Wrong Prediction, Wrong Science; Unless It's Government Climate Science.

Guest post by Dr. Tim Ball

In a comment on the WUWT article about the abject failure of UKMO weather forecasts, “Slingo Pretends She Knows Why It’s Been So Wet!”, Doug Huffman wrote,Each forecast must be accompanied by the appropriate retro-cast record of previous casts” (January 6, 2013 at 7:06 am). I pointed out years ago that Environment Canada (EC) publishes such information. They expose a similar horrendous story of absolute failure. This likely indicates why it is not done by others, but provides adequate justification for significantly reducing the role of the agency.

Both EC and UKMO predictions fail. The failure parallels Richard Feynman’s comment.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

If your prediction (forecast) is wrong; your science is wrong. Unlike the IPCC, they cannot avoid the problem by calling them projections, not predictions. They can and do avoid accountability.

Initially I thought EC was admirable for publishing results. Now I realize it only shows arrogance and sense of unaccountability: we fail, but you must listen, act, and keep paying. It underscores the hypocrisy of what they do. More important, it shows why they and all national weather agencies must be proscribed. It is time to reduce all national weather offices to data collection agencies. When bureaucrats do research it is political by default. The objective rapidly becomes job preservation; perpetuate and expand rather than solve the problem.

EC is a prime example of why Maurice Strong set up the IPCC through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and member national weather agencies. EC participated and actively promoted the failed work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from the start. An Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of EC chaired the founding meeting of the IPCC in Villach Austria in 1985. It continues, as they sent a large delegation to the recent Doha conference on climate change. Their web site promotes IPCC work as the basis for all policy on energy and environment. They brag about their role as a world class regulator. All this despite the fact their own evidence shows the complete inadequacy of their work.

They display their failures on maps. Pick any map or period and it shows how a coin toss would achieve better or at least comparable results. Here is their caption for the maps.

” The upper panel shows the seasonal air temperature or precipitation anomaly forecasts. The forecast are presented in 3 categories: below normal, near normal and above normal. The lower panel illustrates the skill (percent correct) associated to the forecast.”

The maps are for temperature and precipitation for 12, 6 and 1-3 months.

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Everyone knows that regional weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable, especially beyond 48 hours. This fact weakened the credibility of the IPCC predictions with the public from the start. Some supporters of the IPCC position tried to counteract the problem by saying that climate forecasts were different from weather forecasts. It is a false argument. Climate is the average of the weather, so if the weather science is wrong the climate science is wrong.

Some experts acknowledge that regional climate forecasts are no better than short term weather forecasts. New Scientist reports that Tim Palmer, a leading climate modeler at the European Centre for Medium – Range Weather Forecasts in Reading England saying, “I don’t want to undermine the IPCC, but the forecasts, especially for regional climate change, are immensely uncertain.” In an attempt to claim some benefit, we’re told, “…he does not doubt that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has done a good job alerting the world to the problem of global climate change. But he and his fellow climate scientists are acutely aware that the IPCC’s predictions of how the global change will affect local climates are little more than guesswork. The IPCC have deliberately misled the world about the nature, cause and threat of climate change and deceived about the accuracy of their predictions (projections), for a political agenda.

Some claim the failures are due to limited computer capacity. It makes no difference. The real problems are inadequate data, lack of understanding of most major mechanisms, incorrect assumptions, and a determination to prove instead of falsify the AGW hypothesis.

Einstein’s definition, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” applies. However, EC do the same thing over and over with results that indicate failure yet fail to make adjustments as the scientific method requires. What is more amazing and unacceptable is they use public money, are essentially unaccountable yet demand the public and politicians change their energy and economic policies. On their web site, they state; “The Government of Canada supports an aggressive approach to climate change that achieves real environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.” They could begin by reducing EC to data collection. Their failures are more than enough to justify termination in any other endeavour. Another is their involvement and political promotion of well documented IPCC corruption.

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Almah Geddon

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”
Niels Bohr
Danish physicist (1885 – 1962)
Nobel Prize in Physics 1992

Today, 8th Jan at 08.00 on UK Radio 4 news
“The met office says it does not believe global warming will be as severe as it had previously predicted.”
Nothing on the BBC website though.

Bureaucrats are, by definition, overpaid and generally overqualified filing clerks. They should not be allowed to do anything other than keep the files in order, under no circumstances should they be allowed to “manage” anything and certainly not anything scientific.

richard telford

Everyone knows that regional weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable, especially beyond 48 hours. This fact weakened the credibility of the IPCC predictions with the public from the start. Some supporters of the IPCC position tried to counteract the problem by saying that climate forecasts were different from weather forecasts. It is a false argument. Climate is the average of the weather, so if the weather science is wrong the climate science is wrong.
——————
This is a particularly clueless argument, in that it has been shown to be bogus many times over. Weather forecasts are an initial value problem. Climate projections are a boundary condition problem. This is well known.
As an imperfect analogy, predicting a toss of a coin from the angular velocity and momentum is difficult – small errors in the initial estimates of the parameters will rapidly escalate and cause errors. In contrast, estimating the distribution of head and tails is much easier.
[snip. Gratuitous insulting of Dr. Ball. Any more such insults will get your future comments deleted. — mod.]

Kev-in-Uk

An interesting piece. I would never have know EC did that! FWIW, I would like all the other agencies (Met office, etc) to do the same – but as Dr Ball suggests, this would reduce theri public credibility to zero. Of course, their credibility (and that of the IPCC) with outside ‘real’ scientists is already zero, but thats a different issue!
Here in the UK, the Metoffice has a much smaller ‘region’ to forecast over, but they still can’t get it right!

A C Osborn

Add the Australian and New Zealand Weather Offices to the list, according to the Aussie and NZ Blogs they are just as bad at forecasting.
Perhaps it is because they all use the wrong Paradigm?

D Böehm Stealey

Almah Geddon,
I may be mistaken, but I think that is a Yogi Berra quote. Here are some others by the great New York Yankees catcher [who is still alive at 86, BTW]:
“It’s like deja vu all over again.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
“If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.”
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up some place else.”
Responding to a question about remarks attributed to him that he did not think were his, Yogi said:
“I really didn’t say everything I said.”
“The future ain’t what it use to be.”
“Predicting is hard, especially about the future.”
“I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”
On why he no longer went to Ruggeri’s, a St. Louis restaurant:
“Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”
“I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”
“We have deep depth.”
“All pitchers are liars or crybabies.”
When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his New Jersey home, which is accessible by two routes:
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
“Never answer anonymous letters.”
On being the guest of honor at an awards banquet:
“Thank you for making this day necessary.”
“The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”
“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”
As a general comment on baseball: “90% of the game is half mental.”
“I don’t know if they were men or women running naked (across the field). They had bags over their heads.”
“It gets late early out there.”
Carmen Berra, Yogi’s wife asked: “Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?” Yogi’s answer: “Surprise me.”
“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Steven Devijver

Adam Curtis’ All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, part 2: The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts (watch online in provided link):

Part two shows how our modern scientific idea of nature, the self-regulating ecosystem, is actually a machine fantasy. It has little to do with the real complexity of nature. It is based on cybernetic ideas that were projected on to nature in the 1950s by ambitious scientists. A static machine theory of order that sees humans, and everything else on the planet, as components–cogs–in a system. But in an age disillusioned with politics, the self-regulating ecosystem has again become the model for utopian ideas of human “self-organising networks”, with dreams of new ways of organising societies without leaders and in global visions of connectivity like the Gaia theory. This powerful idea emerged out of the hippie communes in America in the 1960s, and from counter-culture computer scientists who believed that global webs of computers could liberate the world. But, at the very moment this was happening, the science of ecology discovered that the theory of the self-regulating ecosystem wasn’t true. Instead they found that nature was really dynamic and constantly changing in unpredictable ways. But it was too late, the dream of the self-organising network had by now captured imaginations…

Ken Hall

“The Government of Canada supports an aggressive approach to climate change that achieves real environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.”
I would like them to list those environmental and economic benefits in detail. Specifically I want them to quantify what the benefit is, how it was derived, how it is measured and what the alternative was if the “aggressive approach to climate change” had not been followed.
Besides which, what is an “aggressive approach to climate change” anyway? Other than merely calling people who question the rate, extent and drivers of climate change insulting names? I would like to see if this “aggressive approach to climate change” has actually reduced the temperature of the climate at all and if so, how?

polistra

Extremely interesting. Shows that all efforts to make government more “transparent” are foolish. Even when a bureaucracy is perfectly “transparent”, admitting their own errors systematically, they still continue to make the same systematic errors.
It should be blazingly clear by now that “democracy” has failed. Only absolute dictators can rule competently.

Ken Hall

“In contrast, estimating the distribution of head and tails is much easier.”
And applying that less than perfect analogy to climate change, the many different global climate models ALL fail to even get that distribution correct. They ALL failed to project the last 20 years failure to warm. Now they are having to be rewritten with a fudge factor of “aerosols” to force the model to fit the evidence after the fact.
The fact is, the real world NOT doing what the models projected means simply that the models were WRONG! Climate scientists have been predicting a result of heads 60% and tails 40% When the result has come in at 50% 50%, they are scratching their heads and refusing to admit error in the models.
The climate “scientists” are the worst sort of pseudo scientific charlatans.

Bloke down the pub

It would be a start if Lord Lawson, or someone of his ilk, were to suggest a requirement for the Met office to produce similar retro-casts as provided by EC. The inability of the Canadians to improve the service though might preclude the possibility of getting the MO to pull their socks up.

richard telford wrote:
January 8, 2013 at 3:33 am
[blockquote] Everyone knows that regional weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable, especially beyond 48 hours. This fact weakened the credibility of the IPCC predictions with the public from the start. Some supporters of the IPCC position tried to counteract the problem by saying that climate forecasts were different from weather forecasts. It is a false argument. Climate is the average of the weather, so if the weather science is wrong the climate science is wrong.
——————
This is a particularly clueless argument, in that it has been shown to be bogus many times over. Weather forecasts are an initial value problem. Climate projections are a boundary condition problem. This is well known.
As an imperfect analogy, predicting a toss of a coin from the angular velocity and momentum is difficult – small errors in the initial estimates of the parameters will rapidly escalate and cause errors. In contrast, estimating the distribution of head and tails is much easier.[/blockquote]
Some climate scientists argue, and I agree with them, that climate prediction is an initial value problem:
Climate Prediction as an Initial Value Problem:
http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-210.pdf
Also
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/further-comments-demonstrating-that-climate-prediction-is-an-initial-value-problem/
Evolving a the model of a system forward in time, for a given set of boundary conditions, is an initial value problem.

Blair

Canada’s inability to properly forecast the weather was noticed amoung my coworkers when I lived in Toronto in the 90’s. It came up in a discussion in the lunch room one day that all of us watched the American weather forecasts because we considered them more accurate.
At the turn of the century I moved to Ottawa and bought a cottage about 30 minutes west of town and was constantly annoyed that I couldn’t rely on the Canadian forecasts to determine if I could go there on weekends and enjoy being outside. So I started a spread sheet and for 6 months tracked the forecasts 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and day before. I allowed a five degree C error for temperature and the results were as follows. 7 day – 30% accuracy, 6 day 37%, 5 day 42%, 4 day – 66% (!!!?) 3 day – 50%, 2 day – 58%, day before – 66%.
No idea why the 4 day spiked to match the day before but I was just an observer. I also tried to track the rain forecasts but realized the area was so large that it wasn’t possible.
Cheers,

Alan the Brit

Adrian Kerton says:
January 8, 2013 at 3:15 am
Today, 8th Jan at 08.00 on UK Radio 4 news
“The met office says it does not believe global warming will be as severe as it had previously predicted.”
Nothing on the BBC website though.
Interestingly they said something about no warming from 1997 until 2017, when it would start all over again. Reminding me of the “paper” that had modelled a downturn in global temperatures from some British University a couple of years ago claiming to have predicted the downturn, only a couple of years after it had started, & claiming that warming would resume in earnest in 2014! To paraphrase Shakespeare. “Is this an element of goalpost shifting I see before me?” That makes 20 years of no warming at least, so petitio principii, just how long a period of cooling do they wish to see before somebody amongst them has them has the balls to ask, “have we got this global warming crap all wrong?”

richardscourtney

richard telford:
At January 8, 2013 at 3:33 am, in response to Tim Ball having written

Everyone knows that regional weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable, especially beyond 48 hours. This fact weakened the credibility of the IPCC predictions with the public from the start. Some supporters of the IPCC position tried to counteract the problem by saying that climate forecasts were different from weather forecasts. It is a false argument. Climate is the average of the weather, so if the weather science is wrong the climate science is wrong.

you wrote

This is a particularly clueless argument, in that it has been shown to be bogus many times over. Weather forecasts are an initial value problem. Climate projections are a boundary condition problem. This is well known.
As an imperfect analogy, predicting a toss of a coin from the angular velocity and momentum is difficult – small errors in the initial estimates of the parameters will rapidly escalate and cause errors. In contrast, estimating the distribution of head and tails is much easier.

Your reply demonstrates that it is you that is “clueless”.
Clearly, “if the weather science is wrong” then “the climate science is wrong” when “Climate is the average of the weather”.
And the boundary conditions are not known when the science is wrong.
In the probably forlorn hope of helping you to understand why, I shall refer to your ‘coin analogy’.
Predicting the distribution of sides that a coin will fall on is possible. But the prediction will be wrong if it is not a coin but is a 6-sided die which is being tossed. In other words, the system under discussion needs to be adequately understood for a prediction of its behaviour to be valid and correct.
So, if the science of weather is wrong then the boundary conditions of climate (i.e. average weather) cannot be adequately defined (you may be predicting ‘coin tosses’ when you should be predicting ‘dice tosses’, or ‘pancake tosses’, or …).
Richard

LazyTeenager

Tim Ball says
Some supporters of the IPCC position tried to counteract the problem by saying that climate forecasts were different from weather forecasts. It is a false argument. Climate is the average of the weather, so if the weather science is wrong the climate science is wrong.
———–
Wrong Tim.
Medium term weather forecasts are not the same as climate forecasts.
Regional forecasts are not the same as global forecasts.

Bob Layson

The difference between weather prediction and climate prediction could be said to be analogous to the ease of predicting the time of high tide at some port in ten years time and the difficulty of predicting the height of the waves on that same day. But if the analogy is not a good one then… . This has to be shown.

Stefan

@Steven Devijver
I enjoyed Adam Curtis’ documentary. IIRC it also mentioned how “Nature in balance” and “Natural Order” were ideas derived from notions of Empire and Colonialism, and used to justify Apartheid.
The term “holistic” was invented by Jan Smuts.
Many environmentalists seem to still subscribe to this notion, although they stack the pyramid in a different sequence, putting “biosphere” at the top because it “encompasses” all species and hence humans.

Jimbo

richard telford says:
January 8, 2013 at 3:33 am
This is a particularly clueless argument, in that it has been shown to be bogus many times over.

The models are failing and we don’t know why? :-p

“The multimodel average tropospheric temperature trends are outside the 5–95 percentile range of RSS results at most latitudes. The likely causes of these biases include forcing errors in the historical simulations (40–42), model response errors (43), remaining errors in satellite temperature estimates (26, 44), and an unusual manifestation of internal variability in the observations (35, 45). These explanations are not mutually exclusive. Our results suggest that forcing errors are a serious concern.”
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/28/1210514109.full.pdf
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/28/1210514109

H/t
http://landshape.org/enm/santer-climate-models-are-exaggerating-warming-we-dont-know-why/

Rhys Jaggar

I’m afraid that these arguments can be applied to any dogmatists, not just ‘bureaucrats’.
We in the UK have one set of dogmatists who believe that any state-owned enterprise is intrinsically evil. We now have a 30 year track record of many privatisations and how they panned out.
On the plus side, there is the aerospace manufacturer, Rolls Royce, which is now a highly profitable, successful global company, continuing to employ and invest in the UK and a major regional employer. The British Airways privatisation has been equally successful, although the attractiveness of that sector for investors is probably less rosy than for Rolls Royce.
Where other manufacturing industry was concerned, you can probably say: ‘we no longer subsidise them but we have lost strategic ownership in these sectors’. We no longer have a significant UK-owned steel industry, although some specialist niche providers remain. Our car industry now assembles foreign cars for the European market (be that for Japanese, German, Chinese or American owners). The conclusions to be drawn from this are not a good judgement on UK management. UK workers are amongst the most productive in Europe working for foreign owners. They are well paid, so they are not exploited. Says that both unions and management from bygone eras were a crock of [snip].
The third arena concerns what we traditionally have called ‘public services’. This includes the energy and water utilities, railways, increasingly it includes the National Health Service, parts of the police and prison services etc etc. Where the railways are concerned a very clear conclusion can be drawn: public subsidies now are higher than under single ownership, competition does not exist in any meaningful form and the privatisation has privatised profits whilst socialising liabilities. Prices have sky rocketed for commuters and the verdict must be: ‘the public have been shafted to line the pockets of the rich’. The same conclusion can be drawn about gas, electricity and water, some of the most attractive investments globally for the mostly foreign owners we now have. Prices have escalated hugely, cartel price fixing has been going on for years and service quality has declined along with it. So these ones are very much along the lines of ‘whether or not the privatisations have improved operations, the public is very, very skeptical as to the benefits and wants these essential elements of life (heating, lighting, water and mass transport to work) run primarily for the benefit of the users, not the shareholders. There is of course a reality that tough decision-making will sometimes inflame public opinion, however.
In the main, the dogmatists are only interested in shovelling [snip] into their friends’/masters’ pockets.
Solutions will only come if private sector partners are rewarded in equal measure to beholden customers and their investors.
I doubt it will happen that way, as it would require a mass clear out of the City of London’s money-driven and public decisions taken for the good of the majority, not the minority.
As you will find out, there are greedy, avaricious, private monopolists who are every bit as disgraceful as ‘bureaucrats’.
Whether it is acceptable to talk about them, hold them to account, without endangering your livelihoods is another matter.
If you can’t, you might like to ponder on whether you have unfair agendas…………

Bob Ryan

A very telling phrase: ”Climate is the average of the weather….’. But, that is not what climate scientists like Slingo believe. For them ‘climate drives weather’. This is the inversion of thought which distinguishes the traditional meteorological paradigm from that of the (new) climate scientist. The former is informed by a straightforward empiricist view of the world – the latter by a form of rationalism based upon the Platonic concept that there are certain ideal and immutable laws (in this case the laws of radiation physics and thermodynamics) from which the future of the climate can be deduced and modelled. The problem is that these methodological paradigms are quite incommensurable and the debate between the two sides is like ships passing in the night. For Slingo what is observed is the servant of theory and quoting Feynman or Popper will not make the slightest bit of difference. Slingo isn’t pretending she knows why it has been wet – she really, really believes she knows.

Réaumur

Adrian Kerton says: Today, 8th Jan at 08.00 on UK Radio 4 news “The met office says it does not believe global warming will be as severe as it had previously predicted.”
I have transcribed BBC Radio 4 “Today” Programme 2013/01/08 08:05:30 from their web player:
Presenter: “The Met Office has revised downwards its projection for climate change through to 2017. The new figure suggests that although global temperatures will be forced above their long-term average because of greenhouse gases, the recent slowdown in warming will continue. More details from our environment analyst, Roger Harrabin.”
Harrabin: “Last year the Met Office projected that as greenhouse gases increase, the world’s temperature would be 0.54 degrees warmer than the long-term average by 2016. The new experimental Met Office computer model looking a year further ahead, projects that the earth will continue to warm, but the increase will be about 20% less than the previous calculation. If the new number proves accurate, there will have been little additional warming for two decades. The Met Office says natural cycles have caused the recent slow down in warming, including maybe changes in the sun and ocean currents. Mainstream climate scientists say that when the natural cooling factors change again, temperatures will be driven up further by greenhouse gases.”

richardscourtney

LazyTeenager:
re your post at January 8, 2013 at 4:37 am.
You are plain wrong (as is usual with your posts).
To understand why you are wrong then read my reply to Richard T which I posted at January 8, 2013 at 4:32 am. He, too, has unthinkingly swallowed the same bollocks as you and which flows from warmist propaganda sites such as SkS.
Richard

Gail Combs

The Gray Monk says:
January 8, 2013 at 3:32 am
Bureaucrats are, by definition, overpaid and generally overqualified filing clerks. They should not be allowed to do anything other than keep the files in order, under no circumstances should they be allowed to “manage” anything and certainly not anything scientific.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
And I will add:
The last thing Bureaucrats should be allowed to do is write laws , especially laws that harm their countries and increase their power.

Doug Huffman

In re “It should be blazingly clear by now that “democracy” has failed. Only absolute dictators can rule competently.(Polistra, January 8, 2013 at 4:14 am)”
I believe that it is our expectations of government and democracy, and our narrow definition of democracy that have failed. Please understand the sortition of the democracy that produced the giant civilization of Ancient Greece, upon whose shoulders we stand – tiptoe as we try to keep our noses above the rising waters of demotic ignorance.
Please also read Jonathan Zittrain’s The Future of the Internet – And How To Stop It, for his discussion of “rule competently.” http://futureoftheinternet.org/static/ZittrainTheFutureoftheInternet.pdf In a word, you and we do not want competent rule for its thoughtless zero-tolerance prior restraint. “Jonathan Zittrain is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.”

Gail Combs

richard telford says: @ January 8, 2013 at 3:33 am
This is a particularly clueless argument….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
No it is not. Meteorological Organizations and Climate Scientists have set themselves up as all-seeing prophets who see the future and warn governments that they MUST ACT NOW! or there will be CATASTROPHE! The USA is in the process of dismantling her economy completely based on this Predictions
For example Dr. James Hansen says a multi-meter sea level rise is possible this century
The climate models all have the same underlying assumptions.
The Empirical proof of these models assumptions is seen in the short term forecasts made by the bureaucratic member national weather agencies that belong to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
You can not deny the link between the short term forecasting models and the long term models used by the IPCC.

An Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of EC chaired the founding meeting of the IPCC in Villach Austria in 1985. It continues, as they sent a large delegation to the recent Doha conference on climate change. Their web site promotes IPCC work as the basis for all policy on energy and environment. They brag about their role as a world class regulator.

It is a Catch-22
A.) If the member national weather agencies use the IPCC assumptions the weather forecasts are flat out WRONG.
B.) If they do not use the IPCC assumptions, they prove they think the IPCC is full of bovine feces.
So Richard, which is it? A or B those are the only two choices. Except for the third choice, of course – The IPCC and the national weather agencies don’t know what the frecking heck they are doing.
Pick One!

richard telford

Typhoon says:
January 8, 2013 at 4:21 am
————————
If you take an ensemble of model runs, each initiated with different initial values, the output will be markedly different in the short term, but the mean state after several decades won’t vary much between runs. In the long term it is the uncertainly in the boundary conditions that dominate. Most IPCC climate model runs are not initiated from observations, but from a long run in.
Only if you are interested in predictions for the next decade are initial values very important. These models currently have little skill.
——–
Dr (or is it Mr?) Richard S Courtney, I get the distinct impression that your knowledge and understanding of climate does not progress past Genesis 8:22.

Henry Galt

Adrian Kerton says:
January 8, 2013 at 3:15 am
Very interesting, for irony^2 😉
I have it on good authority that this year ‘temps will be well above normals’ and have no reason to doubt – so the MO getting a prediction 180 degrees wrong once more would be my main bet in 2013. The shame being that it will mess with our nice run of flat-to-down trends if it turns out that way and the shrill and scared will make it difficult to talk quietly amongst ourselves.
Then though, it starts to get colder.
I just read Réaumur’s transcript (thank you) and the creature Harrabin couldn’t wait to get his excuses in – just as we have been saying for years – if it gets colder or stays mild they will claim that ‘natural causes’ are merely delaying the return of CO2-geddon and there is absolutely no reason to stop being very afraid, believing your government departments and paying here, here and here.

Robuk

Adrian Kerton says: Today, 8th Jan at 08.00 on UK Radio 4 news “The met office says it does not believe global warming will be as severe as it had previously predicted.”
Audio below,
http://s446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/?action=view&current=Rec013.mp4

David

Thanks for the transcript, Reamur..!
To paraphrase Roger Harrabin’s last sentence: ‘I’ve got to state that mainstream climate scientists say that ‘natural cooling factors’ will change, driving temperatures up again, otherwise our theories are not worth a pitcher of warm spit…’

Mark

I don’t see a problem with trying to predict the weather or climate (even with government funding), but the problem is that such research must be (for now at least) akin to blue-sky research: “we can’t predict the weather now, and we may never be able to, but I know we won’t be able to unless we try”.
Further, I suspect that if such research were ever to succeed, truly accurate weather predictions would be a great boon to vast numbers of people all over the world.
So, I’m happy to pay for the Met Office to crunch its numbers, but less happy when it tells me how to live my life on the basis on bad number crunching – to put it mildly.

mpainter

To produce a valid model, one needs to understand what one is modeling. Climate modeling is an exercise in futility, and in the hands of the AGW crowd it is a public nuisance and threat to the well-being of humankind.

David

Marginally off-topic, but relevant
I’m intrigued by a notice alongside the stream below Bodiam Castle in Kent – presumably written by some well-meaning soul about 15 years ago at the height of the ‘global warming’ hyperbole.
It states that you are advised to enjoy the river bank and associated views, because ‘in 50 years time this will all be under water due to sea level rise..’
The stream, of course, still meanders serenely past…. (give or take the odd recent flooding of the associated floodplain)…

Gail Combs

I think a comment similar to this got booted into the ether:
richard telford says:
January 8, 2013 at 3:33 am
….This is is a particularly clueless argument….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
No it is not.
Starting from the quote.

. An Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of EC chaired the founding meeting of the IPCC in Villach Austria in 1985. It continues, as they sent a large delegation to the recent Doha conference on climate change. Their web site promotes IPCC work as the basis for all policy on energy and environment. They brag about their role as a world class regulator.


It is obvious the climate models of the member national weather agencies are based on the same assumptions as the IPCC climate models. The short term forecasts from these models therefore provide empirical proof as to the correctness of those assumptions. Those short term forecasts FAIL, thereby providing real world proof the assumptions upon which all these models are based are incorrect.
This leads to a Catch-22 situation for you.
A.) All the models are based on the same assumptions and therefore real world testing shows they fail.
B.) Short term models are based on other assumptions which means the member national weather agencies acknowledged that the IPCC assumptions are bovine feces and are trying to come up with something that actually works..
So Richard, take you pick which is it? A or B? Of course there is a third option,
C.) None of them know what the freckin’ heck they are doing and are just playing with the computers at our expense.

Robuk

Adrian Kerton says: Today, 8th Jan at 08.00 on UK Radio 4 news “The met office says it does not believe global warming will be as severe as it had previously predicted.”
Audio below,
http://s446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/?action=view&current=Rec013.mp4

David

I’m wondering how much longer the likes of Roger Harrabin will find themselves in ‘gainful’ employment as Environment correspondents..
I hear Macdonald’s are recruiting…….

Don Morris

This is a comment strictly on how the PC(%) numbers on the charts may be intended to be interpreted. The lowest (gray: 0-40%) areas are said to be “Not significantly better than chance”. Does that not mean that the forecasts in these places were the 50/50% variety with no benefit received from the EC forecast? That would mean that the higher (41-100%) areas are where the EC forecast was beating the 50/50 coin toss, i.e. 50% on their scale would mean 50% better than chance, or 75% accurate forecast (or some percentage like that). This would also mean that they need to define how close an actual had to be to the forecast to be considered accurate, e.g. within 1 degree or within 2% or some such allowance for a near miss.
Is this a case of ambiguous data presentation or is it just me?
Not that it should matter in a discussion on how to read these graphics, but I am in the 95% sceptic range on man made global warming being a “problem” and wish Dr. Bell all the best in his work.

Adrian Kerton says: “Today, 8th Jan at 08.00 on UK Radio 4 news ‘The met office says it does not believe global warming will be as severe as it had previously predicted.’ Nothing on the BBC website though.”
Tallbloke posted about that and then I expanded on it a few days ago:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/ukmo-lowers-5-year-global-temperature-forecast-and-omits-the-second-5-years-of-the-decadal-forecast/
Regards
.

richard telford:
I think a better analogy is to consider a sequence such as the following:
a1 = 1 a2 = 1 an+2 = an+1 + an:
1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 …
To calculate say the 1000th number in this sequence you have to start at the beginning of the sequence, but your analogy is to just guess and then justify our guess by claiming something called “boundary conditions”.

John Blake

Recall that in September 2009 UN SecGen Ban Ki-moon demanded an immediate transfer payment of $10-trillion (yes, trillion) to his ensconced kleptocrats, lest Planet Earth become a baking desert by January 2010.
As the UN’s ward-heeling thug-meisters spiral ever downwards, the fact that “Railroad Bill” Rajendra K. Pachauri e’en yet squats above the IPCC’s one-holer is prima facie evidence of these bodies’ criminally negligent malfeasance.
Having excreted reigning U.S. munchkins by 2016 if not before, we suspect that by c. 2018 Moonies and Pachauri alike will see their RICO enterprise become roadkill on two-lane, unpaved, public-sector tracks. Can’t happen soon enough.

Re the bon mot attributed to Niels Bohr, “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future,” and also credited above to Yogi Berra (my impression, too), I did a quick Internet search and came up with this letter to The Economist:

A letter attributes the following comment to Niels Bohr: Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. It is said that that Bohr used to quote this saying to illustrate the differences between Danish and Swedish humour.
Bohr himself usually attributed the saying to Robert Storm Petersen (1882-1949), also called Storm P., a Danish artist and writer. However, the saying did not originate from Storm P. The original author remains unknown (although Mark Twain is often suggested).
Felicity Pors

http://www.economist.com/blogs/theinbox/2007/07/the_perils_of_prediction_june
In other words, the origin is definitively unknown—just like the course of weather, and climate.
/Mr Lynn

Don Morris

Correction: I wish Dr. Ball all the best,
(mistake for Dr. Bell must have been my Canadian subconscious kicking in w.r.t. Alexander Graham Bell)

Joe Ryan

It really doesn’t matter if you relegate them to data collection if it is still staffed by activists. You still couldn’t trust the data.

Bob Ryan says:
January 8, 2013 at 5:06 am
A very telling phrase: ”Climate is the average of the weather….’. But, that is not what climate scientists like Slingo believe. For them ‘climate drives weather’. This is the inversion of thought which distinguishes the traditional meteorological paradigm from that of the (new) climate scientist. The former is informed by a straightforward empiricist view of the world – the latter by a form of rationalism based upon the Platonic concept that there are certain ideal and immutable laws (in this case the laws of radiation physics and thermodynamics) from which the future of the climate can be deduced and modelled. The problem is that these methodological paradigms are quite incommensurable and the debate between the two sides is like ships passing in the night. For Slingo what is observed is the servant of theory and quoting Feynman or Popper will not make the slightest bit of difference. Slingo isn’t pretending she knows why it has been wet – she really, really believes she knows.

A fascinating observation, this difference in ‘methodological paradigms’ explains how ostensibly intelligent scientists can become intractably wedded to an overarching belief (where ‘belief’ is the right word) in the rightness of the Climatist ’cause’ (cf. Climategate II) and the utter irrelevance of the contrary evidence and arguments propounded by ‘deniers’.
It is easy enough to deride the Climatists as ‘true believers’ (viz. Eric Hoffer), but hard to understand how real scientists, buried in data-intensive research, can latch onto glib and easily falsifiable conclusions, simply on the strength of one idee fixé, namely the theoretical ability of one trace gas to ‘trap’ heat in the atmosphere. I have always assumed it was a result of ideological blinders, an overriding desire to right the wrongs of Western civilization and cure the ills wrought by mankind on the Planet. But that seemed an implausible leap of faith for real scientists to make. Bob Ryan has perhaps shown how the more thoughtful among the Climatists may rationalize that leap philosophically, by turning empirical science on its head.
/Mr Lynn

David L

@richard telford 3:33am
I see climate as the average of the weather. From a statistical standpoint weather is akin to the prediction interval, climate is the confidence interval. Has nothing to do with initial values or “boundry” conditions. It’s
just how we describe the individual data and summary statistics.
We all know the climate next summer will be hot and muggy in Philly. How hot and how muggy and specifically which days will be the hottest is anyone’s guess.

John F. Hultquist

David says:
January 8, 2013 at 6:26 am
“. . . a notice alongside the stream below Bodiam Castle . . .

You have alerted a bureaucrat that someone is watching. If you have not taken a photo and documented the date of placement of this sign, please do so immediately. The thing will be “disappeared” in 3, 2 ,1 days.

PaulH

For years I have been frustrated with the inaccurate forecasts from Environment Canada. In the very short range (24-48 hours) they are generally OK, but I found that forecasts from, for example, weather.com and WeatherBell are more reliable. On top of that most Canadian radio and TV stations and newspapers pick up the Environment Canada forecasts, making it difficult to hear an alternative unless you go digging for one.

Richard M

Richard Telford confuses randomness with chaos. That is not uncommon but doing so while insulting another individual only serves to make the perpetrator look very foolish indeed.

ferdberple

richard telford says:
January 8, 2013 at 3:33 am
As an imperfect analogy, predicting a toss of a coin from the angular velocity and momentum is difficult – small errors in the initial estimates of the parameters will rapidly escalate and cause errors. In contrast, estimating the distribution of head and tails is much easier.
===========
Your understanding of statistics is incorrect. A coin toss is predictable in the long term because it has a constant mean and distribution. This type of distribution is not typical of time series data such as weather, climate or the stock market. Such data is not predictable using the law of large numbers or the central limit theorem, given our current understanding of mathematics.
In effect climate is a coin that is constantly changing shape, each time you toss it. All one can say with any certainty about climate is that it will get warmer, colder, or will stay about the same.