Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reality's well-known liberal bias reveals itself again

You can almost hear the Koch Brothers from here: "Dammit, who put the eggheads on the payroll?"

Critics' review unexpectedly supports scientific consensus on global warming

A UC Berkeley team's preliminary findings in a review of temperature data confirm global warming studies.

. . . The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was launched by physics professor Richard Muller, a longtime critic of government-led climate studies, to address what he called "the legitimate concerns" of skeptics who believe that global warming is exaggerated.

But Muller unexpectedly told a congressional hearing last week that the work of the three principal groups that have analyzed the temperature trends underlying climate science is "excellent.... We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups."

. . . The Berkeley project's biggest private backer, at $150,000, is the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Oil billionaires Charles and David Koch are the nation's most prominent funders of efforts to prevent curbs on the burning of fossil fuels, the largest contributor to planet-warming greenhouse gases. . . .

But conservative critics who had expected Muller's group to demonstrate a bias among climate scientists reacted with disappointment.

Anthony Watts, a former TV weatherman who runs the skeptic blog, wrote that the Berkeley group is releasing results that are not "fully working and debugged yet.... But, post normal science political theater is like that."

Over the years, Muller has praised Watts' efforts to show that weather station data in official studies are untrustworthy because of the urban heat island effect, which boosts temperature readings in areas that have been encroached on by cities and suburbs.

But leading climatologists said the previous studies accounted for the effect, and the Berkeley analysis is confirming that, Muller acknowledged. "Did such poor station quality exaggerate the estimates of global warming?" he asked in his written testimony. "We've studied this issue, and our preliminary answer is no." . . .