There's a story going around the low-grade news factories that one Dr. David Evans has predicted that the world will start cooling down in 2017. One source reports:

He says fundamental flaws in how future temperatures may rise have been included in the 'standard models' and this has led to inflated mathematical - and therefore temperature - predictions.

Googling finds a number of other sites with the same story. Some identify Dr. Evans as a "former climate modeler for the Australian Greenhouse Office", others as an electrical engineer. None seem to provide any skepticism about Dr. Evans' statements.

I'm sure this is a sham, as otherwise it would be an enormously important story that would be reported everywhere. If so, I'm a little surprised that I found no "boy is this stupid" responses. Perhaps the real climate experts are tired of playing "climate conspiracy Whack-A-Mole".

If a climate change denier were to use this story as proof that anthropogenic global warming is a scam to keep earth scientists employed, what would be the best way to show that he is wrong?

Edit: I just found that Dr. Evans serves on the Board of Advisors of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, an NGO that denies man-made global warming exists.

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    $\begingroup$ @JanDoggen, It can be here too. After all, this is where the climate scientists are. ;) $\endgroup$
    – Eubie Drew
    Oct 10, 2015 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ There is a funded puppeteer industry built around climate change denial. Many of these "news" sites are managed, or at least fed, by the energy industry. And the bulk of the dittoheads that comment approvingly are also hired guns. It is asymmetric warfare because the effort needed for countering each instance of a repeated claim is way more than the effort to create them. More of the very successful (let's admit it) and manufactured "scientific controversy" meme. $\endgroup$
    – Eubie Drew
    Oct 10, 2015 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Aabaakawad climate denial is generally funded by fossil-fuel extractors specifically, rather than the energy industry generally $\endgroup$
    – 410 gone
    Oct 11, 2015 at 8:26
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    $\begingroup$ Well, it's 2017 now, and no sign of cooling yet. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Mar 19, 2017 at 5:00
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    $\begingroup$ What study? All I see is news articles, until he publishes his "research" he is no different from the guy on the street corner in tinfoil hat screaming the sky is falling. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Mar 21, 2017 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


I gave a longer answer linked to a similar question in the comments above, I'll give a quick one here:

There's a story going around the low-grade news factories that one Dr. David Evans . . .

Everyone knows there's a fair bit of "I know you are but what am I" in the climate change debate (if you can even call it a debate), but whichever side you agree with, David Evans is without question, actively arguing the skeptic side. His position has been consistently in disagreement with man made climate change for nearly a decade, so anything of his you read, keep that in mind.

He's made two climate "denier lists" here and here and he has been called out by skeptical science, here. In another article related to yours, here, it says his work is "undergoing peer review", so for now, his calculations aren't publicly available or verified.

. . . has predicted that the world will start cooling down in 2017

One problem here. We're currently in an El Nino and 2014 was the warmest year on record (38% probability to some, but lets not go there) with 2015 likely to break that record and 2016 - too soon to say but the El Nino is expected to extend into 2016, so 2017 is an ideal year to predict cooling. The global temperature often drops within a year after an El Nino ends, but this is a normal cycle and temporary and it has nothing to do with man made climate change.

What would be the best way to show that he is wrong?

Well, a personal favorite, I'd go with something like:

"He's just using a mathematical model to predict the future. I thought you people hated mathematical models to predict the future. -

You could also bring up this list of examples where David Evans has been wrong in the recent past.

But the more scientific answer to your question is that until his research is available and peer reviewed, then there's no way to disprove it, but there's also, no good reason to agree with it. Without peer review and transparency, it's not science. It's just a blog.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for reference to playground comeback $\endgroup$
    – Restioson
    Mar 21, 2017 at 14:36

Evans has been making predictions of this nature for a while, for example, from 2014:

"It’s already baked in the cake; we can see a few years into the future."

enter image description here

The prediction isn't looking too good so far

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ From the linked article: "The delay could be as much as 20 years, in which case the drop could be as late as 2024." Come 2024, he will doubtless have revised his calculations to show that an ice age is due in 2030, or possibly 2050. $\endgroup$
    – Pont
    Mar 21, 2017 at 11:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Pont Indeed, and also worth pointing out that there was an El-Nino last year. As I pointed out to Evans on the blog, he really needs some indication of the uncertainty of the prediction and ideally for him to give a concise definition of the model (e.g. so that it can be replicated unambiguously). $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2017 at 13:32

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