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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 62034  
Subject: Re: As heard and seen in weather news Date: 5/4/2013 2:51 PM
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salaryguru, that is not actually true. As I have already stated, I am not a climate scientist. But I listen to them. Cold weather, unusual weather, weather extremes, they are all a part of the future of our climate due to global warming. That includes record snow - first time measurable snow ever in May in Arkansas and records for May snowfall in 3 states AND the cold weather where tele lives. Arctic scientists say that this cold weather is due to the melting arctic, which they believe is causing a meandering jet stream and extra large swings to the north and the south, meandering in a crazy pattern.

That could well be true, but you have to be very careful not to make the same mistake tele is making. That is, weather is variable and what we're seeing on any individual day could be simply due to normal variation and not due to any type of global trend. It might be true, but it isn't necessarily true. I don't know if you read Joe Romm's blog or not. It is hugely informative about climate issues, but he pins any type of extreme weather on global warming. It is somewhat irritating because that is the same type of intellectual dishonesty the deniers use. I'm disappointed he doesn't elevate his discussion because he's so good otherwise.

Anyway, onto tele's mistake(s). We have reliable air temperature data back to 1880. The data set is here:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.txt

Out of that 132 year period, here at the 15 hottest years (ties are on the same line):

1-2: 2010, 2005
3-8: 2007, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009
9-12: 2012, 2011, 2001, 2004
13: 2008
14: 1997
15: 1995

Like other data with lots of variability--like say, stock market data--you need to look at the trend. It is clear which direction the trend is going. One way of smoothing the data is to use means. The five year means are provided in that data set, and it even more clear which way the trending is going.

Note that 1998 was a fairly hot year, tied for 3rd. The Dr. Zaius-like trick that tele used was to cherry pick a hot year as the year "global warming ended" and ignore the trend. If he would have picked say 1992 which was an unusually cool year, then it would look like Earth has heated up extremely quickly. Note that with the lone exception of 2008, all of the hottest years ever recorded have come since 1998. And 2008 was still one of the hottest years ever recorded. The 2000s were the hottest decade ever recorded. Next was the 1990s, after that was the 1980s...The trend cannot be more clear.

The other mistake tele is making is assuming the only way to measure warming is by measuring the air temperature. The oceans are heating up too, and so is the land. You have to look at everything.
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