Expect the BEST, plan for the worst

Well, I had hoped for the best from BEST, the new Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project looking at the global temperature record. I was disheartened, however, by the Congressional testimony of Dr. Richard Muller of BEST.

Photo Source He said (emphasis mine):

Global Warming

Prior groups at NOAA, NASA, and in the UK (HadCRU) estimate about a 1.2 degree C land temperature rise from the early 1900s to the present. This 1.2 degree rise is what we call global warming. Their work is excellent, and the Berkeley Earth project strives to build on it.

Human caused global warming is somewhat smaller. According to the most recent IPCC report (2007), the human component became apparent only after 1957, and it

amounts to “most” of the 0.7 degree rise since then. Let’s assume the human-caused warming is 0.6 degrees.

The magnitude of this temperature rise is a key scientific and public policy concern. A 0.2 degree uncertainty puts the human component between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees – a factor of two uncertainty. Policy depends on this number. It needs to be improved.

Why do I think his testimony doesn’t help in the slightest? Well, to start with, I’ve never heard anyone make the claim that the land surface air temperature (excluding oceans) of the earth has warmed 1.2°C since 1900.

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