Models(3) Predictable Arguments:

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:58 PM GMT on January 28, 2008

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Models(3) Predictable Arguments:

In the comments to the previous blog there was this quote attributed to John Christy in a Wall Street Journal Commentary.

“It is my turn to cringe when I hear overstated-confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next 100 years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system's behavior over the next five days.” (John Christy WSJ Nov 1, 2007)

This statement implies that the ability or the inability to predict weather at five days has a direct relationship to the ability or the inability to predict that the planet will warm because of the increasing burden of greenhouse gases. There is no knowledge-based foundation to support this assertion.

Start: Consider the role of weather in the climate system. Atmospheric motion comes in response to temperature variability. It is straightforward to show that if there is temperature variability (a temperature gradient), then there will be pressure variability (a pressure gradient), and pressure gradients are the initiator of motion in the atmosphere. Because of the tilt of the Earth’s axis, the planet gets more heating in the tropics and less at poles. From the point of view of climate, weather in the atmosphere and motion in the ocean, exists to smooth out this persistently forced equator to pole temperature difference.

From that global climate perspective weather is like turbulence. If you were to place a smoky oil lamp in the corner of a closed room, it would be difficult for you to say exactly where you could smell (detect) smoke at any moment, but with some certainty you could say that the room would get smoky. We can say with absolute certainty that the atmosphere will maintain its role of moving heat from the equator to the pole. We can confidently conclude that if the temperature difference between the equator and the pole changes, there will be an impact on the weather.

Forced Behavior: Consider another example, the surface of a lake or the ocean. There are generally waves on the surface. It is difficult for you to stand on the shore and to predict the behavior of each particular wave and the how those waves will interact with each other. You could, if you identified a specific wave, predict with some skill how that wave would propagate for a while. You could predict, for instance, when it gets to shore. If you set out to predict all of the waves it would drive you crazy. That’s the weather problem, predicting all of those individual waves.

What if the wind increased? You could predict with great certainty that the waves on the surface of the ocean would get larger. You could predict how far the waves would impede on the beach. There are many attributes about the waves that you could predict that would provide useful, actionable information for someone with a house on the beach. Yet, you would still not be able to very accurately describe each of the individual waves.

In the above example the increased wind forces the wave field to a new basic state.

Weather and Climate: The weather problem is largely a problem of predicting waves that are sloshing around trying to smooth out local variations of thermal energy. We can pick out the weather systems with our observations, and make useful predictions. But we have to keep observing and picking out those systems to make useful predictions. The climate problem is one of increased forcing. If we change the atmosphere to hold more energy near the surface of the Earth, it will warm. This climate prediction is independent of the ability to predict the weather.

-----

In the Wall Street Journal commentary Christy speaks of being humbled by the complexity of the climate system, and then states a belief:

“Mother Nature simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, beyond the mastery of mere mortals (such as scientists) and the tools available to us.” (John Christy WSJ Nov 1, 2007)

This is a belief. It is not a belief that I share.

Consider complexity.

Watch the movie Apollo 13 . The complexity of the rocket launch and a successful lunar mission is staggering. Apollo 13 was the one where there was a major failure in the space vehicle. This magnified the complexity. Rocket science is about complexity, but like the weather and climate problem, the physics of rocket are astoundingly simple and well understood. We push around objects in the field of gravity. It would have been easy to look at that accident and say that the complexity is staggering; it can’t be understood; there is no actionable information. That is not what people did.

Rockets though are the product of humans. Consider your body. It is complex. It is difficult to predict with precision what a drug will do to an individual. It is difficult to predict how an individual will respond to a particular environmental exposure. Does this inability to predict the response of a particular individual, mean that warnings about excess heat and dehydration have no value? Does this inability to understand and represent the entire complexity of even a single human, tell us that there is no sense in pursuing medical solutions?

I stand humbled by the complexity of the Earth. That does not mean that I look at the Earth and conclude that its complexity is beyond the ability of people to understand what is happening and what is going to happen.

I am reminded of a friend of mine who did not believe in getting medical procedures. He had a heart attack and survived. He knew, then, that he had heart disease. He knew he could get it treated, but he chose not to get it treated. He knew he would die earlier if he did not get it treated. It was a belief of his, and it was a belief that, in the end, was his alone to make.

There is a profound difference from my friend’s individual decision and when we have knowledge about what is going to happen, and that knowledge is consequential to all. Be clear - it is a belief that the complexity of Mother Nature is beyond mere mortals to understand – John Christy’s personal belief. There is tremendous evidence that we can approach Mother Nature’s complexity, extract information, and provide knowledge about the future. It is responsible to take action on this knowledge because the impact is not individual.


Here are the previous blogs on models.
Uncertainty and Types of Models
Models (1) Assumptions
Models (2) Forgotten Layers



Chapter 16: Fundamentals of Modeling ....


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172. yowzaa
5:42 AM GMT on March 07, 2008
171. latitude25
3:17 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Just my one statement of fact

it's a guess

You guys have tap danced around that fact and tried to color it every way in this world.

Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
170. counters
3:05 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
I wouldn't read into it too much, Latitude. You're not exactly giving us much else to work with.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
169. latitude25
2:54 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
168. SteveBloom 2:32 AM GMT on February 05, 2008 Re our friend lat, IMHO at this point he's pretty much failed the Turing test.


I must have really rattled you guys to be getting all these personal attacks.

That's a pretty good litmus test on the internet, when the personal attacks start that's their last resort and the person making them is feeling threatened.

.
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
168. SteveBloom
2:32 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Re #s 145/7: Today's RC post should be helpful regarding model reliability. IIRC the atmosphere of Venus at least has been modeled, although it's quite different and much simpler (no oceans or water vapor). I suspect Mars isn't much of a challenge since there's not much of an atmosphere. IIRC Titan has also been worked on, and it would be most similar to Earth (but probably still not comparable). Google scholar should find the papers easily, or just ask about it in the RC thread. All in all, modeling paleoclimate is a much better test for the GCMs.

None of these guys write well enough for it to be probable that they're lawyers. Re our friend lat, IMHO at this point he's pretty much failed the Turing test.
167. latitude25
2:16 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Hansen
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
166. counters
2:09 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Before I go though, Latitude, reference post #156. I clearly say "claiming AGW as fact".
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
165. latitude25
2:08 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
nite

it's been fun
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
164. counters
2:08 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Well, I'm gonna go off and study some Synoptic. I guess I'll check back before I hit the sack later tonight.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
163. latitude25
2:06 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
You said "claiming" AGW. Those two words were not important to you before.

"Kind of like how your "logic" and "reasoning" about "guesses" is lost on every one reading your posts."

I was not posting for you to understand.
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
162. counters
2:02 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
"Every bit of that was lost on me."

Kind of like how your "logic" and "reasoning" about "guesses" is lost on every one reading your posts.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
161. counters
2:01 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Show me a peer-reviewed paper where Hansen slings around AGW as fact. (those last two words are important)
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
160. latitude25
1:59 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
"Victim? Hardly. The only thing I feel guilty about is confronting someone on this board with actual logic and the scientific method; sorry to spoil your no-pants party!"

Now see how you totally wasted your time.
Every bit of that was lost on me.
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
159. latitude25
1:58 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
"In the context of scientific debate, it would be rare for a scientist to run around claiming AGW "

We obviously do not live on the same planet - Hansen.
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
158. counters
1:57 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Victim? Hardly. The only thing I feel guilty about is confronting someone on this board with actual logic and the scientific method; sorry to spoil your no-pants party!
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
157. latitude25
1:56 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
oh, I'm so sorry

I didn't mean to make you feel like some victim.

see you on the next blog LOL
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
156. counters
1:56 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Well, duh, the theory hasn't been 'proven!' I'll admit, I've been extremely careless in my previous posts about throwing about the word 'proven,' so I'll clean up my act in the interest of academic honesty.

A Theory can never be proven. A Hypothesis can never be proven. Not even a Law can ever be proven. Data can merely continue to support said theory, hypothesis, or law. In the context of scientific debate, it would be rare for a scientist to run around claiming AGW as fact. If you're talking about politicians, though, then that's a different story. But again, we're talking about science, not politics.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
155. latitude25
1:54 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
nope

I know the theory has not and can not be proven

For scientists to run around claiming as fact
is disingenuous and a lie.
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
154. counters
1:51 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
And yeah, you did.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
153. counters
1:50 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Seriously though, our discussion has deviated from CO2 behavior to very basic tenets of the scientific method. Go back to my post #144, and pretend that we had previously been discussing String Theory or some other contentious modern theory. Do you really disagree with my summary of the possible ways to disprove the theory?
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
152. latitude25
1:49 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Well I didn't

and true to form

you guys did LOL

no surprise there either
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
151. latitude25
1:46 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
I never made it to school, I'm a three legged border collie with advanced typing skills.

Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
150. counters
1:44 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Latitude, you stated "I do not think for one minute that you are that slow" to me before I tongue-in-cheekedly poked fun at your argument to another person. Although neither of these are "personal attacks," if we were to agree they were such, then I do believe you would have cast the first stone.

Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
149. counters
1:43 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Latitude:

How much scientific education have you had? My last post wasn't even specifically about climate change; we're arguing about the scientific method. Are you suggesting that I'm misrepresenting the scientific method?
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
148. latitude25
1:42 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
I was wondering when the all out personal attacks would start.

You guys just can't help yourselves can you?

Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
147. counters
1:40 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Hi atmoexp; thanks for your kind words! I'm just a student of atmospheric science, and so I probably don't have all the information on GCM's, but as far as I'm aware, there has never been a comparative analysis of GCM's being tested on any atmosphere other than Earth's. I highly doubt we have enough information to model another planet's atmospheres, but I'm not an extra-terrestrial climatologist, so I haven't the faintest clue to be honest.

As for the disinformation some of the people spread here, I've been reading it for quite some time now. All this time, I've just rotflmao'd to it, but I decided, what the heck, I'll join in the fun! It's especially ironic when one of these guys starts a post with LOL, because all I have to do is think about their sophistication in matters related to scientific study. We learned the difference between a hypothesis and a guess in what, the first grade? There's no way these guys are lawyers, lawyers would be avoiding the pitfalls that these guys get trapped in, demonstrating their ignorance and lack of education!
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
146. latitude25
1:37 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
"That explanation is versatile enough and robust enough to allow for predictions to be made about future phenomena."

No it is not.
The computer models have had to be changed too many times to reflect the past
when they were wrong before

"or tends to deviate from the predictions. In the first case, the explanation continues to be supported; in the second, it is refuted."

In the second, it's called changing the computer program to make it fit.
That has happened too many times.

"one can demonstrate that the explanation is fundamentally flawed. This is the task that you've taken upon yourself by contesting the explanation. "

I do not think for one minute that you are that slow
That only leaves one explanation
you are trying to spin what I have said

I have said nothing about data being flawed,

I have said that the whole theory is a guess
that the computer models have been programmed on that guesses
and that the computer models have been told what something will or will not do
based on guesses

"We've made assumptions based on our best understanding of many disciplines of science. We're not using numbers from a random number generator. We're even using multiple sets of numbers representing more than one approximation on how certain things work. What more do you want?"

Who cares about the numbers

It's how you get there that's based on guesses

" or you wait for the natural world to provide data refuting its predictions"

That is exactly how we got to this point in the first place.
Taking historical data, and trying to extrapolate from that what was going on.

Taking guesses at what happened to predict the future.

The libraries are full of theories, hypothesis, and guesses that were wrong.

billions of them

.

Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
145. atmoexp
1:35 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Bravo...Counters and Streamtracker you both used logic and evidence to counter your opponents...sadly most of the so called "skeptics" who frequent this site are as ignorant as they are closed minded. Similarly to both of you I have presented evidence and it was ignored. Be prepared for more ad hominem attacks, non sequiturs, and observational selection - these guys are pros - they're most likely lawyers - only concerned with "winning" and not realizing the truth (as far as science can elucidate it) Unfortunatly, they have allowed their zealotry to become precious ego attachments - too bad that they are wrong...such is life...get used to it(though I personally believe that the models are being trusted too much). True skeptics, like Richard Lindzen, bring up important theoretical/physical processes that act as negative feedback mechanisms e.g. cloud formation and their high albedo (reflecting sunlight). This lot of skeptics prefers to reference primarily right wing political blogs!
Crucilandia - we have sparred over the 600,000 year temperature cycle - true these past ossilations were not due to CO2 but Milankovitch cycles Link. I've posted similar information before - please read it this time.
Thanks.
Counters and streamtracker - are you two aware of any links that have information concerning comparative analysis by using General Circulation Models and testing them on two or more planetary atmospheres e.g. Earth and Mars?
I would believe the physical models more if they tested their models against some type of "control". Thanks.
Member Since: April 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 99
144. counters
1:23 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Latitude:

You've been given an explanation for an observed phenomenon. That explanation fits the observed data reasonably well. That explanation is versatile enough and robust enough to allow for predictions to be made about future phenomena.

Really, there are two things that can happen at this point: Data continues to be collected and either tends to follow the predictions made by the explanation or tends to deviate from the predictions. In the first case, the explanation continues to be supported; in the second, it is refuted.

In the meantime while we wait for the data to be gathered, though, one can demonstrate that the explanation is fundamentally flawed. This is the task that you've taken upon yourself by contesting the explanation.

Two things can refute the anthropogenic climate change theory: Either we wait for raw data which refutes its predictions, or someone demonstrates that the theory is fundamentally wrong.

We've made assumptions based on our best understanding of many disciplines of science. We're not using numbers from a random number generator. We're even using multiple sets of numbers representing more than one approximation on how certain things work. What more do you want?

Either you take our explanation, recognize its intrinsic flaws and assumptions, and work on definitively demonstrating how those flaws contaminate the end results, or you wait for the natural world to provide data refuting its predictions.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
143. latitude25
1:09 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
"Strawman. Just because something is disputed doesn't mean prima facia that it's incorrect."

and just because something has a theory or hypothesis doesn't mean prima bacia it's correct

"The burden of proof is now on those who dissent to mathematically demonstrate that the CO2 model is incorrect, or propose an alternate, equally robust theory. That's simply the way science works."

No it is not.

It's just the way you are trying to paint it because you are pigeon holed.

No one can dis-prove something that you can not prove in the first place.

The logical conclusion would have to be that it did not exist.

.

Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
142. latitude25
1:03 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
ROTFL

First you say
"there is a difference between a "guess" and an informed assumption"

Then you say
"There most definitely is a difference between a guess and a hypothesis"

Every time someone makes a guess,
They make an informed guess

it's still a guess

"We've given you our proof. Now the burden is on your shoulders to demonstrate how our assumptions are incorrect."

What proof?
There is no proof.
Only assumptions/guesses

Again, slowly for the reading impaired

You are the ones making demands based on your guesses.

and guesses based on guesses based on guesses

The burden of proof is in your court.


Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
141. counters
12:57 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Crucilandia:

No scientist to date has shown indisputed data that CO2 caused today's or past warmings.

Strawman. Just because something is disputed doesn't mean prima facia that it's incorrect. Many tenets of many theories encounter some dispute in the scientific literature, of which AGW is no exception. However, scientific debate helps further our understanding of the issue at hand. Although it is conceivable that someone could some day demonstrate how CO2 forcings do not account for our observed climate change, the consensus among climate scientists is that it's the current best theory. The burden of proof is now on those who dissent to mathematically demonstrate that the CO2 model is incorrect, or propose an alternate, equally robust theory. That's simply the way science works.


Also, a level of confidence is not an "opinion." If someone hands you a data set and some descriptive statistics about it, as well as predictions on a population based on the sample in the data set, a confidence interval would not be up to "opinion." In science, confidence is a mathematically definitive qauntity demonstrating the accuracy of something. Do you think scientists add error bars or confidence intervals to their data sets just to make them look fancy? They do it to demonstrate that their data is likely not perfect, and to demonstrate the degree to which their data could most likely be wrong.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
140. counters
12:50 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Latitude, you're being dishonest. There most definitely is a difference between a guess and a hypothesis; if you deny this basic tenet of the scientific method, then why do you even bother discussing a scientific topic in the first place? When in Rome, do as the Romans, so if you're going to talk science you might at least adhere by our conventions, even if you disagree with them.

For everyone else, though, here's an illustration of the difference between a guess and a hypothesis. Say for instance you wanted to find the area under the curve y = -x^2 + 4. Generally speaking, we can approach this problem four ways:

First, we can totally "guesstimate" the answer. We can say that the graph of the equation "looks like" a triangle and just ballpark the area to be something like 4 units squared. This is the extreme that Latitude is suggesting - a total guess without any constraints.

Second, we could say "the graph looks sorta like a triangle." Then, we can approximate the area under the curve by assuming its shape is roughly a triangle; it would have a base and height of 4, so the area would be approximately 8 units squared.

Third, we could propose a methodology to rigorously approximate the area under the curve. Let's skip the math and just acknowledge that the best way to do this would be to take a Riemann sum with a large number of intervals; we could then very closely approximate the area to about 10 units squared.

Finally, we could definitively show a relationship that allows us to accurately calculate the area. For those who aren't math inclined, we'd essentially do the Riemann sum, but with an infinite amount of intervals, a.k.a. we'd be taking an integral. We'd then derive the actual area as 10 and 2/3 units squared.

These are all different degrees of guesses. Latitude proposes that we are using the first method. However, any climate scientist will acknowledge that we use the second or third method when we approximate things for the models. While the sum total of the climate and atmosphere is a complex, chaotic system, there are most definitely some aspects of it that are simple, and many other aspects that have analogs or relationships to other things in the physical world. There is no reason to believe that every variable and constraint, particular CO2 behavior, is an "out-of-the-blue" guess. And as a matter of fact, if one had even the most basic education in atmospheric science, one would realize that we have a very good ideal of how many variables behave and many good constraints.


Finally, latitude, the proof is most definitely not on our court anymore. We've given you a model. We've given you the mathematics. We've given you our proof. Now the burden is on your shoulders to demonstrate how our assumptions are incorrect.


Also, I believe we were talking about CO2 behavior - science - rather than politics; if you disagree with the politics behind climate change, then that's dandy. However, don't mix the issues. I disagree with the politics behind supply-side economics, but if I'm going to debate someone on it, then we'll either work only in the sphere of economics or only in the sphere of politics.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
139. latitude25
12:08 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
136. counters 11:20 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
RE:134


Latitude25, there is a difference between a "guess" and an informed assumption.

truthfully, no there is not

a guess is a guess

no matter how you try to spin it

Of course, you could always do the work yourself and prove to the rest of us that CO2's beavior deviates significantly from our expected behavior, and shut down this issue once and for all. Math is power! Show us!!!

I'm not the one saying that you should wear red panties on your head and dance the macarena

because of some guess I have about the world.

You are.

The proof is in your court.

.




Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
138. crucilandia
11:30 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Earth's surface temperature is warming. But the Co2 as the causative agente of change is very unsubstantial.

If you have never seen in the literature, evidence that temperature has varied irrespective of CO2 conc indicates that you have not as a scientist studied the subject properly.

this fact indicates that your level of confidence is based on limited information and biased literature research of your part.

No scientist to date has shown indisputed data that CO2 caused today's or past warmings.


your personal level of confidence is merely your opinion
Member Since: March 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212
137. counters
11:23 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Sebastianjer, you should forward your query to a climate modeler doing active research. They might be able to provide you and the rest of us with interesting answers to your questions. Please shoot off and e-mail and share the reply with the rest of us.
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
136. counters
11:20 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
RE:134

Latitude25, there is a difference between a "guess" and an informed assumption. Allow me to take a moment to walk you through one possible methodology which would allow us to estimate the behavior of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere:

First, let's assume that a CO2 molecule is a perfect black body. Once we attribute this label to the CO2 molecule, we can very precisely describe its expected behavior; it will follow thermodynamic characteristics of Planck's Law, Wien's Law, and the Steffan-Boltzman Law. These are relatively simple principles (really, two are just mathematical derivations of Planck's Law), and if you are unfamiliar with them, Wikipedia should be more than enough to familiarize yourself with then.

Okay, so since we have a hypothetical CO2 molecule and its hypothetical behavior, let's compare its behavior to what is observed with real CO2 molecules. We can calculate the absorptivity of the hypothetical CO2 molecule very easily with the aforementioned laws, and then we can run laboratory tests to determine the absorptivity of actual CO2 gas. If we were to run the experiment many times, we could generalize the behavior of CO2 - compared to the behavior of the hypothetical black body CO2.

From this setup, we've approximated, or at the very least, made a "guess" about some likely behavior of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere. However, it's not a guess as in "what card out of this 52 card deck did I just pull out)." It's a derived estimate based on a solid scientific foundation. It's unlikely that the approximation is perfect - but of course, as you stated, we don't kow what perfect is!

Ultimately, my point is that just because something is an estimate doesn't mean it's intrinsically incorrect. It just translates into the fact that we can run models with several different approximations of physical phenomena and come up with a range of results.


Of course, you could always do the work yourself and prove to the rest of us that CO2's beavior deviates significantly from our expected behavior, and shut down this issue once and for all. Math is power! Show us!!!
Member Since: February 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
135. sebastianjer
11:12 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Steamtracker
When you have time read the paper that I posted in
#114, or you can just comment on the excerpts if you wish. If this in fact is true, which after all it is authored by just plain old unbiased researchers and published in a plain old mainline scientific journal. Anyway if this is true, what does it do to the forecast of all these omnipotent climate models? Does it affect the forecasts one way or another?

BTW what happens if we have a series volcanic eruptions over the next twenty years or so, what does that do? Oh and what if the solar cycles are less intensive over the next hundred years, what does that do, do the climate models have that factored in? Oh BTW did these climate models predict the current La Nina, when is the next one coming, or the next El Nino, does that affect model predictions? Answer to any of these would be appreciated.

JER

Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
134. latitude25
10:50 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
sigh

No one knows what CO2 does or does not do.

No one can model with any certainty what an increase in CO2 will or will not do to temps.


and to make it even worse

Computer climate models are told that guess. Climate models are told what CO2 will and will not do.
All based on guesses.


Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
133. streamtracker
10:38 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Lat,

The evidence that CO2 is a positive forcing agent is based on several lines of independent evidence. It is not a guess! Saying it is a guess, doesn't make it so.

Of all the cornerstones of AGW theory, this is among the strongest.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
132. streamtracker
10:34 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Cruci,

No embarrassment what so ever here.

And level of confidence is a statistical term and has nothing to do with belief.

My confidence in a theory or hypothesis increases as more and more research finds support for it.

There is lots and lots evidence (research) to support the hypothesis that the earth's climate is warming, and the principle forcing agent is C02. So, my level of confidence is quite high.

In contrast, there is little consistent evidence to support the idea that hurricane intensity and number have increased as a result of global warming. It will probably require another half or whole decade until enough research has been done for me to have a high degree of confidence in either outcome.

In contrast my beliefs, for instance my belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster as the creator of all life, is complete and unquestionable even though I have never seen or heard him. And because he uses his noodley appendage to control all the affairs and thoughts of humans, I can not disprove his existence. As soon I come close to gathering any evidence that he exists, his noodley appendage scrambles my thoughts.

In contrast the theory that the earth's climate will continue to warm if CO2 concentrations keep rising is falsifiable. If we have a period of increased Co2 levels and no rise in temps in a period of time greater than that of the background variability (about 15 to 20 years and without any change in negative forcings to counteract effect of CO2). It's back to the drawing board.

All of my scientific ideas are provisional. When and if a convincing body of information comes along to dispute the current paradigm regarding AGW, I will be more then ready to accept the evidence. No such body of evidence currently exists.

I would be embarrassed if in the face of the large body of evidence in support of AGW, I stubbornly refused to accept the evidence simply as a matter of ideology.

I am wondering Cruci, do find it shocking that Ricky rood calls himself a scientist? Our views on AGW are essentially the same.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
131. latitude25
10:02 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
127. streamtracker 7:24 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Lat,

"no one knows what CO2 does and does not do"

Complete utter nonsense. We have a very good understanding of what CO2 does.

No you don't.

You can not prove, model, or challenge any of that

because

it's all a guess

.

Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
130. crucilandia
8:21 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
I am shocked that steamTracker calls himself a scientist. scary.

Your level of confidence is your faith (degree of belief). stop embarrassing yourself.
Member Since: March 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212
129. streamtracker
8:19 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Jer,

So what's the projection of what temps will be when it reaches 500 ppm, just wondering.


Can't report it as one temp. The models provide a range of temps in the predictions.

The IPCC Working Group I Report has a great graph (figure 10.26, pdf download)

If you take a look at the graph you'll see a range of values for increased temp. between about 0.75 C to about 2.25 C. Eyeballing it, it looks like the median value is about 1.5 C.



Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
128. streamtracker
7:44 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Jer,

You are so funny, coming on here to poke holes at old blog entries when nobody is around. When did anyone ever say that co2 levels were not going up? If you want to discuss, then discuss, don't blow smoke, or steam or whatever you do.


There are no rules that say I can only comment on pervious comments if they were posted x hours ago. I have a kid, a full-time and part-time job, so I blog comment when I can steal some time.

What I do is not blow smoke, but actually try and clear it away. Whether I engage in a discussion with the commenter or not is not as important to me as providing some rational and informed balance to the misinformation that is often naively or purposely posted here. I hope the posts and the links I provide will provide other folks reading this blog some reliable information on the subjects that are brought up. My intention is not sway the core group of posters here, I find that even when I do post reliable information it is simply dismissed. But there are plenty of people who come here to get information on climate science and I want to make sure they can get the best info they can.

What I certainly can't do is come here, read some of what is posted, and leave it unchallenged.

If Ricky has a problem with my style, he is welcome to let me know.

Reagarding my comment to you:

So yeah right, it's a hoax that CO2 levels are going up.

To clarify, I would add significantly to the end of the sentence . My point is that it really doesn't matter if you truncate ranges in a graph or not. The rise is significant if you simply report it as percent over time. Your post implies that it is not significant; that it is simply a bit of graphic trickery.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
127. streamtracker
7:24 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
Lat,

"no one knows what CO2 does and does not do"

Complete utter nonsense. We have a very good understanding of what CO2 does.

The CO2 problem in six easy steps.


As a scientist I am trained to be skeptical, I am also trained how to guage my level of confidence in scientific information.

My level of confidence that continued CO2 emmisions, in the absense of increased negative forcings, will increase the average global temperature.

My level of confidence is low that hurricane number and intensity will increase as global temperatures increase.

I could generate such a list for all sorts of things. One thing I don't do is just blindly say we have idea about this or that when in reality we do.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731
126. moonlightcowboy
12:59 PM GMT on February 04, 2008
http://www.heartland.org/NewYork08/newyork08.cfm - The 2008 International Conference on
Climate Change is the first major international conference to focus on issues and questions not answered by advocates of the theory of man-made global warming. Hundreds of scientists, economists, and public policy experts from around the world will gather on March 2 - 4, 2008, at the Marriott New York Marquis Hotel on
Manhattan’s Time Square, to call attention to widespread dissent in the scientific community to the alleged “consensus” that the modern warming is primarily man-made and is a crisis. Actual surveys of climate scientists and recent reviews of the scholarly literature both show the so-called “skeptics” may actually be in the majority of the climate science community. They do not lack scholarly credentials or scientific integrity, but a platform from which they can be heard.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29613
125. sebastianjer
1:03 AM GMT on February 04, 2008
Steamtracker
You are so funny, coming on here to poke holes at old blog entries when nobody is around. When did anyone ever say that co2 levels were not going up? If you want to discuss, then discuss, don't blow smoke, or steam or whatever you do. BBL

JER
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 1030 Comments: 11197
124. latitude25
12:53 AM GMT on February 04, 2008
122. streamtracker 12:46 AM GMT on February 04, 2008
Lat,

"No one knows what's going on right now this minute."

"Yeah your lack in trust of science is no news to me."

ROTFL

And your blind faith in science is no news either.

Science has taught anyone that was paying attention to be skeptical.

Science seems to have a very poor batting average when it gets difficult.

But that still does not change the FACT

that no one knows what CO2 does and does not do.

It can't be modeled, it can't be proven or dis-proven, it can't be nothing

NADA ZIPPO ain't nothing there.
It's all a guess.

.
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
123. latitude25
12:48 AM GMT on February 04, 2008
"However, more recent genetic studies have shown that some clades of Brown Bear are more closely related to polar bears than to other brown bears, meaning that the polar bear is not a true species according to some species concepts.[19] In addition, polar bears can breed with brown bears to produce fertile grizzly–polar bear hybrids,[20][21] indicating that they have only recently diverged and are not yet truly distinct species."

"The earliest preliminary estimates of the global population were around 5,000–10,000 in the early 1970s, but this was revised to 20,000–40,000 in the 1980s.[11] Part of this increase may indicate recovery as a result of conservation measures implemented in the early 1970s, but it is principally a revised estimate based on a growing base of data.[11] Current estimates bound the global population between 20,000-25,000"

"A January 30, 2008 report from the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee states, "The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, up from as low as 5,000-10,000 bears in the 1950s and 1960s"

"The polar bear is the most carnivorous member of the bear family. It feeds mainly on seals, especially ringed seals that poke holes in the ice to breathe,[37] but will eat anything it can kill: birds, eggs, rodents, shellfish, crabs, beluga whales, walrus calves, muskox, reindeer, and other polar bears. Although carnivorous, they have been observed to eat plants, including berries, roots, and kelp, however these do not form a significant part of their diet"
Member Since: August 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3654
122. streamtracker
12:46 AM GMT on February 04, 2008
Lat,

"No one knows what's going on right now this minute."

Yeah your lack in trust of science is no news to me. Personally I think these guys have a good idea what is going on.

The 2007 summation:

The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. 2007 tied 1998, which had leapt a remarkable 0.2°C above the prior record with the help of the "El Niño of the century". The unusual warmth in 2007 is noteworthy because it occurs at a time when solar irradiance is at a minimum and the equatorial Pacific Ocean is in the cool phase of its natural El Niño-La Niña cycle.

Scientists, their just so clueless.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1731

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
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