It’s a new year and I thought I’d try to be a bit more organized and look at climate and global warming from several different angles. This may or may not continue depending on my success in creating ideas for posts.
Most scientifically and mathematically illiterate headline I have found to date:
“We may never have another coldest year in history”
(From Salon, Nov 29, 2014)
It is impossible not to have a coldest year. Coldest is a superlative–it is the lowest temperature recorded. It matters not if it’s -20F or 75F. If it’s the coldest (IE lowest) number, it is by definition the coldest. Mathematically, again, the lowest temperature is coldest and the highest is hottest. You see hottest used all the time to describe the temperature in Antarctica. It is the hottest or warmest year ever there. It seems the media understands hottest just fine. Why they can’t grasp coldest is beyond me, but headlines like this one should immediately alert people to the fact that this writer is completely clueless. You’re not going to find anything resembling science written by him/her, except by accident.
I ran into the argument from a skeptic that if you don’t use your “real” name, it’s okay to ignore you. The logic seems to be that if you don’t care enough to sign your name, why should a reader care what you wrote? Interesting. I thought skepticism was science, not authorities, who is and isn’t using their real name, etc. I fail to see why it’s okay for a skeptic to dismiss information because it was written by an anonymous person but it’s wrong for a global warming advocate to dismiss evidence not written by a professional climate scientist in a peer-reviewed journal. The rule of science says the evidence count. Shutting out evidence for whatever reason is extremely unscientific on either side.
Claims of the “hottest year ever” are out once again. We return to the land versus satellite dilemma. In most sciences, more data points from a more uniform distribution are considered better than fewer. That does not seem to be the case with global warming. Global warming reports that form the basis of news headlines are based on land temperatures, which reportedly show warming. So why not use satellite? The only reason I can find is that land gives the answer some individuals and institutions seem to want.
While I was working on this, Gavin Schmidt admitted to the Daily Mail that 2014 may NOT have been the hottest. It was impossible to decide between three years that were statistically the same. The headline read: “Nasa climate scientists: We said 2014 was the warmest year on record… but we’re only 38% sure we were right” So there is higher than 50-50 chance 2014 was not the warmest year, yet NASA told the media it was the hottest year. Lying does little to make people more believing of the global warming scientists.
Another dilemma in the global warming saga–is there a pause or not? At first, a pause was denied. Then all kinds of reasons for the pause were advanced. Currently, it’s a toss up on whether the global warming advocates will agree there is a pause or loudly proclaim there is not. Which means “follow the experts” is useless in this case. I am now referring to this as a “leveling” or a “flattening” of temperatures, which gives no clue as to whether the temperatures will stay the same, go up or go down. That reflects the truth of what we know now.
There are cries from many of the global warming camps that “something must be done” before it’s too late. If reports of “Hottest Year Ever” contradict each other and there’s no agreement on whether or not the temperature increase has flattened or stopped, there is no way, scientifically speaking, for us to know what to do. The answers we are hearing now are pure politics.