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You've all heard it before: the climate records have been manipulated, altered, adjusted, forced to fit preconceived theories, it's the urban heat island, it's termometers next to air conditioners, it's data selection bias, the emails confirm the fix is in. The usual climate denier claptrap.

A year or so ago, a couple of scientists on the skeptical side of things, Judith Curry and Richard Muller, decided to take another look a the entire surface temperature record using all the data and the best possible statistical practices, to see whether mainstream climate science had really gotten it right.

Today they announced their findings. Oooops. Climate scientists were right all along.

The team, known as BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) has uploaded preprints of four major papers to be published soon. These papers conclude:

1. The world is warming as fast as mainstream climate scientists have always maintained.

2. Urban heat island effects have been accounted for about right by mainstream climate scientists.

3. Station siting has little if any effect on temperature trends, as mainstream climate scientists have long maintained.


4. Data selection bias does not affect the results, as mainstream climate scientists have long maintained.

All of the BEST data (1.6 billion temperature records, going back to 1800) and analysis programs are available online.

Story in The Economist.

As Joe Romm has noted in Climate Progress, Anthony Watts once said that "I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong."

As one of the biggest pushers of the "thermometers next to airconditioners" theory, it will be interesting to see if he has the honesty to keep his promise. So far, it looks like he won't.

Is anyone surprised?

Originally posted to The Numerate Historian on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 04:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and Science Matters.

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