Hey Everybody! It’s Another Global Cooling Report!

Posted on 5th March 2008 by Ryan Somma in Enlightenment Warrior - Tags: , , ,

I’m sure this one, unlike the last one and the one before that is for really real this time. Really. This one even made Digg, Drudge, Faux Noise, etc, etc… meaning it’s totally got legs for absolutely certain this time. Right?

The article in question openly admits that they’ve had nothing but anecdotal evidence to support their “Global Cooling” hypothesis for the last few months, but then tries to lay claim to some hard scientific evidence with the fact that there was a sudden global temperature drop in January. From this fact, they make a claim that is pretty bizarre:

The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year’s time.

Uh…??? The meteorologist and AGW Skeptic, Anthony Watts, who brought attention to this unusual, sudden temperature drop with a collection of charts surveying four sources, takes issue with this claim:

There has been no “erasure”. This is an anomaly with a large magnitude, and it coincides with other anecdotal weather evidence. It is curious, it is unusual, it is large, it is unexpected, but it does not “erase” anything. (Emphasis mine.)

DailyTech’s statement is completely nonsensical, and something only a dittohead could uncritically swallow. While I disagree strongly with his methods and reasoning, I do appreciate Anthony Watts’ urging his commenters “Don’t rush Science,” when they try to make some unsupportable leaps of logic to their conclusions.

Thirteen Month Global Temperature Drop
Global Temperature

(Red Line Added
to show the Mean)

Where I take issue with Watts, is in his repeatedly saying “12 month period,” when he is, in fact, referring to a 13 month period. February 2007 to January 2008 would be 12 months, and would have returned a slightly less dramatic delta. This is important, because Watts has moved the field goals by one month to score a bigger talking point, but is framing it as a year to match the real science.

As we can see on all the charts he provides, January 2007 was an unusually warm peak in global temperature and January 2008 was an unusually cold drop (although still above the mean). He then subtracts the extreme low from the extreme high, and… Voila! A global temperature drop.

So… big whoop. There are highs and lows all over the chart, I could subtract any of the lower temperatures following 1998’s peak and claim a global temperature drop. Would that mean a Global Cooling trend, as the dittoheads (Not Watts) are claiming? No. That would just be more anecdotal evidence. The dittoheads are cherry-picking data out of the larger trend to support their claims.

And what is that trend? Even the briefest glance at HadCRUT’s, NASA’s, UAH’s, and RSS’s hard data plainly illustrates the trend, a steady, gradual increase in temperatures. Not anecdotal evidence from comparing two Januaries, but a trend encompassing more than a century of measurements in some cases.

Even with a dramatic temperature drop over 13 months, 2007-plus-Jan08 is still an above average warm 13 month period. According to NASA’s GISS, 2007 tied for second warmest year on record, and according to the NOAA, 2007 was the fifth warmest worldwide, but then, they didn’t include January 2008, did they?

Trend VS Anecdotal Evidence
Trend VS Anecdotal Evidence

Phil Plait, the Daily Kos, Misanthropic Principle, Climate Progress, and others have all posted responses to this latest bit of pure rhetoric, but I thought it important to throw my own critical explanation for why this latest dittohead attempt to subvert science was so disingenuous.

The good news is that the Main-Stream Media wasn’t fooled for a second, which, of course, the Dittoheads took as evidence further validating their position, because we all know newspapers, news broadcasts, wikipedia, books, and scientists are all part of a vast librul conspiracy.

I wish the “liberal” media was this sloppy and illogical, then they’d link to my blog as a reference. Maybe I should switch sides and blogwhore myself out to the dittoheads. It can’t be that difficult. Lobotomies are still legal, right?


  1. Nice post!! I missed the bit about 13 months. Good catch. What I really don’t get, as noted in my own post, was how this guy can look at a perfectly good graph of temperatures showing that the coldest point in the last 20 years or so is still warmer than the warmest point from 80+ years ago and say that a single year erases all of that warming.

    I do have to disagree strongly with one point you make though … lobotomies are not legal. From the wikipedia lobotomy page:

    In 1977, the U.S. Congress created a National Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research to investigate allegations that psychosurgery — including lobotomy techniques — was used to control minorities and restrain individual rights. It also investigated after-effects of the surgery. The committee concluded that some extremely limited and properly performed psychosurgery could have positive effects.

    By the early 1970s the practice had generally ceased, but some countries continued small-scale operations through the late 1980s. In France, 32 lobotomies were performed between 1980 and 1986 according to an IGAS report; about 15 each year in the UK, 70 in Belgium, and about 15 for the Massachusetts General Hospital of Boston.

    Of course, this lack of lobotomies completely fails to explain observable human intelligence, or lack thereof, in the U.S.

    Personally, I’d rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.

    Comment by Misanthropic Scott — March 5, 2008 @ 8:09 am

  2. Sorry, the two paragraphs following the wikipedia link were supposed to be quoted. The last two sentences are, quite obviously, not from wikipedia.

    Comment by Misanthropic Scott — March 5, 2008 @ 8:10 am

  3. Ryan, if you say Dittohead like one more time, I might just kill myself :P

    Comment by Nick Hamden — March 5, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  4. Misanthropic Scott,

    What I really don’t get, as noted in my own post, was how this guy can look at a perfectly good graph of temperatures showing that the coldest point in the last 20 years or so is still warmer than the warmest point from 80+ years ago

    This is an extremely important point you’ve brought brought up on your blog, and one I can’t emphasize enough. Thanks for mentioning it.


    It’s what they call themselves. Who am I to argue with them? Oh yeah… ANYWAYS, I use the word to distinguish these sheep from Conservatives with actual ideological integrity, like the late Bill Buckley, who I admired despite disagreeing with 90% of what he said. : )

    Comment by ideonexus — March 5, 2008 @ 10:25 pm

  5. ma come scrivi? ucciditi per favore

    Comment by mandragola — June 11, 2008 @ 8:59 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.