Kevin Trenberth wrote the following text:
Click the image above to zoom in.
You see a graph that seems to be a graph of some temperatures. You see that the maximum that the temperature has reached on this graph is slightly above 0.7 °C. On the horizontal axis, you see 8 cells. Your task is to guess the value of the temperature now, pretty much in the middle of the next, 9th cell (the first one on the right side that isn't shown on the graph anymore).
The function seems to be increasing, right?
It could be something like 0.8 °C or 0.9 °C, some readers will say. The tiny dip at the right end of the graph is an irrelevant fluctuation. We see that the temperature was recently increasing by 0.1-0.2 °C per cell.
Are they right? Well, they're not right.
The latest reading at the moment defined above is actually 0.445 °C. How do I know that?
Because the graph above isn't a temperature graph but a graph of something that behaves in a very similar way as the local or global temperatures (at least if you take the logarithm of it) – namely the price of the Apple stock.
You may play with the Apple graph at Google Finance and you will immediately see what I did. I charted the price of the stock between early 2005 and late 2012, divided it by $1,000, and added the Celsius degree as a unit to confuse you.
You could have bought the stock for $7 in 2003 and it peaked above $700 in September 2012. In that way, you would earn 10,000% (ten thousand percent) of the original investment in less than a decade. Well, I guess that there are some TRF readers who did not do anything less than that...
For several years, I was already amazed by the rise of the Apple stock and thought that it couldn't possibly continue – although I seriously admitted that both scenarios were possible. I was proven wrong about the "primary guess" a few times. However, since September 2012, the stock went from $700 to $445. That's more than 35% decrease. Those who bought into the stock in Fall 2012 are probably not excessively happy now.
The rise of the stock had some causes – it wasn't a collection of coincidences that just happened to conspire to increase the price of the stock every year. But the idea that these causes are guaranteed to work forever is just childishly naive. There is no real evidence that the global mean temperature should behave differently than the Apple stock – and rise for the following decades and centuries, as long as the mankind burns the fossil fuels.
In order to show how naive the global warming alarmists' reasoning is, I will replace the belief that everything is about the enhanced greenhouse effect which is guaranteed to last forever by the belief that the Apple stock has to rise forever due to the ingenuity of the iPod. Here is Trenberth's article (I deliberately used a not-quite-primary product of Apple, the iPod, because this is what the global warming alarmists are doing with CO2, too: it is far from being the most important greenhouse gas and the greenhouse effect is far from being the most important contribution to the energy balance and temperature variability):
Apple's stock rise is here to stay, whichever way you look at it
Has the rise of the Apple stock stalled? This question is increasingly being asked because the MP3 player market seems cool and hot, or because the price on the Wall Street is not increasing at its earlier rate or the long-term rate expected from financial model projections.
The answer depends a lot on what one means by the “rising Apple stock”. For some it is equated to the “price paid on the Wall Street”. That keeps going up but also has ups and downs from year to year. More on that shortly.
Why should it go up? Well, because the demand for iPods is warming as a result of human leisure-time activities. With increasing collections of songs, videos, and other time-wasting media files in the society, there is an imbalance in data flows in and out through the cables connected to the MP3 players: the devices increasingly trap more media files and hence create a rising demand for the iPods. “Warming” of the market really means heating, and this can exhibit itself in many ways.
Rising demand for the stock among buyers on the Main Street are just one manifestation. Melting Research in Motion is another. So is collapse of Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, and other competitors that contribute to the rising unemployment among non-Apple-trained IT specialists. Increasing the traffic of the Apple Store and invigorating viral video industry is yet another. But most (more than 90%) of the data imbalance goes into the internal flash disks of the iPods, and several analyses have now shown this. But even there, how much the upper layers of the RAM are being filled, as opposed to how much penetrates deeper into the internal flash memory of the iPod where it may not have much immediate influence, is a key issue.
The ups and downs of Apple's stock price
My colleagues and I have just published a new analysis showing that in the past decade about 30% of the media files has been dumped at levels below 700 megabytes beneath the most frequently accessed portions of the flash memory, where most previous analyses stop.
The first point is that this is fairly new; it is not there throughout the record. The cause of the shift is a particular change of the behavior of consumers who listen to the music in winds, especially in the Pacific Ocean where the subtropical trade winds have become noticeably stronger, changing the minimum volume that is needed to hear the songs and providing a mechanism for data to be carried down into the flash memory. This is associated with patterns of changes of the popular songs in the Pacific, which are in turn related to the female performances of the male interpreters.
The second point is that we have found distinctive variations in Apple's stock price with male musicians. A mini rise of the stock price, in the sense of an increase of the figure on the Wall Street, occurs in the latter stages of the publication of a new song by a male interpreter, as the music comes out of the flash drive and activates the speakers. The amount of data in the flash memory is also affected by volcanic eruptions, which also affect the perceptions of Apple's stock rise, especially if a volcano covers an Apple factory by lava.
Normal usage of the Internet also interferes by generating clouds that store the users' files for a while and then send them back, and there are fluctuations in the global data imbalance from month to month. But these average out over a year or so.
Another prominent source of expected variability in the industry’s data imbalance is changes in the electricity industry itself, seen most clearly as the cycle of variable spot prices. From 2005 to 2010 the power plants went into a quiet phase and the data energy imbalance is estimated to have dropped by about 10 to 15%.
Some of the penetration of the data into the depths of the flash memory is reversible, as it comes back when the user turns the iPod on again. But a lot is not; instead it contributes to the overall filling of the deep flash memory. This means less short-term addition of the data into the RAM, but at the expense of greater utilization of the flash memory, and faster deterioration of the competing companies. So this has consequences.
Apple's stock rise is here to stay
Coming back to the stock price record on the Wall Street, one thing is clear. The past decade is by far the most successful one for Apple's stock price on record. Human interest in Apple Inc really kicked in during the 1970s, shortly after the company was founded in 1976, and Apple's stock price has been pretty steady since then.
While the overall increase of the price is about $500 per decade, there are three one-year periods where there was a hiatus in warming, as the graph above shows, in 2000, partly in 2002, in 2008, and between 2012 and 2013. But at each end of these periods there were big jumps. We find exactly the same sort of flat periods at random places of financial model projections, lasting easily up to 15 months in length.
Focusing on the wiggles and ignoring the bigger picture of unabated rise of Apple's stock price is foolhardy, but an approach promoted by iPod success deniers. The elimination of the competition keeps marching up at a rate of more than 30 companies per decade since 1992 (when global markets using instantaneous transactions were made possible), and that is perhaps a better indicator that Apple's stock price continues unabated. The deterioration of all the competitors comes from both the melting of companies associated with the PC industry, thus adding more finances and flash memory chips to the market of intelligent phones, plus the warming and thus expanding market for the media players itself.
Apple's stock rise is manifested in a number of ways, and there is a continuing wireless data transfer imbalance in the vicinity of the iPods. The current hiatus in the rise of Apple's stock price is temporary, and this increase has not gone away.
LM: I hope that at least some readers were laughing. By this parody, I wanted to emphasize that while Trenberth writes and says lots of things about many random components of the atmospheric and weather systems, none of them really proves – or provides us with any significantly strong evidence – that CO2 is important enough so that the temperatures will be higher in 20, 30, 50, or 100 years. Much like the price of a stock, they may be higher but they may be lower, too. Rationalization of a predetermined conclusion is not genuine science.
In fact, it seems that he talks about so many things just in order to impress the readers who don't have a clue about climatology or, and it is even worse, to distract the reader who would otherwise realize that a previous claim by Trenberth was proven wrong. Randomly jumping from one topic to another creates excuses that undemanding readers are satisfied with. He isn't carefully verifying the statements individually. Chances are that about 1/2 of his statements are simply incorrect and even those that are correct have nothing to do with the main claim that Trenberth would like to justify but he cannot justify it because there exists no scientific evidence – namely the claim that CO2 matters and is a significant (or even main?) factor for the forecasts.