The 5-sigma debate

This storify collates a large number of tweets in the most logical order I can, to illustrate a debate that occurred on twitter and about which I will probably blog. It is important for me to point out that I think everyone in this debate is acting in good faith.

byRichard Snape297 Views
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  1. People in this debate have public profiles with noted political leanings and positions on climate change.  You can go and look them up if you want. My position is that I think Climate Change is happening - this is a judgement based on mechanisms for retention of energy that I have seen described in scientific papers.  As with any of my scientific judgements, I like to keep it under review - especially in the light of new data or analysis.  However, I do not like to see bad statistics or bad inference from good statistics used in an attempt to "bolster" the case that climate change is happening.  The argument does not benefit from that.  I try to keep the stats as objective and correct as possible and point up clearly where arguments turn into belief and judgement based inference from what the stats say.
  2. Day 1
  3. Zoe Williams received a couple of messages about the blog post and flooding
  4. ... and posts this
  5. Which arouses the suspicion of Ben Pile among others...
  6. This begins a debate on the statistical significance of observing rainfall as it applies to evidence for climate change.  Initially quite polite...
  7. N.B. Ben has subsequently pointed out that he meant their to be a negative here (i.e. no global warming signal).
  8. Ben points out that an opposite trend has been co-opted as evidence for climate change in the paper that Zoe writes for only 2 years ago.