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.
The average global temperature for the first quarter of 2014 was less than 0.01°C different from Professor Armstrong’s no-trend forecast. With 75 months of data now in, we wondered whether there was any evidence of bias in Professor Armstrong’s or Al Gore’s forecasts. We found that there was. Both Armstrong’s and Gore’s forecasts appear to have a bias toward forecasting temperatures that are warmer than the measured temperatures. In the case of Scott Armstrong’s no-trend forecasts, they have to date averaged 0.02C warmer than the recorded temperature. In the case of Al Gore’s IPCC alarming warming forecasts, they have averaged 0.12C warmer. We think policy makers should prefer less-biased forecasts. The updated Climate Bet graph is to the right.
With 74 months of the Armstrong-Gore bet behind us and 46 months left to go, global mean temperatures have gone nowhere. That, of course, is the no-trend forecast that is the basis of Professor Armstrong’s bet. Mr Gore on the other hand claimed temperatures would go up, dangerously. In fact, most months of the bet (57%) have seen temperatures flat or down from the previous month. Professor Armstrong’s conservative forecast has been more accurate than Mr Gore’s alarmist forecast for nearly 69% of months so far.
Unlike Al Gore, Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt is willing to bet on what global mean temperatures will be in 20 years time, presumably with his own money. Schmidt’s offer to bet was in response to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s business advisor Maurice Newman’s skepticism over the IPCC’s alarming projections.
But reading on, Prof Schmidt, and the other warming alarmists who suddenly popped up saying “me too” are not so brave. As Jo Nova explains, they are only willing to bet that temperatures will be warmer, not that they will be dangerously warmer… they want the rest of us to pay for that bet.