Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Agnotology: The Surge - 6

Modified graph from Skeptical Science
This year and last year tornado counts are down - fewer tornado events.

There have been fewer tornadoes and hurricanes this year.

This produces an opportunity to analyze those who do not think that the global climate system is affected by human civilization, that is, the situation gives the scientists of the Agnotology discipline (the study of the generation of scientific ignorance) another chance to point our how ignorance is generated and perpetuated in our society by denialism.

Today, we will focus on some of the intellectual dishonesty utilized by deniers like Senator Inhofe and evangelist Mike Huckabee (Mike Huckabee, Jim Inhofe Denying Climate Change Without Any Concern For Facts).

The graphic (click to enlarge) at the top left of today's post shows two trend lines from about 1960 to 2010 --temperature trend lines for the ocean, air, and land areas.

The light brown is land and air, darker blue is deep sea, and the lighter blue is shallower sea depths.

The light purple / pink line shows the trend of shallow sea depths, as well as the trend on land and in the air.

Both show an upward temperature trend --the Earth is warming.

Within the general trend are times when the rise flattened or decreased for a span of time, in contrast to the trend.

The vertical green lines mark the approximate beginning and end of years that were counter to the general trend (flat or cooler), and the columns which the vertical green lines make are marked with letters "A", "B", "C", "D", and "E" (A=~1973-74, B=~1979-81, C=~1987-89, D=~1992-94, and E=~1998-99).

Red circles are used to focus on those anti-trend areas, with red lines showing the downward anti-trend temperature events during those years.

What dishonest deniers tend to do is misuse those red downward anti-trend years as representing the overall trend, which is intellectually dishonest of those deniers.

The takeaway from this is that the decrease in tornadoes and hurricanes, and other weather or climate events traditionally associated with global warming, happens occasionally from decade to decade.

See On The Origin of Tornadoes - 3 for year to year and decade to decade trends in tornado events, including anti-trend year data.

The bottom line is that a couple of years of anti-trend is usual for the pattern.

But a mere couple of years does not show the general trend is reversing, rather, what is shown is that the overall trend during the past at least 50 years is a global warming trend.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

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