Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Are Global Temperature Decreasing?

  There have been some recent news articles about decreasing global temperatures but this has been predicted previously by Don Easterbrook. Skeptics of global warming have claimed that lower than expected temperatures in 2013 are evidence against global warming. The counter argument is that this is a statistical fluctuation. One month's data or one year's data alone is not enough to determine a long term trend. Easterbrook argues that the historical record indicates that there may be a 30 year period of decreasing temperatures. Predictions of global warming assume a model for the Earth's behavior and the environmentalists are likely to error on the side of warming. If their predictions prove too high they will be forced to modify the models to get a better fit to the observations. This may not be the best approach to modeling since false assumptions are likely to lead to erroneous results. Conclusions based on a dozen or so years of satellite data may be a naive approach to the problem. It calls into question what is claimed to the an unnatural temperature change. Perhaps if we biased funding in favor of accurate predictions we would get a better idea of what is actually happening with global warming. There is more scientific research than just collecting data. The biggest problem is how to interpret the data.

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