A group of physicists, in part funded by the Koch brothers -- who have long-backed the climate skeptic cause -- have been forced to confirm that global warming is all-too-real. So it's not, after all, a shimmering illusion, conjured up by a feverish conspiracy of grant-hungry climate scientists -- as often alleged by the wilder elements in the skeptical camp.
The graph from the Berkeley team speaks for itself:
Their work in digging out more weather station data, and extending the record back to 1800, has served , if anything, to throw the temperature rise of the last 40 years into sharper relief.
"Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK," said Professor Muller.
"This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change sceptics did not seriously affect their conclusions."
Whilst their surprise may in itself be surprising to many climate scientists, having an critical eye cast over such climate research is no bad thing. In fact it's essential. Lack of openness is what helped the charges of a climate science conspiracy stick. It's only right that science which is making big and bold claims -- and which demand of us big changes in the way we live -- be rigorously dissected.