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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Global Warming: Quck Version 
14th-Aug-2006 10:05 am
Inspiration
Statistics not only critiques studies (as I have done before), it also presents other ways to break down studies by finding new approaches to data. Let's illustrate, by taking an approach typically not used, and therefore statistics with less potential for distortion by advocates for either side.

For those who want to test global warming in a quick and dirty way, here goes:

Pick up your almanac.

Make an assumption: the US is part of the globe, and effects which span the globe have an effect in the United States.

Make another assumption: however rich the US is, it can't buy better weather than anyplace else.

Get to the page that lists record temperatures, both high and low, for all 50 states. Note that only the most recent occurance of a record will be used, biasing the study slightly toward recent, as opposed to older, occurances, making global warming easier to prove.

Break up the records by decade. Hypothesis: You should expect to see lots more records in the recent decades than in past decades, indicating that the climate is getting warmer.

What do you find? Well, you have 50 states, so there are 50 records.

24 of those heat records were set in the 1930s. Six were set in the 1990s. Five in 1910-1919. Four in the 1980s and 1950s. Two in the 70s and 20s. One in the 1960s, 1880s and 1890s. None were set after 2000.

So let's get this straight: almost half (48%) came from a decade BEFORE the trend was supposed to begin. Only six of the 50 (that's 12%, folks) came from the decade with the "highest global temperature ever recorded". None have occured since. That's right: of the 50, 33 occured before 1950, and 17 occured since, for a split of 66% to 34%: two thirds of the heat records were set before 1950. Pretty discouraging for the hypothesis.

Well, what about those who say that global warming will increase the variation of the climate, meaning that we have more extreme weather events? Let's look at the records for the low temperatures. If we use the 1950 dividing line, we get a more even split: 52% before 1950 and 48% since. Once again, the 1930s dominate, with 11 (22%) of the records. Maybe those global cooling articles from the 70s (PDF) had a point. A bad one, and one they didn't understand, but what's different now?

Katrina! Ok, let's look at that. For those with a historical memory, September 8, 1900 was a more severe hurricane: it wiped out half of Galveston, TX. I know there have been some statistically bad studies about hurricane intensity, but I want you to notice something: we've had a normal, not severe, hurricane season this year, despite all the scare articles.

Let's file that under "not proven yet" shall we?

UPDATE: Another useful graph from government sources, and, as suspected by some, government gets angry at all this insistance that they should be truthful (as a resident of California, I suppose I should watch my mail for a subpoena). If you want a more statistics-heavy treatment of global warming, check this out. If you'd like to know if global warming is a fraud, and whether frauds occur in science, see this, and go to its links Or, if you'd prefer to do something more useful for society, go to Starbucks and sit for a moment with a cup of coffee, clearing your mind, then go back to work.

FURTHER UPDATE: Check out the end of the world and reality, and remember that those whose case has weaknesses will be impelled to shout louder. Finally, check out the facts.
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