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Betting on Global Warming

In 1998 Patrick Michaels, a University of Virginia climatologist, proposed a bet: “If we were of a betting sort (and there are some nasty rumors going around that we are), we would be willing to wager that the 10-year period beginning in January 1998 and extending through December 2007 will show a statistically significant downward trend in the monthly satellite record of global temperatures.” Tree huggers should have taken him up on it, because the data is in and he would have lost. Proof of Global Warming!

Well, not so much. Not at all. There have been tiny changes, but none that are statistically significant. One dataset shows a drop of -0.06 degrees Celsius. Another shows an increase of .04 degrees. Another shows an increase of .173, yet another shows an increase of .142. This article doesn’t specify the margin of error, but it’s likely that the spread covers the numbers well enough to write off even these minuscule changes as random noise.

So great news, right? This has been on the front pages of newspapers everywhere right?

Yeah, right.

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