He once set odds on where a tracking-device-enabled shark would be in a given body of water. So while David Strauss was playing with numbers in the water, the chief oddsmaker for MyBookie indulged his passion for creating real-life odds markets on a global scale.
Make that a global warming scale.
Last week, MyBookie unveiled odds on global warming. Yes, you can bet on the Earth’s 2020 global land/ocean temperature index being greater than or less than 2019’s 0.99 degrees Celsius. Right now, the “no” is a surprising favorite at -700. A “yes” gets you +400.
How in the name of rising sea levels (more on that shortly) is the “no” such a prohibitive favorite? Strauss said you can thank 2020’s primary villain – COVID-19.
“As I sat here pondering the fate of humanity, I wanted to find some sliver of hope for the world at large,” Strauss told OG News. “With all the factories shutting down and production shutting down, I figured surely global warming would slow down. So we came up with the odds for it. I’m no scientist, although I may play one occasionally. But, it would seem like with less factories producing carbon dioxide, that everyone can see nature is coming back, regardless of where you live.”
Scientists Remain Pessimistic About Global Warming
Regardless of where you live, the long-term numbers – pandemics aside – aren’t bullish for Planet Earth. The World Climate Research Program sponsored a four-year study illustrating the Earth is on pace to warm by 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit (2.3 degrees Celsius to 4.5 degrees Celsius) over the next 50 years.
The study shows at least a 95% chance that a doubling of carbon dioxide – which Earth is on pace to reach in around 50 years – would cause warming greater than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit/2 degrees Celsius. Kate Marvel, a physicist at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies and Columbia University, told the Washington Post that is the equivalent of a “five-alarm fire” for the planet.
That means around 2070 or thereabouts, the Earth will suffer effects ranging from intolerable heatwaves and other extreme weather conditions to massive rises in sea levels and permanent damage to ecosystems all over the globe.
Take Your Shot at Playing Weatherperson
Strauss created three primary ways to play that cheery news. You can wager on the land/ocean temperature index being anywhere from below 0.61 degrees Celsius at +2,000 to 1.0 degrees Celsius (+400). Strauss broke this prop down even further, giving you 13 different temperature ranges with varying odds.
If your global warming betting passion ventures to chemistry, Strauss also has you covered. He’s issued odds on carbon dioxide levels on a month-to-month basis. Each month, you can play over/under numbers on CO2 levels. For August, the number is 415 parts-per-million. You lay -120 on both sides of the number.
It’s not lost on the savvy bettor that, despite a global pandemic, that number ticks up every month into December when it’s set at 419 ppm. Nor is it lost to weather junkies that our current 415 ppm puts us roughly halfway toward doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from the 285 ppm pre-industrial level. The map above illustrates an Earth in the year 2100 with 935 ppm.
The third global warming play takes us back to the ocean. Strauss’s final prop is what the sea level rate of change will be on New Year’s Day 2021. Play over-3.5 millimeters per year at +120, while you lay -160 on the under-3.5 millimeters per year.
What Will The Land/Ocean Temp Index Be For 2020
|Below 0.61 C, +2,000||0.61-0.65 C, +2,500|
|0.66-0.70 C, +2,200||0.71-0.75 C, +1,500|
|0.76-0.80 C, +1,200||0.81-0.85 C, +1,000|
|0.86-0.90 C, +800||0.91-0.95 C, +700|
|0.96 C, +500||0.97 C, +400|
|0.98 C, +300||0.99 C, +200|
|1.0 C or greater, +400|
NASA Decides All Wager Outcomes
NASA’s website (climate.nasa.gov) decides betting outcomes, a key element in setting the market. Strauss said once he discovered NASA’s publicly accessible database displaying those variables, he could create a market that’s beyond dispute. When he started digging deeper, Strauss found identifiable weather patterns allowing him to set odds.
“They did the work. I open up the site and said, ‘Look at that. They have it all there,’” Strauss said.
Strauss lives for such opportunities. This is someone who realized his life’s calling stuck in an airport in Belllingham, Washington. During a layover on his way to Las Vegas, Strauss and a friend passed the time betting $5 on whether a car or truck would drop off the next passenger.
The pandemic gave Strauss’ unceasing brain plenty of opportunities to invent markets. Tracking swimming sharks gave way to tracking rising sea levels.
“Global warming has risen 19 out of the last 20 years, so it was an easy target to do. I think we can rebound. I hope we can,” he said. “With no sports running the last few months, I’ve had a lot of time to think. I’m used to making odds on sports, but without sports, I wanted to keep sharp. I’m looking for numbers anywhere. It’s been my life’s dream to set odds on real life vs. sports.”