Sea ice betting summary

I’ve been putting off collating all the misc bets that came in. But here we go:

$333 (ie about 3p :-() against Joe Romm on an ice-free Arctic by 2020. P Farrington-Douglas, E200, same terms.

On next years Arctic sea ice being larger than this years record minimum: Nick Barnes, £10; Gareth, £20; Eli, £10 + 40 carrots; Steve Bloom, £20; Phil Hays, £10. And Raymond Arritt offers an indeterminate amount of beer. $100, Benjamin Franz.

Did I miss anyone? And is anyone else interested? – the book isn’t shut yet.


  1. #1 ice

    if you loose the second bet (next years’), don’t you think you’ll get somehow closer to losing the first one as well ?
    you should bet on opposite positions, to cover your losses :)

  2. #2 Benjamin Franz

    You forgot my $100 on Arctic sea ice. ;)

    [Sorry! Added -W]

  3. #3 Alexander Ač


    what about this – 2008 *OR* 2009 sea ice minimum will set record (acc. to NSIDC) – let’s say 20£.

    [I’d have to work out the odds on that, which isn’t worth £20 of my time :-). Don’t misunderstand me: sea ice is definitely on a long-term decline. But I’m not of the opinion that it is in dramatic monotonic decline. If you also think that, we’re not in enough disagreement for a useful bet -W]

  4. #4 Alexander Ač

    Ok William,

    I agree with that.

    offtopic – – Young people were much less likely to be concerned about climate change than middle-aged people.

  5. #5 Eli Rabett

    Double or no ice in 2009?

    [Errr… you’re offering to bet on no ice in 2009!?! -W]

  6. #6 Gareth

    More information for those interested in assessing the odds:

    A Danish site (linked to at Real Climate) using satellite data to show the current extent of this season’s new ice, put through a translator.

    Still open for more, William?

    [Sure: -W]

  7. #7 Nick Barnes

    Despite the low anomaly figures in the last couple of months, I’m still feeling pretty confident about this bet. This year’s melt season is going to be a doozy. Those satellite images of the Beaufort Sea a few weeks ago were stunning: huge tracts of open water.
    I’d rather lose, of course.

  8. #8 Nick Barnes

    The images I’m referring to are this animation, linked from here. Open water both north and south of Banks Island, in January and early February. Unprecedented, and I think these relatively narrow fractures might fall under the radar of the area and extent numbers at CT and NSIDC; the extent numbers especially. I predict a very rapid fall of the numbers in April and May.
    See also this news story.

  9. #9 Gareth

    Interesting link. My thoughts on the longer term prospects for the Arctic elicited a very similar response from a senior sea ice researcher. More fresh water from Siberian rivers and Greenland, slower THC, less heat shipped up from the south, therefore no guarantee of the ocean forcing continuing at current rates. I’m in no position to disagree, but wouldn’t open ocean and wind/storms increase mixing of the fresh water layer?

    I haven’t found any more British pounds yet, William, but I am looking…

  10. #10 Gareth

    As posted down Eli’s burrow… I’m in for another tenner (it was sent by an aged aunt as a Christmas present for the kids). So that’s £30…

    [OK! -W]

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