Place Your Bets on Climate Change. Not Many Suckers Left.
January 21, 2016
There’s one dying every minute.
Want to lose £2,000? Then make a bet with a climate change expert that the world isn’t warming.
That’s what two members of Lord Lawson’s climate change science denying Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) did when they bet Chris Hope, a Cambridge University researcher, that 2015 wouldn’t be the hottest year ever recorded.
But new data released this week by meteorologists in the UK and US proved the GWPF wrong as 2015 saw “record-shattering” global temperatures.
Five years ago British engineer Alan Rudge and Australian geologist Ian Plimer – both members of the GWPF academic advisory council – bet Hope £1,000 each that the Earth would be cooling by now, not warming.
Hope bet that average global temperatures in 2015 would be no more than 0.1°C cooler than in 2008.
As data released by the UK Met Office on 20 January revealed, the average global temperature in 2015 was 0.75°C higher than the long-term average between 1961 and 1990. The Met Office expects 2016 to beat this record.
When compared with the pre-industrial period, the 2015 average global temperature was around 1°C above the long-term average from 1850 to 1900 the Met Office said.
Temperature data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also showed that 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880.
OSLO, Jan 20 For British climate expert Chris Hope, new data showing that 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded is not just confirmation he’s been right all along that the planet is getting warmer.
It also won the Cambridge University researcher a 2,000 pound sterling ($2,830) wager made five years ago against a pair of scientists who reject man-made global warming and bet Hope that the Earth would be cooling by now.
NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the British Met Office said on Wednesday that 2015 was the warmest year recorded since 1880, boosted by a long-term build-up of greenhouse gases and a natural El Nino event warming the Pacific Ocean.
That puts last year ahead of 2014, the previous warmest, as well as 2010, 2005 and 1998, when a strong El Nino marked, for a time, a peak in temperature rises.
A slowdown in temperature increases after 1998 – described by most climate experts as a hiatus in a long-term rise – has been invoked by a small band of sceptics who say mainstream science has exaggerated the risks.
Hope agreed wagers of 1,000 pounds each with two of them: British engineer Alan Rudge and Australian geologist Ian Plimer. Hope bet average global temperatures in 2015 would be no more than 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18 Fahrenheit) cooler than 2008.
He said it was good to test theories with cash. “Of course, one side ends up happier than the other,” he said. Neither Rudge nor Plimer were immediately available to comment.
“You win some, you lose some,” said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, for which Rudge is an adviser. Peiser said the pace of warming “is not something that people … need to be greatly concerned about”.
Among other wagers, in 2005 British climate modeller James Annan bet $10,000 against two Russian solar physicists that average global temperatures from 2013-17 would be warmer than 2003-07.
“Things are looking good for my bet,” Annan said, noting the U.N.’s weather agency has said 2016 could be as warm as 2015. If so, Annan reckons that his bet is safe unless 2017 is the coldest year since about 1929.
His Russian opponents are not conceding yet.