(graph from Berkley Earth Surface Temperature, http://www.BerkeleyEarth.org/)
Climate and climate change have been talking points lately – especially in a political sense, with the whole ‘carbon tax’ thing going on. Something that comes up time and time again, and that I recently waffled on about myself, is that good science on climate and climate change is either not communicated effectively, or drowned out by noisier but less well-informed people. So, the Berkeley Team has put together a very nice and very comprehensive data set and one of the things they’ve found is that climate change is happening (see graph above). Cue shocked gasp.
The Berkeley Team is independent, part of the Novim non-profit group. They have a huge dataset which they are making public, so others can examine and replicate their work. They have combined data from 15 different archives (which is a hell of a lot of temperature readings) and have over a billion separate data points. The team has so far only included land temperatures in their analyses, but hope to include sea temperature readings to further improve the specificity of their results in future work. Their aims are (amongst other things) to improve current techniques for dealing with these kinds of data, to improve robustness and reliability of results derived from the data sets for use in examining temperature change over time.
Robust data for current levels of mean global surface temperature will allow more accurate and reliable models to be built to predict effects of climate change with increasing certainty.
The Executive Director, Elizabeth Muller said that “one of our goals is to make the science behind global warming readily accessible to the public.” (source here). Cue applause.