Saturday, April 02, 2011

Berkeley Earth Group First Data Analysis

I mentioned a while back about the Berkeley Earth Group's project that was headed by Richard Muller, that aims to collect an extensive amount of data on the Earth's global temperature. The project and the group are not without controversy (as is the case with something within the area). There are skepticism surrounding the effort, especially considering some of the sponsor of the project. Still, as I wrote in one of the blog entries, I'm still curious to see what they would have come up with.

Well, we now have an initial indication of what they are finding, and it happened during a "charged" congressional hearing on Earth's climate.

Let's just say that those who were hoping that Muller's project would debunk climate warming took a severe blow with this one.

There are two separate issues here that should be considered:

1. When you have different studies considering different things, and then they ALL came up with very consistent results (see the graph), it is very difficult not to be convinced of the validity of the conclusion. I'd like to see similar consistencies in results that led to various policies in politics, economics, social sciences, etc.

2. It is of course unfair to simply label Republicans in the US Congress as being "anti-science", or have very little regards for scientific opinions that are contrary to their own beliefs. However, when there is a pattern of disregard, starting from Presidential candidates past and present, and when you think a lawyer, an economist, and a professor in marketing can actually provide meaningful evidence (rather than persuasion) with regards to scientific policies, it is very difficult for me to overlook such a thing and fall into such unfair label for that party. The blatant disregard for the importance (both scientific and economic) of science funding with a catastrophic budget bill proposal simply reinforced such a view.


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