Climategate part 2

A couple of weeks ago the BBC published a story under the heading of ‘Global warming confirmed by independent study’ – you can read it here. The results were from the Berkeley Earth Project.

Predictions or guesses?

I couldn’t help but notice at the time that the story contained a line suggesting that the ‘report’ was still subject to peer review. So, at the moment, it is really a draft.

I don’t really doubt that man is causing problems on the planet – after all we are using up lots of resources and expending nasty CO2 gases. We need to treat the planet a bit better. My biggest beef is the lack of a coherent and accurate picture. We are basing Policy on some of the assumptions from studies like this.

To make matters worse, in the Mail on Sunday at the weekend a bit more of the story came to life. Professor Richard Muller from Berkeley said that “there was little room for doubt” that the earth was continuing to warm – along the lines of the trajectory from 1950. But then, one of his co-Authors, Professor Judith Curry, has said that this “is not remotely the case”. Her suggestion is that global warming has been flat for a decade.

It is cause for concern that the planet has grown warmer by around 1 degree since 1950, but if the temperature has more or less remained constant for 10 years – would we not be better admitting that, and concentrating on working out why?

The headlines are not helpful – and you have to question the credibility of the figures. In the words of the legal profession, we need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And, as I was taught many years ago – about report writing – “if in doubt, leave it out”.

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