Are regional models ready for prime time?


Guest post by Marcel Crok

A few months ago we  made the launch of the international discussion platform . This week we start the third dialogue about the (added) value of regional climate models. We have three excellent participants joining this discussion: Bart van den Hurk of KNMI in The Netherlands who is actively involved in the KNMI scenario’s, Jason Evans from the University of Newcastle, Australia, who is coordinator of Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) and Roger Pielke Sr. who through his research articles and his weblog  is well known for his outspoken views on climate modelling. Below you find the introductory article on which the three experts had to base their guest blog. After reading that head over to the dialogue.

Introductory article: Are climate models ready to make regional projections?

Climate models are vital tools for helping us understand long-term changes in the global climate system. These models allow us to make physically plausible projections of how the climate might evolve in the future under given greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

Global climate projections for 2050 and 2100 have, amongst other purposes, been used to inform potential mitigation policies, i.e. to get a sense of the challenge we are facing in terms of CO2 emission reductions. The next logical step is to use models for adaptation as well. Stakeholders have an almost insatiable demand for future regional climate projections. These demands are driven by practical considerations related to freshwater resources, especially ecosystems and water related infrastructure, which are vulnerable to climate change.

Global climate models (GCMs) though have grid scales that are quite coarse (>100 km). This hampers the reconstruction of climate change at smaller scales (regional to local). Regions (the size of e.g. the Netherlands) are usually covered by only a few grid points. A crucial question therefore is whether information from global climate models at this spatial scale is realistic and meaningful, in hind cast and/or for the future.

Hundreds of studies have been published in the literature [1] presenting regional projections of climate change for 2050 and 2100. The output of such model simulations is then used by the climate impacts community to investigate what potential future benefits or threats could be expected. However several recent studies cast doubt whether global model output is realistic on a regional scale, even in hind cast. [2-5]

So a legitimate question is whether global and/or regional climate models are ready to be used for regional projections? Is the information reliable enough to use for all kinds of medium to long term adaptation planning? Or should we adopt a different approach?

To improve the resolution of the models other techniques, such as regional climate models (RCMs), or downscaling methods, have been developed. Nesting a regional climate model (with higher spatial resolution) into an existing GCM is one way to downscale data. This is called dynamical downscaling. A second way of downscaling climate model data is through the use of statistical regression. Statistical downscaling is based on relationships linking large-scale atmospheric variables from either GCMs or RCMs (predictors)and local/regional climate variables (predictands) using observations. [6]

Both methods are widely used inside the regional modelling community. The higher spatial resolution allows a more detailed representation of relevant processes, which will hopefully, but not necessarily, result in a “better” prediction. However RCMs operate under a set of boundary conditions that are dependent on the parent GCM. Hence, if the GCM does not do an adequate job of reproducing the climate signal of a particular region, the RCM will simply mimic those inaccuracies and biases. A valid question therefore is if and how the coupling of a RCM to a GCM can provide more refined insights. [7,8]

Recently Kerr [9] caused quite a stir in the regional modelling community by raising doubts about the reliability of regional model output. A debate about the reliability of model simulations is quickly seen as one between proponents and sceptics of anthropogenic global warming. However as Kundzewicz [10] points out “these are pragmatic concerns, raised by hydrologists and water management practitioners, about how useful the GCMs are for the much more detailed level of analysis (and predictability) required for site-specific water management decisions (infrastructure planning, design and operations).”

See Climate dialogue

The focus of this Climate Dialogue will be on the reliability of climate simulations for the regional scale. An important question will be if there is added value from regional climate downscaling.

More specific questions:

1) How realistic are simulations by GCM’s on the regional scale?

2) Do some parameters (e.g. temperature) perform better than others (e.g. precipitation)?

3) Do some regions perform better than others?

4) To what extent can regional climate models simulate the past?

5) What is the best way to determine the skill of the hind cast?

6) Is there added value of regional models in comparison with global models?

7) What are the relative merits of dynamical and statistical downscaling?

8) How should one judge projections of these regional models?

9) Should global/regional climate models be used for decisions concerning infrastructure development? If so how? If not, what should form a better scientific base for such decisions?


[1] The CMIP3 and CMIP5 list of publications is a good starting point, see and

[2] G.J. van Oldenborgh, F.J. Doblas Reyes, S.S. Drijfhout, and E. Hawkins, “Reliability of regional climate model trends”, Environmental Research Letters, vol. 8, pp. 014055, 2013.

[3] Anagnostopoulos, G. G., Koutsoyiannis, D., Christofides, A., Efstratiadis, A. &Mamassis, N. (2010) A comparison of local and aggregated climate model outputs with observed data. Hydrol. Sci. J. 55(7), 1094–1110

[4] Stephens, G. L., T. L’Ecuyer, R. Forbes, A. Gettlemen, J.‐C. Golaz, A. Bodas‐Salcedo, K. Suzuki, P. Gabriel, and J. Haynes (2010), Dreary state of precipitation in global models, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D24211, doi:10.1029/2010JD014532

[5] J. Bhend, and P. Whetton, “Consistency of simulated and observed regional changes in temperature, sea level pressure and precipitation”, Climatic Change, 2013.

[6] Wilby, R. L. (2010) Evaluating climate model outputs for hydrologicalapplications – Opinion. Hydrol. Sci. J. 55(7), 1090–1093

[7] Kundzewicz, Zbigniew W. and Stakhiv, Eugene Z.(2010) ‘Are climate models “ready for prime time” inwater resources management applications, or is more research needed?’, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 55: 7, 1085 —1089

[8] Pielke, R. A. S., and R. L. Wilby, 2012: Regional climate downscaling: What’s the point? Eos Trans.AGU, 93, PAGE 52, doi:201210.1029/2012EO050008

[9] R.A. Kerr, “Forecasting Regional Climate Change Flunks Its First Test”, Science, vol. 339, pp. 638-638, 2013.

[10] Kundzewicz, Zbigniew W. and Stakhiv, Eugene Z.(2010) ‘Are climate models “ready for prime time” in water resources management applications, or is more research needed?’, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 55: 7, 1085 —1089


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Jim Cripwell

omnologos, you write “no”.
If you go to the Climate Dialogue site, you will find that this is precisely what Roger Pielke Sr said.

Rud Istvan

There are a number of studies of the Sahel region of Africa which would suggest neither dynamic nor atatistical downscaling has done a good job with water forecasting even on short time scales ( years). It therefore stretches credulity to think they could perform on decades time scales needed for infrastructure planning.

I posted this comment:
I looked into the CET variability, as the most scrutinised and longest regional set of data, also having good correlation with N. Hemisphere and some with global variability. Graphic results and extrapolation into future (with very short comments) are shown here:

A C Osborn

The first thing to say is “What CO2 emission reductions”, why would they possibly be necessary?
Second “What Warming”?
A complete and utter waste of good computers and computing time.

The Iceman Cometh

I have a simple test for these regional models. Where I live, there are two suburbs less than 5km apart. The one is essentially a desert – it receives on average less than 250mm rain/a. The other is almost a floodplain – it receives over 2000mm annually. I have yet to find a model that can come near describing these observations.


A C Osborn says:
May 18, 2013 at 11:35 am
“The first thing to say is “What CO2 emission reductions”, why would they possibly be necessary?
Second “What Warming”?
A complete and utter waste of good computers and computing time.”
The “Climate Dialogue site” was launched with much fan fare by both sides… to which it was quickly showed to be another doomsday cult site trying it best to pretend to be a science site.
Many ppl posted a whole mile long list of problems with the way they are doing things and so far they have not listened to a single one as far as i know.
ALL of the “discussions” or propaganda as called by normal ppl assume
1. global warming is real and caused by humans.
2. We’re all going to die
3. At no point to they get into the science at all.
4. At no point do they even attempt to define global warming “theory”.
5. Pretty much no basic science at all… its all “post processed” crap.
6. They heavily censor/section/”adjust” the comment section so that only “experts” get a say.
In the end the site is a joke and not really worth dealing with. They are just looking for excuses to look “balanced” and best not to even bother dealing with them.

William Wright

I know there is a model that does clouds now. One of the guys who wrote the anti AGW book made one, I don’t remember his name.
I think the guy’s name is Postman. One of the hobby sites I go to has a science section and someone had a block quote from him, about how the model generates clouds.

Thank you Jim
The one reason that convinces me regional models aren’t ready yet, is that they aren’t any good at predicting the season’s weather.


This one jumped right off the page for me…..
From Guest Bart van den Hurk
Climate predictions versus climate scenarios
The notion that a tool – an RCM – may possess shortcomings in its predictive skill, but simultaneously prove to be a valuable tool to support narratives that are relevant to policy making and spatial planning can in fact be extended to highlighting the difference between “climate predictions” and “climate scenarios”.
You have GOT to be shi,?b>tting me.


“To support narratives that are relevant to policy making ……..”
Jesus wept.

Lance of BC

What a crock, models, models, models. If you don’t understand or even have the slightest idea how our climate works, it’s ridicules and delusional to think you can predict a chaotic system with a computer program and a herculean task to predict regional climate change.
Just around my area there must be half a dozen different climate variations, have we gone so insane in the membrane to think this is even remotely possible? Holy cow, give your heads a shake, all this for a .5 degree of temperature change in 150 years?
Who would of thought weather prediction would be the down fall of mankind……… welcome the computer age.

Mike jarosz

Back in the late 1960’s the government built a super computer at the University of Illinois to predict weather. Lots of good jobs, but poor weather forecasting as I was told by a participating computer manufacturer. We’re a lot smarter, but still ignorant about the weather.


How much do you want to be that when the tempature starts dropping over the next few decades due to the sun going quiet all of these models are going to start trending downwards.

Albert Stienstra

TomR,Worc,MA,USA says:
May 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm
“To support narratives that are relevant to policy making ……..”
Jesus wept.
vad Hurk is from Wageningen University. That says it all. Don’t take any notice.

Billy Liar

omnologos says:
May 18, 2013 at 10:55 am
My thoughts exactly!


Why does anyone think that using the same basic input and assumptions from GCMs for RCMs would produce anything useful. It is so obvious that the assumptions in the GCMs are not adequate to derive even a reasonable projection of global climate. Reducing the spatial scale would only magnify the errors. The pac man computer geeks who now play with serious material should scrap the existing models and begin anew. I believe that CO2 is a minor player, maybe even less that the minimum now allocated. The sun, oceans and hydrologic cycle have to be better defined before any more money is wasted. Our children should not be raised in fear of something that may not even be real. But what do I know- I’m just the 70 year old elephant in the room- with a PhD in biogeography/climatology- and years of teaching meteorology and climatology at a university.

omnologos says:
May 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Thank you Jim
The one reason that convinces me regional models aren’t ready yet, is that they aren’t any good at predicting the season’s weather.
Huh, having just participated in a study using regional climate data, I’ll have to say your characterization is flat wrong.

thank you Steven Mosher. I am looking forward to be contradicted by reality. I know for a fact that the first useful regional (seasonal) model will be a major hit in all newspapers.

Bill H

Models which fail every time at less than 72 hours…
And they want to continue to base policy and now regional people movements and living arrangements on them..
Can anyone else see the UN AGENDA 21 looking back at them fro this mirror.?


>>regional projections of climate change for 2050 and 2100.<<
Utter fantasy.
Perhaps this would be a good point to observe that this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Edward Lorenz's seminal work “Deterministic nonperiodic flow”, which demonstrated the futility of such endeavours as that described above.
Ironically, he was a weatherman himself.

lemiere jacques

and well, let s imaginethat one day some models were able to calculate the climate for a given period of time….It is not enough to say they are able to do the same again!!!!
what if a guy gave you ten times the results of a calculation but can explain exactly why he is correct???
The point is uncertainty …

Pamela Gray

This is one of those areas of study that is going in the wrong direction entirely (focusing on models instead of field research). Regional climate change (natural or otherwise) can best be detected using proxy measures. Bat populations, earth worms, grasshopper emergence, population, and size at end season, salmon runs, bud emergence, frost kill, wild game populations, snow melt dates in rivers, etc are all good ways to detect a trend and are useful 5 years out from the knee. They are less useful for predicting the next knee. These proxies are easily studied (though the researcher will get muddy) and are reliable. However, CO2 has such a small effect I wonder why people are studying it.


Hi Steve – You write
“Huh, having just participated in a study using regional climate data, I’ll have to say your characterization is flat wrong.”
Please be more specific. The post “Are regional models ready for prime time?” is on multi-decadal regional climate projections (what if predictions). Example(s) of peer reviewed studies that show skill in the prediction of changes in regional climate statistics (when the models are run in huindcast) are needed to not answer a “NO” to the question “Are regional models ready for prime time?” As far as I have seen in the literature, there are no papers that show such skill.
Indeed, as I summarize in the article, there is little, if any skill, in multi-decadal global mode predictions (in hindcast) when they are run without observational (real world) constraints, even with respect to current climate on multi-year and multi-decadal time scales!
Roger Sr,

Gary Pearse

The growing semantics surrounding failed models (that is compared to reality. I feel I have to add this because of the BS about their utility [for what I wonder]) because of a bit player CO2 cast as the star. CAGW becoming climate change, eventhough the proponents always identify this change as being getting hotter because of CO2 (and methane at about 20ppb [i.e. 0.02ppm!]); extreme weather, weird weather….and this poppycock about ‘projection’ instead of prediction with error bars and uncertainties no less!
Please sceptics and proponents alike, let’s at least let the dictionary be the expert on the understanding of these words or a chaotic system described in chaotic language will destroy the remaining few tendrils of intelligent clear thought left (this may actually be the objective of the semantics and other agencies to shore up fantasy models – Obama fell for the 97% baloney when it was only 34% consensus). Projections don’t need or use models and they certainly don’t need error bars or % certainty. Predictions do. Secondly, if you are trying to provide scenarios of what might come to pass, with the state of our knowledge of climate science as measured by the surprises thrown in our faces by nature, we can’t leave out the possibility that we will be shiveringly cold for multiple decades or even a century or more, or worse.
The uncertainty isn’t just about how much hotter it is going to get. For starters, let’s drop the 95% confidence limits jazz. We’ve proven that we can’t even muster that. A few more % and you are 100% wrong! Finally the idea of a soul-searching dialogue that doesn’t put everything on the table is just another AGW propaganda tool. Why must we agree at the outset that CO2 is the main driver. Shouldn’t we be approaching an Epiphany on this issue – if the IPCC had used a 95% confidence level bounded by two horizontal lines from about AR2, we would have been all applauding them – they may have been right down the middle if there hadn’t be so many upward adjustments of temp over the last couple of decadesd.

All the discussion seems to revolve around failed models. Surely we should identify the failed modellers, you know the guys who create, feed and control the failed computer models. This process needs to get personal if we are to get any accountability because you can’t make an equation feel guilty.

Gail Combs

What warming?
It has been darn cool. The farmers here in NC FINALLY started planting crops this week, a month late. A couple of days ago we set a record with a temp of 36F (2.2C) Five degrees below the previous record. It is the middle of May for goodness sale. We normally have temperatures in the 90’s (above 32C) not in the 60’s (15C)
Don’t Climastrologists ever bother to go outdoors?

While this effort will likely produce little of value, I see regional models as one way out of the ‘dead end’ that GCMs have produced.
There is very large value in accurately predicting seasonal weather and weather forward for up to a couple of decades. This ‘demand’ will stimulate innovative solutions. Most will be failures, but some will be progress.
Recently, the Indian government after spending many years trying to get worthwhile monsoon predictions out of GCMs, admitted complete failure, and is putting millions into alternative approaches to monsoon predictions.

Paul Vaughan

“Guest blog Roger Pielke Sr.
Are climate models ready to make regional projections? […] NO.”
That sums it up. Nothing more need be said.
I was willing to welcome Climate Dialogue and give it a chance when it appeared last year as I was hoping it might fill a gaping void in the climate discussion not filled by other climate blogs such as “Real” Climate, WUWT, “Open” Mind, & Climate Etc.
It took awhile due to the slow pace there, but I’ve now seen enough from Climate Dialogue to conclude that its administrators are (whether deliberately or inadvertently – doesn’t matter) driving it to generate nothing more than voluminous obfuscation. Disappointing but not surprising. Status I’m assigning Climate Dialogue in my books: Write-Off.

@ vukcevic…I happened to read a post at Climate Etc. where someone mentioned the CET and gave a link for the current April CET complete, I have looked at the CET before but this time I spent more time. So here is my thoughts on what it shows.
Starting at 1530 to 1560 there is a downtrending warm cycle. The Sporer minimum occured in 1470. It only seems to have lasted 30 years, then it ended in 1500 according to the JG/U 2K tree ring study. So afterwards there is a 60 year warm cycle from 1500 to 1560. This is followed by 60 years of cool until 1620. Then there is 30 years of warm until 1650, which is followed by the main cold period of the LIA that ends around 1710. The next 30 year cycle is evenly mixed 50/50 cool/warm. From this point, 1740, the climate stays very even for the next 150 years up until 1890. Notice that you do not easily see the signature of the Dalton minimum in the CET record. In this 150 year stretch cool is the main pattern with short cycles of 15 years of warming, and sometimes shorter mixed 15 year cycles. Then the ‘warming’ starts. The first step is small, from 1890 to 1920 there is less cool and more warming. Now the first main warming occurs, 1920 to 1950. The next cycle is an average temperature with a slight cool from 1950 to 1980. This is followed by another 30 year warm cycle that lasts until 2010, which is a cold year. This entire sequence ithat I am describing is not necesarily pegged to the years that I am showing. There is probably an offset to what I am describing of several years, such as the end of the warm in 2010 perhaps could shift a few years back. The final part to all of this is that we should now be in a cooling cycle of a minmum 15 year period, 2022 or till 2025. Unless this is a full 30 year cycle, which would last until 2040, approx. Then if this went for 60 years cold, it would last till 2070, approx. The cool/cold spell might mean great skiing for a period of time, or it could mean hardship in the NH for a period of time. The CET tells quite a story.


Is Mauna Loa the only source for the 400 ppm CO2 measurement or have I missed something?
I find it odd that only one “datapoint” is used if that is true. This can’t be representative of the global atmospheric CO2 concentration can it?

Gail Combs

“…..The notion that a tool – an RCM – may possess shortcomings in its predictive skill, but simultaneously prove to be a valuable tool to support narratives that are relevant to policy making and spatial planning can in fact be extended to highlighting the difference between “climate predictions” and “climate scenarios….”
We know the computer models aren’t worth a pile of bovine feces and can not predict the climate at all but they are a great propaganda tool for scaring people into doing what we want – giving up their land, transportation, freedom, and wealth and moving into overcrowded cities to live in little micro-mini apartments so they are even more vulnerable to control by the big corporations that provide not only jobs but food and every other necessity of life.
Monsanto and buddies are already patenting seeds and outlawing seed saving. With the UN’s blessing: FAO is supporting harmonization of seed rules and regulations in Africa and Central Asia in order to stimulate the development of a vibrant seed industry

…In recent years, the harmonization of seed rules and regulations has been a major area of FAO’s work …An effective seed regulation harmonization process involves dialogue amongst all relevant stakeholders from both private and public sectors. Seed quality assurance, variety release, plant variety protection, biosafety, plant quarantine and phytosanitary issues are among the major technical areas of a regional harmonized seed system. The key to a successful seed regulation harmonization is a strong political will of the governments involved…

The international community also is planning on patenting livestock too: Monsanto already has a pig patent. Also see INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR ANIMAL RECORDING

The Patenting Sentinel and Action Service (PSAS) is an important initiative of the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) as regards patenting in the animal sector. This is an issue which is of uttermost importance for the future of all organizations involved in the sectors of animal recording and genetic evaluation….

The Socialist Revolution in the US cannot take place because there are too many small independent farmers there. Those people are the stability factor. We here in Russia must hurry while our government is stupid enough to not encourage and support the independent farmership.’ ~ V. Lenin, the founder of the Russian revolution
Quote provided by Anna Fisher
1932 to 1937: “The Collective Farm Policy was a terrible struggle, Ten million died. It was fearful. Four years it lasted. It was absolutely necessary.” ~ Joseph Stalin
Any who think governments will not kill their own citizens should read DEATH BY GOVERNMENT By R.J. Rummel
169,202,000 were murdered by their own government in the 20th century while over 133,147,000 were Murdered in Pre-Twentieth Century Democide.


As a now retired Australian grain farmer I have been on the wrong end of far too many climate model predictions whose modellers and developers don’t ever appeared to have a real clue on what the real world weather and climate have been doing and are doing.
One of the most depressing episodes that I have ever sat through along with a couple of hundred other farmers was a few years ago in a seminar conducted by CSIRO climate modellers on the local region’s future climate.
Australia’s grain growing areas being deep inside of the continent are already very variable in weather, rainfall and climate and episodes of drought are quite common and always have been.
These CSIRO modellers stood up there on the platform with their power point presentations and showed as their models indisputably demonstrated, the whole of the eastern Australian grain belt was going to get drier and drier in the years and decades ahead.
No ifs or buts.! No hedging!. No caveats!
The pronouncements from the CSIRO climate modellers were delivered with great confidence, great panache, no ifs or buts and much of “this is what our models are telling us” and “so this is what will happen and be the future of this region” . Usually meaning that it was going to be drought, plague and pestilence for ever and getting worse, much worse and we would all be “rooned” all over again.
As a farmer, it was one of the most demoralising presentations that I have ever been to.
The ignorance of the real fear and despair those CSIRO modellers up there on that platform were creating was lost completely on them. In their complete hubris it was just another day to them away this time away from their normal comfortable university and well cocooned from the real world in their little offices, looking at computer screens, protected from the vagaries of Nature by their big salaries,
They gave no indication at all that they even cared.
Their models were the only real world that they knew and to them their models were reality and the models produced “predictions” .
And those models gave “predictions” no weaselling out claims of “projections” then, just pure and proper “predictions”.
Well some months went by and then it rained, it rained, it rained right across the whole of the eastern half of australia, There were floods from Cape York, the northern tip of Australia right down the 3000 kms to all of South Eastern Australia.
The amount of water that fell on Australia’s eastern regions over those couple of months amounted to a couple of mm’s evaporation from the all of the world’s oceans.
I have followed and been involved with Ag science researchers most of my 75 years on this earth and I had initially had and still have with some glaring exceptions , a great lot of trust in the integrity and honesty of scientists including climate scientists.
Now I have nothing but contempt for climate scientists and most of all for climate modellers and the modelled junk they collect their lavish salaries to produce.
My contempt for modellers, both global climate and regional, is further reinforced when I started to read some of the “Dialogue” and then gave up.
Much deep and earnest and completely useless discussion about the difference’s between “projections” and “predictions” when model results are published.
Through all these years of claims about catastrophic warming based on model PREDICTIONS , none of the miserable lot of so called climate warming scientists and modellers ever, ever made damn sure that everybody fully understood that what they were shouting from the housetops and in media interviews wasn’t worth a pinch of BS because it was all just “projections”.
So all those terrible things, the plagues and CO2 pestilence and the waters so high from melting ice that Moses would need a recall were all just “projections” airy fairly, maybe’s that were to frighten politicians and ensure future funding and actually were not to be taken by the public as hard and fast “predictions” that were an accurate description of the end of life as we knew it.
Now as it’s all coming thoroughly unstuck and none of those models regional or climate are even in the same ball park as Nature anymore, we have the weaseling starting from the modellers that they didn’t really mean what they said. It was all just “projections” and they were misunderstood by everybody who thought that all those news media releases and those pronouncements of catastrophic warming in a few years and this earth becoming a ball of flaming hot rock if we didn’t stop before we went blind, were all just airy fairy “projections” not to be taken too seriously.
Yeh! Right !
You modellers quite deliberately frightened the hell out of everybody and tried to gain power and influence by claiming your models were “predictions”, the reality of the future.
You have failed, miserably, totally and ignominiously.
You climate modellers have created immense despair, fear, pain and societal conflict with your “predictions”, never “projections, whatever that means in reality, reality being something climate modellers are not given over too.
Your claims of the veracity and validity of your catastrophic “predictions”,supposedly derived from your inept climate models, never ever “projections” until it all went wrong, have destroyed immense amounts of society’s wealth that could have been far better used elsewhere for the very significant betterment of our society.
You have and still are destroying the society’s trust in the truthfulness and impartiality of science.
You are destroying the very foundations of science with your lousy climate models predictions and most of all in the way you promulgated those models as the reality of the future.
Sorry, thats now “projections” But course “projections” don’t mean a damn thing or do they?.
Only climate modellers would know as the change is made suit the circumstances.
And for what? Nothing but to satisfy your own egoistic vanity that you like the shamans, the witch doctors of the more ignorant societies of this world, have successfully conned the science trusting people, the politicians and the world at large who have always placed great trust in science and scientists that YOU, the climate modellers, in your total arrogance and hubris, could PREDICT the future with your derisory climate models.

Richard M

ROM, your comment should be hung at the doors of every climate modeling institution. About time these dudes faced reality.

goldminor says:
May 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm
Tony Brown has invested lot of his time and effort into extended the CET back to the 1530s. I think his results are not only as good as one can get, but also an important reminder to the climate science community to take a proper historic perspective.
I also agree with number of points you make about cyclical nature of climate change, of shorter medium and longer periodicity.
In this link
you can see mid range 40-70 years periodicity, but that doesn’t preclude existence of either shorter or longer oscillations. The aim was to show that such periods of change exist outside climate and in this particular case may be, even if indirect causes or possibly a parallel set of events with the climate change.

Jim Cripwell

ROM, you are, of course, absolutely correct. Let me mention one other outcome of the modeller’s predicitons. Sydney, NSW, was persuaded to spend about $1 billion on a salt water desalination project. Since it’s completion, it has been sitting unused, except for a short mandatory period of operarion when the expensive water was not needed. Currently Sydney’s reservoirs are about 92% full.


hmm … you MUST be joking, right ? ! ? !
in general, models MAY be useful, but models created by individuals or groups that have an agenda, even before the modeling begins, well then, NO, not so much …
now, your question regarding “regional models” is simply rediculous. when models fail ( and they are ) to show the future with some level of accuracy regarding the global climate – then how in the H can you even ask this question of “regional” models ?
here is my model for global climate warming :
#model sk1 :
while ( 1 )
{ printf ( “the climate is warming due to CO2″/n ) }
note to all and Mr. Gore : the above model may be freely distributed to all universities, colleges, agencies and other agendists, so as to further dupe the left of liberal media.
oh, and my apologys to the C programming language for not remembering syntax, if compilation shows errors.


Gail Combs says:
May 19, 2013 at 3:49 am
We know the computer models aren’t worth a pile of bovine feces and can not predict the climate at all but they are a great propaganda tool for scaring people into doing what we want ”
pretty much… one does have to wonder if this guy even has an ethics department watching him… though being so bold as to make the statement he did… one wonders if said ethics department sells large amounts of snake oils.

Steve Garcia

Oh, this is priceless:

So a legitimate question is whether global and/or regional climate models are ready to be used for regional projections? Is the information reliable enough to use for all kinds of medium to long term adaptation planning?

THIS would be the real test for the models, one that would be able in a fairly short time frame to vet the models. If implemented in 1998, for example, when the feedback came in on the divergence since then, I think – because money was spent and wasted – the modelers and their associates would have their feet in the fire.
Seriously, perhaps the best way to shut them up is to have this vetting take place. All the wailing about “lost heat” and such wouldn’t mean a damned thing to communities, ones that diverted money to climate mitigation rather than spending it on something more relevant to their taxpayer base. (I am sure the more liberal constituents would argue that they just need to give it more time to prove its worth. Even after 15 years.)
Steve Garcia

Steve Garcia

I will reiterate my ongoing rant about models not being worth anything in any endeavor that requires assumptions not based directly on empirical experience in the real world. By this I mean that building models of buildings for stress analysis id fine, because ALL the forces and stresses and unit strengths are known within certain ranges, which ranges are accounted for by using “safety/service factors.” We do NOT have to be afraid of models of buildings or bridges, that somehow the structures will fall down in 8 months. That is engineering models. When models are used in frontier science, where a good many assumptions are claimed but not known for certain, this is a BAD idea, no matter HOW pretty the printouts might be.
Such models MAY become good, over decades. In the meantime, comparison with reality should, in fact, be causing them to iteratively REVISE their models intelligently, to make their outputs more in line with reality over time. THAT would be a good way to “fudge” their constants and algorithms – in order to close the gap. All that is such common sense it boggles the mind that the models are still – STILL – giving garbage output. Are ANY of these people paying attention to anything but where their next grant moneys are coming from? Such behavior – denial of the failures of comparison with reality – only makes sense if something other than getting the science right is driving the code narrative.
Steve Garcia

Steve Garcia

@The Iceman Cometh
It is O/T, but if you’ve ever watched the now defunct (but great) UK comedy “Coupling,” you would know about “The Melty Man Cometh.” One of the funniest bits in all of TV history.

@ vukcevic…thanks for the link to the graphs. I have followed and read your links for a few years now. The length of the CET makes it an appropriate subject as a base that could lead to future predictions One other thought that comes to mind from looking at the input of the many different studies that have produced temp proxies along with observed temp records, is the cold of the grand minimums seem to move in a wave once the gm sets in. It doesn’t hit everywhere at once. Instead over the 30 or 60 years cycle the pattern will shift regionally, although there probably are some consistent regional effects.

The models will never be ready. Never ever.
Two things prevent it, and only one of those can be fixed.
1) They have omitted primary drivers of the actual change. From Solar UV variations to galactic variation of cosmic rays (and galactic arm transitions) along with lunar / tidal variation in ocean currents and mixing on an 1800 year cycle (and 60 year cycles). If you don’t have the right causal factors, you will never be doing anything other than wiggle matching the past expecting it to match the future. That doesn’t work (or all the folks doing it in stock and commodities trading would be rich instead of broke).
2) It’s a chaotic system that does not converge. This one is lethal to models. Non-linear non-convergence means any model will rapidly diverge from reality and there is nothing that can be done to bring it back. Just modeling cloud formation is a bear (and doesn’t predict actual clouds, only makes fake ones that do not match reality…) then along comes a self organizing system like a tropical storm and the whole thing goes open loop crazy off prediction.
It’s a fools errand to attempt to predict 30 year weather. (The notion that “climate” is a 30 year average of weather is also broken. It isn’t. There are known 60 year cycles of weather, such as the PDO / AMO and more. That’s not “climate change”, that’s weather cycles.)
Until that’s in the models, they best they can do is a few weeks prediction. (Even there, it’s very hard to beat “whatever happened today will happen tomorrow”… )

Paul Vaughan

Perhaps only a natural force as powerful as organized religion can arrest and correct the spreading corruption of university & government sponsored modeling “science”.

“Climate models are vital tools for helping us understand long-term changes in the global climate system.”
If you think global climate model predictions projections are bad, the “global solutions” are worse by orders of magnitude. “Regional” variations are best dealt with by regional farmers, who can intelligently manage their own farms according to need and according to local conditions.
Even “regional” is a problematic term. For rapid, sensible responses to local conditions, decisions are best made those growing the food, not by progressive scientists peddling global or even “regional” solutions; the entire US is not a monolithic “region.” The State of Washington cannot be considered a “region” either because there is well over 40″ of rain in one place and 7″ in another, annually.
For whatever it’s worth, I have noticed that we are working over time on global paradigms, global shifts, global solutions, and global change. Using the term “regional” does not alter this aggressive global ideology. My, at this rate, next we will be working on a global mythology to support our global solutions and our global NGO funding agenda.