Climate modeling EPIC FAIL – Spencer: 'the day of reckoning has arrived'

I was aware of this story yesterday, but I didn’t like the original plot, (see at the end of this post) since use of straight line linear trends doesn’t accurately reflect the reality of the observation data. While it is often hard to find any reality in climate models, linear trend lines mask the underlying variance. Today, Dr. Spencer has produced a graph that I feel is representative and very well worth sharing, because it does in fact convey an EPIC FAIL speaking directly to the accuracy of an ensemble of climate models. – Anthony

Dr. Roy Spencer writes:

In response to those who complained in my recent post that linear trends are not a good way to compare the models to observations (even though the modelers have claimed that it’s the long-term behavior of the models we should focus on, not individual years), here are running 5-year averages for the tropical tropospheric temperature, models versus observations (click for full size):

CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT-5-yr-means

In this case, the models and observations have been plotted so that their respective 1979-2012 trend lines all intersect in 1979, which we believe is the most meaningful way to simultaneously plot the models’ results for comparison to the observations.

In my opinion, the day of reckoning has arrived. The modellers and the IPCC have willingly ignored the evidence for low climate sensitivity for many years, despite the fact that some of us have shown that simply confusing cause and effect when examining cloud and temperature variations can totally mislead you on cloud feedbacks (e.g. Spencer & Braswell, 2010). The discrepancy between models and observations is not a new issue…just one that is becoming more glaring over time.

Read his essay here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means/

==============================================================

Here is the linear plot from Dr. Spencer’s post yesterday. He writes:

Courtesy of John Christy, a comparison between 73 CMIP5 models (archived at the KNMI Climate Explorer website) and observations for the tropical bulk tropospheric temperature (aka “MT”) since 1979 (click for large version):

CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT

Rather than a spaghetti plot of the models’ individual years, we just plotted the linear temperature trend from each model and the observations for the period 1979-2012.

Note that the observations (which coincidentally give virtually identical trends) come from two very different observational systems: 4 radiosonde datasets, and 2 satellite datasets (UAH and RSS).

If we restrict the comparison to the 19 models produced by only U.S. research centers, the models are more tightly clustered:

CMIP5-19-USA-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT

Now, in what universe do the above results not represent an epic failure for the models?

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coalsoffire

I suppose these graphs will grace the cover of the next IPCC report? /sarc

Mindert Eiting

Type II error rate < 1/73?

milodonharlani

Imagine how the Had CRU & GISS/NOAA Team would massage (massacre?) the surface station data if the satellites weren’t watching them?

Eustace Cranch

Why doesn’t the observed temp line show the recent leveling-off? Just askin.

James at 48

Heh, I had always given a 0.3 deg C rise as my educated guess.

Ryan

Yea, they’re doing a poor job with tropical mid troposphere, perhaps they should look into that.

Let’s see. As noted above, climate models can’t simulate mid-troposphere temperatures. And as we’re seen before, they can’t simulate:
Sea surface temperatures:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/cmip5-model-data-comparison-satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies/
Land+Sea Surface Temperatures (GISS LOTI):
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/model-data-comparison-with-trend-maps-cmip5-ipcc-ar5-models-vs-new-giss-land-ocean-temperature-index/
Or Precipitation:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/model-data-precipitation-comparison-cmip5-ipcc-ar5-model-simulations-versus-satellite-era-observations/
When discussing climate models, is it okay to use the word poo?

Eustace Cranch

”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.”
—Richard Feynman
Would that Dr. Feynman were still with us. *sigh*

Gil Russell

Reminds me of a lyric from Judy Collin’s “Both Sides Now”:
“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all”

Elizabeth

I would say that with temp fiddling by the team even the observed temps are lower. I suggest a FLAT line (unless he is using AMSU and RSS). BTW it now time to really get these XXXXXXX. I think for far too long the skeptic sites have been far too soft on the team. It really is time to get some millionaire to get a legal team together and take these guys to court.

Interesting that the short term oscillations seem to match (but was that hindcasting?), but the models have a rising trend, against shall we say a ‘lower’ trend of observations..
look like one knob adjusted too high

bw

UAH global chart for May 2013 shows temps are +0.1 over the base line.
It looks like the global temp in May 1980 is the same as today, ie zero change in 33 years.

Patrick

Matters not in reality. Anyone with a knowledge of even basic physics knew AGW was garbage and weather was, well, just weather bad or otherwise! Through lies and propaganda, the damage has been done, the message has been delivered, the policies are in place. There is a glimmer of hope, and that is all sceptics have, that on Sept 14th Australia votes for a Govn’t that will repeal the “price on carbon”. This may send a signal to Obama. If not…we may as well kiss the western lifestyle goodbye!

wobble

Eustace Cranch says:
June 6, 2013 at 9:49 am
Why doesn’t the observed temp line show the recent leveling-off? Just askin.

The blue squares seem to be level since 1998.

Jon

The Models where based on the political decided UNFCCC!
The models are not science, but instead policy baced science, like any social ……. Science. It is simply not science at all!

Eustace,
He is as long as we keep in mind his sage advice about theory vs real world.
Unfortunately, too many otherwise intelligent people rely on the theory to dictate to reality what it must be. Contrary to that expectation, the theory must agree with the real world and the real world remains what it is without taking into account any of the various wonderful theories of man.

Elizabeth

This post by Spencer should be headlines on all major MSM for gods sake do something somebody! LOL

DirkH

Ryan says:
June 6, 2013 at 9:50 am
“Yea, they’re doing a poor job with tropical mid troposphere, perhaps they should look into that.”
It will be difficult to rig the models in such a way that they present the mid troposphere as cooler while continuing to show the steep surface warming trend the UN has ordered; and still get away with it as science. Maybe if you manage to keep the source codes secret and stop talking about physics altogether.

adrian smits

We need to get a fund going to get these graphs as widely disseminated as possible. When the truth is as obvious as this work shows it should be able to change minds!

steveta_uk

Reminds me of a lyric from Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”:

Phil.

Have the problems with the MT product been fixed? I recall that there were issues with contamination by the stratosphere data I know that RSS corrects for that, how have UAH dealt with it?

@coalsoffire 9:37 am
I suppose these graphs will grace the cover of the next IPCC report? /sarc
Yea, but it ought to grace the cover of the NIPCC report. Oops.

Policy Guy

This is supposed to be a scientific discourse, but isn’t it amazing that it is impossible to engage in this discourse without the reality of political impacts and results coming into play.
What a deception we enable by trying to continue a scientific discourse over such obvious political rhetoric and intentions.
It appears that the consensus is that we must all buy tulips, regardless of price. Isn’t that what the Dutch concluded several hundred years ago? Or perhaps we should consider the behavior of Lemmings.

commieBob

Patrick says:
June 6, 2013 at 10:08 am
Matters not in reality. Anyone with a knowledge of even basic physics knew AGW was garbage and weather was, well, just weather bad or otherwise!

Sadly, Patrick, you’re wrong. Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, has a physics degree and yet she still spouts the warmist party line. Even advanced thinking skills and education are no protection from stupidity.
Human beings are nowhere near as reasonable as we think we are. Most of what passes for thought in our crania is just confabulation. We’re really good at it and we really can convince ourselves of anything, no matter how stupid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confabulation

Ryan

What process is depressing these temps in the tropics? Do you think it is sustained by His faithful providence?

Patrick

“commieBob says:
June 6, 2013 at 10:48 am”
Maybe I should have said anyone (With knowledge of physics) who was not politically motivated. Clearly, Angela Merkel is. Do we know her “ties” to “green energy” like alarmists in the UK Govn’t?

Eustace Cranch

Patrick, I believe Stephen Hawking is still a Warmist, sadly.

The “error” obtained from all the models would make anything within the 95% CI. Don’t these folks retune their models regularly so they better reflect measurements or do they just ignore or dis the measurements? In the distant past I used models for more defined systems like chemical processes, when the model didn’t reflect reality, I fixed the model before I had any faith in using it for what ifs.

Tom G(ologist)

I don’t know why anyone should be surprised by this…. but I guess most of you don’t have the same experience that I have had – 25 years in a past professional existence in the environmental remediation business, much of which in the Superfund arena. The behaviour of these GCMs are pretty stable compared with some of the groundwater flow models I have reviewed. Those models were used (by EPA) to justify the Agency’s pre-conceived conclusions (Yes, I know that for a fact) that some pollutant from Point A WOULD be transported in flowing groundwater to some receptor (invariably the most sensitive receptor to that particular pollutant) at Point B. And it goes without saying that those models resulted in the expenditure of BILLIONS of $$$$, all passed on to consumers.
This is Superfund all over again – except this time it is Super-Duper Fund. Believe me, Superfund was the biggest government waste of money ($600 toilet seats included) until now. But despite the higher stakes in the climate arean, there is NOTHING new in the modeling. I know, because I was a groundwater computer modeler and know what went in and what did not go in, and most importantly, what then came out, of the computers. GIGO

ConTrari

How long will the alarmist establishment and IPCC be able to sit tight in a corner, hoping this inconvenient truth will go away of its own? For every month that passes, their culpability will grow, they dig their own professional graves deeper by every refusal to address this basic fault in their predictions.
Don’t know how it is elsewhere, but here in Norway we were told for years that: “2500 scientists cannot be wrong.” Well, they were not 2500, and they were certainly wrong.
At some point in time, something must break. The world of science cannot go on interminably with this unresolved dilemma.

Jim Cripwell

I posted this on Roy’s site.
I would suggest, Roy, that the culprits who have caused you the frustration, which IMHO is entirely justified, are the learned scientific societies. Just about all of these bodies, lead by the Royal Society, the American Physical Society and the World Meteorologic al Organization, have deserted science in favor of advocacy. These learned bodies have wholeheartedly endorsed CAGW, and have dug themselves so deep a hole, that it is difficult for them to stop digging. Hopefully one of these days, one of these learned bodies will face the music, and then , hopefully, the rest will follow.

Bill Illis

The fact that the climate models are far off the observations is firmly established now. Many of the climate scientists have grudgingly accepted this as well now although some still do not (and the majority of the strong believers in the theory haven’t even thought about it yet).
Now is the time to ask the question “Why?”
The Feedback assumptions are wrong or the Radiation Physics is wrong AND something else very important is operating in the climate that is not recognized in the theory (and this is almost certainly true regardless of the first two possibilities).

DesertYote

Policy Guy says:
June 6, 2013 at 10:33 am
Or perhaps we should consider the behavior of Lemmings.
###
Lemmings not only float, but they are very strong swimmers. Its how they get from island to island, which is REALLY what they re doing when they leap into the sea. Human perceptions of events can be quit misleading.

Theo Goodwin

Eustace Cranch says:
June 6, 2013 at 9:55 am
I highly recommend that everyone read Feynman’s essays on scientific method. I especially recommend that climate scientists read them. All of those essays are straightforward, easy to understand, and very entertaining. If all of us read them, and occasionally reread them, our level of discourse about science would improve greatly.

OssQss


😉

peter Miller

I, for one, look forward to mass unemployment amongst the climate modelling frarenity.
May they rot in penury for all the economic damage they have done and the gullible politicians they have duped.

ConTrari at 11:16 am
Exactly. A movie needs to be made called The Real Inconvenient Truth.
Across the globe, billions, actually trillions of dollars in total have been spent on global warming climate change, especially on insidious govt and academic institution building. All this money, and hordes of people, from every walk of govt and academia are still chasing their dream, that their man-made eco-monster will be tamed.. by them. A huge huge amount of resources are involved. But the people need to know the real inconvenient truth. Now, the warmists are frightened to see that the monster isn’t what they had hoped for. Yes, they change the name to climate change as a first effort to keep the monster alive. And they’ll do more back-peddling and reworking. But the truth must be broadcast. A lot of people are saying “we need a fund.” Good idea.

There is always an alternative.
V.

Paul Linsay

Policy Guy @10:33
There would be no discussion if politics hadn’t intervened. Climate would be a minor backwater in some university science department where they would slowly and carefully try to figure out the immense complexity of the interaction between the sun, the earth’s atmosphere, and the oceans. A few scientists like Hansen turned it into a crusade, the left grabbed on to a weapon to destroy industry, and the politicians got their wet dream, an excuse to tax the air we breathe.

rpielke

Hi Anthony – I am glad you requested that Roy post the actual variations of the model projections rather than just the trends. This makes his and John Christy’s findings even robust.
Moreover, since the multi-decadal projection of the global average is so poor, as they have shown, this necessarily means that the regional projections for the coming decades that are given to the impacts and policy communities are grossly misleading. For them to persist in providing this projections, without informing them that they have no skill, is disingenuous.
Roger Sr.

J Martin

Now, in what universe do the above results not represent an epic failure for the models?
The House of Commons, the Aussie Government, the German Government, and the Dimocrat Government. They all seem to live in such an isolated world they may as well be in a different universe.
Oh dear, I seem to have had a moment of pedantry. Instead of willingly I would have preferred wilfully in Roy’s post.

rpielke

P.S. The global average projection is poor because the tropical mid-tropospheric temperature anomalies are such a large part of it.

GlynnMhor

Doormann, to what exactly does your link refer by “solar tides”?

Mike Bromley the Kurd near the Green Line

peter Miller says:
June 6, 2013 at 11:44 am
“May they rot in penury for all the economic damage they have done and the gullible politicians they have duped.”
Oh, you give politicians wayyyyy too much rope. They’re in it up to their necks.

elftone

Eustace Cranch says:
June 6, 2013 at 11:04 am
Patrick, I believe Stephen Hawking is still a Warmist, sadly.

And he was also right about information loss in black holes, and that the Higgs’ boson would never be found. Oh, wait… ;).

Gary Pearse

Ryan says:
June 6, 2013 at 10:56 am
“What process is depressing these temps in the tropics? Do you think it is sustained by His faithful providence?”
You may be interested in this paper by Willis Eschenbach:
http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/h145188416068010/?p=41609e991f3741ceb2c07ca33786fc53&pi=3
in which cloud formation and progression to thunderstorms act like a thermostat that prevents tropical sea surface temperatures from exceeding 30-31C. When the sea surface approaches this maximum as the day develops, this triggers (from increased evaporation) cloud development and thunderstorm cells over “hot spots”, acting like a chimney to move heat from the sea surface up into the upper atmosphere where the heat is radiated out to space. When the SST is cooler in a given morning: the clouds that usually develop in late morning in response to a hot spot, are delayed until later allowing the the SST to increase under the direct sun. This is the “Thermostat Hypothesis” (it was presented here at WUWT a few years ago but was peer-reviewed and ultimately published.

Scott Scarborough

The real data is better. The linear regressions would have been OK if the model results ended at the same time the real data ended (2012). The slope of the linear regressions of the climate model plots are effected by data post 2012 that does not exist for the real data (the future hasn’t occured yet). So it is sort of like comparing apples and oranges when you compare linear regressions of data of different time lengths.

Ryan

“P.S. The global average projection is poor because the tropical mid-tropospheric temperature anomalies are such a large part of it.”
Nice save, lol.

alex

“Tropical mid-troposphere”.
What the hell is this exactly?
It is known, the lower troposphere is warming, the higher troposphere is cooling.
This is what the models say and what observations show.
Apparently, one can find a position (“mid-troposphere” – whatever it is) where the trend is flat.
Where exactly is Roy unhappy with the models?
At the moment his post sounds like a bad joke
and smells like junk science.

DirkH

Ryan says:
June 6, 2013 at 10:56 am
“What process is depressing these temps in the tropics? Do you think it is sustained by His faithful providence?”
The non-existence of the positive water vapor feedback postulated and never observed, Ryan.