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23/02/16

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
 
 
 
1) Planet Is Not Overheating, Says UK Statistician
The Times, 23 February 2016
 
2) Statistical Forecasting: How Fast Will Future Warming Be?
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 23 February 2016
 
3) Foreword By Professor Ross McKitrick
Global Warming Policy Foundation, February 2016
 
4) New Paper: Unreliable Climate Simulations Overestimate Attributable Risk Of Extreme Weather And Climate Events
Geophysical Research Letters, 19 February 2016
 
5) German Scientists Contradict Claim That Climate Change Triggered Syria’s Civil War
Der Spiegel, 15 February 2016
 
6) UN Green Climate Fund Is A Slush Fund For Dictators
Foundation for Economic Education, 18 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
 
 
 
 
1) Planet Is Not Overheating, Says UK Statistician
The Times, 23 February 2016
 
Ben Webster
 
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 used simple statistical methods, normally used to predict economic trends, to forecast future temperatures. He took into account all the fluctuations in the temperature since 1850 and found no evidence to support the increase predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN scientific body.
 
He found the average winter temperature in central England, which has the world’s longest temperature records going back to 1659, had increased by about 1C over 350 years. Based on that change, he forecast an additional increase of about 0.25C by 2100.
 
He said the average temperature would continue to be “buffeted about by big shocks” caused by natural events, such as the El Niño weather phenomenon.
 
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.
 
Full story
 
 
 
 
 
2) Statistical Forecasting: How Fast Will Future Warming Be?
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 23 February 2016
 
London, 23 February -- 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.
 
In this new paper, Dr Terence Mills, Professor of Applied Statistics and Econometrics at Loughborough University, explains how statistical time-series forecasting methods are being applied to climatic processes. 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.
 
The topic 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.
 
Full paper (pdf)
 

 
 
3) Foreword By Professor Ross McKitrick
Global Warming Policy Foundation, February 2016
 
Economists have put a lot of effort over the years into devising and running elaborate modeling systems to generate forecasts of macroeconomic indicators, financial markets, resource prices, and other key economic quantities. But the repeated failures of such models to generate accurate predictions has taught the profession a healthy skepticism about the ability of large structural models, regardless of how complex, to provide reliable forecasts. A particularly acute challenge arose when relative simple statistical time series methods began yielding better forecasts than massive system simulation models.
 
It is difficult not to wonder whether a parallel with modern climatology will arise. Like the economy, the climate is a deeply complex system that defies simple representation. Giant computer modeling systems have been developed to try and simulate its dynamics, but their reliability as forecasting tools is proving to be very weak. The problem is that many important policy decisions are based on climate model projections of the future, on the assumption that they can be treated as forecasts. If they are not valid for this purpose, we need to know whether there are alternative methods that are.
 
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. While the details may seem quite mathematical and abstract, the question addressed in this report is of great practical importance not only for improving the science of climate forecasting, but also for the development of sound long term climate policy.
 
Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics, University of Guelph
and
Research Chair in Energy, Ecology and Prosperity,
Frontier Centre for Public Policy
 
Full paper
 
 
 
 
4) New Paper: Unreliable Climate Simulations Overestimate Attributable Risk Of Extreme Weather And Climate Events
Geophysical Research Letters, 19 February 2016
 
Omar Bellprat and Francisco Doblas-Reyes 

 
Abstract
Event attribution aims to estimate the role of an external driver after the occurrence of an extreme weather and climate event by comparing the probability that the event occurs in two counterfactual worlds. These probabilities are typically computed using ensembles of climate simulations whose simulated probabilities are known to be imperfect. The implications of using imperfect models in this context are largely unknown, limited by the number of observed extreme events in the past to conduct a robust evaluation. Using an idealized framework, this model limitation is studied by generating large number of simulations with variable reliability in simulated probability. 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. Our results suggest that event attribution approaches comprising of a single climate model would benefit from ensemble calibration in order to account for model inadequacies similarly as operational forecasting systems.
 
Full paper
 
 
 
5) German Scientists Contradict Claim That Climate Change Triggered Syria’s Civil War
Der Spiegel, 15 February 2016
 
Alex Bojanowski
 
A number of scientists and politicians claim that climate change and drought contributed significantly to the outbreak of civil war in Syria. Now a group of German researchers has issued a statement, contradicting these claims.



 
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. […]
 
According to computer models a stronger greenhouse effect could push the subtropical dry zone further to the north, in such a way that Syria would receive less rainfall. Some researchers believe that this has actually happened – and that climate change therefore initiated the drought in Syria.
 
The result, it is claimed, was hunger, displacement and economic hardship. This in turn provoked riots and triggered the 2011 civil war which until now has killed more than 200,000 people.
 
The German Climate Consortium, however, states that the argument is far too simplistic: Many people had indeed fled during the drought, mostly within the country, confirmed Christiane Fröhlich of the University of Hamburg. “But neither was the drought the sole trigger of migration, nor were these alleged climate migrants the people who initiated the protests in Syria.”
 
Full story
 
 
 
 
6) UN Green Climate Fund Is A Slush Fund For Dictators
Foundation for Economic Education, 18 February 2016
 
Marian L. Tupy
 
It is not drought but government policies that make nations starve



 
Wherever you stand on the subject of global warming, pay close attention to one under-reported aspect of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Paris Agreement. I am referring to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is a financial mechanism intended “to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.”
 
According to the current estimates, developed countries will be obliged to contribute up to $450 billion a year by 2020 to the GCF, which will then “redistribute” the money to developing countries allegedly suffering from the effects of global warming.
 
Lo and behold, Zimbabwe’s government-run daily “newspaper” The Herald reported that “Southern Africa is already counting the costs of climate change-linked catastrophes… In Zimbabwe, which has seen a succession of droughts since 2012, a fifth of the population is facing hunger… Feeding them will cost $1.5 billion or 11 percent of … the Gross Domestic Product.”
 
No doubt Robert Mugabe, the 91-year-old dictator who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, is salivating at the prospect of some global warming cash. Beginning in 2000, Mugabe started to expropriate privately-held agricultural land. The result of what is euphemistically called “land reform” was a monumental fall in productivity and the second highest bout of hyperinflation in recorded history.
 


 
 
Some three million of Zimbabwe’s smartest people, including tens of thousands of doctors and lawyers, have left the country. Most of those who have remained behind are subsistence farmers with very little wealth. There is, in other words, very little loot left for the government to steal.


 
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!
 
Full post
 
 
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