Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Short posts

Naomi Oreskes confirms information showing that her study of global warming consensus was different from Benny Peiser. In case there was any doubt about Peiser being dishonest in saying he studied the same set of abstracts.

Defense Department retaliates against General John Riggs, who had the temerity to suggest there were insufficient troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Standard "kill the messenger" routine from the Bush Administration.

Fascinating NY Times article on intergender children. These people represent a real problem for those who want to discriminate against homosexuals, as well as for society's attempts to control what people are.

keywords: Iraq, Peiser, global warming, science

Friday, May 27, 2005

Financial Post letter about Dr Benny Peiser

I discovered a while back that Canada's Financial Post published an incorrect and possibly dishonest attempt by Dr. Benny Peiser to refute the global warming consensus.  I emailed a response to the Post, but as far as I know it hasn't been published, so I'm posting it below.
Very strange that Dr. Peiser wrote in the May 17th Financial Post Op-Ed that he “checked the same set of abstracts” as the Oreskes study affirming a global warming consensus, when on the exact same day, Dr. Peiser responded to me on the same question by saying, “Did I use a wider search than Oreskes? I don't know.”

In fact, Dr. Peiser does know that he used a wider search, and has known that fact since he participated in a web dialogue on May 8th. He has dishonestly repeated the “same set” argument in at least one other publication, MSNBC.com, and if his Financial Post Op-Ed was submitted after May 8th, then he was dishonest here as well.
The websites http://backseatdriving.blogspot.com/2005_05_01_backseatdriving_archive.html#111630828673744298
and http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/cgi-bin/blog/science/peiser2.html lay out the proof.

Peiser’s work is riddled with flaws, and the integrity of his attack is suspect. If this is the best the global warming denialists can do, then the consensus position seems all the stronger.

Keywords: global warming, Peiser

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Shorter Juan Cole - We're screwed in Iraq

My most trusted source on Iraq writes, "Sometimes You are Just Screwed"


Readers occasionally write me complaining that I do not offer any solutions to the problems in Iraq. Let me just step back from the daily train wreck news from the region to complain back that there aren't any short-term, easy solutions to the problems in Iraq.

The US military cannot defeat the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement any time soon for so many reasons that they cannot all be listed.

The guerrillas have widespread popular support in the Sunni Arab areas of Iraq, an area with some 4 million persons... Guerrilla movements can succeed if more than 40 percent of the local population supports them. While the guerrillas are a small proportion of Iraqis, they are very popular in the Sunni Arab areas. If you look at it as a regional war, they probably have 80 percent support in their region.


There are simply too few US troops to fight the guerrillas. There are only about 70,000 US fighting troops in Iraq, they don't have that much person-power superiority over the guerrillas. There are only 10,000 US troops for all of Anbar province, a center of the guerrilla movement with a population of 820,000. A high Iraqi official estimated that there are 40,000 active guerrillas and another 80,000 close supporters of them. The only real explanation for the successes of the guerrillas is that the US military has been consistently underestimating their numbers and abilities. There is no prospect of increasing the number of US troops in Iraq.


The Americans have lost effective control everywhere in the Sunni Arab areas.


So far the new pro-American Iraqi troops have not distinguished themselves against the guerrillas, and it will probably be at least 3-5 years before they can begin doing so, if ever. Insofar as the new army is disproportionately Shiite and Kurdish, it may simply never have the resources to penetrate the Sunni Arab center-north effectively.


The political process in Iraq has been a huge disaster for the country. The Americans emphasized ethnicity in their appointments and set a precedent for ethnic politics that has deepened over time. The Shiite religious parties, Dawa and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, won the January 30 elections. These are the parties least acceptable to the Sunni Arab heartland... They so far have no reason to hope for a fair shake in the new Iraq. Political despair and the rise of Shiite death squads that target Sunnis are driving them into the arms of the guerrillas.

The quality of leadership in Washington is extremely bad. George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and outgoing Department of Defense officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, have turned in an astonishingly poor performance in Iraq. Their attempt to demonstrate US military might has turned into a showcase for US weakness in the face of Islamic and nationalist guerrillas, giving heart to al-Qaeda and other unconventional enemies of the United States.

If the US drew down its troop strength in Iraq too rapidly, the guerrillas would simply kill the new political class and stabilizing figures such as Grand Ayatollah Sistani. Although US forces have arguably done more harm than good in many Sunni Arab areas, they have prevented set-piece battles from being staged by ethnic militias, and they have prevented a number of attempted assassinations.

In an ideal world, the United States would relinquish Iraq to a United Nations military command, and the world would pony up the troops needed to establish order in the country in return for Iraqi good will in post-war contract bids. But that is not going to happen for many reasons. George W. Bush is a stubborn man and Iraq is his project, and he is not going to give up on it. And, by now the rest of the world knows what would await its troops in Iraq, and political leaders are not so stupid as to send their troops into a meat grinder.

Therefore, I conclude that the United States is stuck in Iraq for the medium term, and perhaps for the long term. The guerrilla war is likely to go on a decade to 15 years. Given the basic facts, of capable, trained and numerous guerrillas, public support for them from Sunnis, access to funding and munitions, increasing civil turmoil, and a relatively small and culturally poorly equipped US military force opposing them, led by a poorly informed and strategically clueless commander-in-chief who has made himself internationally unpopular, there is no near-term solution.

In the long run, say 15 years, the Iraqi Sunnis will probably do as the Lebanese Maronites did, and finally admit that they just cannot remain in control of the country and will have to compromise. That is, if there is still an Iraq at that point.

(my emphases in bold)

Keywords: Iraq

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I am a fiscal conservationist

For the last 25 years, Republican presidents abetted by Republican congressmen have vastly increased budget deficits, interrupted by 8 years of Democratic control that turned the situation around.

"Conservative" and "conservationist" both have their roots in "conserve": to keep in a sound or safe state. I think it's very clear that "fiscal conservationist" better describes someone trying to stop budget deficits than "fiscal conservative".

I'm a conservationist: one who advocates "conservation," which is "a careful preservation and protection of something." I'm now a fiscal conservationist, as is anyone else who tries to fight massive deficit spending. If the Republicans clean up their act and keep it clean for the next 25 years, we can revisit the issue, but the word choice is clear right now.

P.S. Thought I'd invented the term "fiscal conservationist", but I guess not.

keywords: politics, budget, Lakoff

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Betting on global warming

(This is an actively managed post and may change over time, a little different from my normal editing policy. I stand by all bet offers I've made that are available when contacted by potential betting partners.)

Below are some bets I'm willing to make on global warming, as in betting with actual money if someone wants to take me up on it:

(I am willing to sweeten the Ehrlich and Monbiot bets to reflect the denialist view that temperatures MIGHT go up, by giving them better odds than I get, say 2:1.)

If some denialist is interested, please get in touch with me.

UPDATE: corrected odds originally offered to Lindzen from 3:1 to 2:1. For a 20 year bet, I'm willing to give 3:1 odds to my opponent, and I expect James Annan, who originated the bet, would be willing to do the same.

UPDATE 2: Elsewhere I offered to bet a right-wing radio host on global warming, and he backed down.

The arch-conservative Free Republic forum deleted my posting and banned me for offering to bet people on global warming.

UPDATE 3: I'm fixing a "bug" in the bets, that large volcanic eruptions at the end of the betting period will skew the results while telling us nothing about humanity's effect on climate. My fix is a three-year reset into the future for the bet period from the time of any large eruption occurring in the last three years of the bet. For example, say someone bets against me over global warming in the 2005-2025 time period. In 2024, a large eruption occurs. Betting period gets reset three years from the eruption, so it's from 2007 to 2027.

Large volcanic eruption would be anything equivalent to the Mount Pinatubo eruption, measured in terms of energy. I'm open to alternative definitions.

I'm also open to a similar fix for strong El Nino-type events, if any betting opponent wants to include it.

UPDATE 4: I'd love to take a bet similar to the one that James Annan finally arranged.

UPDATE 5: I deleted a very short-term (3 year) bet because there's too much noise in that data. I had figured that it would work out fine over time with many bets, but I no longer think I'm likely to find many denialists who are willing to bet me.

UPDATE 6: deleted a paragraph discussing the "natural warming" proponents, after figuring out a bet that should interest them.

UPDATE 7: I've challenged Senator James "Global Warming Is a Hoax" Inhofe to a bet.

UPDATE 8: Added sea level rise bet.

I'm also keeping a running list of blogs that I've challenged to a bet.

UPDATE 9: old comment thread to this post is saved here, but I recommend any new comments be added to this post, not the old thread.

UPDATE 10 (April 2012):  I don't think IPCC AR5 is going to make the call on current hurricanes yet, so I jumped the bet back one, and start in 2005 instead of 1995.  Someone should've taken me up on it beforehand.

keywords: science, global warming, bet

Archived comment thread for global warming bet post of 4.24.07

(Old comment thread may disappear, so I'm archiving it here while recommending that new comments be left at the original post. -Brian)

Remind me - who has bet #2?

GravatarI just came across your blog about Global Warming and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here. I also have a blog about Global Warming so I know I'm talking about when I say your site is top-notch!Global Warming Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!

GravatarWilliam - I'll have to dig it out, but it was at a British newsgroup called something like Stormworld, and one of the guys with the climateprediction.net made a bet for 1,000 pounds on temps going up (like James' bet). Sorry, the details are hazy. I should put a better reference in my blog somewhere handy. James wrote about it too.

GravatarJames called my bet 'number 2' but it was only for 500 pounds and so it could be disregarded as 'chump change' or below William £1000 threshold to be considered serious.

It was on the UKweatherworld site.

Gravatar"From here on in this blog, references to denialist, septics, etc. involve only skeptics who won't put their money where their mouths are."

I hope you are equally condescending and disparaging to your believer colleagues who also do not "put their money where their mouth is".

GravatarWell done and well explained. Since this bet appears to be carefully considered, I'll assume that you and Mr. Evans have an agreed upon criteria for what constitutes a a volcanic eruption large enough to affect temperature.

GravatarChris - 500 pounds doesn't seem like chump change to me!

Mugwump - if there were a shortage of people who accepted the consensus position but weren't willing to accept bets offered to them by denialists, then you'd have a point.

Jeff - it's volcanoes that equal or exceed the energy of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. It's a rough approximation of what we intended to do - smaller eruptions might also affect climate depending on a variety of factors - but we thought it was good enough.

GravatarYou could nail down the volcano thing by defining it in terms of SO2 injected into the upper trop as defined by the TOMs volcano group Volcanos that blow out sideways like Mt. St. Helens don't affect global T much.

Just being pedantic

Since the key underlying issue here is the importance of immediate investment in AGW abatement strategies, I trust you will honor these bets as the underlying "facts" continue to change -- including the temperature history.

Here is just one of many emerging examples showing the heat-bias in temperature measurements. I'd LOL but it ain't funny with trillions on the line.


I'd have no problem adjusting the temperature record to correct for known errors, although that wasn't expressly in the bet. I assume David wouldn't either, but no one should be confident that the errors, if any, are only in one direction.

GravatarI'm puzzled by the odds. The climate change lobby is urging governments around the world to bet the world economy on the economy-destroying climate change. If that is going to happen, it's worth the bet. But what are the odds? If this bet is anything to go by, your personal appraisal of the risk of continually rising CO2-driven temperatures is, overall, 3:2. That doesn't jell with the public or political perception. That perception is that destructive climate change is, for all practical purposes, certain.

So, which is your judgment of the actual odds of climate catastrophe? 3:2, practical certainty, or somewhere in between?

GravatarI don't how you define climate catastrophe, Peter, but I think the odds are near certain that the costs of controlling greenhouse gas emissions will be less than the costs of not controlling GHGs.

Even if doubling GHGs only made the globe 1 degree C warmer, we'd still have to control emissions, because without controls we'd just go on and triple and quadruple GHG levels.

There's also the chance of things going really badly, and that chance, so long as it's more than negligible, is an additional but not necessary reason for controlling GHG emissions.

As for betting, the way I try to make an offer is I start with what I actually expect temps to do based on what the IPCC says, try to figure out what my skeptic/denialist proponent is saying, and try and make a bet offer that's halfway between our two positions. It isn't too complicated.

Gravatar"I'm puzzled by the odds. The climate change lobby is urging governments around the world to bet the world economy on the economy-destroying climate change."

I'm puzzled by the numbers.

At 0.15C per 10 years, we could have 100 years of such warming and it would have zero meaningful negative effects on sea level, ice caps, etc. It's really a very temperate trend.

When AGW proponents are not even willing to bet on more than 0.15C in the next decade, it is a clear indication that they know the trends are not as serious as the hype is made out to be.

Gravatar"Even if doubling GHGs only made the globe 1 degree C warmer, we'd still have to control emissions, because without controls we'd just go on and triple and quadruple GHG levels."

Not true at all. As fossil fuels get harder to find, their costs go up.
In 50 years this problem will solve itself via nuclear, solar and wind.
In the last 3 decades USA oil use has stop growing and projections are flattening out. Peak oil will stop AGW if we dont.

The main impediment to an economical and sensible solution to AGW has been opposition to nuclear power.

GravatarThere's a lot of coal out there - we could easily get 1000 ppm, so quadrupling is possible.

GravatarPJ: "At 0.15C per 10 years, we could have 100 years of such warming and it would have zero meaningful negative effects on sea level, ice caps, etc."

No - we're already getting impacts that would get worse. More important, most scenarios show accelerating warmth- the ones that don't assume we do something about emissions.

Gravatar"No - we're already getting impacts that would get worse. More important, most scenarios show accelerating warmth- the ones that don't assume we do something about emissions."

That's a lie. It's now becoming evident that temperatures have fallen over the past decade. Get your facts straight.

GravatarRon - try to hold back a little on the accusations. If you read what I said a little more closely, or if you knew much about the IPCC, you'd see I was talking about scenarios for future temperature changes.

Also, 10-year and 5-year averages haven't dropped over the past decade, so get your facts straight, yourself. There was one anomaly in 1998 that shows that year as the warmest in one dataset but doesn't make longer averages decline.

GravatarOur present energy course is not sustainable.Responding to this demand while minimizing further climate change will need all the determination and ingenuity we can muster.The problem is not yet insoluble but becomes more difficult with each passing day.G8 countries bear a special responsibility for the current high level of energy consumption and the associated climate change. Newly industrialized countries will share this responsibility in the future.

Sport betting guide

Monday, May 23, 2005

Saved comment thread for "Betting on global warming" post

(I'm saving and recopying a comment thread here for the "Betting on global warming" post in case I lose old comments when I switch to a new system. Please leave any new comments at the Betting post, not here. Sorry for the kludgy system. -Brian)

Vill has given a response to your bet offer on http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/...art=26& posts=37

Thanks Tom - I've tried to explain it to Vill, but no luck.

Gravatar...large volcanic eruptions at the end of the betting period will skew the results while telling us nothing about humanity's effect on climate...

All your bets are temp related, but then you follow up by mentioning one example of temperature change not due to human activity. Have you considered the multitude of phenomena that may cause temperature changes, and further considered that people who understand the science wouldn't take your bet regardless of their position on Global Warming?

In simpler terms; The fact that few people are willing to take up your wager does NOT mean they believe that humans are causing any warming, it simply means that they recognize that average temps would rise and fall even if humans never existed. Your bet is a sure winner if offered at the end of every ice age, going back millions of years, even though there were no humans around.

Come up with a more targeted wager, and we'll talk.

GravatarTomK, if you have suggestions on what would constitute a fair bet, I'm open to it. I think I've made plenty of fair offers for denialists of different stripes. Let's see what bet they want to make.

GravatarI bet you're a (expletive deleted by siteowner) kook. I win!!

Edited By Siteowner

Edited By Siteowner

GravatarI haven't followed all the links to analyze this carefully, but at first reading I don't see anything here that allows people to make bets based on support or denial of human-induced global warming.

Giving more generous odds doesn't inject the phrase "human-induced" into a bet that otherwise doesn't have it. And your terms for the "weather cycle" folks are so rediculously narrow they're meaningless--and I think it hits on a major shortcoming in the mindset of the global warming supporters.

Weather has been around for one hell of a lot longer then we have weather records. In this case, you claim to set up a fair framework based on 150 years of measurements.

150 years?!? You must be joking. Add 100 million years to that and we'll have a starting point.

The bottom line is, we know virtually nothing about weather and its patterns. It's complicated far beyond our understanding. We don't what effect we're having, we don't know what effect we're capable of having, and if we could do something that had an effect, we don't know what that effect would be. And the scientists aren't going to convince the countries of the world to cripple their economies and the people of the world to significantly change their lifestyles based on what is at best pseudo-science.

GravatarByrd, you argue that we don't know what's going to happen, in which case the favorable odds I offer should be appealing.

Alternatively you mention the "natural warming" theory, but the only support for this theory is the 35-year cycle we had previously. The further back you have to reach into time to find a similar event, the more that you prove the existing warming is unusual, and likely to be artificial. I get into a little more detail about this here:
http://backseatdriving.blogspot....al- warming.html

GravatarHi Brian,

I'm happy to place significant bets on nearly all of your categories on the following basis:

1) You nominate within one degree C the range that temperature will increase. If you're out then I win; and
2) You describe, in detail, the exact mechanism driving the increase.

On the above basis I'm willing to engage. Can you let me know what your bet limit is as I'd like to place some large bets?

Thanks for the idea!


GravatarOkay Jack,

In the year 2015, the global average temperature will be 0.15 degrees Celsius warmer than 2005, plus or minus 1 degree Celsius. This is because temperatures are expected to increase about .1 to .2 degrees/decade according the IPCC, whose detailed mechanism I'd rely on for the second part of your bet.

Your terms are exceedingly generous and don't really make sense from a global warming skeptic position. I suggest you reconsider. If you stand by them, let's take this conversation off-line; my email address is posted on the blog.

In case you're wondering how .1 to .2 degrees/decade translates into 1.4 to 5.8 degrees by 2100 forecasted by the IPCC, the IPCC believes it is possible that warming will accelerate after the first few decades.

GravatarI'll bet you 1000 units of afterlife / next world currency that within the next 50,000 years, the current interglacial will have ended, with significant ill effects upon living conditions in North America and Europe.

GravatarSteve, that's as meaningful as many other skeptic responses to my challenges.

GravatarSee comment #1 on this thread: http:// sciencepolicy.colorado.ed...sus_statem.html - perhaps SH wants to bet?

GravatarI joined the thread - apparently he thinks it's beneath his dignity.


Im curious you sound like a betting man so if you are willing to take a bet... what sort of over/under would you bet on.

In basketball you bet over/under what both teams will score so say +/- 195 etc...

So in this case what temperature are you willing to bet on in 20 years time?

This is slightly harder then the bet you have been offering to other people as you have to actually make a realistic assessment of how the temperature will change.

Not this bet would be 1:1 so you need to offer a high enough temperature to make it attractive.

If for example you say that the temperature will go up by +0.2 then this will not make a very convincing bet nor will it affect the planet very much.

But say if you said 1.5 degree maybe i would consider taking it....

Also how would we invest the bet money so that it increases in value during the 20 years... there is a problem freezing some money for this time period if i could just keep it and get 10-15% from it in this time period.

PS. If you say 0.4 or 0.6 then you are basically saying it won't make any difference to the planet So! choose wisely young sahib!... my money is waiting for you intelligent and all knowing reply.

GravatarAdam, I take the IPCC consensus position as my starting point, and the consensus position is .1-.2oC/decade for the initial decades, likely accelerating thereafter. If you think that means global warming is unimportant, then you haven't been paying attention.

I'm not sure exactly how you'd apply over/under in this context. I'm indifferent at 1:1 odds for an increase of .3oC over 20 years, but then there's no incentive for me to bet. I can bet 1:1 for an increase greater than .2oC over 20 years. Remember, that would mean I'm betting for the consensus position that denialists say is garbage.

If I've misunderstood the bet you're talking about, please let me know.

http://www.desmogblog.com/tiim- b...ate#attachments

GravatarI've been told that you are willing to bet on global warming. I thought I would find something on the odds you are offering, but it looks like you are all mouth and no action.

What odds are you actually giving?

If you are so confident what odds will you bet that 2008 is cooler than say 1998 using Hadcrut3 data?

GravatarMy, you're a pleasant one, Mike. Okay, compare 5 year average centered on 1998 with 5 year average centered on 2008. I'll bet you that, even odds. I prefer GISS data, but I could think about others.

GravatarI said 2008 and 1998, and using HADCRUT3 data. I'm a scientist not an idiot!

GravatarWell now you're not fooling anyone, Mike. 1998 had an anamolous El Nino that pumped up temps. Whether any one year is slightly warmer or colder than a subsequent year is only a little more important than whether February 21, 2008 is warmer or colder than February 21, 1998. It's the overall trend that matters and is better captured by the 5 year average.

But if you're stuck on 1998 - I will bet you even odds that the next year that has an equivalent El Nino will be warmer than 1998.

GravatarAre you refusing to bet that this next year on Hadcrut3 figures will not be colder than 10 years ago. If you are not prepared to give odds then I will take that as a refusal to bet.

Which is all that I want.


GravatarI'll answer your question if you promise to answer mine - will you bet even odds that the 5-year average centered on 1998 will be colder than the five year average centered on 2008? Fine, I'll even use HADCRUT data. You don't have to tell me your answer yet, just promise you'll answer.

GravatarI'll take that as a refusal to bet unless you give me odds.

I've given you two years: 2008 and 1998 the Hadcrut3 data and that the average for 2008 will/will not be lower than 1998.

I'll even make it easy for you by telling you I only want to bet a small amount like £1 or $1, afterall I don't want to take your money I just want to know what odds you will give!

You did say you would bet with any sceptic, well here is your chance, tell me the odds.

I won't bother to post again time is pressing, and you are just dithering, Either you will accept the bet and post odds, or you are refusing to bet and I'm not wasting more time.

GravatarI've no more refused your bet than you've refused my offer, which is even odds, 5 year averages centered on 1998 and 2008.

It's sometimes hard for me to tell which skeptics believe what they're saying and which ones have no interest in the truth. You've cherry-picked the year and the data set, nothing that indicates that you want a fair bet between two different positions on climate change.

GravatarI forgot to add that I don't recall saying I'd bet any skeptic. Part of the reason is I only want to bet skeptics substantial amounts of money, and that means we need to figure out how to ensure payment. It's not easy in the absence of a betting market.

GravatarThe biggest increase we see is that of a rising lower temperature. More so than the rising high temp.

So for instance, here in the Northwest the winter minimum temps are substantially higher over the last few year. Also the night time minimum temps are much higher.

GravatarRichard - that's my understanding too, and the effect is to raise the average temp.

GravatarBrian, a choice of bets:

1) I will bet you $1,000 even money bet that 2008 and 2009 averaged will be cooler than 1998, as measured by

2) I will bet you $1,000 even money bet that the average 2001-2010 annual global temperature will not exceed 1998.

3) I will bet you $1,000 even money bet that the 3-year average centered on 2008 annual global temperature will not exceed the 3-year average centered on 1998.

4) I will bet you $1,000 even money bet that the average 2010-2015 annual global temperature will not exceed 1998 plus 0.4C. The is the mean expectation from Hansen's GISS models, so it should be easy to accept.

These bets would be easy bets if you think warming is a crisis. Since global warming is not a crisis, we will not see temperatures out side the range of previous temperatures for some time, and this will not happen.

Hence you will not accept these bets. All hat, no cattle.

Gravatar"In the year 2015, the global average temperature will be 0.15 degrees Celsius warmer than 2005, plus or minus 1 degree Celsius."

LOL! Nice CYA error bar!

I bet the cowboys have a winning season next year, plus or minus 12 games. Who'll take my bet?

Gravatar"In case you're wondering how .1 to .2 degrees/decade translates into 1.4 to 5.8 degrees by 2100 forecasted by the IPCC, the IPCC believes it is possible that warming will accelerate after the first few decades."

IPCC takes models that overestimate CO2 climate sensitivity (see

for a scientific result that corrects the errors in the models)
and makes absurd assumptions of exponential increases in CO2 emissions to come to their faulty conclusions.

Simple math will tell you that .1 -.2 /decade means 1-2C per century, unless there is an increase in trend.
That increase in trend can only come about by assuming we will emit far more CO2 than we are able to drill and dig out of ground.

It will never happen. Actual warming due to CO2 in the next century will be no more that 1-1.5C.

PS: Now that a scientific paper has delinked AGW and hurricanes, your hurricane bet is a precarious one. The main reason not to take it up is the subjective measurement aspects of it.

Gravatar"So for instance, here in the Northwest the winter minimum temps are substantially higher over the last few year. Also the night time minimum temps are much higher."

Not recently. PDO has flipped and US northwest is cooling, as is the world this year. If trends persist, 2008 will be the coldest year in more than a decade.

Gravatar"You've cherry-picked the year and the data set"

- actually you are, you didn't take his bet (of course I'm right behind him too, as it is an easy bet that 2008 will be cooler than 1998 was at this point).

GravatarNope. Yes, the weather is colder, the daily highs are cooler. But the minimum low temps are considerable warmer. ie we are not getting the 20 below nights... even though the days may be cooler. This is born out by many studies done in the Pacific NW. You must study the data over many years.

http://www.forestry.umt.edu/ pers...rWM64Lite.html#

GravatarImportant link on how graphics fools:


GravatarSo what's next, the minimum of arctic sea ice in winter 2008-09 or not ? Or do you know if the december slowing is an artefact ? http://nsidc.org/data/ seaice_ind..._timeseries.png

GravatarI'd guess that's a question of what's the smallest maximum ice extent. I haven't seen anyone focus on that issue, but maybe they should.

GravatarSaw your comment over at OB. I hold what I call the well-informed skeptic's position. I think CO2 is a first order forcing but the total second order effect 0.

Assuming a first order sensitivity of 1 deg C and doubling period from 1900-2100 (all fairly consistent with IPCC numbers), that works out to a warming of about .05 deg C per decade (yes I understand about linear approximations).

Now, it seems like the center of your estimates is .15 deg C per decade. So it seems like we have the prospect of a mutually beneficial bet on .1 deg C per decade.

So would you take a bet that three year averages centered around 2000 and 2020 would be less than .2 deg C higher? I'd want to use one of the satellite series, BTW.

GravatarKevin - I think that sounds reasonable. The IPCC estimates are for surface temps and I believe satellites just measure tropospheric temps. I'd have to check to see whether the rate of changes should be the same, but I'd expect they would be, at least in the long term.

Why don't you send me an email, schmidtb98 at yahoo, and we can talk offline.

GravatarIt is easy to make bets when you know that the people at the CRU are fixing the results!

Gravatar"Dr." Jack - yes, there are conspiracies everywhere. But we can try GISS data, or satellite data instead....

GravatarI'd gladly bet on the issue of hurricane intensity, only the way you got it set up its a sucker bet.

You said:

"Readers of this blog will know I'm a one-trick pony when it comes global warming and probability - let's set up a bet! My bet is that the International Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report, due out sometime before 2016, will say that AGW likely intensified tropical storm damage in the 1995-2005 period."

Given its political nature I'd rather not rely on what the IPCC says, if its all the same to you. It should be possible to set up an easy metric where the data sorts out the winners and losers.