Honeycutt Climate Bet For Charity – Update 1

Will the 2011-2020 decade be warmer or cooler?

Here’s the first update on how the Honeycutt Climate Bet For Charity is going so far.

Not bad I’d say.

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UPDATE 1: The pledges are coming in. Neil M has just pledged $1000! I’m assuming this is a good-faith pledge, and no reason to doubt it. We are now getting close to the $2000 mark!!
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The bet is: will the 2011-2020 decade be warmer or cooler than the last one?

I’ve decided to call it the Honeycutt Climate Bet For Charity because the whole thing was initiated by Rob Honeycutt (robhon) here. Lately I’ve had a couple of e-mail exchanges with Rob, and I have to say that he’s genuinely a good guy. I have no doubt he is serious about this bet. And he expressed his gratitude that it’s for a good cause.

If you are interested in joining this bet, you can read about it here. It’s very uncomplicated. Just leave a comment making your pledge, and I’ll put your user name, e-mail address and amount on a list. That’s it! We’ll come knocking in 2021.

All winnings will be donated to a charity organisation for children in dire need, yet to be decided.

Here’s the list of pledges so far. If you want to make changes, just let me know. Newcomers are welcome! Amounts are in US dollars.

The Cool Side
1.       P Gosselin              $100   
2.       speake                         10
3.       Ed Caryl                      10
4.       R. de Haan                  10
5.       Mindert Eiting           50
6.       BargHumer                10
7.       Ike                               20
8.       Scotchman                 70
9.       B. D.                               5
10.     ArndB                         25
11.     Freddie Stoller         100
12.     Asim                            70
13.     Norman Agran        100

Total $ 580.00

The Warm Side
  1. Rob Honeycutt                           $ 380
  2. dana (skepticalscience.com)         100
  3. Dappledwater                                100

Total: $ 580.00

Please note that Rob Honeycutt says he is ready to match all the bets from the cool side, up to $5000.00. That’s very generous of him.

Also, payment will be made once the bet is decided, i.e. 2021. If you think inflation and/or lack of interest paid, etc. will erode the amount, then please just add a little more to your pledge. Again, we want to keep it simple.

There’s a lot more room for more bets. Hope more will join. Thanks.

64 responses to “Honeycutt Climate Bet For Charity – Update 1”

  1. Ike

    now that I read that the north pole is shifting with high speed towards Russia, I can imagine that this will also have some effect on world climate. I will raise my pledge to $ 100 that the next decade will be cooler then the last one (but maybe I am wrong and pole shifting has no impact on climate….who knows). At least this bet is for charity. Thumbs up!

    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/jan/05/060831/shift-of-earths-magnetic-north-pole-impacts-tampa-/

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/12/1215_051215_north_pole.html

    Regards
    Ike
    ==================================
    PG: Thanks Ike! I made the change on the list and it will appear in the next update.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      Notionally, a magnetic pole shift will notionally change at least the intensity of GCR in a particular location and that alters where clouds are more likely to form. Clouds and the necessary/resulting phase transitions of water in the atmosphere have an influence on the amount of heat at the surface.

      I suspect that measuring such an effect will be nearly impossible to measure for small changes — short of a collapsing and flipping poles.

      Small perturbations in nature tend to get swamped by negative feedbacks. That’s why we exist.

  2. Ross Kaminsky

    Put me down for $100 on the cooling side of the ledger. Since AGW is a hoax, I figure the bet is no worse than 50/50 given that climate does in fact change — just not because of us!
    ———————————————-
    PG: Great, and thanks! It’s for a good cause in the end.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      I would suggest you read Chap 2 of the IPCC AR4 WG1 and then decide if you want to change that bet. 😉

  3. Vita de Waal

    Put me down $50 on the cooling side as well. To know that it has been MUCH warmer centuries ago, I recommend a book “The Little Ice Age” by Brian Fagan.
    Unfortunately tedious to read (he’s not a good writer, sorry Brian) but the research is valuable.

    It suited big business well to play the CC card, as they could keep their huge profits and salaries and tax-breaks while citizens everywhere paid for the reconversion bill.

    With this I still think that everybody could do more to pollute less and use resources wisely… for the planet and all upon…

  4. R. de Haan

    Rob,
    IPCC AR4 WG1 is one of the reasons we make the bet.

    You better read the critiques on the report.
    You can find them at http://sppiblog.org/?s=IPCC+AR4+WG1&Submit=Go

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Really? Monckton? You trust Monckton over the broader scientific community?

      I have to ask, have you read Chap. 2?

      1. DirkH

        Monckton doesn’t have his hands in the cookie jar.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          He absolutely does. The oil industry cookie jar.

          1. Dana

            While it’s true Monckton receives money from oil-funded right-wing think tanks, more importantly, he has no scientific training at all, and it shows in his arguments. If your doctor told you that you need surgery, and your neighbor (a plumber who sometimes watches medical shows on TV) told you that your doctor was just trying to make a buck with unnecessary expensive surgery, who would you believe?

        2. Rob Honeycutt

          I’d suggest you watch this response to Monckton…
          http://www.fool-me-once.com/2010/09/temperatures-are-below-projections.html

          1. DirkH

            No source for his oil industry connections on that site, i looked.
            Try again.

            Whatever oil money ever found its way to pro enterprise think tanks is dwarfed by the mountains of money for climate “science”.
            Read this comment by “Kim”, for instance:
            http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/a-half-million-dollar-coverup-and-going/#comment-44563

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            Dirk… The difference being that the funding for scientific research goes for just that, actual research, rather than into the pockets of people like Monckton who does zero actual research.

            Have you ever met any actual researchers? Do you know what they make? These are not people driving big cars and flying in corp jets. These guys, even the most prominent scientists, are making nothing more than professor level wages.

          3. DirkH

            Collectively they cost us billions, and only to further an agenda with the stated goal of making energy more expensive, prohibit proven technologies, and replacing a transport infrastructure with a mockery of an infrastructure (electric cars).
            http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/home_en.html

  5. Ed Caryl

    “The oil industry cookie jar.” Rob, that’s one of the largest canards put forward by the warmists. On our side, it’s a big joke. We are all waiting for our first check.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Go to the SPPI and see where their funding comes from. Sorry if the oil industry isn’t writing any checks to you personally. They also aren’t asking you to perjure yourself in front of Congressional committees, so you should thank your lucky stars.

      1. DirkH

        Go to the CRU and see where their funding comes from. You will probably be surprised to see BP in the list. Probably this invalidates all their research papers as they took evil oil money according to your logic?

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          The difference being that BP can’t influence the research at CRU and they can at SPPI.

          1. DirkH

            So oil money is only bad when it goes to the sceptics? I thougt so. Thanks for the confirmation.

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            No. It’s bad when it influences research. There is good research on the skeptics side, but there is far more in the way of obfuscation being driven by oil money.

          3. Rob Honeycutt

            I mean, honestly, you have to pause and consider the claims of people like Monckton. The work coming out of the SPPI is demonstrably false and misleading.

    2. Dana

      Monckton and his right-wing think tank colleagues get their checks regularly. At least they get something out of their denial.

  6. Ed Caryl

    Rob,
    You have the 1.6 W/m^2 number from chapter 2. Did you know that the source document has the number as 1.46 W/m^2 +/- o.2? IPCC took the high end of the error bar.
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11175&page=29#p2000c6049960029001
    I’m not implying that even that lower number is correct.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Do you realize that chart you’re looking at is from TAR, the Third Assessment Report… 2001. Science has progressed a little since then.

      This is a little more up to date…
      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-2-1.html

      1. Ed Caryl

        The latest number is just a recalculation based on the increase of CO2 over the time interval between the two reports. The basis for that calculation dates from Hansen and Ramaswamy in 1988. That is based on the ratio of the increase of CO2 in pre-industrial times and the increase in temperature over the same interval. They assumed that the increase in temperature was caused by the increase in CO2.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          You’ll also note that the error bars around those figures are small, so the scientific certainty of that forcing is well understood.

          I keep saying this to skeptics: If venture into saying you question the radiative properties of CO2 you are in “open waters,” so to speak. Not even Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, et al challenge these figures. They spend absolutely ALL their time on cloud effects because that is where the legitimate scientific uncertainties lay.

          1. Ed Caryl

            From Working Group I, section 2.2: “Radiative forcing can be related through a linear relationship to the global mean equilibrium temperature change at the surface (ΔTs): ΔTs = λRF, where λ is the climate sensitivity parameter (e.g., Ramaswamy et al., 2001).”
            Climate Sensitivity has uncertainty of +/- 50%, how can RF have an uncertainty of 10%?

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            Ed… Your question doesn’t make sense. The RF of GHG’s has a low level of uncertainty. The RF of cloud albedo has a high level of uncertainty.

    2. Rob Honeycutt

      Do you also realize that it is exactly this diagram that we get the estimations of climate sensitivity of between 2 to 4.5C with a best fit of 3C? As well, lower sensitivity than 2C is unlikely but sensitivity above 4.5C can not yet be ruled out.

      1. Bernd Felsche

        Relax.

        It’s only a model.

        I’ve built a few of them. And it took more effort to stop the ignorant abusing the models and taking the results as gospel, than what it took to research and develop the models.

        I got an early lesson in getting sucked into computer models during my Engineering studies at University.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Models have successfully projected warming for the past 30 years. Models are used successfully in various fields of science. Heck, most of the engineering done on the Boeing 787 was done using computer modeling.

          1. DirkH

            You seem to be easily impressed – because some industry is capable of modelling a car or an aeroplane you automatically believe that some mediocre researchers are capable of simulating the climate of the planet 100 years into the future?

            Then you will surely believe me that i happen to have a stock market model that delivers 80% annual profit for the foreseeable future.

          2. NeilM

            Rob,
            I think you’ll find that the modelling used in the aircraft industry (CFD etc.) has been thoroughly validated against real-world results, unlike climate models which have deviated from reality over the past decade and completely fail to hind-cast the past.

          3. MJ

            Models are helpful things in engineering. But they are as good as the data they rely on.

            All the Boeing 787 parts are well known. Also the various properties of each of them. Therefor, the Boeing 787 model will be quite reliable.

            The climate is a vast system with loads of variables, some of them probably not yet known, not yet properly understood, still under discussion or not yet quantified, let alone the numerous interactions with each other.

            It is not because mathematical models are helpful in some fields that they are equally good in others.

          4. Rob Honeycutt

            Nope. You guys are not understanding the purposes of models. Models are part of virtually every branch of science. Modeling is part of your daily life. You have a model for how to get yourself out of bed and to work each day. Without a model you’d never get to work on time.

            To dismiss modeling as unreliable is to dismiss something as basic as “forming a hypothesis.”

          5. DirkH

            Rob, by running through millions and millions of taxpayer money, the modelers have just found out that their models predicted 25% too much warming.

            http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/the-current-wisdom-better-model-less-warming/#more-25490

            So much for reliability. Yes, when we pour another trillion into that sinkhole we might get yet another improvement, don’t you think so.

          6. Dana

            Dirk, I suggest in the future reading the actual study results, instead of the right-wing think tank spin of the results. In fact, all the information you need is in the CATO article you link.

            “Watanabe et al. report that the climate sensitivity is now 2.6°C”

            That’s well within the IPCC range of 2 to 4.5°C. Watanabe et al. may have reduced the sensitivity of *their* model, but your claim that this change impacts every single climate model is just plain wrong. In fact the change brought them closer to the IPCC’s most likely value of 3°C for 2xCO2, so your spin on the results of this change is exactly backwards.

          7. Rob Honeycutt

            Dirk… If I were here quoting Greenpeace, or Al Gore, for my source you’d have a hissy fit. Why are you quoting groups like the CATO institute or SPPI?

            There are far more reliable sources, even from the skeptical side.

  7. Rob Honeycutt

    Bernd Felsche said…

    “Relax.

    It’s only a model.”

    I have to step back a moment because this is wrong. Go back and look what I’m referring to. I’m talking about the basic radiative properties of various influences on climate. That’s not models. That’s basic 150 year old physics.

    Empirical evidence informs that diagram.

    1. DirkH

      Yawn. Empirical evidence has by now not even found out whether aerosols cool or warm the climates. The modelers use aerosols as one of the parameterized wildcards to make the predictions fit the agenda.

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        Again, look at the charts. That is not the case. The scientists are very very clear about the uncertainties.

        I once did a count of the number of times “uncertain, uncertainty or uncertainties” was used in the WG1 report. It worked out to about twice for every page of the report. So, no one is using uncertainties as “wild cards.” In fact, the IPCC tend to err on the low side of all the uncertainties.

        1. DirkH

          Wild cards to get the hindcasting right, Rob. You gotta get your GCM to do a believable hindcasting; that’s why you have to guess the “right” aerosol forcing and the “right” history of aerosol production to fine-tune the hindcasting.

          After your so-tuned model creates a good hindcasting, you point to it and say “This model is right because it hindcasts correctly.”

          You don’t tell the public that you invented the aersol forcing and the aerosol concentration history out of whole cloth.

          It’s a confidence trick.

          1. Rob Honeycutt

            Dirk… I keep asking this but I’ll ask it again… Did you actually read Chap 2 of WG1? Look at the figures. No one is stating they know exactly what the climate response is going to be. You’re assuming levels of certainty that are not there and ignoring the science that backs up the certainties that are there.

            Think about that basic statement made in AR4. “Climate sensitivity is 2C to 4.5C with 3C as best fit. Sensitivity below 2C is unlikely while sensitivity above 4.5C can not yet be dismissed.”

            This is a highly qualified statement that is designed to communicate what is clearly understood while acknowledging the uncertainties inherent in the current state of the science. If you think someone’s just making stuff up to get to these figures you obviously don’t understand science or the hard work that goes into actually figuring these things out.

            And, once again, what you also don’t seem to realize is that the only place REAL climate skeptics are challenging any of this is with uncertainties behind cloud responses.

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            Dirk said… “It’s a confidence trick.”

            I’m always surprised when people think that this whole thing is some kind of elaborate hoax. It’s hard enough to get two scientists who actually AGREE on something to agree on all the details of what they agree on. Science is like herding cats. Each has a mind of its own and is going to go where his research leads regardless of the other cats. But when all the cats are going the same direction you know there is something important going on.

            It really doesn’t matter if some scientist cooks the books. The one that does is going to end up with results that totally don’t match up with other research. That scientist’s work will end up being discarded for work that does fit the larger picture that emerges from the broader research. This is the incentive for researchers to try to get things right.

            The idea that there is some kind of cabal of scientists crafting some great fraud to trick people is just completely absurd.

          3. DirkH

            “The idea that there is some kind of cabal of scientists crafting some great fraud to trick people is just completely absurd.”

            It is neither a cabal nor a conspiracy (with some exceptions, as the ClimateGate emails showed). It is the desire of the climatologists to stay funded, to be able to continue feeling important, and how can one maintain a high level of funding? By finding out that there is no problem? No.

            They have all the motivation in the world to err on the catastrophic side. You fail to see that, fine. It’s a built-in bias of climate science as it is done.

          4. DirkH

            Oh, and i did read the IPCC AR4. You keep asking that. OF COURSE they’re having about error bars larger than the trends all the time, only to arrive at a very likely catastrophe in the summary for policy makers; the entire document is a nice propaganda pamphlet by a decidedly alarmist institution.

            And to reduce their uncertainty they run ensembles of models and AVERAGE THEM TOGETHER. How scientific is that. /facepalm

            Hint: the models are nonlinear. No, really, i have nothing but disdain for everything these people do. And especially for the convolut that the IPCC AR4 is.

      2. Dana

        What the heck are you talking about? We know aerosols cool the climate, although there is uncertainty as to exactly how much.

        I don’t know about you Rob, but I’m getting tired of correcting all the ignorant statements in the comments on this blog.

        1. Mas

          “AEROSOLS CAUSE as much warming in the lower atmosphere as anthropogenic greenhouse gases, and both appear to contribute equally to regional climate change, according to a direct aerial study of so-called brown clouds near Asia ( Nature 2007,448,575 ). On the basis of satellite and model data, researchers had surmised that aerosols have a net cooling effect on the troposphere, whereas greenhouse gases are known to increase heating.”

          http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cen-v085n032.p009

          ‘Other groups have yet to confirm the new photolysis rate, but the conundrum is already causing much debate and uncertainty in the ozone research community. “Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

          “Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”’

          http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070924/full/449382a.html

          Oops 😉

          Congratulations also on your website which manages to combine arrogance, condescension, unbacked assertions and unintended ironic humor to an unparalleled degree.

          1. DirkH

            Thanks, Mas.

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            Mas… If there is any accuracy to the first paper that’s really really bad news. Expect climate sensitivity to be on the very high end of current uncertainties.

            The second paper is in regards to ozone research. Not aerosols. So, what’s your point?

            “Congratulations also on your website which manages to combine arrogance, condescension, unbacked assertions…”

            Um, if you spent any time over at Skeptical Science you’d realize that pretty much every article is backed up with references to the the research.

          3. Dana

            Oh you’re talking about warming from soot. When in the atmosphere aerosols cause cooling. Black soot may be the second-largest contributor to global warming. I’ll once again recommend reading the referenced study itself rather than somebody else’s interpretation.
            http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n4/full/ngeo156.html

            Black soot is also mainly anthropogenic in origin, so it really doesn’t help your case. Nor does it change the amount of warming from greenhouse gases.

            Your second reference is in regards to ozone depletion. I’ll assume that was a mistake.

            If you’re talking about skeptical science, that’s John Cook’s site, not mine. I’m just a guest author. And your comments would be the worst description of SkS I’ve ever read. As Rob notes, every article is painstakingly researched and referenced.

        2. Mas

          http://www.newmaterials.com/Customisation/News/Nanotechnology/Nanotechnology/Aerosols_in_many_arctic_clouds_warm_up_ground_surface.asp

          ‘Aerosols in many arctic clouds warm up ground surface

          DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory (published 26/04/2007)

          Enhanced aerosol concentrations increase the amount of thermal energy emitted by many Arctic clouds, according to scientists supported by the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program.

          Scientists believe that the warming of the Arctic climate and decreases in the area and thickness of sea ice are caused by greenhouse gas warming. The Arctic region also experiences large periodic influxes of aerosols originating from the industrial regions to the south. Using data from the DOE ARM Climate Research Facility in Barrow, Alaska, Vogelmann and Lubin determined that enhanced aerosol amounts can make clouds emit more thermal energy to the surface. In an aerosol-cloud process, increased aerosol concentrations cause the cloud droplets to become smaller and, within clouds of fixed water amounts, more abundant. Vogelmann and Lubin discovered that this process makes many clouds more opaque and emit more thermal energy to the surface, by an average of 3.4 watts per square meter, which is comparable to that by increased greenhouse gases.

          “Before this study, we didn’t really know how this process would affect emission of thermal energy from the cloud to the surface,” Vogelmann said. “It’s now clear that it contributes significantly to warming at ground level.”’

          Time to think up new ways to skew the models to assure your desired outcome ;-).

          1. Rob Honeycutt

            Mas… You better jump in and put some money on the warming side of the bet on the next decade! You’ve made the case for radiative forcing that is far higher than currently expected.

  8. Mas

    “You’ve made the case for radiative forcing that is far higher than currently expected.”

    Not really, if aerosols contributed to warming rather than cooling your CO2 forcing models are useless but we knew that already ;-).

    1. Dana

      Black soot warming has no impact on the greenhouse gas forcing. Rob is right – if soot is a major warming contributor, it means we’re in for more warming than we would be otherwise. Warming from GHGs plus warming from soot. Both are anthropogenic and come from the same sources anyway, so I really don’t see how you can possibly think this helps your case.

      1. Mas

        No because you need aerosol cooling to explain the cooling up to the 1970s. Without this fudge factor CO2 effects on global temperature become much lower order effects compared to solar/oceanic/orbital/volcanic effects.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide/

        1. Dana

          No. They’re two different effects. Aerosols cause cooling when in the atmosphere. When they reach the ground as soot, that’s when they decrease the albedo and cause warming, particularly in areas with high albedo like the Arctic. While aerosols help explain the very slight mid-century cooling, it has no effect on the amount of warming caused by CO2. That’s determined through spectroscopic measurements and radiative transfer models. I wrote an article on the subject.

          http://www.skepticalscience.com/Quantifying-the-human-contribution-to-global-warming.html

          1. Mas

            “Studies have given a possible range of values of 2-4.5°C warming for a doubling of CO2 ”

            This is guesswork not science.

          2. Dana

            You clearly have no idea what science is, Mas.

    2. Dana

      I take that back. Your case seems to be simply ‘models are wrong’. Rob’s point which you’re missing is that you’re arguing the models are wrong on the low side because they omit a warming factor. I don’t think that’s an argument you want to make.

  9. Rob Honeycutt

    Mas said… “Not really, if aerosols contributed to warming rather than cooling your CO2 forcing models are useless but we knew that already.”

    Incorrect. Look again and the uncertainty range for CO2. It’s very low. What you are doing with your argument is saying that the uncertainty for aerosol effects are lower than stated in the AR4. You’re clearly making a case for MUCH higher climate sensitivity.

  10. Mas

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12130970

    “Almost all of the methane released in the Gulf of Mexico oil leak was quickly swallowed by bacteria – which may give clues to climate change in the Arctic.”

    Oops there goes another scare angle 😉

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Mas… This methane doesn’t seem to have any problem getting to the surface:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YegdEOSQotE