Global warming and the Minnesota Moose. Part IIa

This is a continuation of a discussion on the role of Global Warming in the decline of moose populations in Minnesota. It is also a discussion of Global Warming denialism.

When I started to write Part II of this post, I realized that one aspect of the argument would probably distract from all the others, could be dealt with quickly and summarily, and makes a nice pithy post all by itself. This aspect is the claim made by commenter Gerard on an earlier post regarding global warming (or lack thereof) in Minnesota.

Gerard made this claim:

The average monthly high/low temperatures for January in Lake Bronson, MN (but pick any other station in the region you like) , averaged over the period 1900-1992, were 11.7 F /-9.6 F. The monthly average high/low for 1993 – 2002, over which period the moose herd suffered a 10 fold decline, were 11.7 F/-7.1 F.

Have you any evidence at all that average wintertime temperatures in NW Minnesota actually changed over the period you claim global warming caused the death of the moose herd? Or am I just a mean nasty person for looking at the actual, y’know, raw data?


Dr. Gerard should learn to make such claims with less snark, lest he gets his ass truly kicked instead of merely corrected.

Anyway, it is a rather remarkable claim considering that this is what temperatures over the last century look like in Minnesota:


click image for a larger version

So let’s look at Dr. Gerard’s claim more closely.

According to Gerard, the Average high temperature from this station in 1900 to 1992 was not 11.7 degrees F. However, when I look at the data, I find that it was 49.17 degrees F. Translating F to C we get 9.54 degrees C, so I’m guessing Dr. Gerard messed up the scale.

So, since most Minnesotans relate better to F than C, let’s translate everything into F.

Using the years Gerard picked and actual correctly calculated numbers in degrees F from real data, we get this:

1900-1992 High = 49.1 Low = 26.0
1993-2002 High = 49.6 Low = 27.5

To make things simpler, we can average across highs and lows and get this:

1900-1992 -> 37.6 deg F
1993-2002 -> 38.5 deg F

Ironically, when I use Gerard’s original data, which I can’t verify, I get a total average difference of 2.2 (warming) but when I use actual verified data shown here I get a total average difference as indicated here of closer to 1.0 degrees (less warming!).

However, Gerard has cherry picked the data as I had earlier suggested. Here are the data from this station graphed out, including ALL the available years (Gerard ignores recent very warm years):


Blue dots and lines represent averages of highs and lows per year (Jan to Dec) for the entire period. Solid curvy black line represents decadal moving average. Solid straight line is a simple regression fitted to all of the data.

If you look at either of the graphs shown above, you can see that there is a general warming trend, but that during the latter part of this warming trend, there are a few cool years embedded within a bunch of very warm years. By ignoring the last few very warm years, Gerard minimizes the difference between “then” and “now.”

I can fudge the data too. If you pick a different cutoff point you can get an increase in warming. The data I cite above gives us a 1 degree F change. Using Gerard’s original unverified data, you get a 2.2 degree change. But I can also do this:

1900 to Spring 2003 -> 37.6
Spring 2003 to pres -> 40.3

For an increase in 2.7 degrees.

Try it at any station across the state. You get the same results. Global warming is real even in Minnesota which is, locally.less affected than may other areas.

In the end, we have only one conclusion regarding Dr. Gerard’s analysis. And that conclusion is THIS.

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0 thoughts on “Global warming and the Minnesota Moose. Part IIa

  1. Gerard says that the average January low temp for 1990-1992 was -9.6F. Then he says the average for 1993-2003 was -7.1F. Those are the data he is choosing to prove that the temperature isn’t increasing. He seems to believe that -7.1F is not warmer than -9.6F. Gerard should glance up at the number line above the blackboard. It doesn’t help to look at the actual, y’know, raw data if you can’t actually, y’know, count.

  2. Anything is possible if you donâ??t know what you are talking about. It is unfortunate that so many bloggers have no ability and may even lack the interest to do their own research on the planetâ??s climate. As a result they have no basis to challenge the highly politicized claims of many and often resort to ad hominem attacks.

    I have an MSc in Mechanical Engineering and have been researching the global warming issue for thousands of hours for over two years. I have determined that atmospheric carbon dioxide has no significant influence on average global temperature and that a time-integral of sunspots correlates with the observed average global temperatures. My findings are presented and links to the source data are provided so anyone can verify what I have done. Although I only use data of highest quality, I still compare the data from various agencies when possible and sometimes just average them to avoid bias.

    Arctic sea ice is not disappearing. Arctic sea ice area has actually increased the last couple of years and is currently about at the middle of the range that it has had for the last seven years. A multi-year daily-updated graph is shown at . As this graph clearly shows the Arctic ice is NOT disappearing.

    Climate Scientists with their faulty computer programs got it wrong. The real message from measured data is that the temperature has stopped increasing and the trend is now down. The average global temperature is below the lowest that was predicted by the Climate Scientists and their twenty or so Global Climate models. One problem is that Climate Scientists apparently do not understand the science that, with paleo temperature data, shows that there is no significant net positive feedback from average global temperature. This science is well understood by some engineers who have exploited it in many common practical devices. It is described further in one of the pdfs at . Without net positive feedback there is no human caused global warming. Without human caused global warming there is no human caused climate change. The other pdf at this site shows the sunspot assessment. Any activity to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide to reduce climate change is a mistake that reduces freedom and prosperity.

    Since 2000, atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by an amount equal to 18.8% of the increase from 1800 to 2000. According to the average of the five reporting agencies, the trend of average global temperatures since 1998 shows no increase and from 2002 through 2008 the trend shows a DECREASE of 1.8°C/century. This SEPARATION has been increasing at an average rate of about 2% per year since 2000. It corroborates the lack of connection between atmospheric carbon dioxide increase and average global temperature. The annual average global temperature anomalies and links to the five reporting agencies are given in one of my posts at . Another post there gives links to several others that refute AGW using different methodology. As the atmospheric carbon dioxide level continues to increase and the average global temperature doesnâ??t it is becoming more and more apparent that many climate scientists have made an egregious mistake and a whole lot of people have been misled.

    The sun has been very quiet for over 31 months. It has not been this quiet this long since 1913. Seventy three of the last 86 days (as of Oct 4, 2009) have been sunspot free. Numerical data for the last 30 days are provided at SESC sunspot number is calculated the same way as Wolf number. The Little Ice Age and other periods of reduced average global temperature coincide with few sunspots. Sunspot changes appear to be a â??catalystâ?? for cloud changes and therefore have much greater influence on average earth temperature than total solar irradiance (TSI).

  3. The whole problem with Global Warming is that Fmr. Democratic V.P. Al Gore made it his cause.

    That is it in a nutshell.

    The more Al pressed the subject, the more resistance comes from the right.

    What? Scientists building a concensus? Well, don’t worry. Scientists come in Democrat and Republican flavors as well. Surely there will be quite a few that won’t be able to swallow the ol’ Gore pill since it tastes like Democrat.

    Don’t fool yourselves. Don’t lie to yourselves or others. The sublect of Global Warming is a Political one, thus it is subject to factual accuracy of any and all other political arguments.

    After all, the goal is to win… no matter what.

  4. I think that the current cold snap we are having in the Upper Midwest is clear proof that we need not worry about global warming.

  5. As soon as Dan writes “trend of average global temperatures since 1998, I know he’s cherry-picking the data. That throws any cites he makes into disrepute. I’d love for global warming to be proven wrong, but cherry-picking won’t do it.

    Warm globally, watch locally. It’s definitely trending warmer in my neck of the woods.

  6. Gerard was using january averages. Not all year averages… Do you really think the average high Minnesota january temp is close to 50 degrees F? yeah right i dont think so. Maybe inside your house…

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