There is no significant trend in global average temperature


The wiggly line in Figure (a) shows the global average surface temperature anomaly for the last 166 years.  The solid line shows the so-called “trend” fitted by ordinary least squares regression of temperature on time. The dashed curve shows this trend plus a “multidecadal oscillation”.

Figure (b) shows the time series of residuals, i.e. what is left behind when the dashed line is subtracted from the original data.

Figure (c) shows the autocorrelation function of the residuals. These are all positive from Lag = 1 to Lag = 30 indicating that the residuals are highly self-correlated and that this simple linear regression model must be rejected at a high level of significance.

However an alternative, stochastic, “ARMA” model gives residuals which are not self-correlated and which does fit the data very well indeed. This model indicates that there are no significant trends and oscillations in the data.

The apparent trend is due to the false correlation which occurs when “red noise” data are regressed on time as the explanatory variable. This phenomenon is well known in Econometrics.

There is no rising trend in global average temperature. The observed variations are due entirely to red noise  also known as a “centrally biased random walk”.

The paper has been accepted by Energy and Environment. A preprint can be downloaded here.

John Reid

Editor, Blackjay

The Troubling Science


Michael Hart is a Canadian academic with an impressive list of credentials. He has just put out a book – Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change.

This article covers many of the topics that have been raised here at Blackjay over the last couple of years. It is must-read for anyone with lingering doubts about the supposed urgent need for action on climate change.

For example: Alarm over a changing climate leading to malign results is in many ways the product of the hunger for stability and direction in a post-Christian world. Humans have a deep, innate need for a transcendent authority. Having rejected the precepts of Christianity, people in the advanced economies of the West are turning to other forms of authority. Putting aside those who cynically exploit the issue for their own gain – from scientists and politicians to UN leaders and green businesses – most activists are deeply committed to a secular, statist, anti-human, earth-centric set of beliefs which drives their claims of a planet in imminent danger from human activity. To them, a planet with fewer people is the ultimate goal, achievable only through centralized direction and control. As philosopher of science Jeffrey Foss points out, “Environmental science conceives and expresses humankind’s relationship to nature in a manner that is – as a matter of observable fact – religious.” It “prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”

The interview concludes: it will take a determined effort by people of faith and conscience to convince our political leaders that they have been gulled by a political movement exploiting fear of climate change to push a utopian, humanist agenda that most people would find abhorrent. As it now stands, politicians are throwing money that they do not have at a problem that does not exist in order to finance solutions that make no difference. The time has come to call a halt to this nonsense and focus on real issues that pose real dangers. In a world beset by war, terrorism, and continuing third-world poverty, there are far more important things on which political leaders need to focus.

It may be nitpicking but the one thing I disagree with is his use of the term “humanist” in the final paragraph. Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The utopian agenda is certainly not humanist. Any philosophy in which wilderness has greater value than community, in which humans are seen as a “scourge on the planet” a la Attenborough and which supports the dogma and pseudo-science of climate change is certainly not humanist.

But I agree with him about the rest of it.

John Reid



If the link doesn’t work, you can download a PDF from here: MichaelHartInterview.