Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Is There A Global Temperature? Is It Rising?

Although I don't buy the alarmist idea that the current global warming cycle is wildly exacerbated by man, I have pretty much found myself accepting the idea that the earth is going through a warming cycle.

There are more measurements to that cycle than "global temperature," but global temperature is at the core of the belief in warming. So let's pause, shall we, and question the assumption that there is such a thing as a global temperature.

Bjarne Andresen of The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Christopher Essex from the University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick from University of Guelph, also in Ontario, have been studing this, and Andresen's quoted in an article on BrightSurf.
“It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth. A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system. Furthermore, the climate is not governed by a single temperature. Rather, differences of temperatures drive the processes and create the storms, sea currents, thunder, etc. which make up the climate”.
Andresen explains that the Globe consists of a huge number of components that you can't just add up and average, because that would be like calculating the average phone number in the phone book or a ‘global exchange rate.' Locally this works: You can compute the exchange rate between two countries or assign a number that will make your phone ring, but globally, it doesn't.

There are also different ways to caluclate averages: arithemetic, geometric.
These are but two examples of ways to calculate averages. They are all equally correct, but one needs a solid physical reason to choose one above another. Depending on the averaging method used, the same set of measured data can simultaneously show an upward trend and a downward trend in average temperature. Thus claims of disaster may be a consequence of which averaging method has been used, the researchers point out.
The result, conclude Andresen, Essex and McKittrick, is that the currently used method and the consequences drawn from it are more politics than science.

Hat-tip: Famural, via RCP Reader Articles

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