Global Warming Statistics 101

Averages can only tell you so much, and that’s quite little. As “global warming” is based on worldwide averages, it should be then always looked at judiciously and with a good deal of curiosity to figure out what is happening above and beyond the simple figure that is an average temperature.

Say, one lives in Placeville, a town where it’s -20C in January, +20C in July. Average is zero C (32F).

Imagine now, winters warm by 10C, summers cool by 5C. So it’s -10C in January, +15C in July. Average is 2.5C (36.5F).

Headline news: “Placeville heavily hit by global warming, average temperatures up by 2.5C“. When the real-life news is, it’s much cooler than before: still very cold in January, and now not even warm in July.

This is such a simple concept, I am always amazed how many people don’t get it. But then few grasp the most elemental aspects of statistics. And I wish three people in the world understood what “global warming” might be about.

  1. 2011/06/19 at 22:26

    Another example, relevent to this past year at least, would be Antarctic temps in winter -80 Degrees F warms to -60 degrees. The cold air has migrated to Australia where it is now 10 degrees colder. Catastrophic pink global warming in Antarctica. The 20 degrees in Antarctica is meaningless but the snows in Auatralia were devastating. Warming at the poles has, as I understand it, been a precurser to glacial periods.

  2. joseph
    2011/06/19 at 11:25

    Would you please show your math on this example? Thanks.

  3. John Marshall
    2011/06/18 at 10:09

    Some observations are incorrectly logged but claimed to be a signal of climate change.

    I saw a data sheet for Arctic temperature observations. For a 24 hour period it was -20C but one observation was logged as +20C. Obviously a miss logged piece of data. But it was claimed to be evidence of catastrophic weather and climate change. How long this pretense lasted I have no idea.

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