The Decadal Global Climate Bet

Just over two years ago, early 2011, a decadal global temperature bet was made.

At that time December 2010 marked the end of the last 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 that the result is statistically insignificant?

And so the warmists and the coolists are having a bet.  It has been 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 is agreed that it’s the best we’ve got. The average of the two will decide the bet!

The bet started out over at Pierre Gosselin’s site, No Tricks Zone.

So how is it going now that we are now almost a quarter of the way through the race?

Its a close race!  The light blue line shows that the average of Jan 2011 to April 2013 is a whisker cooler than Jan 2001 to April 2003.

(Update note, as at 31 May 2013 the running average is 0.06 deg C cooler)

(Update note, as at 30 June 2013 the running average is 0.051 deg C cooler)


(Note: when I updated the graph with May 2013 data I noticed there was an error with the running average calculation.  This has now been corrected) (Now updated with June 2013 data)

The graph is based on the average of satellite measurements collected and recorded by scientists at the UAH and RSS.  If you want to check the data for yourself, here are the links to the raw data; UAH data and RSS data.



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16 Responses to The Decadal Global Climate Bet

  1. P Gosselin says:

    Nothing more exciting than a close race!

  2. P Gosselin says:

    Robin, I think the chart needs to be adjusted. So far this decade we have 2011, 2012 and part of 2013. That means about 2.5 years are done. But the chart shows 3.25. Or maybe there’s something I’m reading incorrectly.

  3. Robin says:

    I scaled the X axis to represent the last digit of the year. It starts at 1.0, so there is 2.25 years is exactly 2.33 years between 1.0 and 3.25.

  4. There are a number of adjustments that scientific groups like NCDC have to make to the raw temperature data. For example, sometimes a temperature station will move, or the time of observation of the thermometer will change, or the type of temperature station will change. These changes can introduce biases into the instrumental record which are not representative of actual temperature changes, so they must be accounted for and removed in order to get an accurate measurement of actual surface temperature changes. For further details, see this post and Glenn Tamblyn’s excellent four-part series on the surface temperature record .

    • Anthony says:

      Thanks for the comment Cassandra. Your comment is valid in regard to the land based measurements; adjustments for heat island effect etc being needed. However I would just point out that the climate bet is based on the average of UAH and RSS satellite data, ie: independent of any land based measurements.

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  7. I would have to suggest that you’ve incorrectly set up the chart.

    The bet is saying that the AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE of 2011 to 2019 will be higher than the average global temperature of 2001 to 2009. (Based on an average of UAH and RSS.)

    You’ve set this up so you are merely comparing the running monthly average, which is more suggestive of the trend. Right now, all this chart is telling you is that since the start of 2011 the trend is slightly lower than the previous decade.

    Here is how the bet is stated on the NTZ site:

    “If the decade of 2011 – 2020 is cooler or the same on AVERAGE GLOBALLY than the decade of 2001 – 2010, then warmist Rob Honeycutt and warmist betters will have to pay to charity the total amount that gets pledged by NTZ and readers betting on a cooler decade.

    If the AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE for the decade 2011 – 2020 is warmer than the average of 2001 – 2010, then NTZ and coolist readers will have to pay everything they pledged to the charity.” [My emphasis.]

    If you want a running monthly average that more accurately reflects the bet you’d need to raise the starting point of the “2011…” up to the average of the 2001-2010 data, rather than the start point of the 2001-1010 data.

  8. Just to make things perfectly clear. We’re talking about the global average temperature for the DECADE. Similar to this chart:,_1880s-2000s_(NOAA).png

  9. Well. I’m going to have to take my comments back. I just calculated the decadal averages:

    2001-2010 0.264 0.187 0.226
    2011-pres 0.185 0.161 0.173

    I’m still going to win this one.

    • Anthony says:

      Hi Rob,
      Thanks for all three comments. I appreciate that you took a little time and offered your thoughts. 🙂
      Even though you sort of change your mind a little with your third comment; I will think about a better representation of progress of the bet through the decade. I’ll drop you a line when the next version is ready.

      I did know of course that its a decadal bet. The end point of my graph would be equivalent to the bar chart you linked.
      And yes, of course, you might still win this one.

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  12. Roscoe Shaw says:

    UAH temps As of Sept 2014….

    1/1/2001 to 9/30/2004 +0.155 deg
    1/1/2001 to 12/31/2010 +0.189 deg
    1/1/2011 to 9/30/2014 +0.195 deg

    This decade has been warmer by .040 deg or .006 deg depending on how you think of it. However, that’s close so there is a long ways to go. Basically, at this point, the difference is in the noise level.

    • Anthony says:

      Yes. It is still a close race. It could very easily go either way. I plan to update the graph in Jan 2015 (with data up to Dec 2014). Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  13. Pingback: The Decadal Global Climate Bet – Dec 2014 update, 4 years into the race | Kiwi Thinker

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