Think-Tank Says Trained Chimp Can Predict Hurricanes Better
Than NOAA... And Puts it to the Test
Chimp Predicts 6-8 Atlantic Hurricanes in 2010
Washington, DC - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's track record in predicting the number of Atlantic hurricanes is so abysmal that a trained chimp could do better, says The National Center for Public Policy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
The group is putting this claim to the test, issuing a 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast today determined by a chimpanzee, "Dr. James Hansimian."
A video of Dr. Hansimian and his methodology can be found at www.nationalcenter.org/HurricaneForecast.html
The forecast is being issued in advance of NOAA's May "Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook," expected to be released next week.
"NOAA's May outlooks have been wrong three out of the last four years - or 75% of the time," said David Ridenour, vice president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. "We think our chimp can do better. He hasn't been wrong so far. Of course, this is his very first hurricane season forecast."
The video isn't intended to needle NOAA for its erroneous forecasts, but to make a larger point about our current understanding of climate.
"NOAA's forecasts have been wrong not because of a lack of dedication or competence of its forecast team, but because climate science is really still its infancy," said Amy Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. "We should remember this as we consider whether to adopt economically-ruinous caps on energy. If we can't rely on 6-month forecasts, how can rely on forecasts of what rising carbon concentrations will do to our climate 25, 50 or even 100 years out?"
The National Center for Public Policy Research is also issuing a challenge to NOAA.
"If, at the end of the hurricane season, Dr. Hansimian's forecast turns out to be more accurate than NOAA's, we challenge the agency to make him an honorary member of NOAA's hurricane specialists unit," said David Ridenour. "In return, if NOAA's forecast is more accurate, we'll include a prominently-displayed mea culpa on our website."