An ‘independent’ climate study known as the Berkeley Earth Project has re-confirmed decades of research on climate change. Undertaken largely by physicists, the study, which approached temperature data in a new way, confirms the long-standing science behind a warming world, while negating a number of criticisms put forward by climate skeptics.
“Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK,” team leader Richard Muller, previously an outspoken critic of climate science, told the BBC. “This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions.”
Muller and his team looked at over a billion-and-a-half temperature recordings to find that the Earth is warming at the rate generally laid out by climate institutions such as NASA, NOAA, and the Hadley Centre in the UK: 1 degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1950.
The study found that accounting for the urban heat island effect and poor temperature data did not change the ultimate results: the Earth is warming significantly.
The study was funded by a number of sources including Bill Gates’ climate research fund as well as energy-tycoon Charles Koch’s charitable foundation, known for giving funds to promote climate skepticism.
Scientists for decades have been making the case that the world is getting warmer due to greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels, as well as deforestation and agricultural practices. Global climate change has been linked to melting of the Arctic, global sea level rise, increased droughts and floods, worsening extreme weather, desertification, with predicted impacts including increased global conflict, famine, and mass extinction. Yet nations have been slow to combat ever-rising global emissions.
(10/09/2011) The 2010 drought that affected much of the Amazon rainforest triggered the release of nearly 500 million tons of carbon (1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere, or more than the total emissions from deforestation in the region over the period, estimates a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
(10/05/2011) In 2009, G20 nations committed to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term, yet are further away today than they were two years ago from keeping the pledge. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) fossil fuel subsidies rose by nearly $100 billion in the last year alone, from $312 billion in 2009 to $409 billion in 2010. The agency warned that subsidies could reach $660 billion by 2020 if governments don’t act on reform.
(09/28/2011) After the Arctic sea ice extent hit its second lowest size on record this summer—or lowest (depending on the source)—comes another climate change shocker: in the past six years Canada’s millennia-old ice shelves have shed nearly half their size. One ice shelf—the Serson shelf—is almost entirely gone, while another—the Ward Hunt shelf—has split into two distinct shelves. The ice shelves have lost 3 billion tons in this year alone.