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

climate-model-1[1]

Climate Model: resolution still too coarse to provide useful predictions

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

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

The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling. However, genuine and important uncertainties remain (e.g., the response of clouds,

ecosystems, and the polar regions) and need to be considered in developing scientifically based strategies for societal response to climate change.

Description:

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

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

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

Read the report.

h/t to Steve Milloy of junkscience.com

 

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

 

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clipe

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

gino

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

Peter Miller

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

Jay Davis

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

Jquip

“The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling. ”
compelling — synonyms: coercive, compulsory. Fundamentalist, to be sure. Just not fundamental science.
“However, genuine and important uncertainties remain …”
Translation: We don’t know the boundary conditions or attractors of our chaotic system.
“… and need to be considered in developing scientifically based strategies for societal response to climate change.”
Perpetual motion machines are scientifically based also. But ‘based on science’ doesn’t necessitate ‘science.’ Just something in a white smock; much like when the Pop takes off the funky hat.

Luther Wu

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

RK

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

RC Saumarez

Is this a gentle row back from an alarmist position?
Will the IPCC recognise this?

dp

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

Sweet Old Bob

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

Claude Harvey

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

Joe Crawford

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

Jimbo

More from Junkscience:

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

But AR5 is almost ready. What to do?
PS I have to wonder about the “Enormous progress has been made in the past several decades in improving the utility and robustness of climate models”. What is their use when they have failed?

Overall, climate modeling has made enormous progress in the past several decades
And how exactly did they measure that progress?
IMO, all they have done is fall into the widespread error in computing circles that increasing complexity is progress.

Rud Istvan

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

Bill Illis

Public Policy Solution to a problem 101.
Define problem.
Explanation of potential causes of the problem.
Assessment of the likelihood of each potential cause contributing to the problem.
Examine alternatives to resolve the likely cause(s) of the problem.
Implement alternatives that are feasible and more likely to produce a resolution.
Examine results and go back to step 1.
———-
Climate Science Solution to a problem 101.
The problem is those who deny climate change.
More funding and a national strategy will “blank / as in nothing is in this space” in the far distant future.

Bill H

“As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning.”
That first sentence shows they haven’t learned the lesson of preconceived end points prior to starting.. Did they do some science to find out if it really was outside norms?
I’m sorry but when the opening line is the party line the rest doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning.

Jimbo

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

“increasingly relying on the information from climate models.”

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

AndyG55

““The fundamental science of greenhouse gas-induced climate change is simple and compelling. ”
Ummm… Until they get away from this baseless idea, they are doomed to failure.

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

Hector Pascal

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

Fail. No need to read any further.

Jimbo

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

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

Mike Bromley the Kurd

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

Jimbo

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

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

I could hit this thread with lots of references to expose this nonsense but today I will hold off.
How much funding does the NAS receive each year?

Joe

“National Academy of Sciences: climate models still ‘decades away’ from being useful”
Where exactly did they say the models are still ‘decades away’ form being useful?

Eliza

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

Allencic

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

OldWeirdHarold

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

cool. they are listening.

thallstd

I think this is more than a justification for future modeling funds. Seems like it could also be clearing the path to continue justification for radical policy whether the climate behaves according to the models or not.
I expect some statement similar to this will be forthcoming in short order: “It’s not that CO2 isn’t the problem we’ve always said it was. It’s just that the models aren’t accurate enough yet to reflect every nuance of our CO2 induced catastrophically warming planet. We can’t believe the models. But we can believe that CO2 is as evil as we’ve always said it is.”

Jimbo

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

Jimbo

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

a;dofvnaidofnvaidofnv;nbxlm

thingadonta

” meeting the information needs of users will require further advances in the coming decades.”
Wonderful truthspeak from a government agency when it has just been plain wrong.

davidmhoffer

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

Jay

We will figure it out.. First we have to track and understand everything, then we have to figure out how they interact with each other.. Then you look for a pattern.. My guess is 200 years before we can play god..
Then its likely that the climate sciences itself might bring about greater damage than CO2 could ever dream of.. Messing with earth’s ability to regulate itself.. Lets all hope the people in charge really know what they are talking about, and are not playing politics..

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

Jeff Alberts

Rud Istvan says:
September 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm
So this formal appeal for GCM consolidation has very little real appeal. First rule of holes if you are in one and want out: stop digging.

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

Steven Mosher says:
September 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm
cool. they are listening.
*
No. If you read carefully, you’ll realize they are not listening at all. They are covering their rear ends and/or laying the grounds for their next assault. They are still clinging to the same assumptions that screwed up all the other models. They still want “climate change” (AKA CAGW) to be a policy pusher. It’s still about control. It’s still about funding. They have not learnt a thing and don’t intend to.

DirkH

Jay Davis says:
September 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm
“This question needs to be answered – If they are still decades away from being useful, why then are they being used to tax us and price electricity out of reach of the common man?”
The NAS has erroneously assumed that GCM’s are scientific tools. They are not; they are entirely political tools; and as such, extremely useful from day one; as Carl Sagan could attest, who used a completely unrealistic model to whip up the great Nuclear Winter panic of the early 80ies, which was enormously successful in boosting his book sales and TV career.
http://www.textfiles.com/survival/nkwrmelt.txt

Anto

Hang on. As far back as 2010, they were certain they knew what was happening:
“A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities,
http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/sample-page/panel-reports/87-2/
Now, they’re telling us that the models are useless? What a clown car crash!

DirkH

Bill Illis says:
September 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm
“Climate Science Solution to a problem 101.
The problem is those who deny climate change.”
The climate hasn’t changed a bit in the last 15 years.
The problem are those who deny that it hasn’t.
They are either clinically stupid or criminally corrupt; possibly both.

BillyV

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

dp

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

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

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

Jeff Alberts

DirkH says:
September 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm
The climate hasn’t changed a bit in the last 15 years.
The problem are those who deny that it hasn’t.
They are either clinically stupid or criminally corrupt; possibly both.

This is the problem. There is no “the climate”. There are local and regional climates, and they’re changing all the time, within a fairly narrow variable range.
From the winter of 2008 (that’s twenty oh eight, not two thousand and eight) through most of 2012, the US Pacific Northwest was abnormally cool and wet in the spring and summer. During the late fall and early winter months (November and December) we saw a LOT of snow during those years. This past winter we got none to speak of. This summer we’ve been more in the average range for our area. So yeah, climates change constantly.
The problem is we get this stupendously moronic and amazingly useless “global mean temperature” or the like thrown at us all the time, even from this site, which tells us absolutely nothing about climate. It only tells us that taking the mean of a bunch of numbers gives you the mean of a bunch of numbers. Both sides are guilty of this.

Catcracking

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

Theo Goodwin

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

Bill Illis

Steven Mosher says:
September 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm
cool. they are listening.
———
I think I missed that part.
The 294 page report just jumps to the solution of more money and greater resources without even noting that models have failed so far (as in not mentioning it even one single time).
The best solution to the problem appears to be that the NAS should be defunded of all climate change research funding. If you can explain why that is not the solution, please explain why more funding (rather than no funding) will solve whatever problem it is that we are trying to solve.

Jim S

“….there are still efficiencies to be gained….”
Dear God. Such abuse of the Bard’s language. Clinton would be proud.

Katherine

As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning.
Clearly their sense of history stops short of the Medieval Warm Period. Or maybe it just covers the satellite period and conveniently allows them to ignore the Dust Bowl years. These guys need to buy a clue, but giving them cash would be throwing good money after bad.