The Global Warming Challenge

Evidence-based forecasting for climate change

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Climate forecasting at the ISF in Hong Kong: A warm-up quiz

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Is carbon dioxide a good causal variable for forecasting global temperature? Have there been alarms in the past similar to the current alarm over dangerous manmade global warming and, if so, what happened? Can rule-based forecasting help forecast global mean temperatures? What do prediction markets reveal?

These questions and more will be answered at a climate forecasting session at the International Symposium on Forecasting presenting work by Green, Armstrong, and Graefe. To be useful, forecasts should be substantially more accurate than those from a simple benchmark method, for example the no-change model. We suggest taking the following self-administered quiz Please write down your estimate and then follow the link to find the answer.

Q. Assume that at the end of 1850 you started making 50-year-ahead no-change forecasts such that your first forecast was that the global mean temperature in 1900 would be the same as 1850’s. By 2008 you would have accumulated 108 forecasts for which you knew the global mean temperature (i.e to 2007). What would be the mean absolute error of your 50-year ahead no-change forecasts in degrees-Celsius?

A. See the abstract of the Green, Armstrong, and Soon paper “Validity of Climate Change Forecasting for Public Policy Decision Making” located at

Written by mzfeldm

June 4th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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