Thursday, May 08, 2008

Jumping on the betting bandwagon

I have been waiting for the RC take on that Keenlyside et al paper. To be honest I had been wondering if they were going to duck the debate, having quickly decided that they couldn't find anything good to say about it. So I'm pleased to see that in fact they were doing some behind-the-scenes checking with the authors (to make sure that the media coverage was accurate) and have now issued a bold challenge offering to bet against the prediction of "slight cooling relative to 1994-2004 conditions".

No-one who has read my comments will be surprised to hear that I strongly favour the RC side. Indeed I just recently made another bet that is rather more confident of a more significant warming by 2011 (which I don't consider to be a sure thing, but do consider to be in my favour). I see that even William Connolley has been tempted to come back from retirement to get a piece of the action!

Keenlyside and his colleagues can hardly refuse the offer given their confirmation of the reported statements (at least it wold be a humiliating climb-down for them to do so). I hope they will learn a useful lesson - and that other scientists who are tempted to make extravagant claims (in order to get their papers into Nature?) may also think twice about the risk of having their bluff called so publicly. It's one thing making essentially unfalsifiable claims about 100 years of change (since we won't be around to see the results) but quite another to say something meaningful about the next few years!

3 comments:

Belette said...

'E, its all good fun isn't it? I firmly expect K et al to refuse, and am offering $100 on it... see http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2008/05/betting_on_climae_change_again.php. You sound as though you might be good for that :-)

Meantime, sea ice is back... http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2008/05/sea_ice_minimum_kerfuffle.php

I haven't grokked the volcano yet. Hopefully that won't confuse stuff.

I think you're right though - this might well provide some salutary lessons.

James Annan said...

Well I don't think they can reasonably refuse but given my track record in predicting human behaviour that'a not something I'd put money on :-)

As for Revkin airbrushing me out of it, your RC post doesn't even link to my previous comments :-) But I'm happy to see the idea adopted widely (and the general concept predates my involvement anyway).

EliRabett said...

As I used to put it in another life: Wanna bet?