Today, the science of climate change is awash in graphs. We see them everywhere; printed in newspapers, flashed on TV screens and dotted throughout articles relating to climate change. Have those using Technical Analysis learnt anything that can help with interpreting climate change charts and graphs?
Let’s look at three recent graphs.
Graph A tracks the global temperature changes for each year from the 1880s until this year (2013). Graph B records the monthly global mean sea-level height from 1992 through to mid-2013. Graph C shows the average monthly Arctic sea-ice extent in the years 1978 to 2011.
When arguing that climate change is occurring many activists point to the peaks in the graphs as evidence of increased temperature, increasing sea-level rise or decreasing Arctic sea-ice. In response, climate change deniers will point to the dips in the graphs.
This is where Technical Analysis aids in interpretation. In Technical Analysis an upward trend is defined by a series of higher lows and a downward trend by a series of lower highs.
Confused? Take a close look at Graph C. On the graph I have circled in red the lower highs. In each of the years 2001, 2006 and 2009 there were “spikes” in the graph. But, the height of each of those spikes was successively lower than the height of the previous spike. This is a classic example of lower highs indicating a downward trend.
Using similar analysis in Graphs A and B it is possible to identify a number of higher lows in each case: indicating clear upward trends.
What does this tell us?
- There has been an upward trend in global temperature since the early part of the 20th Century; rising steeply since the mid-1970s.
- There has been an upward trend in global mean sea level since, at least, the early 1990s.
- There has been a downward trend in the extent of Arctic sea-ice since, at least, the mid 1990s.
When are we going to see an upward trend in the determination by global leaders to take action?
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