I’ve written (repeatedly) that the “projections” in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report are pseudoscientific nonsense. I haven’t seen the Fourth Assessment Report, but I’m so confident (or would that be depressed?) that they will be nonsense too, that I propose a better way.
The fundamental problem is that the IPCC has no incentive to tell the truth in its projections. But they do have an incentive to lie...to exaggerate the amount of warming that’s likely to occur. So that’s what they do...they lie. I propose the following solution:
The U.S. government should set up a prize fund totaling $400 million, payable in 2031. The prize fund would be open to any U.S. university with accredited science or engineering programs. The fund would be awarded as $200 million for first place, $100 million for second, $50 million for third, $25 million for fourth, $12 million for fifth, $6 million for sixth, $3 million for seventh…and $1 million until we run out of money.
Prizes would be awarded for most closely predicting the following parameters:
1) globally averaged surface temperature anomaly for 2029-2031, relative to 1990;
2) globally averaged lower tropospheric temperature anomaly for 2029-2031, relative to 1990;
3) Atlantic hurricane basin sea surface temperature anomaly for 2029-2031, relative to 1990;
4) average insured U.S. hurricane losses for 2029-2031,
5) global sea level rise for 2029-2031, relative to 1990;
6) CO2 atmospheric concentration;
7) anthropogenic (industrial) CO2 emissions;
8) methane atmospheric concentration,
9) anthropogenic methane emissions,
10) anthropogenic black carbon emissions,
The ten parameters listed above would be weighted such that the first 5 parameters are twice as important as the bottom 5. Let’s say 100 universities enter the contest, with #1 given to the best prediction for each parameter, and #100 given to the worst prediction for each parameter.
Let’s take hypothetical University X (not Xavier!).: Suppose its rankings on the first 5 predictions are: #3, #4, #10, #20, #60. Since all those are multiplied by 2, its score would be: (3+4+10+20+60)*2 = 194. Suppose its rankings for the bottom 5 predictions are #20, #6, #70, #10, #8. Its score on the second 5 would be 114. So the total score would be 194 + 114 = 308. The university with the LOWEST score would get the $200 million first prize, the university with the next lowest score would get $100 million, and so on.
For a total investment of $400 million, the U.S. government would get far better predictions than it currently gets from the IPCC. (In fact, it’s not possible to get poorer predictions than from the IPCC…but that’s another story.)
In fact, Exxon-Mobil (to choose just one company at random ;-)) could get a similarly good deal by offering a prize fund of only $4 million (i.e. the proposed U.S. government prize to universities, divided by 100). But this would be payable to INDIVIDUALS (or their heirs). Exxon could restrict the prize fund to 100 scientists of its choosing. The top prize of $2 million in 2031 would certainly be enough incentive to make truthful predictions!