Last time I put on my nerd hat and traveled into the world of statistics and global warming. It was a fun trip for me, but hey that's me. This time we are going to delve a bit further. I have gone data spelunking with great success. Millions of records kind of success. I had to ice down my computer and turn the AC up full blast kind of success. My data this time comes straight from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I now have raw station data from around the world from 1764 to 2017.
First, I would like to show you something. If you remember on my last blog I showed you a graph of temperature and CO2 along with some statistics indicating a possibility of a relationship. Today I am doing the same thing but instead of CO2 I am looking at the number of active temperature monitoring stations per year in the NOAA records. If you will remember, the correlation between temperature and CO2 was about .7. Call that a 70% chance if you will. It turns out it is equally as likely we are causing global warming by building temperature monitoring stations. Yeah, really.
The correlation coefficient between temperature as a global average and the number of active stations is .698, which is really danged close to .7. There isn't any real difference. The fact of the matter is if I had a record of how many cell phones were in use each year I might get a fairly decent correlation out of that too. Because even when things appear to have a high likelihood of being tied together in a cause and effect relationship it turns out not to be true. The ultimate test of that is being able to make it happen. Turn the faucet knob right, more water comes out and vice versa. That is what conclusive stuff looks like.
Looks like a pretty good match, does it not?
I am going to go a step further. I believe that statistical match between the number of active monitoring stations and the global temperature averages they are reporting is more than just a happy accident. In 1900 there were 495 active stations. In 1925 there were 819, and increase of 65.5%. From 1925 it went to 1305 in 1950, and increase of 59.3%. From 1950 it went to 2828 in 1975, an increase of 116.7%. In 2000 it went to 4515, and increase of 59.7%.
During the last quarter century the biggest jump in stations occurred in 1998 to 1999, with 465 stations coming on line. By 2004 the number hit 4627 and has stayed there through 2017. Now, what are the odds that 1998 or 1999 just happen to be the point climatologists and experts all over the world point to as the beginning of the pause? That period of time over the past, well, 17 to 19 years global temperatures have failed to rise.
Actually, I don't know the odds. It just seems very coincidental. Especially in light of the moderately high correlation above. Again, when you see that kind of correlation it means the idea has merit and is worth exploring. I fully intend doing so.
In the mean time, since I happen to have a wealth of information at my finger tips I decided to see how individual station data stacks up to the overall picture. I can answer that right now. It doesn't.
Below you will see graphs from stations located from Scotland, to Germany, to Australia, and to the Sudan in Africa. You will see three plots per chart corresponding to the yearly average, the highest monthly average in the year, and the lowest monthly average. This gives you a far more complete picture than you will see anywhere else, as far as I have seen.
With the except of Sudan, each graph shows the annual highs to be either flat or slightly decreasing over time. In the Sudan the annual highs have been generally increasing but jumped slightly towards 2008 after apparently going haywire. Who knows. They may have seen a 10 to 15 degree jump in one year, but that seems unlikely.
In all locations the annual lows have been steadily increasing at rate of .9° C to 2.7° C (which is Sudan) per year. Meaning the summers are generally staying about the same or lower, while the winters are gradually getting warmer.
What you do not see in any of these places widely scattered across the planet is this big hockey stick. It just isn't there.
Unravelling this big kettle of noodles is going to be really hard to maybe impossible, but I am going to try. The fact of the matter is there are not so many continuous records to look at covering that 1970 to 2000 or better time frame. Each year new stations came on line, but each year older stations went off line. Over 700 in one year in fact. I don't know how these folks are doing it, but they are splicing a lot of fragmentary records together. So far, it doesn't appear to be worth a tinker's damn. Which could mean the crisis exists only in the playing with the data while not really existing in the data at all. That would really be a man made crisis. Kind of like a man freezing to death because his thermometer broke.
Enjoy the show folks!