Statisticians Confirm: No Global Cooling Despite Skeptic Spin

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In a massive blow to the climate skeptic movement, the Associated Press has conducted a blind test of statisticians that unequivocally confirms that no global cooling trend exists. Despite the best efforts of a small handful of climate skeptics, who argue that the globe has cooled rather than warmed since the record hot year of 1998, no such cooling trend has taken place.

The Associated Press conducted the blind test by sending global temperature data from NOAA and NASA to four independent statisticians who were not told what the data represented, but simply asked to perform a common statistical analysis to look for trends in the data.

The statisticians "found no true temperature declines over time," and in fact identified "a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers," the AP reports.

Several statisticians quoted in the AP piece slam the climate skeptics who "cherry-pick" data in a "particularly suspect" attempt to denounce global warming. Efforts to portray a global cooling trend since the record hot year of 1998 are "not scientifically legitimate," and are the result of "people coming at the data with preconceived notions," according to David Peterson, a retired Duke University statistics professor who analyzed the data for AP.

"To talk about global cooling at the end of the hottest decade the planet has experienced in many thousands of years is ridiculous," said Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford.

"Ridiculous" indeed, but that has not stopped the handful of loud-mouthed climate skeptics from spreading this false claim. Their efforts have proven successful at confusing the public, thanks in large part to the Drudge Report, FOX News and lazy journalists who fail to fact-check the skeptic arguments, providing oxygen to their baseless claims.

The Associated Press conducted a simple exercise that any self-respecting news outlet concerned with the facts rather than the confusionist spin could duplicate easily. Don't expect this news to silence the skeptics, but if you are a journalist, please let the skeptics talk amongst themselves, rather than polluting the public discourse any further. And if you are a concerned news consumer, please do hold accountable any news outlet that continues to ignore this starkly obvious fact: there is no global cooling. There definitely is global warming.

It really is that simple. Now can we talk about the critically important matter of how to address climate change with just a few weeks left until the Copenhagen Climate Summit?