Koch funded climate study, intended to prove climate scientists distort data, instead proves global warming is happening
I have in the past often debated global warming with right wingers in various unsavory parts of the net, leading me to become much more familiar than some with their main arguing points.
Frequently in these heated arguments (heated on their side, not so much mine), I make this point. "If you believe that climate scientists are all fudging the data so they will get funding because the government wants to use global warming as an excuse to impose a one world socialist government (a commonly seen assertion from the right, with a number of minor variations), then why doesn't your side fund it's own studies to publish in the science literature to prove your point?".
Well, the Koch brothers, and others (including Bill Gates) actually did fund a study, under the auspices of the Novim Group, and they hired a famous climate skeptic to head it. The results of that study have been published, and testimony about that study made before congress.
Put together under the aegis of Novim, a non-profit group that runs environmental studies, the team gathered up a bit over half a million dollars—including $100,000 from a fund set up by Bill Gates and $150,000 from the Koch foundation, whose animosity towards action on climate change made the Berkeley project look yet more suspicious to some climate-change activists—and got to work. There was also support from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Lab, where Dr Muller and some of his team work. It is probably fair to assume that Steve Koonin, an undersecretary of state at the energy department with whom Dr Muller has served as one of the “Jasons”, a group of particularly intellectually fearless scientists which provides blue-sky and sometimes far-out advice to the defence department, and who has also produced a report for Novim, had an unofficial eye on what was going on. http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/03/climate_change
And whattya know, using the most rigorous of data analysis methods, and having climate sckeptics apply the data analysis, not only did not disprove the the three main models used by climate scientists, they confirmed it.
That's right, the Koch brothers funded a study they hoped would disprove global warming, but they ended up proving it instead. Ironically, their study supported the "hockey stick" they hate so much.
Here's a PDF of the testimony before congress. made by Richard Muller, a physicist who is one of the worlds most famous climate skeptics.
Here's the executive summary of the testimony before congress - note his conclusion - that global warming is so real that he recommends that congress create a ARPA style crash program to study it and prepare for it - ARPA, for those that don't know, stands for Advanced Research Projects Agency, and in the past we have used ARPAs for things like fighting the cold war with the USSR. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, invented the internet.
And Richard Muller now says we should create a Climate ARPA.
This is huge news for people interested in the climate change debate. The Economist has an excellent detailed article on this here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2011/03/climate_change
STATEMENT TO THE COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, SPACE AND TECHNOLOGY
OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Richard A. Muller
Professor of Physics
University of California, Berkeley
Chair, Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project
31 March 2011
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was created to make the best possible
estimate of global temperature change using as complete a record of measurements as
possible and by applying novel methods for the estimation and elimination of systematic
biases. It was organized under the auspices of Novim, a non-profit public interest group.
Our approach builds on the prior work of the groups at NOAA, NASA, and in the UK
(Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit, or HadCRU).
Berkeley Earth has assembled 1.6 billion temperature measurements, and will soon make
these publicly available in a relatively easy to use format.
The difficult issues for understanding global warming are the potential biases. These can
arise from many technical issues, including data selection, substandard temperature
station quality, urban vs rural effects, station moves, and changes in the methods and
times of measurement.
We have done an initial study of the station selection issue. Rather than pick stations
with long records (as done by the prior groups) we picked stations randomly from the
complete set. This approach eliminates station selection bias. Our results are shown in
the Figure; we see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported
by the other groups.
We have also studied station quality. Many US stations have low quality rankings
according to a study led by Anthony Watts. However, we find that the warming seen in
the “poor” stations is virtually indistinguishable from that seen in the “good” stations.
We are developing statistical methods to address the other potential biases.
I suggest that Congress consider the creation of a Climate-ARPA to facilitate the study of
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
world temperature data has sufficient integrity to be used to determine global temperature