2011-06-30 22:45:44What climate predictions have existed for now, and which have come true?
Alex C


How does one respond when "skeptics" accuse climate predictions for always (as if on design) being some time in a never-reached future?  As in, the date is set back when it is not achieved?  And, what predictions have been made that we can affirm or falsify presently?

In case anyone is wondering about the context of the questions, this came up in Yahoo! Answers and I am not sure how to respond.  Something tells me explanations of "there's never a full consensus on a single date/year" or "most of the projected consequences aren't expected to happen after ~1˚C of warming" will fall on deaf ears.

2011-07-01 02:51:29
Dana Nuccitelli

Well OM is talking about the dangerous consequences of AGW, which yes, are generally going to happen in the future (hence the 2°C 'danger limit').  There have been some bad consequences happening already, like increased extreme weather events and accelerating extinction rates, but most of the predicted bad consequences haven't arrived yet.

If you just want accurate predictions, there's Hansen 1988, for example.  We'll be looking at more temperature predictions and evaluating their accuracy in the 'learning from past climate predictons' series.