[Vocabulary] "about as likely not"

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normandete

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In the following sentence, what would be the meaning of the expression about as likely not:

A 2º C rise would give humanity a coin-toss chance - "about as likely not" - of keeping the North Pole White, Williamson reported.



Thank you.

 

Rover_KE

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Welcome to the forum.

What is the source of your quoted sentence?

Are you sure you have quoted it exactly?
 

Barb_D

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The person here correctly answered the question: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/about-as-likely-as-not.3358336/

Normandete, welcome to the forums.
We ask a few things:
1. Tell us where a quotation comes from. Often the context provides important clue. And it also keeps us compliant with copyright laws.
2. Please choose one forum to post a question in. If a question remains unanswered, or if you are unsure about the answer you got, you can ask in a second forum, but it's nice to provide a link to the first one so we can see how we are providing a different answer.

I do question whether the word "white" was capitalized in the original.
 

normandete

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I'm sorry about the delay; I thought that the answers would come through my e-mail box. Anyhow, here is an extract of the context:

That is the "aspirational" goal laid down in the 196-nation Paris climate pact, along side a hard target of under 2 C (3.6 F), long identified as the guardrail for dangerous warming. A 2 C rise would give humanity a coin-toss chance -- "about as likely as not" -- of keeping the North Pole white, Williamson and Screen reported.
The researchers compared different climate models of sea ice loss with actual changes over the last decade, using only those that provided the best match for their projections.
Despite year-to-year fluctuations, long-term trends in the Arctic are unmistakable: the ten lowest ice extents since 1979 -- when satellite data began -- have all occurred since 2007.

The record low of 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles) in 2012 was 50 percent less than the 1979-2000 average.
 

Roman55

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You have just confirmed the assumption I (and probably everyone else) made that there was a word missing from your first post, and the thread title; "about as likely as not".

If you still don't know, it means that there is an equal probability of each of the two possibilities occuring. They are as likely to occur as they are unlikely to occur.
 
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