The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Charting Climate Change

For years (possibly as early as the 17th Century) traders in shares, currencies, commodities and various derivatives have used graphs and charts to track these items.  Many traders use these techniques (often known as Technical Analysis) to make their investment decisions based on those charts.

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.



20111004_Figure3 with highs

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?
  1. There has been an upward trend in global temperature since the early part of the 20th Century; rising steeply since the mid-1970s.
  2. There has been an upward trend in global mean sea level since, at least, the early 1990s.
  3. There has been a downward trend in the extent of Arctic sea-ice since, at least, the mid 1990s.
It’s there, plain to see on the charts.  Technical Analysis, a well-founded aid to share trading and investment, has shown that global warming is happening and having an effect.

When are we going to see an upward trend in the determination by global leaders to take action?

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