Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An Inconvenient Scientific Method

Having watched An Inconvenient Truth, I now know that Al Gore himself is not the Pied Piper writing the lyrics, he is merely the instrument singing the tune. As a Degree holder in Mathematics and Statistics with a focus on forecast models, I find the data analysis presented by Gore to be appalling. Mathematicians are taught to obsess over the probability of being wrong and of the potential biases in certain data sets. The variables that go into world climate are great in number and incredibly complex in scope. The idea that you could take one tiny isolated variable and use it to extrapolate a detailed record of world climate going back thousands of years is not only flawed, the rate of error would have to be astronomical. Granted, you can always fit a parameter estimate to the specific data to create a set of guesses, then you can super impose the guessed data back on top of the data it came from and call that correlation in a cleverly produced slide show.

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