Sunday, 7 November 2010
How To Cook A Graph SkepticalScience.com Style
Above is a graph of September arctic ice amount taken from the website of the Nationalized Snow and Ice (adjusted) Data Center (NSIDC). Warmists will have you believe that arctic ice is in decline and will regularly show you this graph to confuse you into believing their claim.
The warmist site SkepticalScience.com has even decided to exaggerate the NSIDC graph by putting an alarming curve through it.
In order to deny the claim that arctic ice is in decline you first need to find something wrong with the graph. Anything will do, but below I will run through all the things I found wrong with the graph. This is an indictment of both the NSIDC and SkepticalScience.com
First notice the Y-axis of the above NSIDC graph starts at four million. Yet everyone knows numbers start at zero, not four million! Even kids learn this in school. In technical speak, the NSIDC graph misleads people into thinking 4 million is the smallest integer. Hilariously the SkepticalScience.com graph has 3 million as the lowest y-axis value! The warmists can't make up their minds! If they can't agree on Y-axes how can they possibly predict the weather in 100 years time? Graph y-axes should always start at zero or else they will mislead people.
Lets correct the graph and remove that biased trend line at the same time:
What's next? Is there anything else in the graph above that we can bitterly complain about? Notice the y-axis reads "kilometers". That's interesting. Why is a US science body using a French measurement system? Perhaps it has no effect though. Perhaps the unit of measurement used in the graph has no bearing on the actual rate of sea ice decline. But we can't assume that's the case. Lets replace "square kilometers" with "square miles" instead and see what difference it makes:
Shocking. Compare the two graphs above. I wouldn't like to accuse the NSIDC and SkepticalScience.com of deliberate fraud, but is it just coincidence that the French system of kilometers shows faster sea ice decline than the US system of miles?
When the French measurement system disagrees with the American one, we should always stick to to the American one, not only for patriotism, but also because men landed on the moon using miles not kilometers. If you go to Europe you will be shocked at the levels of poverty. Many of them are so poor that they only learn English as a second or even third language. Even England in Britain, UK has switched away from kilometers and now officially uses miles.
There are two more problems with the graph though. Can you spot them?
The upper limit of the graph of 8.5 million square miles is wrong. The true upper limit should reflect the total surface area of the Earth which, assuming a round Earth, is roughly 200 million square miles (a flat Earth would be somewhat more but for now lets take a conservative estimate and assume mainstream science is right).
Graph modified so that y-axis reflects range of total surface area of the Earth
That's far more clear. Immediately I am having trouble seeing the sea ice. This is good. If you can't see it, it's not a problem.
The final correction is to do likewise with the x-axis. It is typical of warmists to omit the past even as they try to predict the future. Lets add in the full age span of the Earth: