Koch-Funded Study Finds 2.5 Degrees Fahrenheit Warming Of Land Since 1750 is Manmade, ‘Solar Forcing Does Not Appear to Contribute’

Joe Romm
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Monday 21 January 2013
This Koch-funded reanalysis of millions of temperature observations from around the world, “A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011,” concludes: solar forcing does not appear to contribute to the observed global warming of the past 250 years; the entire change can be modeled by a sum of volcanism and a single anthropogenic (human-made) proxy.
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The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) has finally published its findings on the cause of recent global warming. This Koch-funded reanalysis of millions of temperature observations from around the world, “A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011,” concludes:

 

… solar forcing does not appear to contribute to the observed global warming of the past 250 years; the entire change can be modeled by a sum of volcanism and a single anthropogenic [human-made] proxy.

 

 

The decadal land surface temperature from BEST average (black line), “compared to a linear combination of volcanic sulfate emissions (responsible for the short dips) and the natural logarithm of CO2 (responsible for the gradual rise) shown in red. Inclusion of a proxy for solar activity did not significantly improve the fit. The grey area is the 95% confidence interval.”

You may recall that back in July, Richard Muller, BEST’s Founder and Scientific Director, published aNY Times op-ed, “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic,” which concluded

Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

The finding itself is “dog bites man” (see It’s “Extremely Likely That at Least 74% of Observed Warming Since 1950″ Was Manmade; It’s Highly Likely All of It Was).

What makes this “man bites dog” is that Muller has been a skeptic of climate science, and the single biggest funder of this study is the “Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000).” The Kochs are the leading funder of climate disinformation in the world!

Muller further explained:

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, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.

These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming.

In short, a Koch-funded study has found that the IPCC “consensus” underestimated both the rate of surface warming and how much could be attributed to human emissions!

The Koch-finded study also finds, “the rate of warming we observe is broadly consistent with the IPCC estimates of 2-4.5°C warming (for land plus oceans) at doubled CO2.” A summary of BEST’s findings are on their website.



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ABOUT Joe Romm

Joe Romm is a Fellow at American Progress and is the editor of Climate Progress, which New York Times columnist Tom Friedman called "the indispensable blog" and Time magazine named one of the 25 “Best Blogs of 2010.″ In 2009, Rolling Stone put Romm #88 on its list of 100 “people who are reinventing America.” Time named him a “Hero of the Environment″ and “The Web’s most influential climate-change blogger.” Romm was acting assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy in 1997, where he oversaw $1 billion in R&D, demonstration, and deployment of low-carbon technology. He is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.

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18 comments on "Koch-Funded Study Finds 2.5 Degrees Fahrenheit Warming Of Land Since 1750 is Manmade, ‘Solar Forcing Does Not Appear to Contribute’"

Peter Tocci

January 25, 2013 1:24pm

Just to play devil's advocate, if anyone thinks that a scam cannot be run on the scale that CO2 warming might be running, they should consider the HIV/AIDS scenario.

According to the meticulous research of Janine Roberts in her book "Fear Of the Invisible," the original 1984 Gallo/Popovic papers published in "Nature" were shown by no less than three top-level Government reviews (in the 1990's) to be total junk. So poorly done, that no one could have repeated the experiments (although that was actually forbidden (!) in order to get AIDS research money).

Moreover, those studies said to prove HIV/AIDS were not even designed to do so, but were altered and marked up by Gallo just prior to publication.

That is, a monster scam was pulled on society, followed by a huge boom in research that at one time involved 10,000 researchers globally—operating on an unproven hypothesis.

To add insult to injury, the 1990's revelations about Gallo's crime were never brought to light, and the lie was allowed to proceed, ruining the lives of probably millions of people. Gallo himself suffered only a (forced) resignation from NIH for hijacking a virus sent to him by French virologist Luc Montagnier and calling it his own. Whereas, he should stil be hanging by the thumbs.

To date, no one has shown that HIV causes AIDS, and it's so bad now that some scientists doubt the very existence of HIV! One scientific group that disputes and debunks HIV/AIDS is the Perth Group of Australia www.theperthgroup.com/index.shtml

No one is saying people are not getting sick. The cause(s) and remedies are what's in question, and Dr Mercola (and others) have said that the side effects of the AIDS drugs are indistinguishable from AIDS.

Granted, it SEEMS that AIDS research was/is much more tightly controlled than climate research. Still, politics often rules science in human hands—and the reporting of it.

Another thought about warming is on the conspiratorial level. Let's say one motive for promoting the CO2 hypothesis is part of the Elite's globalization Agenda, or the global fascist state, a la Orwell's "1984" on steroids. One aspect of this would be the already-proposed (UN) global "carbon tax," taxing (with interest-bearing debt) being primary Elite mechansims of control via the theft of wealth. That noted evil entities deny CO2 warming, such as "OilCo," gives the hypothesis some momentum by the reverse-psych effect. It should be remembered also that part of the Elite "MO" is to operate on both sides of conflict.

I also wonder where all the CO2 was coming from in 1750? Although the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1700's, it's hard to believe that enough CO2 was being produced by 1753 to have any effect. And we didn't really get rolling here till the 19th century, while modern production of oil began mid-19th. Woodburning/coalburning stoves? Railroads? Still doesn't seem to be enough, given the smaller population level.

Also, to say that the sun has no effect seems a logical fallacy on the order of saying that because an area of the world got warm "mid evil," humans could not be the cause now.

The biggest puzzle of all, of course, is why and how the Koch funding of this "reanalysis" occurred. Bureaucratic error? Support for the carbon tax? Pure epiphany? :-)

pbillp65

January 22, 2013 6:29am

Think the Koch Bros will spend as much money fighting man made global warming as they did to finance the Global Warming Denier Propaganda Campaign?
Nah.

Clay C

January 22, 2013 12:51am

I am glad to see that Jeltez concedes (apparently) that human contribution of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is contributing to warming. He (she) should now do some reading and find out how little of the atmospheric carbon dioxide comes from such things as volcanoes and continental drift. That might be at least a start toward understanding the systems that control atmospheric temperature. Jeltez is flirting with another logical fallacy that is common among the deniers; the claim that we should not worry about human additions of CO2 because natural sources contribute much more than we do. The answer to this fallacy is that, in nature the releases of CO2 are balanced by the absorbtion of that gas by natural sinks, such as the oceans. Whatever we add to the air upsets that balance and causes warming warming which triggers releases by the oceans, a multiplyer effect. All of this information can be easily found by anyone who wants to know about the science.

So, since Jeltez is frustrated by the lack of suggestions about how to address our spewing of carbon dioxide into the air, I eagerly await his list of actions we can take to decrease our emissions. Or is he saying we have none, that the only thing we can do is "adapt or join the non-adapting species in the fossil record". I assume that "adapt" means getting used to suffering. Since he has never heard of any proposals for controlling carbon dioxide emissions all I can conclude is that he is a non-reader. Maybe he needs to come up with the answer , because, frankly, his carping is tiresom.

jeltez42

January 21, 2013 7:24pm

Like it or not, the climate is going to change. We can either adapt or join the non-adapting species in the fossil record. The alarmists never want to discuss what can be done to improve air and water quality nor do they want to discuss how to reduce emissions from power plants. All they want to do is carp about human emissions and how can we create a Goldilocks climate. No real answers from them just constant gnashing of teeth, pointing fingers at everyone but themselves, and carping over non-issues.

The climate changes all the time, with or without humans. All life on this planet impacts the climate, so do volcanos, and continental drift. We are just now learning about how the Sun changes over time and how our magnetic field is changing. We have to change the way we live and we have to adapt to parts of our world being hotter, colder, drier, or wetter. There are so many other factors involved in climate change than just humans. Too bad the alarmists don't want to accept this fact.

greghilbert

January 22, 2013 2:01pm

Jeltez42, your comment is a curiously nonsensical combination of denial and resentment. You don't like the proofs that global warming is both real and a consequence of human-caused emissions, so you rant bizarre denials and rail against "alarmists" while taking cover behind the complexities of climate change and making the absurd statement that "alarmists" don't want to propose or discuss mitigation. Here's one for you: let's cut spending on war, defense and homeland security by 25% (or cut it by 10% and raise the rest via taxes on the wealthy and on financial trading), and invest it in energy efficiency and clean renewables. Germany is making big strides with solar even though it gets less sunshine than most of the continental USA landmass. Here's another mitigation idea : turn off your internet-connected computer. You are wasting electricity.

Zerilos

January 21, 2013 10:17pm

Absolutely nobody denies that climate change can occur for reasons other than human activity; and yet almost all research being done on the topic of modern warming points to the fact that increases in greenhouse gasses are the primary driver of current temperature increases. The other factors that could influence global temperatures can and have been measured and ruled out as the cause of the current increase. There exists a significant consensus among climatologists that carbon emissions are the cause of the increases we current are seeing. Don't get me wrong, I don't think we're going to take the steps necessary to stop global warming; after all most of us will be dead before the poop hits the fan.

metoo

January 21, 2013 7:11pm

Most of the time I overlook poor spelling and grammar in the comments section but Mister B wins the prize and deserves a mention for "the mid evil warming period."

Clay C

January 21, 2013 3:37pm

Mister B has read a few books churned out by the right wing propaganda machine and thinks that reading them is what constitutes reading about glogal warming. Being the expert he is, he apparently has not felt the need to read anything produced by the 97 percent of climatologists who think otherwise. His argument about the medieval warming period is typical of the misrepresentations put out by the n0n-thinkers, and is absolutely false concerning human impact on climate. Europe and the North Atlantic were warmer but other parts of the globe were cooler. The average worldwide temperature at that time was similar to the average at the beginning of the 20th century- in other words cooler than today. But even so, his comment is irrelevant. B is practicing one of the most fundamental lapses of llogic of the deniers; the idea that if there are natural swingts in climate that human activities can not also contribute to climate change. Everyone has known for a long time that climate changes naturally. To claim this also means that human addition of carbon dioxide can not cause climate change is a logial fallacy of thye first order, but it is the stock-in-trade of the right wing these days..

bcbossarte's picture
bcbossarte

January 21, 2013 2:48pm

Mister B you must be working for the 'boys'....anyone who would believe a study funded by them is uneducated and listens to mainstream media.
These boys have a loooong history of unethical behavior.

greggerritt

January 21, 2013 2:03pm

As for the fertilizers, compost works better, and reduces carbon emissions.

Kalmbach

January 21, 2013 1:15pm

Apparently, Mister B has never been to northern England, which is quite a productive agricultural area. Furthermore, increasing global temperatures will cause melting of the Arctic ice caps. Increasing salinity in the North Atlantic will cause the Gulf Stream Current to loop back on itself further and further south. The Gulf Stream is what keeps northern and central Europe (Britain included) from looking more like North Dakota (which is at the same latitude). In short, global warming would not be a good thing. Science doesn't care whether you believe in it or not.

Mister B

January 21, 2013 1:58pm

I don't need to go to northern England. They call them books. You might try one called"Unstoppable Global Warming" or "The Politically Incorrect Guide To Global Warming" just to name two. There are many more. There's much to learn.

Zerilos

January 21, 2013 10:22pm

Ironically the thesis presented in Unstoppable Global Warming" is inconsistent with the medieval warming trend you mentioned earlier. If global warming was an inevitable occurrence every 1500 years then we shouldn't be due for another cycle for 700 - 900 years if the medieval warm period was the last occurrence.

Mister B

January 21, 2013 12:54pm

Here we go again. More man made global warming nonsense. Who was responsible for the mid evil warming period (950-1250 AD)? It got so warm during that time that grapes grew in northern England and Greenland was green. It is now a huge ice cube. Global warming is good. Did you ever see crops grow in the winter?

Zerilos

January 21, 2013 9:31pm

The medieval warming period does not invalidate the possibility of modern human contribution to global warming. For one thing, the medieval warming period did not achieve temperatures as warm as they are today. For another, nobody suggests that humans are the only possible cause of warming throughout history. In this current warming trend, it does appear that humans are the most significant factor according to what is a very significant scientific consensus. Please watch the video I've linked for more info regarding this subject.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CY4Yecsx_-s&feature=plpp

MountainMan23

January 21, 2013 11:51am

Thanks for posting!

Now let's see what Koch Industries does about it ..

(not holding my breath!)

Mister B

January 21, 2013 1:00pm

Let's hope the Koch boys keep doing what they have been doing. Producing, creating jobs and bringing products to the marketplace which provide us with a better quality of life. They also manufacture fertilizers which help in the growing of crops which feed us. Thank You Koch Brothers!

Jeffrey Hill

January 21, 2013 11:21am

Somebody isn't being a Kochroach "team player", and that has serious financial repercussions for not towing the company line.