Saturday, January 02, 2010

Wager update

With the conclusion of 2009 I thought it would be a good time to update my imagined climate wager with Nate Silver. For those new to the blog or who don't recall, Silver -- who runs -- proposed the following bet for climate change skeptics:
The rules of the challenge are as follows:

1. For each day that the high temperature in your hometown is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit above average, as listed by Weather Underground, you owe me $25. For each day that it is at least 1 degree Fahrenheit below average, I owe you $25.

2. The challenge proceeds in monthly intervals, with the first month being August. At the end of each month, we'll tally up the winning and losing days and the loser writes the winner a check for the balance.

3. The challenge automatically rolls over to the next month until/unless: (i) one party informs the other by the 20th of the previous month that he would like to discontinue the challenge (that is, if you want to discontinue the challenge for September, you'd have to tell me this by August 20th), or (ii) the losing party has failed to pay the winning party in a timely fashion, in which case the challenge may be canceled at the sole discretion of the winning party.
While the terms of the bet prohibited me from taking part -- my blog rank isn't high enough -- I decided to run the numbers based on the weather for last year. As of July 27 Silver would have owed me $1,725. In early October I recalculated the bet and found he would have owed $2,225. I just rejiggered the Excel spreadsheet and have found the following: During 2009 there were 103 days where the high temperature exceeded the average high by at least one degree, 213 days where the high was at least one degree below average, with the remaining days either within one degree of the average or lacking data (for some reason wunderground lacked historical data for several days).

This means that, had a bet been conducted, Silver would owe me a cool $2,750.

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