The Global Warming Challenge

Evidence-based forecasting for climate change

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Archive for the ‘forecasting’ Category

March quarter 2019 temperatures warmer than 2018

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The UAH lower troposphere temperature global average anomalies for the first three months of 2019 have been higher than at any stage during 2018 to the extent that they were slightly closer to the 3°C-per-century warming projection from the IPCC than they were to the no-change (no-trend) forecast. By contrast, every month of 2018 was closer to the no-trend forecast. Over the 135 month term to-date of the extended Climate Bet, the global average temperature has been closer to the no-change forecast than to the IPCC “dangerous warming” forecast for more than 70% of months.

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April 12th, 2019 at 11:51 am

A warmer start to 2019 sees January a winning month for Mr Gore

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At 0.37°C, the January 2019 anomaly was the highest since since December 2017. Just above the mid-point between the no-change from the 2007 average forecast of 0.159°C and the IPCC/Gore 3°C-per-century “dangerous” warming forecast for January of 0.505°C, the month counts as a win for Mr Gore.

So far, the monthly wins tally stands at:

dangerous warming trend: 40 months
no trend (Armstrong):         93 months.

Over the course of the Bet to date, the dangerous warming forecast has never been the better forecast for as many as 40% of months. The no-trend, no need for policy action, forecast remains the best bet, having won just under 70% of months so far.

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February 12th, 2019 at 2:10 am

2018 year ends on a low note, temperature wise

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The UAH global mean temperature anomaly data for December 2018 is out: the figure of 0.25°C.

The average for the year was 0.23°C, with a maximum anomaly of 0.32°C and a minimum of 0.15°C. None of those figure is much different from the 2007 Bet base year average of 0.16°C, and are all well within the base year range of -0.04°C to +0.43°C.

Interestingly, in the now 11 years since 2007, monthly global mean temperature anomalies have fallen outside the 2007 range on only 32 of the 132 months, with nearly half of those months (15) falling below the 2007 minimum.

The 2018 year was cooler than any of the previous three years, and cooler also than 2010. In other words, 2018 was cooler than 40% of the previous ten years.

So how do things stand with the extended “Bet” between the no-change model forecasts and the IPCC’s 3°C-per-century “dangerous” warming projection (standing in for Mr Gore’s “tipping point” warnings)?

After 11 years, the Bet’s summary measure—the cumulative absolute error of the warming projection relative to that of the no-change forecasts—is 1.211. In other words, the errors of the “dangerous” warming projection have been 21.1% larger then the errors of the forecasts from a simple model that assumes that we do not know enough about the causes of climate change to make predictions over policy-relevant horizons that are more accurate than an extrapolation of the previous year’s average into the distant future.

Note also that unbiased forecasts would be expected be warmer than the actual temperature as often as they were cooler. To date, the actual temperature has been equal to or warmer than the IPCC/Gore projection for only 18.2% of months. That figure compares with the 40.9% of months that the temperature anomaly has been less than or equal to no-change projection.

For the latest data and chart summarising the Bet, click on the Whole-Earth Thermometer on the top right of theclimatebet.com site.

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January 7th, 2019 at 2:10 pm

November 2018 temperature data, and the UAH trend

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The November lower troposphere global temperature anomaly from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) team is just out, is little different from recent months, and remains close to the 2007 average that is the base-year of The Climate Bet.

The UAH series now covers nearly 40 years of monthly observations. Over that time, the change in the global average temperature from month to month has been quite small: the absolute change has averaged a little less than 0.1°C, with half warmer than the previous month, and half cooler.

Despite the obvious up-and-down nature of the series, some commentators continue to look for evidence of a trend hiding in the noise of monthly and annual volatility. For example the IPCC’s, business as usual 3°C-per-Century should be evident in 40 years of data if it amounted to a real trend.

Followers of the IPCC would presumably be pleasantly surprised, then, to learn that the trend to date amounts to little more than 0.001°C-per-month; less than 1.3°C-per-Century. In other words, from month-to-month the typical up or down change is in the order of a 100 times larger than the “trend.”

If the well-hidden trend happened to continue for a further 60 years, we should be reassured that it is much closer to the no-change forecast than to the dangerous warming scenario. There continues to be neither reason to worry, nor reason for governments to implement expensive programmes and regulations.

For the updated “Whole-Earth Thermometer” reading, click on the small chart to the top right of the page for a more detailed image.

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December 5th, 2018 at 2:35 pm

September 2018 temperatures drift lower

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The UAH temperature anomaly for September was for the first time since July 2015 lower than the 2007 base year average that is the basis for the Climate Bet. With that latest dip in the global mean temperature, 42% of the 129 months of the extended bet period have seen temperatures lower than the base year average, which is also the no-change forecast proposed for the “Bet” by Professor Armstrong.

To put the 42% figure into context, consider that over a long period of time one would expect the actual temperature to be lower than an unbiased forecast about half of the time, and above it half of the time. While 42% is not 50%, contrast the figure with the percentage of months for which the actual temperature was greater than the Gore/IPCC global warming extrapolation of 0.3°C per decade… that figure is less than 19%.

With 111 months of the second decade of the bet remaining, the actual temperature would need to be below the 2007 average for 59.4% of months for the no-change forecasts to be counted as “perfectly” unbiased. For the dangerous warming forecast to be considered “perfectly” unbiased, actual temperatures would need to fall above the 0.3°C per decade trend line for 86.4% of months.

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October 6th, 2018 at 3:04 pm

Science, and forecasting climate

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Scott Armstrong presented a paper at the International Symposium on Forecasting in Boulder, CO, on 19 June titled “Do Forecasters of Dangerous Manmade Global Warming Follow the Science?”. A pdf copy of the slides is available from ResearchGate, here.

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July 5th, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Are we living on a dangerously warming planet?

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The news keeps coming in from the New York Times and other media that there is no longer any doubt that the Earth is getting dangerous warmer. If you believe that to be true, there is nothing that we can say to change your opinion. Only you can do that. And to do so, you first need to address this question: “Could I imagine anything that could possibly change my mind?”

If so, you might be interested in the short article on WUWT titled “Is the Earth becoming dangerously warmer?“. It might provide the information you are seeking.

February 2018 temperatures same as 11 years ago

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The UAH global temperature anomaly for February 2018 was 0.20°C, which is little different from the February 2007 figure of 0.19°C, and lower than January and March 2007 figure of 0.43°C and 0.26°C. The updated chart for the extended (20 year) Climate Bet is at right. Click on the thumbnail chart for a larger image.

Some critics of our recent analysis of the Climate Bet at 10 years argued that  Read the rest of this entry »

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March 12th, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Climate Bet starts a second 10 years with cooler month: January 2018

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With Professor Armstrong keen to put his evidence-based no-change forecast to the test for a further ten years, we have updated the Climate Bet chart with the 121st bet month of UAH lower troposphere data. January 2018’s global temperature anomaly was 0.10°C higher than the forecast of no trend in temperatures from the 2007 average, and 0.22°C lower than the “dangerous manmade global warming” Gore/IPCC +3°C per century extrapolation.

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February 28th, 2018 at 9:55 am

Tipping point 10 years on: Who won the Armstrong-Gore “bet” on the climate?

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The Challenge

In 2007, University of Pennsylvania Professor J. Scott Armstrong challenged former U.S. Vice President Albert Gore to a bet on what would happen to global average temperatures over the next 10 years. Professor Armstrong’s challenge was in response to Mr. Gore’s warning of a looming dangerous “tipping point” in temperatures. But when even scientists who are expert in a field make predictions about complex situation without using scientific forecasting methods, their forecasts have no value. The proposed $10,000 bet, then, was intended to draw attention to the need to assess the predictive validity of climate forecasts in an objective manner. Read the rest of this entry »