Sigh. Apparently there's still some confusion about whether the planet is getting warmer or cooler. Now only 57 percent of Americans believe there...
Sigh. Apparently there's still some confusion about whether the planet is getting warmer or cooler. Now only 57 percent of Americans believe there is strong scientific evidence for global warming. That's down from 77 percent in 2006 (you Freakonomics guys are not helping).To help settle the question-again-the Associated Press gave climate data to four independent statisticians, without telling them what the data represented, and asked them to look for trends.The AP sent expert statisticians NOAA's year-to-year ground temperature changes over 130 years and the 30 years of satellite-measured temperatures preferred by skeptics and gathered by scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.Statisticians who analyzed the data found a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers, but could not find a significant drop in the past 10 years in either data set. The ups and downs during the last decade repeat random variability in data as far back as 1880.So there you have it. If you trust statistical analysis and the scientific method, the general trend is that the planet is warming. But even if it weren't, the larger point is that we're screwing with a very unpredicable system (the climate) and we shoud be careful.