Pat Michaels Bets $$ on 25 Years of No Warming

September 18th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.


This is not Pat Michaels.

As a result of my post yesterday (A Turning Point for the IPCC…and Humanity?), I became aware of a pending bet between Pat Michaels and Scott Supak (a self described progressive environmentalist) regarding the future course of global temperatures.

After exchanging e-mails with both Pat and Scott, you can consider this post as the official announcement of the bet:

Dr. Michaels is betting on no statistically significant warming (at the 95% confidence level) in the HadCRUTx data for the 25 year period starting in 1997. Scott is betting on at least that much warming.

Scott doesn’t want to bet more than $250 (he says he likes to spread his betting $$ around), so the potential value of the embarrassment to the loser is probably worth much more than $250 will buy in early 2022. ūüėČ

I find this a rather bold bet for Pat to make, because based upon my calculations he could still lose and have the observed warming trend below ALL 90 of the CMIP5 climate model forecasts we have examined for global average surface temperature for the period 1997 through 2021, inclusive. [The model with the least warming of the 90 during 1997-2021 has only +0.048 deg. C/decade warming; current HadCRUT4 observations since 1997 stands at just over +0.04 deg. C/decade; max model warming is +0.400 deg. C/decade.] But maybe Pat has a better method of computing the statistical significance than I do…I’ll let Pat and Scott work that out.

I just noticed that the range of model trends ALSO means that ALL of the 90 models predict that warming will accelerate from the currently observed warming trend since 1997.

I’m also in discussions with Scott over betting on a trend that would be 1 standard deviation below the average model warming, which would be +0.162 deg. C/decade for 1997-2021, compared to the 90-model average of +0.226 deg. C/decade. He laid down the gauntlet, not me. I try not to forecast future temperatures…too much like betting on a roll of the dice.

If Pat wins, Scott will pay $250 to the Organization for Autism Research. If Scott wins, Pat will pay $250 to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund.

118 Responses to “Pat Michaels Bets $$ on 25 Years of No Warming”

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  1. Hops says:

    If this is about right, what are due for?

    Can we leave Al Gore out of this? He’s not a climate scientist, we all know that. It’s like me equating all skeptics to Inhofe…

    • Roy Spencer says:

      Who said anything about Gore?

      • Hops says:

        Isn’t that Al Gore in the “Church of Climatology” graphic?

        Seriously, I don’t know anyone who just blindly follows Al Gore on this issue. While I give him some credit for caring about the issue, sometime I think he does more harm than good because a lot of conservatives reason like this:

        Al Gore says there’s global warming.
        I don’t like Al Gore.
        Therefore, there is no global warming.

        • And how is Al Gore to be blamed for such a logically fallacious reasoning?

          • John K says:

            Hi Jan,

            Of course, Al Gore should never be blamed for Hops delusional stereotypical reasoning he blames on conservatives. Al Gore has plenty of his own irrational statements to account for. Cognitive Dissonance may well run in his family.

        • John K says:

          Hello Hops,

          Hmmh! Actually, conservatives often reason as follows:

          Atmospheric CO2 levels have been consistently observed to rise since 1958 when Mona Loa data first became available (from about 350 ppm then to approximately 400 ppm now), with the exception of two years where CO2 levels remain substantially unchanged. 19th century measurements fell at 280 ppm, suggesting atmospheric CO2 levels have increased since the 19th century. No one has ever provided a rational plan to induce the current 7 billion people on this planet to reduce their carbon output to levels not seen in over a century when the US, Great Britain and possibly Germany were the only industrial powers and the earth’s population was far smaller. The fact remains no one has provided any rational solution to prevent increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, nor is it probable they ever will but you can always keep the dream alive. Oh! and as I’ve illustrated in other posts Jacques Cousteau’s solution of eliminating two-thirds of the human race won’t work either.

          The earth has been far warmer in past millenia allowing for the presence of tropical vegetation and enormous life forms in regions (including the poles) far too cold to support such life now.

          Further, Al Gore admitted to falsely suggesting ethanol subsidies/legislation would reduce carbon output when he new all along the science never supported it because he apparently had farmer friends that sought those subsidies and benefits. Removing perennial vegetation (normal grassland) to produce corn (seasonal crop) all the while leaving the land fallow the rest of the year hardly seems like a rational plan to reduce CO2. Ethanol combustion produces CO2 as well and other alcohol fuels like methanol may produce even less.

          Al Gore has a history of histrionically taking phony moral “high grounds” to demand restrictive legislation upon individuals and companies that compete for resources with industries he has a financial stake in to weed out the competition. I’ve read that years ago he took on an anti-smoking campaign and used a relatives (I think it was his sister’s) lung cancer to push regulations against tobacco growers. His family at the time were large tobacco growers. I’ve read the Gore family has for decades owned large stakes in Occidental Petroleum. Yet he seeks to regulate petroleum production by competitors including the Keystone pipeline. If I remember correctly his book “Earth in the Balance” consciously sought to increase gasoline pump prices to $8-$10 a gallon. Al Gore stands to benefit handsomely from higher pump prices imposed by the very same carbon credits he should know will do nothing to prevent rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

          Therefore, why suffer moronic legislative solutions which can in no way alter the current ecological circumstances in regards to carbon all to benefit one carnival barker Al Gore.

          • Hops says:

            John K

            Your reply proves my point: you start off with a reasonable objection to addressing the issue of CO2 then drift into a diatribe about Al Gore.

            I don’t care about Gore. I only really care about one thing, and that is whether we leave my children and other young people a stable ecosystem.

            Yes, it has been hotter before, but we and everything now living are adapted to the current climate: temperature, rainfall extremes, sea level, drought patterns, etc. Adapting to a world that is 4C hotter will be expensive and and entail a period of mass extinction.

            Anyway, if you say fossil fuels are the only way to have a civilization, then I say we should leave as much as possible to the next generation. Clever drilling technology nothwithstanding, they are a finite resource, destined to become more and more expensive.

            The cost of renewables continues to drop, and we will eventually transition to them anyway. A modest fee for release of CO2 would simply hasten the adoption of renewables, bringing it into a time frame that avoids the worst case scenario in regards to climate and ecosystem change. As the cost of renewables drops further due to economies of scale and innovation, even developing economies will be able to afford them more so than fossil fuels.

          • Innocent says:


            I think John K is attempting to say that there has been large political motivation in the very areas of ‘stopping global warming’ and that the money is what matters to them.

            I am a Conservative nad I believe that CO2 has caused an increase in temperatures. I simply feel that we do not now what that is due to the question of natural variability. I do not know how much one way or the other it would go ergo I do not know how serious a threat CO2 and any increases thereof actually are to future generations. Add to this that I can see a myriad of benefits to releasing CO2 so long as the results are not overly negative. Increased crop yield, more drought resistant plants, longer growing seasons, etc and so on.

            So why has there been such a large push to regulate CO2 and stop the country from ‘polluting’? Well if there is no hard science saying that future generations WILL be worse off due to it then there is political motivation. That is why I think Al Gore gets brought up.

          • John K says:


            Thank you for your reply, but IMO you err in many points. Please allow me to address each one.

            You declared:
            “you start off with a reasonable objection to addressing the issue of CO2 then drift into a diatribe about Al Gore.”
            Frankly, that statements borderlines on delusional. My entire post including the reference to Al Gore addressed YOUR post dated September 19, 2013 at 5:32am in which YOU referenced Al Gore and your unsubstantiated opinion about conservatives. To reiterate I didn’t initiate the discussion about Al Gore YOU STARTED THE DISCUSSION ABOUT AL GORE! Moreover, Al Gore’s knowingly false claims and scientifically illiterate pronouncements encapsulates in a microcosmic cell the entire problem with the global warming alarmist community.

            You proceed to claim:
            “I only really care about one thing, and that is whether we leave my children and other young people a stable ecosystem.”
            We can all do our part to improve our part of the ecosystem, but we don’t ultimately control it. In regards to maintaining the ecosystem, reducing the growth of a tri-atomic gas compound we all require to survive seems as I’ve proved earlier like energy ill-spent. Do you find it at all disconcerting that the IPCC, academia and scheming industrialist spend an inordinate amount of time trying to reduce your access to the world’s hydrocarbons while “real” environmental catastrophe’s occur all around us this very moment and go completely ignored? People have claimed that Japan’s Fukushima reactor has been in “meltdown” and spewing radiation uncontrollably for ~2 years. What have either you, the IPCC, Al Gore or any of the other welfare dependent industrialist classes done to correct that situation? Engineers claim they will have to release enormous quantities of radioactive water into the Pacific much of it headed toward the U.S. Have you read of any serious attempts to address it?

            You go on to assert without proof:
            “Adapting to a world that is 4C hotter will be expensive and and entail a period of mass extinction.”
            I have no idea where you obtained the “4C” temperature increase, certainly not form the measured historical record. In any case, the geographical data suggests the size and quantity of life forms in a warmer world should excel our own. The “mass extinction” claim may prove accurate but it likely won’t be due to CO2. In any case, as I’ve illustrated earlier no on has any clue as to how 7 billion people can be induced to reduce their carbon output even a fraction of the amount necessary to reduce CO2, assuming we even know what the level is. Remember the lame Kyoto Protocol, in which European governments in the 1990’s pledged to reduce their carbon output to 1985 levels. They failed that simple test. Not that it would have made any difference since the WORLD carbon output in temrs of ppm/yr proves almost the same as current levels, 2-3 ppm. To expect that you can induce 7 billion people to reduce carbon output to 19th century levels or earlier can only be described as Pollyanish.

            You later assert without basis:
            “fossil fuels are the only way to have a civilization, then I say we should leave as much as possible to the next generation. Clever drilling technology nothwithstanding, they are a finite resource, destined to become more and more expensive.”
            Not all hydrocarbons are the same. In previous posts I’ve shown that while coal (lignite, bituminous and anthracite) is likely a “fossil fuel” most petroleum and virtually all natural gas (methane, propane and other alkane earth gasses) are probably not. Hint: Thomas Gold theorized that iron oxide, calcite and water (all earth ores) would under sufficient heat and pressure produce hydrocarbon methane. Sandia labs proved it experimentally and methane is a VOLCANIC gas!!! As to the “finite resource” claim, please remember the entire material universe is “finite.”!! The hydrogen in the sun that fuels your solar cells is a finite resource!

            You late exhort:
            “A modest fee for release of CO2 would simply hasten the adoption of renewables, bringing it into a time frame that avoids the worst case scenario in regards to climate and ecosystem change. As the cost of renewables drops further due to economies of scale and innovation, even developing economies will be able to afford them more so than fossil fuels.”
            If you wish to pay such an arbitrary ineffective fee, go ahead. You have no right to force others to subsidize bloated corporate shills and government coffers under the delusion that it will encourage innovation. Many energy alternatives already exist with varying levels of carbon input/output arbitrarily raising carbon prices may SLOW the production of alternatives. Where do you think the energy comes from to produce solar cells, wind-farms, etc.? You guessed it the world’s hydrocarbons. Please don’t let economic ignorance destroy a better future.

    • Bob Gaza says:

      I agree with you that this is an unwise bet. What Scott essentially did was convince Michaels to lower the bar of success for the warmist camp. It’s a shrewd way to snatch “victory” out of the hands of defeat.

      • Scott Supak says:

        Complete crap. Go read my blog post if you want the facts about how this bet came about:

        I find this tendency of Republicans, and various other science deniers and fake skeptics, to assume facts not in evidence is both annoying, and, if we still had Intrade around, profitable. You guys are almost as fun as the poll unskewers who were telling us Willard Romney was going to get 330 EVs. Heck, I bet some of you are the same people!

        The fact is that Michaels wrote in the Moonie Times that it was “a good bet” we’d see no warming for a quarter century. I asked him “how much?” In his email, he immediately started lowering the bar for him to win the bet. He would only use HadCRUT4, and the warming had to be “statistically significant.” As Jan has shown here, not statistically significant warming is still warming. But whatever, I took his bet. I did not do, as you say I “essentially” did (what’s with all the hedging? It’s like you guys really aren’t sure of yourselves?). I did not convince Michaels to lower any bar. I lowered the bar for his potential success. It is he who now has a shrewd way of snatching victory from the hands of defeat. But I doubt it.

        At Intrade, I probably would have had to pay $7.50 a share for this contract. I got even money. So, in that sense, it was a bargain.

        I will, for anyone interested, run an impromptu Intrade type prediction market for anyone who might want to play this game. You want to bet, let me know. We can go back and forth until we find a bet we agree on. Then we can buy and sell shares to each other, and the price of the share will correspond to the % chance of that event happening.

        So, for instance, for the sake of keeping things even money for now, I will counter Dr. Spencer’s offer. But I want to make it simple, like an Intrade market. So, here’s what Roy said:

        “Iím also in discussions with Scott over betting on a trend that would be 1 standard deviation below the average model warming, which would be +0.162 deg. C/decade for 1997-2021, compared to the 90-model average of +0.226 deg. C/decade. ”

        I’m very interested in this bet. But I need it to be stated as an Intrade market title would. So, for example, one of their markets (all used GISS) was 2019 ann temp anomaly to be .2 dC higher than 2009. That was a long shot, and I had a few shares. That’s the kind of bet where I’d need no volcanoes AND an El Nino. A good bet, but only at odds.

        So, Dr. Spencer, if you’ll state the bet in a way that I can better comprehend (please excuse me if my Philosophy degree didn’t get much past symbolic logic). I prefer GISS, but will settle for HadCRUT. I prefer anomalies, and would like to see the URL for the site where I can find the information you want to base the bet on.

        Then we’ll talk.

        In the meantime, before any of you people in here start BSing about me, you should check your facts.

        Got that, Bob?

  2. Scott Supak says:

    I’m a disable retired stagehand living on a fixed income, so my gambling budget is somewhat less than folks getting big carbon cash can afford.

    And I’ll get back to you soon on our bet, Dr. Spencer.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      Not sure where you got the idea we get “big carbon cash”. I would be doing a lot better if I was beating the alarmist drum. Never even been offered big carbon cash.

      But I’ll bet whatever YOU earn depends greatly on the existence of inexpensive carbon based energy, which remains the lifeblood of the global economy.

      Sorry, but people who are eager to bite the hand that feeds them tend to annoy me.

      • Scott Supak says:

        We all depend on carbon based fuels to survive. But trying to limit the damage they do is not biting the hand that feeds me. It’s trying to stop the cost-shifting of negative externalities onto the rest of us. It’s trying to stop the obvious harm and cost we’re all going to bear because of the recklessness of big carbon and people like you who defend them.

        And I’m not sorry that people who cost-shift their negative externalities onto me annoy me.

        As for who is funded by big carbon, I don’t believe you, but I was talking about Pat Michaels, who could show you the way to make much bigger cash than actual climate scientists make. Maybe they have a position at CATO?

        I’m still having my scientist friends evaluate your bet. At even money, I may want to bargain over the numbers.

        • Jimbo says:

          What you must realise is that most sceptics could have done a lot better for themselves financially if they had jumped on the global warming bandwagon. Do you know how much the US government spent on ‘climate change’ in 2012? Not to mention all the rich NGOs requesting customized reports like the WWF.

          • Scott Supak says:

            What you must realize is that you’re not talking to a brainwashed Republican.

            How much do you think, say, Mann makes? Now, how much do you think Pat Michaels makes? But anecdotes are meaningless.

            How much the govt. spent, vs how much big carbon spent, minus $ to equipment and other non-salaries, divided by the number of people getting paid on each side would give us an average payment per person on each side, right? I mean, I’m not a mathematician, obviously, but what would be a fair way of determining what the per person payments to each side of the debate are?

            What do you want to bet that the higher per person payment is higher on the denier side?

          • Innocent says:

            Scott, I’ll take that Bet, Micheal Mann admits to charging $10,000 per speaking event. Roy what is your fee?

            Look the research grants going out for the ‘impacts’ of Global Warming are a little higher than the grants going out for the ‘study of natural variability’ to date.

            I am not suggesting you are a Republican that has been brainwashed you sound more like a brain washed Democrat, no offense meant. That does not mean you are either one. We are shaped by our understanding of situations and ideology. To pretend otherwise means we have no identity. However I have several issues with your comment. First what would cause you to believe that Republicans are brainwashed barring you have an opinion already to that effect. If so who told you this or how did you arrive at that conclusion. Regardless I would suggest that die to the fact I am a Republican and know very well why I believe what I do ( suggesting that it is a conscious choice based on information and ergo a result of empirical reasoning ) that would mean that perhaps you are the one that is at fault in your ideological beliefs.

            Not that you are but I am suggesting that through your use of language you attempt to belittle someone else’s beliefs and show a bigoted bias that really stifles true conversation. I would suggest that you refrain from use of such ignorant and parasitic language when discussing things if you would like to make an impression other than that of a myopic intellectual.

            My understanding of the science surrounding Global Warming may be flawed and incorrect. But having you belittle the position rather than address the actual reasons for my dissent from the conclusion is counter productive and to be honest persecution closer to religious fervor than thoughtful discourse. Just my take on it.

          • Scott Supak says:

            “Scott, Iíll take that Bet, Micheal Mann admits to charging $10,000 per speaking event. Roy what is your fee?”

            So, as “proof” that the average denier makes more than the average scientist, you want to use Mann and Spencer’s fees per speech?

            Wow. You are a Republican. Even I’m better at math and statistics than that.

            “We are shaped by our understanding of situations and ideology.”

            Right. I understand that Republicans lied us into a $6 trillion dollar war that maimed, killed, and displaced millions. I understand that Republican trickle-down, supply-side, freshwater economics led to the Little Bush Depression, the largest recession since the great depression. I understand that Republicans just voted to take food out of the mouths of hungry children. They keep voting to deny health insurance to 20 million.

            And I understand that Republicans really suck at science. From evolution to geology to climate, they really want to, for the most part, suggest that humans aren’t God, and therefore cannot affect the climate, or can’t evolve, or whatever.

            Some of you may be atheists and just bad a science. But for the most part, you’re a backwards, hateful, gay bashing, discriminatory, warmongering bunch of liars who BS about anything and everything.

            “perhaps you are the one that is at fault in your ideological beliefs.”

            Yeah, you’re going to have to rephrase that, because you lost me. My reasoning is as I stated above. You guys are so wrong so often that the only explanation for why anyone would still listen to you is if they’re brainwashed. By religion, by an abusive parent, by a crazy uncle… I don’t know, and I don’t care. All I know is we REALLY need to stop listening to you guys.

            “you attempt to belittle someone elseís beliefs and show a bigoted bias that really stifles true conversation.”

            Now you’re catching on. This argument’s been going on for decades. You guys don’t listen. You don’t care. You’re so full of it, and yourselves, that when you see someone come back and act the same way, if maybe a little more forcefully, it’s shocking to you. It’s like, you giggle about Rush Limbaugh, but when someone from my side of the aisle even employs just a few of his style points, you get all pissy. Well, boo-hoo.

            But here’s the thing. I don’t want conversation. I’m sick of listening to you guys make the same old arguments over and over again. I want you people to put up or shut up. Of course, you probably won’t do either, but, hey, a guy can dream…

            “But having you belittle the position rather than address the actual reasons for my dissent from the conclusion is counter productive and to be honest persecution closer to religious fervor than thoughtful discourse. ”

            I am addressing the reasons for you decent. I just did. I have before. And I’m sick of doing it. It’s not like we’re disagreeing about is what color we should pick for our walls. This is what the Pentagon–an institution I assume you respect–said is one of the biggest threats to the future of America out there. I’m not a calm person. But I’m certainly not religious. I get pissed when people like you vote for people like GW Bush or Mitt Romney, because I’m deeply aware of what’s at stake. I’ve seen your track records. I’ve watched your neocon oilmen wreak havoc on the world. And I’m sick of it.

            Now, do you want to bet on your silly pseudo-scientific BS, or not?

            Why don’t you pray to your God about it. Maybe he’ll have an answer.

          • Scott Supak says:

            “you decent” should read “your dissent.”

    • Bart says:

      It was pretty obvious you weren’t scientifically oriented, and a tad unbalanced. I don’t know how you managed to get these big guns to pay attention to your needling – I guess they just reached a breaking point after all the years of torment to which they have been subjected by the Climate Inquisitors.

      For me, making a bet with you would be like beating up on the slow kid at recess. There’s no challenge to it, and all you’ve accomplished is making a pathetic, wretched person even more pathetic and wretched.

      I would suggest all parties agree to back off from the histrionics and just agree to wait and see what happens.

      • Scott Supak says:

        So, you used to beat up slow kids at recess?

        Unbalanced? You can diagnose that through the internet, can you? Amazing.

        Look, I’m a big guy with thick skin. People have physically attacked me because they could argue with me. You can beat up on me all you want. Go ahead. Don’t be afraid. I mean, heck, you called me a “pathetic, wretched person” and then suggested we back off the histrionics. At least make up your mind.

        Not scientifically oriented? Hmmm… I know humans evolved from lower life forms. I know cosmology, some pretty fun physics. I know about quantum mechanics, probability, lots of fun things. I’m just not a mathmatically oriented person.

        That doesn’t mean I don’t understand it.

        I spent years playing horses and poker and learned some scientific principles that served me well. Then I discovered Intrade, where you could get people to bet that Ron Paul was going to be the next President. You could get people to unskew polls and bet on Romney. And you could get people to bet that 2019 would not be warmer than 2009.

        I really miss Intrade. I kept all the $ I made there.

        But watching Pat Michaels send a check to the Climate Science Defense Fund? That’s priceless. If he lives up to his word.

        • Tom C says:

          Scott Supak said:

          “Iím not a calm person.”


          • Scott Supak says:

            SO? Being upset about this slow motion disaster that you guys are so glib about seems like an appropriate reaction. Same reaction I have when the nut cases in the GOP shut down the government and deny that defaulting on the money GW Bush spent already wouldn’t be so bad.

            Now, do you want to bet on something?

    • Scott Basinger says:

      It’s pretty funny Scott Supak, when you’re the one who started mouthing off about betting.

      If you’re so certain of yourself, it’s not really betting anyways, since you’re assured to win. Why all the doubt now?

      • Scott Supak says:

        What doubt?

        I have no doubt that the planet is warming. They question is how much cash I will wager at various temps.

        Obviously I ran the numbers before I asked Pat “how much” he’d be willing to bet on what HE said was a “good bet.”

        Now if anyone else wants to offer some bets, I will consider them along with Dr. Spencer’s and get back to you. This is just a hobby I spend some free time on, so, you’ll have to be patient if I don’t get right to it.

        For the record, I prefer the Intrade/prediction market models where we buy and sell shares on whether a particular, well-defined event will take place or not. Then we can easily get odds into the picture, and vary our amounts.

        Makes it easier to ride out the noise and profit from the signal.

        • lucia says:

          Scott Supak,

          Obviously I ran the numbers before I asked Pat ďhow muchĒ heíd be willing to bet on what HE said was a ďgood bet.Ē

          How could you run them before asking Pat “How much” when you didn’t even know how to run them in a comment dated

          Scott Supak (@ssupak) | September 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply

          At Tamino’s blog? I would suggest he confirmed what I told you: The method of computing uncertainty intervals matters. Tamsin Edwards told you the same thing ont twitter.

          As far as I can tell, you still don’t have any agreement on how to compute confidence intervals, but in

          Scott Supak says:
          September 21, 2013 at 2:12 PM
          you are proposing usinga:

          1) White noise of residuals to a straight line to estimate standard deviations: this is method Michaels never uses in his papers (and pretty much no one uses to assess significance).
          2) A single sided test: Also a method Michaels never uses (and which wouldn’t pass peer reviewers if used to test whether models agree with observations and so on. )
          3) This is a different method from the one you seem to be willing to accept in a bet from Roy (s.d. of model runs) : That would be standard deviation of runs. (Roy is giving you a break on that. If he used the method you proposed, he’d be more likely to win.)

          In short, only now after claiming you have settled on “a bet” with Pat, you begin to negotiate what the bet even if. In these negotiations, you are suggesting choices that Tamino suggested would favor you if you could get Pat to agree with them. And these choices involve:
          1) suggesting different method of estimating the uncertainty than the one in Roy’s proposed bet,
          2) proposing a one-sided test
          3) proposing a method that nearly no one uses to estimate standard errors in the mean (i.e. white noise residuals in a series where we know autocorrelation exists.

          Now one may do anything at all when betting But these are all choices that would increase you probability of winning relative to using more justified methods of computing uncertainty intervals.

          Your wanting to improve your odds might be fine if this was merely a bet. But you are flinging around language as if the reason Roy or Pat (the “fake skeptics”) is to prove something or other about their degree or respectability.

          Well, I can tell you: If I were Pat and remotely willing to enter into a bet with you, I would insist the method of computing the uncertainty intervals matched what I claimed in the news article that set you off. Presumably, Pat’s claim would be about confidence intervals would be based on computations performed using the method he uses when submitting papers.

          Honestly Pat can do whatever he wishes. But I would hardly blame him if he simply decided he doesn’t want to continue “negotiating” a bet with you. Presumably, if it’s just an issue of making money from your gambling, you can go find a fellow gambler somewhere. Maybe a neighbor? Your brother in law? Someone down at the local bar?

          If the point is to show that Pat won’t put his money where his mouth is: Well… I suspect he would. But that doesn’t mean he’s obligated to enter into endless negotiations with someone like you who doesn’t even know in advance what he’s willing to bet, who doesn’t recognize what’s required to turn something into a well defined bet and who wants to suggest that other people need to reword the bets into language you are more comfortable with. I mean… sheesh.

          • Scott Supak says:

            Pat’s the one who offered the bet. So you can try to swing the lack of definition of the parameters on me, but it’s his bet, not mine, so why aren’t you giving him crap for having not defined what he called a “good bet”?

            As far as I’m concerned, we’ll just use the trend calculator at Skeptical Science. I have no way of knowing if this is OK with Pat, because he refuses to talk anymore. He’s the one who thinks this bet is settled, so I suggest you go give him crap.

            I’m just a gambler who challenged him to actually bet on what he said was a good one. I never claimed to be a climate scientist, or mathematician.

            “How could you run them before asking Pat ďHow muchĒ when you didnít even know how to run them in a comment dated”

            Typical BS. I ran the numbers on the Skeptical Science trend calculator in order to see that I’m very close to winning the bet already. Unless a volcano screws me, even without an El Nino, I have a better than 50/50 chance.

            So, when I say I ran the numbers, I mean I made a back of the envelope calculation on the likelihood of there being warming on the SS trend calc. It doesn’t mean I understand all the calculations needed to figure “statistically significant.”

            “Presumably, Patís claim would be about confidence intervals would be based on computations performed using the method he uses when submitting papers.”

            Whatever. Maybe he should say so?

            “Honestly Pat can do whatever he wishes. But I would hardly blame him if he simply decided he doesnít want to continue ďnegotiatingĒ a bet with you. Presumably, if itís just an issue of making money from your gambling, you can go find a fellow gambler somewhere. Maybe a neighbor? Your brother in law? Someone down at the local bar?”

            You seem like a smart person, and yet you apparently didn’t read the whole post here. I’m not going to make any money off this. The loser of this bet pays the winner’s charity. It’s all right there above, from Dr. Spencer. Open your eyes and read before you accuse me of something I’m not guilty of, M-kay?

            “But that doesnít mean heís obligated to enter into endless negotiations with someone like you who doesnít even know in advance what heís willing to bet”

            Why endless? We only have one more step to finalizing this as far as I can tell. This is based on information provide by YOU, and now you say it’s ENDLESS? Make up your mind, please.

            I know exactly what I’m willing to bet. I have all kinds of bets I can offer you guys. This is his bet, and he refused to use GISS, as I wanted, and he insisted on a “statistically significant” condition that he has refused to define. The fact that I was unaware that there are different ways to calculate this means it’s not my problem, it’s his. It also proves, even more so, what a bullshitter he is because he obviously wants to leave that open so he can argue later for not paying up.

            He’s the “climate scientist.” I just wanted to take him up on what HE SAID is a “good bet.” If he has problems defining his own bet, you should take that up with him. I’ve tried.

            If Dr. Spencer, or you, or anyone else wants to propose a bet, you should put it in language that Intrade would use to describe the event, and the way to determine the outcome. Then we can avoid all this other crap.

            So, for instance, I’ve been trying to offer people, like that idiot on Twitter who claimed I had no bet to offer, the old Intrade market of 2019 to be warmer than 2009, based on annual GISS anomalies. I also offered to pay $3.50 a share for shares of “GISS ann land/ocean temp anomaly in 2019 to be 0.2 dC greater than 2009.”

            I offered, many times, a number. GISS ann anomaly for 2009 was 0.59 dC. I bet 2019 will be greater than that. This is the kind of market you’d find at Intrade. We could do it with any measure you want. Then we’re betting on a straight up hard number that we can all check without having to know how we’re doing some math that BSers like Pat Michaels are too chicken to state in advance.

            So far, no sellers on either market.

            Finally, this:

            “Your wanting to improve your odds might be fine if this was merely a bet. But you are flinging around language as if the reason Roy or Pat (the ďfake skepticsĒ) is to prove something or other about their degree or respectability.”

            You’re trying to improve his odds by suggesting we should use his method of calculation to make his odds better, so why should I do the same for my odds? We could settle on some kind of compromise that would be more fair, but I don’t see him defining any method, so, I figure he’s chicken and wants to save a chance to save face in 7 years by fudging the numbers with a method he refused to define while making the bet.

            As for respectability? Really? Are you aware how many times Pat Michaels has been wrong?


  3. Orson says:

    Scott says “…folks getting big carbon cash can afford.” You are misinformed – Big Energy and Big Oil are funding the global warming side.

    Just look at who funds the Climate Institute in Washington, DC for instance 0 their list of supporters show government first, charities second, and then big corporations like oil and car manufacturing interests

    Big natural gas funds The Sierra Club.

    • Bill Hunter says:

      Big energy and big oil was running it when it was about carbon credits or any scheme that forces supply restrictions.

      What better deal can you imagine? Get your customers to pay extra for gasoline so you can buy Amazonian rainforests for the carbon credits!

      All this of course while at the same time ensuring no other carbon-based big energy/big oil outfit can undercut your pricing!

      Then if it doesn’t blow over you cut the forests and sell the wood for sequestering in structures as young forests sequester carbon and mature forests are carbon neutral.

      And if it does blow over you can still cut down the Amazonian rainforest sell the wood and erect condos instead of regrowing trees.

      Dr. James Hansen at least had the sense to see this and opposed the carbon trading scheme. But the reality was to overcome the energy lobby and say put in a general carbon tax where the government takes the money you do need strong popular support which has never materialized. . . .for good reason.

      Of course Hansen did not have the sense to see that if you give the money back to the people to ensure they could pay their energy bills, as he proposed, then that would have made the whole transaction neutral from the standpoint of carbon and it would be nothing more than a welfare scheme.

      So the only option that would not be supported by the energy lobby and actually move the needle on carbon would be to tax the energy and put the money into alternative energy projects. This would be a highly regressive tax and full of a lot of Solyndra scandals. This would force prices on energy up more than the tax doubling the misery for the poor and at least partly compensating the oil interests.

      None of this stuff works. You would think people would catch a clue when you go to a store and buy something and at the end of the transaction they ring up the sales tax.

      It should be obvious who actually pays the taxes and thats true whether the tax is directly itemized on the receipt or not.

      • cloudpoint says:

        It sounds like you are saying that any possible solution has flaws that wonít allow it to work perfectly, therefore we should do nothing and allow commercial interests to continue leading us down the path to doom.

  4. RW says:

    Only $250? That seems hardly worth it.

    • Scott Supak says:

      Well, big spender, you gotta bet for us lowly working stiffs?

    • RW says:

      I don’t get it. Why are you in support of your position if you’re just a ‘working stiff’? I find this ironic given ‘working stiffs’ would be the most negatively impacted by legislation raising the cost of energy.

      • I take from your question to Scott Supak that your economic/political/ideological preferences determine whether you consider scientific hypotheses or theories as valid or not. Otherwise, what does any view on the political question about legislation regarding costs of energy have to do with the scientific question about the 25-year near surface temperature trend since 1997?

      • Scott Supak says:

        Actually, the poor and working people will lose the most in a world ravaged by the effects of the warming. Further, even Arthur Laffer himself has scribbled on the back of a napkin and discovered that a carbon tax added for a corporate tax rate reduced would be good for the economy.

        But otherwise, yeah, what Jan said.

        So, you want to bet on something? I mean, hey, at least Roy and Pat are actually willing to put their money where their mouths are. That’s more than I can say for the rest of you.

  5. Pat Michaels says:

    My logic is as follows:

    Suppose this year (2013) warming resumes at the 1976-97 rate, and continues at that thereafter.

    The post 1996-warming trend would reach statistical significance at the end of year 23 and I would lose, a chance I am willing to take.

    But the longer we go without it, the longer it takes to establish post-96 significance. Basically Scott is constrained to betting that a warming trend of approximtely 0.2 deg C/decade will commence pretty much immediately. Of course I could get screwed by a whopper El Nino in year 25, as we aren’t adjusting for endpoint overweight, but that would be a pretty small win for Scott.

    When I bet Hansen that the monthly anomalies from 1/1/98 would show a significant negative trend after 120 months, I lost…by three months. It met significance in month 123. Ron Bailey claimed I sustained a big loss, and never noted it was only three months off.


    BTW watch Judy Curry over the next day or two.

    • Scott Supak says:

      Yee haw! You’d lose $250 and a great many people would suffer horribly under such a thing:

      “Of course I could get screwed by a whopper El Nino in year 25, as we arenít adjusting for endpoint overweight, but that would be a pretty small win for Scott.”

      Hedging already. Well, if I had your prediction record, I probably would be too.

      > A review of claims made by the Cato Institute’s Patrick Michaels over the last quarter century shows that he has repeatedly been proven wrong over time. Michaels is one of a few contrarian climate scientists who is often featured in the media without disclosure of his funding from the fossil fuel industry.

      My only regret is that Intrade isn’t legal, so I don’t get to collect. Hope you Glibertarians at CATO can get right on the other item we spoke about, that the Commie/Socialist/Tree-hugging/DFH Obama DoJ announced a 180 from previous administrations and will not bother states in regard to their internet gambling laws.

      Tell your rich friends they’re really missing an opportunity to start a new Intrade right now.

    • Of course I could get screwed by a whopper El Nino in year 25, as we arenít adjusting for endpoint overweight,…

      What about starting point overweight? You don’t seem to mind the whopper El Nino of 1998.

      This is the El Nino on which all the “no global warming for 17 years” claims by the AGW “skeptics” rest.

    • Will Nelson says:

      Those dad blasted cardinal numbers…

    • AJ says:

      “BTW watch Judy Curry over the next day or two.”

      Let me guess. The paper will address the pause. You will find a mechanism for the ~60yr apparent temperature cycle.

      My guess at this mechanism is SST’s overshooting/undershooting equilibrium. Starting from equilibrium, introduce a forcing trend which warms the well mixed layer. Due to inertia, ocean convection is at first too slow which results in an overshooting of SST’s. Eventually the convection accelerates, carrying heat to the ocean depths, but because SST’s were in an overshoot position the convection overshoots equilibrium as well. This leads to SST’s eventually undershooting equilibrium, convection decelerating, with SST’s again overshooting and so on.

      I don’t have much to support this pet theory of mine, just a couple of plots showing temperature and sea-level trends both showing a ~60yr cycle, with sea-level trends lagging temperature trends by ~20yrs.—hadcrut4

      In a traditional one-box model, the response cycle can’t lag the forcing cycle by 1/4 cycle and retain an amplitude. If I modify the exponential decay model to show relative acceleration, say exp((t^(3/2))/tau), then I can push the lag out past 1/4 cycle and still retain an amplitude. Of course I’m assuming that sea-level trend is a proxy for ocean heat trend and that ocean heat is forced by surface heat.

      My guess is that Pat will win, but it’ll be close.

      • Bart says:

        Sounds like a reasonable possibility. Such oscillatory behavior is typical in systems which store energy in coupled reservoirs.

        • AJ says:

          Maybe. If something like this is going on, I’m wondering what the overshoot/undershoot means. Does it mean that SST’s are near equilibrium and there’s not much left in the pipeline?

    • Ronald says:

      Pat,Isuppose you will win but because PDO, sun spots and so.
      If you look at the Lower Tropospheric Anomally graphic and errase the 1998 El NiŮo warming you will find a trend of almost +0.6 Centigrades in 30 years, that is 0.2 ļC per decade. Maybe you are betting on the base that for the first time the 13 month moving average shows a decline?
      Good luck, Pat.

    • Scott Supak says:

      After various people offered questions as to how the 95% confidence will be calculated, my more mathematically gifted friends tell me I should specify that we should agree that the ďnull hypothesisĒ will be ďtrend = zeroĒ and the ďalternate hypothesisĒ will be ďtrend greater than zero.Ē

      Also, I propose that we use annual averages, ignore autocorrelation, and use a one-tailed t-test.

    • cloudpoint says:

      Warming doesnít even need to return to the 1976-97 rate. It just needs to continue regressing to the mean for Scott to win his bet.

      Since 1975, global average surface air temperature has increased at a rate of 0.17 įC/decade (per GISTEMP). During the fifteen-year time span covering the years 1992 through mid-2007, the rate of warming was just shy of 0.29 įC/decade. That represents a significant acceleration in warming, and the six years following mid-2007 are just a regression back to the mean of the longer time spanís trend.

      Scott has a very sure bet.

      • Scott Supak says:

        It’s Pat’s bet. I just jumped on the chance to take it.

        The thing about betting on this is, if you can make enough diverse bets, over short and long spans of time, you can ride out the noise and collect on the signal.

        The problem at Intrade was a lack of volume, mostly because these people just don’t want to bet on their own BS. So, for a “good bet” you had to give good enough odds for the long shot bias to kick in on the other guy. Still a much better return than long term T-bills, but the value proposition is much lower at those prices.

  6. Scott Supak says:

    I don’t have the backing of environmental groups, either. I only have my own funds.

    As for your claims equating the donations given to environmental groups by big carbon, would you care to tally up dollar amounts, or are you going to stick with your false equivalence?

  7. David A says:

    How do they plan to calculate the statistical uncertainty of the trend — with autocorrelation, or without?

    Accounting for autocorrelation can often increase the trend’s uncertainty by a factor of 2 to 3 compared to that calculated from the method of ordinary least squares.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      Good question, I’ll leave that to Pat.

    • Scott Supak says:

      We didn’t consider that. I suppose that’s something that needs to be addressed. Someone should ask Pat. He refuses to speak to me until Dec 31, 2021.

      • MikeN says:

        How about just use the skeptical science trend calculator app?

        • Scott Supak says:

          I would accept that.

          I’ve made another proposal in another comment though. If that is not accepted, I’ll go for this. But maybe the two are the same?

          Here is the other comment’s proposal:

          > use annual averages, ignore autocorrelation, and use a one-tailed t-test.

          > the ďnull hypothesisĒ will be ďtrend = zeroĒ and the ďalternate hypothesisĒ will be ďtrend greater than zero.Ē

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      And then there are even more basic questions like
      * which database will they use for the calculations?
      * are they using daily, weekly, monthly or yearly averages?
      * which statistical test are they using and and what confidence level?

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Oops .. I shold have read more clearly! But the question of annual vs monthly still stands.

      • Scott Supak says:

        Here is the other commentís proposal:

        > use annual averages, ignore autocorrelation, and use a one-tailed t-test.

        > the ďnull hypothesisĒ will be ďtrend = zeroĒ and the ďalternate hypothesisĒ will be ďtrend greater than zero.Ē

  8. Marcel Crok says:

    Yep accepting long-term persistence will influence significance levels enormously see our dialogue about LTP:

    Taking LTP into account, Demetris Koutsoyiannis is unconvinced that the warming trend of the past 100+ years is siginificant. Armin Bunde said the same about the SST trend of the past century.
    So from this perspective I would say that Michaels has already won.

    So I am looking forward to their decisions about how to calculate significance. IPCC completely ignored LTP so far and it would be interesting to see it being accepted in this bet.


  9. I just noticed that the range of model trends ALSO means that ALL of the 90 models predict that warming will accelerate from the currently observed warming trend since 1997.

    Unless a major volcanic eruption will occur between now and 2022, I think it’s likely that exactly this will happen in reality, taking into account that the lower near surface temperature trend since 1997 has largely been influenced by a combination of the El Nino/La Nina variability pattern (strong El Nino 1998, dominance of La Ninas in recent years) and the move from the solar maximum in 2000 to the solar minimum in 2008 within the quasi 11-year cycle, and ocean warming has continued since 1997.

    • Scott Supak says:

      If likely means > 50/50, then by getting even money, I got a bargain. At Intrade, this market would probably be trading around $7.50 a share (or, a prediction of a 75% chance).

  10. Why is the title of the post, “Pat Michaels Bets $$ on 25 Years of No Warming”, if the bet is actually regarding the 95% statistical significance level of the surface temperature trend? The title of the post is quite misleading.

    A failure of the trend to pass statistical significance at the 95% level is not the same as “no warming”. If the trend is statistically significant at e.g., 80%, or 90%, but not at 95%, it still indicates a high probability that is has been warming. The probability that the Null-hypothesis (“no warming”) had been falsely rejected would just be higher (e.g., 20% or 10%, respectively).

    • Scott Supak says:

      Odd that Roy ignored this question while answering some of your other ones.

      Cherry picking season is much earlier in the year.

      • MikeR says:

        Hope you don’t mind an outsider’s commenting: Your sneering and (subtle) contempt is a real turn-off. Perhaps you think that this is the right way to treat all these hypocrites with their oil money and dastardly schemes. But for most of us who know that the these are honest men who happen to disagree with you on an important issue, all this makes you look totally out of touch with reality, a conspiracy theorist.

        • Scott Supak says:

          “But for most of us who know that the these are honest men who happen to disagree with you on an important issue, all this makes you look totally out of touch with reality, a conspiracy theorist.”

          Honest? You’re kidding, right? These people are lying to themselves, to us, to future generations. This isn’t tiddly winks. This is the biggest disaster in human history happening in what seems like slow motion to us, right before our eyes. They keep company with the very people who lied us into war, lied us into the Little Bush Depression, and are now lying us into a political position where we do nothing about this pending disaster.

          So, if anything, I’m not being nearly contemptuous enough. Contempt only begins to state how I feel about this, and I’m actually restraining myself in order to win more donations to the climate science legal defense fund.

          • MikeR says:

            As I said. You are out of touch with reality. Your business.

            I appreciated Dr. Spencer’s comment about economists. But there too, along with the humble economists, there are zillions of conservative idiots, and zillions of liberal idiots, who post on every comment thread with absolute sublime confidence that their side has been proven right beyond any question. They read a few blogs that proved it, you see. They think they know everything, and they know nothing; they are taking someone’s word for it on their side. The ones who know something, in climate science or in economics, know enough to be humble.

        • Scott Supak says:

          “You are out of touch with reality”

          You say that, but you offer no proof. What exactly about reality am I not getting? That these people are not “honest” as you say they are? That economists who say inflation is coming over and over when it’s not are right, and economists like Dean Baker, who’s been right on just about everything, is wrong?

          Who has the problem with reality? What I know didn’t come from reading a few blogs. It came from being a reasonable person who can weed through the BS. I know what caused the housing bubble (roots in East Asia crisis, and the Committee to Save the World). I know that deregulation led to the Wild West Wall Street that bundled bad mortgages into trillions more than the paper was worth, they stamped the crap AAA, and when the whole thing collapsed they had the balls to blame poor people.

          I also find it quite REAL that many of those same BSers also BS when it comes to climate. And the idea that I should be nice to these walking talking disaster magnets is sickening to me.

          So, please, why don’t you spell out EXACTLY what my “out of touch with reality” means. You assertions are not proof.

          • MikeR says:

            Well, you repeat I KNOW a lot, but what you know tends to be someone’s talking points. The proof? That comes from your statements about people. Those of us who frequent the right-hand side of the blogosphere have a pretty good picture of the attitudes and approaches of the people we read. When you show up, with your totally ignorant nonsense about oil money, – “the Cato Institute…” well, most of us are going to write you off as someone clueless about reality. We all know about the Cato Institute, that they have some smart people, and we all know that they have a real point of view which they actually hold, and isn’t there because they got this or that contribution.

            Anyone who cannot grasp – because he KNOWS the right answer and so does everyone else unless they get oil money – that there are real people out there who don’t agree with him, some of whom are even very knowledgeable, has no business commenting in a public forum. Except that most commenters on both sides seem to have the same blind spot. The rest of us learned this essential fact of life around third grade: we don’t know everything, sometimes we’re wrong, and often others know better even when we’re sure.

            As Dr. Spencer said and you don’t understand, the ones who really know what they’re doing aren’t hostile to each other, they’re too busy trying to figure things out. The snarling, seething, hostile people (that includes you) are the cheerleaders, who picked a side and now don’t need to think.

            As long as we’re speaking, let me ask you something: How do you feel when each month’s temperature data comes out, and (for a while now) has been pretty much flat? Does that make you happy or sad? [Your bet is, of course, a complicating factor, but I’d hope you care more about humanity than your $250.] Simple Bayesian statistics tells us that every month of flat temperatures causes us to revise our climate sensitivity to CO2 downward (slightly); after 15 or 17 years it has come down a good bit, as recent papers testify. Good news, right – you’re really happy about that, correct? The longer it stays flat, the less temperature rise we will probably ultimately see. Every month of flat temperatures may be worth just as much as a big cut in CO2 emissions.
            Or does it upset you, making you grit your teeth each month as you wait for the (inevitable) upturn that is just taking too darned long and wrecking your political chances?

          • Scott Supak says:

            I’m a gambler. I’ve gotten tired of games of chance, horses, even poker, where I can do well, but too much depends on luck.

            When I see a scientific “theory” that has roughly the same level of scientific consensus as evolution, I think, OK, it’s HIGHLY probable that this is really happening. The signal is UP. The last 15 years are an eye blink, and all that heat in the oceans is big trouble. I look at who’s on either side of the argument, and I see mostly Republicans and fossil fuel toadies on the denier side, and then I look at their prediction records. They’ve been wrong about so much, it’s not even funny. Iraq. Supply-side economics creating millions of jobs. Heck, I have a hard time thinking of anything Republicans have been right about.

            And when I put all that together, I think, OK, a bunch of rubes who believe something that is happening isn’t… Looks like fish in a barrel to me. All I have to do is find a way, like Intrade, to bet so that I can ride out the losses I’ll suffer on some noise, and eventually the signal will put me in the win column.

            So, for example, on the monthly GISS temp anomalies, I would lose some of my small bets on the really high numbers, like .75, but an occasional win on the .65 market would more than cover the losses, and the wins on the .55 and .45 markets, while offering lower odds, would still be winners.

            But every month I don’t see a .75, for example, is a small loss, but also a plus as it makes people who think that number won’t be coming in more confident, and I can get even better odds on that bet next month.

            I put most of my money in the long term bets, though. Annual anomolies, multi-decades anomalies… The further out I go, the better my chances to profit on the long-term signal.

            So, I’ll say it again, partly because it seems to annoy you, but also because I actually KNOW that the world is getting warmer. I’m so sure of it that I’ll bet on it. And I’m not a rich guy, so this is money from my life savings I’m willing to wager with.

            And I know plenty of people on my side of this argument who will make similar bets. I just don’t see that kind of certainty with the deniers? Does that make them better people, or whatever qualitative determination you’re making here? Not really. The way I see it, if you doubt your position on something that’s been argued back and forth for so long I’m sick of hearing it, then you’re really not sure if you’re right.

            In other words, putting forward betting challenges shows me that most deniers won’t put their money where their mouths are, which proves they don’t believe their own BS.

            I’ll give Pat Michaels his due. At least he put up.

          • MikeR says:

            “And I know plenty of people on my side of this argument who will make similar bets. I just donít see that kind of certainty with the deniers?” Well, I see two people who bet against you; I don’t see crowds of believers offering more bets. Did it occur to you that you know more believers than deniers? Instead, your beliefs seem to reinforced by your echo chamber of acquaintances.

            “All that heat in the oceans is big trouble.” Uh, it is actually good news to anyone who understands the Second Law of Thermodynamics; heat that went into the deep ocean changes the temperature there by fractions of hundredths of a degree, and Gavin Schmidt has already said that it’s a mistake to think it could come back out.
            “Neither is this heat going to come back out from the deep ocean any time soon (the notion that this heat is the warming that is Ďin the pipelineí is erroneous).” – If that’s the right explanation of the last decade of no warming, we may have just gained a free decade whose extra heat was filed in a safe place.
            Given the number of peer-reviewed papers published recently that set climate sensitivity well below the IPCC estimates, I would think that Dr. Spencer has the smart money here. In any event, smart people ought to consider the possibility that those papers (published after the IPCC deadline) might be right. But as you say, you KNOW better. All your comments reinforce the impression I’ve gotten that your whole picture of reality is filtered through your beliefs. I think a lot of right-wingers are like that too, but I have no idea why you would sneer at them; you’re both the same.

    • MikeN says:

      25 years of a small amount of warming is pretty significant. You would think you could get a statistically significant amount of warming if global warming were a serious problem?
      What is the longest term of no warming available to date, 15-20 years?

      • What is the longest term of no warming available to date, 15-20 years?

        I see a loaded question. Please define first, what “no warming” is supposed to mean. I am not going to answer a question that is based on a false presumption.

        • MikeN says:

          No statistically significant warming, calculated however Skeptical Science is doing it.

          • You mean at the 2-sigma level (about 95%)? Then I reject this definition of “no warming”, for the same reason as already stated by me, as presumption for your question.

          • MikeN says:

            Pretty silly no answer. Feel free to reject it. I already was responding to your rejection, so in context you should have been able to interpret my definition of ‘no warming’. Yes, I should have written no statistically significant warming, which is just what I wrote about in the sentences before.

          • @MikeN:

            Don’t you understand my objection? My objection is that lack of statistical significance at a 95% level does not allow the conclusion of “no warming”.

            Why would the conclusion of “no warming” be valid, if the trend was statistically significant, e.g., at the 80% or 90% level? There still would be warming. I am not going to answer a question, where you try to impose the false presumption that lack of statistical significance at 95% was the same as “no warming”, because, otherwise, it would mean I accept the false presumption as valid.

            So, if you mean lack of statistical significance at a 95% level of the near surface temperature trend, phrase it like this, but don’t equalize it with “no warming”.

            And just to clarify. We are talking about the near surface temperature trend here, which is not the most relevant data for the question whether the physical process of global warming is ongoing or not. From a point of view of physics, of energy budgets, ocean warming is much more important for global warming.

  11. Scott Supak says:

    Now that I’ve whittled out some free time for this little hobby, I would like to note this from Roy:

    “Scott doesnít want to bet more than $250 (he says he likes to spread his betting $$ around), so the potential value of the embarrassment to the loser is probably worth much more than $250 will buy in early 2022.”

    Maybe you want to bet on the rate of inflation between now and 2022?

    Careful, your Republican-ness is showing.

  12. B Parsons says:

    Unfortunately, one thing that has not changed is that scientists cannot say with any certainty what rate of warming might be expected, or what effects humanity might want to prepare for, hedge against or avoid at all costs. In particular, the temperature range of the warming that would result from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is expected to be judged as 1.5Ė4.5 įC in next weekís report ó wider than in the last assessment and exactly what it was in the report of 1990

  13. Scott Supak says:

    OK, the bet is now official, as I have published it on my blog.

    Still thinking, Roy. I will get back to you. Unlike some of your commenters who call me a troll and say I will run and hide, I’m not, and I won’t.

    • MikeN says:

      Your publishing it on your blog makes it official? Shouldn’t we have someone like Lucia or James Annan certify it?

      • Scott Supak says:

        Pat and I agreed in email that we would both have a blog publish it. He chose this place, I chose mine. Conditions for contract met. Bet on. Still working out details on calculating 95% confidence.

    • RW says:

      Who would ‘run’ for only $250?

      • Scott Supak says:

        How much one is willing to bet is a function of how much they make. I’m a middle class guy, so $250 is substantial to me. A little more than 1/4 of my rent.

    • RW says:

      Are we supposed to believe you’re a real trooper for only $250? Given your apparent level of conviction, this isn’t impressive (sorry).

      • Scott Supak says:

        No need to apologize. I’m guessing that if you don’t understand that $250 is a lot more to me than it is to Pat Michaels, then you wouldn’t like the way, say, Finnland calculates speeding tickets and other fines based on your income, instead of letting rich people float by on the equivalent of pennies.

        After all, if the idea of speeding laws are to inflict enough pain on someone to make them not want to speed, then why should my pain be WAY MORE than Pat Michaels’?

        Maybe we should bet %’s of incomes…

        Further, this isn’t the only bet I’m going to make. Like any good gambler/investor, I’m going to diversify. That’s why I’d prefer a new Intrade: better markets, hopefully with some liquidity, although that was a problem because a lot of “skeptics” don’t put their money where their mouths are. And a chance for me to bet on some long shots. That’s where the real ROI will be.


    solar flux sub 90
    solar wind sub 350 km/sec
    solar irradiance off .015%
    ap index 5.0 or lower
    cosmic ray count per minute 6500 or higher
    e10. 7 flux sub 100

  15. I will go further and say IF my average solar parameters are met or surpassed on balance for the rest of this decade that the global average temperatures will be down from the values of today by -.8c, by year 2020.

  16. Steve D says:

    I sure as heck wouldn’t bet on what the climate will be like in 25 years. Slot machines are more predictable.

  17. John Muir says:

    Dr. Spencer:

    Some might think (as Eli says, not me of course) this looks like it’s something out of his link swap business/ blog and free wallpaper web site playbook…

    • Scott Supak says:

      Nope. Totally legit. I didn’t even expect Dr. Spencer to link to my blog, and it’s not going to help my SEO much anyway.

      Plus, I’m busy lobbying people to start a new Intrade, so I can keep the money like I used to. Pat Michaels said he had some friends at CATO who were interested in online gambling.

      Then I told him that the Obama DoJ recently shocked everyone when they announced they would not mess with new state online gambling laws that would, in effect, allow a new Intrade type prediction market site right here in America.

      I guess hearing that Obama did something that the Cato institute should like was enough to get him off that subject.

  18. David A says:

    The fundamental premise of this thread is really important and unfortunately has never gained any traction. If there were a real market in temperature forwards we could gauge the reality of concern and also the probability of various catastrophic outcomes. Real free markets discover accurate pricing more efficiently then any other mechanism. They work because they are the sum total of ideas expressed in a way that crystallizes cost and benefits of a particular viewpoint.
    Imagine how much better the models would be if instead of funding research the government simply put out prizes for forecasting skill. I would think that a well constructed prize structure and set of performance metrics could get at real answers at tiny tiny fractions of the cost of the current system.
    Of course this would presume that any of this is about science and policy designed to benefit all as opposed to vested interests on the gravy train

    • Scott Supak says:

      This is precisely my point. I want a new Intrade, right here in the US, where the Obama DoJ recently announced they will not mess with state online gambling laws in NV, NH, and DE that could be construed to mean allow an Intrade type prediction market.

  19. Hops says:

    An article on was saying that if you think climate change won’t happen, buy the stocks of insurance companies, because they are building reserves that won’t be spent.

    If you have a conviction about fossil fuel versus solar, consider the ETF with the symbol TAN, which holds stocks of solar installers and panel manufacturers. In the past year, it is up over 70%, while Exxon is flat.

    TAN will be volatile, but I think solar is where the computer industry was in the early 80s, so I’m building a position.

    Short it if you dare…