Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Have the Climate Models Been "So Inaccurate"?

We're very confident in our science. We're confident in our data ~ Julia Slingo (dob 12/13/1950) a British meteorologist and climate scientist. She has been the Chief Scientist at the Met Office since 2009. She is also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, where she held, prior to appointment to the Met Office, the positions of Director of Climate Research in NERC's National Centre for Atmospheric Science and founding Director of the Walker Institute for Climate System Research.

Blogger Willis Hart is a strident AGW denier who constantly derides as idiots and liars the scientists who concur that global climate change is occurring, man is responsible, and it is cause for concern. Case in point, the latest from Mr. Hart...

Willis Hart: On Why the Climate Models Were So Inaccurate... It was because they were based on two equally erroneous assumptions; a) that the climate is inherently stable and b) that the major driver of climate change is CO2 - assumptions that even a second year earth science student should have been able to detect were absurd but which the well-connected ruling class utterly failed to. (4/29/2014 AT 10:49pm).

I don't know, Willis. Where the climate models really "so inaccurate"? Information I've found suggests older models were inaccurate, but newer models have actually been proven to be "remarkably accurate". This is according to an analysis of climate change modeling over the past 15 years, as written up in a 3/27/2013 paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The study by Professor Myles R. Allen of the Climate Dynamics group at the University of Oxford (and colleagues) reveals that the models accurately predicted temperature increases "to within a few hundredths of a degree". Unless they're lying - that sounds pretty damn accurate to me.

Also, in regards to "assumptions that even a second year earth science student should have been able to detect were absurd" - I really wonder if these scientists are so stupid - how the hell did they earn their advanced degrees? If they fail to understand facts that "even a second year earth science student should have been able to detect were absurd" - wouldn't they have flunked out of college?

And, while Willis labels the 97% of climate experts who agree as total f**king morons - when he thought I said something similar in regards to the AGW denying "luminaries" he admires - the dude totally lost it.

I say Willis THOUGHT that I insulted the AGW deniers he admires, because all I actually said was that I thought the the notion that a majority of the world's climatologists are incompetent or lying is stupid. Willis thought I was referring to his "luminaries" (as stupid), and he became so incensed that he had to quickly dash off a commentary expressing his rage ("On a Moron Who Knows Absolutely Nothing About Climatology Referring to the Reasoned and Well Thought Out Works of Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, John Christy, William Happer, And Freeman Dyson as Stupidity").

Hmmm, maybe I should be more offended regarding the Hartster's constant slandering of the VAST majority of climate scientists who are idiots who disagree with him and his "luminaries"? Problem is I acknowledge the fact that Climate Science is complicated, I know very little about it, and that there is room for dissenting opinions.

Dissenting opinions that I would never support anyone attempting to silence. I just think that when 97% of scientists agree that there is a problem and if we don't act the consequences should be severe - perhaps we should listen and actually consider doing something to at least mitigate the bad consequences?

Call me a moron, but I just don't buy into the grand conspiracy as envisioned by Mr. Hart. Seems to me that the denier's belief that no actions need be taken - and that we can continue spewing as much CO2 into the atmosphere as we want without consequence - works out nicely from those whose profits might be hurt if we actually did anything.

Call me crazy, but THAT, I think, is the actual conspiracy.

Note: This commentary was updated and expanded on 5/2/2014.

SWTD #248, wDel #56. See also OST #8.


  1. Now w-d, let's not confuse the issue with facts.

  2. I have been interested in posting some understandable science on climate research for some time, although I am not spending the requisite time on research that it would require. So instead, I have been studying information related to the El Niño and La Niña cycle commonly referred to as the El Niño Southern Oscillation or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Although this phenomenon is defined by either higher than average or lower than average surface temperatures in the Pacific, its effects can be felt worldwide. On first look it appears to have roughly opposite effects in the Atlantic than it does in the Pacific. An El Niño phenomenon can bring about a milder hurricane season on the East Coast of the U.S. The warm and rainy weather that it produces on the West Coast of the entire continent from December to May seems to be balanced by drought conditions in Africa and other parts of the world. In Southern California it creates a type of paradise where normally low rainfall totals can nearly double. Beach or surface ocean temperatures are abnormally high beginning in December. However its effects can be deadly or extremely costly in other parts of the country. I remember the reports of flooding in Texas where the state lost $3 billion in agricultural production with the extreme 1997 El Niño event. The largest in one hundred years.

    We are headed into another El Niño event in 2015. These climate models you speak of have been greatly enhanced by the advent of supercomputers. The first supercomputer was the Cray. We had one at UCSD in 1985. Climatology has undergone a revolution.

    The complicated relationships between the radiation of heat energy from the sun, ocean absorption and reflection of that energy, ocean currents, weather and winds like the jet streams must be understood to speak intelligently on climate or anthropomorphic climate change. I have said in the past that Walter Munk is the father of modern ocean current science. I guess anyone who has seen An Inconvenient Truth must have an inkling of who Roger Revelle was. Revelle was not the first to theorize that increased levels of carbon dioxide were causing warming. The theory goes back to the 1930s. It was actually presented to the U.S. congress during the Johnson administration, but was shelved because air pollution from smog was considered a much more immediate problem.

    Please allow me to link to some sources that I have been studying to better understand what is happening with the approaching El Niño event in 2015.

  3. Let's start with some pictures. Click on any one of these predictions for 2015 to see the area of the surface of the Pacific where the anomalous increase in temperature is nominally one degree Celsius. The two continents are Asia and America. On the left of the yellow area you will see Indonesia. On the right is Colombia.

    Now let's look at a three dimensional view of the large event of 1997. The axis portraying the depth of the measurements is exaggerated. Note the deepest readings are only at 400 meters. You will see that the largest temperature anomaly of four degrees Celsius occurs at depths between 50 and 150 meters. This stretches across the entire ocean, an area the size of Canada.

    Now let's take a look at sea levels. Warmer ocean temperatures are associated with expanded water and higher sea levels. Click on any one of the five events. Note that NASA has represented warmer water and higher temperatures with the colors yellow, red or white, similar the the SIO representations, but the purple is now associated with colder temperatures and lower sea levels.

    Here is a rather sensational article from National Geographic which nonetheless gives a very complete introduction to the ENSO.

    Finally, here is the article from National Geographic explaining what constitutes a jet stream.


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