. The release method they chose, of having a media blitzkrieg of press release and writers at major MSM outlets lined up beforehand is beyond the pale. While I agree with Dr. Muller’s contention that circulating papers among colleagues for wider peer review is an excellent idea, what they did with the planned and coordinated (and make no mistake it was coordinated for March 20th, Liz Muller told me this herself) is not only self-serving grandiosity, but quite risky if peer review comes up with a different answer.
The rush to judgment they fomented before science had a chance to speak is worse than anything I’ve ever seen, and from my early dealings with them, I can say that I had no idea they would do this, otherwise I would not have embraced them so openly. A lie of omission is still a lie, and I feel that I was not given the true intentions of the BEST group when I met with them.
That’s some claim. Four papers that have not been peer-reviewed yet, and they KNOW they’ll pass peer review and will be in the next IPCC report? Is it just me or does that sound rigged? Or, is it just the product of an overactive ego on the part of the BEST group?
Now do you begin to understand? Look above, their website, they call it greenGov, sounds like a mixture of green and government to me, sound like skeptics to you? They want to “help” you avoid “climate change” (their words) to avoid “carbon dioxide” (their words), sound like skeptics? They want to help you with “clean energy” and to be “sustainable”, (their words”, sound like skeptics? They have a prior agreement to appear in the IPCC report (that’s sure what it sounds like), sound like skeptics to you?
Sooo, why might they have a media blitz? It’s rather obvious, actually, Muller & Associates wants business, and the BEST project assures that they will get it. Having a media blitz, and actually being in the IPCC report, sets them up as “the experts”, you know, the ones to call if you need “help” (P.S., bring cash). Does it begin to make sense now?
And they want you associated with them, you and Judith Curry, and as many other bigger name skeptics as they can get. That way they can say, “see, even the skeptics agree with us, we are that good”. That way, they can even get business with people who are somewhat skeptical, which is at least half of them now. Hey, double the business of all those other companies, who wouldn”t want that?
You say that some people are going overboard (“There’s lots of hay being made by the usual romminesque flaming bloggers”), suspecting the BEST people of bad motives, then you come here and provide practically definitive proof that, yes, they are doing exactly that. Look at their own website, figure it out for yourself.
Well, thats what it looks like to me, I would sure love to be proven wrong, but if this thing gets pal reviewed, and gets into the next IPCC report, that’s pretty much an open and shut case.”
I’m a layman for sure but I keep returning to one of my first posts here a few years ago and that is the planet’s recovery from the LIA.
If the LIA is supposed to have ended about 160 years ago is it any wonder that the planet has warmed slightly in that time?
If nearly everyone agrees on the end of this event around 1850 to 1900 what then should happen after this period,
1. the temp and climate stay the same, or
2. the temp keeps dropping into an even colder event or
3.the temp starts to increase slightly for many reasons, a bit more solar radiation, ocean oscillations start to change slightly, perhaps less volcanic activity, perhaps we’ve not measuring ocean temps accurately enough to be sure of the proper measurement of that 71% of the planet’s surface.
Certainly nobody can be sure we have measured the planet’s land surface area entirely accurately over the last 150 years.
For sure 29% of the planet’s surface is not the entire surface and shouldn’t be considered as such ever.
Now we have Argot buoys and satellite measurement to more accurately measure the temp so we should just be patient for a few more decades and sensibly use our resources on adaptation and not waste billions every year doing stupid things like introducing co2 taxes .
Also we should spend a lot more on R&D into new cheap energy sources to help us feed/clothe/house a pop of 9 billion people before the end of this century.
(1) all land, satellite, ocean, and species behaviour/phenology change data show ubiquitous long term warming –
(2) “rebounding” from Ice Age is simply indulgent non-science – it’s not elastic or like recovering from a cold – moreover its forcings that change things !
(3) no it’s not the Sun in the latter part of the 20th century
(4) no it’s not the PDO or ENSO – in a long term sense – the most basic ordination the temperature data does not pull out these features as NUMBER ONE http://www.gi.alaska.edu/~bhatt/CJC/Parkeretal_2007.pdf
(5) the Arctic continues to melt
AND what is more concerning is broadening in things like Hadley Cells – and changes in the Mean Meridional Circulation. http://www.seaci.org/events/2011workshop/presentations/0935_SEACI2011_Timbal.pdf and others at http://www.seaci.org/events/2011workshop/presentations
Minister for Truth says
And how many of those 5 things on your list, oh Lukey wise one, are a direct case of Human produced Co2.?
Answer None .
..and what was it the great scientists of the world said was the cause ….well it justhas to be Co2
becos ..becos …we cant think of anything else.
What an intellectuallfraud that is.
spangled drongo says
You are priceless Luke.
If the sceptics came out with a non peer reviewed, feeble claim like this your scorn would be palpable.
Actually the 4th BEST paper kills AGW; it does so because, as I said, it removes the long term factors like AGW and shows the current AMO phase is responsible for the current temperature; there is no room for AGW; when BEST says:
“In that case the human component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated.”
They aren’t kidding.
Well Minister for Truth? – no it’s not that CO2 is what’s left. There’s a massive amount of radiative physics to justify the assertion. It’s you lot that are the frauds
BTW “And how many of those 5 things on your list, oh Lukey wise one, are a direct case of Human produced Co2.?” doesn’t make sense – are you also daft and/or illiterate?
Yes Spanglers it’s not peer reviewed yet – but alas just the same ole warming story which is found again and again and again and again. At some point the word denial has to appear. And it is from the sceptics heartthrob – Judith !
Poor Cohers trys the lawyers opening flourish but the jury yawns
from before …
“The results presented here do not lead to dramatically different conclusions from the earlier studies dealing with the same issue. We believe, however, that our rigorous statistical analysis puts the claim that the North Atlantic displayed in the twentieth century an internal ‘‘oscillation’’ of considerable magnitude (compared to overall externally forced trend) on a more robust footing. We were also able to show that this internal variation led to sharp decadal changes in temperature, but due to its oscillatory nature these transitions led to an overall compensation on a century time scale.”
In other words, the AMO is not driving long term North Atlantic ocean warming.
“In other words, the AMO is not driving long term North Atlantic ocean warming.”
I agree luke; but neither is AGW, the paper clearly shows that.
What is powering the trend is this:
Before this thread becomes bogged down in the usual pointless warfare, for those who wish to follow actual scientific debate rather then the Resident Dipstick’s oedipal bowel movements, Pielke Sr’s website has the links:
Pielke Sr has also engaged Schmidt on RC about oceanic warming (or not) using Argo buoy data (the link for this is also on Pielke Sr’s website). Muller of BEST has stated that this area of data is the next step for BEST. This is a significant step in the use of empirical data and the results will be interesting
“- 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 the Earth amount to less than 1% of the land area”
I know I am simpleminded, but:-
1% of the area, but what percentage of the stations are urban?
If UHI is large and real, how can cities increasing in size not produce a rising trend?
Cohenite – you and Stockwell get up to your share of nefarious nonsense. In your “unpublished” essay above
Stockwell cites “They are known to underestimate the observed response to solar forcing
when the paper (36) itself says
“Nevertheless the results confirm previous analyses showing that greenhouse
gas increases explain most of the global warming observed in the second half of the twentieth century.”
ROFL and Pullease.
Quoting a conclusion without the sections of a paper which actually supports making that conclusion is a common problem with alarmists, deniers, sceptics, Lukey Warmers… I have made that mistake a couple of times myself. When the money is acquired by the simple fact of the conclusion asserting that the paper is congruent with AGW most scientists WILL put that assertion in KNOWING that knowledgeable, intelligent people who read the paper will see the obvious disagreement with the findings and the conclusions.
But hey, hang on to what you got Little Lukey!!
You idiot luke; how are these mutually exclusive:
“Stockwell cites “They are known to underestimate the observed response to solar forcing
when the paper (36) itself says
“Nevertheless the results confirm previous analyses showing that greenhouse
gas increases explain most of the global warming observed in the second half of the twentieth century.””
That is David’s point; because the models UNDERESTIMATE solar forcing they can then erroneously claim GHGs explain most of AGW. Take some of those crayons out of your nose Homer.
Unpublished tripe. And illogical. You will never get it published. You guys are just pathetic at playing scientist.
No luke, you are just being silly buggars; even you can understand what David has found. You simply take the mean of TSI over a period; when TSI is above that mean temps rise and when TSI is below the mean temps fall; the rate of temp movement depends on the direction above the mean; so, for instance if TSI is above the mean but descreasing temp will still be increasing but at a reduced rate. And there are no lags so no need for imaginary types of climate senstivity.
And being the scientist he is David has correlated that to REAL data to a 99% certainty [see figure 5]. Suck on that you mug!
Unpublished drivel. You’ve invented Jack’s beanstalk.
spangled drongo says
What are you talking about Lukey fluke, be specific.
Talk about double standards!
It’s another one of your magic stat tricks that accumulates heat from nothing. A statistical have yourself on fugderooney. Like Jack’s beanstalk it keeps on growing from nothing. Would not be published in any serious journal and I dare you to do so. There is no solar explanation. It’s GHGs
You’ve forced a fit between a contrived index of high bogosity and GMT. Pullease.
“It’s another one of your magic stat tricks that accumulates heat from nothing”
Read the paper numb-nuts; David presents a 3 level model; GHGs heat the atmosphere, the most emphemeral of the levels; solar does the surface and most importantly ocean depths; if TSI is above the mean then the ocean is taking more than its giving out and vice-versa. How weak the GHG heating is is shown by the absence of the THS.
You’re just jealous you’re side didn’t work it out.
el gordo says
‘When the money is acquired by the simple fact of the conclusion asserting that the paper is congruent with AGW most scientists WILL put that assertion in KNOWING that knowledgeable, intelligent people who read the paper will see the obvious disagreement with the findings and the conclusions.’
Kuhnkat, this unfortunate and widespread practice must cease, because when Hockey takes his hatchet to the Klimatariat the only scientists left standing will be those who didn’t lie for money and influence.
Jealous – snigger. We’ll just add that to McLean et al.
Publish or perish
Graeme M says
Having read through the thread at Judith Curry’s regarding BEST, I thought I’d throw a question at the assembled brains trusts here. I don’t have the time or the smarts to have really read all there is to cover re the whole AGW matter. However as I understand it, the warming in the last several decades is believed to have been at a rate hitherto not matched through natural variation, hence the AGW thing.
I assume my question has been well covered but I’ve not read anything that really addresses it.
The West has been developing industrially for several centuries. In the process, the level of energy consumption etc has been steadily rising in concert with development. As we know, attention to pollution did not initially keep pace with that. Since probably the 1970s, a lot of work has been done on cleaning up industrial and domestic emissions. The acid rain matter is a case in point as is the peppermint moths in Britain. Today we know that skies are far cleaner in Western nations such as Britain and the US.
However China and India are emerging as global powerhouses, perhaps at a level of development the West reached several decades ago – that is, attention to pollution lags development and consumption.
The big thing about industrial development and poor controls is the degree of particulate emissions.
Those emissions would have been steadily increasing in the Western nations but at a much greater intensity in the period after 1940 with a peak perhaps in the 70s/80s after which we would see a reduction to be followed by an increase in the 90s/00s from China and India.
Presumably the periods of high particulate emissions might see increased albedo/cloudiness and hence a cooling of the atmosphere.
AGW seems to match that. Increased cooling in the period to 1980 (increased airborne particles), warming after that (improved controls), cooling from mid 90s (China and india coming on stream).
What’s the wisdom about that?
If David had put the following in the conclusion:
Nothing in this paper should beconstrued to mean that CO2 is not the primary driver of warming and warming is the worst problem of our age. We need more funding to see how this issue can be used to milk the, err, study solutions.
Little Lukey would swallow it. See if you can talk David into the addition won’t you?? He might even get a lot of $$$$$$$!!!
It is astonishing: BEST took the same data, applied the same techniques and came up with the same results.
el gordo says
Graeme, I’m not qualified to say, but the brown smog appears to be of secondary importance compared to larger drivers.
The regular ‘breaks’, such as the great climate shift of 1976, is where the real focus should be.
Cohenite has a greater understanding of these ‘breaks’, so I’ll leave it to him.
Feeling smug after spotting a reprint of the Guardian article in our local supplement, so decided to take a gander at you lot. What a waste of time!
You can argue what you like and from any angle too but UHI, poor quality data sets etc were never an issue for AGW. Neither can that so called LIA be used as a global reference because no one measured glaciers, sea level or forests outside their own back yard hence relating these useful time series is pretty difficult for our average Joe today.
Even basic measurements are an art and should not be taken as a given unless a system of independent references can be found. For example; ambient conditions need to be established first in most cases to properly tackle deviations. Particularly difficult to measure is neutral Ph and baseline CO2. Early instruments barely crept back to the middle so there were no spot on readings between changes.
My case has always been to find other indicators where possible to complete the picture; otherwise we are stuck with constant calibration against some standard. In making, repairing and commissioning instrument systems prior to routine measurements we must find those common points that secure their range in addition to the zero or return point.
A large industrial fire reminded me of a particular case, transformer oil vaporizes at a very high temperature for a liquid and with good heat control that temperature is stable enough for a multi thermometer bath. Furnace control requires a few other steps however this leads to combustion analysis once our event is stabilized.
Excess oxygen is the key to CO not being present in flue gas, thus clumsy CO2 checks became irrelevant with the advent of cheap inline O2 recorders. Unlike SO2 and H2S, your own bad breath may be the only reminder of a potential air sample contamination given the odorless carbon dioxide we breath out at all times.
Air /CO2 sampling was never reliable via titration, neither was temperature via a few far flung thermometers and operators. Finding a common point anywhere will be incredibly difficult for all those outside the main game.
A few days ago I saw a b&w chart at Snowy Hydro. At a glance I reckoned it was about dam levels showing some decline over decades then I realized it was annual snow falls. I still reckon it shows decline despite being tricky to read but let’s have it from the experts.
“The urban heat island effect is locally large and real, but does not contribute significantly to the average land temperature rise. ”
Too bad his study was unable, like the others, to go out and determine how much that locally large and real effect affected the THERMOMETERS as opposed to the EARTH!!!!
His study really showed nothing about UHI. It DID exhibit yet again that the models are wrong and there is no Water Vapor feedback to amplify the rise in CO2. The hot spot is the result of the WV feedback. This WV feedback also causes a stratospheric cooling and, more importantly from the point of this and other temperature series, it requires the Surface to warm at a rate slower than the mid troposphere which warms slower than the upper troposphere with the area over the equator in the upper trop warming at the FASTEST rate creating the hotspot.
Muller’s study still shows the surface warming faster than any other layer of the atmosphere with mid top second fastest and upper trop pretty flat, the exact OPPOSITE of predictions of the models. This SHOULD BE the death knell of Goreball Warming as it demonstrates conclusively that the models are not showing what is actually haoppening grossly and in ALL the details.
(hat tip to Willis Eschenbach)
speaking about applying the same techniques. Although the effect is very small, splicing in lots of short series WILL add to the positive trend. David Stockwell found this out over a year ago attempting to come up with a better way to do it. The best alternative gave a larger NEGATIVE trend, so, Best used the best algorithm available that ADDS to the trend!!
How anyone can accept that taking a bunch of pieces of records really adds to the knowledge of TREND I will never understand. I see the math, BUT, it doesn’t guarantee that the observations not there would give the trend or even the same sign as the bit that is available. Basically more statistics making people too sure of themselves. (hat tip Mr. Briggs!!)
I note they have done NOTHING to insure that homogenization or any other adjustment is any more appropriate than what has been done in the past!! In the end, a waste of time except their confirming that the models are WRONG!!! 8>)
el gordo says
‘Publish or perish’ has corrupted the peer review system, on the simple basis that if you don’t give a nod to AGW, at least a sentence or two, then it’s unlikely to be published.
It’s a disgrace!
Wot utter tripe – shows how many real papers you read.
el gordo says
Not many, comrade. Not that it matters, the people are talking about a change in the weather and that should be enough to sway the balance of power in the right direction.