Silly Climate Change Hyperbole vs. The Data
OK…so I’m a little late to this Five Minutes to Midnight discussion but…
…COME ON! A “climate crisis”…”nearly as dire” as the dangers “posed by nuclear weapons”. Utterly preposterous language like that ought to immediately flag this group and these people as not serious enough to waste five minutes on. Unfortunately, these laughable themes are all too common in shaping MSM coverage (or is it the other way around) and eventually public policy. I don’t care how many Nobel Laureates they claim to consult, the blatant scare mongering throughout this entire announcement tells me that these people at the Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences (and, as we have also learned this week, those at the Weather Channel) don’t fully grasp the concepts of “climate”, “crisis”, or maybe even “science”. Those cited by name in the article should be embarrassed.
Unfortunately, it’s the behavior of those who generally fall on my side of this debate that causes me to chime in so late to this discussion. The nearly universal reflex to concede something along the lines of “we all agree that there has been some warming…blah, blah, blah” based on no real scientific data is really starting to irritate me. Your “memory” of colder winters and milder summers wherever you happened to be at the time is not science and certainly not a measure of “Global Climate”.
This is not about yesterday’s weather in New York, last weeks storm in Oklahoma City, the 1998 heat wave in Chicago, or even that you think it feels warmer that it used to. Going way beyond local and regional “climates” and several known multi-year weather patterns / phenomenon, “Global Climate” is too complex to be summed up a single number on a “Doomsday Clock” or some calculation of Average Annual Global Temperature.
But, for the sake of argument, lets just play that game. Lets look at some temperature data from a random American city – Albany, New York. I’m sure there are plenty of people in Albany who “think” their world is warming and I know both of their Senators in DC care deeply about this issue. (Data pulled from CO2 Science.) Even though I personnaly think its too short, I calculated the 30-year Average (the Standard Parameter for Climate Change) Annual Mean Temperature from this data. For simplicity, I’ll show it here by decade (in degrees Fahrenheit) along with the net change referenced to 1910 in parentheses:
1910 48.26 ( 0.00)
1920 48.36 (+0.10)
1930 48.36 (+0.10)
1940 48.68 (+0.42)
1950 48.48 (+0.22)
1960 48.17 (-0.09)
1970 47.49 (-0.77)
1980 47.24 (-1.03)
1990 47.18 (-1.08)
2000 47.60 (-0.66)
In terms of meaningful local climate change…not much news here. Undeniable warming trend? Climate crisis? Impending catastrophe? Part of a hockey stick? I think not.
To make this a little more interesting, I’ll add in some high and lo temperature data. Here is the 30-year average Annual Minimum, Mean, and Maximum Temperature change (in degrees Fahrenheit) referenced to 1910 for Albany at the end of each decade through the last century:
1910 0.00 0.00 0.00
1920 +0.02 +0.10 +0.19
1930 -0.03 +0.10 +0.23
1940 +0.20 +0.42 +0.64
1950 -0.50 +0.22 +0.94
1960 -1.20 -0.09 +1.02
1970 -2.43 -0.77 +0.88
1980 -2.79 -1.03 +0.73
1990 -2.92 -1.08 +0.77
2000 -2.19 -0.66 +0.87
Please note that the Maximums have not changed by any meaningful amount…especially in the last fifty years. In this case, any perceived warming trend in Albany would appear to be inaccurate. What change that has occurred in the Means has been driven almost entirely by changes in the Minimum temperatures. This isn’t entirely unexpected given what we learned earlier regarding the impact of night time low temperatures. As was the case then, the most likely people to have actually “observed” any real climate change would be 95 year old eskimos with insomnia or any poor soul stuck on night shift in Siberia for the last 75 years.
Note: Please excuse my lack of basic HTML skills. I know the columnar data is cumbersome. Also, the Albany example was chosen quickly and almost entirely at random. Care was only take to avoid a location that may be in the middle of a huge metropolitan area. If anyone would care to help, I could summarize and display much more data (in due time) if I new how to input plots and charts from Excel or Powerpoint. Thanks.