Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Statistical Forecasting: How Fast Will Future Warming Be?

Planet Is Not Overheating, Says UK Statistician

A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation explains how statistical forecasting methods can provide an important contrast to climate model-based predictions of future global warming. The repeated failures of economic models to generate accurate predictions has taught many economists a healthy scepticism about the ability of their own models, regardless of how complex, to provide reliable forecasts. Statistical forecasting has proven in many cases to be a superior alternative. Like the economy, the climate is a deeply complex system that defies simple representation. Climate modelling thus faces similar problems. --Global Warming Policy Foundation, 23 February 2016

The global average temperature is likely to remain unchanged by the end of the century, contrary to predictions by climate scientists that it could rise by more than 4C, according to a leading statistician. British winters will be slightly warmer but there will be no change in summer, Terence Mills, Professor of Applied Statistics at Loughborough University, said in a paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. He found that the average temperature had fluctuated over the past 160 years, with long periods of cooling after decades of warming. Dr Mills said scientists who argued that global warming was an acute risk to the planet tended to focus on the period from 1975-98, when the temperature rose by about 0.5C. He said that his analysis, unlike computer models used by the IPCC to forecast climate change, did not include assumptions about the rate of warming caused by rising emissions. “It’s extremely difficult to isolate a relationship between temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions,” he said. --Ben Webster,
The Times, 23 February 2016

In this insightful essay, Terence Mills explains how statistical time series forecasting methods can be applied to climatic processes. The question has direct bearing on policy issues since it provides an independent check on the climate model projections that underpin calculations of the long term social costs of greenhouse gas emissions. In this regard, his conclusion that statistical forecasting methods do not corroborate the upward trends seen in climate model projections is highly important and needs to be taken into consideration. As one of the leading contributors to the academic literature on this subject, Professor Mills writes with great authority, yet he is able to make the technical material accessible to a wide audience. -- Professor Ross McKitrick, Global Warming Policy Foundation, February 2016

The framework illustrates that unreliable climate simulations are prone to overestimate the attributable risk to climate change. Climate model ensembles tend to be overconfident in their representation of the climate variability which leads to systematic increase in the attributable risk to an extreme event. --Omar Bellprat and Francisco Doblas-Reyes, Geophysical Research Letters, 19 February 2016

The thesis caused headlines around the world: The war in Syria has been caused mainly by anthropogenic climate change, news media and politicians proclaimed. They rely on climate scientists who have published similar studies. German researchers have now published a joint statement in which they contradict the thesis. “The frequently advocated causality between drought, migration and the outbreak of conflict in Syria is simplistic and untenable,” says the German Climate Consortium, a coalition of numerous research institutes. --Alex Bojanowski,
Der Spiegel, 15 February 2016

Thankfully for the Zimbabwean dictator, there are plenty of gullible Westerners willing to believe that the frighteningly vile, comically incompetent government isn’t at the root of Zimbabwe’s food shortages, but that global warming is to blame. Of course, this is pure nonsense. Botswana and Zimbabwe share a border and their climate and natural resources are exceptionally similar. Yet, since 2004, food production has increased by 29 percent in Botswana, while declining by 9 percent in Zimbabwe. It is not drought but government policies that make nations starve! --Marian L. Tupy, Foundation for Economic Education, 18 February 2016
Brought to you by Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Forum


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