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NIWA’s psychic ability to predict something they say is statistically impossible

Posted By Joanne Nova On February 26, 2016 @ 9:44 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Welcome to another episode of “What was that climate guru thinking?”.

Accoding to NIWA (New Zealand’s Weather Alchemists), they have the most impossibly difficult job on the planet. (No! In the Galaxy.)

Watch the maths and communications whizzes whip up excuses for the failure of NIWA’s seasonal “forecasting”:

“Trying to communicate how hard it is to predict the weather a few months into the future, Niwa has turned to a mind blowing analogy to provide some idea of the complexity involved.

‘If you could imagine correctly predicting the outcome of every person on Earth tossing a coin 1000 times, you’d still be nowhere near the degree of complexity required to forecast seasons,’ the crown research institute says in a recent article.

Mind blowing indeed. Predicting seasons used to be a case of “Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring.”

But seriously… on the one hand predicting the outcome of seven trillion coin tosses is a snap — at least to the first 7 or 8 significant figures. It’s much easier than predicting one toss.  On the other, if we assume they are talking about trying to predict the exact outcome of every single toss the odds are more like 0.0… (lots of zero’s)…014 or something so infinitesimally ridiculously small it’s synonymous with “impossible”.

How good is their grasp of statistics in the Met office? About as good as their grip on logic and reasoning.

Having told us it’s statistically completely impossible, in the next breath:

Despite those odds, each month Niwa staff do have a go at producing a three-month outlook.

Righto. So it’s impossible but we do it anyway? It’s a bit like changing the weather with windmills and solar panels — “impossible” but “worth spending billions”. Watch the socialist forecaster at work. What’s the cost benefit? (NIWA: The cost is yours, and the benefit is mine….)

Am I too cruel? I’m sure they are doing their best.

For an impossible job, the stats get spooky:

How accurate are the Niwa seasonal forecasts?

Mullan reckons Niwa gets long range rainfall forecasts right about 40 per cent of the time, and long range temperature right about half the time. In comparison, if predictions were made randomly, they would be right about a third of the time, given the three choices – below average, average, and above average.

With odds of 1 in a quadrillion bezillion, these guys manage a good 7% better than random luck? What’s that — Psychic?

Maybe they are the Nostradamet-Bureau, but whatever they are doing, it ain’t science.

What are the odds that there was no one in this whole chain of communication — Bureau, PR department and newspaper — that couldn’t see how self-evidently hypocritically silly this article was?

h/t to Johnr

 

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