A dreadful trend

There was a recent post by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit that was difficult for some of us to understand. Fortunately, there’s an exposition of it at Climate Skeptic called “How to manufacture the trend you want” that makes it all clear. It’s regrettable, but please have a look.

It has to do with rates of calcification in Great Barrier Reef coral growth over the past 400 years. On January 2, 2009, in Science, De’ath et al reported an ‘unprecedented’ decline. But it seems aimed more to alarm than inform us. They showed a graph to support their claims. Steve revealed a graph of a longer time series that tells quite a different story.

Then we got to see the actual data followed by the deficiencies in the data; well, what a trend! It turned out that ‘unprecedented’ referred only to the last 153 years.

Richard Treadgold

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