New study shows Climategate scientists were right
- October 21, 2011 3:12 PM |
- By Quirks
By Bob McDonald, Quirks & Quarks
Another independent study, this time from the United States, has shown that the climate scientists accused of the so-called "Climategate" affair were, in fact, right about the warming of the Earth.
The Berkeley Earth study was an independent scientific group, including this year's Nobel Physics Prize winner Saul Perlmutter, that used different and more detailed methods to analyze past climate records. But they came to the same conclusion that scientists at the University of East Anglia in England, as well as those at NOAA and NASA, have reached: that the climate over land has been on the rise since at least 1800, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
The intent of the study was to quell the voices of climate skeptics, who have charged that scientific methods were flawed and data have been manipulated or skewed to support climate warming. One of the biggest criticisms of past studies is that many weather recording stations are in urban areas, where heat from cities would give false readings. This study, using data from about 40,000 weather stations around the world, showed that while cities do indeed create a heat island effect, they do not affect the overall climate of the planet, because cities only cover about one percent of the land.
The report also showed how cooling periods, which are also used by skeptics to show warming is not happening, are caused by oscillating ocean currents, which can lower average temperatures for years; but then the trend continues its long-term upward climb. It's all part of the process of a changing climate. The scientists in the study have also made all their data and methods available for scrutiny online, to show total transparency.
This is sweet news for scientists at the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia, who had emails hacked and were falsely accused of manipulating data. More importantly, the report will provide ammunition for politicians preparing for the next UN Climate Summit in South Africa next month.
At the same time, a large consortium of more than 200 corporations from around the world, called the 2°C Challenge, is calling for government action on climate change. The business community realizes that there are considerable costs involved if nothing is done to curb climate change, and profits to be made if companies "go green."
In recent years, these annual UN summits have been deadlocked by countries, including Canada, that often claim the climate science is uncertain, and that the cost of change would hurt the economy. This study and the growing consensus of the corporate community (outside the fossil fuel industry) show that those statements are no longer valid excuses for inaction.
The scientists have done their work and stand united on their results. The business community agrees. Now it's time for the politicians to get on with doing something about it.
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