The Global Warming Challenge

Evidence-based forecasting for climate change

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Green and Armstrong Call for Scientific Forecasts of Sea Levels

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Dire consequences have been predicted to arise from the warming of the Earth in coming decades of the 21st Century. Enormous rises in sea level represent one of the more dramatic forecasts. A recent article provided sea-level forecasts based on experts’ judgments of what will happen. These judgments are in turn based on experts’ predictions of global warming. The article made no reference to scientific forecasts. As shown in Green and Armstrong (2007) experts’ forecasts have no validity in situations characterized by high complexity, high uncertainty, and poor feedback. Numerous other scientists also criticized this approach.

To date we are unaware of any forecasts of sea levels that adhere to proper (scientific) forecasting methodology and our quick search on Google Scholar came up short. If such forecasts are available, please provide citations and support as to their validity. As a first step, it would be useful to summarize studies that extrapolate long-term trends; this summary could provide a benchmark for comparison with other studies.

We will provide free access to them at and request commentary at Media outlets should be clear when they are reporting on scientific work and when they are reporting on the opinions held by some scientists. Without scientific support for their forecasting methods, the concerns of scientists should not be used as a basis for public policy.

Kesten Green and Scott Armstrong

Written by climatebet

September 27th, 2007 at 5:43 am

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