Private Firm Attracting Climate Research Funds

Hurricane Wilma 2005

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Now the US Federal Government has stopped crowding the market, a private firm is stepping in to fund climate research which might produce commercially useful results, like better Hurricane track prediction.

How a small start-up firm wants to revitalize climate change research

By Jason Samenow

April 9, 2018 at 11:53 AM

Where the Trump administration sees waste, the small but rapidly expanding Silicon Valley climate services firm Jupiter Intel sees opportunity. Jupiter announced Monday it is launching a community science program to invest in academic climate research, the same kind of research the president’s fiscal 2017 and 2018 budgets placed on the chopping block.

In an intriguing demonstration of what may become a more common funding model in coming years, Jupiter named Columbia University as its initial collaborator.

“Columbia is the first of many planned collaborations between Jupiter and academic institutions at the vanguard of understanding climate change science and its impacts,” said Rich Sorkin, CEO of Jupiter. “Collaboration between these partners and our staff … will foster productivity and innovation. Perhaps most importantly, we are accelerating the practical adoption of research.”

Sorkin said research that might take 10 to 20 years to be applied in government could be put to use in as little as six months at his company. “We have a strong interest in seeing the best available science and technology reach maturity as soon as possible,” he said.

Jupiter is initially offering $300,000 for a project to advance Columbia’s Hurricane Interactive Track Simulator (HITS). The model projects coastal flooding from landfalling storms and incorporates effects from severe wind and rain.

Read more:

Talk about win / win. Federal taxpayers are off the hook paying for mountains of questionable government funded climate research. The filter of commercial utility will sort the wheat from the chaff, will cut funding to researchers who don’t produce useful results. That same commercial imperative will ensure useful results are applied, instead of gathering dust in some government filing cabinet.

If this climate research funding model is replicated across the world, climate science might actually advance.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sweet Old Bob
April 9, 2018 5:04 pm

Whoa ! And from Cali !

Greg Cavanagh
April 9, 2018 5:07 pm

As long as the research being funded isn’t an answer looking for an author.
My initial reaction was that this would simply be “directed research”, where they are get funding from people who want a particular outcome, “in writing” as it were.
But if they intend to apply the research and sell the results of the research to forward forecasters, then as you say, they would be interested in getting good research products.

April 9, 2018 5:33 pm

Guest essay by Eric Worrall Now the US Federal Government has stopped crowding the market, a private firm is stepping in to fund climate research which might produce commercially useful results, like better Hurricane track prediction. How a small start-up firm wants to revitalize climate change research By Jason Samenow April 9, 2018 at 11:53 […]
Note : its not with any pious intentions like saving the planet for humanity or for saving humanity for the solar planetary systems that climate change research is being funded by this private firm in Silicon Valley , but it is for the mundane aim of making some good profits that this down to earth firm is putting in money . That’s an understandable and realistic aim indeed. This upfront declaration of true intentions make it more honest than the US govt.

John Harmsworth
April 9, 2018 5:37 pm

This sounds like weather research to me. This is the doltish second cousin of the congenitally retarded climate research. A cautionary tale about inbreeding in academia.

NW sage
April 9, 2018 6:20 pm

What’s the point of calling it ‘Climate Research’ if, for the foreseeable future, they sponsor and coordinate weather research. I see very little commercial market for any information on the details of true climate change.

Reply to  NW sage
April 10, 2018 5:06 am

Well shorting against a fundamentally flawed system of investment has never been taken advantage of before has it….

April 9, 2018 6:23 pm

Something about “a fool and his money” comes to mind. At least it might help justify throttling back public funding.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  joelobryan
April 10, 2018 8:45 am

As long as it’s his money and not mine, I’m all for it.

April 9, 2018 6:25 pm

My first thoughts are, “why would private industry be interested in this?”
Where’s the monetization? Will they be charging for their analyses? If so will they also be accepting liability for erroneous forecasting?
Will they be collecting data and charging for the use of that data? Again the liability issue exists.

Reply to  rocketscientist
April 9, 2018 6:58 pm

One cannot be sued for a bad forecast. There is no liability in being wrong about the future. But one can be sued for neglect or not fulfilling a contract. For example, if the firm in question promises clients a state-of-the-art forecast based on the latest science and software, but actually uses a drunk monkey in a backroom with a dartboard, they still cannot be sued for incorrect forecasts, although fraud and breech of contract are an easy call.
Forecasting is a lot like baseball. If you get a hit one out of 4 or 5 times, you might be able to make a living. Get a hit one out of three times and you are headed to the Hall of Fame! A little difference in the numbers is worth a whole lot of money! Forecasting hurricanes just a little better, is also worth a whole lot of money!

Phillip Bratby
Reply to  jclarke341
April 9, 2018 11:11 pm
Paul Johnson
Reply to  rocketscientist
April 10, 2018 6:41 am

This kind of weather research (Harmsworth and NW Sage are right) would be useful in disaster planning and recovery. Utility companies and local governments would likely be the target subscribers, although the service might also attract commodity traders and insurers.

April 9, 2018 6:26 pm

If this climate research funding model is replicated across the world, climate science might actually advance.

The drug companies scan published research to see if they can find results that can be turned into profitable products. The first step is to try to reproduce and replicate the results. The vast majority of times, the reproduction fails. A lot of the time the original authors can’t even reproduce their own results. link
Pharmaceutical research is the one area where reproduction is routinely attempted. There’s no good reason to believe that any other field, climate research in particular, would have better results.
I’m not holding my breath waiting for the breakthroughs.

J Mac
April 9, 2018 6:36 pm

I’ll keep accessing WeatherBell Analytics, a for-profit private company that already serves this niche market quite well!

Pop Piasa
April 9, 2018 6:38 pm

Joe Bastardi does great climate research with Weatherbell’s funding, if you ask me.
He bases present forecasts on similar patterns throughout recorded meteorological history. He studies analogs of oceanic and atmospheric combined effects and dissects the physical forces responsible while accounting for variabilities caused by intervening influences.
If you want to help out unbiased research, buy a premium subscription and get something in return for your contribution.

Stephen Singer
April 9, 2018 6:38 pm

Another private company joining Jusdith Curry’s CFAN doing private/applied climate research I like the sound of that.

April 9, 2018 6:52 pm

Doesn’t David Dilley at already have a product with a 10 year track record that beats NOAA?

April 9, 2018 7:13 pm

Wait. I thought academics (cough, Willie Soon, cough) receiving funding from private corporations (cough, EXXON, cough) was a bad thing. What’s the difference here?

Reply to  owenkellogg
April 10, 2018 9:31 am

We aren’t the ones saying it was a bad thing.\
Not that he did.

kristi silber
April 9, 2018 7:58 pm

Very interesting. Eric says, “The filter of commercial utility will sort the wheat from the chaff, will cut funding to researchers who don’t produce useful results. That same commercial imperative will ensure useful results are applied, instead of gathering dust in some government filing cabinet.”
What are “useful results”? If they were applied to climate change in a way that supported “mainstream science” (a phrase I see Monckton uses), would the skeptic community endorse the use of those results for determining policy to lower CO2 emissions? Will skeptics finally give their approval, since it’s not paid for by “corrupt government bureaucrats”? Or will they say that since the research is privately funded, the science is liable to bias in favor of what the funding bodies want to hear?
Perhaps this is the beginning of a new age, where the rich and powerful will fund research in order to get the results they want. People will start going into science not because they want to find the truth, but so they can make big bucks by selling their professional souls to the highest bidder. Science enters the free market economy! Maybe skeptics will finally stop calling AGW scientists socialists if they sell their product as a commodity like any other, and reality becomes subject to the law of supply and demand.
I’m no more in favor of liberal institutions supporting scientists than I am of conservatives doing it.

Reply to  kristi silber
April 9, 2018 11:56 pm

In case you forgot, there was until quite recently an 18 year “pause” in the politically adjusted global average temperature, even while China, primarily, increased human emissions of CO2 to the “worst case scenario” levels attached to prior prediction/projections of incessant warming.
The carbon-based climate cult fastidiously denied existence of such a “pause” until they had assembled a desultory confabulation of peer reviewed ad-hoc excuses, including new models designed explicitly to simulate such a pause in an act of retroactive confirmation-bias-forced “prediction.”
So what insight exactly has humanity gained from the billions invested by western governments over decades on the carbon-forced climate cult that you call “science”?comment image

Reply to  Khwarizmi
April 10, 2018 6:38 am

That it’s a bad idea to get the government involved in science that it can exploit for billions.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  kristi silber
April 10, 2018 4:45 pm

Kristi, first someone has to provide hard evidence to support the theoretical forcing from each doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, then your imagined “skeptic community” (if you should ever happen to gain an open insight as a scientist, you will find little community available) will back whatever practical solution is fielded.
So far, observation puts the effect around 1 deg C every century so we see no cause for alarm.
Please read Judith Curry’s blog and Roy Spencer’s blog to educate yourself further in the state of the science before coming here to pontificate ideologically about who thinks what. You are being an impetuous youth in your presence here. More time looking up what people share and less time reacting to it will grow your intellect and impart wisdom.

April 9, 2018 8:38 pm

Anyone who believes that this will be more honest than current climate research is naive. This is nothing more than a ‘Climate Analytica’ with ‘correct’ answers/research going to the highest bidder.

April 9, 2018 8:39 pm

This is all well and good but sites like this are under attack. Jon Rappaport covers this stuff. California sets the stage and the globalist marxists are attempting to seize final control to shut down independent media, such as WUWT.
I don’t typically come here and throw links but they are going to likely pass another free speech restricting measure. it isn’t looking good, and we all know where marxism leads. It is unfolding fast.

Reply to  honestliberty
April 10, 2018 4:23 am

Great link, thanks.
Doesn’t it just stink of bureaucratic meddling in something we should all have the sense to consider, that any story, no matter the source, it tainted by bias.
Perhaps, instead of proposing this nonsense, all sites might carry the statement ‘Caveat emptor’.
Easy, quick, it doesn’t insult people’s intelligence, and it doesn’t violate the US’s 1st Amendment, nor any other country’s right to freedom of speech.
And of course, California Senator Richard Pan has the ability to propose this rubbish, thanks to the right of free speech. In bygone communist countries (and some current ones) he wouldn’t have the ability to propose anything far less this.

Thomas Stone
April 10, 2018 5:47 am

If this results in improvements over the current weather models (GFS, ECMWF, NAM, etc, I am all for it. Kaizen for all!

Dave in the UP
April 10, 2018 5:49 am

Honestlibery: Interestingly, this story is on Drudge this morning.

April 10, 2018 7:21 am

The give away is in the article: ” Launching a community science program”.
Says it all. Liberal-Democrats are pissed that Trump is diminishing government funding to the mob.
And “they” are going to do something about it.
As with attempts to set up Leftist talk radio shows it may not work.
The Left’s way of life is to confiscate other peoples’ money to fund their passions.
Bob Hoye

April 10, 2018 7:42 am

I’ll add:
And being deprived of funds from state-theft, they are trying to raise some money privately. But private funding does not have the cachet of forcing other people to pay for their political manias.

Gary Pearse
April 10, 2018 8:29 am

Commercial will also reduce the need for 95% of climate researchers and multiple redundant agencies all peddling the same product specs protected by something similar to the insurance sold by the Mafioso of old. If you don’t go along, they burn your establishment (funds, career, advancement, reputation, access to publishing) down.
When I saw Cook’s cooked 97% consensus, I was struck by something no one else seemed to notice (an idiosyncracy of mine my wife complains about): that he selected from a larger number over 11,000 climate science papers published in a ten year period! Are you kidding me? There are well over 12,000 clisci papers published in a decade, more than 120 papers published each month, more than 4 papers a day 7 days a week, say seven papers per working day, 10papers/day accounting for annual holidays and conference attendance and they are all an ensemble playing the same tune? Now that is a statistic that blows me away. To me, this will always be Cook’s most remarkable contribution to climate science.
This, and the proud pronouncement that 97% of them think exactly the same thing is a resounding debunking, fatal flaw and indictment of the mainstream clisci hypothesis without any need for further evidence. Thank you Dr. Cook for the most important finding in the science. I propose the method be called the Cook Effect. It would be applicable in medical, biological, etc research as a replacement for Chi squared and all the other statistical tests.
Back to commercial: the Cook Effect convinced me there will be a huge correction someday and 100s of thousands of clisci brethren and sisteren will find themselves out of work, real redundancy!
At the world’s largest annual mining convention in Toronto, I was asked by a recent geology grad from Michigan State, what I thought she should do with her career. I offered views on where the industry was going, etc and she said she was considering taking the environmental option. I advised her that the field was so over crowded that before long there won’t be much chance of employment in this field. She was annoyed with my outlook and stomped off before I could give her contacts who were hiring in mining and exploration. I didn’t even share my Cook Effect idea with her.
Incidentally, considering the small number of dissidents in the old Soviet Union, I’m inclined to believe 97% of people make up a mindless consensus in the peculiar science of climate.

%d bloggers like this: