The Global Warming Challenge

Evidence-based forecasting for climate change

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Archive for June, 2011

April and May 2011 temperatures added to graph

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Global mean temperatures (more correctly, global mean temperature anomalies) for April and May 2011 have been added to our bet chart at top right. After three months at or below the 1981-2010 baseline, April and May were 0.12°C and 0.14°C above the baseline. Temperatures remained below the 2007 mean that Scott Armstrong offered to bet on, however, as they have done since the beginning of 2011. As a consequence, the errors to date from the forecasts that represent the pronouncements of Al Gore and the IPCC are in total 1.8% larger than those from the Armstrong forecasts.

As we have pointed out before, while Armstrong’s bet is based on evidence-based principles and Gore’s is not, 10 years is a short time period for bets about the climate and so the chance of a reversal are not much less than 50%.

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June 14th, 2011 at 12:06 am

Economics prof offers bet on weather deaths forecast

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In a response to environmentalist Bill McKibben’s assertion in the Washington Post that severe weather was becoming more common and more severe as a consequence of human CO2 emissions, Donald Boudreaux of GMU pointed out in the Wall Street Journal that there has been no clear trend in severe weather and, more importantly, deaths in the U.S. have declined in recent decades despite an increasing population.

Boudreaux argues that the trend of fewer deaths is consistent with economic theory and much evidence that people are creative and resourceful in market economies and that this creativity and resourcefulness drives adaptions that result in people living longer.

So confident is Boudreaux in extrapolating this trend, that he has offered to bet McKibben, or Al Gore or Paul Krugman, $10,000 that “the average annual number of Americans killed by these violent weather events from 2011 through 2030 will be lower than it was from 1991 through 2010”. Boudreaux’s WSJ column is here.

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June 13th, 2011 at 2:13 am