Ian Musgrave has written the post I was going to write on Jon Jenkins’ article in the Australian, so I just want to emphasize that fitting a degree six (yes, degree six) to temperature data does not produce a meaningful trend line in any way shape or form. Go read.
Note that if the editors at the Australian had bothered to read their own paper just three days earlier they would have known that the Jenkins’ claims about the Oregon petition and global cooling were rubbish.
News Limited blogger Grame Redfearn also pointed out the enormous holes in Jenkins’ arguments and talked to Australia’s acting chief climatologist Michael Coughlan:
Of climate change contrarians such as Jon Jenkins, Coughlan has this to say.
“We have produced rebuttals of all of these arguments – they have all been addressed. But they just keep trotting them out. No matter how many times you tell them they’re wrong, they just keep going. The general approach seems to be – if we keep banging away at an untruth, people will start to believe it”.
Let’s not forget that these contrarian views are not being expressed on a bit of street press or some fringe web site somewhere – they’re being repeated over and over in Australia’s only national newspaper. So now comes the revelation – and that is Coughlan’s view of The Australian newspaper itself.
“The Australian clearly has an editorial policy. No matter how many times the scientific community refutes these arguments, they persist in putting them out – to the point where we believe there’s little to be gained in the use of our time in responding.”
Since I already uploaded them, I might as well include my versions of the graphs that Musgrave posted.
Here’s the graph that the Australian printed.
It’s been copied from Lorne’s Gunters’ article in the National Post (Canada’s version of the Australian), but with this caveat removed:
Moreover, while the chart below was not produced by Douglass and Christy, it was produced using their data
and the ridiculous sixth-degree fit attributed to the University of Alabama at Huntsville.
That graph ends in July was already out of date when Gunter’s article was published in late October. Here it is with the latest data (up to November) included.
Note that the latest observation lies right on the linear trend line, completely refuting Jenkins claim that satellite data showed that warming “had completely reversed by 2008″.
(Hat tip to Tobias Ziegler for pointing me to the Readfern post.)
Update: Ian Musgrave has more on what is wrong with high order polynomial fits.