Last month we noted that if temperatures remained at around the same level as they averaged for the first three months of 2016, Mr Gore could win the Climate Bet. The figure—global average temperature anomaly—was +0.7°C.
We didn’t fancy his chances given that the figure is a high for the satellite record and is associated with a strong El Niño weather pattern. The warmth bringing El Niño weather pattern is followed by cooling La Niña weather. One month on, however, the April 2016 figure turned out to be +0.71°C. We imagine Mr Gore must be overjoyed!
With 20 months of the 10-year bet to go, we still don’t fancy Mr Gore’s chances that 0.7°C temperature anomalies will continue. We’ll keep you posted.
Here’s one: “Demographers agree almost unanimously… thirty years from now,… the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine”. (The “almost unanimously” claim might sound familiar to those who have been paying any attention to the media coverage of the current global warming alarm.)
If you’ve got the stomach for it, The Daily Caller provides a list of “7 enviro predictions from Earth Day 1970 that were just dead wrong”. That the alarming forecasts were so wrong should be of no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the Golden Rule of Forecasting, or with Kesten Green and Scott Armstrong’s study of analogies to the global warming alarm.
The Daily Caller article, available here, describes the forecasts and the very different outcomes. The directions of the errors is all in the same direction. A reasonable person might wonder if, in addition to ignorance of other aspects of good forecasting practice, bias played an important role.
While, after 99 months of the Climate Bet, Mr Gore’s forecast errors are 37% larger than Professor Armstrong’s, it is mathematically possible for Mr Gore to win. For that to happen, however, the global average temperature anomaly would have to stay around the average of the first three months of this year, +0.7°C. We will keep you posted!
We’ve had to adjust the Climate Bet chart to make room for the February 2016 UAH global average temperature anomaly of +0.83°C above the 1981-2010 average. For five months in a row now, Mr Gore and IPCC’s warming projection was more accurate than Professor Armstrong’s no-change-from-2007 forecast. The last time Mr Gore got such a run was in 2010, when the IPCC warming projection was more accurate for the first 10 months of the year.
Overall, however, the errors of IPPC projection are still as much as 40% larger than the errors from the evidence-based forecast of no change.
Mr Gore’s chances of winning the bet must, nevertheless, have improved with the latest figure. To put the data into perspective, if the temperature anomaly remained at or above .437°C for the last 22 months of The Bet—to the end of 2017—Mr Gore would win.
Perhaps Mr Gore will he change his mind and decide that he would like to put some of his own money at stake. He should be aware that the .437°C figure has only been equaled or beaten 7 times over the 98 months of The Global Warming Challenge to date, but that statistic will presumably carry little weight for those who, like Mr Gore, believe in the coming of a “tipping point”.
See the updated Climate Bet chart to the right.
In a recent (12 February 2016) article, Willie Soon, David Legates, and Christopher Monckton revisited the topic of measuring global temperatures and explained why satellite measurements are superior to terrestrial thermometer measures. For readers who would like a refresher on why it is that The Global Warming challenge adopted satellite temperature data as the criterion for judging the outcome of the Armstrong-Gore climate bet, see the Soon, Legates, and Monckton article “What do we know about CO2 and global atmospheric temperatures”, here.
The prestigious Nature magazine on 24 February 2016 published online an article recognising the fact that (looking back) global average temperatures have been trend-less for at least the last 15 years. That’s right, Mr Gore, despite greatly increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the various measures agree that there is still no tipping point!
David Whitehouse, in a 26 February article in the U.K.’s The Spectator, suggested that Nature‘s article “ought to have been front page news – and might have been, had it suggested that global warming was worse than we had thought.” Whitehouse’s article, with link to the Nature paper, is available here.
The UAH global average temperature anomaly spiked in January to the warmest it has been during the 97 months of the bet so far. We have seen similar spikes earlier in the bet period, in early 2010 and January 2013. All three of those spikes were (just) more than 0.3°C warmer than the 2007 annual average, which is the base year of the bet and the no-change forecast that Scott Armstrong is betting on.
The three spikes amounted to 5 months in all of temperatures more than 0.3°C warmer than the 2007 annual average.
A glance at the updated chart (right) shows that there have also been downward spikes in the UAH global average temperature during the period of the bet. In fact there have been six cool spikes amounting to 8 months of temperatures more than 0.3°C cooler than the 2007 annual average.
Not only have warm spikes been less frequent than cool spikes, in the context of the bet the cool spikes have been relatively cooler than the warm spikes have been warm. The average cool-spike temperature was .02°C cooler than the 2007 annual average than the average warm-spike temperature was warmer.
The short answer is, most likely it is too late for Mr Gore to win the bet with Professor Armstrong. Here’s why…
Of the eight years of the bet so far, Professor Armstrong’s no-change forecast has been been more accurate than the Gore/IPCC “dangerous” warming forecast in seven. Looking at individual months, the no-change forecast has been more accurate for 72 of 96, or 75%. Overall, the errors of Mr Gore’s forecasts to date are nearly 42% larger.
To tip the balance of forecast errors back in Mr Gore’s favor, the temperature anomaly would need to average close to the Gore/IPCC +0.03ºC p.a. trend line shown in the updated chart to the right.
For those of you who arrived late or who would like a refresher, brief background to the Armstrong-Gore bet is provided at the link in the right column labelled “Challenge,” or here. (We recently extended the description of the background to the Challenge.)
October 2015 saw the warmest global average temperature for nearly three years at 0.43°C above the 1981-2010 average. November followed with an “anomaly” of 0.33°C.
The put the figures into the slightly longer term context of The Climate Bet’s nearly 8 years to-date, the first three months of 2010 were all warmer than the October just gone. But how consistent are the figures with the IPCC-Al Gore dangerous manmade global warming projection?
While the October figure on its own is consistent with the +3°C per century IPCC “business as usual” projection applied to the 2007 bet base year average—it was 0.02°C warmer—that has only happened in 14 of the 95, or 15%, of the months of the bet, to date. The chance that a warmer than projected temperature would happen so few times by chance with an unbiased forecast is one-in-1,612,577,151,852.
For an explanation of why the IPCC projections are such bad forecasts, see Kesten Green’s guest post “Is climate forecasting immune from Occam’s razor” on the Watts Up With That site, here.
The 93 months of the 120 month (10-year) Climate Bet so far has witnessed 45 months in which the global average temperature anomaly increased from the previous month, and 46 months in which the global temperature fell. This pattern, or lack of it, is of course consistent with the Green, Armstrong, and Soon (2009) evidence-based no-change forecast that is the basis of Professor Armstrong’s notional bet with Al Gore. For the latest data, click on the chart to the right.