Climate change scepticism
Global warming study finds no grounds for climate sceptics’ concerns
Independent investigation of the key issues sceptics claim can skew global warming figures reports that they have no real effect
• Bob Ward: Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation is spreading errors
Ian Sample, science correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 20 October 2011 13.50 EDT
Berkeley Earth’s land surface temperature data from 1800 to 2009, showing deviation from the mean temperature over that period – and overall global warming since the industrial revolution. Video: Berkeley Earth Link to this video
The world is getting warmer, countering the doubts of climate change sceptics about the validity of some of the scientific evidence, according to the most comprehensive independent review of historical temperature records to date.
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, found several key issues that sceptics claim can skew global warming figures had no meaningful effect.
The Berkeley Earth project compiled more than a billion temperature records dating back to the 1800s from 15 sources around the world and found that the average global land temperature has risen by around 1C since the mid-1950s.
This figure agrees with the estimate arrived at by major groups that maintain official records on the world’s climate, including Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), and the Met Office’s Hadley Centre, with the University of East Anglia, in the UK.
“My hope is that this will win over those people who are properly sceptical,” Richard Muller, a physicist and head of the project, said.
“Some people lump the properly sceptical in with the deniers and that makes it easy to dismiss them, because the deniers pay no attention to science. But there have been people out there who have raised legitimate issues.”