Uncertain Certainty: Germany’s Potsdam Climate Institute Humiliated After One-Year El Nino Forecast Model Flops

Reposted from Pierre Gosselin’s NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin on 15. November 2020

Last year Germany’s Potsdam Institute (PIK) boasted that it had a superior El Niño one-year forecasting model, claiming 80% certainty. Today, a year later, its forecast emerges totally wrong and the prestigious institute is left humiliated. 

Hat-tip: Snowfan

In 2019, Germany’s Potsdam Climate Institute (PIK) boasted that it had a superior El Niño forecasting model, claiming one year in advance and with 80% certainty, there would be an El Niño event late in 2020 (upper curve is just an El Niño illustration). But the PIK model forecast flopped totally. The opposite has in fact emerged. Chart source: BOM (with additions).

One year ago, together with researchers of the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU), and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan in Israel, Germany’s alarmist yet highly regarded Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK) boldly declared in a press release there would “probably be another ‘El Niño’ by the end of 2020.”

PIK even boasted forecast model superiority

The PIK November 2019 press release bragged that its team of researchers had developed a new, far better model – which they said was capable of forecasting a late 2020 El Niño event a year in advance: “The prediction models commonly used do not yet see any signs of this,” the PIK press release wrote.

The PIK press release then called the early forecasting model approach “groundbreaking”, claiming it was based on a “novel algorithm” developed by its team. Their forecast relied “on a network analysis of air temperatures in the Pacific region and which correctly predicted the last two ‘El Niño’ events more than a year in advance.”

The results were even published in a journal:

https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.14642

“Conventional methods are unable to make a reliable ‘El Niño’ forecast more than six months in advance. With our method, we have roughly doubled the previous warning time,” stressed JLU physicist Armin Bunde, who initiated the development of the algorithm together with his former PhD student Josef Ludescher.

John Schellnhuber: “80% certainty”…”pretty significant”

Prof. Hans-Joachim (John) Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus of PIK, explained: “This clever combination of measured data and mathematics gives us unique insights – and we make these available to the people affected.” He pointed out that, of course, the prediction method did not offer one hundred percent certainty: “The probability of ‘El Niño’ coming in 2020 is around 80 percent. But that’s pretty significant.”

The 20% uncertainty ends up humiliating PIK physicists

Using data from the past and with the help of of their algorithm, the PIK scientists said El Niño events could then be “accurately predicted the year before”.

Today, one year later, in November 2020, we see that the opposite is in fact occurring, see chart above. Now the equatorial Pacific is entering a La Niña event instead of the almost certain El Niño claimed earlier by the now embarrassed PIK researchers.

Can’t even get one climate component over a single year right

The PIK’s “high certainty” forecast misses totally and so underscores the risks and pitfalls of being overconfident when it comes to still poorly understood complex systems.

And if scientists struggle predicting just one single regional component of the entire climate for just one year, then imagine what the reliability of their complete climate system predictions going out decades has to be. GIGO!

0 0 vote
Article Rating
148 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
James Walter
November 15, 2020 6:09 pm

“An another one bites the dust”

stewartpid
Reply to  James Walter
November 15, 2020 7:25 pm

Actually that amount of accuracy is very good compared to other SH!T that the Potsdam Climate Clowns have put out 😉

ATheoK
Reply to  stewartpid
November 16, 2020 4:01 am

https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/13.0.0/svg/1f609.svg comment image

I was thinking similar thoughts regarding other Schellnhuber’s pronouncements.

“The PIK November 2019 press release bragged that its team of researchers had developed a new, far better model – which they said was capable of forecasting”

Abracadabra spouts PIK.
More government research funds wasted. Must need better oversight.

WelshDragon
Reply to  James Walter
November 15, 2020 11:17 pm

Don’t worry, someone told me recently the errors ‘balance themselves out’ when projecting changes over the course of decades.

So based on this logic, the model will prove to be accurate sometime in the future…..

Reply to  WelshDragon
November 16, 2020 1:19 am

A broken clock is right twice a day, eh?

ATheoK
Reply to  paranoid goy
November 16, 2020 4:11 am

I think it’s more of an existential possibility.

Somewhere, somewhen, somehow every possibility like this “El Nino” prediction may come into existence, if for fraction of an instant…

Also known as “Don’t hold your breathe

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  paranoid goy
November 16, 2020 8:29 am

“A broken clock is right twice a day, eh?”

Not if it’s a smart watch.

Editor
Reply to  James Walter
November 16, 2020 1:43 am

James Walter wrote, “An another one bites the dust”

That’s very appropriate because the authors of this paper (Josef Ludescher, Armin Bunde, Shlomo Havlin, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber) wrote another paper back in 2013 (with another author or two) about ENSO prediction, which I commented about at my blog…
https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/el-nino-in-the-news/
…a post that was cross posted here at WUWT
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/03/el-nino-research-in-the-news/

Apparently, Ludescher et al. are still having problems with the springtime predictability barrier.

Regards,
Bob

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
November 16, 2020 11:46 am

Bob, thanks for all your great work on El Nino cycles over the years.

Question: do we have an accurate method for measuring the strength of the salt / density created cold bottom current that runs from Antarctica up the west coast of South America, and the upwells near the coast of Peru? Is there any reliable data on the strength of that current?

A suspicion of mine has been that El Nino years are largely caused by relatively weak flows of that current.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
November 16, 2020 11:47 am

Good link!

Joe Wagner
Reply to  James Walter
November 16, 2020 4:48 am

I’d like to say “You’re right” and laugh along with you- but all I see them doing is requesting (and getting) more money to further refine their model… rather than being regulated to the ash heap of history.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Joe Wagner
November 16, 2020 8:33 am

“rather than being regulated to the ash heap of history.”

I’m sure you meant “relegated”, maybe your phone didn’t like it and changed it for you.

But what they’re trying to do is regulate us into the ash heap of history.

Neo
Reply to  James Walter
November 16, 2020 6:03 am

… but they told me the science was settled

M Courtney
Reply to  James Walter
November 16, 2020 9:13 am

But n=1.
It’s not failed yet.

paul courtney
Reply to  M Courtney
November 16, 2020 1:47 pm

Mr. Courtney: That depends, were they trying to find the value of n, or the value of 1?
We don’t know. From all that we’ve seen, Shellnhuber doesn’t know either. It’s failure of a sort.

Sara
Reply to  James Walter
November 16, 2020 10:01 am

….falls off chair, laughing, startles the cat out of a perfectly good nap. Goes on laughing and pointintg.

It must have been so disappointing when they were told that they were wrong by a wide margin. Sad.

Oh, well …. Lunch!!!

fred250
November 15, 2020 6:15 pm

They have an agenda, and they will continue to push it n o matter what.

Being TOTALLY WRONG will not deter them in the slightest . !

Never has in the past. !

Scissor
Reply to  fred250
November 15, 2020 7:50 pm

Pays the same.

Warren
Reply to  fred250
November 15, 2020 7:50 pm

Ha so true!

Reply to  fred250
November 15, 2020 10:11 pm

The problem is massive confirmation bias. When your tool shows what you assume is correct, you don’t go looking for errors or incorrect assumptions.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  fred250
November 16, 2020 3:02 am

I predict that climate models will always be wrong, for the foreseeable future

Graemethecat
Reply to  fred250
November 16, 2020 11:35 pm

It’s politics and rent-seeking masquerading as Climatology. Always has been.

Joel O'Bryan
November 15, 2020 6:24 pm

The Climate Dowsers are in desperate need of an El Nino to keep the temp anomaly headed up per their cargo-cult models headed into AR6 carnival barking hucksterism next fall. Nature as always could care less about mankind’s pseudoscience needs, just as it did for the Roman Catholic Church’s geocentrism dogma out of the Vatican over 400 years ago.

However, one year ago the climate alarmism carnival barkers also didn’t know there’d be a world-wide viral epidemic that would decrease anthro-related GHG emissions in 2020 by at least 15% to 20% year-over-year. However this on-going planet cooling La Nina, which was forming early last summer before any emissions reductions could even be conceivably claimed is still gathering steam, and how far past February it will go is anyone’s guess at this point. No one knows, that’s certain.
But the La Nina cooling is likely to put a major PR wrinkle in the climate alarmism BS that will accompany AR6 and the Biden Admin’s carnival barking OSTP climate hoaxers (likely to be the current NAS President Ms. McNutty).

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 15, 2020 7:27 pm

If there is that cooling trend expected in 1 – 3 months also expect more T ^ trend adjustments to follow.

Harkle the Griff
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 15, 2020 8:31 pm

If there is cooling they will simply claim that it happened as a result of Wuhu related consumption reductions.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Chris Hanley
November 15, 2020 8:52 pm

In short term trends, there’s only so much the Adjustment Bureau of NOAA can do without getting called out for the data fraud they do to the long term trend.

Ron Long
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 16, 2020 1:51 am

And the real problem with all of their data torture is that CO2 measurements show no atmospheric change, it marches along following some natural order.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 16, 2020 4:37 am

Always be suspicious of someone who wears a hat.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 16, 2020 1:32 am

Not to mention the Grand Solar Minimum we are now in…

Mr.
November 15, 2020 6:24 pm

“It’s tricky making predictions – especially about the future”
Yogi Berra.
(unheralded climate scientist)

Steve Case
November 15, 2020 6:38 pm

Not being able to forecast El Niño activity is for me one of the biggest reasons for believing that the all the CMIP models are junk.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Steve Case
November 15, 2020 11:41 pm

Landscheidt was far better than these Pikaderos, as he was able to predict several El Niños in advance, looking at the sun and it’s constellation.

RickWill
Reply to  Steve Case
November 16, 2020 12:54 am

I do not BELIEVE the the climate models are junk – I am far more decisive – I KNOW they are absolute junk. They are the toys of dingbats. Worse part is tax dollars pay for these toys and the endless wasted hours playing with them.

The models forecast tropical ocean surface temperature achieving the physically impossible.
http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itas_cmip3_ave_mean_sresa1b_-120–170E_5–5N_n_1980:2100.png
This for the Nino34 region. Tropical ocean SST is controlled by powerful feedbacks that limit the temperature rise. The models do not even get the history correct:
https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg3j-MHBpf4wRGuhf

Nino34 region SST has been steady for the last 40 years. This is how it has to be as cooling increases asymptotically to 32C. That temperature cannot be exceeded in the open ocean.

Len Werner
November 15, 2020 6:46 pm

If the greatest refinement of understanding el Nino events flops dismally on its face, it just could be time to consider that the basic premise of what causes them might be wrong. Sometimes I wonder at just how strong an opposite-to-group-think concept has to be before experts hear Feynman’s voice somewhere in the background saying ‘It doesn’t matter how smart you are, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is…’. This was the experiment–and it appears that ‘the theory is wrong’.

So what else? It just might be time to give that plateclimatology site another look…

James Kamis might also be wrong–but is it so hard to at least look for the volcano?

fred250
Reply to  Len Werner
November 15, 2020 7:28 pm

Big jump in seismic activity 2-3 years before 1998 El nino

Also another extended spike 2-3 years before the 2015-2018 El Nino /Big Blob event

Activity dropping since.. Could be interesting. 😉

comment image

fred250
Reply to  Len Werner
November 15, 2020 7:31 pm

We KNOW that the warming in the satellite era has come only from El Nino events

Before that, we have only highly adjusted homogenised, tortured, infilled, corrupted by UHI and airport effects etc surface pseudo-data.

Any useful information that might once have been there was erased ages ago. !

RickWill
Reply to  fred250
November 16, 2020 1:00 am

What warming in the satellite era?
https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg3j-MHBpf4wRGuhf

If satellites are showing warming look for the reason they are inaccurate rather than claiming nonsense about warming.

The main drivers of warming in Australia are the result of:
1. Moving measuring stations from regional posts offices to airports.
2. Replacement of LiG thermometers with faster response electronic gauges
3. Large aircraft visiting regional centres
4. Homogenisation weight on city based gauges subject to urban heat effect.
5. Homogenisation of data sets that is nothing short of data tampering.

I do not see any evidence that supports any warming.

fred250
Reply to  fred250
November 16, 2020 2:04 am

Yes Will, the surface temperature data for Australia is meaningless…. even worse than GIGO

I was referring to the very slight warming in the satellite data.

As pointed out in an earlier thread, the only warming in the UAH data over Australia, came from a slight step up around1996.

Either side of that, it basically dead flat.

There is also a slight bulge between 2015 to now.

RickWill
Reply to  fred250
November 16, 2020 1:07 pm

UAH produces a meaningless number with regard to surface temperature. It is looking at some point in the atmosphere well above ground level. It is irrelevant to what is measured at ground level.

UAH does not follow the SST for the Nino34 region. I have compared its data with this one:
https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg3j-MHBpf4wRGuhf

There has been no warming in the satellite era in the tropical oceans. There are certainly annual variation and decadal oscillations but no long term trend.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Len Werner
November 16, 2020 8:39 am

“Feynman’s voice somewhere in the background saying ‘It doesn’t matter how smart you are, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is…’. This was the experiment–and it appears that ‘the theory is wrong’.”

As I always say when someone alludes to Feynman’s quote. Experiments can be, and often are, wrong. Doesn’t invalidate the theory. What he should have said is “observation” instead of “experiment”.

rah
November 15, 2020 7:00 pm

The saying goes “You can’t fool Mother Nature”. Well Mother Nature sure fooled those fools. Claiming to have fantastic accuracy with no track record from practical application in the real world is foolish.

Pat Frank
November 15, 2020 7:00 pm

combination of measured data and mathematics gives us unique insights

The entire disaster of climate modeling in one handy phrase.

Note the complete absence of any mention of physics.

Prof. Hans-Joachim (John) Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus of PIK: yet another honored incompetent (IMO).

Some years ago, I was working on a project with Henry Taube (Nobel Prize, Chemistry, 1983). For some reason he took a liking to me, and we had wider ranging conversations in his office.

Once, he described how exasperated he was with the self-important posing of certain high-ranking European scientists, when he’d participate in some small international meeting.

He got up from his desk, tilted up his nose, put his hands behind his back, and marched back and forth in a parody of their strut. It was pretty funny.

Doubly funny, really, because Henry Taube was the nicest guy. Completely approachable, never above his humanity.

Whenever I see a picture of Herr Prof. Hans-Joachim (John) Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus of PIK, he puts me in mind of the subject of Henry Taube’s parody.

Of course, my assignment could be wrong. 🙂

n.n
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2020 7:55 pm

Have faith that they will infer the facts and not truths that will subsequently justify, rationalize their actions. Deja vu.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  n.n
November 15, 2020 8:33 pm

“combination of measured data and mathematics gives us unique insights”

The entire disaster of climate modeling in one handy phrase.

A beautiful turn of phrase

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2020 8:40 pm

Schellnhuber is probably just following a long tradition of goose-stepping ego before science hubris. Without any google search or inquiry, I’d bet Herr Taube was semite that a proud German like Hans-Joachim would have disdained openly 100 years ago.

My original PI and thesis advisor for my graduate work is a Jewish man who I’m still in awe of to this day. It is for his approachable personality, a nice person, and still photographic memory, scientific razor sharp mind who easily corrected my brash ways, and by far smartest man I’ve ever personally known.

fred250
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2020 10:09 pm

“Prof. Hans-Joachim (John) Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus of PIK: yet another honored incompetent (IMO).”

Dunning-Kruger.. or Murphy’s Law ! 😉

Self-delusional superiority simplex.

alacran
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2020 5:55 am

You are absolutely right, Schellnhuber is more of an activist than a scientist.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2020 6:21 am

I “like” that of an arrogant individuum who believed himself to be an intellectual weapon.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2020 6:41 am

I worked for a Bell phone company for 30 years and most of that time was spent doing forecasts for various things, budgets, people in call centers, equipment, etc. I quickly learned that trends are accurate only up to the last measured data point. Prognosticating the future is fraught with expanding uncertainty. When your job depends on how well you forecast you take pains to assure folks about the uncertainty and you DO NOT brag about the future accuracy.

It is time for some of these climate scientists, mathematicians, and programmers to disappear from the scene because of their inability to even narrow the possibilities after decades of work and probably trillions of dollars.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2020 7:00 am

Um, it just might be my flawed understanding, but doesn’t one need to know the relevant probability distributions in order to claim 80% certainty? Count me skeptical.

And 80% means that they are wrong 1 out of 5 times (worse than a dice roll).

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
November 17, 2020 7:55 am

Naw. The CLT makes everything Gaussian. /sarc

rbabcock
November 15, 2020 7:00 pm

Early on I used mathematical models and analysts’ models to invest in the stock market. After many years of poor success I bought a monkey and taught him to throw darts.

Cheetah was much more successful and I am now comfortably retired. Maybe all the climate researchers ought to follow my lead.

ferdberple
Reply to  rbabcock
November 16, 2020 9:33 am

The monkey doesnt fear the downside and doesnt get greedy on the upside.

years ago I rans millions of simulated trades on the stock market that showed conclusively you could make money if you could predict if the market was rising or falling

fred250
Reply to  rbabcock
November 16, 2020 10:52 am

“Maybe all the climate researchers ought to follow my lead.”

Didn’t you know……. They now have 6 Chimps !!

John of Cloverdale
November 15, 2020 7:22 pm

It must be wrong (the La Nina) because the “science says”!

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  John of Cloverdale
November 15, 2020 10:07 pm

One of the graphs has been plotted upside down – this is a common practice in “climate science”.

ripshin
Editor
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 16, 2020 7:38 am

Yeah…looks like they just missed a sign in their calculations. That’d be simple “-1” on most math tests. Unfortunately on physics tests, and in the real world…lol…well, you can see the result for yourself. :0

rip

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John of Cloverdale
November 16, 2020 8:48 am

Mann would approve.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
November 15, 2020 7:24 pm

For comparison consider that the Old Farmer’s Almanac (not the other one) is finalized in February and goes to the publisher’s in March. It is on the shelves in September and gives the weather forecast for North America for the following 16 months. So it is fact a 22 month forecast if you don’t count the time during which it was compiled.

It is pretty good, and frequently calls the seasons correctly when Environment Canada, for example, gets it wrong 6 months ahead 85% of the time.

And what is the big difference between the 2 centuries old model and the climate scientist model? The Sun! The Old Farmer’s Almanac considers the activity of Old Sol and two other factors when creating long term forecasts.

I don’t need a concluding sentence, the implications are obvious.

n.n
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
November 15, 2020 7:52 pm

A naive model performs equal to, or better than, a highly sophisticated, complex model. It’s time to be explicit and reevaluate the assumptions/assertions that underlie the latter, where mismatches are effectively first-order forcings of, perhaps, catastrophic, misaligned policies and development (e.g.. market vs dictated schemes of production, distribution, and pricing of finitely available and accessible resources).

Scissor
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
November 15, 2020 7:54 pm

The sun? The sun has something to do with weather? That’s sacrilege.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  Scissor
November 16, 2020 1:36 am

Everybody knows that CO2 controls solar activity…

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton
November 16, 2020 2:40 am

I don’t call CO2 the God Molecule for nothing….

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
November 15, 2020 10:02 pm

are ye the Crispin still o’ Waterloo?
Sad times these COVID travel barriers.
If so, Beijing sucks anyways and always.

markl
November 15, 2020 7:32 pm

Yet they are confident enough about a 30 year projection to alarm people.

philincalifornia
Reply to  markl
November 15, 2020 9:26 pm

No, they’re not confident. They’re lying about that part, because they know that uneducated people will believe them. That’s what they’re confident about.

Reply to  philincalifornia
November 16, 2020 1:41 am

“…because they know that uneducated people will believe them.”
So why is it my degreed acquaintances all tell me I hate science, whereas all the plumbers and mechanics I know, scoff at global warming sciencery*?
*Sciencery: n/v/adj. The ability of private funding to prove anything needed to make any product walk upon a cloud of sciencisness.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  paranoid goy
November 16, 2020 5:20 am

You are assuming that a degree implies education. In many university departments it only shows indoctrination. Plumbers and mechanics have been educated in how the real world works.

Barnes Moore
Reply to  paranoid goy
November 16, 2020 5:25 am

I don’t know. I frequently find that the many of the biggest fools are the most highly educated. They simply know more than anyone else and are able to twist logic in a way that can be difficult for the less educated to rebuff – except that the less educated tend to have a better BS sensor. Of course, not universally true, and it does tend to follow ideological points of view.

Marty
Reply to  paranoid goy
November 16, 2020 11:03 am

Because college trains you be to a good employee and accept what some authority figure tells you. Even if what you are being told is nonsense. You sit in a large lecture hall of 500 kids and a pompous ego-tripping professor tells you the “Truth.” At the end of the semester you take a standardized multiple choice computer graded test where you give back “The Truth” in your answers. If you want to pass the course you don’t question and you certainly don’t think.

This trains you so that when you get your degree and you go to work for IBM or GM or Enron and the Vice President says I think that people are desperate for battery run electric cars you simply nod your head and agree and go to work on it.

College is primarily about being trained to accept what authority figures tell you, whether it is about cosmology, history, politics, or gender studies. And that compliance is what big companies want in their employees.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  paranoid goy
November 17, 2020 6:51 am

“So why is it my degreed acquaintances all tell me I hate science, whereas all the plumbers and mechanics I know, scoff at global warming sciencery*?”

Well, those people with degrees obviously went to a school of higher learning and are much more likely to have been brainwashed into the Western Socialist mindset, which now includes the Human-caused Climate Change element, than your average plumber or mechanic (who probably makes more money than the academics:).

n.n
November 15, 2020 7:45 pm

Chaos is an incompletely or insufficiently characterized or computationally unwieldy system or process. A chaotic process (e.g. human life) can be deterministically or stochastically modeled within a limited frame of reference (i.e. scientific logical domain). That said, it should be interesting to learn if the assumptions/assertions of signal fidelity and inference of events and processes outside of our solar system are real or imagined. Oh, well. It doesn’t seem that will happen anytime soon. In the meantime, people will peer to the stars and connect the dots.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  n.n
November 15, 2020 8:46 pm

Climastrologers were all born under the Sign of the Bull.

Ken Mitchell
November 15, 2020 7:47 pm

“The PIK press release then called the early forecasting model approach “groundbreaking”,”

“Groundbreaking”, as in “auger in”, or “SSCBD” (Stall, Spin, Crash, Burn and Die). Very appropriate.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Ken Mitchell
November 16, 2020 2:34 am

If you are fslling from considerable hight without parashute That maybe groundbreaking too 😀

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Krishna Gans
November 16, 2020 8:51 am

The ground wouldn’t even notice.

JCalvertN(UK)
November 15, 2020 7:53 pm

Isn’t PIK is an “Institute” in the same way as Heartland is? – i.e. more of a propaganda and lobbying “think tank”.

Hari Seldon
Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
November 15, 2020 9:44 pm

Dear Mr. Calvert,

PIK is the main climate “consultant” for the German government financed completely by the German state from our tax money. It is felt, that Heartland could not get any tax money from the US government especially after the take-over by Mr. Biden and his climate alarmist troops. Eventually PIK is like an old fashioned communist (stalinist) “scientific think thank” doing advocacy reserach for the German government to justify for example the introduction of new taxes (like CO2-tax) in Germany on the basis of climate alarmism (“save the Earth”, etc.). PIK has eventually a state monopoly on the field of climate research in Germany (they are allowed to define the only one truth in Germany on the field of climate research).

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
November 15, 2020 9:51 pm

One institute claims certain knowledge about a climate trajectory and settled science. The other institute claims uncertainty in knowledge on both trajectory and the science.
Who would you go with being true to science?

Robert of Texas
November 15, 2020 7:56 pm

Thinking you can predict anything with some certainty in a chaotic system just proves you do not understand chaos. You might get close a few times and then…complete failure. I am guessing their model predicted previous El Nino’s using historic data giving them confidence in predicting the next one…and complete failure.

Trevor in Ontari-owe
November 15, 2020 8:01 pm

Their model was wrong because of … climate change! If the climate weren’t changing so much, then the El Nino prediction would have been bang on.

November 15, 2020 8:02 pm

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a self-obsessed, over-bearing institution like Germany’s Potsdam Climate Institute (PIK) failing in its Climate Alarmist prediction and being left with egg on its face. in Australia the La Nina is being welcomed with fire-stifling rain days reducing bushfire dangers.

commieBob
November 15, 2020 8:04 pm

We can say that the failure of their forecast certainly doesn’t validate their method. On the other hand, they didn’t claim 100% certainty.

How many forecasts do they have to do before we can pronounce final judgement on their method? I suspect the answer is in Expert Political Judgement by Philip Tetlock. Over decades, Tetlock asked experts to assign probabilities to whether certain events would happen. One example was the question of whether Canada would break up or not.

After amassing a huge database, Tetlock was able to conclude that experts were no better at predicting future events than using a dart-throwing monkey to generate predictions.

Tetlock was very transparent about his methodology. It’s been a long while since I read the book though so I’m not confident I understand it any more (assuming I even got it right the first time). However, I’m pretty sure we can’t pronounce on the model after just one failed prediction.

Richard M
Reply to  commieBob
November 16, 2020 6:57 am

Agreed, they indicated the prediction was based on measurements (input to their model). The combination of these observations was found previously to preceded an El Nino. They have now found an example where it did not. This can be used to improve the model.

Their biggest problem was touting the model before adequate testing. Yes, that would mean decades of observations and no one gets big rewards for being patient.

Sometimes more is learned by failure than by success. The model should be better in the future.

Javert, Chip
November 15, 2020 8:07 pm

After 30+ years of corrupting the data to force reality to match the broken models, the models aren’t getting any better, in spite of having a gaggle of pseudo-wanna-be climate scientists (economists who have yet to correctly forecast anything , and psychologists, who have no concept of reproducibility).

The reality is as long as we have an abysmally educated population panicked into this crap, stupid politicians will fund “scientific” production of horror stories (NYC under water!!!!), and we’ll be here quite a while.

My favorite idiot (Prince Charles, poster child for inbreeding) has given the world two “irreversible tipping points”, yet we’re still here.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Javert, Chip
November 15, 2020 10:02 pm

I think you are a bit harsh on The Queen and Phil the Greek. We are not talking the Hapsburgs here.

I don’t think Charles suffers from inbreeding. I think he is just naturally thick.

Prince Phillip on the other hand? That man is a legend. I am pretty sure he is aware at some level of the concept of Political Correctness but long ago decided that Royalty and Politics needed to be kept separate. There is ample proof over the decades that he really does not give a toss if his words upset you.

As for Elizabeth II – Greatest. Monarch. Ever. Louis XIV doesn’t count. He was French.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 16, 2020 12:06 am

Her Majesty is far sharper than most people think, and has the good sense to keep her mouth shut, unlike her idiot elder son.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 16, 2020 2:24 am

“We are not talking the Hapsburgs here.”

But it’s pretty close. They have the same great-grandparents, Victoria and Albert, who were themselves first cousins. I’m pretty sure that technically, Liz and Phil’s offspring are not just siblings, but cousins too. Which makes them uncle and aunt to their own kids as well.

jorgekafkazar
November 15, 2020 8:39 pm

Hubris. It’s hard to do science when hubris has you by the medulla, when you think the science is settled, when you demonize skeptics, when you’re caught up in the allure of monotonic funding ideation. There’s a lesson to be learned in this debacle, one that I strongly doubt anyone will learn.

Chris Nisbet
November 15, 2020 8:42 pm

I wonder if the same people assist the weather Gods here in NZ. In Autumn we got told there was only a 15% chance that winter would be wetter than normal in Auckland. It was wetter than normal. We also got told that spring would be ‘extremely dry’. The heavy rain we’ve had disagrees.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
November 16, 2020 3:41 am

same in Aus were getting the hot summer schtick
when weve had around a week around the 30s at most in the sth
up north, yes its been damned hot n dry still
roll on the monsoons asap

observa
November 15, 2020 9:02 pm

No matter onward and upward to global planetary climate predictions where our qualifications and expertise really lie.

Paul of Alexandria
November 15, 2020 9:03 pm

Well, if Willis is right (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/11/08/boy-child-girl-child/) it shouldn’t be too hard to predict El Niño, just see where the appropriate heat levels are and when they’ll hit the tipping point.

Javier
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
November 15, 2020 11:21 pm

He is wrong. ENSO has a very important solar component due to the Sun providing the energy over the Tropical Pacific. El Niño is more probable when solar activity is declining after peak activity, and right at the solar minimum. La Niña is more probable when solar activity is increasing, and when it is low.
comment image

A figure from mid-2018 showing my predictions. Both El Niño of 2018 and La Niña of 2020 have taken place.
comment image

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
November 17, 2020 8:33 am

That may be unworkable as stated. The heat builds in the Tropical Pacific, but the triggering happens near Peru. Based on the evidence, the triggering may be a stochastic process related to a composite differential temperature between the trade winds and the ocean west of Peru.

Hari Seldon
November 15, 2020 9:14 pm

It is very interesting to see a one-year forecast from PIK, because their main climate guru (Mr. Rahmstorf) has stated publicly (in ZDF (German state TV), that climate models don’t work even on a 10-15-20 years time horizont:

“Aber diese Klimamodelle sind nicht in der Lage, auf 10, oder 15 oder 20 Jahre Prognosen über den Klimaverlauf zu machen. Das ist in der Wissenschaft allgemein anerkannt”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfojG2lGAtA

Nevertheless Mr. Rahmstorf provides in the meantime forecasts for 280(!!!) years (for 2300). And such persons position themselves as “scientists”. PIK has made in this case a strategic error, because a one-year forecast could be checked/validated very easily after one year (like the famous 5-years forecast of Al Gore in 2008 regarding the disappearance of the Arctic ice). Mr. Rahmstorf strategy with the forecast on a 280 years basis would be much better, because who of us will be alive in 2300 to validate his forecast?

Michael Jankowski
November 15, 2020 9:18 pm

Time for “prediction would have been right if not for climate weirding due to man made global warming.”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
November 16, 2020 10:58 am

Exactly. They’ll just say we’ve screwed it up SO much that it’s unpredictable. Never mind that it’s never been predictable.

RoHa
November 15, 2020 9:18 pm

They need lots more money to improve their model.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  RoHa
November 16, 2020 1:27 am

and their salaries… Private yachts are a good insurance against sea-level rise…

yarpos
November 15, 2020 9:18 pm

they were just on the wrong trend at the wrong time

just more climate expertise via wishful thinking

it will be swept under the carpet and never spoken of among the climate elite

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  yarpos
November 16, 2020 11:59 am

Is it not up to us to keep the memory alive? An annual party, perhaps? It took a certain bravery for PIK to make such a risky prediction*. Let us celebrate that bravery and the bravery of all scientists who make definite predictions, ones with a minimum of weasel words. Hoch!

El Nino predictions are tricksy. I compare El Ninos/La Ninas to the pendulum in a grandfather’s clock, ticking back and forth with precise periodicity, except that there’s a mouse in the clock that likes to go for rides on the pendulum. As the mouse climbs up and down, according to his whim, the swings become quasiperiodic.

Part of this, as I understand it, is that the triggering of the El Nino condition is caused by “the trade winds slackening.” The cause of the slackening was a bit mysterious**, last I checked, but when slackening takes place, sloshing*** happens, letting hot water move from the western Pacific eastward most of the way to South America.****

Insert these tildes above as needed: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
* Granted, they didn’t know how risky it was.
** I think it has something to do with falling water temperature west of South America, and rising viscosity, surface tension, and density, especially viscosity, which rises 29% between 20C and 10C. (Assuming Newtonian behavior.)
*** Ich bin ein Slosher.
**** Here there be plankton.

Antero Ollila
November 15, 2020 9:26 pm

Two El Ninos exceeding the ONI index value of 2.0 (very strong), namely 1998-99 and 2015-16, have been commonly called super El Ninos. I have found that in both cases the SW radiation value anomaly (based on the CERES data) was responsible for just a little bit more than 50 % of the temperature increase. According to my literature survey, this phenomenon was not identified before. I could not find out if there is a certain mechanism behind this coincidence. Probably not, because during the strong El Nino 2010 the SW anomaly was negative, and this might be the reason that it never developed into the super El Nino.

I submitted my research article to seven well-known magazines, and it was not accepted to be published. In one case a reviewer claimed that my observation was a well-known phenomenon in climate science, and he/she gave a reference to a publication. I carefully read this reference article but there was not a word about this issue.

The real reason for rejections was a special feature in my article, which was not commented on at all, strange enough. I know from experience that it is impossible to get accepted in the major climate journals that there is no positive water feedback. I had used the climate sensitivity parameter value of 0.27 K/(W/m2) instead of 0.5 K/(W/m2) which is the IPCC value. If you do that, your paper is busted.

My model-calculated temperature values follow very nicely the observed temperature values. And by the way, these simulations show that the SW anomaly is the reason for the high-temperature readings after the El Nino 2015-16. The reason is not anthropogenic.

More details and the reference to the original research paper:
https://www.climatexam.com/single-post/greenhouse-gases-did-not-cause-the-end-of-the-pause

Hari Seldon
November 15, 2020 9:32 pm

It is very interesting to see a one-year forecast from PIK, because their main climate guru (Mr. Rahmstorf) has stated publicly (in ZDF (German state TV), that climate models don’t work even on a 10-15-20 years time horizont:
“Aber diese Klimamodelle sind nicht in der Lage, auf 10, oder 15 oder 20 Jahre Prognosen über den Klimaverlauf zu machen. Das ist in der Wissenschaft allgemein anerkannt”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfojG2lGAtA. Nevertheless Mr. Rahmstorf provides in the meantime forecasts for 280(!!!) years (for 2300). And such persons position themselves as “scientists”. PIK has made in this case a strategic error, because a one-year forecast could be checked/validated very easily after one year (like the famous 5-years forecast of Al Gore in 2008 regarding the disappearance of the Arctic ice). Mr. Rahmstorf strategy with the forecast on a 280 years basis would be much better, because who of us will be alive in 2300 to validate his forecast?

John Endicott
Reply to  Hari Seldon
November 16, 2020 9:54 am

It is very interesting to see a one-year forecast from PIK, because their main climate guru (Mr. Rahmstorf) has stated publicly (in ZDF (German state TV), that climate models don’t work even on a 10-15-20 years time horizont

Mr. Rahmstorf could have stopped at “don’t work”.

Andy Espersen
November 15, 2020 9:35 pm

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Andy Espersen
November 15, 2020 9:57 pm

Or in cruder terms:
Nature is the wench you can’t bargain with despite how many letters you have after name.

Sceptical lefty
November 15, 2020 10:00 pm

Plenty of climate scientists, including Mr Schellnhuber himself, have got the formula right. All you have to is issue dire prognostications, heavily larded with weasel-words e.g. might, could, probably, likely, etc.
Also, it’s important to keep the date of the impending disaster near enough to be scary, but remote enough to avoid imperilling one’s credibility or career.
This was a mistake not to be repeated and a useful lesson for anyone else considering making definite predictions.

tygrus
November 15, 2020 10:20 pm

In Australia, when we have many months of bushfires (aka forest fires / wild fires), you know that the weather is more likely to soon turn wetter & cooler. You see a seasonal low in the ice coverage in Antarctica and you see it rebound to a seasonal high soon after. There is a fallacy that the climate has an equilibrium, but it can never find it. All weather & therefore climates are driven by unbalance driving the movement of wind, temperature, tides & moisture. Pressure affects temperature, temperature affects pressure. The inputs are constantly changing & outputs that feed into the next. The cycles of sun, earth’s tilt, earth’s wobbles, moon cycles, planet cycles all impact our climate far more than what humans could achieve. Negative feedbacks abound but it will typically overshoot or the situation changes. The tipping points for el nino la nina & other indicators has been impossible to predict, unable to create long range forecasts (They start talking about them about 3 to 6 months after events & the data were collected).

The past is still a poor predictor of the future when limited to our technology & understanding. The computing capacity to properly model the earth’s climate would require cm scale grid analysis requiring more computing power than the top500 super computers to run 24hrs to properly model a single day on earth. We pretend to be god’s to understand all the mysteries and know the future. We should submit to a higher authority and accept our human limitations.

tygrus
Reply to  tygrus
November 15, 2020 10:29 pm

The Ludescher et. al. article said “We like to note that our algorithm only can warn of the El Ni˜no event next year but not forecast its strength and duration” (First submitted 31 Oct 2019, Pub Feb 2020)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.14642

Javier
Reply to  tygrus
November 16, 2020 5:30 am

But they also forecast in the article that 2021 should be the warmest year evah! I believe they are also going to get that prediction hugely wrong. Niña years are always colder than their non-Niña preceding and following years.

BC
November 15, 2020 10:33 pm

Well, they can always fall back on the “but there’s more energy in the atmosphere than ever before” position.

Petit_Barde
November 15, 2020 10:45 pm

Didn’t some climate prophet once claimed something like :

“Climate models can’t be wrong, thus there must be a problem with the data.”

?

Javier
November 15, 2020 11:01 pm

They should have asked me. I predicted the 2020 Niña in 2018 based on Leamon & McIntosh research:
“we should expect a La Niña when solar activity increases in late 2020 to 2021.”
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/05/solar-minimum-and-enso-prediction/
And did my own research on the issue confirming the prediction in 2019:
“With some uncertainty due to the irregularity of the 11-yr solar cycle, a La Niña can be projected for phase V, by mid-2020.”
https://judithcurry.com/2019/09/01/enso-predictions-based-on-solar-activity/
Meanwhile the PIK model was predicting the opposite.

Solar effect on climate rules over models.

ren
Reply to  Javier
November 16, 2020 9:26 am

La Niña will continue to develop as the solar wind increases, which is still very weak.
This is shown in the galactic radiation diagram.
comment image
From 20 November La Niña will strengthen again.
https://earth.nullschool.net/#2020/11/21/0000Z/wind/isobaric/700hPa/orthographic=-150.40,1.92,469
http://www.bom.gov.au/archive/oceanography/ocean_anals/IDYOC007/IDYOC007.202011.gif
comment image

ren
Reply to  Javier
November 16, 2020 9:47 am

The strength of La Niña depends on the magnetic activity of the Sun, which equalizes the level of ozone (diamagnetic) in the lower stratosphere in the polar vortex.
During periods of low solar activity, ozone distribution is consistent with the geomagnetic field at high latitudes.
comment image
comment image
“Diamagnetic materials are repelled by a magnetic field; an applied magnetic field creates an induced magnetic field in them in the opposite direction, causing a repulsive force.”
Accumulation of ozone in certain areas causes blockages in the circulation of jet streams in the stratosphere and troposphere.

ren
Reply to  ren
November 16, 2020 10:26 am

edwardt November 9, 2020 at 8:52 am
I dont think it is pseudorandom, nor cancels to zero. It has a bimodal length between solar min el ninos similar to the sun (~10.4/12.1 yrs). https://app.photobucket.com/u/etregembo/p/2cb3bc3a-9910-4876-93e9-97bdfe23235f

ren
Reply to  ren
November 16, 2020 11:19 am

Sorry.
This graph perfectly illustrates that La Niña is perfectly in sync with the 22-year magnetic cycle of the Sun.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  ren
November 16, 2020 2:07 pm

Interesting, but there are standards for formatting graphs.

Climate believer
November 15, 2020 11:27 pm

From the press release:

Josef Ludescher, who now works at PIK, emphasizes: “We also predicted the absence of another ‘El Niño’ in 2019 at the end of last year. Only since July have the official forecasts agreed with our forecast.”

So what does that mean, did they just get lucky?

Even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day sort of thing.

Anders Valland
November 16, 2020 12:20 am

Serves them right for deviating from the climate standard 97% ™

Ed Zuiderwijk
November 16, 2020 1:20 am

Obviously someone had swapped their model with the Covid 19 predictor used by the UK government. It would explain why both were useless. Do I have a testable hypothesis here?

Peter Tari
November 16, 2020 1:22 am

The moral of the story: Never make predictions for the next year. Make predictions for the next century and nobody will disprove you.

John Endicott
Reply to  Peter Tari
November 16, 2020 9:48 am

indeed, by the time somebody could disprove you, your predictions will be long forgotten. and even if they aren’t, you’ll be long dead anyway, so won’t have to “face the music” for getting them wrong.

Eric Vieira
November 16, 2020 1:35 am

Maybe their “solution” to the problem will be to say “we never said that!” The German press will be instructed to remove any related documents. And big tech will be happy to lend a helping hand…

TimTheToolMan
November 16, 2020 2:04 am

“This clever combination of measured data and mathematics gives us unique insights”

LOL. Measured data + “mathematics” = fit. And you can get all sorts of crazy good hindcasting results with fits and you can even fool yourself into thinking you’re not fitting. But you are.

GCMs also do this. And the people behind them think exactly the same things.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
November 16, 2020 5:15 am

If you look at all of the models they all turn into basically linear equations just a few years out from the present, y = mx + b.
The only difference between them is the value of “m”, the slope of the line.The truly sad thing is how badly the models guess at the value of “m”.

All this taxpayer money to generate linear equations.

DaveS
November 16, 2020 4:22 am

All they need to do is employ the cli sci trick of using their numbers upside down, then they’d have a near-perfect prediction.

John Endicott
November 16, 2020 6:58 am

Being Humiliatingly wrong won’t stop them from making ever more “certain” predictions for the next year, and the next and the next. Never has in the past, no reason to expect it will now.

Jeffrey H Kreiley
November 16, 2020 7:06 am

Actually, like Paul Erlich and too many to count, these complete and utter failures are resume enhancements according to Rush.

Aksurveyor
November 16, 2020 7:35 am

They should have gotten with Mosher before they said anything, as an English major he could have helped them wordsmith it to make it look correct?

John Endicott
Reply to  Aksurveyor
November 16, 2020 9:44 am

Given the poor grammatical and spelling quality of the drive-by English Major’s posts (not to mention the shear incoherence of some of them), I highly doubt it.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  John Endicott
November 16, 2020 2:15 pm

They vary in quality. Some are fine. Some are less fine. I’m not sure what could explain this variation. He’s good to have around, however, and there are far worse people to consult. He has an eye for sloppy science.

John Endicott
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 18, 2020 3:07 am

He may once have had an eye for sloppy science. That eye seems to have gone a bit blind since he started collecting a paycheck in support of sloppy science.

TonyG
November 16, 2020 7:53 am

…the prestigious institute is left humiliated.

Is it, though?

Such a thing only happens if they are held to account for their failures. I haven’t seen that happen yet.

ferdberple
November 16, 2020 9:37 am

They should talk to Mann. It looks like they have their dataset upside-down.

Jeff F
Reply to  ferdberple
November 16, 2020 10:09 am

That’s what I thought: change + to – and it looks pretty good.

marty
November 16, 2020 10:45 am

Not only that the picadists claim tax money, the taxes that we consumers have to pay for eco taxes, CO2, taxes, taxes and road tolls are missing from the income of the population. A huge loss for all taxpayers!

Phil Salmon
November 16, 2020 10:48 am

Warmists predict El Niño every year.
Every year!
It’s synonymous with Christmas for them.
As soon as we’re into 2021 it will start again.

Phil Salmon
November 16, 2020 11:03 am

The best index for ENSO is a biological one.
The Peruvian anchovy.
When the fish landings decline sharply, its a sign of impending El Niño.
When the anchovy landings grow strongly, it signifies increased upwelling derived from the Humboldt current, and that La Niña is in the way.

ren
Reply to  Phil Salmon
November 16, 2020 11:35 am

If we look at the Southeast Pacific, we can see huge areas of the aerosol that floats above the cool ocean.
https://en.sat24.com/en/am/world

John Pickens
November 16, 2020 11:26 am

“Our models, when applied to hindcasted numbers, work flawlessly”
My interpretation of their original prediction is accurate, I think.
Hindcasting chaotic systems does not work in any meaningful way.
Another “Tuning” fail.

fred250
Reply to  John Pickens
November 16, 2020 12:07 pm

And if they are “hind-casting” to one of the corrupted data series. eg GISS, et all

They are WRONG anyway. !

ResourceGuy
November 16, 2020 12:22 pm

The new, improved, clever straight edge ruler did not work so well.

Bruce of Newcastle
November 16, 2020 12:34 pm

PIK are the main advisors to Pope Francis on climate.

Maybe the Pope needs a better climate advisor that Prof Schellnhuber. I suggest Anthony Watts.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Bruce of Newcastle
November 17, 2020 9:14 am

+10

Cliff Hilton
November 18, 2020 11:52 am

You see a La Nina, I see an El Nino. Don’t believe facts, just “truth”.

Joe Biden says, ” Believe truth over facts”.

%d bloggers like this: