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Discussion > Predictive Successes of the Climate Community

When I studied economics back in the early 1980s, the subject was very concerned with adopting a scientific method. Milton Friedman, well before he became known for monetarism, wrote The Methodology of Positive Economics, that defined the mainstream approach to the subject for a generation. One of the main issues with economics is that highly abstract theories are used to understand a highly complex world. So how do we distinguish between those theories that say something meaningful about the world, and those that do not? One way Friedman proposed was to make bold predictions based on the theories. In his view, the greater the deviation from a straight-line extrapolation of trends, or from system noise, the better. Climate, like economics is tremendously complex, so I would suggest that one way to evaluate how plausible are claims of an emerging massive problem with climate is to look at the success of the short-term bold predictions. The expectation should not for them to be 100% correct, but over time to build up a series of successes. Here is the problem. I can only find predictive failures. For instance

- The rate of melting of the polar ice caps has not accelerated.
- The rate of sea level rise has not accelerated in the era of satellite measurements.
- Arctic sea ice did not disappear in the summer of 2013.
- Hurricanes did not get worse following Katrina. Instead there followed the quietest period on record.
- Snow has not become a thing of the past in England, nor in Germany.

In the interests of balance, I would like to know of predictive successes. It would be nice to just get ideas, with appropriate references, then evaluate later. Hopefully ATTP will be emailing round his friends and chip in with some ideas as well.

Apr 28, 2015 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

I suspect it would be easier to find their predictive successes in the world of PR, or political impact-making. If only they would share their schemings with the rest of us!

Apr 29, 2015 at 12:00 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

There is a great site, whose name I do not recall this moment, that catalogs the predictions of the cliamte consensus community.
The list is highly entertaining.
There is a post at WUWT about Scipps finally admitting that the climate consensus was wrong Arctic Ice, by the way.

Apr 29, 2015 at 3:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Vicky Pope (Met Office): By 2014 we're predicting that we'll be 0.3 degrees warmer than 2004. To put that into context the warming over the past century and a half has only been 0.7 degrees globally ....

Apr 29, 2015 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterrotationalfinestructure

here is the site I mentioned that catalogs and documents the long and growing list of failed climate predictions: .

Apr 29, 2015 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

The website is

I am still hoping someone can come up with a successful prediction.Even getting one right by chance?

Apr 29, 2015 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

I am still hoping someone can come up with a successful prediction.

Of course. The Met Office model predicted the (so-called) pause. This was revealed by a Met Office manager about three years ago on BH.

Note added: I see that I responded to what was presumably meant as a joke but came across (to me at least) as a bullshitting unwillingness to admit the reality of the total uselessness of GCMs.

Apr 30, 2015 at 8:42 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Here's an example of 50% prediction success rate.
Prediction Part 1 "Wawawah last chance blah blah .. in 5 years time the Artcic will have melted, the temp will be Y the sea level will be Z"
Prediction Part 2 "so we need to set up a program where the SUBSIDY from now to 20X0 will be Q"

and low and behold it often does turn out that Prediction Part 2 turns out to be right ..the gov does declare the SUBSIDY rate Q.
Then no one seems to pay much notice to Part 1 ..they just move onto more fantasy future predictions.

Apr 30, 2015 at 12:47 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Here's Andrew Bolt having fun with Tim Flannery's predictions -

May 4, 2015 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones