Posting in Environment
Global warming results are in. Climate change is real, says a study based on the largest data set of unique stations.
Rising land temperature is real, according to a study. A climate skeptic has conduced several studies looking into temperature data collected by weather stations over the past half-century and has concluded that climate change is real.
To be clear, the findings discussed below haven’t been peer-reviewed.
Phil Plait at Discover magazine reiterates the early nature of the papers:
"Because of that, the results need to be taken with a grain of salt. However, due to the nature of the study’s foundation and funders, which I will get to in a moment, the results are most definitely news-worthy."
The Berkeley group submitted four scientific papers for peer review and expects it to be part of the body of work in the next IPCC report on Climate Change.
The Berkeley Earth Project (BEP) looked at land temperature since the mid-1950s. Berkeley Earth's founder and director Richard A. Muller said:
"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. This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that the potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions."
Muller is a physicist at the University of California, Berkley, who had a reputation for being a climate change skeptic, says his studies back up the work of previous groups. The study used five times as many station locations: Using over 39,000 stations and combining data sets of 1.6 billion temperature reports from 16 publicly available data archives, the scientists were able to avoid station selection bias.
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was created to make sense of global temperature change, with the world's most comprehensive set of data. Previous global warming studies by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research in Britain have found that global land temperature rise has increased by 1.2 degrees C from the 1900s to now.
Muller previously said in a testimony to congress in March that "based on the preliminary work we have done, I believe that the systematic biases that are the cause for most concern can be adequately handled by data analysis techniques."
The rise in temperature since the mid-1950s, most climate scientists say, is in part due to carbon dioxide emissions from human activities.
Muller also said in his testimony that the number attributed to human caused global warming, which is around 0.6 degrees, needs to be improved. "Berkeley Earth is working to improve on the accuracy of this key number by using a more complete set of data, and by looking at biases in a new way," he adds.
Some of the findings in the studies have been posted online:
- While urban land heat does occur, it doesn't really add to the average land temperature rise.
- Yes, a third of temperature sites reported a period of cooling over the last 70 years. This leaves the other two-thirds though, which reported warming.
- Weather stations ranked as poor showed the same pattern of stations that are considered okay. "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," according to the study.
The Berkeley collaborators include Saul Perlmutter, who won a Nobel Prize in Physics. Using the same skills the physicist used to discover that the universe is expanding, Perlmutter and other astrophysicists and particle physicists in the group will analyze the massive weather data set.
Next, Muller wants to study the ocean temperature to build a more complete view of rising temperatures.
Related on SmartPlanet:
- Infographic: Map reveals effects of climate change in your neighborhood
- Using global gravity to understand ocean currents and climate change
Oct 24, 2011
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The earth has been around millions of years. Geological time is far longer than human time. In millions of years, I cannot take stock of data that covers only 200 years. It's just too small a sample size from which to draw conclusion. Just too much is unknown.
One would imagine that climate change is a recent phenomenon. It's been ongoing since-sabre toothed tigers chased the unwitting caveman. Fossils of tropical plants have been found in the Antarctic. A mini Ice Age took place several centuries ago when Londoners skated on the River Thames. Alarmist politicians have written (poorly researched at that) books designed to frighten populations into believing that a self serving Carbon trading scheme will somehow fix the problem. What a joke! ! ! Being sloppy with the way we treat our planet won't help it. However, at the end of the day, the climate will continue changing in spite of us.
Were it not for Global warming, this planet would still be under ice. This is simply the aging of the planet. While I think it ok to assume that humans play some part in contributing to global warming; It is quite arrogant to assume that we are the sole cause. Even more arrogant to think we are the only ones to solve/stop it. We are creatures on an even bigger living organism we have named Earth. This planet went thru ice ages and warmings long before humans appeared on the planet. Instead of putting so much money and time into "stopping" something that has happened before and will again - we should be looking at how do we as a species sustain ourselves on this planet in an ever warming climate.
The issue is that the data gathered is based on location AND the type of equipment used then "normalized" to modern states and THEN is used to create a conclusion. A weather "station" from 1830 records tempature by a person using "local" time by using a glass thermometer (an no way to know how accurate it was) is now at the "same" location of an automated station that is now inside a city which states that it is now 6 degrees warmer than the same date and time in 1830. Heat islands, extra heat put into the air by loss of heat by buildings and extra absorbed heat by the buildings and reflected by thus warming the air, is "calculated out" of what they EXPECT the actual tempature to be if there were no heat islands. The math used to calculate and then subtract the "extra" heat often is a problem. You can see this easily on the east coast around DC. west of DC temp is 50, over DC 55 to 57, then along the Chesapeake Bay it is again around 50. The island affect is local - but may cover a 40 mile diameter. However, there were NO remote temp reporting stations in the middle of the US, Europe - anywhere till around WW I when it become important enough to create stations to help in military operations. Reason why they have cold "fronts" and warm "fronts" - both military terms. Now you become suspect when they report as "fact" the tempatures back in 1700s, 1300s etc - they are guessing based on MODERN observation and projecting it onto past events (growth rings in trees for example). And when they state they have never seen a glacier this small "since 1806" then HOW did it get that small in 1806? The problem comes in that each person uses a different set of statistical methods, sets of reporting stations, applies these to "normalize" them all to a standard, THEN comes a graph to show trends and makes a conclusion. The problem is that NO ONE agrees on how to do any of those things. If there were just 100 stations that reported temp all at the same TRUE time of day over 200 years - they all would be in cities by now and then you still would have the heat island effect to account for by people burning wood / coal in each house then and now gas heated / electric heated houses now (with some wood still). The statistical problem will always exist.
I do believe the earth is warming... humans are not the cause. That is a huge difference considering pending legislation and burdensome lifestyle alterations without proof, or should I say, based on adulterated proof. The warmers have lost the battle, no creditability???we???re not as stupid as we look???much to Al???s dismay.
When the wording of the grant (contract) is to prove global warming by human influence. You have a guarantee that is what they will report. If their research finds anything else, the funding is cut off or the reviewing government contracting officer sends it back for a rewrite because it did not meet the contract requirements. I know of university studies that have been rejected and defunded for that very reason.
I don't much worry about climate change - or not, because it is in the worst case a self-correcting problem. A problem whose most significant affects in the worst case are still several hundred years down the road - or more. I would take climate alarmist a lot more seriously, if I saw some indication there was a consensus on comprehensive global human population and related economics management strategy development - that would stop the source of theoretical anthropic climate change. The 7 billionth human will be born during this next week. We are far more likely to be wiped out by chaos from food shortages caused from a loss of cheap petroleum and cheap phosphate that make up the NPK fertilizers that 95% of the world's current food production is critically dependent upon - in the face of an ever growing human population. Scientist have recalculated the global phosphate reserves from 345 years (2007) to as little as 50 years (2011). That's quite a significant recalculation. Unless we get our technical problem problem priorities in order - sustainable population management and non-growth based economics being chief among them, anthropic climate change real or imagined is going to be a post-human event.
As can be seen in preceding comments, for many people the facts don't matter. The consequences for those of us in the relatively wealthy developed world will be costly but, ultimately, a disruption that can be tolerated by adaptation. For a large fraction of poor people in the developing world, the consequences will be catastrophic. The optimism of the 1st few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union seems so naive now.
Tell me something I don't know? The climate is always changing, always will. Since the "mini ice age" when the Vikings were forced to leave Greenland, its been warming again. The critical question that is very difficult to answer and I haven't seen it answered adequately is what is causing it. What is really unfortunate is the money tied to research comes with an agenda attached. There is more dogma in "climate science" than in medicine right now. Its near "darwinian" in dogma proportions. NO new ideas are allowed. Its all about drowning out other possible causes vs true research. It reeks.
"Weather stations ranked as poor, performed just as well as the stations considered okay. Therefore, it???s alright to include poor stations in the study of global warming trends. " So weather stations in poorly sited locations that are known to give false readings do not matter? The fact that the temperature spike graphed is most prominent during the age of the automated weather station does not matter? That statement is just more bogus ???science??? from the global warming crowd to support a faultering argument. The fact is there were once strict standards on how weather stations were setup and manual temperature readings taken. For decades the data was clean and reliable because of those standards. With the use of remote monitoring stations those standards were thrown out resulting in inconsistent data collection methods. There are known weather stations within a few miles of my house that are ignored in the winter because on a cold 20 degree day they read 60 because of nearby heat sources. Any reputable scientist will tell you if the data collection is haphazard and inconsistent, the data pool is useless.
Tropical plant fossils in Antarctica is not a good example for you. They are there because the land of the Antarctic continent used to be in the tropics until plate tectonics moved it to the southern pole.
He had the same questions you did, as to how accurate the historical data really was, compared with modern data. So he did the work of painstakingly finding ways to adjust the numbers to match reality. Don't make fun of tree ring studies; that is exactly what they are used for: to compare historical collected data, and find just how much of an adjustment needs to be added or subtracted, so that that historical data can be adjusted to accuracy. Yes, the statistical question can always be asked. But as this physicist was finally forced to admit, climate scientists HAVE found ways to tease accurate data out of the statistics.
"And when they state they have never seen a glacier this small "since 1806" then HOW did it get that small in 1806?" The Northwest passage was clear in the mid 1800's, but sailing technology did not allow safe passage through until a gas powered boat made it when the ice opened again in 1906. The HMS Investigator was found in July of 2010 in Mercy Bay, well above the Artic Circle. Finding no evidence of the ship being dragged by sea ice they investigated and found the ship had been trapped in the bay by wind blown sea ice and abandoned in 1848. The crew were rescued over a year later by another ship saling into the bay.
I agree that you are correct in raising the issue of bias in regard to "heat islands" that occur around large cities and increase local temperature readings at nearby weather towers. The director of the Berkeley project, Dr. Richard A. Muller suggests that "systematic biases that are the cause for most concern can be adequately handled by data analysis techniques." The Berkeley group is submitting four separate papers for peer review to further assess these techniques and the validity of their conclusions should be confirmed (or questioned) once the evaluations are completed. That being said, Dr. Muller had a reputation for being a climate change SKEPTIC and apparently has been favorably impressed with the conclusion that the data suggest significant global warming has occurred. This is certainly worth noting! I hope we can find statistical methods that can resolve issues such as localized warming to gain the clearest possible understanding of the impact of the significant amounts of greenhouse gases that are emitted from the burning of fossil fuels. CO2 in particular could be accumulating in the atmosphere at a faster rate as rain forests are burned and logged throughout the world, thus removing vegetation that serve as a significant source of CO2 absorption.
Most of these weather readings they're referring back to from far in the past are not in the least bit highly accurate. A difference of a few 10ths of a degree back in the 1800s makes for a huge difference in the statistics they're quoting. You can NOT judge a rise in temperature of 0.8 degrees in 200 years unless you are 100% sure that the temperature readings of the past 200 years are 100% accurate. Anything les than 100% surity that those readings are correct means you are either making it up, guessing, or estimating. None of those are scientific and this is not science it's pandering.
Unfortunately for your chosen belief, there is no proof for it. The proposed alternative explanations haven't stood up to scientific scrutiny. In addition the conspiracy theories that claim that thousands of climate scientists have conspired to fake their research hasn't stood up to review.
This study was funded mostly by industry with the biggest source being the ultra-conservative Koch Brothers, yet it supports that global warming is real. Read the original Discover mag article.
There's no such thing as a grant to prove a given point. Show us a contract where that is true. You can't. For that reason, the rest of your post including your alleged first hand knowledge is extremely suspect.
Please provide proof of your assertion. Provide a link to any such occurrence of such a thing. Otherwise I don't believe you.
Back up your claims with some facts. Show the documents where funding had strings attached. You can't. What reeks is false claims about the integrity of thousands of scientists who you don't agree with because of your political leanings. The fastest way for a scientist to make his reputation is not by reinforcing some common findings but by overturning them with real science that holds up to review. Yet in the AGW denier community how the scientific community really works is constantly misrepresented and maligned. Did you even read the background on this study? Muller is a true skeptic, not a politically motivated one. His findings contradicted what he expected to find when he started his work. He had the integrity to admit it. The greenhouse nature of CO2 has been known since the 19th century. When people claim that an increase in CO2 has no effect in spite of research to the contrary they have to prove it. So far no one has succeeded in doing so.
In climate change the issue is how temperature is changing over time, not so much what the absolute temperature is. So a weather station that is poorly sited may give an absolute temperature that is high but it may also accurately reflect how the temperature in the area is changing over time.
Muller was among those who worried that there were "bad" stations that had undergone change in their immediate environment that would cause the readings from them to be unreliable over the decades they've existed. That is what is referred to. They were not known to give false readings. Skeptics doubted that their readings were reliable. That was part of what this study was designed to discover. Most of your post is lots of claims with no facts to back them up.
"So weather stations in poorly sited locations that are known to give false readings do not matter? The fact that the temperature spike graphed is most prominent during the age of the automated weather station does not matter? That statement is just more bogus science from the global warming crowd to support a faultering argument." Another ostrich grabbing at straws to prove that reality isn't actually happening! Yes I'd like to know more about the 'poorly ranked' stations and what that actually means. But 1.6 million weather reports that agree with the trend shown previously from other contributors and other countries/locations cannot be ignored. So what is the logic of the disbeliever? Individual things might be wrong, therefore discount the whole lot? A continuously monitored station, whether poorly ranked or not, may well give distorted readings. However these will presumably be accurate locally, although they may give different level readings compared to others elsewhere. But any TREND shown in their own readings could be more important than the individual record. If its general direction is the same as from others, then that is a valid observation and shows repeatability, which is at the root of good science. Ignore the results at your will. Your head may be buried in the sand, but the rest of you will still be seriously exposed to whatever arises!
.....warming temperatures alone are an observation that does not prove a cause. Even if warming is happening, it is not proof that we need to impoverish ourselves to meet carbon dioxide reduction targets that are quite likely to have no noticeable impact on the temperature trend. Meanwhile, time will be lost as we fail to make productive efforts to mitigate the impact of the projected temperature change if it does actually happen.
Then if you go back and peek at what stations aren't included...mostly rural where there are no heat sources. Then there's the physicists (one a Nobel winner) that have explained over and over again that the physics of CO2 simply cannot support the theory (but methane can). Pretty soon, they're going to make it against the reg's for warm blooded animals to pass gas... The climate may indeed be warming - as it has in the past cycles, but it's absolute arrogance or the desire for control to pretend we can do a darn thing about it. And more money is being made on trading hoaky carbon credits..the sheeples continue to strike.
That being said, Dr. Muller had a reputation for being a climate change SKEPTIC and apparently has been favorably impressed with the conclusion that the data suggest significant global warming has occurred. This is certainly worth noting! Using the ambiguous term "climate change skeptic" just muddies the water. It would be perfectly consistent for Dr Muller to be a "man-made climate change skeptic" both before and after carrying out his BEST study (there are many indications that he was/is neither). The point you have missed (or deliberately omitted?) is that the BEST results simply confirm the previous results of NASA, GISS and Hadley. They don't add anything, one way or the other, to the ongoing serious warmist-skeptical debate which is: to what extent is the paltry temperature rise of 0.5degC per hundred years that has been going on for the past 2 centuries due to man-made CO2? And since it is so paltry, does it matter anyway?
Unless the study is funded by the evil doers there is no reason to doubt a scientific study. If it is a scientific study then they would not allow the culprits to fund them. That should be obvious. Those who say otherwise are the ones with the agenda. It is totally irresponsible to chip away at what little is left in a world where practically nothing is sacred.
Too bad. CO2 isn't the culprit for the warming of the earth's surface. Were that true, there would be more net warming in the Tropical atmosphere (where most of the sunlight falls) than is the case now, shown in the global NCEP (National Center for Environmental Prediction) reanalysis data. Polar warming in particular is certainly not related in any way to the CO2, and warming there is now several degrees C warmer than the long-term (i.e. 20'th century) average. The climate - CO2 link is established by numerical model only, models that (for one) cannot properly represent clouds and precipitation. This does not mean that I am not against fossil-fuel use, but I would rather see all coal-fired power plants close because of the serious pollution they cause at all levels, from coal production to consumption. I'm sure the "true believers" will excoriate me for this position, but I am a research meteorologist who has been studying this issue for some time.
Deniers are like Creationists. They don't listen to sense, they don't believe science, and they will cite an endless list of reasons for their position. Reasons that really don't matter in the least: it's the LIST that matters. It's that fact that there is always another "reason" waiting to be thrown up, if this one or that one fails to convince. I submit that Schleeve doesn't care a whit about the science. He first (I surmise) said that the planet was not warming. Now that one of the premier deniers has said, um, yes it is after all, Shreeve now says it doesn't matter if it is or not -- it doesn't prove a cause. Even if a cause WERE proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, Shreeve's position wouldn't change, as the rest of his comment shows. He doesn't care about how Warming will affect the Earth -- just so long as our reactions to it do not cut into our desired pitch of quality-of-life.
"the physics of CO2 simply cannot support the theory" This statement is quite beside the point, since CO2 can be SHOWN in a lab, to do just what the climate scientists say it does. It catches infra-red radiation and re-emits it. When it is re-emitted, it goes off in a random direction, meaning that roughly half of it is re-emitted in the direction of the Earth (down). Simply because that radiation is sticking around longer, due to more CO2 in the atmosphere, it has more chance to heat the air and earth around it. Once more: it can be SHOWN to operate that way in a laboratory. Theory (or not) is in this case irrelevant. And no, we can't do anything about it -- not NOW, that you and your fellow deniers have wasted the time window in which a response was possible. It might have been possible to avert it, if we had seen the danger in time and changed our habits, but not now. Thank you SO much, Greg, for an intolerable future.
I assume that you are referring to Dr. Ivar Giaever, a theoretical physicist. A man who is undoubtedly very bright but has absolutely no background in his field. FYI, he's far from the only scientist who has stumbled when moving outside of his training and background.
Who is this winner of the Nobel you refer to? I think a bit of real research would show that more winners of the prize disagree with him than agree. As I said to someone else, back it up.
...next month is the climate summit in Durban, where Kyoto is supposed to be re-affirmed. It's not looking good for the warm-mongers. So expect a deluge of stories like this that are designed to create noise and muddy up the water to generate enough hysteria and to hide the facts.
...it's clear that I've again offended the "global warming" is "sacred" instead of "science" contingent. Thank you all for confirming my point.
There is nothing "sacred" in "science", save perhaps the scientific method itself. By definition, in "science" all studies are "suspect". Science is all about challenging established dogma. If that were not the case, we'd still be living in the dark ages. Once upon a time, it was literally "sacred" that the sun rotated about the earth, and you'd be put to death for stating otherwise. Were we better when that was the case? What you seem to consider as "science" is really "appeal to authority". That is what drives political agendas, not "science".
You post makes me doubt your claim. For one thing, meteorology just isn't the same thing as climatology. For another you obviously have not studied any of the models in any depth, not even as much as many pure amateurs have. Increased warming greater where the sunlight falls? How could a serious person completely ignore upper atmosphere flows?
Saying that the General Circulation Models (aka Global Climate Models) are numerical is patently false. Some minor aspects of them are but they are primarily physical models. Read this FAQ on climate models before you comment on the subject again: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/faq-on-climate-models/