About Berkeley Earth

Berkeley Earth is an independent U.S. non-profit organization focused on environmental data science.

OUR MISSION AND PURPOSE

Global warming is the defining environmental challenge of our time.  The need for quality, unbiased scientific information about global warming could not be more urgent.  Yet there are few sources of historic global temperature records, the foundation underlying all global warming analysis.

OUR WORK

Berkeley Earth supplies comprehensive open-source world air pollution data and highly user-accessible global temperature data that is timely, impartial, and verified. From this foundation, we further question and investigate the nature of relationships between this data and timely human and environmental issues, such as ocean temperature and acidification. We communicate outcomes in peer-reviewed journals, global print and digital media, at conferences, and on our website.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has added another dimension to Berkeley Earth’s work. As world-wide data and information become available we are collecting and analyzing the impact of the pandemic and its relationship to global warming, weather, climate, air quality, economic impact, and health. Our insights on these topics are being sought and in alignment with our mission, we aim to provide the highest quality independent investigations possible on these and related topics. 

OUR HISTORY

Berkeley Earth was conceived by Richard and Elizabeth Muller in early 2010 when they found merit in some of the concerns of climate skeptics. They organized a group of scientists to reanalyze the Earth’s surface temperature record, and published their initial findings in 2012. Berkeley Earth became an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) in August 2013.

From 2010-2012, Berkeley Earth systematically addressed the five major concerns that global warming skeptics had identified, and did so in a systematic and objective manner. The first four were potential biases from data selection, data adjustment, poor station quality, and the urban heat island effect. Our analysis showed that these issues did not unduly bias the record. The fifth concern related to the over reliance on large and complex global climate models by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the attribution of the recent temperature increase to anthropogenic forces. We obtained a long and accurate record, spanning 250 years and showed that it could be well-fit with a simple model that included a volcanic term and, as an anthropogenic proxy, CO2 concentration. We concluded that the record could be reproduced by just these two contributions, and that inclusion of direct variations in solar intensity did not contribute to the fit.

We released our analysis, programs and established an open database with all the raw data used in our studies. We believe that now it is our responsibility to communicate our findings, in particular with prominent stakeholders familiar with the reasons for global warming skepticism that Berkeley Earth addressed. 

We have several major objectives for our continuing work. We plan further scientific investigations on the nature of climate change, a major education and communications program to strengthen the scientific consensus on global warming, and work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the places that will be the worst emitters over the next 30 years. One key element of this latter program will be to try to forge a new coalition between industry and environmental groups for the use of cleanly-produced natural gas as a bridging fuel to slow global warming over the next few decades – with a particular focus on China.

 OUR VALUES

We staunchly uphold the following organizational values:

  • Independence
  • Impartiality
  • Scientific Excellence
  • Open-Source 

We believe our continued mission and responsibility is to deliver and communicate our findings to the broadest possible audience.  

2020-2021 STRATEGIC GOALS

We have several major objectives for our continuing work:

  • Further scientific investigations on the nature of climate change.
  • Continued identification, investigation, and illustration of opportunities for applications of our global temperature dataset and air pollution data, and work with global industries and governments to inform and support immediate and long-term decision-making on global warming. 
  • Continue as the world leader in the collection, analysis, and presentation of world air quality information. 
  • Establish and strengthen partnerships with national and international media, NGOs, industry leaders, government decision-makers to explore and promote ways to communicate and utilize our data.  
  • Increase the collection, analysis, and presentation of ocean data.

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