Cherry-picking sceptics

Tamino’s post the other day, Climate Deniers’ Top 3 Tactics, articulates some of the distortions indulged in by alarmists when refuting sceptical arguments.

I can see where he’s coming from, but he also makes some mistakes, as when he calls sceptics “deniers”, revealing a lack of objectivity while trying to sound like a scientist. Another mistake—he claims:

… climate deniers start so many temperature graphs with 1997-1998 — it’s the large upward fluctuation they need to give a false impression of trend.

That is sometimes true, but a flat trend is not always because of a cherry-picked period. Christopher Monckton’s famous series of articles at WUWT show how far back from the present day you could see a flat temperature trend. It got up to 18 years 9 months in December last year before the latest El Nino intervened. I don’t know how that particular hiatus stands right now. But the point of it was not to claim global warming had stopped (as Tamino implies), it was to show that climate models had failed to predict a substantial interruption to the warming. Indeed, it was an enormous length of time without significant warming, that proves the models incompetent. Around the turn of the century, when warmist confidence was high, some climate scientists were saying that a period longer than 7 years or 15 years (or pick your number) would invalidate the models. That was the significance of finding the flat trend.

From Watts Up With That:

Forget homogenization, that is so 2010. If the pause is bothering you and your belief is that there must be more warming, we only need to find it in the data, then what you need is “Karlization”, named after director of the National Climatic Data Center, (now NCEI) Tom Karl who pulled a fast one this summer trying to adjust the past down, so the present would be warmer. The sleight of hand on this was so obvious that even warm-oriented scientists such as Michael Mann and Ben Santer co-authored a rebuttal paper that said Karl was dead wrong and the pause was real. There is now a congressional investigation into Mr. Karl’s apparently political actions disguised as science.

We might occasionally see sceptics cherry-picking, but more often we see alarmists cherry-picking sceptics.

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