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Global Cooling-Wanna Bet?

Filed under: — stefan @ 8 May 2008 - (Español) (Deutsch) (Italian)

By Stefan Rahmstorf, Michael Mann, Ray Bradley, William Connolley, David Archer, and Caspar Ammann

Global cooling appears to be the “flavour of the month”. First, a rather misguided media discussion erupted on whether global warming had stopped, based on the observed temperatures of the past 8 years or so (see our post). Now, an entirely new discussion is capturing the imagination, based on a group of scientists from Germany predicting a pause in global warming last week in the journal Nature (Keenlyside et al. 2008).

Specifically, they make two forecasts for global temperature, as discussed in the last paragraphs of their paper and shown in their Figure 4 (see below). The first forecast concerns the time interval 2000-2010, while the second concerns the interval 2005-2015 (*). For these two 10-year averages, the authors make the following prediction:

“… the initialised prediction indicates a slight cooling relative to 1994-2004 conditions”

Their graph shows this: temperatures in the two forecast intervals (green points shown at 2005 and 2010) are almost the same and are both lower than observed in 1994-2004 (the end of the red line in their graph).

Fig. 4 from <em/>Keenlyside et al ’08″ align = “left” width=90%/><br />
<b>Figure 4 from <em>Keenlyside et al</em> ’08</b></p>
<p>The authors also make regional predictions, but naturally it was this global prediction that captivated most newspaper stories around the world (e.g. <a href=New York Times, BBC News, Reuters, Bloomberg and so on), because of its seeming contradiction with global warming. The authors emphasise this aspect in their own media release, which was titled: Will Global Warming Take a Short Break?

That this cooling would just be a temporary blip and would change nothing about global warming goes without saying and has been amply discussed elsewhere (e.g. here). But another question has been rarely discussed: will this forecast turn out to be correct?

We think not – and we are prepared to bet serious money on this. We have double-checked with the authors: they say they really mean this as a serious forecast, not just as a methodological experiment. If the authors of the paper really believe that their forecast has a greater than 50% chance of being correct, then they should accept our offer of a bet; it should be easy money for them. If they do not accept our bet, then we must question how much faith they really have in their own forecast.

The bet we propose is very simple and concerns the specific global prediction in their Nature article. If the average temperature 2000-2010 (their first forecast) really turns out to be lower or equal to the average temperature 1994-2004 (*), we will pay them € 2500. If it turns out to be warmer, they pay us € 2500. This bet will be decided by the end of 2010. We offer the same for their second forecast: If 2005-2015 (*) turns out to be colder or equal compared to 1994-2004 (*), we will pay them € 2500 – if it turns out to be warmer, they pay us the same. The basis for the temperature comparison will be the HadCRUT3 global mean surface temperature data set used by the authors in their paper.

To be fair, the bet needs an escape clause in case a big volcano erupts or a big meteorite hits the Earth and causes cooling below the 1994-2004 level. In this eventuality, the forecast of Keenlyside et al. could not be verified any more, and the bet is off.

The bet would also need a neutral arbiter – we propose, for example, the director of the Hadley Centre, home of the data used by Keenlyside et al., or a committee of neutral colleagues. This neutral arbiter would also decide whether a volcano or meteorite impact event is large enough as to make the bet obsolete.

We will discuss the scientific reasons for our assessment here another time – first we want to hear from Keenlyside et al. whether they accept our bet. Our friendly challenge is out – we hope they will accept it in good sportsmanship.

(*) We adopt here the definition of the 10-year intervals as in their paper, which is from 1 November of the first year to 31 October of the last year. I.e.: 2000-2010 means 1 November 2000 until 31 October 2010.

Update: We have now published part 2 of this bet with our scientific arguments.

_______________________
Update: Andy Revkin has weighed in at “dot earth”.

Update 5/11/08: so has Anna Barnett at Nature’s ‘climate feedback’ blog


228 Responses to “Global Cooling-Wanna Bet?”

  1. 51
    rutger says:

    Maybe we shouldn`t take models so seriously at all..

    [Response: No--actually, it is comments such as this which we should not take seriously at all. -mike]

  2. 52
    mz says:

    I’m a long time reader of Realclimate and have endorsed you, but I think this is a too polemic way to go about this. You should concentrate on the science where you rock.

    Not everyone has the same amount of loose money, placing the poorer in a very different position when betting. Even if the odds were the same, they have a much worse outcome if they lose – this is not offset by the positive outcome of victory. (Well, depends on how risk averse you are too.)

    All in all, it’s not very polite. There are people who are clearly dishonest hacks with whom politeness is not important, but I don’t suspect that with Keenlyside et al.

    [Response: I would not bet with "dishonest hacks", but I would with respected colleagues that I feel I'm on sufficiently friendly terms with. -stefan]

  3. 53
    Adam says:

    These sorts of bets also occur in Physics. I believe Hawking has (had) a few, for example. I *think* (could look it up) that there is currently one about whether the Higgs Boson will be detected.

    But it’s not even new to Climate Science or RC:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/06/betting-on-climate-change/

  4. 54
    Bryan S says:

    The new decadal model forecast has little if any skill due to an important scientific concept. It is an initial values problem, and is thus contaminated by large sensitivity to intial conditions (weather noise). What you guys will not come clean about however, is that these initial conditions of the ocean/atmosphere also impart a large range of uncertainty on multi-decadal predictions, even though you are invoking changes in boundary values to gain skill. I have thought a great deal about this, and I believe yours is a lousy hypothesis. Since the long-term signal from the external forcing change does not diminish natural variability, all the modeler is left to do is make long-term projections that are so vague, as to reneder them practically useless to the public or policymakers (other than to mislead them into thinking that these are skillful forecasts when they are not). Then some climate modelers even have the audacity to publish regional “projections” saying that the Colorado River will dry up in 50-100 years, or the rainfall and temperature somewhere else will change this way or that. This is abuse of science in the worst kind of way.

    It is double speak for a climate scientist to assert (correctly I might add) that natural variability like ENSO will alter the TOA radiative imbalance through changes in clouds, humidity, evaporation, rainfall, ect., but then out of the other side of the mouth imply that natural variability doesn’t really matter to the multi-decadal projections. It must. If you can’t keep up with annual-decadal changes in the TOA radiative imbalance or ocean heat content(because of failure to correctly model changes in the atmosphere and ocean due to natural variability), then your climate model lacks fidelity to the real world system it is tasked to represent. It might be said that such a model “is a uncertified public accountant of heat”. If either the model or the real system is a little “leakier” than the other, the two systems will diverge substantially over a long enough period of time. You gain a little heat in the model, or lose a little in the real world, and hope that the statistics of the long term natural variability go nowhere. Now the models may show this stability, but why should we believe them when they clearly don’t faithfully re-produce or predict some of the important atmosphere/ocean/cryosphere dynamics we are observing in the real world?

    So I think in the final analysis, you can place bets one way or another, and try and qualify the ground rules in a way that increases your odds of winning, but this whole post is really a joke, and an unfortunate diversion from an important science discussion. It is good entertainment though. By the way, how’s the bet with Bill Gray coming? He is also predicting cooling based on something probably as or more reliable than the numerical models: His gut.

  5. 55
    Alan says:

    EU2.5K is a bit steep, what happened to a more sporting bet of say a subscription to Nature. What the bloggers rant about is irrelevant, most stories I spotted on Google news were reasonably clear about what was said in Nature. IMHO the Germans and Nature have done the art of climate modeling a favour. No matter who is right about the oscillating thingies effect on short term temprature, climate modeling will be the winner.

  6. 56
    pete best says:

    Personally I greatly appreciate RC posting on this topic because it was reported in the media (especially the Telegraph, BBC etc) as the gospel truth which is what happens as soon as something is reported in Nature or some other academic and well respected academic publication.

    As RC are always at pains to point out to everyone, peer review is necessary but not sufficent to endorse something as true. The medias assumption that peer review means truth shows their lack of fundamental scientific understanding and hence the publics.

    Great article RC, I reckon I understand where you are coming from and it also makes me wonder about academic institutions and scientists themselves. I guess that science itself has scientists and scientists is you catch my drift.

    [Response: I think you understand the point we are trying to make. This supposed pause in global warming has been reported widely as if it were almost a fact, not a forecast, and as if this was widely supported by the climate science community, almost on a par with IPCC reports. Some articles framed it as if this new forecast now revises IPCC forecasts. If the prediction turns out to be wrong (which is what we think, and quite a few other climate scientists I have spoken to), this will damage the credibility of the whole community. This bet is supposed to signal to the public: on this decadal forecast the climate science community is not in wide agreement. In contrast to the global warming issue, where we have a wide agreement. -stefan]

  7. 57
    Ken Hall says:

    Yours is a misleading and very weighted bet as others have already noted.

    Would you be willing to take a bet that 2008 – 2017 will be cooler than 1998 – 2007? That would be a much more fair bet as to whether the mean average global temperature is going up or going down. It is easy to have bets when you pick the years that happen to suit your argument. Oh and I hope they do take your bet and that they win. 2008 has already shown precipitous cooling, if this continues (as it probably will) you may even lose your weighted bet.

    Additionally IF you were to lose your bet, would you then admit that the earth IS cooling?

    [Response: We bet against their forecast as they made it in Nature. We did not pick the years. -stefan]

  8. 58
    Jim Cross says:

    Re #36 “What’s sad is that the denialosphere has made such a mockery of the Keenlyside et al. publication.”

    I agree but isn’t this bet just doing the same thing? And that’s my point. The point of Keenlyside et al isn’t that global warming has stopped but the bet seems to be more to make a point against the position of the denialosphere than it is against the publication.

    Is RC saying it is impossible that global warming might pause or not increase as quickly as some models project – that even a brief hiatus threatens the entire theory? I know it is not but the bet seems to be coming from precisely such a position.

  9. 59
    Geoff Sherrington says:

    Why don’t you take up an earlier suggestion from Ross McKitrick and endorse (in summary here) that GHG emissions be taxed proportional to the actual global temperature change?

    That is better because reward is related to actuality, rather than guessing, as in your wager proposal, which is not actual. The former is better science than you propose.

    Why not cool down a bit and come back with a more sensible proposition like Ross’s?

  10. 60
    Chris says:

    There is an excellent article on the Keenlyside Nature letter at ClimateProgress which gives a very good explanation of what Keenlyside’s analysis is actually about, and from where much of the confusion about how the model should be interpreted, has arisen:

    http://climateprogress.org/2008/05/02/nature-article-on-cooling-confuses-revkin-media-deniers-next-decade-may-see-rapid-warming/

  11. 61

    I think it would have been useful to point out how the media and blogosphere has wildly misinterpreted what the authors said:

    http://climateprogress.org/2008/05/02/nature-article-on-cooling-confuses-revkin-media-deniers-next-decade-may-see-rapid-warming/

    It is more accurate to say the Nature study is consistent with the following statements:

    * The “coming decade” (2010 to 2020) is poised to be the warmest on record, globally.
    * The coming decade is poised to see faster temperature rise than any decade since the authors’ calculations began in 1960.
    * The fast warming would likely begin early in the next decade — similar to the 2007 prediction by the Hadley Center in Science (see “Climate Forecast: Hot — and then Very Hot“).
    * The mean North American temperature for the decade from 2005 to 2015 is projected to be slightly warmer than the actual average temperature of the decade from 1993 to 2003.

    I explain all this in the blog post.

  12. 62
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Geoff Sherrington, Are you aware that what you are proposint is essentially a weather tax? Perhaps you’d advocate going a step further and having the tax vary throughout the day as temperatures rise and fall.
    Those who are betting on temperature rising are betting on physics–and physics has a pretty good track record. Indeed if you understand the physics, it is very difficult to see how one could make any other bet. Policy should be based on the best science available as we understand it, and the science isn’t changing the answer it gives us. Because responding to climate change will require long-term investment in infrastructure, research and mitigation, we need an economic environment that is sufficiently consistent to reward such investment. An economic policy that changes with the weather doesn’t meet such a test.

  13. 63
    Timo says:

    Contrary what Alan (# 55) says, I think that climate modelling finally will be the loser. This bet is damaging and discrediting your profession more than anything else.

    You should withdraw your bet and show some professional behaviour. Start professional discussions with your counterpart in Germany (and the rest of the world) without involvement of the Blogosphere in order to understand their position.

    But who am I, a (climate) realist sensitive to listen to both sides of the issue.

  14. 64
    Ray Ladbury says:

    BryanS, So what you are saying is that since we can’t predict weather, we can’t predict climate; that because we have influences that oscillate up and down and up and down that they will trump a forcer that increases monotonically; that because we do not understand everything, we do not understand anything? Sorry, don’t buy it.
    By all means we must be cautious in extrapolating from long-term, global averages to regional consequences over finite intervals. However, we must weigh the consequences of the event as well as its probability, and over time, probabilities–and therefore risks–increase. If we have a threat with a possible consequence of the destruction of human civilization, we cannot dismiss that threat until we are certain that there is zero probability of that threat being realized.
    The science of climate change is sufficiently settled that it is unlikely that what we learn in the future–and we have much to learn–is unlikely to significantly alter the likely consequences of a business as usual approach. We now have to look at how business as usual must change to become business as sustainable.

  15. 65
    Dan says:

    re: 57. We are talking about climate, not weather. Even if 2008 turns out to be relatively cooler, it is not significant to the long-term trend. Which is warming. Similarly, 1998 was unusually warm due to the fact that there was a strong El Nino that year which enhanced global warming. So using 1998 as a reference year for cooling is not accurate either as it was an enhanced warming year.

  16. 66
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Jim Cross, I am well aware of randomness–it’s part of my day job. I am also aware that randomness in a system does not make it unpredictable over all timescales. Stocks follow a pattern of a random walk, but over the past several hundred years (admittedly an atypical period for human civilization), they have followed a random walk with a slight upward trend. Bet on stocks over the long hall over that period and you would have done quite well. Bet it all on any one stock or any one day and you could quite easily lose your shirt.

    The desire to gamble is evidently part of human nature. Markets take advantage of this impulse to add liquidity to investments and thereby increase their value. Lloyds of London has made many people a good living over the years by allowing the wealthy to insure various propositions–in effect wagering. Moreover, life is full of probabilistic events for which it is very difficult to determine the probability distribution in any rigorous manner–either because they are inherently random, or because they are sufficiently complicated that rigorous determination is impractical. For such events subjective or Bayesian probability may be the only applicable technique, and betting is as good a way as any to determine such a subjective probability.
    In effect the wager is being used to gauge relative confidence in two different models–a question that is not uninteresting or irrelevant to the science. It is rather like Fermi at Los Alamos taking bets on whether the Trinity test would initiate a catastrophic chain reaction in the atmosphere and incinerate the entire state of New Mexico: As Fermi was present at the test, his motive was certainly not profit, but rather to assess relative how much confidence people had that the test would not have catastrophic results.

  17. 67
    Jim Cripwell says:

    I have read the Nature article, and cannot pretend to really understand it. From what I can gather, superficially, is that the authors took a climate model, with the same CO2 sensitivity as the IPCC, and modified it to account fot the Atlantic Meridional Overturning, which is a temporary phenomenon. Naturally, when this temporary effect disappears, the projected global temperature is the same as that forecast by the IPCC. What the paper does not appear to cover is where the heat from AGW “hides” in the intervening years. I apologise for the unscientific word “hide”; it is the beat I can come with to describe what I am trying to say. What is the physics of where the AGW heat goes between now, and say, 2015?

  18. 68
    Lowell says:

    I believe model predictions have been the subject of bet challenges before (and no one has accepted one to my knowledge so why would this group.)

    The bet would also need another escape clause; that of the metrics used to measure temperature. Some metric would need to be implemented to ensure the same system is used to measure temperature in the future given how often the methods are changed which have increased the temperature trend.

  19. 69
    Matthew says:

    Another document to add to my archive of posts about warming, to be brought out to warm my heart during the bitterly cold winter of 2015…

    But seriously…between the Keenlyside prediction and the long-standing predictions by some in the solar community of solar-induced cooling in the next decade, this is a pretty ballsy bet. One might describe it as prideful, even.

  20. 70
    tamino says:

    Re: #49 (Joseph Hunkins)

    Tamino are you saying that the bet is flawed because the Keenslyside paper is clearly and totally wrong or because the bet conditions are not in line with the paper’s predictions?

    I don’t say the bet is flawed. I just note that one would be a sucker to bet on the 1994-2004 decade because much of the data have already been recorded, and the 2000-2010 decade already has a big, almost insurmountable, lead.

    Re: #58 (Jim Cross)

    … the bet seems to be more to make a point against the position of the denialosphere than it is against the publication.

    Bingo!

  21. 71
    Steve Milesworthy says:

    I was going to ask the same question as Jim in #67. I asked one of the authors of the Hadley decadal forecast paper (that said “cooling from 2005 to 2008/9 then warming afterwards”) and he shrugged his shoulders and said “natural variability”.

    If the Keenlyside forecast were correct, come 2015 what data will show us that the heat is indeed hiding and about to come out and cook us in 2030. Would such data be available?

    Second question. Are realclimate confident because the forecast is “probably” wrong, or are there physical reasons for not believing the forecast could come true?

  22. 72

    Wow, look how many crypto-deniers came out of the woodwork to denounce the awful bet. I’m wondering if some web site asked their readers to go deluge RealClimate with this stuff.

    The reason they don’t want the bet is obvious — they know damn well they’re going to lose.

  23. 73
    dhogaza says:

    What the paper does not appear to cover is where the heat from AGW “hides” in the intervening years. I apologise for the unscientific word “hide”; it is the beat I can come with to describe what I am trying to say. What is the physics of where the AGW heat goes between now, and say, 2015?

    Put a bowl of water at 50C in your oven, preheated to 50C. What will happen? Will the water warm? The air in the oven?

    Put a bowl of water at 1C in your oven, preheated to 50C. What will happen? Will the water warm or cool? Will the air in the oven warm or cool? If the air in the oven cools, where is the “lost” heat “hiding”?

    When upwelling brings cold water to the ocean’s surface, cooling the atmosphere, where is that heat lost from the atmosphere “hiding”?

  24. 74
    Hank Roberts says:

    Online bet payment by anyone in the USA may run afoul of the ca-si-no protection provision slipped into the recent Port Security Act. Just saying, be careful transferring any wa-gered funds when the time comes.

  25. 75
    John Franklin says:

    Re #45 (Chuck Booth)
    Yes, of course many things are talked about over beers at conferences. And by posting this bet RealClimate has reduced its level of discussion to that of slightly intoxicated researchers shooting the breeze after hours.
    I know such discussions take place. I just don’t come to RealClimate to read them.

  26. 76
    Steve L says:

    I’m of two minds regarding this post. Do bets cheapen science? Maybe. Is there potential for unintended effects in public perception? Sure — look at Ehrlich versus Simon. But I don’t think bets lower the quality of the discussion. Indeed, I agree that in this case the bet has served to crystallize just what the predictions are.
    I wish, however, that just one RC author had done the post. With a bunch of you, some people have already decided that the bet is all of RC versus Keenleyside et al. People tend to generalize and I think there may be some other perceptual problems. A less emotional complaint is specific to the bet, which can be made complicated if one considers that it is 6 to 5 in people, even in currency, and likely uneven in wealth. How should a reader interpret that? In that regard, perhaps a gentlemen’s bet would be preferable, as presumably everyone’s honour is equivalent. Ack, then again, honour is probably not the primary motivator on the internet.
    Maybe I’ll reserved judgment on this issue until the next post on the topic. I look forward to it!

  27. 77
    Steve L says:

    Re: tropical vs high latitude volcanic eruptions — I know the effect is likely negligible, but tropical locations are selected for launches into space because of centripetal force, right? Is it possible for tropical eruptions to put more material into the stratosphere due to an assist from rotation of the earth? Note, Mike’s comment about the primacy of the distribution of material that makes it that high is well-taken.

  28. 78
    Greg Simpson says:

    Put a bowl of water at 50C in your oven, preheated to 50C. What will happen? Will the water warm? The air in the oven?

    They will both cool (the air in a preheated oven is quite dry).

    Put a bowl of water at 1C in your oven, preheated to 50C. What will happen? Will the water warm or cool? Will the air in the oven warm or cool? If the air in the oven cools, where is the “lost” heat “hiding”?

    It is hiding in the water.

    When upwelling brings cold water to the ocean’s surface, cooling the atmosphere, where is that heat lost from the atmosphere “hiding”?

    In the ocean, but this is not the only place for the heat to hide. It could be hiding in melting ice, or through albedo changes there may be no added heat at all. Is it so unreasonable for someone to be curious as to what exactly is offsetting the greenhouse gas warming in the paper?

  29. 79
    Phillip Shaw says:

    The latest SO2 figures for the ongoing Kilauea eruption is that the two active vents are releasing more than 3,300 tons per day. Which will total more than a million tons of SO2 this year if the eruption continues.

    Will this have a measureable effect on climate?

    Layman Regards – Phillip

  30. 80
    silence says:

    Phillip Shaw: SO2 does have an impact on climate, but the natural Hawaiian SO2 emissions are tiny compared with what is coming out of China’s coal-fired power plants. It takes a really huge eruption, like Pinatubo, to noticeably affect climate.

  31. 81
    David B. Benson says:

    I believe that Stephen Hawkins and Kip Thorne (who are very good friends) had a wager involving a substantial sum. I don’t recall what aspect of physics it was about or who won.

  32. 82
    Alf Jones says:

    Re#13
    “Minor(I think) nitpick. The end of the red line in the graph appears to end in about 1998, not 2004.”
    Would it make sense to put yearly temperatures on the graph as well to see how the projections are doing like the BBC did? How do the recent faster rising European temperatures look on their European predictions?

  33. 83
    Mick says:

    I would accept your bet on the second forcast. If you have the oats to do it send me an email and we can make some agreement, including exchange rates cause my money is in dollars…

  34. 84
    Alf Jones says:

    re#33
    Glad to see RC give the correct interpretation of the hindcast/forecast plot, i.e. the forecast is cooling.
    It took me a while to get my head around it, and I was in good company; ‘Figure 4 in the actual paper shows the global mean temperature trends and there is no projected cooling’ I wonder who said that ;-)

    [Response: Oops. I was fooled by the green line in figure 4. That joins up different predictions but is not a trajectory itself. - gavin]

    If the bet is accepted how will you include observational uncertainty? As the Hadley Center have uncertainties associated with them will you still win the bet if the globe has warmed but the error bars overlap with Keenlyside’s?

  35. 85
    Hank Roberts says:

    “In 1975, cosmologist Stephen Hawking bet fellow cosmologist Kip Thorne a subscription to Penthouse magazine for Thorne against four years of Private Eye for …”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_wager
    Famous scientific wagers

  36. 86
    Jim Cripwell says:

    Ref #73 by dhogaza. I think I understand the analogy as it pertains to the actual Atlantic Meridional Overturning, but I cannot follow how it explains what happens to the heat that accumulates as a result of AGW in, for example, the Sahara Desert, the Amazon Rain Forest, Antartica and Siberia.

  37. 87

    As a long time reader of RC and a long aquintance with media, I understand the bet and your reasoning. As totally an other issue I also wish you are right in your estimate and hope warming would not take a pause at this time. I guess warming will necessarily have its ups and downs due to weather cycles but a long pause at this particular time would be devastating for both political and popular reaction and a quick rise afterwards would have more dire consequences than a steady rise for several reasons I will not go into now.

  38. 88
    Dave Blair says:

    If you are confident you will win your bet then you should also give them odds.

    10 to 1 or something will really show how confident you are.

    [Response: Actually, they made a forecast and took it to the media. We proposed this bet because we want to see how confident they are about it. -stefan]

  39. 89
    Phillip Shaw says:

    silence: According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website, the normal SO2 emission for Kilauea is 150 – 200 tons per day. Thus the current emission of about 3,300 tons per day is around twenty times the normal level. And because of the recent activity at the Halemaumau caldera there is a good chance the eruption will intensify. The eruption was also featured on the NASA Earth Observatory website with an interesting image of the SO2 plume data from the Aura satellite. (Sorry, I don’t know how to add links to this post.)

    My questions are: is a megaton release of SO2 during a year large enough to be measurable? And what magnitude of SO2 releases are the geoengineering proponents proposing to offset, not mitigate, AGW?

    Thanks – Phillip

  40. 90
    Gaelan Clark says:

    Stefan, In your reply to comment #56 you state “If the prediction turns out to be wrong (which is what we think, and quite a few other climate scientists I have spoken to), this will damage the credibility of the whole community.”—If the prediction turns out to be correct, will this too damage the whole community?

    Tamino, in #70 you state “…1994-2004 decade because much of the data have already been recorded,”–[MUCH]—It is well into 2008, should not ALL of this data be recorded?

  41. 91
    Consumer says:

    Have to agree with the crowd here, I think this is a poor way to judge confidence in the findings of the paper and a little below the level of discourse expected here.

    I think a much more appropriate bet would have been for a more symbolic prize: i.e. We will send you shorts and flip flops, and you send us parkas, or a weeks cruise to the caribbean vs. antarctica.

  42. 92
    dhogaza says:

    Is it so unreasonable for someone to be curious as to what exactly is offsetting the greenhouse gas warming in the paper?

    It is when that person is Jim Cripwell, whose postings here make it clear that he’s a denialist…”offsetting greenhouse gas warming” presumes one accepts greenhouse gas warming in the first place, after all.

  43. 93
    Harold Pierce Jr says:

    RE: #75

    On Friday afternoons, RC becomes Gavin’s Garage (where the mechanics of climate chnnge gets discussed), and everybody get a little loose.

    “…slightly intoxicated researchers shooting the breeze after hours…”

    This is when you learn all about the stuff that didn’t work (Been there, done that!), saving you a lot of time and money and grad students’ sanity. On occasion you can learn some really interesting info about your friends (and enemies) present research projects or pick up a few nitty-gitty technical tips that just never get written done.

    ATTN Gavin

    At the next big conference, why don’t you set up an after hours workshop called “Gavin Gargage” where there will be copious quantities of free beer, snacks and munchies!

  44. 94
    tamino says:

    Re: #90 (Gaelan Clark)

    Tamino, in #70 you state “…1994-2004 decade because much of the data have already been recorded,”–[MUCH]—It is well into 2008, should not ALL of this data be recorded?

    Settling the bet requires collecting data through Oct. 2010, which hasn’t yet been recorded.

  45. 95
    David B. Benson says:

    Hank Roberts (85) — Thank you for the link. Shows that at least some scientists are betting men…

  46. 96
    sean egan says:

    At present I have not yet seen an analysis which shows this model to be rubbish. Just a lot of folks suggesting it smells improbably low. The principle of the BMA method in Douglass is that the average of several predictions is in general performs better than any individual projection. As it is a peer reviewed model, this model could reasonably figure in the IPCC model inter-comparison project and hence a possible Douglass et al 2011. Douglass weights all models in the IPCC model inter-comparison project equally. The ensemble would lose all predictive power regardless of what happened to measured global temp, as the error bars would be huge.

    Is that about right or is there a reason this model would be excluded ?
    Does anyone have ideas about if and on what basis this model should be excluded from an ensemble?
    If it is on the basis of not being a full General Circulation Model would it still be excluded if it’s predictions were spot on? Whatever rules are suggested now could rubbish other models later, or even some of the 22 in the existing model inter-comparision project.

    [Response: You have to compare like with like - so you can't take this experiment and just throw it in with the standard runs discussed in AR4 - the likelihood of a significant structural bias is high. We'll have a post about all the IPCC runs soon. - gavin]

  47. 97
    Johnno says:

    Even casual observers need to cherry pick to back up cooling. Recent months in Australia have been strange. Sydney had the coolest summer (Dec, Jan, Feb) ever. In March (autumn) Adelaide had 13 straight days over 37.8C the old 100F. Other parts of Australia that need frost for horticulture are still waiting, yet we had frosts last summer. Whatever trend line there is has hit a patch of statistical noise.

  48. 98

    RE #21 & “Shame on RealClimate for turning a serious scientific subject into a bet. If these authors are wrong please use the scientific method – evidence, reasoning, and yes climate models (if predictions vary) to convince others.”

    Actually, this is good for me. I don’t understand a whole lot of climate science. Much of it goes over my head. But I do respect the expertise of the RC scientists. So any of them saying they’ll bet serious money that there will not be these 10 year average cooling or stable periods is just the kind of info I need.

    Of course, I will also attempt to struggle thru their scientific explanations (Stephan did say he’d get to that in a later post), at least for a paragraph before throwing up my hands in surrender and turning back.

    So now I have this idea that there probably won’t be a cooling period. And we really could have used one.

    So it’s back to square one — prayer: “Heat, heat go away, little Johnny wants to thrive. And don’t come again another day.”

    And back to good old GHG emissions reduction.

  49. 99
    silence says:

    Phillip Shaw: I don’t have the most recent data at hand, but coal burning in China released about 25 million tons of SO2 in 2005. The increase Kilauea remissions may be smaller than the SO2 emission reductions that China is implementing to look clean during the Olympics.

  50. 100
    Jim Dukelow says:

    In #79, Phillip Shaw wrote:

    “The latest SO2 figures for the ongoing Kilauea eruption is that the two active vents are releasing more than 3,300 tons per day. Which will total more than a million tons of SO2 this year if the eruption continues.

    Will this have a measureable effect on climate?”

    Probably not. Kilauea lava is not very viscous, which means the eruptions are not explosive and do not inject the SO2 into the stratosphere. You might expect some temporary cooling of the ocean not to far downwind from Hawaii, but nothing more.

    [edit]

    Best regards.


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