2012-01-14 16:25:19David Whitehouse Wins Wager with James Annan Thanks to Lady Luck
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

Verity at Carbon Brief asked for help with this story about Whitehouse winning a bet vs. Annan, which the deniers are having a field day with.

David Whitehouse Wins Wager with James Annan Thanks to Lady Luck

2012-01-14 17:26:38Good summary
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.107.58

Standing on the shoulders of many past blog posts, good stuff, Dana.

2012-01-14 18:07:17
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
203.96.201.28

I like how you keep hammering  that point about global warming really being ocean warming.

2012-01-14 18:42:55
Tom Curtis

t.r.curtis@gmail...
112.213.158.82

Dana, for this post it may be worthwhile drawing attention to the specific location of gaps in coverage in the HadCRUt3 record (see below).  You will notice the large lack of coverage in North and Central Africa.  Comparing with the GISS record, some of the hottest parts of the planet in 2010 where in exactly the areas that Hadley lacks coverage.  Indeed, Jeff Masters shows that 4 of the 21 nations setting national temperature records in 2010 where in North or Central Africa, with a further five in the middle east, which also has poor coverage.  In contrast, in 1998, the hotest regions where predominantly in areas with good coverage by the HadCRU network. 

 

2012-01-15 03:17:20
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206
Good idea, thanks Tom. Pretty graphic too :-) I'll fit that in there.
2012-01-15 06:16:05
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Dana,

Check out Climate Progress post Seven National All-Time Heat Records Set in 2011

2012-01-15 06:23:18
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

As Dana said, the Whitehouse-Annan wager has gone viral in Deniersville. Here's some of the posts about it:

Skeptic Wins Global Warming Bet, Reason Foundation

Global warming: red-faced climatologist issues grovelling apology, Delingpole, The Telegraph

David Whitehouse Wins BBC Climate Bet, Canada Free Press 

2012-01-15 06:35:43
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Dana,

Kudos on a very well written article.

I recommend that you insert a paragraph about the WMO's provisional analysis of 2011 with a tie-back to the SkS post, 2011: World’s 10th warmest year, warmest year with La Niña event, lowest Arctic sea ice volume

  

2012-01-15 06:45:46
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

Will do, John.  Not a paragraph, but I'll mention it in the 2011 La Niña discussion.

2012-01-15 07:54:44
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Great!

2012-01-15 08:28:49
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

I agree with Rob's comments on another thread  Right now your post, to me, sounds a little too defensive.  I would not go so far as to say "old dodgy data", but maybe somehting like "inferior and troubled data".  Not much better I suppose, but it should reflect that the SST data in HadCRUT had issues and there were coverage issues too.  You do speak to the cool bias, so perhaps I'm suggesting more emphasis on HadsCRUT4 and less emphasis on "luck" or mother nature working against the warming?

I don't know.  In the bet did they specify HadCRUT or HadCRUT3?  If is is HadCRUT, then technically James did not lose.

2012-01-15 09:52:51
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I have to say, what a stupid bet to make.  It would be like saying to someone after they've rolled a twelve on a pair of dice that they won't roll another 12 in the next twelve rolls of the dice. Even if you changed one die so that it starts with a 2 and goes up to 7, still your chances of rolling another 12 or rolling a 13 are not that great.

2012-01-15 10:05:08
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

I agree RobH...funny thing is that James is one heck of a smart guy....but we all make mistakes.  Unfortunately, the deniers will milk this as long as they can.  Fortunately, HadCRUT4 makes James a winner....

2012-01-15 10:42:41
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

The bet I have going at NoTricksZone is that the average global temperature of the current decade will be warmer than the average global temperature of the previous decade.  I've got $10k riding on this one (all winnings go to charity).  Even though 10 years is not statistically significant and could potentially fall short based on variability it's less likely that with Annan's bet.

Alby...  Yeah, I would have thought Annan would have known better.

2012-01-15 11:32:49
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

Ah you guys are killing me!  No, you're right though.  Given HadCRUT4's changes, the tone should be changed to Whitehouse winning based on outdated, incomplete data.

The exact language of the bet was this:

"that that peak of 1998 will be exceeded. On or by 2011 we’ll see a hotter year for average global temperature."

It looks like they didn't specify a data set, but Whitehouse was talking about HadCRUT data in his article that was the premise of the bet. So technically, Annan won immediately, since 2005 had already beaten 1998.

Or maybe I'll let the reader decide - "Did Whitehouse win the wager with Annan?"

2012-01-15 11:48:50
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

Okay, post revised to put the winner into question.  How's the tone now?

2012-01-15 13:26:06
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.204.47

Hmmm.......I wonder rather than focusing the ending on Whitehouse's ignorance and the element of luck, it might be better to turn the attention back to the science? Given the year-to-year global temperature variability due to ENSO alone, and the short time period involved, it was a mighty foolish bet to make in the first place. Sure ENSO balances itself out over the long-term, but certainly not over the short-term. 

My point is this: we shouldn't defend, or seem like we're defending Annan's poor gambling choices, we should draw attention the the fact that the Earth continues to warm, which is consistent with the well-known physics involved. Another year of global warming (i.e a major El Nino) could easily shatter all the records, and there's a shitload of Hiroshima bombs worth of heat gone into the oceans since 1997/1998. If Annan had included another year or two he would have cleaned up, and had he made a more scientifically defensible bet of over a decade - he would win hands down - it's all to do with the physics. 

Still a great post as is, but we're better off coming across as -"bah, what a silly bet to make in the first place. Has James Annan not taken note of Figure 2?"

2012-01-15 13:58:35
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I would be cool to see the results of the bet for each of the data sets.  Whitehouse gets HadCRU3, UAH and RSS.  Annan gets HadCRU4, GISS and NOAA.

2012-01-15 14:46:49
Tom Curtis

t.r.curtis@gmail...
112.213.158.82

Dana, if I was asked to judge who won the bet, I would have to say Whitehouse.  That is certainly not the issue I would focus on.  I prefer your original title.  Or something like, "The Whitehouse/Annan bet: Sometimes longshots win".

2012-01-15 16:05:13
skywatcher

andycasely@hotmail...
122.107.164.176

I get the feeling this post may not yet be finalised, but a couple of date typos early on - a touch of "1998 aversion?"

para 3: "2005 and 2010 were hotter than 1988 1998"

para 3: "... dampened human-caused global warming over much of the 2008 1998-2011 period"

2012-01-15 16:43:29
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.45.100

Tom has a point about the title - we never let the reader decide. The facts are the facts - Annan's wager was foolish.   

2012-01-15 16:53:40
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

I'm struggling how to honestly present this to readers.  One cannot for a second be perceived to be defending Jame's loss or spinning it; then there are technicalities like HadCRUT4 etc. 

1) So I'm brainstorming here (may be good, OK or bloody awful ideas). [Now that I ahve typed this up and re read it, some of my points mirror those of Rob P].

Try and turn this into a teaching moment (temperature changes, trend versus variation, relevant time-scales, not all data sets are equal)-- which is partly what you have done.

Explain that this was probably not a wise bet to make to start of with.  While fun and entertaining they tend to distract from the science and the fact that the climate system contiues to accumulate energy and warm.

This really changes nothing, the climate system is blissfully unaware of all this nonsense, it is only responding to short-term noise (ENSO, aerosols etc), log term forcing/planetray imbalance (GHGs).

As has been noted ad nauseum, the long-term trend is what counts, if the deniers and "skeptics" think this means AGW is refuted or we are off the hook they are just deluding themselves.

 

2) When you talk about what modulates global temperature, be careful, GHGs are slow, long-term, the others like ENSO are short-term.  I know you know that, but lumping them all together that way creates the impression that they are all "equal", but they have different magnitudes and operate on different time scales, so maybe split into short-term drivers and long-term drivers.

3) I think introducing Whithouses's interpretation of Phil Jone's oft misquoted and still misunderstood statement (especially without noting that no longer applies anyway and is moot) is not a good idea.  It just introduces another myth and then one has to refute it and it all gets complicated. There must be another way of noting why Whitehouse does not get statistics.

4) I do not think attributing this to dumb luck is a good idea-- that may well be true, but it sounds defensive.  Whitehouse won the bet, what we care about here at SkS is the myths that this is now giving rise to and the science behind the story.  So what are "skeptics" claiming this means?  Maybe scour some of the links John H. is providing and get some quotes of the inane/stupid/wrong conclusions that "skeptics" are drawing from this. I thik that could be a better angle to run with.

5) Keep the focus on HadCRUT4 there.

All I have time for now.

2012-01-15 17:53:25
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

Okay, I revised the post again to focus more on the underlying steady warming trend, and less on the wager itself or who won it.

2012-01-16 06:23:59
Sarah
Sarah Green
sarah@inlandsea...
67.142.177.26

Typos:

Title:

"Lessonsn"

later:

"but the steay rise of..."

I agree that luck should be kept out of the discussion.

Although it's already pretty long, it would be nice to illustrate the points in par 3 "2005 and 2010 were hotter than 1998 in the two other major surface temperature data sets". A bar graph showing how anolmolous 1998 was overall and how the other data sets compare would clarify. Or you could just highlight 1998 in fig 2.

 

2012-01-16 08:49:31
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

Thanks Sarah.  I've added recent temperatures as Figure 5.

2012-01-17 01:45:43
Kevin C

cowtan@ysbl.york.ac...
144.32.72.165

My post on the Hadcrut4 thread is relevant. However it is also unpublished research, so problematic to use. Probably better I talk about it in a comment rather than in the post. So consider this as a heads-up that I intend to do so.

One other gotcha - look at the comparison between HADCRUT3 and GISTEMP:

Now it totally depends on your choice of baseline, but it can certainly be argued that HADCRUT3 was overestimating temperatures from 1990-2001, and has only been underestimating temperatures since then.

2012-01-17 02:12:31
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
192.171.166.133

Technical comment:

 

"A HadCRUT Update is Forthcoming"

Below here you say 'Hadley', the Hadley Centre handles the sea surface temperatures, whilst the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (UEA CRU) handles the land stuff, and so it should be them who're adding the Arctic and Russian stations if they're land based!

2012-01-17 03:58:48
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

I'm biased of course as you incorporated some of my suggestions *thanks!), but it looks better to me now.

[Update] "The main lesson here is that short-term temperature changes are quite unpredictable, as natural effects can overwhelm the steady greenhouse gas-caused warming over short timeframes."

Good points, but I am wondering whether or not it should be said up front (i.e., somehwer ein the intro para), that this outcome does not change the fact that the planet continues to warm with much more wamring in store if we continue with BAU. 

I bet some folks would interpret no new record meaning that a) AGW will not be as bad as they said it was goiing to be or b) AGW has stopped.

Maybe state that after this "..., the usual climate denial enablers are trumpeting the Whitehouse "victory" far and wide."?

2012-01-18 02:23:38
Kevin C

cowtan@ysbl.york.ac...
144.32.72.165

Can someone edit my #1 comment on the final article?

I'm guessing that the markup software took all the carriage returns within my <table> tags and turned them into <br> tags before the table (there appear to be the right number for that to be the reason). I failed to catch it in the preview.

Thanks, Kevin

2012-01-18 02:57:52
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Hmm the HTML tags look right to me Kevin.  I'm not sure what's going on there.