“When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections. Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate.”
– A vocal global warming skeptic UC Berkeley professor Richard Muller
There really wasn’t any doubt.
Evidence that Earth is warming is based on three sets of temperature readings. One set is maintained by NASA, one by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and one by a collaborative effort between Britain’s Meteorological Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, a dataset generally referred to as HadCRU. All of them have painted essentially the same picture: a global temperature increase over land of slightly under 1 degree C (1.8 F) over the past century.
Gov. Perry Inquisitor of Climate Change
But, as we know, not everybody has been willing to accept that evidence. One of those who has been most visibly (or audibly) vocal in his skepticism has been UC Berkeley professor Richard Muller. Muller has claimed erroneously that the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph showing temperature increases derives from a mathematical error (the graph has in fact been endorsed in a review by the National Academy of Sciences). He also fabricated criticisms by others of Al Gore, misrepresenting Gore’s statements in the process. And he helped perpetuate some of the inaccuracies and misstatements that helped flame ‘Climategate’.
So the announcement earlier this year that Muller would be co-chair of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study, which would use statistical analysis “to resolve current criticism of the [global] temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions,” was greeted with some cynicism, particularly given that the study was being heavily underwritten by the Koch Brothers, serial funders of climate deniers.