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 Amstrup 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.
Looking only at the nearly 7 years of The Climate Bet, with one month of 2014 to go any talk of record warmth looks to be a big stretch. For the average temperature anomaly for 2014 to exceed the relatively warm 2010 average, December’s anomaly would need to come in at an unprecedented 2°C or higher. We think Mr Gore and the IPCC should not count their chickens before they’ve hatched. For the latest graph and numbers on the Bet, see the updated chart to the right.
Wouldn’t it be strange if what counted as science was determined by the political ideologies of academics? Yet that is what an October 30 article in The New Yorker suggests.
Maria Konnikova’s article, here, describes the considerable evidence that university academics, who control hiring and publication decisions, are so burdened by bias as to reject all evidence that conflicts with their predominantly left-liberal-internationalist ideology.
Perhaps that explains why the hypothesis of trend-less natural change in global mean temperatures is not widely accepted as being the most obvious and well-supported description of long-term climate among much of the academic community.
Based on NOAA figures for August 2014, Discover magazine posted an article online on September 19 with a headline making a dramatic forecast that, “With Summer’s Unequalled Warmth, 2014 is Likely to Finish as the Warmest Year on Record for the Home Planet“. AOL ran a piece on October 20 making the same forecast, this time backed with an extra month of NOAA data and the support of a claim by a NOAA scientist that “it’s pretty likely” that 2014 will see the global average temperature record broken… for the years since records began in 1880.
Climate scientist Roy Spencer begs to differ in his blog post titled “Why 2014 won’t be the warmest year on record“. Dr Spencer prefers the UAH satellite data record, pointing out that it, as opposed to NOAA’s adjusted and patchy thermometer data series, the satellite data provides a truly global and objective measure of temperatures. The Global Warming Challenge uses the UAH series as the measure for determining who will win the Armstrong-Gore bet for that reason.
We will post the outcome of the Spencer-NOAA conflicting forecasts when the data are finalised early in 2015.
The September 2014 data showed a small lift in the global mean temperature to an anomaly of 0.3°C. Still a win for the month to Professor Armstrong and the Green, Armstrong, and Soon no-change forecast, temperatures have been cooler than Mr Gore and the IPCC’s alarming projection for 20 months in a row. Overall, global mean temperatures have come in cooler than the alarmist projection 80 percent of the time since the beginning of the bet nearly seven years ago.
We’ve updated the Climate Bet graph on the right with the global average temperature for August. The picture seems clear to us: there is no trend. Not surprisingly then, the projected 0.03°C per year increase that the IPCC and Mr Gore (who expected a tipping point and dangerously warming temperatures) thought was likely on the low side has been equaled or exceeded only sixteen times in the 80 month life of the bet, so far. In contrast, monthly temperatures have come in lower than Professor Armstrong’s bet on no-change for 55% of months.
For 21 months straight, global mean temperatures have been below the 3°C per century increase projected by the IPCC, and Mr Gore’s forecast turning point is nowhere to be seen. We wonder whether Mr Gore’s investment predictions in his August 6 op-ed in the London Financial Times are of the same caliber. For the latest temperature data and progress on the Climate Bet, see the updated chart to the right.
Since we started monitoring the Gore-Armstrong bet back in 2008, global mean temperatures have only rarely been as warm or warmer than Mr Gore and the IPCC’s +0.03 °C per year warming forecast would have had us believe. How rarely? Well, roughly one-month-in-five, or 21% of the 77 months to date. As we’ve pointed out before, one would expect the figure to be 50% if the Gore/IPCC forecasts were unbiased. Mr Gore must be very unlucky, because the chances that so few months would turn out to be as warm or warmer than unbiased forecasts is less than one-in-eight-million.
But wait, Mr Gore and the IPCC warned us that there was more chance that temperatures would be higher than their forecasts, than that they would be lower. In other words, they claimed their forecasts were biased toward slower warming than the rapid warming they really believed would occur. We haven’t calculated the vanishingly small odds that global temperatures would turn out to be so uninclined to warm taking into account the declared downward bias in their forecasts, but we suspect that Mr Gore and the IPCC have been feeling that the Earth has let them down.
For keen followers, the latest month of The Bet, May 2014, is shown in the chart on the right.
Much has been made of the claim that there is an overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion that we will suffer dangerous manmade global warming during the 21st Century. Putting aside the unscientific and rather desparate nature of resorting to a vote to decide how the Earth’s climate will behave during the current century and beyond, is it true? In their Wall Street Journal op-ed of May 26, 2014, Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer examine the evidence, and shred the claim of consensus on dangerous warming in it various forms. Their op-ed is also available here.
With April’s temperature another to fall below the no-change-from-2007 line, Al Gore’s tipping point continues to elude us. The errors from the Gore stand-in forecast (the IPCC’s +0.03°C per year) are now 27% larger than the errors from Armstrong’s no-change forecasts. The Gore error’s have been so bad, that the contrary hypothesis of natural global cooling would have been a much better bet. Yes, the errors from forecasting temperatures would decline at 0.01°C per year would have been 17% smaller than Mr Gore’s errors! Click on the chart on the right for the latest data on the bet.