WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

A satirical look at baseball and global warming

Posted October 31, 2015

It is a well known fact that one can make statistics say anything one wants them to. One way this has been done in the global temperature record is to start the trendline in 1998, the year the strongest elnino on record contributed to a spike in temperatures. This is how some claim that the warming has stopped.

Since climatic trends take place over longer time scales than 17 years, this claim doesn't cut it. The longer term record shows definitive warming over the last 100 years. But last night as I watched my beloved Mets fall behind 3-2 in the second inning, I violated the very rule I just spoke of.

You see, I concluded that after giving up 15 runs in 18 innings against the Royals, the Mets were dead. Now the Mets have played 174 games this year, and let's assume they all lasted 9 innings. That's 1566 innings. I was using data with a duration of 18 innings compared with a total record of 1566 innings to establish a trend. Let's divide 18 by 1566, and we get 1.15% of the record. Now, over a period of 100 years, there are 1200 months. 1.15% of 1200 months is 13.79 months, or a little over a year, hardly enough time to establish a long term climatic trend. The Mets came back to win 9-3, so the predictive power of my 18 inning trend proved to be nil. So I must humbly confess that I am a hypocrite, and now have empathy for those who distort records by looking at a far too limited portion of the data. I can only hang my head in shame, and apologize to the Mets for my irresponsible actions.

No matter how tonight's game starts, I shall not engage in any ill-advised acts of prophecy!

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  • John Lobenstein Dec 12, 2015
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    How significant are the past 100 years in Earth's climate variability? 100/3,500,000,000 = .000000029
    100/10,000 = .01
    3,500,000,000 estimated age of Earth.
    10,000 years of civilization.