Lies, Damn Lies… and Statistics
How do scientists manage to average daily variations of tens of degrees and then tell us that the planet has become 0.5 °C hotter in the last one hundred years?
How CAN they accurately measure, and average, a temperature change as small as 0.5 °C in a hundred years, across the whole planet?
Well, this is how they try:
A thermometer is kept in a white box, called a Stevenson Screen - named after one of its designers, Thomas Stevenson, father of Robert Louis.
For a century, Stevenson Screens have sat in green forests, on windy headlands, in white ice fields… and more recently in car parks, airports … in the middle of growing concrete jungles.
And they are monitored by anyone from top-level scientists in the South Pole, to underpaid postmasters in Africa. The maximum and minimum temperatures are measured for the day, and the average taken.
The whole world is then divided into sections. The figures from each section are then fed into a computer.
But it’s the screens in the middle of growing cities that are showing the most significant rises - and skewing the results - especially cities in the developing world, where they have a lot of dirt.
What’s dirt got to do with it?
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