Steve Goddard has a new post at WUWT in which he accuses the National Wildlife Federation of “stretching the truth.” It turns out he’s stretching things himself.
Goddard’s “point” is that the states mentioned in a recent NWF report show an overall cooling trend. Therefore he takes exception with the report from NWF that we can expect more hot summers in the future. Goddard reports that “summers have been generally getting cooler across those regions for the last 80 years.”
Why 80 years? The relevant quantity is the trend now, not that over the last 80 years. The modern global warming era stars about 1975, not 1930, the trend is warming, and we expect that trend to continue. Such an analysis should examine the present trend, which suports the pattern which we expect to continue into the future.
More interesting is the question, why 1930 specifically? After all the NCDC data he uses start in 1895, so there’s 115 years of data total, not 80. I looked at the data myself (portal here, data here). I originally planned to look at two states, Massachusetts and Maine (having lived in both), but what I found made it unnecessary to look further than Massachusetts.
I computed the trend in summertime temerature (June, July, and August) for Massachusetts using the NCDC data, for all possible starting years from 1895 through 1980. Here’s the result:
It seems that Goddard picked 1930 as his starting point because that gives him the result he wants. That’s called cherry-picking.
Goddard has a history of cherry-picking. The only thing he’s proved is that if you want to deny global warming, you don’t just have to stretch the truth … you have to break it.