Skeptics’ Last, BEST Hope?


On Thursday, University of California-Berkeley physicist Richard Muller put out his much-anticipated Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project (BEST). Muller had been a skeptic of human-caused global warming, was highly critical of climate scientists, and was beloved by climate deniers who thought he would finally prove them right.

Unfortunately for them (and the Koch brothers, who spent $150,000 on the project), Muller’s alternative analysis of global climate data found the same rise in temperatures. It became clear a few months ago that Muller’s report was probably going to be a let down for deniers—he previewed Thursday’s results in testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology in March. “Global warming in my evaluation is real and much of it, if not most of it, is caused by humans,” Muller said in a recent speech. Here’s what his team’s analysis of 1.6 billion temperature reports from 15 data archives looks like:

See Kevin Drum for more on the report and the skeptics’ reaction.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.