October 27, 2009
Statisticians Debunk Global Cooling Theories
Researchers claiming to have found the Earth could be entering a cooling cycle may have gotten their facts wrong, according to a recent independent study.
The Associated Press commissioned a study from independent statistics professors to analyze figures without being told what they represented.
University of South Carolina statistics professor John Grego, along with David Peterson, retired from Duke University, Mack Shelley, director of public policy and administration at Iowa State University and Edward Melnick from New York University were asked to look at sets of numbers pertaining to climate trends.
Each professor was given two spreadsheets. One contained annual global temperature changes from 1880 to 2009 obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The second spreadsheet contained annual temperature changes from 1979-2009 taken from scientists at the University of Alabama.
After their analysis of the raw data, none of the experts reported a decline in temperatures over time.
In an October 9 BBC News story, climate correspondent Paul Hudson noted that the warmest year on record was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.
The story goes on to state that no climate increase has been measured over the past 11 years, although emissions of carbon dioxide continue to rise.
The BBC story cited experts who claim that although the world has gone through decades of rapid warmth during the 20th Century, the earth operates on natural climate cycles, which man has no control over.
Additionally, experts have long debated whether the spikes in warming have been attributed to an increase in the Sun's energy and that warming causes a rise in carbon dioxide levels, rather than the other way around.
"If you look at the data and sort of cherry-pick a micro-trend within a bigger trend, that technique is particularly suspect," Grego told the AP.
"The last 10 years are the warmest 10-year period of the modern record," said NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt. "Even if you analyze the trend during that 10 years, the trend is actually positive, which means warming."
The independent analysts found that there was no significant drop in climate in the past 10 years.
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