Global Cooling?

Discussion in 'The Environment' started by iamwhatiam, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. iamwhatiam

    iamwhatiam Banned

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    my grandfather em'd me this article the other day:
    what do you think?
    Climate change sceptics bet $10,000 on cooler world

    Russian pair challenge UK expert over global warming

    David Adam, science correspondent
    Friday August 19, 2005
    The Guardian

    Two climate change sceptics, who believe the dangers of global warming
    are overstated, have put their money where their mouth is and bet
    $10,000 that the planet will cool over the next decade.

    The Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev
    have agreed the wager with a British climate expert, James Annan.

    The pair, based in Irkutsk, at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial
    Physics, believe that global temperatures are driven more by changes in the
    sun's activity than by the emission of greenhouse gases. They say the
    Earth warms and cools in response to changes in the number and size of
    sunspots. Most mainstream scientists dismiss the idea, but as the sun is
    expected to enter a less active phase over the next few decades the
    Russian duo are confident they will see a drop in global temperatures.

    Dr Annan, who works on the Japanese Earth Simulator supercomputer, in
    Yokohama, said: "There isn't much money in climate science and I'm still
    looking for that gold watch at retirement. A pay-off would be a nice
    top-up to my pension."

    To decide who wins the bet, the scientists have agreed to compare the
    average global surface temperature recorded by a US climate centre
    between 1998 and 2003, with temperatures they will record between 2012 and

    If the temperature drops Dr Annan will stump up the $10,000 (now
    equivalent to about £5,800) in 2018. If the Earth continues to warm, the
    money will go the other way.

    The bet is the latest in an increasingly popular field of scientific
    wagers, and comes after a string of climate change sceptics have refused
    challenges to back their controversial ideas with cash.

    Dr Annan first challenged Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist at the
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is dubious about the extent of
    human activity influencing the climate. Professor Lindzen had been willing
    to bet that global temperatures would drop over the next 20 years.

    No bet was agreed on that; Dr Annan said Prof Lindzen wanted odds of
    50-1 against falling temperatures, so would win $10,000 if the Earth
    cooled but pay out only £200 if it warmed. Seven other prominent climate
    change sceptics also failed to agree betting terms.

    In May, during BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the environmental
    activist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot challenged Myron Ebell, a
    climate sceptic at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in Washington DC,
    to a £5,000 bet. Mr Ebell declined, saying he had four children to put
    through university and did not want to take risks.

    Most climate change sceptics dispute the findings of the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which suggest that human activity will
    drive global temperatures up by between 1.4C and 5.8C by the end of the

    Others, such as the Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg, argue that,
    although global warming is real, there is little we can do to prevent it and
    that we would be better off trying to adapt to living in an altered

    Dr Annan said bets like the one he made with the Russian sceptics are
    one way to confront the ideas. He also suggests setting up a
    financial-style futures market to allow those with critical stakes in the outcome
    of climate change to gamble on predictions and hedge against future

    "Betting on sea level rise would have a very real relevance to Pacific
    islanders," he said. "By betting on rapid sea-level rise, they would
    either be able to stay in their homes at the cost of losing the bet if
    sea level rise was slow, or would win the bet and have money to pay for
    sea defences or relocation if sea level rise was rapid."

    Similar agricultural commodity markets already allow farmers to hedge
    against bad weather that ruins harvests.

    Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
  2. Baghdaddy

    Baghdaddy Banned

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    The Russians will almost certainly lose that bet. I hope they're wealthy...

    There is a very interesting website that allows people to bet on various scientific/social subjects. Check out

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