How to cherry-pick data to PROVE “global cooling”

  • Published on August 15th, 2018

The climate science statistician and blogger by the name of Tamino ran a post last week with an intriguing headline question: “USA Temperature: can I sucker you?” In the post, Tamino shows how the sausage is made in Steve Goddard’s recurring graphical misrepresentations.  (Recall that Goddard claims on his “Deplorable Climate Science Blog” and Twitter that summer temperatures and the number of hot days are actually going down. Cool, okay.)

By Climate Denier Roundup

Goddard’s whole schtick is that real scientists cook the books, but to produce a graph like Goddard’s for analysis Tamino has to jump through a lot of hoops. A very specific series of choices are made to produce Goddard’s graphs – using seasonal highs instead of annual averages, extreme highs instead of lows or averages, very selective start date, etc. The result of all these choices? The once-inarguably rising trend line is still positive, although only barely.

There’s a graph going around the internet from Steve Goddard a.k.a. Tony Heller, claiming to show that temperature in the U.S. has been declining, using only high temperatures, using only summertime temperatures, using only data since 1918…

But that’s not good enough for Goddard. No, he goes even further, and uses the raw data instead of the corrected record. He tosses out the changes made to account for measuring at different times of day and the different types of thermometers being used. Basically, all that scientists have learned over the past century is denied.

…based on a simple average without taking into account new stations coming online or old stations retiring or area-weighting or any of that “expert” stuff… We can completely ignore the fact that over the years the average location of all the contributing stations has moved slightly northward to colder territory.

Then, and only then, do you get a graph showing temperature decline.

To answer Tamino’s opening question then: Yes, you can sucker people. But it doesn’t happen by accident, and it’s rarely done by those acting in good faith making legitimate mistakes. It takes effort to be this wrong.

Reality:  yearly average temperature in the conterminous U.S., also known as the “lower 48 states”
Reality: yearly average temperature in the conterminous U.S., also known as the “lower 48 states”

(Originally appeared at DailyKos.)

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