Thursday, March 27, 2014

Noted with little comment

Roger Pielke Jr::

Placing bets on the future state of the climate makes sense, but in a research mode, not just in public displays of "calling out" particular opponents....

This recent flurry of calling people out (reminds me of elementary schoolyard brawls - "I'm faster than you!" "No you're not!" "Prove it!" "Meet you after school on the playground!") no doubt has a high element of drama....

I think that while such chest thumping displays are certainly entertaining, they tell us little about the broader state of uncertainty among experts or the public....

Nate Silver:
I’m not particularly certain when pointing out the fact that it might be cool or rainy in your hometown one afternoon became subject for worthwhile blog material, but you have started to see this all the time on certain conservative blogs, probably led by the example of Matt Drudge. 
Therefore, because I’d like to see more accountability on all sides of this debate and because I’m tired of people who don’t understand statistics and because I’d like to make some money, I issue the following challenge.

You are eligible for this challenge if [limits bets to certain category of bloggers].... 
The rules of the challenge are as follows: 
1. For each day that the high temperature in your hometown is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit above average, as listed by Weather Underground, you owe me $25. For each day that it is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit below average, I owe you $25.

2. The challenge proceeds in monthly intervals, with the first month being August. At the end of each month, we’ll tally up the winning and losing days and the loser writes the winner a check for the balance.

3. The challenge automatically rolls over to the next month until/unless: (i) one party informs the other by the 20th of the previous month that he would like to discontinue the challenge (that is, if you want to discontinue the challenge for September, you’d have to tell me this by August 20th), or (ii) the losing party has failed to pay the winning party in a timely fashion, in which case the challenge may be canceled at the sole discretion of the winning party.

My little comment is that at the time, I thought Nate's bet was a marginal one.


cRR Kampen said...

Made $375.- in March (Gouda, Holland, AGW is real), then.

Will make another $125.- remainder of this month.
Actually I'd like $25.- for every degree F over normal. That should rake me in near a mille by end of weekend, Sunday worth almost $500.- :)
Not to mention what already happened here this month. Last Friday worth $500.- too. Hm.

Jeffrey Davis said...

Silver should be careful. The Eastern US was caught this winter bearing the brunt of the polar vortex. Most of the people who would take him up on the bet are Americans. And few people live near the Arctic Circle where the dramatic warming will occur. He could get cleaned out quick. And the globe could still warm. He appears to think "local" is something you drive through daily. Eastern North America is pretty local, too. And just as anomalous.

Aaron said...

I think there is potential for a real El Nino to kick-in about August. Some think it will be more intense than the 97-98 event.

A guy that was really good with statistics might have forecast such a situation.

cRR Kampen said...

The 'brunt of the polar vortex'... Meaningless. England took the brunt of that vortex - actually!!
Let's call that thing 'jet stream' or, if really need be for hemispheric talking, 'circumpolar vortex'. As to the latter talking please be reminded that a part of the USA is NOT the hemisphere, not even if that part in the USA experiences some frost.

As to the US winter, January wasn't remarkable, and February in Michigan was same as the normal 1900-1980. It felt devastatingly cold exactly of because of this!


Returning to the numbers, how many who believe the talking heads who speak of global temperatures rising 4 C by 2050 and/or 6C by 2020 would care to bet by the decade on which 10 year interval to come will be the first to see a whole degree of delta T?

Since temperatues need to rise an average of .111 C per year to get us +4C higher by 2050, something needs to happen before the climate sensitivity goalposts go walkabout.

Unknown said...

I don't think that Michigan is the normal temp example you want to use, not this year:

"For those interested in how this winter is shaping up relative to our historical record, preliminary climate data suggest that statewide mean temperatures for the December through February 2013-2014 period will average out at about 15 F or about 6.5 F below normal, which would put the season into the books among the five coldest on record."