Monday, August 28, 2006

Thirty Year Studies

This article is one of many that recently reported the findings of a group of scientists who claim that, by studying data starting in 1971, it can be proved that spring is arriving earlier and autumn is lasting longer.

Also in the Daily Telegraph, weather expert Philip Eden noted on Saturday that this study might have used 1971 as a start date because this and the following years were unusually cool. He doesn't accuse the scientists of anything but points out the dangerous precedent they may have unknowingly introduced.

The problem is that few will consider this normal and uncynical observation and the majority will jump on the bandwagon, claiming yet more short term evidence to prove long term hypothesis.

Well, of course, we can expect our springs to start earlier as we are still emerging from an Ice Age. But to measure this over a period of only 30 years is rather pointless. The fact that this study caused headline news is very disappointing.

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