‘A Big Cherry Picking Exercise’: Skeptics Weigh in on the Latest Global Warming Study
Over the weekend, TheBlaze reported NASA scientist James Hansen, a man who has been called the “godfather of global warming,” issuing a study that found temperature climb experienced over several decades was a solid result of climate change — nothing else. He was also advocating for government action to curb the effects of global warming.
Hansen and his study colleagues determined through statistical analysis of data — not climate modeling techniques — that the extreme temperatures experienced in recent years are so rare that the odds point favorably to it being a result of global warming, not natural trends.
This animation depicts Hansen’s review of surface temperature trends from 1955 through 1999:
Scientists have long held that the weather outside your window should not necessarily be attributed to global warming. But with more extreme conditions as of late, it is influencing the connection none the less.
Others now coming out saying the data used in the analysis by Hansen is “cherry picking.” The New York Times reported NOAA researcher Martin Hoerling, who is in fact concerned about global warming and the environment, previously calling out Hansen for “exaggerating the connection between global warming and specific weather extremes.” He told the Times this is the case with the latest study.
“This isn’t a serious science paper,” Hoerling said. “It’s mainly about perception, as indicated by the paper’s title. Perception is not a science.”
Anthony Watts, who maintains the skeptic blog “Watts Up With That,” detailed what he believes were many issues with Hansen’s animation and study that make it “a big Cherry Picking exercise.” Here are just a few of his criticisms:
1. Note all of the missing southern hemisphere data. There are operating weather stations during his time, but they are excluded from the analysis. Why?
2. The period chosen, 1955-1999 (in the bell curve animation) leaves out the warmer 1930′s and the cooler 2000′s. Why?
3. The period from 2000-present has no statistically significant warming. Leaving that period out (of the bell curve animation) biases the presentation.
Check out Watt’s full post for more of his thoughts on the research here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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