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 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!!

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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: 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.

GravatarSee 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. 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 ? 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.

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