Oil industry-funded "BEST" study finds global warming is real, manmade

By: Angela Fritz , 12:21 AM GMT on July 30, 2012

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The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) group is in the news again, surprising climate change skeptics with results from a new study that shows the earth has warmed 2.5 °F over the past 250 years, and 1.5 °F over the past fifty years, and that "essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases." Dr. Richard Muller, who heads the BEST team, now considers himself a "converted skeptic," which he wrote about in a New York Times op-ed on Saturday:

"Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I'm now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause."

Not only is the lead scientist of the project a former climate change skeptic, BEST itself is funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, an organization that is rooted deep in the oil industry and the manufactured doubt industry. Two years ago a report found that the Koch brothers outspent Exxon Mobile in science disinformation at a whopping $48.5 million since 1997. Despite the special interest of their funders, BEST has made it clear, both on their website and in the results they've come to, that funding sources will not play a role in the results of their research, and that they "will be presented with full transparency."

Figure 1. The BEST surface temperature reconstruction (black) with a 95% confidence interval (grey). The overlying curve (red) is a curve fit to the temperature reconstruction based on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and volcanic activity.

Muller's research comes to essentially the same conclusion as similar well-known studies on the topic of global temperature rise. It attempts to address the question of attribution—how much has the globe warmed, and what is to blame? They found that solar activity relates very little to the fluctuations in temperature over the past 250 years, and that the warming is "almost entirely" due to greenhouse gas emissions, combined with some variability from volcanic eruptions. It's important to note that while Muller and his team found warming of 2.5 °F over the past 250 years, and 1.5 °F over the past fifty years, the IPCC did not find quite that much warming in their AR4 assessment.

BEST was in the news in October when they released results from their first independent study of surface temperature, which set out to address some common skeptic concerns about previous temperature reconstructions (e.g. NASA, NOAA, and HadCRU), including the urban heat island effect and the potential "cherry picking" of data. Both of these concerns were found to be non-issues. BEST concluded that the urban heat island effect does not contribute significantly to the land temperature rise. In fact, in their new study, they were able to reproduce the warming trend using nothing but rural stations.

BEST Part II doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the science as it currently exists; we've known for decades that the planet is warming and the cause is manmade. But in this case the scientific process played out the way it should: a skeptic of a certain scientific result took on the project, and was open and willing to accept whatever result the science gave him. We now have another batch of results in the group of well-known temperature reconstructions, funded by big-oil-interests, that tells us the planet is warming and that the cause is fossil fuel emissions.

Angela

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Quoting sunlinepr:
Come on Bloby, this way bloby....

I have a question if the first tw moves farther north could it also develop?
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4459
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Looks to be more consensus among the models for a storm forming on the Atlantic side??


Yup.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Is it safe to come out yet and talk to sane people?.Any who just came from the reunion.Tired from all that driving.Whew.had a nice time though with family.


I went to a family reunion in upstate Mississippi in May. I literally didn't know anyone there. "Hmm... I know this guy somehow. I think he married nameless person whom I don't even know except nominally." It was awkward.
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Looks to be more consensus among the models for a storm forming on the Atlantic side??
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Here in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada today it was 35C around 6pm Central Standard Time. Then a big thunderstorm blew threw and pushed the temperature down within an hour at 7 pm CST to 19C, down 15C. That is a sharp drop.
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72 hours
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Is it safe to come out yet and talk to sane people?.Any who just came from the reunion.Tired from all that driving.Whew.had a nice time though with family.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17487
Quoting sunlinepr:
Come on Bloby, this way bloby....


lol, we really do need the rain, puerto rico is so dry!
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Whether or not you believe in climate change, I wish Dr. Masters and Angela would not post about climate change. Leave that for other blogs on this site.
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Is this the start of activity now ...
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I gotta run also, ya'll... got some stuff to finish off tonight, plus an early start tomorrow... and travel to US [FLL] on Tuesday. So I may look in for a few minutes, but no long stays pretty much all this week, sad to say.

Since it looks like I'm not going to get my named storm in July after all, I am hoping Ernesto holds off until Friday... [though I still think we might get a post-season upgrade on 98L].

If I finish soon enough, I'll check in while the 00Z is running.
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Analysis: Evidence for climate extremes, costs, gets more local

By Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle
OSLO | Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:53pm IST

(Reuters) - Scientists are finding evidence that man-made climate change has raised the risks of individual weather events, such as floods or heatwaves, marking a big step towards pinpointing local costs and ways to adapt to freak conditions.

"We're seeing a great deal of progress in attributing a human fingerprint to the probability of particular events or series of events," said Christopher Field, co-chairman of a U.N. report due in 2014 about the impacts of climate change.

Experts have long blamed a build-up of greenhouse gas emissions for raising worldwide temperatures and causing desertification, floods, droughts, heatwaves, more powerful storms and rising sea levels.

But until recently they have said that naturally very hot, wet, cold, dry or windy weather might explain any single extreme event, like the current drought in the United States or a rare melt of ice in Greenland in July.

But for some extremes, that is now changing.

A study this month, for instance, showed that greenhouse gas emissions had raised the chances of the severe heatwave in Texas in 2011 and unusual heat in Britain in late 2011. Other studies of extremes are under way.

Growing evidence that the dice are loaded towards ever more severe local weather may make it easier for experts to explain global warming to the public, pin down costs and guide investments in everything from roads to flood defenses.

"One of the ironies of climate change is that we have more papers published on the costs of climate change in 2100 than we have published on the costs today. I think that is ridiculous," said Myles Allen, head of climate research at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute.

"We can't (work out current costs) without being able to make the link to extreme weather," he said. "And once you've worked out how much it costs that raises the question of who is going to pay."

Industrialized nations agree they should take the lead in cutting emissions since they have burnt fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases, since the Industrial Revolution. But they oppose the idea of liability for damage.

Almost 200 nations have agreed to work out a new deal by the end of 2015 to combat climate change, after repeated setbacks. China, the United States and India are now the top national emitters of greenhouse gases.

Field, Professor of Biology and Environmental Earth System Science at the University of Stanford, said that the goal was to carry out studies of extreme weather events almost immediately after they happen, helping expose the risks.

"Everybody who needs to make decisions about the future - things like building codes, infrastructure planning, insurance - can take advantage of the fact that the risks are changing but we have a lot of influence over what those risks are."

FLOODS

Another report last year indicated that floods 12 years ago in Britain - among the countries most easily studied because of it has long records - were made more likely by warming. And climate shifts also reduced the risks of flooding in 2001.

Previously, the European heatwave of 2003 that killed perhaps 70,000 people was the only extreme where scientists had discerned a human fingerprint. In 2004, they said that global warming had at least doubled the risks of such unusual heat.

The new statistical reviews are difficult because they have to tease out the impact of greenhouse gases from natural variations, such as periodic El Nino warmings of the Pacific, sun-dimming volcanic dust or shifts in the sun's output.

So far, extreme heat is the easiest to link to global warming after a research initiative led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British Meteorological Office.

"Heatwaves are easier to attribute than heavy rainfall, and drought is very difficult given evidence for large droughts in the past," said Gabriele Hegerl of the University of Edinburgh.

Scientists often liken climate change to loading dice to get more sixes, or a baseball player on steroids who hits more home runs. That is now going to the local from the global scale.

Field said climate science would always include doubt since weather is chaotic. It is not as certain as physics, where scientists could this month express 99.999 percent certainty they had detected the Higgs boson elementary particle.

"This new attribution science is showing the power of our understanding, but it also illustrates where the limits are," he said.

A report by Field's U.N. group last year showed that more weather extremes that can be linked to greenhouse warming, such as the number of high temperature extremes and the fact that the rising fraction of rainfall falls in downpours.

But scientists warn against going too far in blaming climate change for extreme events.

Unprecedented floods in Thailand last year, for instance, that caused $45 billion in damage according to a World Bank estimate, were caused by people hemming in rivers and raising water levels rather than by climate change, a study showed.

"We have to be a bit cautious about blaming it all on climate change," Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office's Hadley Centre, said of extremes in 2012.

Taken together, many extremes are a sign of overall change.

"If you look all over the world, we have a great disastrous drought in North America ... you have the same situation in the Mediterranean... If you look at all the extremes together you can say that these are indicators of global warming," said Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengabe, a professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

(Additional reporting by Sara Ledwith in London; Editing by Louise Ireland)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Bern99:


Well, the warming is caused by CO2 increases, because natural indicators (solar variance, orbital factors, volcanism, etc) all point toward cooling.

We also know we have emitted about twice as much CO2 as the increase in atmospheric concentration over the last two centuries.

That would point toward us being 200% responsible for the warming... ;-)

Anyway, time for me to get back to work... just gone midday here.
Hmmm... west coast?

Anyhoo... hope u look in a bit more often, and also let us know if u find a "local" wx place... we're always keen to get firsthand info on tropics down under...
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Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21782
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Quoting DocBen:


The evidence is quite clear that it is anthropogenic.
Issue was resolved 10 years ago. Even the paid guys are jumping ship.

"Call me a converted skeptic," Muller writes. "Humans are almost entirely the cause."

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good night guys
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Quoting ncstorm:
I wouldnt count out that first tropical wave just yet approaching the lesser antilles



LOL... I think they just want some rain from it... lol
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Wave near the Lesser Antilles
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16042
Quoting Bern99:


Pretty hard to find coverage for Oz. We certainly miss out on having the expert analyses that are posted here on WU, not to mention the informed & informative comments by the community here.

Or maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places for it...
I'd love to find a place covering Oz wx like we have here... Met dept there does a good job, but I don't get the impression there's a lot of online stuff available, especially 4 tropics... u'd think that would be different given the typical high rate of distance communication across the north and centre of Oz...
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Have to do that at work all the time anyways. I grew to like it.


Same here Kori...Customer Service Manager at a gambling establishment. I get some mean ones, but they usually leave satisfied and with a smile.
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I always find it interesting when the 18Z GFS shows
something...all we need now is some more continuity..

Hope you guys in PR get some rain showers soon at least...
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Quoting Svfortuna:
I don't want to dispute the fact that the world is slowly heating, but is there absolute empirical evidence that human beings are causing it - or is it a earth cycle which has been repeated countless times in the history of the earth.


The evidence is quite clear that it is anthropogenic.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
This is about to go up:



This may as well if a more northerly track is taken.



If the storm even develops, which there is a high chance it does.
Thanks for this, wx13... I was trying to remember how far ahead of climo we are right now, and as I thought, we are still well ahead.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
There is absolute evidence we are contributing. There isn't evidence that we are 100% responsible for the warming.

We know we are contributing to the warming, the question is how much.


Well, the warming is caused by CO2 increases, because natural indicators (solar variance, orbital factors, volcanism, etc) all point toward cooling.

We also know we have emitted about twice as much CO2 as the increase in atmospheric concentration over the last two centuries.

That would point toward us being 200% responsible for the warming... ;-)

Anyway, time for me to get back to work... just gone midday here.
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seems like low nearly the windward island is taking some water vapor and the dry air is getting away a bit
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Quoting Svfortuna:
I don't want to dispute the fact that the world is slowly heating, but is there absolute empirical evidence that human beings are causing it - or is it a earth cycle which has been repeated countless times in the history of the earth.
There is absolute evidence we are contributing. There isn't evidence that we are 100% responsible for the warming.

We know we are contributing to the warming, the question is how much.
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Quoting hydrus:
Its cool bro....I like talking to people face to face myself..:)


Have to do that at work all the time anyways. I grew to like it.
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I wouldnt count out that first tropical wave just yet approaching the lesser antilles



Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16042
Quoting sunlinepr:
Come on Bloby, this way bloby....



Yeah, track WNW.
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Quoting spathy:


Dont you have access to the same data?


Pretty hard to find coverage for Oz. We certainly miss out on having the expert analyses that are posted here on WU, not to mention the informed & informative comments by the community here.

Or maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places for it...
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More forecast chances for precip,we got squat the last 3 monsoon surges....still no rain since April.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


My apologies.
Its cool bro....I like talking to people face to face myself..:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21782
Come on Bloby, this way bloby....

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Quoting naviguesser:
CMC 12Z has something spinning up near 10N40W at 54 hours; GFS 18Z likes the same spot.
Others also, it going to happen. When multiple models show development in short time frame it usually happens.
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This is about to go up:



This may as well if a more northerly track is taken.



If the storm even develops, which there is a high chance it does.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Yes, they can post on what they want and whatever they post about then we can post anything relevant to the post or about the tropics.


Yeah, it is their blog, and many have been banned over the years for disagreeing with their blog, again it's their blog.
The more you debate with their views the greater chance of be banned or in other words, Censored!
Play the game, be on the side of GW. or CC, your good to go!
I'm a novas, I can't argue my way out of a paper bag on weather, GW. CC, or any of the alphabet soup.
But I really love to read the weather debates! and forecast!
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On a more serious note...


WEAK SURFACE RIDGING AROUND A 1021 MB HIGH
NEAR 28N71W...AND A 1023 MB HIGH NEAR 31N56W COVERS THE
REMAINDER OF THE W ATLC PROVIDING MOSTLY FAIR CONDITIONS.
HOWEVER...AN UPPER LEVEL LOW CENTERED NEAR 26N66W IS SUPPORTING
A SURFACE TROUGH FROM 27N64W TO 23N67W. SCATTERED
SHOWERS/ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE W OF THE AXIS FROM 24N-27N
BETWEEN 65W-68W. ANOTHER UPPER LEVEL LOW IS CENTERED OVER THE
FLORIDA STRAITS...BUT IS NOT CAUSING ANY SIGNIFICANT WEATHER
OVER THE BASIN.

What are the chances we get another rainy weekend on the basis of interaction between that Twave coming int the Car basin and that ULL? I'm thinking similar to what we saw last weekend.

Also I am noticing this is the weakest the high / ridge has been for weeks... down to 1024 over the Azores as well... another sign of the times [they are a-changing]?
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CMC 12Z has something spinning up near 10N40W at 54 hours; GFS 18Z likes the same spot.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.