It’s been another week of energy headlines and with the pressure on for the Government to tackle rising fuel bills; it’s good to get a reminder of why the UK needs to remain committed to tackling carbon emissions too. The findings of Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) group yesterday provided a self confidence boost for climate scientists with their findings that the average temperature of the earth’s surface has increased – by 1 °C overall since 1950.
The team, led by physicist Professor Richard Muller, was created following ‘Climategate’ from UEA and intended to examine the claims that previous climate studies had ignored the impact of localised warming caused by urban developments at the weather stations providing data. They were also tasked with investigating whether warming is a truly global trend.
The project analysed recorded temperatures from stations using a methodology which excluded results from urban stations. They concluded that the urban heat island effect is not responsible for the increase in temperature recorded by the weather stations. The study also found that their new results agreed closely with those of existing climate studies, which climate sceptics had suggested were unreliable.
A further twist in the tale is that the BEST study was actually funded by various organisations, including some that are lobbying against action on climate change. A good review of the BEST group and their findings can be found on the Carbon Brief.