Skip to content

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics … and Graphs

Watts Up With That?
April 13, 2010

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I got to thinking about how the information about temperatures is presented. Usually, we are shown a graph something like Fig. 1, which shows the change in the US temperatures over the last century.

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics … and Graphs Figure 1. Change in the US annual temperatures, 1895-2009. Data from the US Historical Climate Network (USHCN DATA) [Yes, it’s in Fahrenheit, not Celsius, but hey, it’s US temperature, and besides I’m doing it in solidarity with our valiant allies, all the other noble countries that are bravely fighting a desperate rear-guard action against the global metric conspiracy … Liberia and Myanmar …]

Whoa, this is obviously a huge and scary change, look at the slope of that trend line, this must be something that calls for immediate action. So, what”s not to like about this graph?

What”s wrong with it is that there is nothing in the graph that we can compare to our normal existence. Usually, we don”t even go so far as to think “Well, it”s changed about one degree Fahrenheit, call it half a degree C, that”s not even enough to feel the difference.”

So I decided to look for a way to present exactly the same information so that it would make more sense, a way that we can compare to our actual experience. Fig. 2 is one way to do that. It shows the US temperature, month by month, for each year since 1895.

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics … and Graphs Figure 2. US yearly temperatures by month, 1895-2009. Each line represents the record for a different year. Red line is the temperature in 2009. Data source as in Fig. 1. Photo is Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Presented in this fashion, we are reminded that the annual variation in temperature is much, much larger than the ~ 1°F change in US temperatures over the last century. The most recent year, 2009, is … well … about average. Have we seen any terrible results from the temperature differences between even the coolest and warmest years, differences which (of course) are much larger than the average change over the last century? If so, I don”t recall those calamities, and I remember nearly half of those years …

To investigate further, Fig. 3 looks at the decadal average changes in the same way.

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics … and Graphs Figure 3. US decadal average temperatures by month, 1900-2009. Red line is the average for the decade 2000-2009. Photo is Half Dome, Yosemite.

Most months of the year there is so little change in the decadal averages that the lines cannot be distinguished. The warming, what there is, occurred mostly in the months of November, December, January, and February. Slightly warmer temperatures in the winter … somehow, that doesn”t strike me as anything worth breathing hard about.

My point in all of this is that the temperature changes that we are discussing (a global rise of a bit more than half a degree C in the last century) are trivially small. A half degree change cannot be sensed by the human body. In addition, the changes are generally occurring in the winter, outside of the tropics in the cooler parts of the planet, and at night. Perhaps you see this small warming, as has often been claimed, as a huge problem that “vastly eclipses that of terrorism” (the Guardian). Maybe you think this is a pressing concern which is the “defining issue of our era” (UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon).

I don”t. I”m sorry, but for me, poverty and injustice and racial prejudice and totalitarian regimes and recurring warfare and a lack of clean drinking water and torture and rampant disease and lack of education and child prostitution and a host of other problems “vastly eclipse” the possibility of a degree or two of warming happening at night in the winter in the extra-tropics fifty years from now.

Finally, the USHCN records are not adjusted for the urban heat island (UHI) effect. UHI is the warming of the recording thermometers that occurs as the area around the temperature recording station is developed. Increasing buildings, roads, pavement, and the cutting down of trees all tend to increase recorded temperatures. Various authors (e.g. McKitrick, Spencer,  Jones)  have shown that UHI likely explains something on the order of half of the recorded temperature rise. So even the small temperature rise shown above is probably shown somewhere about twice as large as it actually is …

My conclusion? Move along, folks, nothing to see here …

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in General News.

Tagged with .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?