02 May 2007

Patently silly data on climate change

You don't have to be a climate change denier to have doubts about some of the output from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is about to gush forth with another report. A couple of interesting bloggers have found some hilarious graphs in the IPCC's output.

Over on Prometheus there is a hatchet job on numbers showing a correlation between climate change and losses due to natural disasters. Roger Pielke Jr writes "I have generally been a supporter of the IPCC, but I do have to admit that if it is this sloppy and irresponsible in an area of climate change where I have expertise, why should I have confidence in the areas where I am not an expert?"

Even more hilarious is the message on Random Thoughts dismembering another graph from the IPCC which shows that U.S. patents cause global weather-related disasters!.

As the author comments " It's obvious that increasing the number of U.S. patents issued causes normalized global weather-related losses to increase. When will the U.S. Patent Office start behaving responsibly, and stop issuing patents???!"

Er, maybe not, when asked for the page reference, Mark Bahner, the man behind the thing, reveals that the graph in question "only appear on dates that have April 1 in them".

Damn, there goes another good story. Then again, maybe someone could sell it to the Daily Mail. They'd certainly buy a piece on the impact of climate change on house prices.

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