A Bit of Fun with Statistics

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I wondered what would happen if I put the NOAA data on the number of hurricanes that have made landfall on the US by decade (since 1851) into a Simple Regression equation and plotted the darned things. Well this is it- a negative trend (up to the year 2000, as we haven't completed the decade of 2001-2010). Does this prove anything? Not really, just that there are many ways of crunching numbers and that even statisticians can run things in mulitple ways. Lie, damned lies and statistics... Still it is interesting and suggests the global warming effect on worrisome hurricanes is less robust than advertised. But check out some more serious number crunching on Climate Audit on this question to get your head spinning like a cyclone.

3 comments:

Doug said...

Not surprising given the folks selling Global Warming, but they are Incredibly Self-Centric, namely acting like the rest of the World does not exist, or if it does, does not matter:
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Back around '93 Guam seemed to be getting hit about every other week, including some real monsters.
Haven't seen anything like that since.
Hawaii doesn't get nearly as many, but experienced a similar trend.
Think it's been about 6 years since we've had one come close!

Not that they would care to include the real world in their tiny self-contained one inside their heads.

Barry Dauphin said...

In fact some of the folks at Climate Audit plotted the storm frequency to hit US and a Poisson distribution, and they are almost identical. The total number of hurricanes comes close to following a Poisson distribution too. A Poisson distribution is like a normal distribution, except it applies to events that have relatively few instances, especially where the ceiling is fairly low (e.g., the number of hurricnase in a year won't be a million--it's hard to get above 25-30). So essentially these events are averaging out in a way basially predicted by the statistics of a Poisson distribtuion.

Doug said...

The public could be excused if they guessed the slope was reversed:
Don't think we'll be seeing headlines anytime soon reading:
"Decrease in Hurricane Frequency Continues Long-Term Trend."