Bob Ward, writing at the Greenpeace website (where else?), is getting into the statistics of temperature trends once again:
Dr Whitehouse, a former BBC science correspondent, has been churning out a steady stream of error-filled articles on the Foundation’s website to try to cast doubt on the evidence for climate change. His description of the Met Office’s latest findings was similarly flawed. He claimed, for instance, that there has been “a global temperature standstill (from 1997 to present)”, which is a favourite falsehood disseminated by climate change ‘sceptics’ and their promoters in the media, such as David Rose of ‘The Mail on Sunday’ and Christopher Booker of ‘The Sunday Telegraph’.
In fact, the Met Office’s HadCRUT4 database of monthly global temperature measurements shows very clearly that the linear trend in temperature between January 1997 and November 2012 (the figure for December 2012 has not yet been published) is a warming of about 0.05°C per decade, which is statistically significant at the 95 per cent level when simple linear regression using ordinary least squares is applied to the data (it should be noted that it is very difficult to determine whether temperature trends over such short timescales are really statistically significant because of autocorrelation effects).
So, when David Whitehouse says there has been a global temperature standstill since 1997, Bob says this is "flawed". Why? Because the OLS trend is above zero, and that this trend is "statistically significant". He then notes that in fact OLS is inappropriate for calculating trends in temperature series. In other words, the trend cannot be shown to be statistically significant using this technique.
Which means that David Whitehouse's analysis was correct.