A Decadal Global Climate Bet – three years down the track

Three years ago, early 2011, a decadal global climate bet was made.  At that time, December 2010 marked the end of a 10 year period.  January 2011 marked the beginning of the next.  The transition stimulated the formation of a decadal global climate bet.  Would the next decade be hotter than the decade just past?  Would it be cooler?  Or would the difference be so little to be statistically insignificant?

And so the coolists (led by Pierre Gosselin – NoTricksZone) and the warmists (led by Rob Honeycutt – Skeptical Science) are having a bet.  They agreed to use a composite of Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) lower troposphere temperature – close to the earth’s surface.  The result will be accepted without quibbling, as it was agreed between them that those series are the best that we’ve got.  The average of the two series will decide the bet!

I’ve tried a couple of ways of picturing the comparative ‘race’ between the decades.  The first way is here, and the second way is here.  I prefer the second method, and this is what I have shown below.  It uses an accumulating total, adding 1/120th of the average of the UAH and RSS monthly global anomalies month by month.  The sum of these numbers after 120 months (10 years) is the global decadal average.

Tonight I downloaded the data to December 2013 from UAH and RSS and the graph shows the race position after three complete years.  After three years the coolists are in the lead.

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5 Responses to A Decadal Global Climate Bet – three years down the track

  1. Mike says:

    Hi Anthony – stumbled across your site via Climate Depot.

    Bravo ! The bet is very significant, but my bet is that the question will be well settled by then. Already I think the AGW scenario has been rejected by the general public – in fact it’s now laughed at (see this morning’s cartoon in the NZ Herald.) And marketing people will tell you, once the laughing starts…

  2. grumpydenier says:

    Hi Anthony

    Apologies but haven’t you transposed the protagonists in this line?

    And so the warmists (led by Pierre Gosselin – NoTricksZone) and the coolists (led by Rob Honeycutt – Skeptical Science) are having a bet.

  3. Douglas Cotton says:

    All readers: this is important.

    Skeptical Science team member Neal J King writes on Lucia’s Blackboard, referring to thermodynamic equilibrium: “a transfer of energy δE between two sub-components, j = 1 and j = 2, will change neither E_total nor, to 1st order, S_total”

    Yes, and that is exactly what happens when there is a thermal gradient such that the difference in mean kinetic energy per molecule (temperature) exactly matches the negative of the difference in mean gravitational potential energy per molecule.

    You can see this in the second stage of the four molecule experiment: when thermodynamic equilibrium is attained we have homogeneous entropy (which must take PE into account) and every collision involves molecules with equal KE, and so KE for the system does not change, but is different per molecule at different altitudes. Similar happens in diffusion in a horizontal plane – KE of all molecules approaches homogeneity. But in a vertical plane you have to remember that KE changes because PE changes whenever there is a non-zero vertical component in the free path vector between collisions.

    The gravito-thermal effect is blatantly obvious when convection stops in the early pre-dawn hours. It is then that the pre-determined thermal profile has a “supporting temperature” at the base of the troposphere on any planet. That is what explains all the observations on all planets with surfaces, and even planets without surfaces. Temperatures are set based on radiative balance and the gravito-thermal gradient.

    The probability of these thermal gradients being so close to the -g/Cp value on all planets with significant tropospheres just because of some assumed warming by the Sun (whose radiation barely reaches some planetary surfaces) is absolutely infinitesimal. The evidence for the gravito-thermal gradient is blatantly obvious everywhere, as is the theory behind it.

    And as for radiation from carbon dioxide supposedly helping the Sun to attain greater maximum temperatures each day (despite the Second Law) or even just slowing radiative cooling – so what? Oxygen and nitrogen slow non-radiative cooling and outnumber carbon dioxide 2,500:1. Radiation from carbon dioxide (with its limited frequencies) is like a picket fence (with most of its pickets missing) standing up against a torrent of full spectrum radiation from the surface. The mean temperature of carbon dioxide molecules in Earth’s troposphere is far colder than the mean temperature of oxygen and nitrogen molecules colliding at the boundary with surface molecules. Rates of cooling depend on temperature gaps, so think!

    But arguing with lukes and warmists is like playing chess with a pidgeon. No matter how good a player I am, the pigeon knocks over the pieces, craps on the board and struts around looking victorious.

    • Anthony says:

      Interesting comment Doug. I do get the idea of equilibrium energy balance where KE and PE balance each other; resulting in pressure and temperature drop with altitude (which as you say is clearly what we observe). However, I am not familiar enough with the detailed thermodynamic equations to comment further. I wonder about the place of radiated energy – where there are no molecules. eg: the energy from the sun travels through space arrives here quite successfully with no molecules, ie: no KE nor PE. When I think back to my school days (40 years ago now) this is where I recall black body radiation being discussed, and the Stephan Boltzmann equation. But as I said before, much of this is beyond me. Thanks for commenting.

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