I received the first submission to the $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge today. It was submitted as a comment to the challenge page. You can see it there, but I also reproduce it here verbatim:
If you go to the webpage he (forgive me for being sexist. There is no indication of gender. I use the male gender here as a generic reference only.) references you find this:
Let’s cut right to the chase because this is a really pathetic example of denier-speak: No, this does not satisfy the challenge. In fact, this doesn’t even qualify as a proof under the scientific method. This is what is known as ‘cherry-picking’ – picking your data to get the results you want.
Since, Mr. Anonymous (I don’t blame him for refusing to identify himself. I would be embarrassed too.) didn’t submit a proof, I am forced to conclude this is not a proof that man made global warming is not real.
However, I will, on my own initiative, submit it as the first challenge under the $1000 Scientific Evidence Challenge. Again, this is not evidence against man made global warming for the following reasons:
Failure #1: The data is cherry-picked, as I said before. It is completely expected to see a large amount of variability in the data. Just look the graph above and you can see how it goes way up and then it goes way down. Comare the year 2008 to 2010. In fact, let’s do that and see what we get:
Wow! What a difference! See the thin green line going up at an incredible rate? Look at that and tell me there is no such thing as man made global warming! We’re all doomed! DOOMED!
But, if you objected you wold be correct. This is cherry-picking. I selected two data points in order to get what I wanted. Cherry-picking is invalid science, no matter which way you go. I cannot do it any more than Mr. Anonymous can. It is still invalid and only serves to provide someone with a false argument.
If we want to really see what is going on we need to use statistical methods that take out the ‘noise’ of background effects and variability. A long-term average does a better job:
This plot shows the average data from 1980 to the present with a trend line from 1980 to 2013 (the last complete year). This is a much more valid plot than what Mr. Anonymous provided and shows a seriously different result: there is has been a definite waring trend in the data.
Mr. Anonymous failed on this one point alone. His plot is not scientific evidence against global warming.
Failure #2: If you are able to see the source for all of these plots (shown to the right on the source page for the plots) you should quickly pick out the second fatal flaw in Mr. Anonymous’ argument: The data source is “RSS MSU lower trop. global mean.” This stands for Remote Sensing System Microwave Sounding Units lower troposphere global mean temperature. In other words, this is the satellite measurements of the lower part of the atmosphere. There is the problem with this claim and I have pointed this out many times:
When we say global warming we mean the whole globe, not just one part of it.
Using a limited data set excludes what is happening everywhere else. Where is the data on ocean heating? Or, data on ice melting? Or, data on other parts of the atmosphere? Mr. Anonymous has conveniently left out all of that data. It is a very different story when you include it:
|Source: Skeptical Science compiled from data in Church et al. (2011)|
Seeing a more complete depicting of the data shows global warming is serious and it continues, despite the false arguments of deniers to the contrary.
So, there is a second fatal flaw in Mr. Anonymous’ claim.
In short, he did not submit a proof, so he failed in the $10,000 challenge and it is not scientifically valid evidence against man made global warming, so it fails the $1000 challenge, as well.
I am sure the deniers will object simply because deniers reject science in favor of their denier-religion. But, if they think I am wrong in my statements here, they are free to both comment below and to make corrections to the submissions and submit them again.
However, I am thankful to Mr. Anonymous for the link. That is a very nice website and it will provide me with some nice graphics to show how deniers cherry-pick the data.