Dr. Richard Muller is a professor of physics at the University of California in Berkeley (UCB) and the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). He was also a climate skeptic until recently.
This made him a very reputable figure for climate change deniers to have on their side. So they financed the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study, a large-scale study meant to refute past evidence and research. Or at least that's what its funders hoped will happen.
But Dr. Muller, in spite of him not agreeing with studies conducted by other teams, analyzed the evidence he and his team collected, and concluded that past studies were correct, and that the world is indeed warming.
At the March 31 congressional hearing on climate science, he made his standpoint know, prompting panic among climate change deniers that supported his work and expected an easy win.
You need to stay tuned to this situation, because now they will try to discredit the scientist that they selected as their champion precisely because of his recommendations. It will be really interesting to see how this situation develops.
Dr. Muller testified in front of the US House of Representatives Committee of Science, Space and Technology, and said that the three main datasets supporting the theory that Earth is warming are true.
The datasets were created by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and British researchers from the Hadley Center Climate Research Unit (HadCRU).
“Based on the preliminary work we have done, I believe that the systematic biases that are
the cause for most concern can be adequately handled by data analysis techniques,” the Berkeley Lab expert wrote in the testimony he delivered to the committee (pdf here).
“The world temperature data has sufficient integrity to be used to determine global temperature trends,” he added. This is precisely what climate skeptics did not want to hear.
One of the most important monetary contributions to the study was from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000). The Foundation belongs to oil billionaires Charles and David Koch, who are well-known for funding efforts to disprove global warming.
They do it because, if legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions passes, then they will be put out of business. They do not have anyone's best interest at heart except their own.
Sources: Cattle Network, Los Angeles Times, Berkeley Earth