Thanks to Wolfram Alpha we have access to a great deal of historical temperature data. One would think that through Wolfram Alpha one would see a visual trend in temperature upwards as it has gradually moved with the increase in CO2 since 1980.

Here are some examples though where the average temperature do not appear to be changing:

I tried a few other places, but none showed any of the change in temperature that one would expect if changes in temperature were occurring.

This appears inconsistent with the theory of climate change, namely that temperatures are increasing. How might one explain this inconsistency?


This question is quite similar to

Does the regional localisation of global temperature trends suggest contamination by urban development?

... but in this question the data is from a specific (well reputed source), Wolfram Alpha, and there is no link to the theory of urbanization–warming.

I am concerned about deferring answers to the urbanization question, good as it is, because I feel it does not address the crux of this issue, namely: why are some places not experiencing any global warming according to the data in Wolfram Alpha.

It is not fair to call the sample cherry picking because I chose to look at data from England and the "edges" of North America and the centre (Chicago), being reasonable "corners" of a familiar geography; I did not choose the data based on the result (i.e. cherry picking), though it is obviously biased to North America, but that is where Wolfram Alpha has data.

I would expect, given the huge amount of research on the topic, that the question may be (and likely already is) answered with a map that shows places affected by global warming (a "heat map" of sorts) – which should show that the above places are exactly as mentioned, a variant of the inadequate sample size problem or biased generalization (being only North America).

closed as off-topic by DJClayworth, Flimzy, Oddthinking Sep 21 '15 at 3:21

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Skeptics Stack Exchange is for challenging unreferenced notable claims, pseudoscience and biased results. This question might not challenge a claim, or the claim identified might not be notable." – Flimzy, Oddthinking
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    The average global temperature has increased since 1980 by about half a degree (see e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming#/media/…). So what sort of "visual trend" do you expect? At least my own eyes would definitely not be able to spot this in the plots that your links point to. However, getting the data and performing a linear regression should be sufficiently accurate to reveal the trend. – Saibot Sep 20 '15 at 17:54
  • 2
    According to the raw temperature data the majority of warming is concentrated in a small number of areas geographically. I'm about to ask a separate question on this, but the effect is obvious if you look at regional anomalies. There are plenty of US states or countries that show no net warming. – matt_black Sep 20 '15 at 20:25
  • 4
    The question appears to be asking us to generate a model of the climate change based on five cherry-picked cities, over 35 cherry-picked years. Rather than doing original research, our role is to point to the conclusions produced by climatologists. A duplicate question already covers that. – Oddthinking Sep 21 '15 at 3:26
  • 8
    The Wolfram alpha plots are of the raw data, which includes the seasonal cycle, which for the U.K. is a swing of 15-20 degrees C. The expected warming from climate change is much smaller (IIRC 0.2 degrees per decade on average), so it is not going to be visible over the seasonal signal. That is why climatologists use anomalies, where the mean value for each month is subtracted off, which eliminates most of the seasonal signal. This means there is no notable claim here, just an error in the analysis. – Dikran Marsupial Sep 22 '15 at 7:01
  • 4
    BTW, for England, we have the Central England Temperature dataset, which the oldest instrumental records (going back to 1659!), and the anomalies are available from the MetOffice here metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet . The recent warming is readily apparent, although there is considerable variation (the smaller the area you look at, the more variable temperature records will be). HTH. – Dikran Marsupial Sep 22 '15 at 7:48

Browse other questions tagged .