Skip to content

Stat Model Predicts Flat Temperatures Through 2050

Doug L. Hoffman
The Resilient Earth
Friday, Dec 18th, 2009

While climate skeptics have gleefully pointed to the past decade’s lack of temperature rise as proof that global warming is not happening as predicted, climate change activists have claimed that this is just “cherry picking” the data. They point to their complex and error prone general circulation models that, after significant re-factoring, are now predicting a stretch of stable temperatures followed by a resurgent global warming onslaught. In a recent paper, a new type of model, based on a test for structural breaks in surface temperature time series, is used to investigate two common claims about global warming. This statistical model predicts no temperature rise until 2050 but the more interesting prediction is what happens between 2050 and 2100.

David R.B. Stockwell and Anthony Cox, in a paper submitted to the International Journal of Forecasting entitled “Structural break models of climatic regime-shifts: claims and forecasts,” have applied advanced statistical analysis to both Australian temperature and rainfall trends and global temperature records from the Hadley Center’s HadCRU3GL dataset. The technique they used is called the Chow test, invented by economist Gregory Chow in 1963. The Chow test is a statistical test of whether the coefficients in two linear regressions on different data sets are equal. In econometrics, the Chow test is commonly used in time series analysis to test for the presence of a structural break.

A structural break appears when an unexpected shift in a time series occurs. Such sudden jumps in a series of measurements can lead to huge forecasting errors and unreliability of a model in general. Stockwell and Cox are the first researchers I know of to apply this econometric technique to temperature and rainfall data (a description of computing the Chow test statistic is available here). They explain their approach in the paper’s abstract:



A Chow test for structural breaks in the surface temperature series is used to investigate two common claims about global warming. Quirk (2009) proposed that the increase in Australian temperature from 1910 to the present was largely confined to a regime-shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) between 1976 and 1979. The test finds a step change in both Australian and global temperature trends in 1978 (HadCRU3GL), and in Australian rainfall in 1982 with flat temperatures before and after. Easterling & Wehner (2009) claimed that singling out the apparent flatness in global temperature since 1997 is ’cherry picking’ to reinforce an arbitrary point of view. On the contrary, we find evidence for a significant change in the temperature series around 1997, corroborated with evidence of a coincident oceanographic regime-shift. We use the trends between these significant change points to generate a forecast of future global temperature under specific assumptions.


The climatic effects of fluctuations in oceanic regimes are most often studied using singular spectrum analysis (SSA) or variations on principle components analysis (PCA). In other words, by decomposing rainfall and temperature into periodic components. Such approaches can capture short period phenomena like the effects of El Niño , and the potential impact of longer term phenomena such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on variations in global temperature. These phenomena take place over a period of years or decades. For finding and testing less frequent regime-shifts different techniques are called for. According to the authors: “An F-statistic known as the Chow test (Chow, 1960) based on the reduction in the residual sum of squares through adoption of a structural break, relative to an unbroken simple linear regression, is a straightforward approach to modeling regime-shifts with structural breaks.” All the statistical details aside, the point here is that a sequence of data that contains sudden shifts or jumps is hard to model accurately using standard methods.

Stat Model Predicts Flat Temperatures Through 2050  climate change ocean doe 500
Sea surface temperature simulation from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Source DOE.

The paper investigates two claims made in the climate literature: first, a proposed regime-shift model of Australian temperature with a slightly increasing trend to 1976, rapidly increasing to 1979 (the shift), and slowly increasing since then; and second, a claim of lack of statistical significance regarding the declining temperature since the El Niño event in 1998. Regarding the first, the authors state: “The increase in Australian temperature of around 0.9°C from the start of the readily available records in 1910 is conventionally modeled as a linear trend and, despite the absence of clear evidence, often attributed to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs).” The main reason to apply econometric techniques to climate time series data it that simple linear forecasting can fail if the underlying data exhibit sudden jumps. “That is, while a forecast based on a linear model would indicate steadily changing global temperatures, forecasts based on shifts would reflect the moves to relatively static mean values,” the study states. The choice of underlying model may also impact estimates of the magnitude of climate change, which is one of the major points put forth by this work.

As for the “cherry picking” assertion, the authors claim that the flat global temperatures since 1998 are not an anomaly but are representative of the actual climate trend. That climate trend exhibits two distinct breakpoints, one in 1978 and another in 1997. The proposed new climate model is what is know as a change point model. Such models are characterized by abrupt changes in the mean value of the underlying dynamical system, rather than a smoothly increasing or decreasing trend. Confidence in the 1978 breakpoint is strengthened by the results for global temperatures since 1910. These data indicate the series can be described as gradually increasing to 1978 (0.05 ± 0.015°C per decade), with a steeper trend thereafter (0.15 ± 0.04°C per decade).

Stat Model Predicts Flat Temperatures Through 2050  sst breakpoints stockwell2009 500



Breakpoints in sea surface monthly temperature anomalies (HadCRU3GL) (a)1910 to present and (b) 1976 to present. Figure 2 from Stockwell and Cox.


The Chow test since 1978 finds another significant breakpoint in 1997, when an increasing trend up to 1997 (0.13 ± 0.02°C per decade) changes to a practically flat trend thereafter (−0.02 ± 0.05°C per decade). Contrary to claims that the 10 year trend since 1998 is arbitrary, structural change methods indicate that 1997 was a statistically defensible beginning of a new, and apparently stable climate regime. Again, according to the authors: “The significance of the dates around 1978 and 1997 to climatic regimeshifts is not in dispute, as they are associated with a range of oceanic, atmospheric and climatic events, whereby thermocline depth anomalies associated with PDO phase shift and ENSO were transmitted globally via ocean currents, winds, Rossby and Kelvin waves .”

Perhaps most interesting is the application of this analysis to the prediction of future climate change, something GCM climate modelers have been attempting for the past 30 years with little success. Figure 3 from the paper illustrates the prediction for temperatures to 2100 following from our structural break model, the assumptions of continuous underlying warming, regime-shift from 1978 to 1997, and no additional major regime-shift. The projections formed by the presumed global warming trend to 1978 and the trend in the current regime predicts constant temperatures for fifty years to around 2050. This is similar to the period of flat temperatures from 1930-80.

Stat Model Predicts Flat Temperatures Through 2050  predicted global temps 2100 stockwell2009 500



Prediction of global temperature to 2100, by projecting the trends of segments delineated by significant regime-shifts. The flat trend in the temperature of the current climate-regime (cyan) breaks upwards around 2050 on meeting the (presumed) underlying AGW warming (green), and increases slightly to about 0.2°C above present levels by 2100. The 95% CI for the trend uncertainty is dashed. Figure 3 from Stockwell and Cox.


What is even more encouraging is that, even though temperatures resume their upward climb after 2050, the predicted increase for the rest of the century is only about 0.2◦ C above present levels. That is around one tenth the increase generally bandied about by the IPCC and its minions, who sometimes predict as much as a 6°C rise by 2100. It must be kept in mind that this extrapolation is based on a number of simplifying assumptions and does not incorporate many of the complexities and natural forcing factors that are incorporated in GCM programs. Can a relatively simple statistical model be more accurate than the climate modelers’ coupled GCM that have been under continuous development for decades?

Mathematical models based on statistics are often the only way to successfully deal with non-linear, often chaotic systems. Scientists often find that physical reality at its most detailed level can defy their computational tools. Consider fluid flow, which can be either laminar or turbulent. Laminar fluid flow is described by the Navier-Stokes equations. For cases of non-viscus flow, the Bernoulli equation can be used to describe the flow. The Navier-Stokes equations are differential equations while the Bernoulli equation is a simpler mathematical relationship which can be derived from the former by way of the Euler Equation.

Stat Model Predicts Flat Temperatures Through 2050  navier stokes
The Navier-Stokes equations.

In effect, both are ways of dealing with massive numbers of individual molecules in a flowing fluid collectively instead of individually. At the finest physical level, fluid flow is a bunch of molecules interacting with each other, but trying to model physical reality at the level of atomic interaction would be computationally prohibitive. Instead they are dealt with en mass using equations that are basically statistical approximations of how the uncountable number of molecules in flowing fluid behave. Often such mathematical approximations are accurate enough to be useful as scientific and engineering tools.

Stat Model Predicts Flat Temperatures Through 2050  train flow
Fluid flow around a train using the Navier-Stokes equations. Source: Body & Soul.

Indeed, many of these types of equations find their way into GCM to model parts of the system climate scientists are trying to simulate. Instead of simply looking at the statistical behavior of Earth’s climate, GCM try to model all the bits and pieces that comprise the Earth’s climate system. Unfortunately, not all of the pieces of the Earth system are well understood and many factors cannot be modeled at the course physical scales forced on the modelers because of the lack of computational capacity. As I have discussed on this blog before, simply changing the structural components of a model, leaving all of the scientific assumptions and factors intact, can radically change the answers a model cranks out (see “Extinction, Climate Change & Modeling Mayhem”). Beyond that, there are the matters of inherent data inaccuracy and error propagation as presented in The Resilient Earth chapters 13 and 14.

If the new model’s prediction is true, global temperatures in 2100 will not even approach the tripwire-for-Armageddon 2°C level set by the IPCC as humanity’s point of no return. Can a statistical model be better at predicting future temperatures than complex yet incomplete GCM? With the lack of theoretical understanding, paucity of good historical data, and overwhelming simplifications that have to be made to make climate models run on today’s supercomputers I would have to say that the statistical model comes off pretty well. Give me a well known statistical technique over a fatally flawed climate model any day.

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.

View the original article at Prison Planet

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Alex Jones, conspiracy, Police State, Prison Planet Articles.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's happening big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale".

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally IU know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know people in court at the moment for the content they had on their secret private group. Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer if you need to or buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA to hack into if you are that paranoid.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering bollox) then I could do with some. Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why/


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent
false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material. Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and #altnews alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.