Lavoisier Paper

(a) An artificial 10,000 year long time series with the same statistical structure as observed global average temperature. It is low pass filtered white noise with a time constant of 1100 years. (b) A 160 year long sub-sample of this time series showing how the "red" noise of short segments can suggest a trend and a multi-decadal cycle when none exist.
(a) An artificial 10,000 year long time series with the same statistical structure as observed global average temperature. It is low pass filtered white noise with a time constant of 1100 years. (b) A 160 year long sub-sample of this time series showing how the “red” noise of short segments can suggest a trend and a multi-decadal cycle when none exist.

Lavoisier Paper

Today my paper on the statistics of global average temperature was posted on the Lavoisier Group’s web site:

http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/climate-policy/science-and-policy/john-reid-2017-1.php

It is intended as a popular account of my paper in Energy and Environment which recently appeared on-line. Unlike that paper, it includes no equations or mathematical symbols. It examines the old-fashioned deterministic world-view of the applied mathematicians who run the climate models and compares it to the 20th century idea of “stochastic process” which more readily accommodates the scientific method.

The underlying assumption of the  stochastic approach is that every state is dependent not on the time per se but only on previous states by a process known as auto-regression. There is also assumed to be an additional, unknown, random component called “the innovation”. This statistical approach allows the use of well established statistical methods to test for drifts and cycles in the data.

The conclusion? There is no significant trend in global average temperature and therefore no need to look for causes. At time scales of less than a millennium global temperature variations are just red noise.

Reference

Reid,J. (2017) There is no significant trend in global average temperature. Energy and Environment 28, 3, 302–315.

A copy may be downloaded here .