Climate Deniers Lose 10k Bet on Global Cooling. You’re Not Surprised that they Won’t Pay, right?

October 15, 2018

In 2005, some climate deniers made a 10k bet with a climate modeler that “solar cooling” would lower Earth’s temperature in the decade now passed.

Newsflash: Climate deniers also deadbeats.

See above for my latest debunker on the “Sun is cooling” bunkum.

Nature, 17 August, 2005:

Solar physicists make $10,000 wager with climate modeller.

A British climate modeller has finally persuaded global-warming sceptics to wager money on their contrarian predictions about climate change.

James Annan, who is based at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokohama, has agreed a US$10,000 bet with Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev, two solar physicists who argue that global temperatures are driven by changes in the Sun’s activity and will fall over the next decade. The bet, which both sides say they are willing to formalize in a legal document, came after other climate sceptics refused to wager money.

bet_onclimate

Annan began his quest last winter after hearing Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who questions the extent to which human activities are influencing climate, say he was willing to bet that global temperatures will drop over the next 20 years. “A pay-off at retirement age would be a nice top-up to my pension,” says Annan.

But no wager was ever agreed. Annan says that Lindzen wanted odds of 50-to-1 against falling temperatures: this meant that Annan would pay out $10,000 if temperatures dropped, but receive only $200 if they rose. In total, Annan says he tried and failed to agree terms with seven sceptics.

Other potential climate gamblers have drawn a blank with their attempts to enter similar bets with climate-change sceptics. In May, environmental activist George Monbiot challenged climate sceptic Myron Ebell to a £5,000 (US$9,000) wager live on BBC radio. Ebell, a global-warming specialist at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think-tank in Washington DC, declined, saying he has four children to put through university and so does not “want to take risks”.

But Annan’s search ended with Mashnich and Bashkirtsev, who are based at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics in Irkutsk, Russia. They say that global surface air temperatures closely correlate with the size and number of sunspots. Sunspot levels follow regular patterns and the Sun is expected to be in a less active phase over the next few decades, leading Mashnich and Bashkirtsev to predict a drop in temperature.

Both sides have agreed to compare the average global surface temperature between 1998 and 2003 with that between 2012 and 2017, as defined by the records of the US National Climatic Data Center. If the temperature drops, Annan will pay Mashnich and Bashkirtsev $10,000 in 2018, with the same sum going the other way if the temperature rises.

Guardian, 18 August, 2005:

Two climate change sceptics, who believe the dangers of global warming are overstated, have put their money where their mouth is and bet $10,000 that the planet will cool over the next decade.

The Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev have agreed the wager with a British climate expert, James Annan.

The pair, based in Irkutsk, at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, believe that global temperatures are driven more by changes in the sun’s activity than by the emission of greenhouse gases. They say the Earth warms and cools in response to changes in the number and size of sunspots. Most mainstream scientists dismiss the idea, but as the sun is expected to enter a less active phase over the next few decades the Russian duo are confident they will see a drop in global temperatures.

James Annan’s blog – October 15, 2018:

You may be wondering what had happened with this. As you will recall, some time ago I arranged a bet with two Russian solar scientists who had predicted that the world was going to cool down. The terms of the bet were very simple, we would compare the global mean average surface temperature between 1998-2003 and 2012-17 (according to NCDC), and if the latter period was warmer, I would win $10,000 from them, and if it was cooler, they would win the same amount. See (above) for some of the news coverage at the time.

The results were in a while ago, and of course I won easily, as the blue lines in the graph below show. It was never in much doubt, even though their choice of starting period included what was then the extraordinarily hot El Nino year of 1998. In fact the temperature in that year just barely exceeded 2012 (by less than 0.01C) and all subsequent years have been warmer as you can see from the black dashed line before. It seems unlikely any of us alive today (or indeed over the next few centuries at least) will ever see such a low temperature again.

The “Sun is cooling – we’re heading for a new Ice Age” crock is perennial, — I did this debunker in 2012.

 

 

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4 Responses to “Climate Deniers Lose 10k Bet on Global Cooling. You’re Not Surprised that they Won’t Pay, right?”

  1. Hautbois Says:

    I’m keeping a scoreboard of climate bets at http://ohbwaa.blogspot.com/?m=1

    Let’s just say it’s a bit one-sided….

  2. Bryan Ackerly Says:

    Sorta reminds me of this one:

    http://www.kiwithinker.com/climate-bet/

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    James Annan, who is based at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokohama, has agreed a US$10,000 bet with Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev, two solar physicists who argue that global temperatures are driven by changes in the Sun’s activity and will fall over the next decade.

    Talk about narrow specialties! Don’t those solar physicists know that the planet Venus is hotter than Mercury, despite being farther from the Sun?


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