Why I distrust using data only to prove a point.

In the global warming fiasco wars, there is so cotton picking much emphasis placed on trends. Headlines yell about how the temperature these days is so much warmer and how if this keeps up we are all gonna fry. Let me see if I can show you why I am so skeptical of these claims.
Data can be manipulated in so many ways. One of the easiest is by simply picking and choosing your data range. Now consider the following graph:

chart a

(Right click on chart and select open in another tab to see larger.)

This is a simple plot of the yearly temperatures at one of the coop weather stations from the year 1920 through 2013. As you can see there is nothing particularly exciting about it. If you look close the trend line (labeled linear value 1) is nicely flat. One might say that this chart shows that over the years, there is no sign of increasing or decreasing temps. They could say that as far as temperatures increasing goes, the trend is flat, or that the trend shows no increase in temperatures.
Now, consider this second chart:

chart b

What does this chart show? Well, to begin with it is the exact same data as the first chart. All I did was take that column of data in Excel and copy it two times. Then in the second column (value 2) I deleted the first twenty years worth of data. In the third column, I deleted all the way up until year 1960 (40 years data).
I put in trend lines for all chart series. In the first series (value 1) the trend line is flat, just like the initial chart. In the second series, you see an increase of what, about 1 degree Fahrenheit? Something like that. In the case of the third series however, it is what, much closer to 3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now understand, this is the exact same data repeated for a total of three times. The only difference is where I choose to begin the series.

How are any of these charts going to tell you what all is going to happen?  They are not going to. You see it is how you interpret that data tells you what is going on. But what this shows is how you can choose to display the data in a particular way as to what story it is going to tell.

chart c
Now I can get all excited and say that if the trend displayed in this above chart continues , we are all gonna fry, I say, FRY!

Or I can say, no, go look at the first chart. There is nothing to worry about. There has been no major temperature change since 1920.
Take your pick. It is all the same data, simply presented a little differently.

 

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2 thoughts on “Why I distrust using data only to prove a point.

  1. Yes, starting and ending dates are critical, especially when we are graphing something that has recurring cycle to it. If you start graphing your data at the high point of a cycle, then you are guaranteed to get a declining trend for all years until you reach the next high point, at which time you will have a momentary trend of zero — and then back to declining trends again. You can actually have a long-term stable periodic system that shows a negative (sometime large, sometime small, but always negative) trend 99.9% of the time if you always start your chart at the high point. Ditto positive trends that start at low points.

    Additionally, why do climate charts hardly ever have error bars on them? Isn’t that important? If we have a century’s worth of data, a trend of one degree warming per century, and an error bar of one and a half degrees, would we worry? I wouldn’t…

    And again, how much good does it do to show a chart based on an average of the daily high and low? Does that tell us much? Imagine two cities, one has a daily low of 60 degrees and a daily high of 80 degrees for an average of 70 degrees. Another city has a daily low of 30 degrees and a daily high of 110 degrees for an average of 70 degrees. Are the two cities equivalent in any meaningful way? The same principle applies with yearly averages; do yearly averages tell us anything useful about growing seasons, habitability, etc.? Suppose you have two cities, both with a low of 60 and a high of 80 for a 70 average. In one city the low temperature period lasts all night and most of the day with a very brief spike to 80. In the other, the opposite with a brief low of 60 and most of the day at 80. Again, are these two cities equivalent?

    Face it, the current reporting of so-called “climate science” is rigged to produce disaster sound bites. “Climate science” is not science — it is politics, and the lowest form of politics, it is propaganda, demagoguery, and fraud.

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    • I agree and this is a lot of the problem with the way the issue is presented. I do believe that originally, those investigating were a lot better about how they analyzed the data. At first it was an effort to find out what was happening. Lately it is an effort only to demonstrate that the original hypothesis is not in error. Some people simply can never say, “Well, turns out this is a mistake.”

      That is the way it seems to me. What distresses me is the way they try and use the hype to get everyone so worried that they will not question what they are doing. I also believe it is starting to blow backup in their faces as more and more people are questioning it.

      As I say, Would like to see if someone can design a way to find the warming trend existing in the real world. Take, for example yesterday where I am. 4 pm, 79 degrees. 3 mph wind out of the north. Last few years, it would have been lucky to be 79 in the middle of the evening and instead of being 79 it would more likely have been 97 at 4 pm. So, what part of this day is because of global warming? It is just weather. This roll of the dice, it is a cool summer. Next year, it might be like this again, or it may go back to the way it was a couple of years ago. Normal ordinary climate variations, normal ordinary weather patterns.

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