Climate Change: The Wedding Planner Analogy

David Ng says anthropogenic global warming is not NOT happening just because there hasn’t been any warming in the last 10 years:

Say you’re trying to plan a wedding, or bbq, or anything, where you hope to be outside, and you want to pick a particular day in the year to have the best chance of sunshine. Chances are, you would not base your day on only what happened the year before. That would be statistically risky. You might not even base it on only two years worth of data, and really, if you want to hedge your bets, you’d want an opportunity to look at many records of that day as possible. All through this, you can actually calculate probabilities along the way, and at some point even make calls on what might be a good number of years to look at all in an effort to feel pretty good about your chances. …

[T]he long story short is that folks have done statistical analysis on this sort of thing, and it turns out that focusing on something like a 10 year trend is just not a reliable way to overturn the long term predictions. This, by the way, is also why climate models aren’t about predicting “weather” – which is something very specific to day to day considerations and also exact locations.

The whole thing is worth a read.

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