Think-Tank Says Trained Chimp Can Predict Hurricanes Better Than NOAA… And Puts it to the Test

Chimp Predicts 6-8 Atlantic Hurricanes in 2010

Via press release: Washington, DC: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s track record in predicting the number of Atlantic hurricanes is so abysmal that a trained chimp could do better, says The National Center for Public Policy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

The group is putting this claim to the test, issuing a 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast today determined by a chimpanzee, “Dr. James Hansimian.”

Video links follow.

A video of Dr. Hansimian and his methodology can be found at www.nationalcenter.org/HurricaneForecast.html or http://tw0.us/DNm.

or watch it below:

The forecast is being issued in advance of NOAA’s May “Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook,” expected to be released next week.

“NOAA’s May outlooks have been wrong three out of the last four years – or 75% of the time,” said David Ridenour, vice president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. “We think our chimp can do better. He hasn’t been wrong so far. Of course, this is his very first hurricane season forecast.”

The video isn’t intended to needle NOAA for its erroneous forecasts, but to make a larger point about our current understanding of climate.

“NOAA’s forecasts have been wrong not because of a lack of dedication or competence of its forecast team, but because climate science is really still its infancy,” said Amy Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. “We should remember this as we consider whether to adopt economically-ruinous caps on energy. If we can’t rely on 6-month forecasts, how can rely on forecasts of what rising carbon concentrations will do to our climate 25, 50 or even 100 years out?”

The National Center for Public Policy Research is also issuing a challenge to NOAA.

“If, at the end of the hurricane season, Dr. Hansimian’s forecast turns out to be more accurate than NOAA’s, we challenge the agency to make him an honorary member of NOAA’s hurricane specialists unit,” said David Ridenour. “In return, if NOAA’s forecast is more accurate, we’ll include a prominently-displayed mea culpa on our website.”

Dr. James Hansimian, says the video, is “author of the book, ‘The Banana Curve: No Tricks Needed,’ published by East Anglia University Press.” The video was filmed on location in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 24, 2010 – before the latest predictions by either Colorado State University’s forecast team, which is led by Phil Klotzbach, or the forthcoming predictions expected from NOAA.

Dr. Hansimian is played by Kenzie, who starred “Chim Chim” in the 2008 Warner Brother release “Speed Racer,” appearing with actors John Goodman, Emile Hirsch and Susan Sarandon. Kenzie also had a guest spot on the VH1 reality show, “Hogan Knows Best,” starring Hulk Hogan.

A second video will be released on December 1, at the conclusion of the hurricane season, with Dr. Hansimian’s reaction to the performance of his forecast against the NOAA forecast.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit – somewhat less stodgy and more irreverent – free market foundation based in Washington, D.C. It is a truly independent organization, receiving 98% of its funding from individuals through hundreds of thousands of donations. No individual, foundation, or company provides the organization with more than a fraction of one percent of its annual revenue.

Permission to use video on-air or online is granted so long as appropriate attribution to the National Center for Public Policy Research is included and the National Center is informed of its use. Please use the telephone, fax or email contact information at the top for all inquiries.

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Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or e-mail dalmasi@nationalcenter.org or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or jkent@nationalcenter.org
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54 thoughts on “Think-Tank Says Trained Chimp Can Predict Hurricanes Better Than NOAA… And Puts it to the Test

  1. If there were any comments here that have been deleted I apologize. It is probably my fault and it was an accident.

  2. Maybe we could get the trained chimp to do your job too, Charles. 😉
    .
    [He’s already got me, and I get paid less than a chimp. ~dbs]

  3. Hadley was wrong 9 out of the last 10 years. They predicted hotter than actual.
    Now with the new Super dooper computer they can calculate faster and be wrong sooner.
    Should we reject the computer models devised by scientists that are wrong almost all the time?

  4. Let’s look at how NOAA’s forecasts have done. You can find the forecasts are conveniently in tables on the wiki pages representing each Atlantic Hurricane Season. I’ll show May, since the “forecast” done in August is rather disingenuous since the season can be well underway by that point. Actual numbers are in parentheses.
    Named Storms
    2009 9-14 (9) barely right
    2008 12-16 (16) barely right
    2007 13-17 (15) Spot on
    2006 13-16 (10) FLAT WRONG
    2005 12-15 (28) FLAT WRONG
    2004 12-15 (15) barely right
    2003 11-15 (16) WRONG
    2002 9-13 (12) fair
    In my view, it looks as though most of NOAA’s forecasts were fairly decent. The last 8 seasons have seen only three in which the number of named storms was outside of the predicted range. Two thousand five was especially bad, probably because nobody expected such an active season historically-because your technology is allowing us to detect them better.
    But how about their predictions for just hurricanes?
    2009 4-7 (3) wrong
    2008 6-9 (8) fair
    2007 7-10 (6) wrong
    2006 8-10 (5) FLAT WRONG
    2005 7-9 (15) FLAT WRONG
    2004 6-8 (9) wrong
    2003 6-9 (7) fair
    2002 6-8 (4) WRONG
    Interestingly, here their performance looks much worse. Only TWICE in the last 8 seasons has the actual number of hurricanes fallen within the range of predictions by NOAA in May.
    So, how we judge NOAA’s performance depends on what exactly we look at to test their forecasts. They are very bad at predicting the number of hurricanes, but do better with named storms. What will this group chose to test their predictions with?

  5. Found in: sleeper on May 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    [He’s already got me, and I get paid less than a chimp. ~dbs]

    The chimp gets bananas but you get raspberries?

  6. Get that Chimp a generous grant! He is making robust models. He definitely need to study this further.

  7. I’m a hurricane researcher, and while I agree that hurricane forecasts are not great, this monkey stunt is a little ridiculous. The hurricane forecasts are effectively just applications to the upcoming hurricane season of historical statistical correlations between a few pre-season indicators, most notably ENSO indices, and historical hurricane activity. The correlations explain only limited amounts of the variance, but over many years they should predict with decent accuracy active vs. inactive seasons. However, for any given year of course a monkey could do better, in the same way that a monkey could guess any future quantity and beat a trained forecast once (or twice etc., with decreasing probability) regardless of how accurate the forecast actually is. Moreover, to use this stunt to mock climate science is inapproriate.

  8. timetochooseagain says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm
    Let’s look at how NOAA’s forecasts have done. You can find the forecasts are conveniently in tables on the wiki pages representing each Atlantic Hurricane Season. I’ll show May, since the “forecast” done in August is rather disingenuous since the season can be well underway by that point. Actual numbers are in parentheses.
    Named Storms
    2009 9-14 (9) barely right
    2008 12-16 (16) barely right
    2007 13-17 (15) Spot on
    2006 13-16 (10) FLAT WRONG
    2005 12-15 (28) FLAT WRONG
    2004 12-15 (15) barely right
    2003 11-15 (16) WRONG
    2002 9-13 (12) fair
    In my view, it looks as though most of NOAA’s forecasts were fairly decent. The last 8 seasons have seen only three in which the number of named storms was outside of the predicted range. Two thousand five was especially bad, probably because nobody expected such an active season historically-because your technology is allowing us to detect them better.
    But how about their predictions for just hurricanes?
    2009 4-7 (3) wrong
    2008 6-9 (8) fair
    2007 7-10 (6) wrong
    2006 8-10 (5) FLAT WRONG
    2005 7-9 (15) FLAT WRONG
    2004 6-8 (9) wrong
    2003 6-9 (7) fair
    2002 6-8 (4) WRONG
    Interestingly, here their performance looks much worse. Only TWICE in the last 8 seasons has the actual number of hurricanes fallen within the range of predictions by NOAA in May.
    So, how we judge NOAA’s performance depends on what exactly we look at to test their forecasts. They are very bad at predicting the number of hurricanes, but do better with named storms. What will this group chose to test their predictions with?
    ====
    The sum of the predicted hurricane ranges for 2002 to 2009 is 44-62, and the sum of the actual hurricanes during this period is 57, which is slightly above the middle of the range which is 53.
    The chimp is not being allowed to predict any number it wants(e.g., 99 hurricanes for 2010), so the National Center for Public Policy Research is monkeying with the experiment.

  9. Dan@4:10pm. It is not possible to be inappropriate in mocking the most prostituted science in history. Your profession has either sold out to the socialists or stood shamefully silent while world class liars tried to swindle trillions, immiserate billions and destroy freedom.

  10. In “Inexpert Elicitation by RMS” dated April 22nd, 2009, Pielke Jr. says he “created” several panels of monkeys which “produced the exact same results [on short term hurricane activity] as those produced by the RMS expert panels comprised of world leading scientists on hurricanes and climate” (RMS being a leading company that provides catastrophe models which are used to assess risk in the insurance and reinsurance industries), and he explains how.
    A case of monkey see, monkey do?

  11. Henry chance says: May 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm
    Should we reject the computer models devised by scientists that are wrong almost all the time?
    No. To a gambler, someone who’s wrong X%>50% of the time is just as valuable as someone who’s right X% of the time. What we have to do is get Vegas to handicap Hadley computer models.

  12. Wren, that’s a non standard method of comparing. All you’ve shown is that they don’t systematically get their predictions wrong in one direction. The Mean Absolute Error is better, although in that case I have to take the mean of the range given by NOAA, which is why I just asked, how often does reality fall in or out of their range.
    Here is what I get for mean absolute error:
    Storms: 3.625
    Hurricanes: 2.75
    That’s not great performance, but I suppose it isn’t terrible either.

  13. Dan says:
    May 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm
    I’m a hurricane researcher, and while I agree that hurricane forecasts are not great, this monkey stunt is a little ridiculous… Moreover, to use this stunt to mock climate science is inapproriate.”
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    I am a chemist and what Climate Séance-sts have done to the scientific method, peer review and the economies of Europe and soon the USA makes me think longingly of Madame Guillotine. If the Iceland volcanoes blow perhaps history will repeat itself. Be glad it is only a bit of fun you have to put up with. We have had to put up with the vitriol from the greens for years.

  14. Wren:
    You need to discard the predictions that were wrong. 2 out of 8 they made were within range for 25%. Your smoothing approach reminds me of that used by the Modelers and it does not provide usable information because it appears better than actual. Lessons are learned by finding and correcting mistakes not by smoothing them over as if they did not happen!

  15. Not such a bad idea at all. Hey, if Phil can do it, why not Hansimian?
    Yeah, I know, the canaries in the mines didn’t work out so well. By the time the canary was dead, the crew was passed out.
    Can we get grant funding for finding new animals to help us predict things like, oh, Sunpots, Earthquakes, Wars, Market spins, etc.?

  16. I’m a hurricane researcher, and while I agree that hurricane forecasts are not great, this monkey stunt is a little ridiculous.
    And they acknowledge that. They are basically addressing, in this humorous (for some) way, your next point.
    The hurricane forecasts are effectively just applications to the upcoming hurricane season of historical statistical correlations between a few pre-season indicators, most notably ENSO indices, and historical hurricane activity. The correlations explain only limited amounts of the variance, but over many years they should predict with decent accuracy active vs. inactive seasons.
    They are pointing out that climate science is not a well-developed science. Even with many years of hurricane observations, you say the best we can do is use a few simple variables to explain some of the variance and get kind of close to the right answer…over time. Not exactly awe inspiring science, right?
    And yet, while there are no even remotely comparable historical statistical correlations on global warming or climate change, and the variables involved are tremendously complicated (crossing the boundaries of geology, biology, solar physics, etc., etc.), and there is no track record of successul (or even unsuccessful) predictions to lay odds against, still AGW proponents want to claim a near certainty about the state of the climate in 50 or 100 years, including the temperature of the air, the height of the oceans, the state of the ice caps, the disappearance of species, etc.
    That’s what this is about. Just because we can make predictions doesn’t mean they are necessarily worth much more than the paper they’re printed on. It might be the best we can do, but not very good is still not very good.
    However, for any given year of course a monkey could do better
    Of course, it’s not a monkey. But you knew that (I hope).
    Moreover, to use this stunt to mock climate science is inapproriate.
    As they explained, they are not mocking climate science. (As if a science could be mocked anyway.) But I would agree they are mocking (some) very thin-skinned climate scientists. And that’s a huge and important difference. Any climate scientist with the hubris to believe he knows more than he knows and is certain of more than can be certain deserves a little mockery. They’re not all like that. Only the ones guilty of taking themselves too seriously need take offense. The rest recognize that climate science is a nascent science that has a long, long way to go before it can adequately explain all of the influences and interactions that determine the climate. Even Dr. Hansimian understands that.

  17. As a general statement: Why shouldn’t science be mocked? What is there about science that should make it even more untouchable than religion?
    Back on topic, I live in Florida and have suffered through three hurricanes. I don’t get uptight about predictions — remember Hurrican Andrew? It was the only landfalling hurrican that yeare which was a slow hurrican year. Hurrican predicions mean diddlysquat except as an excuse to raise insurance rates.

  18. Henry chance says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm
    Hadley was wrong 9 out of the last 10 years. They predicted hotter than actual.
    Now with the new Super dooper computer they can calculate faster and be wrong sooner.
    Should we reject the computer models devised by scientists that are wrong almost all the time?
    ………………………………………………
    Henry,
    When you have a 90% failure rate, I would say it’s time for a new chimp….IMHO

  19. timetochooseagain says:
    May 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm
    Wren, that’s a non standard method of comparing. All you’ve shown is that they don’t systematically get their predictions wrong in one direction. The Mean Absolute Error is better, although in that case I have to take the mean of the range given by NOAA, which is why I just asked, how often does reality fall in or out of their range.
    Here is what I get for mean absolute error:
    Storms: 3.625
    Hurricanes: 2.75
    That’s not great performance, but I suppose it isn’t terrible either.
    ======
    Actually, the hurricane prediction errors do tend to be in one direction. If I counted correctly, In 6 of the 8 seasons the number of hurricanes was under-predicted. I didn’t look at the performance for storms.
    My method of summation lets over-predictions and under-predictions offset, which isn’t a good way to evaluate the hurricane forecasts, but I thought it might elicit discussion.
    I would agree the hurricane predictions are not a great performance. Are they a good performance? Well, good compared to what? By my count they beat a no-change extrapolation in 6 of 7 seasons, with a tie in 1 season.

  20. Mike Davis says:
    May 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm
    Wren:
    You need to discard the predictions that were wrong. 2 out of 8 they made were within range for 25%. Your smoothing approach reminds me of that used by the Modelers and it does not provide usable information because it appears better than actual. Lessons are learned by finding and correcting mistakes not by smoothing them over as if they did not happen!
    ====
    Read my reply to timetochooseagain.

  21. I love it! I tell ya, WUWT could become a very popular one hour television program somewhere, in my opinion. With some of the best comments included.

  22. No big deal. It appears that trained chimps are now doing peer review for certain publications.
    And a group of them all reaching in the same direction for bananas is called a consensus of chimps.

  23. I didnt do so bad with my tarot card reading last year.. hehe.. This year maybe I will try for named storms and include the pacific:) Lets see how I fair against the chimp and NOAA. ROTF

  24. Dan says:
    May 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm
    I’m a hurricane researcher, and while I agree that hurricane forecasts are not great, this monkey stunt is a little ridiculous. The hurricane forecasts are effectively just applications to the upcoming hurricane season of historical statistical correlations between a few pre-season indicators, most notably ENSO indices, and historical hurricane activity. The correlations explain only limited amounts of the variance, but over many years they should predict with decent accuracy active vs. inactive seasons. However, for any given year of course a monkey could do better, in the same way that a monkey could guess any future quantity and beat a trained forecast once (or twice etc., with decreasing probability) regardless of how accurate the forecast actually is. Moreover, to use this stunt to mock climate science is inapproriate.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    I’m a professional sales person, I work on salary and when I increase over my budgetted sales target – most every year for 23 years so far – my sales bonus is based on the calculation of how much I am over. In effect the company pays me out of the extra profit my sales above the budget reaps the company. If my work was sometimes up, sometimes down, normally inaccurate and if I did not accept criticism well or express my work was too serious to be mocked, I could not do my job. I am often told a Chimp can do my job or my nose is brown or “no salespeople go to heaven”, etc. The point is, if I fail to reach my target, I lose a signifiacnt part of my potential earnings – thus I rarely fail. If I failed to reach my target twice in a row and I have a lack of faith in my management team, I get the joys of testing the the unemployment market… I am a chemical engineer, graduated from MSU in 1987, no less a scientist than you, I just ply my trade in a performance driven market. I use my scientific background to educate customers and bring effective barrier into flexible packaging. And a really cute chimp, might be able to do my job, managed properly, lighten up!

  25. Johnny D says:
    May 19, 2010 at 4:13 am
    Then why do more progressive, Kyoto-ratifying countries like Sweden, Japan, and the UK generally have lower unemployment than the US?

    Why did you leave Spain off your list?

  26. ZT: May 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm
    Isn’t torturing/training the chimp into ‘acting’ a little cruel?
    Only if he was forced to sit through some actual weather briefings in order to get into character…

  27. Dr. Hansimian has been urgently sent to the Gulf area to fix the oil spill with his supernatural powers and with his prophet´s blessings. Some informants say that he is planning to stop the leak with a big, really big VIRTUAL hockey stick made with NOAA´s latest supercomputer portable game gadget.

  28. What matters, of course, isn’t the total number of hurricanes, but how many make landfall or near landfall, and the intensity of those which do.

  29. It appears that Dr. Hansimian was using a Monte Carlo simulation as opposed to the “random” walk used by the CRU …
    Hurricanes are an even more doubtful choice of indicator for any kind of climate effect. Based on “analogous” years, this year is setting up like 2005 in terms of SST and other factors. Another Katrina? Has to reach land first. The rebound year of an El Nino usually produces lots of TS in the Atlantic basin.
    It is okay to poke fun but better to concentrate on actual, factual misrepresentations, as there are plenty of them to go around.

  30. May I remind Dr. James Hanismian, with all due respect, that many of the state-of-the-art computer models have excellent records of prediction: they are able to “predict the past” with “great accuracy.”
    Predictions for the current season are not worth bananas, but, as climate systems are forced with the proper physical parameters (co2 input from human economic persuits), they become very accurate again for use in predicting the future. So, we areable to base economic and energy policies on catastrophic climate models.
    Now may I ask, Dr. Hanismian, has your model been able to do that? You will need a little more than dice if you want to get into some real monkey business. Nice try, chimp.

  31. Regarding the article Amy Ridenour states
    “NOAA’s forecasts have been wrong not because of a lack of dedication or competence of its forecast team, but because climate science is really still its infancy,” said Amy Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research……..If we can’t rely on 6-month forecasts, how can rely on forecasts of what rising carbon concentrations will do to our climate 25, 50 or even 100 years out?”
    FYI:
    Hi People could you please pass this fact onto Amy Ridenour so she can stop displaying how ignorant she is regarding weather and climate (hint hint they aren’t the same thing and she’s confusing the two).
    A hurricane is a weather condition. Weather is the state of the atmosphere as measured at any given time point.
    The atmosphere is a chaotic system, so small changes to one part of the system can grow to have large effects on the system as a whole. It is theoretically impossible to make useful day-to-day predictions more than about two weeks ahead, imposing an upper limit to potential for improved prediction skill.
    Climate is”average weather,” or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time usually 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The variables which determine climate are numerous and the interactions complex, but they are stable over the long term and there is general agreement that the broad outlines are understood, at least insofar as the determinants of historical climate change are concerned. Climate is predictable.
    Nobody can predict the Weather in Las Vegas for August 6, 2010 but I bet you million dollars the Las Vegas Climate will be hot and dry that month. I bet you another million the Atlantic Climate supports hurricane formation this year and Europe’s Climate does not.
    Climate not predictable ? Wanna bet?

  32. The funny thing is that all those figures that Johnny D quoted were from 2009 (est) and were estimates, if you look at stats for the UK you will note the “claimants” for the unemployment payments stand at 8% while the stat for “working age employment rate” is at 72% indicating that 18% of working age people are unemployed. That tells me that 10% of the unemployed are not getting benefits, it is all how you present your “facts”. Here is a a quote from the site I got my info from….
    “If David Cameron’s incoming coalition government wanted reminding about the economic policy challenge that lies ahead, Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers need look no further than today’s dire official jobs figures. Higher unemployment (including more unemployed young people), fewer people in work (especially full-time work), an increase in redundancies, a fall in job vacancies, and especially a record number of economically inactive people sends out a clear SOS message on the state of the UK labour market.

  33. @ John D.
    The UK’s unemployment has been hidden by years of dodgy Labour fiddling – school leavers and others being marginally paid and trained in droves to do stuff no employer needs, a great way to hide unemployment until the kids hit adulthood. Labour has also inflated public service employees by over a million in recent years. These factors are a part of the reason the UK economy is in such dire straits; figures released today suggest something in the trillions and climbing. Greece has run out of money and so has Spain, where each artificial ‘Green’ job created has cost at least three real jobs.
    In our suburban London street today, I watched a big group of men and women in green fluro jackets, hard hats, gloves and face masks (fallen leaves and chocolate wrappers must be dangerous these days!), weilding brooms and some pushing handcarts sweeping the street. I remember my parents derisory laughter in the 1950s at newsreels shot in Russia showing large groups of women sweeping Moscow streets and thus keeping unemployment down.

  34. ZT says:
    May 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm
    “Isn’t torturing/training the chimp into ‘acting’ a little cruel?”
    Yes, just a sad state of affairs all around.. Very likelyOnce that juvenile chimp grows to full size, it’ll be way too much for its handlers to deal with, what with the limb-removing strength and digit-severing teeth, so it will be sent to to best case, a sanctuary or zoo, or worst case, a research facility to be experimented on. There are exceptions of course, but rare.

  35. @wren
    They’re not monkeying with the chimp’s forecast to exclude numbers like 99. The chimp is rolling a pair of dice. He can get numbers 2 – 12 from them with greater possibilities for mid-range numbers.
    Some clever fellow, probably not a monkey, figured out that NOAA’s predictions of named hurricanes each season is remarkably similar to numbers, including the mid-range bias, you’d get rolling a standard pair of dice.
    Look at the predicted vs. actuals for the past 8 years. You can’t statistically tell that series apart from a series of dice rolls with the exception of the number 15, which was the actual number for 2005, which isn’t possible with a pair of dice. It would appear NOAA is using a standard pair of dice too so it was impossible for them to roll the correct number in 2005 as well. LOL
    Year NOAA (Actual)
    2009 4-7 (3)
    2008 6-9 (8)
    2007 7-10 (6)
    2006 8-10 (5)
    2005 7-9 (15)
    2004 6-8 (9)
    2003 6-9 (7)
    2002 6-8 (4)
    It’s a joke, son. Climate forecasting that is…

  36. Doesn’t NOAA stand for No Accuracy At All ?
    There is no trick, I bet on Dr Hansimian !

  37. There is something to be said for using chimps rather than NOAA scientists to predict storm and hurricane frequency, but I have found looking at the entrails of dead sheep to be equally successful and a lot cheaper – you don’t have to feed a dead sheep, and your local abattoir will usually be happy for you to pop in for a free forecasting session. (You may even get to keep the entrails).

  38. Dave Springer says:
    May 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm
    @wren
    They’re not monkeying with the chimp’s forecast to exclude numbers like 99. The chimp is rolling a pair of dice. He can get numbers 2 – 12 from them with greater possibilities for mid-range numbers.
    Some clever fellow, probably not a monkey, figured out that NOAA’s predictions of named hurricanes each season is remarkably similar to numbers, including the mid-range bias, you’d get rolling a standard pair of dice.
    Look at the predicted vs. actuals for the past 8 years. You can’t statistically tell that series apart from a series of dice rolls with the exception of the number 15, which was the actual number for 2005, which isn’t possible with a pair of dice. It would appear NOAA is using a standard pair of dice too so it was impossible for them to roll the correct number in 2005 as well. LOL
    Year NOAA (Actual)
    2009 4-7 (3)
    2008 6-9 (8)
    2007 7-10 (6)
    2006 8-10 (5)
    2005 7-9 (15)
    2004 6-8 (9)
    2003 6-9 (7)
    2002 6-8 (4)
    It’s a joke, son. Climate forecasting that is…
    ====
    Jokes are supposed to be clever. This attempt at a joke is dumb.
    You can’t statistically tell the series apart from a number of dice rolls? Try rolling dice 7 times and see how many sets it takes you to come up with the sequence: 3, 8, 6, 5, (forget 15), 9, 7, 4.
    People who think climate forecasting is a joke, find it hard to laugh when they find out Hansen’s most likely scenario global temperature forecast he made back in 1988 for the 1988 -2020 period is on target with actual 2010 global temperature.

  39. mr.artday says:
    May 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Dan@4:10pm. It is not possible to be inappropriate in mocking the most prostituted science in history. Your profession has either sold out to the socialists or stood shamefully silent while world class liars tried to swindle trillions, immiserate billions and destroy freedom.

    Are you talking about the hurricane forecasting groups, climate modeling groups, the IPCC or other?
    Exactly how many immiserate billions have gone to seasonal tropical storm forecasts?
    I generally prefer the Klotzbach/Gray forecasts because:
    1) They’ve been doing it longer,
    2) Several of the NHC folk were grad students at Colorado State under Bill Gray,
    3) K&G have much more detailed analyses and postmortems than the NOAA reports I’ve seen.

  40. Kevin says:
    May 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm
    Wren,
    Its sad that alot of the scientific literature from the 1980s perfectly predicted the current observed increase in temperature but people will ignorantly parrot the line of a washington policy wonk that “scientist can’t predict a hurricane how can they predict the climate”
    Here’s a nature article from 1986…….
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v319/n6049/abs/319109a0.html
    ======
    Thanks for the link to that article. It has lots of references that I would like to explore.
    I think a lot of people have unrealistic expectations about prediction accuracy. No one can predict the future with the absolute certainty we would like to have. When a forecast is criticized for being off target , the question should be inaccurate compared to what? The “what” would be what other competing predictions were made at the time the forecast was made, including the assumption of no change.

  41. I’m reading “Fooled by Randomess” right now. I was stimulated to create an algorithm for weather prediction.
    You take today’s temperature and use it to predict tommorow’s. Before Labor Day you add one degree every so often , after Labor Day you subtract one. Here in the Bay Area (California) this procedure will be right (plus or minus a degree or two) probably 90% of the time – about the same rate as the Weather Service. And I have avoided the not inconsiderable expense of buying a chimp.

  42. To compare a chimp, James Hansimian to the NOAA top man James Hanson – that’s offensive.
    A monkey – OK, a lower ape, borderline, but a primate!!?
    James Hansimian could sue for libel…

  43. I would like to propose an alternative hurricane season prediction system, in which you simply say “6-9” each year (once you’ve been paid your million dollar research fee or whatever, of course). Over the recorded period this has twice as many correct answers as whatever system they were using, while maintaining the precision of the prediction (okay, sometimes they took their precision one narrower for some reason) – the misses also are mostly closer.

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