Global Warming: FOXNews Posts a Statistically Significant Inaccuracy

“Global Warming in Last 15 Years Insignificant, U.K.’s Top Climate Scientist Admits.” That was the rather shocking headline of an article that appeared on the FOXNews site yesterday. The “top climate scientist” in question was Phil Jones, former head of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. The banner beneath the headline elaborates:

The embattled ex-head of the research center at the heart of the Climate-gate scandal dropped a bombshell over the weekend, admitting in an interview with the BBC that there has been no global warming over the past 15 years.

One can only assume the journalist who composed the headline acted out of ignorance rather than malice, as the mistake is “corrected” a few paragraphs into the article:

In response to the question, “do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically significant global warming?”, Jones said yes, adding that the average increase of 0.12C per year over that time period “is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”

Apparently the layers of editors at Fox have a less than exemplary understanding of statistics.  They should, perhaps, learn something about them if they intend to continue writing articles about global warming.

Author: Helian

I am Doug Drake, and I live in Maryland, not far from Washington, DC. I am a graduate of West Point, and I hold a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin. My blog reflects my enduring fascination with human nature and human morality.

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