Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bet number 2

I'm delighted to announce that a second bet has been arranged, on essentially the same terms as my one.

It's for 500UKP, between Chris Randles (taking the warm side) and someone who posts as "snow hope" on the cold side. I don't know much about the protagonists, except Chris seems to be an active paticipant in the project.

Some background to the bet can be found on this thread, and astute readers will spot that there appears to be another 500UKP on offer to anyone prepared to back the "warming" side of the argument.

I hope that someone will step forward.


Brian said...

Thanks for the heads-up James - I've posted an offer on the thread.

Brian said...

Unfortunately, I'm not turning up interest there, even from the person who took the second bet. I'll check again in a while.

Anonymous said...

James, what are the odds of losing such a bet even if the AGW hypothesis is true? (i.e. what is the magnitude of internal variability to anticipated warming over this timescale?)

James Annan said...

Tom, it's hard to work out exactly what the odds are, as this depends on estimates of natural variability (magnitude and time scale) that are not precisely know. However, the historical 5-year smoothed temperature curve (eg here) gives some indication of the scale of short-term natural variability compared to the recent trend. It looks to me like something pretty unusual would have to happen for cooling to occur over the 14 year time scale of the bet. I wouldn't give it more than about a 10% chance, and am happy with those odds.

Anonymous said...

With a potential slow-down of the THC, as reported by Bryden, H. L., et al. (2005), which could mean much cooler conditions, especially for Europe, I'd be skeptical to ever bet on climate. Climate is too complex and chaotic to try to predict. On the other hand, I don't even bet on sports games, so who am I to say!

In your defense, though, it seems fairly simple to make the jump that greenhouse gass concentrations are continuing to rise, this traps more and more heat in the Earth system, so a bet on warmer temperatures in the future is fairly safe, regardless of what computer models tell us (which also agree).