National Academy of Sciences: climate models still ‘decades away’ from being useful

climate-model-1[1]

Climate Model: resolution still too coarse to provide useful predictions

From the National Academy of Sciences report A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling:

Computer models that simulate the climate are an integral part of providing climate information, in particular for future changes in the climate. Overall, climate modeling has made enormous progress in the past several decades, but meeting the information needs of users will require further advances in the coming decades.

The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling. However, genuine and important uncertainties remain (e.g., the response of clouds,
ecosystems, and the polar regions) and need to be considered in developing scientifically based strategies for societal response to climate change.

Description:

As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning. A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling emphasizes the needs for climate models to evolve substantially in order to deliver climate projections at the scale and level of detail desired by decision makers, this report finds. Despite much recent progress in developing reliable climate models, there are still efficiencies to be gained across the large and diverse U.S. climate modeling community. Evolving to a more unified climate modeling enterprise-in particular by developing a common software infrastructure shared by all climate researchers and holding an annual climate modeling forum-could help speed progress.

Throughout this report, several recommendations and guidelines are outlined to accelerate progress in climate modeling. The U.S. supports several climate models, each conceptually similar but with components assembled with slightly different software and data output standards. If all U.S. climate models employed a single software system, it could simplify testing and migration to new computing hardware, and allow scientists to compare and interchange climate model components, such as land surface or ocean models. A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling recommends an annual U.S. climate modeling forum be held to help bring the nation’s diverse modeling communities together with the users of climate data. This would provide climate model data users with an opportunity to learn more about the strengths and limitations of models and provide input to modelers on their needs and provide a venue for discussions of priorities for the national modeling enterprise, and bring disparate climate science communities together to design common modeling experiments.

In addition, A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling explains that U.S. climate modelers will need to address an expanding breadth of scientific problems while striving to make predictions and projections more accurate. Progress toward this goal can be made through a combination of increasing model resolution, advances in observations, improved model physics, and more complete representations of the Earth system. To address the computing needs of the climate modeling community, the report suggests a two-pronged approach that involves the continued use and upgrading of existing climate-dedicated computing resources at modeling centers, together with research on how to effectively exploit the more complex computer hardware systems expected over the next 10 to 20 years.

Read the report.

h/t to Steve Milloy of junkscience.com

 

See also this video from Bob Tisdale:  A Video Preview of “Climate Models Fail”

 

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114 Responses to National Academy of Sciences: climate models still ‘decades away’ from being useful

  1. clipe says:

    National Academy of Sciences: climate models still ‘decades away’ from being useful
    Yep!

  2. gino says:

    let me guess……they will need more funding to work on this problem.

  3. Peter Miller says:

    Step 1 in sorting out today’s climate computer programs would be to outlaw the practice of having pre-determined results in order to get ‘research’ funding.

  4. Jay Davis says:

    This question needs to be answered – If they are still decades away from being useful, why then are they being used to tax us and price electricity out of reach of the common man?

  5. Jquip says:

    “The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling. ”

    compelling — synonyms: coercive, compulsory. Fundamentalist, to be sure. Just not fundamental science.

    “However, genuine and important uncertainties remain …”

    Translation: We don’t know the boundary conditions or attractors of our chaotic system.

    “… and need to be considered in developing scientifically based strategies for societal response to climate change.”

    Perpetual motion machines are scientifically based also. But ‘based on science’ doesn’t necessitate ‘science.’ Just something in a white smock; much like when the Pop takes off the funky hat.

  6. Luther Wu says:

    One would think that the indictments against climate alarmism have reached the point of being impossible to ignore, yet that’s just what’s happening to them.

  7. RK says:

    The body should have recommended that all government funded model codes be placed in the public domain.

  8. RC Saumarez says:

    Is this a gentle row back from an alarmist position?

    Will the IPCC recognise this?

  9. dp says:

    Decades away in a world where time is money? Think think think – what could that mean? Keep the gravy coming, maybe. Surely nobody is going to suggest we not have a solid understanding of the greatest challenge to mankind (/snarc), so dig deep and often.

  10. Sweet Old Bob says:

    The National Academy of Modeling “Sciences” can’t even get the “Description” right. GIGO!

  11. Claude Harvey says:

    Translation: “We’ve blown tens of $ billions on worthless climate models. We think we can do better. We’ll need tens more $ billions and lots of time. This is very exciting and rewarding work!”

  12. Joe Crawford says:

    Looks like just another puff piece to justify more funding to me. e.g.: “… U.S. climate modelers will need to address an expanding breadth of scientific problems while striving to make predictions and projections more accurate.”

  13. Jimbo says:

    More from Junkscience:

    National Academy of Sciences
    “As the scope of climate models has expanded, so has the need to validate and improve them. Enormous progress has been made in the past several decades in improving the utility and robustness of climate models, but more is needed to meet the desires of decision makers who are increasingly relying on the information from climate models.”
    http://junkscience.com/2013/09/13/shock-admission-ahead-of-ipcc-report-national-academy-of-sciences-says-climate-models-not-ready-for-decision-making/

    But AR5 is almost ready. What to do?

    PS I have to wonder about the “Enormous progress has been made in the past several decades in improving the utility and robustness of climate models”. What is their use when they have failed?

  14. Overall, climate modeling has made enormous progress in the past several decades

    And how exactly did they measure that progress?

    IMO, all they have done is fall into the widespread error in computing circles that increasing complexity is progress.

  15. Rud Istvan says:

    Throwing good money after bad is never wise.
    All GCMs fail because the grid scale resolution you post (same image used in my book) is far too coarse to resolve things like tropical thunderstorm convection cells (which is why GCMs cannot resolve Lindzens adaptive iris, and therefore why CMIP5 still gets the water vapor feedback wrong, therefore why they still predict an equatorial troposphere hot spot when there isn’t one), or clouds.
    This is inherent in the most powerful supercomputers, which are a couple of orders of magnitude not powerful enough to be able to adequately model these necessary phenomena on suitable small gridscales. Leaked AR5 WG1 SOD Chapter 7 (clouds) even said they may never be powerful enought to do so, before concluding that cloud feedback was significantly positive based on (and this is a direct quote) “unknown contributions by processes yet to be accounted for.”
    IPCC cargo cult science.
    So this formal appeal for GCM consolidation has very little real appeal. First rule of holes if you are in one and want out: stop digging.

  16. Bill Illis says:

    Public Policy Solution to a problem 101.

    Define problem.

    Explanation of potential causes of the problem.

    Assessment of the likelihood of each potential cause contributing to the problem.

    Examine alternatives to resolve the likely cause(s) of the problem.

    Implement alternatives that are feasible and more likely to produce a resolution.

    Examine results and go back to step 1.

    ———-

    Climate Science Solution to a problem 101.

    The problem is those who deny climate change.

    More funding and a national strategy will “blank / as in nothing is in this space” in the far distant future.

  17. Bill H says:

    “As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning.”

    That first sentence shows they haven’t learned the lesson of preconceived end points prior to starting.. Did they do some science to find out if it really was outside norms?

    I’m sorry but when the opening line is the party line the rest doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning.

  18. Jimbo says:

    So according to the National Academy of Sciences “decision makers” are

    “increasingly relying on the information from climate models.”

    which have failed. Do decisions arising from such reliance lead to ‘good’ outcomes? I don’t know, you decide but Policy Makers be warned. You might end up looking like fools. Actually, many of you are fools. Fooled by what looked like a walkover. It’s not so simple is it.

  19. AndyG55 says:

    ““The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling. ”

    Ummm… Until they get away from this baseless idea, they are doomed to failure.

  20. A.D. Everard says:

    You mean they’ve said, “Dang! We’ve dropped the ball this time around. Give us MORE MONEY and we’ll lay the foundations for the next time through, this time with super-duper models upgraded to the pinnacle of understanding, guaranteed to bring you Whatever Truth you PAY for, this time with a Whole Host of Ready-Made Excuses for When It Doesn’t Work.”

    …Or am I just being cynical?

  21. Hector Pascal says:

    As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms…

    Fail. No need to read any further.

  22. Jimbo says:

    National Academy of Sciences
    “Enormous progress has been made in the past several decades in improving the utility and robustness of climate models”.

    I got an “F” last week in school. I made enormous progress and still got an “F” today. Have I made progress? Yes, but I am still useless.

  23. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Simple and compelling. These two words get tossed around a lot in association with a multi-dimensional chaotic heat-engine that the tossers pretend to understand. Compelling, alright. “We compel you to believe this, or else”

  24. Jimbo says:

    IS THIS A JOKE OR A SCAM??? What!!!!!

    Description:
    As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning.

    I could hit this thread with lots of references to expose this nonsense but today I will hold off.

    How much funding does the NAS receive each year?

  25. Joe says:

    “National Academy of Sciences: climate models still ‘decades away’ from being useful”

    Where exactly did they say the models are still ‘decades away’ form being useful?

  26. Eliza says:

    AW the 50 to 1 project I think will eventually be VERY successful and will be used in posterity to define the AGW scam in its entirety… well done . I speculate that MAJOR TV stations will eventually show the interviews with Singer, Evans. I expect the even the BBC, Australian ABC ect when the scam is totally finished probably 2 years from now. The Guy Topher hopefully will become a millionaire he deserves it. The Video interviews will be be viewed by more and more because they are the truth and have been done very professionally so that the commoner can understand them. Type 50 to 1 project Topher you will see all the videos there.

  27. Allencic says:

    I’ve thought they haven’t been useful for at least thirty years since this thermageddon stuff was just getting started. Three decades of gigo must mean something but I don’t know what given that so many still are desperate to believe in AGW no matter what the evidence. It must be awful to have such a strong need for the world to go to hell.

  28. OldWeirdHarold says:

    So does this mean the NSA and Big Climate are going to be fighting over the supercomputers?

  29. Steven Mosher says:

    cool. they are listening.

  30. thallstd says:

    I think this is more than a justification for future modeling funds. Seems like it could also be clearing the path to continue justification for radical policy whether the climate behaves according to the models or not.

    I expect some statement similar to this will be forthcoming in short order: “It’s not that CO2 isn’t the problem we’ve always said it was. It’s just that the models aren’t accurate enough yet to reflect every nuance of our CO2 induced catastrophically warming planet. We can’t believe the models. But we can believe that CO2 is as evil as we’ve always said it is.”

  31. Jimbo says:

    I sense a crunch coming.

    AR5 BS, failed climate models, wild weather claims, calamatologists screeching, ‘goberment’ questions, whitewash plenty, diplomatic language, more consensus (98%+), we must act now!, acid water, hellfire, the end is nigh, doooooom.

  32. Jimbo says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    cool. they are listening.

    a;dofvnaidofnvaidofnv;nbxlm

  33. thingadonta says:

    ” meeting the information needs of users will require further advances in the coming decades.”

    Wonderful truthspeak from a government agency when it has just been plain wrong.

  34. davidmhoffer says:

    I like it. Instead of a whole bunch of researchers explaining why their particular model is right and all the other ones are wrong, we’ll reduce the discussion to all researchers explaining why their one model is right and the earth is wrong.

  35. Jay says:

    We will figure it out.. First we have to track and understand everything, then we have to figure out how they interact with each other.. Then you look for a pattern.. My guess is 200 years before we can play god..

    Then its likely that the climate sciences itself might bring about greater damage than CO2 could ever dream of.. Messing with earth’s ability to regulate itself.. Lets all hope the people in charge really know what they are talking about, and are not playing politics..

  36. philjourdan says:

    They also need to quit fudging with the historical data or they will never get a working model. Part of the problem, in their zeal to prove we are warming in an unprecedented way, they are destroying the raw data that would help to build those models.

  37. Jeff Alberts says:

    Rud Istvan says:
    September 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    So this formal appeal for GCM consolidation has very little real appeal. First rule of holes if you are in one and want out: stop digging.

    The hole they have dug is filled with money. They don’t want out. They want the hole to be deeper so it will hold more money.

  38. A.D. Everard says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    cool. they are listening.

    *
    No. If you read carefully, you’ll realize they are not listening at all. They are covering their rear ends and/or laying the grounds for their next assault. They are still clinging to the same assumptions that screwed up all the other models. They still want “climate change” (AKA CAGW) to be a policy pusher. It’s still about control. It’s still about funding. They have not learnt a thing and don’t intend to.

  39. DirkH says:

    Jay Davis says:
    September 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm
    “This question needs to be answered – If they are still decades away from being useful, why then are they being used to tax us and price electricity out of reach of the common man?”

    The NAS has erroneously assumed that GCM’s are scientific tools. They are not; they are entirely political tools; and as such, extremely useful from day one; as Carl Sagan could attest, who used a completely unrealistic model to whip up the great Nuclear Winter panic of the early 80ies, which was enormously successful in boosting his book sales and TV career.
    http://www.textfiles.com/survival/nkwrmelt.txt

  40. Anto says:

    Hang on. As far back as 2010, they were certain they knew what was happening:
    “A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities,
    http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/sample-page/panel-reports/87-2/

    Now, they’re telling us that the models are useless? What a clown car crash!

  41. DirkH says:

    Bill Illis says:
    September 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm
    “Climate Science Solution to a problem 101.
    The problem is those who deny climate change.”

    The climate hasn’t changed a bit in the last 15 years.
    The problem are those who deny that it hasn’t.
    They are either clinically stupid or criminally corrupt; possibly both.

  42. BillyV says:

    I find this statement incredible: “Overall, climate modeling has made enormous progress in the past several decades,”
    I was taught that X times zero no matter how many times you do it, still equals zero. Progress? The only progress is that quite a few folks doing the modeling have had their mortgages paid by this from the public trough; so to call this progress is absurd .

  43. dp says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    cool. they are listening.

    Why are they among the last to catch on if catching on is in fact what this represents?

  44. This sure reads like a money manifesto to me, where it should be a mea culpa. I love this one, “…U.S. climate modelers will need to address an expanding breadth of scientific problems …”
    In fact, they can’t come to terms with the problems inherent in forecasting climate, so what NEW problems does this brain trust propose to tackle?

  45. Jeff Alberts says:

    DirkH says:
    September 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    The climate hasn’t changed a bit in the last 15 years.
    The problem are those who deny that it hasn’t.
    They are either clinically stupid or criminally corrupt; possibly both.

    This is the problem. There is no “the climate”. There are local and regional climates, and they’re changing all the time, within a fairly narrow variable range.

    From the winter of 2008 (that’s twenty oh eight, not two thousand and eight) through most of 2012, the US Pacific Northwest was abnormally cool and wet in the spring and summer. During the late fall and early winter months (November and December) we saw a LOT of snow during those years. This past winter we got none to speak of. This summer we’ve been more in the average range for our area. So yeah, climates change constantly.

    The problem is we get this stupendously moronic and amazingly useless “global mean temperature” or the like thrown at us all the time, even from this site, which tells us absolutely nothing about climate. It only tells us that taking the mean of a bunch of numbers gives you the mean of a bunch of numbers. Both sides are guilty of this.

  46. Catcracking says:

    Isn’t it crass to discuss the performance of the computer models and not admit how badly they have failed to date to predict the temperatures. You never fix a broken concept unless you acknowledge it’s problems and limitations.
    Second, it is indicated that “the models are too coarse to make useful predictions”. Did they tell the taxpayers that when we invested all those dollars in the useless computers? We screwed up, send us some more money. Actually I don’t think they can do any better since they don’t have a grasp on the fundamental equations to put into a model with higher resolution. Since the system is chaotic I don’t think they have a chance especially since they arbitrarily discount natural cycles.
    Time to stop the nonsense and discontinue funding such wasteful activities that are destined to fail because of flawed preconceived ideas.

  47. Theo Goodwin says:

    George Box: “All models are wrong but some are useful.” Not climate models.

  48. Bill Illis says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm
    cool. they are listening.
    ———

    I think I missed that part.

    The 294 page report just jumps to the solution of more money and greater resources without even noting that models have failed so far (as in not mentioning it even one single time).

    The best solution to the problem appears to be that the NAS should be defunded of all climate change research funding. If you can explain why that is not the solution, please explain why more funding (rather than no funding) will solve whatever problem it is that we are trying to solve.

  49. Jim S says:

    “….there are still efficiencies to be gained….”

    Dear God. Such abuse of the Bard’s language. Clinton would be proud.

  50. Katherine says:

    As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning.

    Clearly their sense of history stops short of the Medieval Warm Period. Or maybe it just covers the satellite period and conveniently allows them to ignore the Dust Bowl years. These guys need to buy a clue, but giving them cash would be throwing good money after bad.

  51. rogerknights says:

    “The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling. ”

    To a simple-minded compulsive.

  52. Nick Stokes says:

    It’s an interesting report. They aren’t of course saying the models are “decades away from being useful”; the quote was ” meeting the information needs of users will require further advances in the coming decades”.

    What they are saying is that a whole lot more people should be using them and need to be able to use them. Their big proposal is for a common software interface so that they could become like consumer products. They also contemplate a network of trained model interpreters. These are not the recommendations of people who think models are useless.

    Their list of four main recommendations is:
    “1. Evolve to a common national software infrastructure that supports a diverse hierarchy of different models…
    2. Convene an annual climate modeling forum that promotes tighter coordination…
    3. Nurture a unified weather-climate modeling effort that better exploits the synergies between weather forecasting, data assimilation, and climate modeling;
    4. Develop training, accreditation, and continuing education for “climate interpreters”…”

    It’s not saying the models are useless – it’s about how to get them more used.

    Here’s a quote from the report that you might like:
    “Over the next several decades climate change and its myriad consequences will be further unfolding and likely accelerating (NRC, 2011a). Probable impacts from climate change, including sea-level rise, a seasonally ice-free Arctic, large-scale ecosystem changes, regional droughts, and intense flooding events, will increase demand for climate information. The value of this climate information is large. One of the more prominent places to see this is through the impacts of extreme climate and weather events; extreme climate and weather events are one of the leading causes of economic and human losses, with total losses between 1980 and 2009 exceeding $700 billion (NCDC, 2010) and damages from more than 14 weather- and climate-related disasters totaling more than $50 billion in 2011 alone.1 Climate change is affecting the occurrence of and impacts from extreme events, such that the past is not necessarily a reliable guide for the future, which further underscores the value of climate information in the future.”

  53. david eisenstadt says:

    clearly the models arent useless…many people make their livings from maintaining them…not so many make a living betting on their accuracy however.

  54. AndyG55 says:

    “It’s not saying the models are useless ”

    Well it b******y well should be saying that.

    And you KNOW it !!

  55. R2Dtoo says:

    This reads as nothing more than part of your President’s doubling down proposition. The logical thing to do is to accept the “pause” as buying time, and redirecting funds to research that concentrates on defining the known critical “unknowns”. If this was done for ten years the computer nerds might have some useful data to put into the models. As it is now, the failure of the models implies that the whole scheme is nothing more than a big group of ex-pacman geeks playing games. This policy, if followed, will guarantee that the whole cadre of government controlled scientists and purchased academics can go on playing their games. Perhaps Mosher can let us in on why he thinks they are listening- the premises all seem the same, and the same actors will receive continued funding. Nothing new here.

  56. Graham says:

    Meanwhile, it’s a case of “Just gimme the money anyway.”

  57. gerrydorrian66 says:

    So basically the NAS has nothing of substance to say to this generation on climate change, and may not have for the next generation?

  58. gallopingcamel says:

    One of the major problems for climate skeptics is that many accept the idea that CO2 drives temperature even though “Hard Science” shows the exact opposite. The admirable Richard Lindzen is guilty of this fault when he debates the exact value of the “Climate Sensitivity Constant”.

    There is a statistically significant correlation between CO2 and the average global temperature if you look at the period from 1850 to 1998. Even in that timeframe it is hard to explain why temperatures fell during decades when CO2 was rising steadily. Since 1998, temperatatures have fallen while CO2 concentrations rose faster. “Global Warming” fanatics are now denying this reality. They have become “Deniers of Reality

    Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor. In a few weeks the IPCC will publish its fifth “Assessment Report” that will be eerily similar to its fourth assessment report (AR4). AR5 will be so absurd that there won’t be an AR6 in 2020. Ouch!

  59. Nick Condell says:

    Gavin schmidt has left an extrodinary piece … “On mismatches between models and observations” at Real Climate, presumably in his capacity as an expert commentator on how science should treat testability of predictions. His comments (response to first comment, critical of model use for advocacy) are delusional … “If you think that policies are being made based on exact numbers coming from a climate model, I’d have to ask for some evidence. Polices are being made (or at least considered) on the strongly evidence based premise that climate sensitivity is non-negligible, but that conclusion doesn’t depend on models as much as paleo-climate and so is unlikely to change.”

    My mouth is still open in awe at the audacity.

  60. TalentKeyHole Mole says:

    Oh Dear.

    Perhaps, and this is a prediction, in as short as 20-years hence ‘Climate Science’ will be recognized as a branch of Numerology.

    The impact of this is that ‘Climate’ other than the word Climate used in such late night or early morning (depending on the time zone) ruminations as “The Climate of Portugal”, or the “Climate of Fear”, or the “Climate of ‘I Love Lucy’ In The Post World War II America In The Early Years Of The Cold War And Other Explorations In The Context Of Galois Group Theory” will be recognized as not having anything to do with Physics nor the Physics Of Meteorology nor Weather.

    Happy Friday 13 2013 to Climate Scientists; you deserve it, what ever “it” may manifest itself before you in your wakeful or dreamful state or altered state of being at the time being be it as it may.

    ;)

  61. Mark Luhman says:

    Not possible, no model can model a chaotic system, the weather models are somewhat accurate three days out, they are reran every four hours, they will never be much better than a guess six day out, climate models have no chance of every being right. In the eighties much money was spend by investment companies trying to model the stock market, again a chaotic system and not possible. They gave up since there was no return on the money. Of course the weather climate modelers are not limited by market forces so the climate model farce continues.

  62. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Seems like a plea for more megabucks for even more megacomputers.
    I

  63. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Jay Davis rhetorically asks on September 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    This question needs to be answered – If they are still decades away from being useful, why then are they being used to tax us and price electricity out of reach of the common man?

    Money, my boy, money. If they had a working and accurate model, they would no longer need climate modelers. Whoever “they” is.

  64. cwon14 says:

    The models are based on political agenda, it’s insulting to pretend otherwise.

  65. John Mason says:

    Starts with an article of faith

    “As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms”

    Which is also contrary to any facts.

    sigh…

  66. Robert of Ottawa says:

    gallopingcamel, understand that the only reason that the warmistas can even make a case is because of some imaginary, and ridiculous, positive feedback.

  67. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Nick Stokes @ September 13, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    the quote was ” meeting the information needs of users will require further advances in the coming decades”.

    i.e. providing the “scientific results” that their political masters require. Lysenko anyone?

  68. Reed Coray says:

    As one dyslexic said to the other: “NSA / NAS, one of six, half-dozen of the other–big brother is watching out for us. Just send money; and don’t ask what’s behind the curtain.”

  69. jbird says:

    Huh? It’s hard to know exactly what this means, but I’ll take a stab:
    Our climate models have proven useless to project future climate trends, but we still believe in human caused climate change. Please give us more money so that we can improve our models’ abilities to predict the future climate.

  70. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Nick Stokes,
    You mentioned sea level rise.
    You are better than I am with numbers.
    Would you care to study this recent paper, whose abstracts includes -
    “Although mean sea levels are rising by 1mm/year, sea level rise is local rather than global, and is concentrated in the Baltic and Adriatic seas, South East Asia and the Atlantic coast of the United States. In these locations, covering 35 percent of tide gauges, sea levels rose on average by 3.8mm/year. Sea levels were stable in locations covered by 61 percent of tide gauges, and sea levels fell in locations covered by 4 percent of tide gauges. In these locations sea levels fell on average by almost 6mm/year.
    http://pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il/~msdfels/wpapers/Tide%20gauge%20location.pdf

    I could not find objections to it. If you cannot, you might have to accept the possibility that ocean rise wrt land is now pegged at 1 mm per year from historic data in PSMSL. The authors did not report evidence of acceleration in their chosen study period of 1900 to 2000.
    Note, from their conclusions, “We refer to this as the “conservative methodology” because it avoids the use of data reconstructions.”

  71. Geoff Sherrington says:

    It is worth remembering that the need to invoke GHG mechanism arose because the models were different to reality and the difference needed an explanation.
    If the models were wrong in certain ways…… no GHG needed.
    Still looking for delta T = fn(GHG concentration). All I can find is “the physics since year dot has shown that light passing through CO2 will cause heating”. The early experiments confined the gas and massively interfered with heat transport. Their findings are not immediately applicable to atmospheric conditions. Is there a quantitative paper about this heat?

  72. wwlee4411 says:

    Reblogged this on wwlee4411 and commented:
    Notice: DECADES!

  73. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Now is an important time for a critical review of models. The paused 20 years or so provides a study period when many confounding variables are held by Nature to be more constant than at other times of rapid change in one direction or another.
    For example, tree rings for the last decade or two should be essentially unresponsive if a near-constant local temperature is the dominant driver of their characteristics. We need more ground truth studies of concepts like this before we launch into complex forward models.
    The proposal to group the modellers more closely is perversely wrong. At a time like this, the best strategy is to separate the modellers further, and allowing them to search for their own parameters, like starting conditions, coefficients to weight variables and so on. Hopefully, one or more independent models will then match measured conditions better. There is no point in massively parallel approaches if there is a fundamental flaw carried by all models. Having 2 modellers working in parallel is nearly as good as having 20 in the sense of avoiding/finding small mistakes in the quality control regime.

  74. Nick Stokes says:

    Geoff,
    On sea level, you’ve linked to an unpublished paper by Beenstock and Reingewertz et al. These are the economists who brought us the proof that AGW can’t exist because of polynomial cointegration.

    It’s a long ramble about alleged non-random placement of tide gauges. I thought their cointegration stuff was very bad, and have no enthusiasm for delving into this. They ignore the more important contributions to modern MSL measurements from satellites. And it’s purely statistical – they make no effort to sort out the effect of land movement.

    “It is worth remembering that the need to invoke GHG mechanism arose because the models were different to reality and the difference needed an explanation.”
    The GHG mechansim goes back to at least Arrhenius in 1896. He wasn’t bothered by model discrepancies.

    “Still looking for delta T = fn(GHG concentration). “
    Climate sensitivity is the linear version.

  75. george e. smith says:

    So onto the trash heap of history with them, and get some data instead.. How many of these years away from working models, is Peter Humbug responsible for ?

  76. Louis says:

    “…genuine and important uncertainties remain (e.g., the response of clouds, ecosystems, and the polar regions) and need to be considered in developing scientifically based strategies for societal response to climate change.”

    I see several important concessions in the NAS quote above. First, there is the admission that the science is not settled. There are still some important uncertainties remaining. Second, some of the uncertainties not yet understood include clouds, ecosystems, and the polar regions. And third, they concede that those uncertainties need to be considered before we develop strategies to respond to climate change. To me, that means we need to fully understand those things before asking the world to make sacrifices that may not be necessary or even helpful. I doubt the authors would openly agree with me, but that’s what I gleam from their comments.

  77. u.k.(us) says:

    “The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling. However, genuine and important uncertainties remain (e.g., the response of clouds,
    ecosystems, and the polar regions) and need to be considered in developing scientifically based strategies for societal response to climate change.”
    =============
    Simple, compelling, important uncertainties, then the money shot “societal response”.
    This is science ?

  78. dbstealey says:

    “There are two different types of people in the world; those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”

    ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

    The people who want to know the truth are the majority of readers of this “Best Science & Technology” site. Conversely, the people who want to ‘believe’ are those relative few who argue with the verifiable facts, and with the Scientific Method, and with Occam’s Razor, and with the climate Null Hypothesis, etc. You know the ones. They are easy to spot.

    Winnowing the truth out of the Universe is always an uphill battle. It is never easy, because there are always people who opine, based on their emotions, rather than on verifiable scientific observations.

    Thus, changing public opinion is always hard! But it is doable, as we can see here. Public opinion is gradually shifting in favor of scientific truth [as we currently understand it]. Eventually, the public will come to see that the catastrophic AGW scare is simply a grant-fed scam. More than anything, the impact of that false alarm on our tax liability will bring about change. But it is always hard, and communicating the truth is always an uphill battle.

  79. NeilC says:

    “Overall, climate modeling has made enormous progress in the past several decades,” Yup they didn’t work 30 years ago and they don’t work ‘even better’ today!

  80. dp says:

    Nick – if more people should be using them but don’t what does that say about the usefulness of the information? I’ll help – the information is not useful and so unused. I suspect too that nobody today wants to to have their career stained by referencing anything coming from the consensus believing gate keepers. That stuff is so over.

  81. Manniac says:

    The models need to gather more wood and faster.

  82. Latimer Alder says:

    So exactly what did we – the public – gain by spending $50+ billion on models that still aren’t fit for purpose after 30 years?

  83. Friends:

    The IPCC AR5 is due.

    It is now clear that the climate models are useless. As the NAS Report says

    the needs for climate models to evolve substantially in order to deliver climate projections at the scale and level of detail desired by decision makers

    That needs to be shouted whenever the AR5 Summary For Policymakers is mentioned.

    I peer reviewed the IPCC AR4. My review comments were ignored.
    The IPCC Chairman asked me to review the Synthesis Report but I refused because I saw no reason to do that when the IPCC had ignored my work on the AR4. And I did not review the AR5.

    My AR4 review comments included strong objections to claims that the models had “improved” and “have been improved”. The supposed “improvements” were additions of complexity and detail. I pointed out that an improved model provided more accurate and/or more precise and/or more confident predictions. Addition of complexity and detail does NOT of itself certainly “improve” a model and may damage the model, and there was no evidence that the additions had “improved” the model.

    The IPCC ignored those comments and the erroneous claim of model “improvements” remained in the AR4. Similar comments in the AR5 need to be ridiculed.

    Richard

  84. OOps! I intended to write
    Similar claims in the AR5 need to be ridiculed.

    Sorry

    Richard

  85. Nick Stokes says:

    dp says: September 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm
    “Nick – if more people should be using them but don’t what does that say about the usefulness of the information?”

    Nothing. It just means that they can’t. As set up the models are (mostly) hard to run outside their home institution. The NAS report has recommendations for changing that.

  86. Jon says:

    “National Academy of Sciences: climate models still ‘decades away’ from being useful
    Yep!”
    Climate models that are based on the political established UNFCCC are usefull today to the UNFCCC ?

    In other words. Climate models will loose it’s political usefulness the day they become scientific useful?

  87. Decades … more like millennia!!

    It is a well quoted maxim that climate is the same basic physics as weather but just at a different scale. This is meant to suggest that weather models can predict the climate by the mere change of scaling them up. However anyone familiar with the learning curve would know what it really tells us is they are likely to follow a very similar learning curve: that climate forecasting is likely to show the same rate of improvements after the same number of iterations as weather forecasts.

    So how long has it taken numerical modelling to come up with a model with much skill? We have been learning how to do numerical forecasts using computer models for about 20 years. So as a first approximation the time to get to the same skill level as the weekly forecast will take about 1000 iterations.

    It therefore follows that to get to the same level of forecasts for the climate model using the same numerical modelling approach based on the best physics, it will take roughly:

    Yearly forecast … 1000 years
    Decadal forecast …. 10,0000 years
    Century forecast … 100,000 years.

    So how well does this fit with the actual data of forecasting skill? When I last looked the UK Met Office had given up yearly global temperature forecasts because their forecasts had no skill whatsoever and there was not the slightest indication that it was getting better.

    And since the most rapid period of improvement is in the first few iterations coming down the learning curve, WE SHOULD NOT EXPECT AN INCREASING RATE OF IMPROVEMENT so the painfully, unobservably, geological rate of improvement in climate forecasts is not only likely to continue BUT GET WORSE

    For a few graphs on the subject see my paper Climate changes: the importance of supra-national institutions in nurturing the paradigm shifts of scientific development. (translation into sceptic: the global warming scam is dying and if the Royal Society want any credibility it has no choice but to change)

  88. Berényi Péter says:

    There is an open access copy of the report on a French server. It is not an easy read though, heavy use of a bullshit generator is undeniable.

  89. rogerknights says:

    Geoff Sherrington says:
    September 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Now is an important time for a critical review of models. The paused 20 years or so provides a study period when many confounding variables are held by Nature to be more constant than at other times of rapid change in one direction or another.

    For example, tree rings for the last decade or two should be essentially unresponsive if a near-constant local temperature is the dominant driver of their characteristics. We need more ground truth studies of concepts like this before we launch into complex forward models.

    In the US, the temperature has declined in many areas, but CO2 has increased. If tree rings have increased, that can be attributed to CO2.

  90. Bill Hunter says:

    “the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning.”

    A careful read of that would suggest the highest priority should be to extend the 10 day extended forecast to 11 days.

  91. John R Walker says:

    “Overall, climate modeling has made enormous progress in the past several decades,…”

    Not on CO2 it hasn’t. Guy Callendar’s 1938 work was closer mainly because he took the CO2 on its own.

    Why am I not surprised that an old fashioned steam engineer with a slide-rule and a clear understanding of logarithmic effects can out-think and out-calculate Big Green’s finest?

  92. John Whitman says:

    The NAS report on models is blantant begging for alms for continued modeling in the harsh reality of US Congressional sequestration of funding.

    Given the models have failed against reality tests, then sayonara to them.

    Note: The AGU is begging for general alms. I suspect all scientific bodies are in the face of US Congressional sequestration of funding.

    John

  93. Hay You says:

    A new web for ” SAVE OUR EARTH”

    NEED advise all reader .Please Please

  94. Bruce Cobb says:

    The Mosh says “They’re listening.”
    But, what are they listening to? Wait, it’s off in the distance, coming closer. It’s an old, familiar sound for them, now getting louder. Yes, that’s it. It’s the still-comfy, with more miles to go yet CAGW/CC/WC GRAVY TRAIN. Ka-choo-choo-CHING!

  95. Gary Pearse says:

    This is one of those “reasonable deniability” reports for the record if everything falls apart while it still clings to every tenet of the GHG control knob/sea level/temp/weird weather…..I was a public servant in the 1970s and I’m very, very familiar with this type of prose. It is a message for every eventuality and is put out when there is a lot of angst about the inadequacy of existing policy underpinnings. When the ultimate abandonment of the CO2 control knob can’t be put off any longer, they will say, yeah, well we had such concerns back as far as 2013 about the problems of excluding natural variability, clouds, etc and felt that models needed a major overhaul.

    Nick Stokes says:
    September 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    “”“It is worth remembering that the need to invoke GHG mechanism arose because the models were different to reality and the difference needed an explanation.”
    The GHG mechansim goes back to at least Arrhenius in 1896.”

    Nick, now with the GHGs CO2 and methane in there, it still needs an explanation – what does that tell you? Also it went back to Tyndall in 1850. From the excerpt from Wiki, you can see why you CAGW folks prefer the stuff of Arrhenius half a century later.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tyndall

    Tyndall: He was the first to correctly measure the relative infrared absorptive powers of the gases nitrogen, oxygen, water vapour, carbon dioxide, ozone, methane, etc. (year 1859). He concluded that water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere and is the principal gas controlling air temperature. Absorption by the other gases [including CO2] is not negligible but relatively small.

    Now let’s see what CAGW has chosen to ignore from Arrhenius:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius

    Arrhenius on coal burning: “Although the sea, by absorbing carbonic acid, acts as a regulator of huge capacity, which takes up about five-sixths of the produced carbonic acid, we yet recognize that the slight percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere may by the advances of industry be changed to a noticeable degree in the course of a few centuries.”
    “Since, now, warm ages have alternated with glacial periods, ……By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.”

    Also:

    ΔF = α Ln(C/C_0)

    “In his calculation Arrhenius included the feedback from changes in water vapor as well as latitudinal effects, but he omitted clouds, convection of heat upward in the atmosphere, and other essential factors.”

    So considering all this, Arrhenius was great for his prediction that agricultural “…will bring forth much more abundant crops..” He left out clouds and convection – features of the most abundant IR absorber- H2O. To sum this up;, Arrhenius for probably under $100 covered everything that you CAGW guys have rehashed for $700 billion in your quiver, and you are still leaving out clouds and convection, which, even if CO2 had a sensitivity of 10 or more, would act, a la ‘Eschenbach Effect’ to counter the warming. Ask yourself, why with all the swings in temp, that ocean SSTs CANNOT surpass the 31C barrier!!! And please, let’s reinstate the only correct prediction of Arrhenius concerning the benefits.

  96. hunter says:

    The claim that climate models are not useful is completely untrue. Climate modles have been very useful for climate science budgets, ethanol subsidies, wind power subsidies, solar power scammers, Greenpeace, WWF and other “NGO” fund raising, Al Gore and other climate change hucksters. Climate models have successfully guided all of these groups to vastly more funding and personal wealth.

  97. Bruce Cobb says:

    Even the Warmists’ hero Arrhenius, in ten years time dialed back his estimate of climates’ CO2 sensitivity. In his 1896 paper, he estimated that a doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature rise of 5–6 °C. But, in his 1906 publication, Arrhenius adjusted the value downwards to 2.1 °C (including water vapor feedback). Had he been interested in pursuing it further, perhaps he would have discovered that his contemporary, Knut Ångström was closer to the truth; that adding more CO2 would make little difference at that point, due to the saturation effect.

  98. Matthew R Marler says:

    Overall, climate modeling has made enormous progress in the past several decades, but meeting the information needs of users will require further advances in the coming decades.

    Naturally I am pleased that the NAS would agree with me.

  99. Matthew R Marler says:

    Description:

    As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms,

    oops. Not so pleased now.

  100. Ed Barbar says:

    Does anyone else think having one climate science model is a disaster waiting to happen?

    There are values to having multiple models. The first is obvious: competition. If there are more than one, then market forces will drive the them to improve. Second, who gets to control the single client science model, and what if it’s has something fundamentally wrong? To anyone that doubts the value of competition, consider what happened when that Quasi government/business organization ATT was split up by Judge Green. Costs went down. There was competition finally in long distance rates, and they dropped. More importantly, ATT stopped controlling the market place, and the market place started to control ATT. Or, alternatively, look at the IPCC. If the IPCC had another organization to compete against, perhaps with one organization pointing out the ludicrous claims of the other, maybe we would get better information.

    And it would be cheaper, too. That’s the amazing thing. ATT split up, infrastructure has been increasingly replicated, and costs went down, a lot.

  101. Paul Vaughan says:

    get everyone using same model = centralized assumption control = easier thought-policing = transparent consolidation of administrative power = monopoly = unhealthy opposite of diversity needed for survival

  102. ferd berple says:

    Even the IPCC years back recognized that climate modelling using GCM’s was not simply hard, it was impossible.

    The largest movement of water on the planet, the twice daily ocean tides cannot be calculated with any accuracy using this approach. If you try, if you build an ocean tide model using first principles it will quickly diverge from reality.

    Similarly, if you try and model the stock markets, animal populations, or any other physical process. Round off errors quickly overwhelm the accuracy of the result. So why do scientists persist in the illusion that somehow climate is different?

    Consider just a simple example. Enter 1/3 into a calculator. The result is 1.33333333333… on forever. However, calculators (and computers) cannot store infinitely large numbers, so eventually they round off the result. A similar thing happens with multiplication.

    So, no matter how precise your calculations, as you start performing millions and millions of calculations, the round off errors start getting larger and larger. As you try and extend these calculations into the future (or past) they become less and less accurate until the result are meaningless.

  103. ferd berple says:

    the result is 0.333333…

  104. The climate models have been, are, and will be going forward in a word, USELESS!

  105. Gunga Din says:

    National Academy of Sciences: climate models still ‘decades away’ from being useful

    ======================================================================
    I beg to differ. They have been very useful to those out to make a dishonest buck and/or a power grab.
    But it is becoming clearer to those using them that the jig is just about up.
    Be alert for the next “lever” after the hockey stick has served it’s purpose.

  106. Simon says:

    “The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling.”?? Since when? If the models are so fundamentally wrong, why do people still assume the so-called underlying science is fundamentally right. It simply doesn’t follow and doesnt make any any sense!

  107. Richard M says:

    I’m not sure it would be that difficult to greatly improve climate models.

    1) Remove positive feedbacks and replace with negative cloud feedbacks
    2) Add in major ocean cycles (ENSO,PDO,AMO, etc.)
    3) Determine equilibrium solar attractor state and apply corrections as needed.

    Might actually get pretty close in the near term.

  108. Pamela Gray says:

    I think eventually a global climate model system will be developed. Greenhouse gasses will be better understood to play a small part, possibly even no part in terms of global weather pattern variations. I also think solar variability will play a small part, possibly even no part as well. And I think it will eventually be possible to forecast into the next decade and even multiple decades but with a variety of “scenarios”, mostly of the oceanic kind. Then as the future unfolds, one or two of them will rise to the top. However, those one or two will not be set as the best forever. My hunch is that a restart will be necessary every 10 years or so. Just my back of the envelope guess.

  109. So, for now, the models are useless.

  110. Pamela Gray says:

    I also think that the real money will be in research on oceanic-atmospheric teleconnections related to equatorial SW IR absorption at the surface, transport in terms of holding onto heat, moving it, releasing it in varying amounts, and at varying time scales. Greenhouse gasses and solar variability will fall by the wayside.

  111. Paul Vaughan says:

    New Animations

    There’s so much attention focused on anomalies in the solar/climate discussion that sometimes newcomers forget that ENSO is just a small thing that rides on a big thing called the terrestrial year.

    In the past I shared a bunch of annnual cycle climatology map animations. The files were large and the format was “.apng”, which doesn’t run on all browsers. To ease reach to a wider audience, I’ve slimmed the images down to “.gif” and piled groups of variables into each animation (instead of just 1).

    Ocean & atmosphere are coupled, as are temperature, mass, & velocity. The aim is to visually aid awareness of multivariately coupled circulatory topology that pulses spatially as well as temporally with the solar cycle, having inescapable implications that are apparently rather unintuitive for mainstreamers who don’t adequately appreciate the role of wind in ocean evaporation, currents, welling, ice-transport, & mixing more generally.

    5 new climate animations:

    1. sun, temperature, wind, & ozone
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: equator-pole insolation & temperatue gradients, semiannual midlatitude westerly winds = westerlies = mean jet streams, & ozone

    2. water = hydrology
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: multivariate hydrology in the context of sunlight, temperature, pressure, wind, & welling

    3. cloud cover
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: low, mid level, high, & total cloud cover

    4. sun, temperature, & wind
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: visualizing & understanding terrestrial 200hPa semiannual midlatitude westerly winds = mean terrestrial jet streams

    5. pressure, wind, waves, & gyres
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: visualizing & understanding coherence of terrestrial surface pressure, wind, waves, & currents (ocean gyres)

    Credits:
    a) The ocean significant wave height (SWH) climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation was assembled using Australian Department of Defence images developed from data provided by the GlobWave Project
    b) All other climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animations have been assembled using JRA-25 Atlas images. JRA-25 long-term reanalysis is a collaboration of Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) & Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI).

    These new animations are strategic supplements to help everyone understand solar Schwabe modulation of annually cycling terrestrial insolation (heat engine) gradients. I’m drafting a concise extension of the STC101 article to address ozone & hurricanes.

    NB: Solar-terrestrial-climate attractor observations are robust against:

    1) switching summary methods.
    2) changing the resolution of sunspot data (e.g. from monthly to annual).
    3) substituting daily atmospheric angular momentum data for daily length of day data.
    4) substituting the famously “ironed flat” TSI reconstruction for sunspot numbers.
    5) converting sunspot numbers to simple “low” (-1) & “high” (+1) values.
    (The proposed comparatively tiny adjustments to sunspot numbers also have no effect.)

    #5 is the clincher that underscores the physical importance of frequency shift.

  112. Alvin says:

    I smell a grant!

  113. gregjxn says:

    It is good to see a recognition of the fundamental, epistemological problem: When is computer code to be considered science? In other words: Is it PacMan or is it Science?

  114. John Whitman says:

    gregjxn on September 14, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    It is good to see a recognition of the fundamental, epistemological problem: When is computer code to be considered science? In other words: Is it PacMan or is it Science?

    - – - – - – - -

    gregjxn,

    Yes, that is a salient question on a epistemological level.

    What is this mere limited use tool created by man that we call modeling doing in any broad theory of knowledge?

    John

Comments are closed.