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The Scientific Debate on Climate Change: Part 7, 8, 8a

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On August 7, 2010 @ 10:00 am In Science,UnScience,Video | Comments Disabled

7. Climate Change – “Those” e-mails and science censorship

Are climatologists censoring scientific journals and silencing alternative hypotheses on climate change? This is the second part of my look at the hacked/stolen e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit in the UK. I welcome intelligent opinions in the forum, but please refrain from posting the same inane comment a dozen times. Debates in science aren’t settled by those who argue the longest or the loudest, but by the accuracy of facts and the consistency of hypotheses with the facts.

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8. Climate Change — Has the Earth been cooling?

This video also looks at whether other planets are also warming, and an Internet myth that NASA is now attributing warming to the sun. In this video I examine the importance of sources — tracking information back to a source and making sure the source is credible. My sources are cited in the video, but I’ll also post them here. Sources are also cited throughout my climate change series. These videos are not a personal opinion or a theory of my own; I’m not a climate scientist or a researcher and I have no qualifications to do anything other than report on what real climate scientists have discovered through their research. So there’s no point in disagreeing with me. If you dislike their conclusions, take it up with the researchers I cite. If I’ve made a mistake in reporting their conclusions, please point out the mistake and I will happily correct it. If you think you know better than the experts, write a paper and have it published in a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal.

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8a. Climate Change – supplement

The perfect example of what I was saying in my last video appeared soon after it was uploaded. The Internet was abuzz with a quote from Professor Phil Jones that there has been no global warming since 1995.
But is that what he actually said? Once again, we need to go to the source — Jones’s own words — rather than Internet gossip based on an interpretation of what he said. If we check the primary source, it’s a very different story. In fact, Jones and his team did detect warming since 1995. In this video I go to the source, and find out why the tabloid press got things so wrong. I have to correct part of the video where I gave an example of what an 80% statistical significance would mean (for the statisticians out there, this is a p-value of 20%). I said this would mean 80% confidence that global warming was a real, underlying trend, and not the result of background fluctuations.
While some statisticians accepted this as a broad explanation for the layperson, others felt it deviated too far from the precise meaning, which is this: =If global warming was not happening, there is only a 20% chance we would see this result.= A 90% statistical significance (if that’s what Jones achieved) of the 1995-2009 temperature data would mean If global warming was not happening, there is only a 10% chance we would see this result.

Coming soon: Parts 9, 10 [1]


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URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/08/the-scientific-debate-on-climate-change-part-7-8-9/

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[1] Parts 9, 10: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/08/the-scientific-debate-on-climate-change-part-9-10/

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