Should we really be surprised that deniers cherry pick data and distort the truth?
In addition to her usual war on science, Jo Nova frequently attacks the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
In today’s post produces a predicted rainfall map produced by the BoM on August 24 2010 for the September-November period contrasted with actual recorded rainfall. In her mind it proves BoM can’t get it right:
Shocking! How much more wrong could the BoM be! Says outraged Nova :
How many billions have we lost thanks to farmers who might have been able to harvest early, or plant different crops, or avoid seeding in droughts, or any one of a thousand other choices that would help them to make the most of our highly variable climate.
Oh wait, there is something she neglects to tell her readers…
I’m sure alert readers of this blog now what she’s done.
Nova neglects to show us is the forecasts made following this August outlook which actually predict wetter conditions for most of Australia.
Here is their prediction released on 22 September 2010.
And the map:
Wetter conditions favoured for most of Australia
The Australian rainfall outlook for the December quarter (October to December) favours wetter than average conditions over large parts of the continent, with strongest odds across northern Australia. The October to December outlook is the result of warm conditions in the Indian Ocean and cool conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, both of which are associated with the current La Niña event.
Probabilities versus observed rainfall
BoM refined their predictions in light of new data and observing trends, standard practice. Nova’s post is a gross mischaracterization of BoM’s predictions.
More importantly, the BoM predictions indicate probabilities for increased (or decreased) rain, not actual predicted rainfall. It’s a subtle and important difference and means the BoM was actually correct in stating in there was an increased chance for wetter conditions in parts of Australia.
She is employing a standard trick of all anti-science movements: asking the impossible of science. Predictions about future events are made with a certain level of confidence, and then refined as more data is available. Between August and September, BoM refined their predictions.
It took me less than two minutes to check this information.
An “honest’ oversight on Nova’s behalf?
You be the judge…