If Global Warming Kills Us, Blame the Weatherman?

I thought this might be an April fools joke. It isn’t. I therefore preface it with this maxim:

Climate doesn’t kill people, weather does. – Anthony

from BNET By Chris Morrison | Apr 1, 2010

If Global Warming Kills Us, Blame the Weatherman

Who do Americans trust more than any other type of media personality? The weatherman. Sometimes formally trained meteorologists, sometimes not, our news station weathercasters nevertheless command more attention than other journalists; for local news stations, the weather report is very often the most popular segment.

And over the years, the reliability of meteorologists has improved significantly; next-day forecasts, at the very least, are pretty reliable. But a new study says that weathercasters are reaching much further into the future with their reporting. According to George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, some 87 percent of weathercasters also talk publicly about climate change.

As you might gather from its name, the Center would be happy with that number if weathercasters also generally believed in climate change — specifically, anthropogenically-caused global warming. But for the most part, they don’t. Another majority, 63 percent, told George Mason that global warming mostly stems from natural causes, while 27 percent called the entire theory of global warming a “scam”.

The problem, for George Mason (and me; I should note here that I generally accept AGW) is that modern meteorologists combine two qualities: the first is that they’re one of the most skeptical scientific groups toward climate change, following only oil and gas geologists; the second is that they’re probably America’s most visible scientists, by a long shot.

See the rest here: If Global Warming Kills Us, Blame the Weatherman

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62 thoughts on “If Global Warming Kills Us, Blame the Weatherman?

  1. The hoax in my opinion hasn’t decreased my respect for the weathercaster/weatherman. Actually it increases in that they have a greater sense of why we are being fed baloney. Yesterday I looked up a set of 2005, 2006, 2007 forecasts of crude prices. The Romm guy that was pushing a singe 2030 forecast couldn’t explain why they said oil today would be 27 dollars instead of 84. Dishonest PHDs for some reason are drawn mageneticaly to equally bogus economic forecasts. I do sense an odor of crude arrogance toward those that didn’t have certain higher education pedigrees.

  2. Chicago’s second best known meteorologist, Jerry Taft, is pictured. Though, no one can touch Tom Skilling(Jeff’s brother) at WGN.

    REPLY: ah, the chipmunk. – A

  3. Why would you blame the Weatherman?
    They didn’t claim to have power over the wind & rain.
    Not like some who are willing to take billions in taxpayer money to do really bad things to the weather in the name of saving the planet. Yes, there are really nutcases out there who not only advocate, but they are willing to enforce ‘nuclear winter’ conditions on the planet to satisfy their curiosity.
    The meteorologist is not one of those types of people, even though my local met. in Redding gets irate phone calls if he gets it wrong now & then. As if he had a button to order up the weather in seconds.

    I’m interested in hearing your story. How did your career in weather forecasting evolve and what things did you learn along the way.

  4. The weather may not kill, but life expectancy riding in suicide clown cars can kill. Maybe that’s how they get the health care savings.

    Our weather caster operates in ‘tourist beach mode’, so getting the forecasts right is strictly an accident. The EPA put out the first ever CO2 rules for cars and trucks, so you see where this is headed. No word on the output of CO2 for bicycle riders — The healthy in shape riders put out more CO2 than the doofus rider.

  5. Climate models are essentially extended weather models + some parameters that vary over long periods of time.

    Everyone who works with these models understands that weather models are of very limited value after about three days, due to chaos. So it is astonishing that climate scientists believe these same core models for decades or centuries.

    The whole concept of climate feedback is that today’s weather affects tomorrow’s. If you can’t get today right, you definitely won’t get tomorrow right either. This is known as compounding errors.

  6. Maybe it is because in order to understand weather you need to understand climate, and most of them have done the study of how climate affects weather and have come to their own conclusions.

    Rather than getting that information from “scientists” with an agenda. And bowing to the pressure to assimilate.

    Oh..and their jobs don’t rely on government grants either, so they don’t need to maintain a constancy of alarmism to procure those.

  7. Yeah, what do those stupid weathermen with their crappy little four year degrees know about anything? Chris Morrison, on the other hand, is a stellar example of who we should worship… uh, listen to.

  8. This is the important part of the study in my opinion….
    “About one-third (31%) reported that global warming is caused mostly by
    human activities, while almost two-thirds (63%) reported it is caused mostly by natural changes in
    the environment.”

    Regards

    Michael

  9. Generally, meteorologists make very poor climatologists and visa versa…the first may be able to tell me about tomorrow, or possibly next week, but doesn’t know a thing about the next century, and the other will probably forget to carry their umbrella for the predicted rain tomorrow, but may very well know what the climate for N. Canada will be in 2150…

  10. Earl Grey: “Maybe it is because in order to understand weather you need to understand climate, and most of them have done the study of how climate affects weather and have come to their own conclusions.”

    Earl, it is a lot simpler than that. Weather forecasters know they often get forecasts wrong. They are under no delusion that they have some god given ability to predict the climate, and anyone who tries to bs their way to the top by their own proclaimed ability to predict the weather — doesn’t because the real weather shows them to be speaking out the wrong orifice.

    Climate forecasters, however can get to the top of their profession without ever getting a forecast right. They don’t have the cold reality of getting their forecasts wrong to give them the conservative instinct not to overstate their forecasts that weather forecasters have.

    Also I suspect weather forecasters are far more hands-on. They don’t sit in their bunker in UEA pontificating about the climate – they’re on the screen, getting emails from irate viewers whose picnics were ruined, and they know that some of the measurements they get delivered are highly dubious – they know sensors go wrong, measurements are made up by lazy/ill/holidaying station attendants – and they get it in the ear when these poor measurements lead them into bad forecasts.

    But climategate forecasters …. they just sit in their bunker oblivious to the real world where real measurements are made.

  11. Van Denton who is on WGHP is by far the best in North Carolina.He explains the weather and thing to look for.He doesn’t just go on TV and tell you what NOAA is saying like some i’ve seen.

  12. Joe Bastardi ,with accuweather is the best hands down on forecasting our future trends while looking at our past weather and climate trends.He feels as I and a lot of others that we are entering a period of cooling temps. which could last 20 years or so.It’s all part of the cycle of weather. I know that hard for some to believe but his reports make more sense that you or I controling the weather.Why waste millions or even billions on something we can’t contol or more important that all,part of the cycle .In years to come we will be complaining about it being so cold in winter even in Florida. We had snow on the ground in 49 states this February and one of them was Florida.

  13. Gosh, does this make me a climate scientist?

    Northern Canada in 2150 will be bloody cold in winter and warm/hot in summer with lots of flies and mosquitoes.

    I am prepared to bet whatever you like on that.

    R. Gates (11:51:40) :

    Generally, meteorologists make very poor climatologists and visa versa…the first may be able to tell me about tomorrow, or possibly next week, but doesn’t know a thing about the next century, and the other will probably forget to carry their umbrella for the predicted rain tomorrow, but may very well know what the climate for N. Canada will be in 2150…

  14. “R. Gates (11:51:40) :

    Generally, meteorologists make very poor climatologists and visa versa…the first may be able to tell me about tomorrow, or possibly next week, but doesn’t know a thing about the next century, and the other will probably forget to carry their umbrella for the predicted rain tomorrow, but may very well know what the climate for N. Canada will be in 2150…”

    Again and again the idea pops up that it’s as easy to prognosticate what the entire planet is doing in 100 years than what a certain region will have for weather in 3 days.

    I don’t know, i absolutely have no clue whoever had that idea in the first place, and i don’t know by now how it can be defended. I haven’t seen a good defense of this completely unfounded, crazy idea.

  15. R. Gates (11:51:40) :

    Generally, meteorologists make very poor climatologists and visa versa…the first may be able to tell me about tomorrow, or possibly next week, but doesn’t know a thing about the next century, and the other will probably forget to carry their umbrella for the predicted rain tomorrow, but may very well know what the climate for N. Canada will be in 2150…
    —————————
    Reply:
    Or not. Trust your civilization to someone who “may very well know”… or to this same person who “may very well NOT know”.
    Besides, having worked with intellectuals that couldn’t beat their way out of a paper bag, I’d trust the guy who remembered his umbrella when it rained, not the guy who didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t/whatever.

  16. R. Gates (11:51:40) :

    Can you name one climatologist who has a good record of prediction?

  17. R. Gates,

    ” and the other will probably forget to carry their umbrella for the predicted rain tomorrow, but may very well know what the climate for N. Canada will be in 2150…”

    Yeah, in the world of fantasy.

  18. Good comment, Mike Haseler. You beat me to the punch.

    The closer you are to actual data measurement, the more respectful you are of its limitations.

    Climate modelers misuse statistical methods to fill-in (make up) data where none exist, or to replace data that don’t fit the model. Their forecasts of distant future (50 years, 100 years) are conveniently stated beyond their retirement ages.

    When you point out their projections are out of line with reality after 10 or 20 years (think Hansen, 1988), their defense is “you have to wait 30 years to establish climate trends”. If you can’t test it, it ain’t science.

    Meterologists’ predictions get real-world testing every day.

  19. All in all, meteorologists are mindful of the history of the places they forecast for, and have a feel for what is possible and why. You watch them get better as time goes by.

    A climate modelologist, on the other hand, has a generated spit-out that can pound square pegs in round holes without leaving any splinters.
    The pure modelologist departs from reality as time goes by, riding on thier own trendlines into astronomical divergence via data mangling.

    The former relies upon weather & climate history.
    The latter finds weather & climate history to be annoyances and sets out to recycle them into different histories.

  20. From Morrison’s article:

    “The CJR’s writer, Charles Homans, came to the conclusion that many meteorologists have an earthy confidence in their own intuition. From near the end of his article:

    The biggest difference I noticed between the meteorologists who rejected climate science and those who didn’t was not how much they knew about the subject, but how much they knew about how much they knew—how clearly they recognized the limits of their own training.

    … when [Fox meteorologist Bob] Breck talked to local schools and Rotaries and Kiwanis clubs about climate change, he presented his own ideas: warming trends were far more dependent on the water vapor in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, he told them, and the appearance of an uptick in global temperatures was the result of the declining number of weather stations in cold rural areas. These theories were not only contradictory of each other, but had also been considered and rejected by climate researchers years ago. But Breck didn’t read much climate research… bold emphasis mine

    That people like Charles Homans can get a pass on what is in bold and have it be taken seriously is a sorry state of affairs. It is obvious who doesn’t read much cliimate research.

  21. R. Gates (11:51:40) :
    climatologists…may very well know what the climate for N. Canada will be in 2150… Ha-ha. That’s an April Fools’ joke, right?
    Climatologists regard the conjecture of manmade C02-induced climate change as fact. They simply take it on faith. They don’t have a clue what is happening to our climate, or why. But, that doesn’t stop them from prognosticating on it. Chalk that up to astounding hubris, herd syndrome, grant-grubbing, and desire to protect their careers, reputations, and egos.
    Meteorologists have no such handicaps, and are better grounded in reality.

  22. The best ever in my opinion was Bill Matheson when he was with CJLH in Lethbridge, Alberta. Their signal beamed across the border. Bill, would get out his whiteboard and grease pencil and explain everything with extreme enthusiasm. When we wanted to know what the weather was going to be on the US side of the border, everyone watched Bill. He was right. The National Weather service couldn’t hold a candle.

  23. I would be curious to see a breakdown of ages of the responders. I would not be surprised to see a trend that the younger ones were more likely to believe in AGW and older ones were in the group that were skeptical. (hey I could be wrong but I think there is a testable hypothosis in there somewhere, testable in our lifetimes even)

  24. Steve Goddard said:

    “R. Gates (11:51:40) :

    Can you name one climatologist who has a good record of prediction?”

    ___________

    We’ll have to wait another hundred years or so to find out :)

  25. Bruce Cobb said:
    (regarding climatologists…)

    “They don’t have a clue what is happening to our climate, or why.”

    ————

    Ouch…

    But somehow the AGW skeptics do, right?

  26. Everyone cares what the weatherman says, no one cares what the climatologist says. Everyone knows who the weathermen/women are no one know/cares who the climatologists are.

    Climatologists (and their families) have a 99.999% probability of going to their supermarket (church, job, school, etc.) and not seeing anyone who gives them a lot of static.

    Weathermen and women (and their families) have a 99.999% probability of going to the same supermarket (church, job, school, etc.) and seeing someone who gives them a lot of static.

    *It probably only seems like 99.999%:-)

  27. Did anybody read the mission statement from the George Mason climate center? Here it is:

    “Our mission is to conduct unbiased public engagement research – and to help government agencies, non-profit organizations, and companies apply the results of this research – so that collectively, we can stabilize our planet’s life sustaining climate.”

    Sounds to me like they already have their position set. Where’s the unbiased engagement?

  28. Climatologists seem to claim that you can run many GCMs many times, always getting a different result (from the same model even) and average the results and get something that isn’t garbage. LOL!

    R. Gates is just a fool and a troll.

    When I was a working meteorologist the climate guys were the met guys who managed to avoid shift work. For heavens sakes, it seems some of the heavyweight climate so called scientists nowadays are *geographers*. What kind of science is that?

  29. R. Gates (14:55:41) :

    But somehow the AGW skeptics do, right?

    Nice subject change trick.
    The subject is meteorologists vs model climatolologists.
    The meteorologists are the first ones to figure out when things have changed.
    The modelologists are the last ones to get it.
    We’ll have to wait another hundred years or so to find out :)
    As long as we are footing the $1T /yr. bill, I don’t think so.
    But somehow AGW proponents want us to trust them for 100 years while they ding us for massive truckloads of cash.
    I’ll go with skeptics for $2,000.

  30. R. Gates (14:51:23) :

    So you are suggesting that after 99 years, temperatures may suddenly increase 6C and sea level may suddenly rise 2 metres?

    It is already becoming clear that many projections for climate change are much too high.

  31. R. Gates: “Can you name one climatologist who has a good record of prediction?”
    ___________
    We’ll have to wait another hundred years or so to find out :)

    The Met Office have been doing yearly forecasts of global temperature. They have also forecast the global temperature up to 2014. Ever since the IPCC predicted warming it has been cooling.

    We already have abundant evidence climate forecasters can’t forecast the climate. We not need to wait 100 years to know the exact outcome of the 100 year forecast, because it will be pretty obvious much much sooner whether the forecast is statistically valid.

    We also know that climatic variation is much much greater over longer periods. So, if you can’t forecast short-term global temperature, then because the variation is greater over longer periods, there’s not a hope in hell of getting a long term prediction right.

    To put it simply, unless climate forecasters can either prove that they can forecast short-term global temperature with enough accuracy to e.g. predict the decade of cooling we have had, OR they can come up with some good scientific reason why short-term forecasts are more difficult than long-term, then their absolute abysmal failure to predict short-term temperature is all the proof anyone needs to have about their ability to predict long-term temperature.

  32. *geographers*. What kind of science is that?

    Well, at least they know the capital of Assyria.

  33. A “Climatologist” is like a “Historian”. Both look at the past and present and try to make some sense out of where we’ve been and we’re at and, with a flash of magice, where we’re going. Like the Historian, the Climatologist is hindered by several problems:

    1. The profession is very much an “art” and NOT a “science”.

    2. Unreliable or Missing or Misinterpreted or Misrepresented or Questionable or ‘You-Name-It’ Data.

    3. The public doesn’t care.

    4. The people who say they care, really don’t care.

    5. One feels as though they have sold their soul to the devil and work in a brothel.

    6. Only .001% of Climatologists make more than a NYC garbage collector.

    7. People think you believe every word that issues forth from the lips of Al “Fat Albert” Gore.

    8. People think you are a member of the Communist Party.

    9. You can’t “prove” anything, it’s all about scaring the hello out of people.

    10. No one listens.

  34. In New Zealand we have flat-chested weathergirls mostly. Not much attitude from any of ’em, altho I admit I rarely look — nothing to look at.

  35. R. Gates (14:55:41),

    Skeptics are skeptical when evidence is missing. Why don’t you show us your evidence of catastrophic AGW? You will be the first one to produce any actual evidence.

    Until then, CAGW is a hypothesis/conjecture.

  36. The fellow who wrote this article has, obviously, NEVER looked at a typical meteorolgy textbook.

    If he had, he’d realize that the daily Weatherman knows about as much about the radiation exchange between the sun, the Earth, the atmosphere and space as the “average” climate “scientist”.

    He knows enough (thank you Dr. Elsasser) to know that CO2 is included in the base derivation of the day to day heat up and cool down Elsasser charts. However, the contribution on the Upflux chart is EQUAL to the CO2 contribution on the DOWNFLUX chart, so they cancel.

    THUS the day to day balance is based on the WATER VAPOR DISTRIBUTION only.

    Maybe THAT is why the mere, puny, “intellectual lightweight” (by the author’s implication) have a profound dis”belief” (it should not be a FAITH matter, Easter is, NOT Atmospheric Science!) in AWG.

    And, SURPRISE, it may be the AUTHOR’s general lack of knowlege in the area which is being reflected in HIS judgement upon people far more knowledgeable than he is, rather than THEIR inability to “understand”.

    I think Freud called it, “Transference”.

    Max

  37. evanmjones (15:43:37) : “[re: geographers] Well, at least they know the capital of Assyria.”

    Assur-ly you can’t be serious!

  38. That observation about how weak our understanding is about climate change, and the fact that all climate change predictions are next to useless has been recognized as the truth by many leading atmospheric physicists and many other real scientists. What’s most disturbing is the fact that far too many people believe it’s the other way around – that it’s a consensus among leading scientists that we do know most of what there is to know about climate change, and that we can predict it to less than a degree over 50-100 years, which of course is all BS. We can blame much of this on the lack of professionalism of the media, and the many so called climate scientists, who are just career opportunists who bend every rule in the book to peddle their beliefs.

  39. I might be just imagining it but I get the impression that the average TV weatherman/woman (who might or might not also be a meteorologist) not only gets the short term forcast right most of the time, but also has more fun than the average climatologist.

  40. Ref – Max Hugoson (16:04:37) :
    “The fellow who wrote this article has, obviously, NEVER looked at a typical meteorolgy textbook…”
    _______________________
    Doubt the article would have been much better if he had.

    Ref – Max Hugoson (16:06:31) :
    Pascvaks: NYC Garbage collector – $75 K a year.
    ________________________
    Guess I should have said: Manhattan, KS:-)

    Ref – Peter of Sydney (16:38:15) :
    “…We can blame much of this on the lack of professionalism of the media, and the many so called climate scientists, who are just career opportunists who bend every rule in the book to peddle their beliefs.”
    _______________________
    There is no honor among thieves.

  41. [There’s a post on that 3 days ago and we have a tips section. Please use it next time. Do not spam up different topic threads, ~ ctm]

  42. Pascvaks (15:59:22) :

    Those were some unnecessary slurs against historians. We don’t try to predict the future (unless you are talking about the Marxist variety, which is an unfortunate subset). All we’re trying to do is either explain the present, or try to understand why things fell out the way they did in the past. We know that people don’t care about our discipline – we’ve got the salaries to prove it. Generally, we’re not arrogant – we’re being too thankful that we have a job. (None of these traits apply to hard-line Marxist historians, who probably do merit some of your slurs.) Not in my wildest imaginings would I ever have predicted that anyone could draw parallels between historians and climatologists. What have you got against historians?

  43. Ref – vigilantfish (21:23:09) :
    Pascvaks (15:59:22) :
    “Those were some unnecessary slurs against historians…”
    ___________________________
    My Better Half gave me a look that indicated something along the same line. Shoulda kept me mouth shut:-)

  44. DirkH (12:47:07) :

    Again and again the idea pops up that it’s as easy to prognosticate what the entire planet is doing in 100 years than what a certain region will have for weather in 3 days.

    I don’t know, i absolutely have no clue whoever had that idea in the first place, and i don’t know by now how it can be defended. I haven’t seen a good defense of this completely unfounded, crazy idea.

    I think the idea stems from observing other areas of science/engineering and then (incorrectly as far as I am concerned) extrapolated it into climate “science”.

    The idea of being able to accurately model something on a larger scale (time, distance, mass etc.) that can’t be accurately modelled on a smaller scale is a valid one in, say, orbital mechanics. We sure as hell can’t work out all the quantum-level subatomic interactions that make up the solar system as we know it but we can say with some certainty and accuracy where the planets will be at any given time in the future.

    Applying this type of mindset to climatology is a flawed approach though. The relative scales of weather and climate are too close and there is a lack of solid data for the larger scale processes that could allow us to form suitable rules without the need to reflect back into the more chaotic world of weather.

    Cheers

    Mark

    For instance, if you try to model all the quantum level interactions between all

  45. MattB (14:13:52) :
    I would be curious to see a breakdown of ages of the responders. I would not be surprised to see a trend that the younger ones were more likely to believe in AGW and older ones were in the group that were skeptical. (hey I could be wrong but I think there is a testable hypothosis in there somewhere, testable in our lifetimes even)
    ————————-

    If other countries are like the UK, the older ones would not only be more experienced, but would also have received a better education in the first place. Both would make them less inclined to uncritically accept bullshit in an area where they were competent to form their own opinions.

  46. Van Denton who is on WGHP is by far the best in North Carolina.He explains the weather and thing to look for.He doesn’t just go on TV and tell you what NOAA is saying like some i’ve seen.

    That’s what I like about the forecasters here in PDX. They actually show the upper level flow and features and explain for the avg person what it means. It also gives those of us with a background in meterology light into their reasoning.

  47. It’s a truism that weathermen are not particularly good climatologists. However, it’s becoming clear that they are better climatologists than many “climatologists”.

  48. Steve Goddard (11:27:27) :

    Climate models are essentially extended weather models + some parameters that vary over long periods of time.

    Everyone who works with these models understands that weather models are of very limited value after about three days, due to chaos. So it is astonishing that climate scientists believe these same core models for decades or centuries.

    The whole concept of climate feedback is that today’s weather affects tomorrow’s. If you can’t get today right, you definitely won’t get tomorrow right either. This is known as compounding errors.

    It would be hard to guess correctly when you, in particular, will die, but insurance companies can guesstimate the “life expectancy” of people like you very well.

    It would be hard to predict what a random roll of a die would produce, and making that prediction 6000 times would not make you any more proficient, but you could predict pretty closely how many sixes you would roll in 6000 tosses.

    It’s also hard to predict the exact weather for Honolulu 3 years from now (April 2) by making 1095 sequential one day forecasts, but knowing its climate helps one make a very good guesstimate:

    This is known as using the appropriate concepts for the problem at hand.
    This is why physics and chemistry are two separate fields of science.
    This is why meteorology and climatology are two separate fields of science.

  49. I have a lot of respect for meteorologists, who put their reputation on the line each time they produce a forecast. However, I have little respect for the current crop of climatologists who over-promise then under deliver. Why are these people still trying to prove the falsified theory of CAGW instead of trying to discover how our climate system really works?

    I came across this interesting article on the topic today, which illustrates some of the problems.

    “…But when it comes to providing a reliable idea of what the weather will be like in five days’ time, the Met Office has admitted that its computer-generated forecast is about as dependable as an August bank holiday heatwave. Amid criticism from academic researchers and rival forecasters, the state weather agency confirmed yesterday that its popular online five-day weather service, used by thousands to plan their weekend activities, cannot be relied on to give an accurate forecast.

    The admission comes after academics called for all Met Office predictions to be made the subject of independent scrutiny and for them to avoid over-simplification of forecasts. One survey found that over a three-week period, two-thirds of the Met Office five-day forecasts failed to remain consistent, in one case making a prediction for one 24-hour period of heavy thunderstorms that then changed to clear sunshine and then to rain in successive days…”

    Full article here:-

    http://www.derbygripe.co.uk/forecast.htm

    Interestingly, the Met Office, despite their poor performance, have this item on their web site:-

    Global Comparisons
    “The World Meteorological Organization compares similar statistics among national met. services around the world. These show that the Met Office is consistently one of the top two operational services in the world.”

    God help the rest!

  50. “Anu (12:51:13) :
    […]
    It would be hard to predict what a random roll of a die would produce, and making that prediction 6000 times would not make you any more proficient, but you could predict pretty closely how many sixes you would roll in 6000 tosses.”

    You seem to assume a certain distribution of outcomes here. Okay, so let’s assume that the outcome of a weather prediction is in such a distribution. And the climate model describes the distribution, right?

    But the climate models are used to predict an unprecedented (unprecedented in the era of the modern instrument record) event, namely a rise of the temperatures.

    That’s like your model for the roll of a dice says it will show 7.

    Also, thanks for the detailed explanation of the disctinction between physics and chemistry and their relationship to weather and climate. I didn’t think about it this way before. A real eye-opener.

  51. Steve Goddard (11:27:27) : Climate models are essentially extended weather models + some parameters that vary over long periods of time.

    Everyone who works with these models understands that weather models are of very limited value after about three days, due to chaos. So it is astonishing that climate scientists believe these same core models for decades or centuries.

    Not at all astonishing at all if you are familiar with physics and the relation between statistical mechanics and fluid mechanics in particular. The ‘real’ equations for a simple gas are the equations for the individual molecules with their interactions, i.e. Newton’s equations, a system of 3N equations in 3N unknowns, the coordinates x,y,x of each molecule, where N the number of molecules is HUGE. This system is chaotic so using it to predict the trajectories a fraction of a second later is futile since the computed and actual trajectories diverge in a fraction of second. NONETHELESS by appealing to the appropriate AVERAGES this set can be reduced to the familiar analytic equations of fluid dynamics which describe the evolution of averages (which is what temperature, pressure, fluid velocity etc really are) for a MUCH longer period (hours, days, etc, depending on the particular flow).

    Alternately one can use the Monte Carlo method when it is computationally feasible. This involves producing many different ‘predictions’ of the molecule trajectories and then using these to construct the evolution of the appropriate averages (i.e. temp pressue, etc). Remarkably even though the individual trajectories are inaccurate, THE AVERAGES are.

    Magic? Tell that to the physicists of the 19th century who discovered it.

    The climate problem can be approached similarly as a Monte Carlo experiment by producing a collection of ‘weather predictions’ by running a weather prediction or GCM model many times. The evolution of the ‘climate’ is then extracted by taking the appropriate averages.

  52. Tom W (13:43:03) :
    Remarkably even though the individual trajectories are inaccurate, THE AVERAGES are.

    So, even though things are chaotic at the micro, there’s a discernible and predictable pattern at the macro — for example, an air mass approaching a mountain range will create predictable winds based on known factors — and the closer you are to the micro, the less certainty and the closer to the macro, the more certainty?

  53. R. Gates (14:55:41) :

    Bruce Cobb said:
    (regarding climatologists…)

    “They don’t have a clue what is happening to our climate, or why.”

    ————

    Ouch…

    But somehow the AGW skeptics do, right?

    REPLY:
    An expert is someone who knows their limitations and is humble because reality has smacked them in the face several times. In my favorite sports, rock climbing, caving and horse back riding someone who is arrogant and thinks they are an expert can end up severely injured or dead. I have lost several friends to “accidents” due to their arrogance.

    Climate Scientists do not have the expertise of meteorologists because they can model and prognosticate to their hearts content without actually having reality deliver any sharp lessons. That is why meteorologists and geologists are more apt to be skeptics.

    Skeptics by definition are saying if you have a theory then PROVE IT. Give us the data, let others test it and validate your findings, We know the climate is very complicated and we know we have only a very sketchy understanding of it. As has been stated many times it is up to the climate modelers to prove their theory, it is not up to skeptics to come up with the “truth” Our job is to point out the emperor has no clothes and nothing more.

  54. all i hear is “if you don’t agree with what the cardiologist says about your heart, ask your dermatologist.”

    weather = snapshot of short term state of the atmosphere which is very sensitive to the accuracy of initial conditions.

    climate = long term statistics of atmospheric variables based on modeling boundary conditions (insensitive to initial conditions/errors in initial conditions).

    if someone tells you they can predict rain on a specific day next year, they are wrong. if they tell you they can predict whether an area will have relatively more or less rain compared to normal (as in predicting ENSO) they are more likely to be correct.

    forecasting jobs generally require less schoolin’ . . . maybe that has something to do with it? if you intend to make a living doing climate research you need a Phd, while you can get by as an operational forecaster with a BS. i got my BS in atmospheric science with hopes of becoming a forecaster, but after some time in grad school i now think climate is more interesting. they’re just different topics and they attract different people. personally, i could care less about chasing/observing severe weather. you really ought to stop confusing the two fields though.

    -i also don’t care for capitalization ;-)

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