Global Warming is Alive and Well (in Columbus)

To illustrate some of the poor reasoning that goes into claims of global cooling (15,000,000 hits on Google) I determined the trend in annual degree days for Columbus from 2000 to 2013 (a).

Heating degree days can be used to estimate how much you need to use your furnace in the winter. Typical values for Columbus are around 5000. The number of heating degree days has been decreasing at a rate of 0.2% per year, indicating a trend towards slightly milder winters.

Cooling degree days can be used to estimate how much you need to use your air conditioner in the summer. Typical values for Columbus are around 1000. The number of cooling degree days has been increasing at a rate of 1.7% per year, indicating a trend towards warmer summers.

Of course, this does not prove that global climate change is real.   It actually illustrates a common fallacy – drawing a conclusion from one measure of change over too small an area over and over too short a time.  The web site < http://www.skepticalscience.com/> covers all of the faulty reasoning that characterizes climate-change skepticism.

(a) The degree day annual totals for zip code 43215 were obtained from http://www.weatherdatadepot.com/ using a reference temperature of 65 F. Degree days are defined in <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/degree-day&gt;

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s