Born Every Minute…

So apparently there’s been a fire a brewin’ over a bet on future warming- or rather, the apparent hollow nature of an activist blogger’s challenge.

Now, let me just say that this whole episode prompted, initially, giggle fits. But by Balsa Wood, it just got deadly serious. Another blogger has actually accepted the (stupid) bet. Now, far be it from me to call anyone a sucker, but, Tom, you just got suckered. Here’s why.

Since about 1977, after a sudden jump in temperatures associated with a climate “shift” in the Pacific Ocean, the Earth’s surface apparently began a fairly steady warming (figure 1)

This second warming was characterized by being concentrated in Siberia and North Western Canada, especially in winter. Such a warming-apart from being quite harmless, probably bares the signature of an increasely important anthropogenic component. Now, you might say “well, the data are no good.” But the trouble is, the terms of the bet don’t protect you from bad data, the bad data is built into the terms of the bet. Now, notice that the steady tread in the latter part of the data. Let’s say that’s all due to greenhouse warming. Well, CO2 has been increasing at a slight exponent and the forcing induced is a log of that, lead to, as any algebra student should be able to tell you, a straight line (Golly, what we just showed!) And indeed, once a “mid range emissions scenario” model gets going, that is, by and large, what they do. So, to my mind, Tom just bet against something which is essentially garaunteed to happen.

Well, all I can do now is pray for a volcano to help the poor bastard out. If I were a betting man (rather than a dirt poor boy) I’d stake my claim on the next decade being precisely .15+-.02 degrees Celsius warming than this one.

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