Sunday, November 27, 2011

Climate Change Skeptic Confirms Climate Data

Climate change, a term we all seem to be pretty familiar with. But how many of us actually understand global warming? 

Most of us, I believe, can rephrase what Al-Gore famously said in 2006: global warming is REAL. But not a lot of us could come up with reliable data to back up the claim, apart from quoting bits and pieces of scientists-say-so newspaper quotes. That, my friend, is a seriously flawed method to convince climate skeptics.

 In fact National Geographic featured an article on global cooling back in 2010. The article tells how scientists attempted to answer the mystery on the growth of Antarctic sea ice despite global warming. Moreover, the Butterfly Diagram of our Sun indicates that 2011 is somewhere near the peak, meaning we are having a plethora of sunspot activities in our Sun. So global warming IS in fact a natural phenomenon, not man made.

Or is it?

Last year, a Berkeley physicist and self-proclaimed climate skeptic named Richard Muller launched the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project. The main objective was to review the temperature data that underpinned global-warming claims. Muller and his team scrutinized and re-checked the data and published the results online. His endeavor was cheered by plenty of other skeptics. The Koch brothers who lead the Charles G. Koch Foundation (and avid climate skeptics) even gave Muller $150,000 to fund his project.
“I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong,” wrote Anthony Watts, a blogger who has excoriated the quality of weather stations in America that provide temperate data. Watt has long argues that many weather stations collecting temperature data could be biased by being located in cities, since urban areas are naturally warmer than rural areas. This is dubbed the “urban heat island effect”.
To counter the effect, Muller’s team decided to compare overall temperature trends with only those weather stations based in rural areas. They also took serious measures to annihilate other sources of error which could potentially wreck the credibility of the entire project.

In March 2011, Muller told the House Science and Technology Committee that, to his surprise, the existing temperature data was “excellent”.

“We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by other groups” he went on. The BEST team later released a flurry of new papers that confirm that “global warming is REAL”, and they flatly (to their dismay I believe) wrote that in their two-page summary. How exciting.
So, you’d guess Muller and his team would’ve put the climate argument to rest, no? Well, actually Mr. Watt is currently still holding on to his skepticism, and duly argued that the papers have yet to be peer-reviewed. 

Fine. Flap all you want like a fish out of water.



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