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For a very long time, despite the shenanigans played by some in the climate science community, I have been strongly persuaded (as has everyone) that global temperatures (whatever that means) have increased by about 1 degree centigrade since the recent warming began. Much of the serious debate has been the extent to which this is human caused, and how serious this warming is as compared to past experiences, such as the so called Medieval Warm Period.

But now I see this. I’ve just finished three books on climate shenanigans, and none makes mention of this as a possibility. Can anyone out there who knows anything about climate science help me get my thoughts around it? For those not wishing to click through, apparently there is some evidence that North American weather stations that have constantly reported data for 100 years are showing something quite different than we are accustomed to seeing. The image is below.

2 Responses to “Can Someone Please Explain This to Me?”

  1. Harry says:

    You can bet no executive of the IPCC ever saw that.

    The writer of that piece would get an A from any non-Marxist professor as a dissertation for a B.S. Degree. He qualifies his observations and conclusions by saying he is a math expert, and does not have a Masters in Ecology from Penn State. That is a plus.

    I have no degree in climatology, and will concede that Wintercow has subjected himself to reading far more, out of duty to his teaching. But I am similarly perplexed by ignorant people making global pronouncements that affect my rice bowl.

    WC, did you see that map? It excluded, depending on how you look at it, anywhere from two thirds of the U.S. to 99.9 percent, even if the instruments were all calibrated to a thousandth degree centigrade, which they were not. They used somebody, not an MIT guy in a white coat, to read the thermometer in Wheeling, and it depended on whether each person read it from the right perspective.

    Here comes the argumentum ad gerundem: anybody who took any lab course before digital scales and used slide rules to estimate the correct answer was .34 moles.

    I agree with Wintercow that it may have warmed up, around a degree, plus or minus a degree. Does everybody need a degree to discuss this subject, and just because Chuck Schumer has a law degree, does that mean he rules the roost?

  2. Trapper_John says:

    I’ve worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ~15 years now, and I guess I have a different standard than most for “proof” and “settled science”. The placebo-controlled trial brings with it a much higher standard for isolating effects than anything that goes on in climatology (or economics, for that matter), yet even there we see misleading results often enough. This approach answers the question “what if we did everything the same except this one thing?” It also requires that a scientist lay out his hypothesis ahead of time–any post hoc analysis that reveals interesting results is considered data dredging.

    As much as this supports my world-view, this analysis looks like data dredging to me. Maybe it’s right and maybe this kind of work is the best we can do in climate science, but if you look at 20 parameters with a 95% confidence hurdle, one of them is going to show an erroneous result (there was a great XKCD on this).

    Final thought: we won’t let even one member of the general public take even one pill of a drug that doesn’t show proof of efficacy and safety (P>0.05) in large placebo-controlled trials, but we will allocate billions of dollars based on trends, dredged data, and tree rings. The standards government holds itself to have always been lower than those it holds its citizenry to.

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