Climate modeling turkey shoot, western style

Western U.S. Precipitation Extremes—How Did This Turkey Get Published?

By Dr. Patrick Michaels

When it comes to changes in future precipitation across the United States, climate models projections are all over the map. In other words, they provide no useful guidance for the future. But that doesn’t stop people from trying to sell them. Now comes a paper which clearly demonstrates a systematic failure of precipitation models and still calls the results “useful”. Reviewers…halloo??

A recent example of this comes from a research team led by Francina Dominguez of the University of Arizona who published the results of their study “Changes in winter precipitation extremes for the western United States under a warmer climate as simulated by regional climate models” in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Angels fear to tread on “Regional Climate Models”. In fact, Roger Pielke Sr. has been going to town on them relentlessly (see, for example, here) and has recently published a Forum article in the journal Eos titled “Regional Climate Downscaling: What’s the Point?” where he concludes that:

“It is therefore inappropriate to present [regional climate model] results to the impacts community as reflecting more than a subset of possible future climate risks.”

Dominguez et al. apparently didn’t take Roger’s advice to heart when describing the motivation for their work:

“We have analyzed future changes in extreme precipitation events as simulated by dynamically downscaled GCM projections with the goal of providing useful estimates for engineering design of water management structures.”

What is somewhat unusual about this is that unfamiliarity with Roger’s work cannot be an excuse, because one of the co-authors of the Dominguez work is Chris Castro, who got his PhD under Roger at Colorado State University a few years back. Even weirder is that Castro was the lead author of several papers which took a dim view of claims that regional climate models such as those used in the Dominguez study could add skill over that provided by full blown General Circulation Models (e.g., Castro et al., 2005). Which leads back to Roger’s question—what’s the point in trying to do so?

This question is even more germane in the cases where the regional climate models clearly fail to replicate observed reality—which is the situation with the Dominguez et al. study.

Consider Figure 1 (below) taken from the Dominguez paper. The top row shows two versions of the observed mean winter precipitation rate (in mm per day) over the western U.S. (the two leftmost panels) and the same thing produced by an ensemble of regional climate models (right hand panel). The bottom row shows the results for extreme precipitation—the precipitation amount from a 1-in-50 year daily storm event. Grossly the model pattern seems to resemble the observations, but grossly turns out not to be closely when you get down to specifics.


Figure 1. Top Row: Winter 1979–1999 precipitation climatology (mm/day) for two observed datasets (a) and (b), and the multi-model ensemble of eight downscaled simulations (c). Bottom Row: The daily precipitation amount for the 50-yr return period event from the same two observed data sets (d) and (e) and for the multi-model ensemble of eight downscaled simulations (f). (Source: Dominguez et al., 2012).

Figure 2 shows the results of spatial averaging the data in Figure 1. We colored the observations in red. The other symbols are the values from the individual regional climate models. Winter mean precipitation rate is in the left hand panel, the precipitation amount from a 50-yr storm in is the right panel. The amounts have been averaged for four subregions of the study area in Figure 1 (NW, NE, SW, SE) and over the entire region (All). Notice two things: 1) the models all produce more average precipitation than is observed, in some cases by more than 100%, and 2) the models produce extreme precipitation amounts that, in some cases, are routinely 2 to 3 times as heavy as the actual observations show.


Figure 2. Area-averaged mean (left) and 50-year return period (right) winter precipitation for the historical period (1979–1999) for the eight regional climate model simulations (black and white symbols) and the observations (red circle) (Adapted from Dominguez et al., 2012).

Clearly, the regional climate models fail at correctly simulating the processes responsible for producing heavy precipitation events in the western U.S.

Faced with these facts, one should conclude that the regional climate models serve no useful purpose, as Roger Pielke Sr. has been espousing.

Damn the data! Full speed ahead!

Dominguez et al. press on with their futile analysis and use the regional climate models to produce projections of the changes in winter precipitation extremes across the western U.S. for the period 2038-2070.

And you’ll never guess what they found–an increase in the model projected precipitation extremes!

Figure 3 shows the details. The solid black dots are the model average for the percentage change in winter precipitation (left) and in the amount falling in the 50-yr daily storm event (right). The changes in total winter precipitation projected by the individual regional climate models are all over the place—some predict 5, 10, or even 20% more precipitations in some areas, others project similar sized declines. But when it comes to extreme precipitation, virtually all the models project increases, some upwards of 20 to 30%.


Figure 3. Change in the area-averaged mean (left) and 50-year return period (right) winter precipitation between the future (2038-2070) and the historical period (1968–1999) for the eight regional climate model simulations (black and white symbols). The model ensemble mean is indicated as well (solid black circle). (Adapted from Dominguez et al., 2012).

This was a pointless exercise, since the models cannot even replicate observed precipitation extremes.

This is also another example of the shoddy state of peer review in climate science. Repeat after us, if models cannot accurately and robustly simulate the observed climate, they are worthless.

References:

Castro, C.L, R.A. Pielke Sr., and G. Leoncini, 2005. Dynamical Downscaling: Assessment of value retained and added using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, D05108, doi:10.1029/2004JD004721.

Dominguez, F., E. Rivera, D. P. Lettenmaier, and C.L. Castro, 2012. Changes in winter precipitation extremes for the western United States under a warmer climate as simulated by regional climate models. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L05803, doi:10.1029/2011GL050762.

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53 Responses to Climate modeling turkey shoot, western style

  1. Allen says:

    The results show that climate events will become more extreme due to climate change. Unless climate events don’t become more extreme, which is also due to climate change.

    There. Now please give me my grant.

  2. Brian H says:

    Maybe divide the precip amounts by 2, and try again?

  3. Ben U. says:

    From Dominguez’s paper: “…the goal of providing useful estimates for engineering design of water management structures.”

    Remember the NOAA “needs assessment survey“? There were more of those, local-level ones. ,It seems to be not only about testing NOAA employees for correct climate beliefs. There seems to be an effort to push application of climatology, ready or not, into planning at various levels. The surveys involve planning’s needs.

  4. Wayne Delbeke says:

    It appears the models fail to account for topography. Just an observation.

  5. DD More says:

    Since precipitation levels are so tied into El Nino & La Nina events, have they finally model them and can they now tell us what causes them to switch back and forth?

  6. pat says:

    I do not see how one can model continental rain without a firm model of hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

  7. commieBob says:

    Way off topic.

    I am currently listening to a CBC radio program called Demon Coal. Right now, at 9:47 EDT, there is a really excellent interview with Judith Curry. http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2012/03/12/demon-coal-part-1/ Judith has a post about it on her web site.

    It is really important that the CBC is airing a program that examines AGW theory and finds it wanting or even just allows all sides to be fairly examined.

  8. pat says:

    the amount of space The Atlantic gives to this, bereft of satire, is mind-boggling:

    12 March: The Atlantic: Ross Anderson: How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change
    A new paper to be published in Ethics, Policy & Environment proposes a series of biomedical modifications that could help humans, themselves, consume less.
    Some of the proposed modifications are simple and noninvasive. For instance, many people wish to give up meat for ecological reasons, but lack the willpower to do so on their own. The paper suggests that such individuals could take a pill that would trigger mild nausea upon the ingestion of meat, which would then lead to a lasting aversion to meat-eating. Other techniques are bound to be more controversial. For instance, the paper suggests that parents could make use of genetic engineering or hormone therapy in order to birth smaller, less resource-intensive children.
    The lead author of the paper, S. Matthew Liao, is a professor of philosophy and bioethics at New York University. Liao is keen to point out that the paper is not meant to advocate for any particular human modifications, or even human engineering generally; rather, it is only meant to introduce human engineering as one possible, partial solution to climate change. He also emphasized the voluntary nature of the proposed modifications. Neither Liao or his co-authors, Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache of Oxford, approve of any coercive human engineering; they favor modifications borne of individual choices, not technocratic mandates. What follows is my conversation with Liao about why he thinks human engineering could be the most ethical and effective solution to global climate change…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/how-engineering-the-human-body-could-combat-climate-change/253981/

  9. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ pat says:
    March 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    the amount of space The Atlantic gives to this, bereft of satire, is mind-boggling:

    12 March: The Atlantic: Ross Anderson: How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change
    A new paper to be published in Ethics, Policy & Environment proposes a series……………………..
    ====================================================================
    That’s called “Conditioning” . Several ways to do it, beyond Pavlov’s experiments. It’s being done now, in case you haven’t noticed. Ding, ding, ding.

  10. Arno Arrak says:

    There is no hope that any of these climate models predict reality. Once you build in the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide as the source of warming, as they all do, you have invalidated your model. Resemblance to actual precipitation pattern then becomes simply a matter of manipulating arbitrary free parameters of which carbon dioxide is one. I say this because the work of Ferenc Miscolczi clearly shows that carbon dioxide does not cause greenhouse warming. Using NOAA database of weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948 he was able to show that the transmittance of the atmosphere in the infrared where CO2 absorbs has been constant for the last 62 years. During that same time the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increased by 21.6 percent. This means that that the addition of this amount of carbon dioxide to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. Models using the greenhouse effect to predict warming are thereby invalidated. Carbon dioxide does not warm the world even if you double it, hence sensitivity to doubling is exactly zero. And predictions of a climate Armageddon caused by the greenhouse effect are just pure fantasy.

  11. Ted G says:

    Why are these pretenders and rent seekers entertained, surly the a reasonably intelligent warmer must see through this constant barrage of BS and smoke?

  12. markx says:

    I love the way the claims of future disastrous “extreme weather” have gradually changed from being storms, cyclones, typhoons and tornados to “…a bit more rain….. maybe”.

  13. Gail Combs says:

    Curiousgeorge says: Re How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change…

    That’s called “Conditioning” . Several ways to do it, beyond Pavlov’s experiments. It’s being done now, in case you haven’t noticed. Ding, ding, ding.
    ________________________________________________

    Amen!
    The object is to keep bring the idea up to make people comfortable with it at first and then gradually it will be recommended and finally enforced. We use the same method to train horse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVNbjYCWF2M

  14. James Sexton says:

    Sigh….. this is what we’ve come to. Why can’t they understand our models are useless, much less for regional…… scenarios.

    Can’t these dumbasses figure out if the models are consistently and persistently inaccurate, then there is something wrong with them? How stupid are they? If they can’t backcast observations then why in God’s name to they believe they can forecast anything?

    Why don’t they just consult their tea leaves and beg for money like the rest of the charlatans?

  15. Gail Combs says:

    So now NOAA is going to use worse than useless models to help local cities come up with ordinances on water… ARRRRRGHHhhhh!

  16. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Once again, it’s models all the way down, no data were harmed in the writing of the paper. We know this because no data were involved in the writing of the paper.

    Nicely done, my congratulations.

    w.

  17. John F. Hultquist says:

    Some of you must be reading Luboš Motl’s trf and lost track of things!

  18. A fundamental problem for climate modelling is that so much money has been invested in this work now, that it is very difficult for them to come back to policy makers and admit that there is nothing to show for it.

  19. Political Junkie says:

    To echo an earlier totally off topic comment as a Canadian CBC listener I’m genuinely and deeply shocked after having listened to a CBC program on global warming entitled “Demon coal.”

    The damn thing is rational, non-political, unbiased and sane.

    Dr. Curry’s considered and well delivered opinions are aired apparently unedited.

    I’m at a loss to explain how an informative program such as this made it through the CBC bureaucracy.

    Wow, just WOW!!!!

    I need a drink!

    http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Radio/Ideas/1453660136/ID=2208383550

  20. DirkH says:

    Curiousgeorge says:
    March 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm
    “@ pat says:
    March 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    the amount of space The Atlantic gives to this, bereft of satire, is mind-boggling:

    12 March: The Atlantic: Ross Anderson: How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change
    A new paper to be published in Ethics, Policy & Environment proposes a series……………………..
    ====================================================================
    That’s called “Conditioning” . Several ways to do it, beyond Pavlov’s experiments. It’s being done now, in case you haven’t noticed. Ding, ding, ding.”

    We could give ourselves sweat glands. Oh, wait…
    It looks like the field of Ethics leads itself naturally to attract crooks, forgers, crackpots and freedom-haters.

  21. Arno Arrak says:

    DD More says:
    March 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm
    Since precipitation levels are so tied into El Nino & La Nina events, have they finally model them and can they now tell us what causes them to switch back and forth?
    ***************************************************************************************
    DD – After years of studying it these guys still have no idea what El Nino & La Nina are. Big shots like Hansen and Trenberth have put in their two cents worth but reading theirs and others papers reminds me of the blind men and an elephant: many observations but no coherent theory. ENSO is a resonant oscillation of ocean water from side to side in the equatorial Pacific. If you blow across a glass tube you get a resonant tone determined by the dimensions of the tube. The trade winds are the equivalent of blowing across the tube and the ocean answers with its own resonant tone – about one El Nino wave every four-five years or so. The equatorial currents driven by the trade winds are blocked from entering the Indian Ocean by New Guinea and the Philippines. The warm water they pushed across the ocean piles up there and forms the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, said to be the warmest water in the world. Periodically this piled-up water forms an El Nino wave that crosses the ocean along the equatorial counter-current and runs ashore in South America. There it spreads out north and south along the coast and warms the air above it. Warm air rises, interferes with trade winds, mixes with general circulation, and we notice the start of an El Nino. But every wave that runs ashore must also retreat. As the El Nino wave retreats sea level drops behind it half a meter or more, cold water from below wells up, and a La Nina has started. This has been going on as long as the present configuration of currents has existed which means since the Isthmus of Panama rose from the sea. I published this in 2009 in “What Warming?” but it is too much for these guys to read something that is not written by a member of their club. As a result we get absurdities like the claim that the Pliocene had an El Nino-like climate. That is an oxymoron because you can’t make an oscillating wave stand still.

  22. michaelspj says:

    Thanks, Willis! U R A King!

    I can see how this got conflated with Liao craziness. They’re all of a bunch, aren’t they? For anyone who wants to see the how the Volk movement and the rise of green thought got us to where we are today, do read the first 80 pages of Anna Bramwell’s “A History of Ecology in the Twentieth Century” (after 80 pages she starts to perseverate).

    Liao really scares me, I admit. But so do Wigley (who has to cultivate looking like Lenin), Santer, Mann, Overpeck, etc…all so imbued with their own rectitude, trapped in their models that we paid for.

    PJM

  23. Jeef says:

    The models need more snake oil!

  24. Len says:

    The climate modeles, global or regional, cannot accurately be fitted to historical data for temperature, thus cannot predict future temperatures. Now when they shift to precipitation, the inherent higher variability of precipitation at spatial and temporal scales from point to global and hourly to decades makes it much harder to model that temperature. If they cannot model temperature, they surely cannot model precipitation. This paper demonstrated that quite nicely.

  25. Doug Proctor says:

    Whatever happened to the UK Met Office and their decision NOT to publish longer-range forecasts after the disasters of several summers and winters? I know they said the problem was they didn’t have powerful enough computers to do the job. Perhaps they are in a “legitimate” research decade while they get, understand and determine that the new computers are not good enough still.

  26. Brian Johnson uk says:

    Oh that the the BBC would produce anything that doesn’t have a Black/Monbiotic AGW slant sneakily added somewhere!

  27. Skiphil says:

    These people don’t even need models to know that mountain snowfall is endangered by “climate Change” …. oh what are skiers to do?? Alarmist propaganda reaches the ski resort biz:

    http://www.saveoursnow.net/site/index.html

    SAVE OUR SNOW II

    “The second Park City community-wide meeting on the impact of climate change on the local environment and economy took place this past September 30, 2009 and we’re pleased to present the full Park City Climate Change Assessment in PDF format….”

  28. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From pat on March 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm:

    Other techniques are bound to be more controversial. For instance, the paper suggests that parents could make use of genetic engineering or hormone therapy in order to birth smaller, less resource-intensive children.

    The Atlantic should have noted there is indeed an ongoing large scale experiment that has successfully produced smaller people that consume very few resources. It’s called North Korea.

  29. MAVukcevic says:

    Temperature projection where all forcings are determined by nature, in the past, at the present and extrapolated to the future:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net//GTC.htm

    If you think the CO2 forcing is important, sorry to say there is no room left, so you need to look elsewhere.

  30. Adam Gallon says:

    Get that publication number up, get those grants in, get the number of citations up, raise the profile of your institute, department, self & professor.
    The fact that the paper’s a complete & utter pile of rancid halibut giblets, is neither here nor there.

  31. If I read newspaper reports correctly, some parts of Australia had their second once-in-100 year rainfall high about 40 years ago, then had another earlier this year, then another one less than a month later.
    Apologies if that was not expressed well.

  32. Dr. Paul Mackey says:

    There seems to be something fundamentally wrong with science education these days. How can a professional scientist put out predictions based on a model that does not replicate real observations? basic scientific method – observe a phenomenon, formulate a theory (model) that explains ( matches ) all the observations, use that theory to predict observations not yet seen, then look for them. If they are found, theory is validated. If a theory can’t replicate observations, then it is back to the drawing board.

    So who is teaching a seemingly increasing number of scientists that a model’s inability to replicate observations and reality does not invalidate the model immediately?

  33. DirkH says:

    Geoff Sherrington says:
    March 13, 2012 at 3:10 am
    “If I read newspaper reports correctly, some parts of Australia had their second once-in-100 year rainfall high about 40 years ago, then had another earlier this year, then another one less than a month later.
    Apologies if that was not expressed well.”

    You forgot to mention
    -a) it’s the Climate Change
    -b) you’re concerned.

    Besides that, perfect.

  34. steveta_uk says:

    Dr. Micheals, I think you are being too hard on Chris Castro.

    Just because he put his name to the work doesn’t mean he agrees with it, or even that he read it.

    If he is the supervisor for Dominguez, he’s hardly going to throw away a significant chunk of work from one of his juniors simply because it’s rubbish. After all, that’s the reviewers job.

    And if GRL are happy to publish, then that’s another notch on the CV.

    So when you ask “what’s the point in trying to do so?” – well, it’s obvious really.

  35. richard says:

    climat models do not take into account clouds and as NASA earth observatory kindly point out,

    “The balance between the cooling and warming actions of clouds is very close although, overall, averaging the effects of all the clouds around the globe, cooling predominates”

  36. Richard M says:

    Arno Arrak says:
    March 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    There is no hope that any of these climate models predict reality. Once you build in the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide as the source of warming, as they all do, you have invalidated your model. Resemblance to actual precipitation pattern then becomes simply a matter of manipulating arbitrary free parameters of which carbon dioxide is one. I say this because the work of Ferenc Miscolczi clearly shows that carbon dioxide does not cause greenhouse warming. Using NOAA database of weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948 he was able to show that the transmittance of the atmosphere in the infrared where CO2 absorbs has been constant for the last 62 years. During that same time the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increased by 21.6 percent. This means that that the addition of this amount of carbon dioxide to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed.

    I suspect the reason is that CO2 has two effects. The first effect, the GHE, is near saturation. That allows the less potent cooling effect to cancel out any future warming. The “cooling effect” is due to the fact that CO2 and all GHGs are the very means at which our atmosphere is cooled. Add more CO2 and you improve the efficiency of this effect.

    It’s sort of like adding lanes to a superhighway allows the transport of more vehicles, adding more CO2 to the atmosphere allows more parallel transport of energy to space.

  37. polistra says:

    If you look at the actual numbers, you can see two different patterns. Near the coast, a definite peak in ‘extremity’ in the late ’70s and another in the late ’90s. Otherwise nothng special.

    Washington coast:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/time-series/index.php?parameter=pcp&month=9&year=2011&filter=12&state=45&div=1

    But after the Cascades/Sierras perform their wringer action, the ’90s wildness is gone, and a ’50s wildness appears.

    East side of Cascades:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/time-series/index.php?parameter=pcp&month=9&year=2011&filter=12&state=45&div=6

    In both cases the last decade has returned to typical and seems to be narrowing.

    When was Evil Carbon the highest? When the variability was trending downward. If you want to extrapolate, that’s where you should start.

  38. LazyTeenager says:

    Patrick Michaels says
    [SNIP: LT, you are in no position to make insulting comments like this. Your comments on this site have generally not been substantive, generally failed to be backed up and generally are full of snark. You've been warned about this before. Despite your choice of a screen name, we both know that you are fully capable of adding something here. Grow up or move out. -REP]

  39. LazyTeenager says:

    Arno Arrak says
    ENSO is a resonant oscillation of ocean water from side to side in the equatorial Pacific.
    ———-
    If that was the case you would be able to relate the resonant frequency to the dimensions of the ocean basins. I bet you can’t.

    If ENSO was a resonant frequency it would be constant in amplitude and frequency. It is not.

  40. Kip Hansen says:

    If I get time today, I will look up the grant that paid for this study. My guess, and I hate to be cynical, is that the grant offer ‘dictated’ the method and the finding, even though the authors themselves are fully aware that the method can not produce scientifically valid results.

  41. michael hart says:

    “Now comes a paper which clearly demonstrates a systematic failure of precipitation models and still calls the results “useful”. Reviewers…halloo??”

    I think you may be asking the wrong question. The models are clearly useful for the modellers, useful for the publishers, and possibly useful for the reviewers too. Probably useful for Greenpeace. Just not very useful for most other people. Especially ones interested in precipitation, that’s all.

  42. ThinkingScientist says:

    These modern fantasy computer games are just so dull, no shoot ‘em up, no first person perspective. I don’t why they play them…and they are so expensive and you need a special computer for this sort of gaming too…

    Call me old fashioned but I prefer a good old straight up “kill the bad guys” game such as Quake III Arena myself.

  43. Jay Davis says:

    When I was in high school and college, I was taught that before doing your own research, read and fully understand the work of others on the subject matter before you start. And of especial importance, have a complete understanding of all research that may contradict what you are trying to prove. For some reason, whenever I read papers like this one, I get the feeling schools aren’t teaching that methodology any more.

  44. Craig Loehle says:

    Sometimes the answer is “we don’t know” and we should stick to it. I also analyze this problem in Loehle, C. 2011. Criteria for Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystems. Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.1002/ece3.7

  45. richard verney says:

    Will Nitschke says:
    March 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm
    A fundamental problem for climate modelling is that so much money has been invested in this work now, that it is very difficult for them to come back to policy makers and admit that there is nothing to show for it.
    /////////////////////////////////////////
    That is no doubt a truism, but there is an even more fundamental point, namely that CAGW only exists in the imagination of models. If modellers were to admit that the projections out putted from these models are in fact so unreliable that model projections are all but valueless, the whole CAGW case is dead. We are left with the so called ‘basic physics’ of about 1degC per doubling of CO2. Not a scary scenario.

    AND IF the feedbacks are in totality negative, then the warming would be even less than 1 degC per doubling of CO2, and as Arno Arrak points out in his post of March 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm, it could well be NIL.

    Climate science will not advance until the models are ditched.

  46. richard verney says:

    Brian Johnson uk says:
    March 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////
    The other night their program on Orbit had the usual cAGW mantra. ‘people in the UK may not have noticed GW with a string of cold winters but here in Greenland on the front line, claimate change is real and visible and humans are resposible for it etc. etc’

  47. Wayne Delbeke says:

    If you want to make a difference go to the CBC site referenced below and make a comment or click on the comments you agree with. CBC has a LOT of left leaning listeners, but many of us write in to discuss their biases … and I have to admit they have been responding to concerns and trying to present both sides of issues. But it is important for them to know they are being heard:

    commieBob says:
    March 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm
    Way off topic.

    I am currently listening to a CBC radio program called Demon Coal. Right now, at 9:47 EDT, there is a really excellent interview with Judith Curry. http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2012/03/12/demon-coal-part-1/ Judith has a post about it on her web site.

    It is really important that the CBC is airing a program that examines AGW theory and finds it wanting or even just allows all sides to be fairly examined.

  48. stumpy says:

    This is a common problem for me as an engineer. I am often asked to model the impacts of increased rainfall projected by a climate model, but the even the increased rainfall projected for a 100 yrs is less than the ACTUAL rainfall! But its often converted to a X% increase (or decrease) and applied to the ACTUAL rainfall – but they are not even comparable as the models often have an area having 200mm of annual rainfall increasing to say 220mm when its acutally 700mm – it shows how usless these models are, if they cannot replicate local or regional climate, how can it represent global climate when that is the culmination of local and regional climate. If you average a million errors, it does not make the answer accurate, if it happens to match observed its nothing more than a fudge or luck. I care about the local climate, not the global one, it means nothing!

  49. Arno Arrak says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    March 13, 2012 at 6:12 am
    Arno Arrak says
    ENSO is a resonant oscillation of ocean water from side to side in the equatorial Pacific.
    ———-
    If that was the case you would be able to relate the resonant frequency to the dimensions of the ocean basins. I bet you can’t.
    If ENSO was a resonant frequency it would be constant in amplitude and frequency. It is not.
    ******************************************************************************************************
    Of course you can relate the resonant frequency to the dimensions of the ocean basin. If you have a problem with that just go and do the calculation yourself, don’t be a lazy trout. It is quite true that the amplitude and frequency can be temporarily influenced by other happenings in the ocean but it always returns or attempts to return to its regular frequency, about four-five years. El Nino peaks can be traced all the way back to the nineteenth century as the BEST project results show. In the eighties and nineties El Ninos were fairly regular until the super El Nino of 1998 showed up. It carried a huge amount of warm water across the ocean, perhaps as a result of a storm surge in the Western Pacific. This raised global temperature by a third of a degree, the only real warming within the last 34 years. This, and not some imaginary greenhouse warming, was the cause of the very warm first decade of our century.

  50. wermet says:

    Willis Eschenbach says: March 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Once again, it’s models all the way down, no data were harmed in the writing of the paper. We know this because no data were involved in the writing of the paper.

    While I understand the humor of your statement, I cannot agree with your assessment.

    When available data is ignored and not used to validate a computer simulation, the “data” has been “harmed”. Once scientists get used to ignoring data during the “validation” steps of modeling, all pretense at science has been abandoned. When “scientists” stop referencing the data, the general public will not bother to ask about it on their own. This harms the data because those who should be using it will continue to ignore it, or worse still, will forget that it even needs to be consulted in the first place. Thus, we move ever onward toward “data-free science”.

    This is an evil and slippery slope that “climate scientists” and others have chosen to walk.

  51. Wayne Delbeke says:

    Stumpy at 11:24 am

    Me too!! Also as an engineer, this CAGW stuff has never made a lot of sense to me either. It conflicts with my work and training with hydrology and weather courses in the 60’s through to streamflow modeling, rain fall projections, storm water management, flood protection and other civil engineering projects since then. All the chemistry, physics, geography, biology, microbiology and other science courses seemed to be contrary to the CAGW dogma. Of course living in a place where we have 6 months of winter and 6 months of bad sledding might have something to do with it. In the City 100 km north of me, they are talking about unseasonably warm weather; and I can’t see my horses in the pasture cause there is a full on blizzard blowing. It’s the weather ….

  52. JC says:

    Can we please stop playing the projections-not-predictions game? If the models don’t make predictions, they can’t be wrong, and if they can’t be wrong they ain’t science.

    Models are THEORIES.

  53. Agile Aspect says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    March 13, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Arno Arrak says
    ENSO is a resonant oscillation of ocean water from side to side in the equatorial Pacific.
    ———-
    If that was the case you would be able to relate the resonant frequency to the dimensions of the ocean basins. I bet you can’t.

    If ENSO was a resonant frequency it would be constant in amplitude and frequency. It is not.
    ;——————————————————————————————————————-

    The only requirement for the resonance is that the amplitude INCREASE as the frequency changes – there is no requirement for the amplitude or the frequency be constant.

    The resonance frequency may vary but so what – it varies within a well defined range – similar to musical instrument.

    But definition, the frequency is 1/T where T is the time period (which is on the order of 3-8 years.)

    You can see the ENSO music in the UAH monthly temperatures.

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