Monday, August 19, 2013

They predicted 2030 was going to come and it hasn't yet! sez Anthony Watts

Sou | 7:38 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts is gloating.  The scientists are all wrong.  They said 2030 would happen and it still hasn't arrived.  That proves that AGW isn't happening!

To be fair to scientists, I don't think any scientist actually said that 2030 would arrive before 2013.  Not one of them predicted that 2030 would arrive any time before 2029.  Or at least not that I can find.  Not a single one of them, I'll be willing to bet, thinks 2030 will arrive even one day before 31 December 2029.  Still, the fact that 2030 hasn't arrived yet despite the scientists' predictions that 2030 was on the cards to happen some time this century proves that climate science is a hoax, surely!

The background to the startling news that 2030 hasn't happened yet!

Today Anthony Watts posted an update to his Sea Ice News.  He is positively gloating that the most extreme predictions about Arctic summer ice decline haven't (yet) come to pass.  He dug out a BBC article from 2007, and  pronounced that a prediction of Arctic Ice made by Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval PostGraduate School in Monterey, that the Arctic might be free of ice this year (2013) isn't likely.  I'd say he's right about that.

When Nick Stokes points out that in 2011 Professor Wieslaw revised his prediction.  Anthony replies:
REPLY: Right, moving of the goalposts, a typical tactic. Now it’s a vague “end of the decade” while others are saying 2030, 2040, 2050, etc. The point here is that none of these self proclaimed expert prognosticators has a clue. – Anthony
So Nick comes back and says the scientists aren't claiming to prognosticate:
August 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm I think they are just saying they are not in a position to expertly prognosticate. Here’s what Walt Meier said: "[Maslowski's] is quite a good model, one thing it has is really high resolution, it can capture details that are lost in global climate models,” he said. “But 2019 is only eight years away; there’s been modelling showing that [likely dates are around] 2040/50, and I’d still lean towards that. “I’d be very surprised if it’s 2013 – I wouldn’t be totally surprised if it’s 2019."
Doesn’t sound like a claim to prognostication.

Defending the indefensible - 2030 still hasn't come despite the prediction that it will

Anthony decides to proclaim that scientists don't know nuffin' and says he's going to go to sleep now.  He quotes from a NASA press release, in which Dr Serreze suggest that the Arctic might be free of ice in summer by 2030 and complains that it hasn't happened yet :
REPLY: Ah Racehorse Stokes, defender of the indefensible, purveyor of FUD. Nobody knows, nobody has a good handle on it, and even with the “good models” that purport to prognosticate what Earth’s complex systems will do, they are still reduced to guessing. 2012 2013? 2019? 2030?
We may well see an ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer within our lifetimes. The scientists agree that this could occur by 2030. Serreze concluded, “The implications for global climate, as well as Arctic animals and people, are disturbing.
Wake me up when something one of these guys predicts comes true. Not one of these alarming media tailored claims of disappearance of Arctic sea ice has come true yet. – Anthony
That's true.  Most of these "alarming media tailored claims" have been projecting the summer ice will disappear by 2050, or maybe 2030 and that hasn't "come true yet".  Anthony is just so impatient!

Do you think that means he is going to shut down WUWT and go to sleep until 2030?  No?

Indefensible WUWT - doesn't have a clue

Speaking of indefensible, here are some of the nutty ideas that Anthony Watts promotes.  What do you reckon is more defensible?  A prognostication that the Arctic will be "virtually ice free summer" in ten, twenty or thirty years from now?  Or that we're heading into an ice age?

July 15 2013: Newsbytes: Sun’s Bizarre Activity May Trigger Another Little Ice Age (Or Not)
Anthony Watts promotes Benny Peiser's notion that we're heading for an ice age

June 17 2013: Russian Scientists say period of global cooling ahead due to changes in the sun
Anthony Watts promotes a spin misattributed to the Pulkovo Observatory that we're heading for an ice age.

December 29 2008: Don Easterbrook’s AGU paper on potential global cooling
Anthony Watts writes: Don sent me his AGU paper for publication and discussion here on WUWT, and I’m happy to oblige – Anthony  Here is what Denier Don predicted back in 2008:

In 1998 when I first predicted a 30-year cooling trend during the first part of this century, I used a very conservative estimate for the depth of cooling, i.e., the 30-years of global cooling that we experienced from ~1945 to 1977. However, also likely are several other possibilities (1) the much deeper cooling that occurred during the 1880 to ~1915 cool period, (2) the still deeper cooling that took place from about 1790 to 1820 during the Dalton sunspot minimum, and (3) the drastic cooling that occurred from 1650 to 1700 during the Maunder sunspot minimum.
The sun’s recent behavior suggests we are likely heading for a deeper global cooling than the 1945-1977 cool period and ought to be looking ahead to cope with it.
Here is Don's prognostication of a "deeper cooling".

Here is the same prediction using GISTemp:

Data Sources: NASA and WUWT

And what about Anthony promoting David Archibald's prognostications?  Here is what David Archibald prognosticates:

If you think Don Easterbrook and David Archibald make crazy predictions, how about this next one.  It is from someone whose opinions Anthony Watts promotes on his blog.  Pierre Gosselin predicted this in 2008 in a comment on WUWT:

There are many more where that came from.  Here are a heap from WUWT in 2008, a year after the 2007 prediction that Anthony is scoffing at.

When will 2030 arrive?  Are we there yet?  

And Anthony thinks the scientists "don't have a clue"!  At least the scientists are going with the flow when it comes to Arctic sea ice.  Unlike the science deniers at WUWT, mainstream scientists are not predicting a sudden plunge into an ice age. Take a look at the minimum Arctic sea ice volume decline over recent decades and speculate yourself which summer will be the first with virtually no sea ice:

Data Source: PIOMAS

You can place your bets here now - no money to change hands though, sorry.  I don't have a betting license.


  1. "Wake me up when something one of these guys predicts comes true. – Anthony"

    Here it comes - Anthony Watts will make another stupid, hypocritical and ignorant statement before 20 August 2013.

    Now sit back and listen to that alarm going off.

    1. Yep. I won't bet against you, Catmando.

      Here are some predictions that have come true. Scientists predicted decades ago that the extra CO2 would warm the earth, and it has. Scientists predicted that rain would get heavier and it has. Scientists predicted that heat waves would get hotter and they have. Scientists predicted that the earth's ice sheets and glaciers would melt and they are. Scientists predicted that the Arctic sea ice would decrease and it has - faster than most scientists predicted, it's true.

      What have Anthony's science deniers predicted? Science deniers predicted years ago that earth would enter another ice age, and there's not the slightest teeniest tiniest sign that will happen any time in the next few millenia.

  2. You can be sure the ACC deniers over at WUWT have already forgotten (or never knew/cared since Anthony doesn't understand baselines) that NSIDC changed their sea ice extent baseline period very recently:


    Just on 1st July, from 1979 - 2000 to 1981 - 2010. Without that change, even this semi-unremarkable sea ice extent year would already be under the 2 standard deviations mark!


    1. But the standard deviation is computed for the entire time series, and not just the baseline period, so that shouldn't matter.

    2. Correction: the standard deviation is for the baseline period.

      I find that a bit weird.

    3. Yeah, it is a bit weird, but it's the way they roll. And my hunch was right. I used the Wayback Machine to get the daily sea ice extent exactly a year ago, when they were still using the 1979 - 2000 baseline:

      NSIDC daily Arctic sea ice extent on 2012-08-17

      You can see that at this exact time of year last year with the old baseline, the -2SD mark was ~6.7Mkm^2. Now compare it to yesterday:

      NSIDC daily Arctic sea ice extent on 2013-08-18

      Yesterday's value of ~6.0Mkm^2 is well below the old -2SD mark of 6.7Mkm^2 for this time of year :-(

      Those WUWT folk just *love* them newer baselines, the newer the better! It makes those anomalies (or in this case, deviations from the norm) look smaller, and from an ACC denier POV, that's all that matters :-)


  3. "REPLY: Right, moving of the goalposts, a typical tactic."
    Maslowski's 2007 prediction (using data to 2004) was remarkable in that it was the first to anticipate the rapid decline seen between 2005 and 2012, coming at a time when others were talking about possible ice free conditions in 2080 or later. Subsequently, he updated the model to include data to 2009, and stretched the period to 2016 +/- 3 years.

    To quote John Maynard Keynes: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

    Despite a rise this year, Maslowski's updated model is still proving the most accurate of all long range forecasts. This model forecast about 4500 km^3 for Sep 2012 (actually a smidge over 3000 km^3), and around 3000 km^3 for Sep 2013 (will probably come in at around 4500 km^3). So volume is still tracking either side of his linear forecast, and is still very much in play.

    Its also worth noting that in early 2011, Maslowski explained to Joe Romm that by "ice free" he meant an 80% loss of volume (or around 4000 km^3). Since we got lower than that in 2012, it would indicate that Maslowski's revised model was four years too conservative. Indeed, if that 4000 km^3 threshold was implied in his earlier forecast, he got it pretty much bang on.



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