You are not a dummy. But climate deniers treat you that way.
Some of my long-time readers have expressed an interest in a recent paper which attempts to predict how global temperature will change over the next few years, A novel probabilistic forecast system predicting anomalously warm 2018-2022 reinforcing the long-term global warming trend (Sevellec and Drijfhout 2018, Nature Communications). It has received quite a bit of publicity, featured in numerous newspaper articles, along the lines of “the next five years will be extra hot.”
It all started with Cliff Mass saying “… with huge transient peaks and troughs (see below). With such variability …” when talking about CalFire data of area burned by wildfire in California from 1987 through 2016. His comment led me to make a very serious mistake: I thought he might actually know what he was talking about.
As bad as it has been, it’s going to get worse.
In response to my post, you said my analysis is “very weak” and that I used “an inappropriate statistical approach that did not consider the variability of the time series.”
The Theil-Sen trend estimate is robust, in fact it’s what statisticians call “non-parametric” (although I prefer the name “distribution free”). Such methods are specifically designed to account for the variability of the time series. What is your basis for stating otherwise?
What method would you prefer? What method did you use?
Cliff Mass has joined the ranks of those who want you to believe that California’s wildfire problem isn’t getting worse.