You can now bet for and against “global warming” with an online “climate bookie”

Things just got stranger in the already strange world of global warming/climate change. You can now wager on it. Yes that’s right, you can put down money on temperature futures.

An outfit called “PredictIt” is running a book on this question:

The global temperature “Annual Average Anomaly” for 2018 shall be greater than 0.99 degrees Celsius, as rounded to the nearest hundredth of a degree, according to the first-published such data on NASA’s Global Climate Change website, available upon launch of this market at Should no such data be published on or before January 31, 2019, PredictIt may at its sole discretion continue to await its availability or select a suitable alternate source.

Any revision to the first-published 2018 data and/or to prior years’ data will have no impact on the resolution of this market, even if such revisions cause the highest pre-2018 Annual Average Anomaly to be greater or less than 0.99.

PredictIt’s decisions and determinations under this rule shall be at PredictIt’s sole discretion and shall be final.

The way it works is this; PredictIt gives the YES scenario a 9 percent chance of coming true. That bet costs 9 cents to make, and if it comes true, PredictIt pays back 91 cents. If you were to bet the other way, NO  — a 91-cent bet — PredictIt would pay out 9 cents if this year doesn’t turn out to be the hottest on record.

Looking at their website, temperature wagering seems to be anything but “hot”:

The market opened at 20 cents, peaked briefly at 34 cents, and has now dropped to 9 cents as of today.

Speculators seem to be cooling to the idea of 2018 being the hottest on record. “No” looks to be the safe bet to me, especially since 2017 was cooler than 2016, when El Nino driven temperatures peaked.

As a commenter on the website, Scott Supak says:

July 0.78C puts us at 0.818571429.

Need 1.24 per month now to get there.

Commenter Andrew Bullock notes:

The hottest year on record was 2016 which had a global anomaly of +1C. So far from Jan-June we are at +0.828C For this to resolve yes we would need an insanely hot rest of the year. But we are not likely to see that. We will probably end up being the 3rd hottest on record. Maybe 2nd if unlucky.

Basically need monthly anomalies of 117 or higher the rest of the year. When the highest we have had this year so far is 91. We have ONLY had 2 months total that have had monthly anomalies at or above the 117 needed when we need 6 months of that for this to resolve YES.

Looks like a buy NO signal to me.

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Patrick J Wood
August 28, 2018 4:28 pm

The question is, can we trust their data? I would BET not.

Reply to  Patrick J Wood
August 28, 2018 8:16 pm

“Should no such data be published on or before January 31, 2019, PredictIt may at its sole discretion continue to await its availability or select a suitable alternate source.”

Heads we win,
Tails you lose.

John Brisbin
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 29, 2018 11:04 am

There are people who try to bet on All-Star wrestling or whatever they call the Rowdy Roddy Piper/Hulk Hogan venue these days. Most bookies are reluctant to become involved.

These guys seem to be just a bit less scrupulous.

August 28, 2018 4:34 pm

The real question is: “Will NASA manage to adjust 2018’s global average temperature to appear to be the highest on their adjusted record?”

August 28, 2018 4:39 pm

At a 9:91 ratio, those are steep odds.
Gavin could wait to near the end of the year, then put down a ton of money on *YES*.
Then he gets to pick up all the marbles.


Richard Keen
Reply to  TonyL
August 28, 2018 5:01 pm

Hah! Beat me to it!
I figured I’d wait until Gavin puts down some chips, then wager the same way (but for a lesser amount, so wouldn’t change his bet to collect from me).

Jim Whelan
Reply to  TonyL
August 29, 2018 1:10 pm

Bookies make money not by predicting the future but by determining what the bettors think. The goal is to get equal numbers of bettors on on each side so the bookie doesn’t lose money but makes money on the “push” and any premium he charges.

August 28, 2018 4:50 pm

What with La Nina / Neutral conditions most of the year, why would 2018 be more than 3rd or 4th highest? I am surprised that they didn’t pick a lower threshold, so the betting was more 50:50.

Reply to  ReallySkeptical
August 28, 2018 5:31 pm

I will take a stab at this.
As you know, there is a small, but vocal contingent in the warmist camp which is forever going on about “The Hottest Year Eveah” coming up.
Perhaps someone got sick of it and found a way to call out some shrill alarmist.
Warmest Year Ever, YES *or* NO!
Place your bet!
This is probably exactly why the bet is set up the way it is.

August 28, 2018 4:55 pm

If they do this right, it should predict actual temperature quite closely according to “wisdom of the crowd” theory.

Bloke down the pub
Reply to  dave
August 29, 2018 5:50 am

Security forces around the world have opened books on where and when the next terrorist atrocity will take place for the same reason.

August 28, 2018 5:01 pm

AGW is an Alice in Wonderland world, where they have their verdicts before the trials.

The LIARs at NASA ground weather data (not satellite) already know how much hotter 2018 will be that 2017, because by the decree of The Red Queen, it already is the hottest day ever on earth!

Of course the bookies are in it to make money, and they know that the fix is already in by how they wrote the wager question.

A decade from now, when the current 20 year cooling trend is in its 30s, and the winters are brutally cold, and it is snowing in summer as far south as St Louis, MO, and regular citizens are dressing for the cold weather, the NASA data LIARs will be telling everyone that 2028 is the hottest year ever on earth: [please ignore your ignorant non-scientific opinion of the weather that you ignorantly say is cold.]

Reply to  Newt Love
August 29, 2018 5:03 am

Admittedly, it is hard for the lay person to distinguish red hot snow from regular snow.

August 28, 2018 5:06 pm

I don’t bet, never have since I learned I was lousy at cards in Secondary school.

So I’m not sure I understand this.

They offer a bet for 9 Cents to pay out 91 cents if there’s a warm spike. Those are long odds aren’t they? In other words, as far as a bookie is concerned, unlikely to happen.

Or a bet for 91 Cents to pay out 9 Cents if there isn’t a warm spike. Short odds? An event more likely to happen so the bet costs more for a smaller payout?

If I were a bookie, wouldn’t I be hoping there wasn’t a warm spike so I lost less money on the short odd’s bet and won more 9 Cents from the mugs guys that bet for a warm spike?

Aren’t the bookies telling us there is more likelihood of a cold spike than a warm spike?

And I have never met a poor bookie.

Sorry, probably a daft post as I know nothing about betting, as I said.

Reply to  HotScot
August 28, 2018 5:22 pm

Parimutuel betting:
1) The house takes their cut. First.
2) All the remaining wagers are placed in a pool to be split among the winners.

The odds are determined by the *dollars* bet, yes vs. no. Not the number of bettors.

August 28, 2018 5:29 pm

‘So far from Jan-June we are at +0.828C’

To the thousandth of a degree. Impressive. And preposterous.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gamecock
August 29, 2018 5:15 am

“To the thousandth of a degree. Impressive. And preposterous.”

That’s what I was thinking, too. I laughed out loud when I read that number! 🙂

Roger Knights
August 28, 2018 5:44 pm

Here’s a link to the site’s About page:

It is not a bookie. It is a NZ-based, Univ. of Wellington academic project investigating prediction markets. Odds are set by a bid/ask system among participants, like a futures exchange. It charges winners a 10% fee of their profits. Although it doesn’t say so up front, it won’t accept bets from 3 U.S. states, including Washington. I suspect it has a limit on how much one can deposit, as is the case with the Iowa prediction market.

I suspect (I’ll check soon) it has only one climate-related bet. The now-defunct, Ireland-based Intrade site had nine climate-related bets up, including one on arctic ice extent. But it didn’t accept credit card deposits from the U.S. One had to mail a check and wait weeks for it to clear.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that states may legalize sports betting, I hope the states allow betting on other events. Probably they won’t initially, but they will in time, to maximize their revenue.

Brian Andrews
Reply to  Roger Knights
August 28, 2018 6:42 pm

Victoria University previously ran the iPredict site for academic research. They regularly ran climate related prediction contracts.

Unfortunately they had to close the site as they couldn’t easily comply with anti money laundering and anti terrorist financing regulations. Hopefully they have found a way to resolve that now.

Much amusement can be had trading prediction contracts against political events, especially Australian political events.

Reply to  Roger Knights
August 29, 2018 1:17 am

Check out the prediction history on the 2016 presidential election at PredictIt:
1. Go to:
2. Click the Chart button.
3. Click the Open Chart button.
4. Click the 90 Day option.

Doug Proctor
August 28, 2018 5:47 pm

What? Temps rising every year since 1982?

Patrick MJD
August 28, 2018 6:12 pm

“Will NASA find 2018’s global average temperature highest on record?”

NASA won’t find anything as they are not looking, so they will just make it up. Business as usual.

Pieter Geerkens
Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 29, 2018 5:23 am

Correct – It is a “rigged casino”, but everyone knows (a) the fix is in; and (b) if the fix is “too big” it lets the cat out of the bag for NASA’s Climate Alarmist research funding.

Alan Tomalty
August 28, 2018 6:59 pm

Which data set on temperature will they use? NASA ?????????? That is like asking the Mafia to control the betting on the afternoon 3rd race of Yonkers.

ray boorman
August 28, 2018 7:19 pm

Hey, we are talking about GISS & Ayatollah Schmidt here – never count them out until the last card has been turned over.

August 28, 2018 10:28 pm

Nothing to do with climate. It is bet on what NASA will do.

Reply to  Alasdair
August 29, 2018 12:33 am

NASA may create a new data set of temperatures “free of NINO influence” and then claim that 2018 wins. Who thinks that this is not possible? (I mean, NASA doing this and claiming this)

Reply to  Nylo
August 29, 2018 4:45 am

There is almost no connection between NASA’s “temperature” (which it is not) and long term global temperature. Indeed, I recently worked it all out. Trump ignores NASA, so the only people who are affected by NASA’s crazy “temperature” are other COMPETING economies.

Why would Trump get rid of something when so many others are so willing to allow the US to out compete them?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 29, 2018 5:23 am

“Why would Trump get rid of something when so many others are so willing to allow the US to out compete them?”

That’s an interesting thought. Trump lets NASA scare everyone to death with their Hockey Stick charts and other nations trash their economies as a result, while the U.S. just keeps rolling along. I like it!

August 29, 2018 12:30 am

Let me guesss… you have to give some personal details to place a bet. Am I right?

August 29, 2018 2:32 am

Not a bet I’d take. My own back of the envelope estimate suggests there’s only a 1 in 10000 chance of 2018 being warmer than 2016. 4th warmest is by far the most likely.

Pieter Geerkens
Reply to  Bellman
August 29, 2018 5:25 am

Exactly! So the only reason to place a YES bet at a mere 10:1 is the expectation that NASA will do something outrageous to rig the results.

Reply to  Pieter Geerkens
August 29, 2018 10:56 am

Good point. All those betting on 2018 must be conspiracy theorists who think NASA just invent temperature records in order to ensure constant record breakers. I predict they will soon be a bit poorer.

Norman Blanton
August 29, 2018 4:32 am

So do we bet on the sprinter that has been using steroids…

August 29, 2018 4:39 am

Whats the point when NASA can and do change the temperature as they want.

michael hart
August 29, 2018 5:53 am

It’s a good idea, in principle. Money lost or gained is a very powerful persuader.
I have often asked if anybody knew of such a thing. But unless it run by a large semi-respectable corporation I wouldn’t trust the “bookie’s take” to be anything other than unreasonable. (Real data is another thing of course, but shouldn’t matter as long as you are able to bet against others with the same data.)

The bigger issue is on-line gambling sites are reportedly almost all crooked in that they don’t actually allow punters to withdraw winnings as cash. They assume that you will lose it all in the long run anyway, and so only allow you to gamble winnings again, until you have lost it all.

August 29, 2018 6:00 am

You could make a lot of money …..with help from the revision process.

August 29, 2018 6:34 am

Not even Goldman Sachs will touch this one…because they know a rigged game when they see one.

August 29, 2018 8:22 am

Didn’t think bookies were stupid enough to take bets when the game is known to be fixed.

August 29, 2018 10:41 am

The odds of NASA finding global warming are about the same as a Scientology test finding a personality defect.

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom
August 29, 2018 11:02 am

Or of OJ finding the real killer.

John Endicott
August 29, 2018 11:01 am

“Will NASA find adjust 2018’s global average temperature [to be] highest on record?”

There fixed that for you.

D Cage
August 29, 2018 10:50 pm

This will inevitably result in a demand that the data from NASA is independently verified to ensure no insiders or relatives of NASA employees have bets that result in “adjustment” of the data. It is something that can have serious repercussions they have not considered.

Barry Brill
September 2, 2018 5:20 am

So, the odds of this being the hottest year (which it should be if it’s a year of ‘warming’) began at 10-1 against. Now, the website reads: “If this prediction comes true, PredictIt will redeem all Yes shares at $1. Shares in No will have zero value. If this prediction does not come true, PredictIt will redeem all No shares at $1. Shares in Yes will have zero value”.

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