Selecting data for fun can "prove" something
Sure has been a wild end to January and it really wasn't "frigid" here in D.C. I used that as a tease: >) for this. Have you head of the term "Cherry picking"? Just as we might selectively pick the best, ripest fruit, in the on going "debate" on climate change and global warming, data and scientific measurements are too often "cherry picked" to support a position or an agenda rather than science. I created the title of this short blog "January Frigid . . ." for fun and to illustrate the point. Here is the graph of the January high temperature in Washington.
Was January "frigid"? Yes it was! But I have to "cherry pick" the 6 days January 22-27 to "prove" it was frigid.
Overall the January 2013 temperature will close to 4° above average. What does this have to do with the climate change/global warming debate? Here is a good read from Forbes. Have you heard some say or have you read headlines that shouted "Global warming stopped 15 years ago"?. Let's go cherry picking. Here is a graph from skepticalscience.com that "proves" it.
Of course 1998 was one of the hottest years on record and is a good time to begin cherry-picking. Global warming is happening, it is real. That does not mean that every year will be warmer than the preceding year as this more realistic long term trend shows.
Indeed go back to our January temperature graph. Variable day to day but overall a "mild" January even with those cold 5 days. I have many friends and colleagues (none are climate scientists) who still don't believe a 40% increase in the CO2 in the atmosphere has anything to do with the long term trends climate scientists are measuring like this.
More and more people living in areas of the world most dramatically affected by climate change are seeing real changes in their climate and weather. Don't think these things are real? Let's go pick some cherries this spring. . .but only the best :>). Different view? Future blogosphere is wide open. What is the best course of action? Try and stay objective and for every "opinion" piece on either side, think, "How many cherries were picked for this view?"