Betting strategies on fluctuations in the transient response of greenhouse warming

James S. Risbey*, Stephan Lewandowsky, John R. Hunter, Didier P. Monselesan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We examine a series of betting strategies on the transient response of greenhouse warming, expressed by changes in 15-year mean global surface temperature from one 15-year period to the next. Over the last century, these bets are increasingly dominated by positive changes (warming), reflecting increasing greenhouse forcing and its rising contribution to temperature changes on this time scale. The greenhouse contribution to 15-year trends is now of a similar magnitude to typical naturally occurring 15-year trends. Negative 15-year changes (decreases) have not occurred since about 1970, and are still possible, but now rely on large, and therefore infrequent, natural variations. Model projections for even intermediate warming scenarios show very low likelihoods of obtaining negative 15-year changes over the coming century. Betting against greenhouse warming, even on these short time scales, is no longer a rational proposition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0463
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2055
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2015

Structured keywords

  • Memory
  • TeDCog


  • Climate futures
  • Decadal trends
  • Transient response


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