WASHINGTON — A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right:
Temperatures really are rising rapidly.
One of the most prominent global warming skeptics is changing is his tune.
Richard Muller, a physicist who spent two years trying to see if mainstream climate scientists were wrong about the earth's climate changes, determined that they were right, the Associated Press reported.
His findings showed the temperature had risen about 1.6 degrees since the 1950s.
"The skeptics raised valid points and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago," Muller told the AP. "And now we have confidence that the temperature rise that had previously been reported had been done without bias."
Scientists said that Muller can expect some serious backlash from the scientific community - especially climate change deniers.
"Now he's considered a traitor," said author Shawn Lawrence Otto, who wrote a book criticizing climate change deniers.
"For the skeptic community, this isn't about data or fact. It's about team sports. He's been traded to the Indians. He's playing for the wrong team now."
Muller said he was never a denier - he just wanted the studies to be done properly.
Now the scientist, who received part of his funding from a foundation funded by David and Charles Koch, prominent billionaire backers of the Tea Party, is recommending what many climate scientists have done before: decreasing greenhouse gases.
But he hasn't totally gone on the side of environmentalists.
"Global warming is real," he wrote in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.
"Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that."