Friday, September 26, 2014

Logic?


Came across this article - The global warming “hiatus” - which takes climate 'skeptics' to task, as "The notion that global warming has gone on “hiatus” is the most popular and persistent myth that climate skeptics and their adherents have asserted (and asserted) in recent years..."

Two points made struck this blogger... The first that 'deniers' engage in cherry-picking to adduce a 'pause' in warming. Thus: "Skeptics choose a couple of arbitrary data points—a temperature reading from early 2000 and another from early 2010, for example—and highlight a temperature drop between them. Because 1998 was a particularly hot year, it often serves as a convenient starting point for skeptics, who point to a slowdown in warming in subsequent years.."

The second point, presumably to demonstrate that warming continues: "...  But the mercury did not actually stop rising: 17 of the last 18 years have been among the hottest on record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center..."

Well, what of it? Using the link supplied by the article itself and plugging in a couple of different starting dates, one distant and one more recent you get the following:

 

Clearly the trend is up... However, also it is fairly clear that even if you do not cherry-pick your dates, there has been a period of relative 'hiatus' in the increases over a little more of the last decade!

OK, so perhaps there are deniers that overemphasize this relatively small period which is relatively 'flat.' However this is not what the article decries; it clearly says that the idea that there has been a 'hiatus' is a  complete myth and insinuates that anyone that thinks so is a cherry-picking climate skeptic. A little 'shrill' methinks.

Well, clearly the fact that "...17 of the last 18 years have been among the hottest on record ..." clearly proves the continued warming? Uh, no! If 17 years ago was the hottest year on record at the time, and then every subsequent year (but one cooler year) was the exact same temperature, this statement would still be true! By itself, this statement is not dispositive at all!

Note: This blogger is not arguing for or against AGW; nor if the earth continues to heat up but that it masked because the heat is being trapped in the deep ocean; or {insert multiple other arguments here}. All he is saying is that these two particular arguments  are nonsensical and a non-sequitur. In fact the writer of this screed implicitly seems to concede a 'hiatus' by including: "...It is a short fluctuation in a long-term upward trend in atmospheric temperatures..."  

Over-reacting to those who exaggerate the 'short fluctuation' by going overboard (in the opposite direction) and denying that it exists may be good politics, but is isn't good logic!

Previous blog entries related to climate:
GHG reductions - some info - Jun 5th, 2014
Random chart - economic fragility - Dec 29th, 2013
Random chart - AGW - Jun 25th, 2013
Misc update - climate change - Jun 17th, 2013
Random charts - deforestation - Jan 8th, 2012
Misc update (climate) - Jan 29th, 2011
Climate denial - Jun 5th, 2010
More on climate - Jan 31st, 2010
Climate change and doubt - Jan 24th, 2010
Meet Dr. Rajendra Pachuri - Jan 23rd, 2010
We wuz wrong - Jan 23rd, 2010
Saving the day... - Dec 20th, 2009
Skimmed milk masquerades as cream - Dec 17, 2009

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