Bet 208

Duration 10 years (02005-02015)

“The International Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report will conclude it is likely, or more than likely, that human-caused global warming has increased hurricane intensity in the 1995-2005 time period.”

Brian A Schmidt


Schmidt's Argument

The IPCC tracks and predicts the effects of anthropogenic global warming, and provides the best picture of the scientific consensus over the issue. The IPCC Third Assessment Report in 2001 already concluded that stronger global warming in the future is likely to make hurricanes more intense.

Global warming denialists fixate on the difficulty of proving a connection between our current, lower level of warming and hurricanes, despite gradually mounting evidence of the connection. Denialists are outraged when anyone suggests current storms are worsened by their pollution. This bet gives those denialists a chance to show they believe that future improvements in scientific understanding will ratify their position and their outrage.

The Fourth Assessment Report is due out in 2006-2007 timeframe, possibly too soon for a consensus on the current effect. My bet is that the consensus will be clear by the time that the Fifth Assessment Report is released, which should be well before 2016.

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