Climate Bet Of The Decade – Update 3

Headed back into the cool phase.

Will the new 2011-2020 decade be warmer or cooler than the last one?

That’s what we’re betting on.

The warmists are betting it’s going to be warmer. But the coolists say it will be cooler because of natural cycles, which are now beginning to have a cooling effect. Here’s why I feel us coolists are going to win:

1. CO2 is wildly exaggerated as a climate driver.
2. The PDO has entered it’s negative phase – meaning more La Ninas in the pipeline.
3. Solar activity is low.
4. The AMO is also about to head towards its negative phase.
5. We are overdue for a disruptive volcano.
6. A growing number of scientists say so.

The following is the latest list of pledges (user names and amounts in US$) in alphabetical order. Newcomers are welcome! (See below on how to bet). Amounts are in US dollars.

Coolist side
Agran, N.  100
ArndB     25
Asim   70
BargHumer    10
Callander, P.   50
Caryl, E.     10
Dawson, B      5
de Haan, R.    10
de Waal, V.   50
Eiting, M.    50
Evans, V.      50
Gosselin, P.    200
Grayman    100
Ike   100
Johnson, D.    20
Kaminsky, R.    100
Levett, J.  100
Neil M   1000
Roger L    50
Scotchman    70
speake   10
Stoller, F.  100
Whale, P.  50

Total: $ 2,330.00

Warmist side
dana    100
Dappledwater    100
Honeycutt, Rob    1,830.00
King, Neal J    100
Sacculina     200

Total: $2,330.00

All winnings will be donated to a charity organisation for children in dire need, yet to be decided. Right now we are tending to Doctors Without Borders.

This bet by the way is named after the initiator: warmist Rob Honeycutt, who has pledged to match all the bets from the cool side, up to $5000.00, and is happy about the money from the losers going to charity (That’s very generous of him :)). I’ve been in e-mail contact with Rob, and he really is a good guy. He means well.

And if the cool side can get that many pledges from the coolists, then Rob will start looking for more warmists to join in to up the ante. Let’s see how high we can get this.

Payment will be made 2021, and so if you think inflation and/or lack of interest paid, etc. will erode the amount, then just add a little more to your pledge. Again, we want to keep it simple.

If you are interested in joining this bet, you can read how to:


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 at your door in 2021 (if you lose). And hey – it’s for a good cause.

The coming decade is going to settle the science

In fact, it may take only a few years. Here’s the life-story of the AGW scare:

1980s: AGW scare was born.
1990s: AGW scare lived.
2000s: AGW scare was killed.
2010s: AGW scare will be buried.

The oceans are cooling, and cold winters are returning, which is bad news for the planet. We’d be much better off with another one or two degrees of warming. The latest tree ring study we saw in Science clearly shows that warm is better. I hope that us coolists lose this bet. But I doubt we will.

71 thoughts on “Climate Bet Of The Decade – Update 3”

  1. Oceans are cooling = shuffling the deck of heat energy cards
    Cold winters = warming arctic
    CO2 continues to rise along with an energy imbalance.

    1980’s were hotter that the 1970’s.
    1990’s were hotter that the 1980’s.
    2000’s were hotter that the 1990’s.
    2010’s were hotter that the 2000’s.

    We know the driving mechanism for warming. It’s well studied in thousands of scientific papers.

    What the “coolists” lack is an actual mechanism to account for any negative trend.

    I think you guys are right in that atmospheric temperatures are likely to fall from the highs of 2010 for a few years. After that we will see atmospheric temperatures rise again and will see yet another record high average global temperature decade.

        1. Yes, really. The Douglass paper only looks at the upper 700 meters, only in ARGO data, ands only over five years. It’s cherry picking at it’s finest, which is probably why they published in that rather sketchy journal. This is all discussed in the link I provided. I suggest you read it.

    1. Am I detcting a shift in your position?
      Your original bet was something like 6 or 7 of the next years would be among the warmest. But if the next few years are now going to be “cool”, then your original bet is in jeopardy.

      1. Pierre… We just came off a record high year. We can still have cooler years than 2010 and still have 7 record warm years. But that is not the bet we have going.

        What I would never claim is that we would have consecutively warmer years each year. The climate is a very noisy beast.

        We can even look to Dr Latif’s comments that skeptics continually misquote as suggesting we are heading into a cooling phase. He clearly states in his 2008 paper that he believes we are going to see a “pause” in warming due to PDO, AMO, etc. before warming resumes. I believe he is likely accurate in these statements. But I also believe the GHG driven warming will keep the average temperature over the decade higher than the past decade.

      2. Pierre… Just to add to that: If you’ll remember, prior to the 2000’s we had very recently seen the 1998 record year, as still 9 of the top 10 warmest years in the instrumental record are in the 2000’s.

        I expect something very similar this next decade.

      1. itsfaircomment… If you want to check the record all I did was make a comment that I didn’t think “coolists” would put their money with their mouth is. Pierre challenged me on it and we agreed to set up a bet.

        Just knock it off with the name baiting calling people trolls whenever you don’t agree with them. It does nothing to further legitimate debate and shows that you have no data behind that which you believe.

      1. Yes you are right.

        I suppose I was looking at the number of people rather than the value of the bet; I’d be more encouraged by a hundred people placing £10 bets on the coolist side in comparison to the confidence of a single $5000 bet because the message is getting across to the average member of the public, who may have a lack of knowledge; (for which I can put my hand up to) but has done enough research in this complicated subject over the years to make an informed decision as best as they can, whichever side they choose.

        Anyway still time left, wouldn’t it be nice for some random readers of skepticalscience who are merely observers (i.e. Interested but hardly experts) or any supporters of AGW and your sentiments to join in too? Even if its a $1 donation =)

        All the best for the decade old bet 😉

        1. I don’t know. To me $10-$20 bet over a 10 year period seems to lack any commitment. Heck, you can justify throwing $10 on any side of any bet. People regularly spend $10 on a lottery ticket that has 50million-to-one odds.

          I put up $5k because I believe the vast body of science done on this subject is correct. Even given the PDO and AMO that Pierre keeps presenting I believe the radiative forcing shown by science will dominate even the the natural variability of the climate over the course of the decade. If Keenlyside, Latif et al 2008 are right it could be a tight race but even they suggest only a slowing of warming over the next decade.

          Just downloaded Mochizuki 2010 “Pacific decadal oscillation hindcasts relevant to near-term climate prediction.” Should be interesting reading.

  2. Mechanism for cooling: current sunspot cycle very low, and a longer cycle length = lower solar irradience.

  3. Ed Caryl… I would suggest you take a look at the TSI charts for the 11 year solar cycle. TSI happens to be one of the more regular and easily quantifiable aspects of climate. And, as I’ve mentioned several times the relative forcing between the high and low of the TSI is only 0.5 W/mˆ2, as opposed to 1.6W/mˆ2 for CO2.

  4. Rob, you’re wrong.
    Co2 is not driving temps, let alone anthropgenic Co2.
    The entire AGW scam is dead.

    Our oceans are releasing heat at an enormous rate and the world is cooling.

    There are discussions about the sun’s TSI and there is a rising stack of evidence that intergalactic particles cause an increase of lower and medium cloud cover = cooling during low solar wind activity.

    I leave it with that.
    Good luck with your bet.

    1. R de Haan… You seem pretty sure of yourself. Surely you can pony up for more than $10 with that level of confidence.

  5. The continuing non existing ramp up of our sun:
    From Laymen’s Sunspot Count (Geoff Sharp) after three days of a spotless sun:
    2011/01/16 8:00 The spotless run has ended with the appearance of 1047. The pixel reading is 930 and the darkness ratio at 59%. Although presently a beta configuration the chances of moving quickly into an alpha or unipolar group are high. This region is close to old region 1038 but is 20 deg off on the Carrington longitude.

    Yesterday’s adjusted F10.7 flux figures measured at 20:00 UTC recorded 77.6 (76.7). The DSN value for today is 381 with the previous measurement at 49.

    A few ours later Space Weather reports:
    ACTIVE SUNSPOT GOES QUIET: A few days ago, sunspot group 1147 was busily launching CMEs from the far side of the sun. Yesterday it turned toward Earth and immediately quieted down. Is this the calm before the storm? Stay tuned.

    Yes, we stay tuned but all signs are pointing to a Maunder Minimum event.

    1. And again, the radiative forcing of the solar cycles is very well known and is overwhelmed by GHG forcing. These are not just models. This is clearly measured.

    1. R de Haan… Do you understand the difference in the education level between the people you’re presenting (Watts and D’Aleo) and the people you are dismissing?

      I just have a hard time taking anything you’re presenting serious when you totally avoid any actual research. You’d be far better served, as I’ve suggested before, if you’d stick to people like Spencer, Christy and Lindzen. At least they do real science.

  6. So Dana let’s get this right. 80% of ocean heat content used to be in the upper 700m and 14.7% was below, but now the two have flip flopped? IOW, Hansen et al 2005 was wrong and scientists just assumed that most of OHC should be in the upper 700m? And this all happened between 2003 and 2008 (now 2010) without it being detected in SST and upper 300m?

    What you are saying is the 2010 upper 300m of OHC as reported by NOAA dropped significantly and the heat went down, and this has been the case for how many decades? Oh my. How much weight was given to GRACE and sea level reports when the upper 2000m assessment was modeled?

    As reported by Hansen et al 2005.

    1. What I believe Dana is saying is the previous commenter was relying on Knox, Douglas 2010 for OHC data (at least someone here was actually referring to a scientific paper for a change). But the problem with KD10 is that they only rely on the top 700m for their conclusions. If you look at the broader research you get papers that show warming in deeper water.

      OHC is a REALLY interesting topic! It’s also very new science with a lot of quirks and problems. I mean, we had problems for 10 years with the satellite data until they found the error with the orbital decay of the satellite. That was just one device. The ARGO buoy network is 3000 devices! There is still a lot for the scientists to learn about this one.

      1. Not just only the upper 700 meters, but also only over 5 years, and only in ARGO data.

        The oceans are a tough nut to crack. We have very little data on the deeper layers, but as we get more data, the evidence indicates that they are storing significant amounts of heat.

  7. Pierre,

    Put me down for ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS on the cool side.

    I think I’ll be able to keep that much in my foreign currency account until 2021-01-01.
    PG: Wow! Thanks! There’s no guarantee we are going to win. Mother Nature is quite unpredictable. Or the stalinists might take over and rewrite the data :). I’ll put you down on the list and will appear in the next update.

    1. Yay! Nice work, Bernd! Even if you’re on the cool side, that’s what I call putting your money where your mouth is!! Kudos!

        1. It took me a long time to make up my mind about the bet. Not because I was unsure … because I always am … but I needed to check the bounds of possibility in the real world.

          The balance of probability is that unless the figures are cooked (, it’s not going to get any warmer. The sun’s “mood” is one that has, judging by the patterns and recent observations, resulted in substantial cooling.

          The sunspot cycle looks like it’ll peak in 2015/2016 with no more than 50 sunspots. Weak cycles are slow. Strong cycles are short. That’s what the sun’s done in the past and there’s no reason to suggest that it’ll be different this time.

          Odd are that the outcome will be either black or red.

          1. Pretty risky betting $1,000 bucks on information from Watts’ blog, but I’m glad to see a ‘coolist’ putting his money where his mouth is.

            All those talking about a solar minimum seem to be conveniently forgetting that we just finished the longest solar cycle minimum in nearly a century, and yet 2009 and 2010 were two of the hottest years on record (2010 *the* hottest). If the Sun is so dominant a factor in global temperatures, why aren’t they colder?

          2. The “information” isn’t necessarily on Anthony’s blog. What there is, is references to data and analyses. If you looked, you’d find the same. There are no unsupported claims. Anthony’s rigourous about that aspect.

            Finally, given data, I can always think for myself.

            My money’s not on Anthony Watts. It’s on the data.

  8. Folks might want to note that the PDO chart getting passed about is actually 2 years out of date. Here is the current (1900-2010) PDO chart:

    You might also want to note that the strong negative PDO from 1940 to the mid-1950’s only produced a flattening of the global temperature trend.

    If you read Keenlyside 2008 and Mochizuki 2010 you find that the projection is that the PDO will be more or less neutral over the coming decade. Also note that the PDO already has been relatively neutral over this past decade.

    I’m still holding confident that the radiative forcing of GHG’s are going to dominate over the coming decade. PDO and AMO are going to dampen the climate response but it’s still going to be warmer for the coming decade.

  9. Dana/Rob

    You still have failed to answer my inquiry. How does the deep ocean >700m gain heat without the upper 700m warming prior???

    If SST doesn’t warm (El Nino is release of heat), the upper 300m doesn’t warm (net gain), how can it be suggested the heat has somehow leaked past and sunk to the bottom? It is completely counter intuitive and just sounds like you guys are grasping at straws.

    Also, as RPS has pointed out, use of trends and long term data is not necessary for OHC. Either there is a net gain month to month, year to year etc. or there is not. The fact is, since 2003 according to the available data, OHC is nowhere near Hansen’t prediction; EPIC FAIL.

    It is interesting that when Hansen et al 2005 was published, relying on 10 years of “precise” (Hansen’s term) measurements to prove AGW was perfectly acceptable by AGW promoters and a centerpiece of IPCC AR4, yet now going on 8 years of measurements, the “smoking gun” has been shooting blanks but the data suddenly isn’t so good.

    The next thing we’ll hear is RC and Tamino doesn’t censor or modify posts that put the Team in a bad light :)

    1. slimething… If the ocean were a static body of water you would expect it to have an even heating gradient. But, as you know, the ocean has a dynamic climate unto itself. In fact, if you look at the studies that have measured deeper waters they have found warming water. The problem, again, is that all of this – upper and lower – is devilishly difficult to measure even with the ARGO buoy network.

      It’s a hot topic of research right now and it’s very new science. Expect in the coming years to learn a lot about the heat content of the world’s oceans.

    2. the upper oceans have been warming, for over a century. Ocean heat transfer is complicated. But the evidence indicates that the deep oceans are warming. You’re basically saying ‘I don’t believe the data because I can’t explain how the heat got there’. If it’s there, it’s there, whether we can explain how it got there or not.

    1. Rob and the warmist thank you for your generous pledge. SO DO I! (And so will the charity 10 years from now:)). I’ll put you on the warmist list. I don’t have the numbers offhand, but the warmist side is beginning to get in the 10K area.
      Why are you so convinced it’s going to get warmer? The trend over the last years has been downwards, and all numbers point that will continue.

      1. He’s probably convinced it’s going to get warmer because the statements you just made are false.

        I’ll kick my offer up to $500 if it won’t complicate things. It’s probably getting difficult to break out the ‘warmist’ bets with a $5,000 and now a $2500.

      2. Pierre said… ” The trend over the last years has been downwards”

        Um, Pierre, that’s not accurate at all. You have to cherry pick data to get anything close to a negative trend, and even then you’re going to come up with a figure that is well short of statistically significant.

        You also have to look at how long we’ve been in a negative PDO. It’s been nearly three years and we still just had one of the warmest years on record. Both Keenlyside 2008 and Mochizuki 2010 at best project that the PDO will be neutral over the coming decade. We’ve also had historically low solar output for quite a number of years running.

        If there were any cooling to be had we’ve already seen it, and we got warming. That backs up the science saying that the radiative forcing of GHG’s is overwhelming any natural cooling.
        PG: Patience my friend, we’ll find out soon enough. Give it just a couple years, and then it’ll become clear to even you. It’s too early to get all excited. The ninth inning will get here soon enough.

        1. Ah but there’s a difference between foolish belief that the planet will cool in the future, and the factually wrong statement that “The trend over the last years has been downwards”.

          1. Sorry Pierre, that’s cherry picking. Every temperature data set but Hadley shows a warming trend over the past decade. I thought you preferred UAH? It shows a warming trend and suddenly you abandon it? I thought CRU scientists were fudging the data and HadCRUT was not to be trusted? As soon as it shows the slightest cooling trend it becomes reliable again?

            Come on now, Pierre.

          2. They are not to be trusted with the quality of their data. That means the cooling is likely more than what they show.
            I only took the last decade 2001 – 2010. Of course we will use UAH and RSS in 2021. The point is the warming you are all claiming over the last 10 years is not there. Maybe one or two datasets are showing something minute, but that too will disappear soon. be patient, friend – things will unfold. It aint over till Brunhilde sings.


            Yes cherry picking is great especially with all the above but what about the previous period 1940-1975 but I suppose you couldn’t draw upward trend lines then, would be more of a zig-zag even though CO2 was still going up and that just wouldn’t do ;-). The annual variation is also in the same ballpark as the average increase that is claimed over that period which throws statistical doubt about extrapolating the drawn trend-line further into centuries !

  10. Interesting discussion.
    Put me down for 100.00 US on the cooling side.
    1. Contrary to Dana and Rob, I believe the oceans heat content has gone down. The ARGO data is the best data that we have ever had. The upper 700M have lost heat content. Thermoclines may have carried some heat to the lower, deeper ocean, but the extent is not enough to overcome the net heat loss of the upper.
    2. We are in the process of exiting a Grand Maximum. The process does not change with one cycle. When looking at the climatic data for the Nile, the Mississip River etc, one can see the precip cycle vary with the solar.
    3. We have had a period, thankfully, of lower polution in the atmosphere and it has become clearer in the recent past. This has allowed temps to stabalize over the past 10 years.
    4. The harmonics of past climatic trends shows that the decade of 2000-10 was probably the appex of this warm period.
    5. Following the precipitation patterns of past similiar climatic events, we will have less h20 in the atmosphere. The co2 will not be able to overcome the effects of the diminished h20 vapor.

    Rob, thank you for matching our bets up to 5,000.00 US. I am confident that a worthy charity will be more than happy to accept the dollars to help those in need in our cooler world.

    A cooler world, historically, has not been condusive to ag production. I do hope with all my heart that I am wrong in what I have read and studied. A period of cooling has always been much more disruptive to humanity than a period of warmth and warming.
    PG: Great – thanks for the pledge. You’re on the list and will appear in a few days in the next update. And I agree with your reasons above. The oceans are 100 times more massive than the atmosphere, and the tens of thousands of underwater volcanoes are not even recorded The next few years will say who’s right. Saying CO2 drives the climate is like saying the weather in Bulgaria drives the global weather..

  11. >Why are you so convinced it’s going to get warmer?

    Because I understand basic radiation physics, meteorology, and climate, rather than only listening to pseudo-scientific blogs written by a college-dropout “meteorologist” whose only experience in the field is as a second-rate radio forecaster (hint hint, Anthony Watts!) Because I actually read the literature, rather than inject my political/social biases into it! Because I actually give a crap about the future of the planet, at least as we know it!

    And finally (and most significantly) because I like bets I can’t lose…LOL!

    If you or any of your readers really want to bet acutally significant cash (> $50,000.00) on a longer timescale, I suggest you also check out my longbet at
    Un-surprisingly, not a single person I have challenged has been willing to bet any monies of note. I can only conclude one thing from that fact, and it is not that most climate denialists are poor, haha!

    In any case, I applaud you for putting your money where your mouth is. As someone who truly believes in the wisdom of markets, I truly like this idea.
    Best of luck, I sincerely hope I am wrong!

    Sincere regards and cheers,
    Dr. Edwin Adlerman

  12. The government, in its infinite wisdom, or not, gives me ~$30/day to stay alive. At my age the odds of me seeing the resolution of this bet are slim but not impossible. However like Dr. Edwin Alderman above it is impossible to pass up a sure thing. I pledge a days earnings of $30 that warm will win. “Dr. Without Boarders” is acceptable with me and they will need the money.
    PG: Got you on the warm list. Thanks.

  13. PG: I’ve already placed my bet, earlier on, and I don’t see any reason to change it.

    However, I can assure you, from the “warmist” side, that we, also, sincerely hope that we lose the bet.

    The long-term consequences for our descendants are worth much more than even Rob Honeycutt has put down.

    1. “The long-term consequences for our descendants are worth much more than even Rob Honeycutt has put down.”

      Indeed, cheaper fuel bills and more temperate climates and more arable ice-free land sounds such a pain ;-).

        1. Disagree, the global positives will out weigh the temporary drawbacks to those affected even if *all* your scare stories are true. We have future Ice Ages to prepare for and fight off, these last few winters were just a foretaste of that permanent condition. As some of your readers also noted photosynthesis will increase plant yields without harm all the way to 1000ppm and tie that up with all the ice free lands we will expose it will mean much more food for more people so we are far from an optimum CO2 level so let’s burn the rest of those fossil fuels with gusto ;-).

          1. Mas, we’re not due for another ice age for 50,000 years. You’re of course free to disagree with me, but I supported my statement, you didn’t support yours.

            As for your myth about increased plant yields, see my response to Camburn’s comment below.

        2. It is well known and accepted that plants perfom best at co2 levels of approx 1,000 to 1,300 ppmv. That is the primary reason that greenhouses elevate the co2 level. The plants require less water, are much more robust, and disease resistant because of the robust growth and efficiency.

          This is a real world example. When one looks at vegative maps and bio mass increase, the increase the last 20 years is signficant.

          Several open air studies have confirmed that on a large field bases, more co2 is very desireable as it increases yeilds by 18% or more with less water, fertilizer etc.

          1. Camburn, in a greenhouse we can hold everything else constant while we increase CO2 levels. That’s quite obviously not the case in the global atmosphere. Plants don’t do well in rapidly increasing temperatures, droughts, floods, lower soil moisture content, etc.

            You’ve provided no support of your claimed “real world field examples”. You’ll forgive me for not taking your word for it.

  14. Dana:
    A lot of what your list refers to are conclusions based on GCM.
    Please, do not make the mistake that others do to think that the GCM’s are in any way good predictors.
    The scientific part of the IPCC report in WG1 is very straightforward on this.

    Proxy records show that the earth has not warmed to any degree close to the Holocene Optimum. Before we start making the gloom and doom scenerios, lets look at geo records of what happened during that period of time.

    And….if you take the time to do so, you will find out that it wasn’t that bad.

    The reality is that evidence is stacking stronger and stronger that our period of warmth is ending. I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

    William Herschel found a very strong comparison to grain production and sun spot numbers.

    1. Camburn, the hottest point during the Holocene was only about 0.8°C hotter than today. We’re already committed to 0.6°C further warming, so we’re basically there already.

      1. Dana:
        What are you basing your 0.6C of committed warming on?

        I have not read any literature that would indicate that we are about 0.8C cooler than the Optimum period. The closest range I can come to is approx 1.3 to 2.0C within acceptable error bars. During the Optimum, there appears to be very strong evidence that mankind benifited greatly. Do you have links to literature that contradicts that?

        1. For a climate sensitivity of 3°C for 2xCO2, we expect to see 1.4°C of warming at current CO2 levels. We’ve seen 0.8°C so far. And yes, we know there is more ‘warming in the pipeline’ because there is still a global energy imbalance.

          I got the 0.8°C from a report by the German Advisory Council on Global Change. They stated that over the last 800,000 years, the “mean maximum” has been around 16.1°C. But that’s my mistake because I didn’t notice the word “mean” in there.

          But globalwarmingart has a nice plot of Holocene temperatures which confirms my comments. At the most, the peak Holocene temperature was about 1°C hotter than today (based on GISP2 Greenland ice cores), and according to most reconstructions, the average temperature never got that high.

  15. Put me down for $1000.00 on the cooling side.

    I also have laid off half the bet that Tom Fuller has with Joe Romm, for a thousand as well. That bet is based on GISS, 2010-2019, being 0.15 degree warmer than the previous decade.

    It is nearly a sure thing for Tom and I, even this early in the period. For Romm to win, all remaining years, including this one, will need to be record years.

    This bet is not quite the sure thing, as its >0, not >0.15. But, MSF is a good charity.

    1. Romm betting 0.15°C warmer shows how duped the poor guy is believing his “scientist” friends. Even if the temp ended up 0.16° warmer, it would still be under the low range of the climate models, thus showing inflated CO2 sensitivity in the models.
      Thanks for the generous pledge, but the betting is closed. Not that it makes a difference anyhow. My view is that even though the coolists bet $5550, the warmists should pay the entire $14,000+ they pledged if they lose.

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