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Discussion > Predictions for 2016

Yes, ladies and ladies, it's that time of year again where I try to predict the future at least as well as a Met Office charlatan..... but first a quick review of last year:

1. I predict in 2015 that the idea that we've been needlessly scared by climate science will enter the public domain in some way. This may be by mainstream stand-up comedy taking a punt at the previously untouchable material, or by a generation of scientists feeling sufficiently distant in time from the original doom-mongering to feel they can point at it without being tainted by it, or by someone like Andrew Neil doing it politically. A bit woolly this one, but the idea that some part of public life or entertainment will start poking fun or pointing out that we've been needlessly scared, and the ideas of the excesses of alarm being a cry wolf, entering the public domain this year.

Fail. I don't remember what prompted this one (perhaps the Andrew Neil interview) but it's become clear to me that it's being dismantled in secret. There is not going to be any sort of admission, whether in light entertainment or otherwise. Like all the best hypocrisies, they are saying the right things in public, but backing it all out in private. The Paris agreement is almost a poster-child for this - it amounts to nothing yet hailed as progress. I think people may joke about it, in 20 years time, when it's safe.

2. I think that the Mann v Steyn case will be dropped on a technicality this year, and Mann will not stand in court. His credibility in science is plummeting, and eventually Mark Steyn will see that he's already won the war, without having to go into battle. Climate science has pretty much thrown Mann under the bus, where he belongs, it's almost not worth wasting time or money on this any more, and I think this is what will happen this year.

Fail. I suppose there is no deterring the stupid when they want to prove it to us.

3. I think that a new millennial temperature reconstruction will be released this year which will re-instate the MWP and the LIA. I have no idea of there is a study in progress doing this aiming for release this year, but for the sake of chronology sciences of all flavours, they need to reclaim their fledgling specialisms back from the charlatans before they go under with them. This is their last chance, the boat is holed below the waterline, do it this year.

Did the IPCC show a global LIA and MWP? I think they did.

4. I suppose being the year of the election, I have to give some sort of punt... my prediction is I think it will be a tiny conservative victory, but relying heavily on an unofficial coalition with some minority parties. I think this will be a tiny remnant of an obliterated LibDem party, a UKIP bloc of about 10 MPs, and the SNP who will be led by Alex Salmond and use the position to accelerate devolution. I predict this year will mark the maximum size of UKIP in parliament. Labour will be obliterated in Scotland, and Ed Miliband will leave after the election. I don't believe climate will feature heavily in the election, except in the roundabout notion of green energy taxes. Ed Davey WILL GO THIS YEAR.

The only one I was almost spot-on with. I did a post on this at the time so I won't crow again.

5. I predict rises in both Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice extent and volume this year. It's blooming cold today.

Fail. No change there, one was down(ish) the other up(ish)

Well, that was rubbish., and now it's made me a bit scared to make any predictions for this year. Part of the problem is that things seem to have slowed down a lot in the climate world, and a lot of what is going on with government policy is being done on the hush-hush. I suppose I need to make a stab, but I'll keep them terse.

1. The pause will continue to the end of 2016
2. Fracking will begin commercially by the end of the year
3. The EU Referendum will result in a tiny tiny yes to stay in
4. Corbyn will resign
5. Heathrow will not be decided on
6. Solar FITs will be reduced again

Boring. I'm not predicting any cataclysmic things for climate science or politicians.

Dec 21, 2015 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

The Met Office have aleady predicted that 2016 will be an Unprecedented hottest year evah!

This concludes the Met Office's function before 2016 has even started, so further defunding should start early in 2016

Dec 21, 2015 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Big Yin, I'm beginning to think that either there are two of you or that you are schizophrenic. In your accusations against warmists like me as being extreme and cowardly - when asked you cannot justify them at all. And now in your "The pause will continue to the end of 2016" when just days ago we were discussing a definitely non-pause shaped trend you produced at woodfortrees. Why not use a different nym depending on your personality of the day?

Dec 21, 2015 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

I'll add a few predictions:

1. People who call themselves skeptics will continue to claim that a "pause" in warming exists and continues however warm 2015 turns out to have been.
2. The UK will spend another $25bn to $50bn on oil and gas imports.
3. Another extreme storm and/or flood will occur and people who call themselves skeptics will fall over themselves to find reasons why climate change wasn't involved.
4. Matt "King Coal" Ridley will continue publishing articles that are riddled with half truths and errors and the Murdoch press and readers will love him for it.
5. The Big Yin will develop a third personality to add to "angry fake skeptic" and "reasonable lukewarmer". Maybe "holier than thou converted".
6. People who call themselves skeptics will continue to accuse scientists and scientific bodies of "lying" and will still be unable to identify what any normal person would call a lie.
7. Bankruptcies in the shale field in the US and in coal more widely.
8. Watt's latest paper will be rejected by various publishers and he and his acolytes will wail about censorship and pal review while not giving thought to the idea that the paper wont be very good.

That'll do for now...

Dec 22, 2015 at 1:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

By christmas 2016, Raff still won't have got his climate science homework done, blaming austerity cuts, and the attitudes of people who were right all along.

Following the EU referendum, David Cameron may either resign, having lost the confidence of his backbenchers, or bask in the affirmation of the EU, grateful they are not going to lose an easy source of money, and consider his resignation for 6 months or so to see which of his likely successors is least likely to trash his memoir writing time.

The cumulative cost of searching for Trenberth's missing heat will exceed the cost of building one nuclear power station per year, for every 100million people, still not enough to curb Green Blob insanity, but with the Green Blob going into melt down, it gives Kevin Trenberth something real to measure.

The Judge in Mann v Steyn realises how much money is being made by climate scientists, doubles his day rate, and agrees to every single delay tactic raised by Mann, believing the charade can be dragged out for another 5 years.

Sepp Blatter says he can fix global warming, having successfully fixed the World Cup. All it will cost is $10m per year in cash, but he needs extra large pockets in his suits first. His subtle backhanders and dodgy footwork keeps forensic accountants bedazzled, as he demonstrates that attacking other people is the best form of defence.

Meanwhile, the Unprecedented number of polar bears keeps growing, and threatens to capsize the biggest ever arctic sea ice cap. Greenpeace sends a research vessel up to investigate, and the polar bears all run away from the edge , frightened of being shot in the bum with a tranquiliser gun. For the first time in their history, Greenpeace actually avert an environmental catastrophe. Around the world 47 sweet little old ladies amend their Wills in favour of Greenpeace, provided they re-adopt the toy stuffed polar bears their great grand-daughters keep giving them at Christmas.

Dec 22, 2015 at 2:31 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Raff, that's why you enjoy coming here. The Yin Collective are happy to serve you.

Dec 22, 2015 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

To be a little more verbose

In your accusations against warmists like me as being extreme and cowardly - when asked you cannot justify them at all.

Not sure I understand this (the grammar is a bit odd) - which accusation of extremism and cowardice? I think alarmists are many things, but I know that very few of them are driven by such emotions.

And now in your "The pause will continue to the end of 2016" when just days ago we were discussing a definitely non-pause shaped trend you produced at woodfortrees

Ah you misunderstand. The trends from WFT were decadal. This doesn't mean the pause doesn't exist, only when you take averages over suitably long periods, the short pause disappears. Averaging removes detail. With such trickery, I can make the late 20th century upwards trend vanish too. Surely you get this?

Dec 22, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

1. The gap between the satellite and ground based temperature series will continue to grow. The hand waving will become increasingly frantic.

Dec 22, 2015 at 1:30 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones, it will be realised that if the Green Blob's best hand wavers, all stood in front of wind turbines on calm days, they would actually serve some useful purpose.

Dec 22, 2015 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

9. People who call themselves skeptics will continue to pretend that satellites measure temperatures and that satellite indices are not adjusted (see the letter from Richard Swanson to Lamar Smith here)

Dec 22, 2015 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Climate kooks will continue to deny that their predictions of climate doom have failed.
When pressed on the failed predictions, the kooks will frequently deny that they ever predicted doom in the first place.

Dec 22, 2015 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Big Yin, your accusation of cowardice (apparently directed at me, as I was the only warmist commenting) was here

On pauses and trends we discussed that a statistically valid method is needed to analyze a time series; just picking an arbitrary start date is not that. But this is OT for this thread.

Dec 22, 2015 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Back on the prediction front, here's mine

1. A film crew working on Climate Change in the Arctic will be attacked by one or more Polar Bears; this will be seen as evidence of Climate Change.
2. A cruise ship will become trapped in sea ice for 8 days, this will be seen as evidence of Climate Change.
3.A UK late heavy snow fall in spring 2016 will be seen as evidence of Climate Change.
4 A UK early snow fall in autumn 2016 will be seen as evidence of Climate Change
5 Severe storm Phil will be seen as evidence of Climate Change

I'm not sure about the name of the storm involved in those predictions

Dec 23, 2015 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS

A lady at Ascot losing her in a gust of wind, is a sure sign of climate change.

The drought of 1976 was not evidence of climate change, because there is no home video footage on YouTube, and it can be forgotten about, because there is no proof.

Dec 23, 2015 at 2:35 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Big Yin, your accusation of cowardice (apparently directed at me, as I was the only warmist commenting) was here

That was aimed at alarmism in general, not people who believe in AGW. You may choose to take that as a personal slight, I cannot control your emotions for you,.

Dec 23, 2015 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Golf Charlie
Could Leicester City being bottom of the Premier League Christmas 2014 and top Christmas 2015 be seen as evidence of Climate Change? Or just a nice change?

Dec 23, 2015 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Big Yin, I wasn't bothered by it (if I were of a sensitive nature I would never comment here). It didn't seem relevant to anything that had been written and you offered no explanation of its origin. I took it for one of your bipolar outbursts. As indeed I have to with the whole 'cowardice' theme - first you think warmists are cowards ("It's cowardice to attempt to retreat our technological advances in order to placate the unknowable climate gods."), then your don't ("I think alarmists are many things, but I know that very few of them are driven by such emotions") and now you do again ("That was aimed at alarmism in general"). Do develop a nervous tick or put on dark glasses or slur your speech and walk with a limp to accompany these mood changes?

Dec 23, 2015 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

I see you're well on your way to some sort of Untermensch categorisation, so good day.

Dec 23, 2015 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

9. People who call themselves skeptics will continue to pretend that satellites measure temperatures and that satellite indices are not adjusted (see the letter from Richard Swanson to Lamar Smith here
http://rabett.blogspot.fr/2015/12/uah-tlt-series-not-trustworthy.html )
Dec 22, 2015 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff, I have a tendency to regard anything presented by that the bloke who refers to himself in the third person* and pretends he's a rabbit as being a bit suspect. Would you care to say in a couple of lines what Richard Swanson was on about in his letter?

I had a quick look at it but could not make out what he was objecting to. The satellite measurements are obviously a weighted average over a range of altitudes but I'd like to understand in what sense you think they do not measure temperatures.


* Apparently a classic personality disorder symptom.

Dec 23, 2015 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Martin, thermometers measure temperature. MSUs and AMSUs measure microwaves. But you know that. A telescope can over time measure the spectrum from a distant star and that spectrum can (with suitable processing and, doubtless, adjustment) be used to estimate the temperature of the star. But the telescope and its electronics isn’t measuring temperature. In the same way the microwave readings can, through complicated (and according to Swanson, secret, although I don’t know whether that is true for RSS) processing, reveal an estimate of temperature. But the satellite is not itself measuring temperature except in a vague sense.

I don’t suppose that will satisfy you though so I’ll rephrase my no. 9:

9. People who call themselves skeptics will continue to pretend that satellites measure tropospheric temperatures and that satellite indices are not adjusted.

Swanson’s point was that the process of turning microwave measurements (what you no doubt want to call “temperatures”) into the tropospheric temp estimate is fraught with difficulty.

As for rabbits and the third person, I consider it artistic license and find it entertaining.

Dec 24, 2015 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Predicting is a bit of a mugs game, as sometimes reality is just a bit weird.
Would it not reasonable to say that 2016 will on average be colder than the 2015 El Nino year ?
- However in official bodies the idea of being open and truthful seems overpowered by the drive to stay "on message"

"the idea that we've been needlessly scared by climate science .. may" enter "mainstream stand-up comedy"
#1 Well, A BBC Radio 4 HUMOUR programme did indeed tackle the subject for a few minutes of it's 30 minute slot..but then it was banned.
#2 Who can forget Nuttilly Bennets car crash interviews
with Andrew Neil ..more

Then that hilarious standup act has been touring ..you know the one where the bloke wears a big long dress ?

...What's he called ? ...Ah yes the Pope.

Dec 24, 2015 at 4:37 AM | Unregistered Commenterstewgreen

Martin, thermometers measure temperature. (...) But the satellite is not itself measuring temperature except in a vague sense.
Dec 24, 2015 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Thank for that. I understand better what you had in mind.

But I'm not sure I see things like that. So far as I can see, *any* method for measuring temperature depends on actually measuring some physical effect which itself depends on temperature, rather than measuring temperature itself.

(How could you measure it *directly*? Beats me. BYIJ? Even defining what it is is not dead simple)


An ordinary thermometer actually measures the expansion of a liquid rather than 'temperature itself.
Some electronic thermometers measure the voltage generated across a junction of dissimilar metals, which is a function of temperature, rather than temperature itself.

Satellites measures the intensity of microwave emission from oxygen which (I read - not sure I believe it) is proportional to temperature. It's always been known that it's a weighted average over a range of altitudes. I can see that some people might even think that that was an advantage.

Dec 24, 2015 at 10:26 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

TheBigYinJames

I continue to have difficulty with the "pause".

Examine the GISTEMP data from 1970 to the present. I have added 1970-2015 and 1998-2015 linear trends, with their confidence limits.

If you compare the linear trend from 1970 and the linear trend from 1998 you see that the latter is flatter, but well within the 95% confidence limits of the data.

I find it difficult to convince myself of the existance of a pause on the basis of this data. Any claim of an ongoing pause seems even less credible.

Dec 24, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM, call it the decelaration, or the flattening, if pause offends your sensibilities. Whichever way you look at it, the trend has decreased over the last 20 years, and the increasingly desperate attempts to pretend it doesn't exist at all is PR for the useful idiots to say to lay people who ask about it. The entire industry of constructing lists of popular rebuttals to be cited at the sign of any unrest in the sheeple reminds me more of religion than science.

Dec 24, 2015 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

TheBigYinJames

I do some elementary data analysis and you respond with a diatribe. 😕

I had hoped for a proper critique of my own analysis, not an irrational rant. Particularly I would like to know why you see a significant change in trend where I can only see noise.

Dec 24, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man