Archive for the ‘public policy’ Category
We imagine that Barbara Boxer will be particularly pleased that she did not respond to Professor Armstrong’s 2008 challenge to back her belief that the polar bear population was threatened with rapid decline by accepting his bet, based on scientific forecasting in Armstrong, Green, and Soon (2008), that polar bear numbers would remain at current levels or better.
It seems that modellers at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature agree with Armstrong, Green, and Soon that the models of polar bear biologist Steven Amstrad and colleagues, upon which Senator Boxer based her belief, are not fit for the purpose of forecasting the polar bear population. For more on this story see the article titled “Amstrup knows his polar bear predictions are flawed – but continues to promote them” on the polarbearscience.com site, here.
“There are no scientific forecasts of dangerous global warming” shouts a new article in the Financial Post. Readers of this blog know that already, but will likely want to read what the op-ed titled “Climate forecast: All’s well, despite what the IPCC says” by Kesten Green, Scott Armstrong, and Willie Soon has to say about the implications for government policy. It has already attracted lively discussion. The article is here.
The authors claim to provide the only scientific forecast of long-term climate, namely the naive no-change or no-trend forecast that is the basis of Professor Armstrong’s notional bet with Mr Gore. The forecast was originally published in 2009, and the International Journal of Forecasting article can be found here. The authors’ current working paper investigating possible improvements to climate forecasting for policy makers is here.
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) has released a new report on the science of climate change: Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science. The key takeaway messages are (1) the human impact on climate is very small and (2) any change in temperatures that might be occurring or will occur in the future is so small that it will not be noticed against the climate’s entirely natural variability.
As part of the NIPCC’s process for preparing this volume, scores of scientists from around the world evaluated the most up-to-date research on the physical science of climate change. This report is at least as comprehensive and authoritative as the reports of the United Nations-funded Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) … and the NIPCC report is faithful to the scientific method. Whereas the mission of the IPCC is to find a human impact on climate change and thus justify government control of greenhouse gas emissions and our economy, the NIPCC has no agenda other than discovering the truth about climate change.
Section 1.1.1 of the report addresses forecasting principles and methods, and was co-authored by J Scott Armstrong and Kesten C Green. It is on p.14 of the Chapter 1 of the report, which is available here.
The Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Conference in Houston (July 12 to 15 2013) featured several talks related to the dangerous manmade global warming alarm, including one from theclimatebet.com’s Professor Scott Armstrong. A video of his talk, “Evidence-Based Forecasting for Global Warming”, is available here. Willie Soon’s talk, “Five or more failed experiments in measuring global sea level change”, is available here, and Antony Watts’s talk, “Ten tests to determine whether you should be concerned about global warming” is available here.
The New York Times warns civilization likely to end due to manmade warming – Professor Armstrong tries to avert panic.
On November 24, 2012, The New York Times published an article titled “Is this the End?,” which warned that manmade global warming is likely to destroy our civilization. The article was published nine days after the NYT published Cass Sunstein’s article advocating that policies on dangerous manmade global warming should be based on cost-benefit analyses, that the government had calculated a net benefit for costly policies, and that Ronald Reagan once agreed with a cost-benefit analysis. I was unable to contact Professor Sunstein to find the sources of the “cost-benefit analyses.” In an effort to calm panic-stricken readers, I wrote a Letter to the Editor at The New York Times revealing that while cost-benefit analysis is indeed the proper method, none has shown likely net harm arising from global warming. Evidence-based forecasts of dangerous warming and of the effects of alternative policies are missing. Strangely, my evidence-based forecasts that our civilization is not threatened by dangerous warming did not meet the NYT criteria of “All the news that’s fit to print.” If you know any NYT readers, please inform them that they are safe.
Wall Street Journal readers were spared panic. They had read No Need to Panic About Global Warming in January 2012.
In a 6 September piece in The Washington Times, Willie Soon and William Briggs bring the long history of research on the connection between solar activity and Earthly temperatures up-to-date. We have reproduced the chart that appears in the article, below. For more on the relationship between the solar radiation hitting the Earth and maximum daytime temperatures, see the article, here. It is not obvious that carbon dioxide, the gas behind Al Gore and the IPCC’s dangerous manmade global warming alarmism, could explain any more of the variation in temperatures than is apparently already explained by the Sun.
Test your climate forecasting skills: It’s anonymous, and fun!
To learn about the latest developments in climate forecasting, read the draft paper by Kesten Green, Scott Armstrong, and Willie Soon from the recent International Symposium on Forecasting in Boston (June 2012). The link to the paper is here, and supporting materials are towards the bottom of the page.
In an article titled “Healthy polar bear count confounds doomsayers,” Paul Waldie in The Globe and Mail reported on 4 April…
“The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt. The Hudson Bay region, which straddles Nunavut and Manitoba, is critical because it’s considered a bellwether for how polar bears are doing elsewhere in the Arctic.”
This report will come as no surprise to followers of theclimatebet.com, where we prefer scientific forecasting to politically motivated alarmism. For a recap on scientific forecasting’s contribution to the polar bear population question, Scott Armstrong’s letter 2008 to Senator Barbara Boxer, who chaired a hearing on the issue, is here.
The 2008 paper on polar bear population forecasting, by Scott Armstrong, Kesten Green, and Willie Soon, is available here.
To see the rest of Paul Waldie’s report on the happy state of the polar bear population in 2012, see here.
With global mean temperatures again below the 30-year average, forecasts of manmade CO2 warming and drought must be looking doubtful even to the casual observer as she trudges through the snow in Europe or the US, or wonders what happened to summer in Australia. Indeed, when people with open minds are told they will have to pay, they start to pay attention and take the trouble to assess the evidence themselves. The Auditor General found that Australians weren’t persuaded by their government’s desperate attempts to convince them that making their energy expensive was a good idea.
The Gore-Armstrong climate bet has now completed four-tenths of its ten-year race with Scott Armstrong in the lead. The latest graph and data are available to the right. Click on the graph to show a larger version of the graph with the data. You will see that we finished 2011 with average global temperatures for the year slightly lower than the bet benchmark year of 2007.
While Professor Armstrong is confident that his no-change forecasting method is better than Gore and the IPCC’s +0.03C per annum unscientific extrapolation, ten years is short in climate terms, and Mr Gore is still in with a chance. To provide some perspective, climatologists sometimes use seven years as the duration of a climate period. Over the last seven years, the UAH global temperature anomaly series has trended upwards at a rate of 0.008C per year. The solar magnetic activity cycle has a period of about 11 year. Over the last 11 years, the temperature series has had a trend of +0.019C per year. The former trend is much closer to Prof Armstrong’s no-change forecast than it is to Mr Gore’s extrapolation, but the latter is somewhat closer to Mr Gore’s extrapolation. The trend for the entire 33 year period of the UAH temperature series, at +0.0138C per annum, marginally favors Prof Armstrong’s forecasting method and suggests that there is no reason for alarm.
Theclimatebet.com will continue to report monthly results on The Climate Bet, assuming that Mr. Gore took the bet. Professor Armstrong maintains that changes in temperature are natural variations that occur over time. He expects the scientific approach to forecasting will win in the long-run, though he realizes the 10 years of the bet may not be long enough. When he proposed the bet, simulations of temperature changes over the previous 157 years indicated that his chances of winning would be somewhat greater than 62%.
An article by Kesten Green, Scott Armstrong, and Willie Soon in the International Journal of Forecasting explains the reasons behind Professor Armstrong’s choice of the no-change model for forecasting global average temperatures. It is available here.