Betting on Global Cooling

2390072630_8829092405 A recent paper published in the prestigious Nature journal suggesting that over the next decade we could experience a temporary global temperature drop has naturally seen the climate skeptics announce that they were right all along. Of course, reality – a term long since forgotten to many – would suggest that global warming will still continue unabated in the background, but that would just kill a good story.

The basics of the Nature paper, written by N. S. Keenlyside, M. Latif1, J. Jungclaus, L. Kornblueh & E. Roeckner, is that the global mean temperatures for 2000-2010 and 2005-2015 will be slightly below the average for 1994-2000.

However the bloggers over at – a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists – do not agree, and are laying down two rather hefty bets!

The RealClimate bloggers, Stefan Rahmstorf, Michael Mann, Ray Bradley, William Connolley, David Archer, and Caspar Ammann, are putting €2500 on the table (that’s just under $4,000 USD).

Keenlyside hasn’t made a public comment that I’m aware of, but I’ve emailed him and look forward to seeing whether he and his colleagues take RealClimate’s bet or not.

The RC bloggers don’t actually explain fully why they believe Keenlyside to be wrong, just that he is.

Climatologist Roger Pielke, writing on his own blog, has crunched the numbers, and shown that “…temperatures for 2009 and 2010 would have to fall by about 0.30 from the period 2005-present.”

He describes this bet as “…a bit like giving 50-50 odds that Wigan will come back from a 3-0 halftime deficit to Manchester United. Who would take that bet?” (For those not in on the Premier League stats, Manchester United sit atop the table with 17 wins and only 1 loss, while Wigan are down at 14, with only 8 wins.)

Stay tuned for updates on the status of this bet.

Image Courtesy of stvmasters1 via Flickr

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2 thoughts on “Betting on Global Cooling”

  1. Shirley Siluk Gregory

    Thanks for the post, Joshua: I’m looking forward to hearing some followup from other scientists. I know the climate skeptics are jumping over this with great glee … all facts regarding long-term trends to the contrary.

    Even if it’s true, I worry that a study like this might be used to justify holding off on carbon-reduction and other climate change-mitigation efforts. That would be a disaster, literally. And I’ll get €2500 (once I have that much : ) ) that folks like James Hansen and James Lovelock would agree.

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