Sunday, March 14, 2010

intellectual rigor vs. the null hypothesis

In sifting through old bookmarks, I happened on a link to Real Climate, which is currently headlined by this testimonial.

Some who are loathe to accept the notion that mankind's activities are altering the global climate point to lower temperatures over the last few years as proof that global warming is a bunch of hooey. What this specious ‘analysis’ completely neglects to take into account is that the last few years have been an ebb period in the solar cycle. In fact 2008 and 2009 were two of the three lowest years in the last century for the amount of energy received by Earth from the sun, and we should expect that future such ebbs in the solar cycle won't, on average, be as deep as the one we're now emerging from.

And, before you join others in jumping to the conclusion that the sun is cooling off, remember that a century is a very short period in the life cycle of such a star, and that it has been both cooler and warmer in the past.

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