Reason.com, a libertarian website, has an advance copy of a New York Times op/ed piece to be published ?tomorrow? laying out the results of a Charles Koch Foundation-funded study at Berkeley (you may recall the acronym for this Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project is "BEST)," run by former skeptic/denier Richard Muller. More details can be found here. They released preliminary findings in March 2011.
They have basically cofirmed the "hockey stick" concept, and attributed the warming to mankind:
Our results show that the average temperature of the Earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, and one and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase is due to the human emission of greenhouse gases.
These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change...
In analyzing previous studies, they were able to debunk (actually re-debunk, but who's counting?) the popular denialist talking points:
We carefully studied issues raised by skeptics: biases from urban heating (we duplicated our results using rural data alone), data selection (prior groups selected less than 20% of the available temperature stations; we used virtually 100%), poor station quality (we separately analyzed good stations and poor ones), and from human intervention and data adjustment (our work is completely automated and hands-off). In our papers we demonstrate that none of these potentially troublesome effects unduly biased our conclusions. ...The op-ed/Muller adds a troubling prediction:
I expect the rate of warming to proceed at a steady pace, about 1.5 degree F over land in the next 50 years, less if the oceans are included. But if China continues its rapid growth (it has averaged 10% per year over the last 20 years) and its vast use of coal (typically adding one new gigawatt per month), then that same warming could take place in less than 20 years.What could be more important to discuss in the current presidential campaign than this?
oh wait... Michelle Obama's wardrobe.