Selling fudge

Here are two scary images from Watts Up With That? an environmental blog. The first shows temperature trends ending in 2004 and lots of coldness, the second shows trends ending in 2007 and the coldness has disappeared. I'm scared!!!!!

From 2004 - Cold:

From 2007 - Hot:

Wow! What a difference! I'm shutting off all my lights, the heat, and never driving my car again!

Now, look at the scales on each image. The first shows a variation of -0.2 to +0.2 degrees celsius, the second shows a variation of -0.1 to +0.1 celsius.

In other words it is very hard to directly compare the two images. It also shows, that at worst, we are dealing with about a tenth of a degree celsius change in a couple of years. Easily understandable if one year was on the warm side and one on the cold. Temperatures vary considerably from year to year, with warm winters followed by balmy ones. Pick the right time range, say ending the first right after a major cold year, and ending the second after an unusually warm one, and you can produce some really scary graphs.

This is how hype is propagated. Shocking images which do not mean what you think they mean.