An independent investigation of global warming solidified that global warming remains supported by scientific evidence, leaving skeptics speechless. This study represents that most comprehensive independent review of historical temperature records to date.
Compiling more than a billion temperature records dating back to the 1800s from 15 sources around the world, the University of California, Berkeley researchers reaffirmed that global warming is occurring. More specifically, they found evidence indicating several key issues global warming skeptics claim actually have little to no effect on altering global warming figures.
The researchers calculated the average global land temperature has risen by around 1C since the mid-1950s. These calculations agree with previous estimates from major groups that maintain official records on the world’s climate. These groups include NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Met Office’s Hadley Centre, with the University of East Anglia, in the UK.
By producing the largest open database of temperature records, the researchers hoped to reveal the significance of global warming and cool the debate over its existence.
Global warming skeptics criticized the poor quality of temperature stations data collection methods and potential tweaking of data by hand to create the official global warming figures. Regardless of these factors, researchers still came to the same conclusions.
Additionally, the researchers observed the urban heat island effect, an effect that makes cities warmer than surrounding rural areas. They found that these urban heat islands are locally large and real, yet do not contribute significantly to the average land temperature increases. They explain this by calculating these urban regions make up less than 1% of the Earth’s land area, thus limiting their effect.
In rebuttal to criticism about poor quality data measurements, the researchers found that even if the stations collected less accurate data, the average warming trends appeared similar.
This project was organized by Novim, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization. Its goals are to use science to find answers on current issues facing society and to publish them neutrally. Additional funding came from the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research and the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Lab.
Researchers are still examining global warming, but have now turned their focus to ocean warming trends.