So how can climate change deniers misrepresent data to show that there has been no increase in global temperatures? One way is to make the y-axis scale so large that it completely obscures any trend.
This trick was attempted by the conservative magazine National Review, which tweeted that this was "the only #climatechange chart you need to see."
But by setting the upper limit at 110°F (43.3°C) and the lower at -10°F (-23.3°C), both of which are two extremes so off the scale we’ll never have to worry about them as we’d all be dead, what they’ve effectively done is zoom out so much that it makes it seem like global average temperatures haven’t changed at all:
The only #climatechange chart you need to see. https://t.co/XWPo00GulS (h/t @powerlineUS) pic.twitter.com/QcrN2fCouT
— National Review (@NRO) December 14, 2015
Unfortunately for them, that’s not quite how statistics work. Inevitably, the people of Twitter picked up on the attempt to skew the data, and handily posted what the actual stats look like, on a much more meaningful scale.
Clearly, it shows global average temperature creeping higher and higher when compared to pre-industrial levels. In fact, this year saw the global average temperature surpass 1°C (1.8°F) of warming compared to 1900, halfway to the 2°C (3.6°F) scientists agree we need to keep warming under:
@NRO @powerlineUS Let me zoom that in for some of your older followers: pic.twitter.com/OEVHxDXMjU
— Ryan (@RyanMcGarry) December 14, 2015
People also decided to use the National Review's brilliant graph skills, and try their hand mashing other sets of data. Take this one, showing how America never needs to worry about national debt:
.@NRO @powerlineUS no need to worry about the national debt then either! pic.twitter.com/f4UKGX2poJ
— kiss me, i'm a donor (@SeanMcElwee) December 14, 2015
Or this one, proving that gun violence just isn’t that big issue all those on the left make it out to be:
.@NRO @powerlineUS WOW!!!!! this chart shows gun violence isnt a issue either pic.twitter.com/TLGEjoHNmQ
— jomny sun (@jonnysun) December 14, 2015