2010-08-16 16:15:22Basic rebuttal No.15: It's freaking cold!
Jim Meador

jimm58@gmail...
68.164.190.177

What the science says...

 

A local cold day has nothing to do with the long-term trend of increasing global temperatures.

 

Itˇ's easy to confuse current weather events with long-term climate trends, and hard to understand the¬†difference between weather and climate.¬†It's a bit like being¬†at the beach, trying to figure out if the tide is rising or falling just by watching individual waves roll in and out. The slow change of the tide is masked by the constant churning of the waves.

In a similar way, the normal ups and downs of weather make it hard to see slow changes in climate. To find climate trends you need to look at how weather is changing over a longer time span. Looking at high and low temperature records from recent decades shows that new record highs now occur nearly twice as often as new record lows.

 

New records for cold weather will continue to be set, but global warmingˇ's gradual influence will make them increasingly rare.

 

 

2010-08-16 16:39:58what I don't like...
Jim Meador

jimm58@gmail...
68.164.190.177

I am using the word "record" with two different meanings in the same sentence!

Substitute this:

It's easy to confuse current weather events with long-term climate trends, and hard to understand the difference between weather and climate. It's a bit like being at the beach, trying to figure out if the tide is rising or falling just by watching individual waves roll in and out. The slow change of the tide is masked by the constant churning of the waves.

In a similar way, the normal ups and downs of weather make it hard to see slow changes in climate. To find climate trends you need to look at how weather is changing over a longer time span. Looking at high and low temperature data from recent decades shows that new record highs occur nearly twice as often as new record lows.

New records for cold weather will continue to be set, but global warmingˇ's gradual influence will make them increasingly rare.

Also, this one is probably a bit on the short side.

2010-08-16 17:18:06A bit more science?
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.152.239.255

Hi Jim - I agree it's a bit short, although it is also admirably concise. I was wondering if a little more detail might be helpful, along the lines of noise versus signal, and how we address the phenomenon of outliers by looking either side of them over longer periods, so we can tell if they are a signal worth paying attention to, or just a single, strange event that has little significance in the long-term?

By the way, there seems to be a convention growing here that we edit the first post, rather than re-post the rebuttal with corrections/additions. Just thought I'd mention that...)

2010-08-17 03:09:33Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
I would include a graph of hot records versus cold records being broken per decade. I saw it somewhere.. .
2010-08-17 15:03:55Nice analogy
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151
Some things just don't need to be long; the beach analogy stands in for another 100 words.
2010-08-17 16:14:50About the graph
Jim Meador

jimm58@gmail...
68.164.185.144

Hi Robert,

The graph you refer to is actually included in the "Medium" rebuttal. I agree that it would be a nice addition, but I worry that some people in my "basic" audience won't be able to read it very easily.

I took another look at it just now. If I put it in, here is how I would do it...

"The chart below shows how often new record highs are set versus new record lows. If temeratures are remainging steady, the highs would balance the lows, and the ratio would be 1. Although there is variation from year to year, the green line shows the trend, with new highs now outnumbering new lows by 2 to 1 ratio."

{I will update this once I figure out how to upload the image...}

2010-08-17 18:28:31
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
192.100.112.211
I'll give it one thumb.
2010-08-17 18:41:55Thumbs up
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49

Very concise, says so much in just a few words. The tide analogy is great, John Russell would be very proud.

See the Welcome thread for tips on how to post an image.

2010-08-17 19:01:38
Anne-Marie Blackburn
Anne-Marie Blackburn
bioluminescence@hotmail.co...
80.42.219.219
I agree with John on the tide analogy - it's excellent. I'll now see if I can come up with some good analogies as it really helps. Thumbs up from me
2010-08-18 01:16:25Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
Keepinitreal,

Go to the author admin button next to where you log in. Then click on the upload image button. Pick the image off your hard drive or wherever it is and upload it there. Then what you need is to keep the webpage location that it tells you and click the picture button when you're typing in your post. The first line in the window says image URL and just past the webpage location and click insert.


I do think it would add in nicely. It is a great post.

Cheers,

John, by the way. Is there any way that one can see the archive of photos. Like is there a way to open it up so that people can know the link locations and can just have the potential to use them anytime they need?
2010-08-18 01:24:11done
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
Good Job by the way
2010-08-18 14:29:58Good enough as it is
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221
I think the existing text is sufficient to get the point across. The tide analogy is one I've used myself when talking to people about weather and climate.
2010-08-19 02:31:00Gets my vote.
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102

Yes I am proud, JC!

By the way, did you come up with the tide analogy independtly, Jim, or did you see my comment on the post?

Anyway, it gets my green thumb.

Best wishes,

JR 

2010-08-19 11:58:37Tide analogy
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221
I came up with it independently.
2010-08-19 12:09:38Congrats on the record # of thumbs-up :-)
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49

Jim, would like to post this one but have a few questions.

First, do you want me to credit your real name or KeepingItReal on the blog post? If you're happy to publicly use your real name, it might be a good idea to change your username to your real name but that's completely up to you.

Secondly, do you want to use the highs/lows image in the rebuttal? If so, can I suggest editing the first post in this thread with the updated text and the image (the convention now seems to be that when you update the rebuttal, you update the first post, often with a note at the top to say that its been updated).

Some tips on how to post an image are given in the Welcome thread.

2010-08-19 22:09:07Tide analogy
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102

Good analogies will always rise to the top!

2010-08-20 20:33:17Twitter title suggestion
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17
Weather v Climate: Watch the waves, miss the turning of the tides
2010-08-22 08:57:28
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.162.8

I had heard the tide/waves metaphor for the first time in a series of YouTube videos by potholer54 (which are well worth watching but are not as well known as the Climate Crock of the Week videos). 

That metaphor is such a powerful one that I have used it myself since -- and it bears repeating.

Good job. 

2010-08-22 23:04:56Published
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.178.185.124
Used Graham's title suggestion too, thanks!
2010-08-31 04:46:46Sorry to have dropped off last week...
Jim Meador

jimm58@gmail...
67.101.212.126

Hi all,

I went hiking in the wilderness last week and dropped out of cyberspace.  ;-)

Sorry to have become suddenly unresponsive. 

Thanks for the suggestions, the title, and all the thumbs, and mostly for getting the thing published.

As far as I remember, I thought of using the tide analogy for climate-vs-weather myself, although I am sure others have used it in the past. (Started thinking about it last winter during all the cold weather in the northeast US.)

As to my username, it was the first thing that came to mind when I signed up on SkS so that I could post a comment. I actually agree that it makes sense to use my real name on a rebuttal. Having the rebuttal posted under a made-up name subtracts from the honest nature of the whole SkS enterprise, I think.

I will update it... 

 Jim