Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Very Important New Paper on models versus reality

There is a very important new paper which has compared climate model results with observations. It is: Anagnostopoulos, G. G., Koutsoyiannis, D., Christofides, A., Efstratiadis, A. & Mamassis, N. (2010) A comparison of local and aggregated climate model outputs with observed data. Hydrol. Sci. J. 55(7), 1094-1110.

The abstract reads
We compare the output of various climate models to temperature and precipitation observations at 55 points around the globe.We also spatially aggregate model output and observations over the contiguous USA using data from 70 stations, and we perform comparison at several temporal scales, including a climatic (30-year) scale. Besides confirming the findings of a previous assessment study that model projections at point scale are poor, results show that the spatially integrated projections are also poor.

The paper is examining the claim presented in the introduction of the paper that
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global circulation models (GCM) are able to "reproduce features of the past climates and climate changes" (Randall et al., 2007, p. 601).

What the authors of the Anagnostopoulos et al. (2010) paper have found is that [highlight added]
It is claimed that GCMs provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at continental scales and above. Examining the local performance of the models at 55 points, we found that local projections do not correlate well with observed measurements. Furthermore, we found that the correlation at a large spatial scale, i.e. the contiguous USA, is worse than at the local scale.

There is discussion of this paper in two accompanying articles. The first paper is a comment on the Anagnostopoulos et al. (2010) paper. It is:

Wilby, R. L. (2010) Evaluating climate model outputs for hydrological applications - Opinion. Hydrol. Sci. J. 55(7), 1090-1093.

Wilby (2010) should be read also in its entirety, One excerpt, for example, reads
“Even if we could build perfect climate models, uncertainty about future economic and demographic pathways, natural forcings by solar and volcanic activity, and a host of non climatic pressures, mean that regional hydrological projections would still be highlyuncertain. In other words, characterizing uncertainty through concerted scientific action may be a tractable proposition, but there appears to be no immediate prospect of reducing uncertainty in the risk information supplied to decision makers.”

The second article is an editorial from the Editor of the journal:

Kundzewicz, Z. W., and E.Z. Stakhiv (2010) Are climate models "ready for prime time" in water resources managementapplications, or is more research needed? Editorial. Hydrol. Sci. J. 55(7), 1085-1089.

In this article, in which they summarize the perspective of the Anagnostopoulos et al. (2010) and Wilby (2010) papers, they include the excerpts from the text [highlight added]
Simply put, the current suite of climate models were not developed to provide the level of accuracy required for adaptation-type analysis. They were designed to provide a broad assessment of the response of the global climate system to greenhouse gas (GHG) forcings, and to serve as the basis for devising a set of GHG emissions policies to slow down the rate of growth of GHGs, and, by this, to mitigate global warming impacts. To expect more from these models is simply unrealistic at this time, as they do not even perform well as weather prediction models.

However, it should be understood that RCMs (regional climate models) operate under a set of boundary conditions set by whatever GCM is being used. Hence, if the GCM does not do an adequate job of reproducing the climate signal of a particular region, the RCM will simply mimic those inaccuracies and biases, and propagate the uncertainties even further, albeit at a regional scale. It is not clear how the coupling of a RCM to a flawed GCM can provide more refined insights, any more than can statistical downscaling.

An editor's obligation is to publish papers that advance the state of science and of understanding that science. Hydrologists and water management professionals (hydrological and hydraulic engineers) have entered the scientific debate in force, because the GCMs are being advocated for purposes they were not designed for, i.e., watershed vulnerability assessments and infrastructure design. They are now examining whether these models are suitable, using their own perfectly legitimate and peer reviewed methods, as well as statistical tools developed over the course of a century of practical applications. They are not climate sceptics, but are sceptical of the claims of some climatologists and hydroclimatologists that these models are well suited for water management applications.

Our response to the question posed in the title of this editorial is that, while they are getting better, climate models are not (up to) ready for "prime time" yet, at least for direct application to water management problems.

These papers are open to discussion until April 2011. The Editor of the Hydrological Sciences Journal, Zbigniew Kundzewicz, is commended for his serving as a facilitator of all perspectives on the issues raised in the Anagnostopoulos et al. (2010) paper. If the Anagnostopoulos et al conclusions are robust, it raises the question on the value of spending so much money on providing regional climate predictions decades into the future (e.g., see the 10/21/10 post entitled “The National Science Foundation Funds Multi-Decadal Climate Predictions Without An Ability To Verify Their Skill” .


Tea Partiers Smarter than Democrats on Climate

The dumbest criticism the Democrats' media sheep make of Tea Party members is that Tea Partiers don't accept the global warming nonsense that most Democrats and their media sheep have fallen for.

Most Tea Party members aren't climate experts, but they are smart enough to recognize a political con when they see one. In business cons, police warn that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. In political cons, if something sounds too bad to be true it probably is too bad to be true.

Like most con artists, the people attempting to continue Enron's global warming scam try to oversell their claims. The global warming scammers are essentially saying that if we don't stop producing the "evil" gas carbon dioxide God will flood the world like he did in the time of Noah.

Supporters of Enron's global warming scam falsely claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) possesses some magical power to increase the temperature of the atmosphere by interacting with low energy infrared radiation (IR).

In the 90's Enron paid scientists and so called environmental groups to claim that an increase in atmospheric CO2 would cause significant temperature changes even though CO2 comprises less than 0.04% of the atmosphere. Enron even wrote the Kyoto Accords for the Clinton administration.

Enron wanted the opportunity to make a fortune by trading what the company called "carbon credits". Enron had previously made a fortune trading sulfur dioxide credits under a program set up to allow northeastern power plants to continue producing the pollution associated with acid rain.

People who are unfamiliar with science don't understand that western science has long been infected with con artists. In the Middle Ages "Alchemists" obtained money from wealthy nobles by claiming to be working on a method of turning a base metal like lead into gold.

Some of the more popular science scams today involve miraculous medical treatments and machines that use little or no energy.

Today's scientists don't trust each other to be truthful. Science journals require "peer review" of articles to discourage writers from publishing phony results that seem to support their theories. Attorneys in court often question whether a scientist witness has been paid to testify a certain way.

Scientists who have trouble getting money for legitimate research may feel they have no choice but to adjust their research and statements to conform to the desires of the businesses or political organizations that offer them money.

Many of the global warming "scientists" who call themselves "climatologists" lack the qualifications for making such claims. The only qualifications most of them have are for predicting short term weather.

Understanding the way climate changes over time requires a background in astrophysics and the operation of earth's complex energy system as well as an understanding of weather patterns.

The Milankovich cycles are the primary factors causing climate. Changes in the earth's tilt on its axis determine how temperatures change from one season to another. Changes in the sun's output affect short term changes in air temperature .

Those familiar with thermodynamics know that physicist R.W. Wood disproved the claim that greenhouses and the atmosphere stayed warm by reflecting IR.

Those who support the claim if global warming don't talk like scientists.

Real scientists don't use terms like "settled science" or "consensus" when talking about their theories. "Consensus" is a political term not a scientific term Scientists don't rely on consensus because the consensus view has been wrong before. In 1895 the consensus among physicists was that atoms were the smallest particles of matter. The consensus was proved wrong when Sir J.J.Thomson reported his discovery of the electron.

Priests suggest their statements represent matters that are "settled". Real scientists qualify their claims and look for additional tests to make to see if they have missed something. Scientists who believe they may have an accurate model of the nucleus of atoms are using the Hadron Collider to determine if they might have missed something.

I learned in high school that when scientists conduct experiments, they should mention conditions that could reduce the accuracy of results. Those who claim global warming ignore the likelihood that the 0.25% change in temperature during the 20th Century might indicates nothing more than the use of different equipment.

Real scientists use mathematically rigorous methods. The people who claim global warming rely on the mathematically meaningless term called "average global temperature".

Priests use terms similar to "denier" and "contrarian" to describe heretics who question their statements. Scientists provide.the results of experiments and observations to refute critics.

Contrary to the statements of President Barack Obama and various energy companies, there is no such thing as clean energy. Large wind generators kill birds and many believe they are visual pollution. The companies that produce solar cells in China are heavy polluters. Using solar energy to heat water to produce electricity requires large amounts of water.

Carbon dioxide is the most essential molecule in the atmosphere. Plants need it to convert solar energy into the bonds that hold complex carbon molecules together. Humans and other animals then use those carbon molecules for food.

Animals than return part of the carbon to the atmosphere as CO2 to be used by plants to complete the carbon cycle. Unfortunately, humans remove large amounts of plant carbon from the cycle by using plant products for items like clothing and paper in which the carbon isn't returned to the atmosphere. Some unused portions of food products are put in landfills instead of the carbon being returned to the atmosphere. We actually need to use fossil fuels to replace the carbon that we remove from the carbon cycle.


The Tangled Web they weave as they practise to deceive children on climate

There are dozens of sites, possibly hundreds, that are pushing out information and grounds for alarm to children and young people in and around our climate. The variability of this climate poses problems, not least from the inevitable 'extreme values' that must occur from time to time in any particular characteristic subject to this variability, such as temperature or rainfall. But these sites are not so much about climate as about 'blame' and political action, often using frightening images or language to engage with their targets and persuade them to hassle their parents, to change their lifestyles, and generally be scared witless about the future.

The complete lack of observational evidence to justify such treatment of the young does not deter them. They have been told by the IPCC that the world is doomed unless we act soon, and they believe it.

The 'evidence', such as it is, is entirely based on the projections of computer models of climate specifically designed to give CO2 a large, indeed driving effect, a role which it steadfastly refuses to adopt in the real atmosphere.

Very commonly, these sites compare the atmosphere to a greenhouse - an all but entirely fatuous analogy, but one which has caught on very widely. One day, pupils will laugh at any teacher who tries to explain why greenhouses get hot through 'trapping infra-red'. But Miss, they will chuckle, greenhouses almost transparent to infrared would get just as hot as ordinary glass ones. And unless 'Miss' has a red button on her desk, she will have some explaining to do.

I have put a partial listing of such sites on this blog. It can be found as a 'Page', and can be reached via the link near the top right corner of the homepage. Dave W has provided further information on some of these sites, and I am most grateful for his help.

If anyone out there would like to help with this, please email me (JSclimatelessonsatgmaildotcom) with the name of the site you plan to check out, so that we may reduce the chances of people working on the same one at the same time.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The impotent rage of a Warmist

Fraudster Ben Santer isn't happy:

"Climate change journalism has gotten worse," says Dr. Ben Santer, researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and one of the world's top scientists studying the attribution of climate change. ...

As if it wasn't enough for the media to treat information vital to our future so lightly, they have also helped to spread unfounded accusations of fraud against climate researchers. Scientists are people just like anyone else, and should not be subject to such harassment. "These attacks on people like Phil Jones," Dr. Santer agrees, "had tremendous personal cost. He was nearly driven to suicide by the hatred that he encountered." ...

Who goes into scientific research expecting death threats? "[Jones] has done more than almost anyone in the world to improve our knowledge of observed changes in the temperature of planet Earth," says Santer. "He was not deserving of this kind of treatment.

"So much attention was devoted to some incautious phrases in these emails, rather than to ask, "What kind of pressure has this guy been labouring under and operating under for years now? What sort of systematic attack by Freedom of Information Act has he been trying to deal with? ...

"These fringe voices now have megaphones," he continues, "and have means of amplifying their voices and trumpeting shoddy, incorrect science. We've seen the rise of the blogs, we've seen the rise of these "independent public auditors" who believe that they have carte blanche to investigate anyone who produces results they don't agree with, and if that individual doesn't comply with their every request, they indulge in this persecution campaign on their blogs and make your life very uncomfortable. I've had direct personal experience with that....

"The sad thing is that many folks don't want to know about the science at all. They just want to have business as usual and really not consider even the possibility that we might be changing the climate of planet Earth, that they might be culpable in that, and that they might need to think about the future".

Flashback: William M. Briggs, Statistician:

"Dear Ben Santer

For example, I read that email in which you threatened to bounce your fists off Pat Michaels's face. I know just how you feel about Pat. Last time I saw him he was wearing red tennis shoes-red!, I swear on my soul-with a suit. It took every drop of self control I had not to pounce on him and rip them off his feet."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

EPA proposes new rules on trucks

Future generations of semi-trucks, school buses and large pickups will need to cut fuel consumption and emissions by 10 to 20 percent under first-ever fuel efficiency rules for trucks announced Monday by the Obama administration.

For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department released proposed fuel economy requirements and reductions in tailpipe emissions for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, beginning with those sold in the 2014 model year and into the 2018 model year.

The proposal, which is expected to be finalized next summer, seeks a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption from big rig combination tractors by 2018. Large tractor-trailers tend to be driven up to 150,000 miles a year, making them prime candidates for improved fuel efficiency.

Heavy duty pickup trucks, such as heavy-duty versions of the Ford F-Series, along with large vans would face separate gasoline and diesel truck standards phased in beginning in the 2014 model year. Vehicles running on gasoline would need to reach a 10 percent cut in fuel consumption and emissions by 2018 while diesel vehicles would need to hit 15 percent reductions by then.

So-called "vocational trucks" such as garbage trucks and transit and school buses would need to achieve a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions by 2018.

The White House has sought stricter fuel economy standards across the nation's fleet as a way to reduce dependence on oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions tied to global warming. The fleet of new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs will need to reach 35.5 mpg by 2016, and the government is developing plans for future vehicle models that could push the standards to a range from 47 mpg to 62 mpg by 2025.

Medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks are much less fuel-efficient than conventional automobiles; the fleet of tractor-trailers typically get about 6 mpg to 7 mpg, while work trucks can achieve 10 to 11 mpg. While only representing 4 percent of the vehicles on the road, they consume about 20 percent of the transportation fuel in the U.S.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said that in addition to the reduction in pollution, "greater fuel economy will shrink fuel costs for small businesses that depend on pickups and heavy duty vehicles, shipping companies and cities and towns with fleets of these vehicles."

The improvements in fuel efficiency will come through a combination of more efficient engines, improved aerodynamics and better tires.

The agencies estimated the new requirements would add $7.7 billion to the costs of heavy-duty trucks but said the efficiency upgrades would save $49 billion over the life of the vehicles. They said the operator of a semi-truck, for example, could pay for the $5,900 in technology improvements in less than a year and save as much as $74,000 over the truck's lifetime.

Truck manufacturers and suppliers have sought national standards that help them plan for the changes. Rich Freeland, president of Cummins Inc.'s engine business, said the regulations would "add real value to our customers, as better fuel economy lowers their operating costs."

Bill Graves, president of the American Trucking Associations, said the proposal was "feasible and can be attained through technologies currently available to motor carriers."

President Barack Obama said in May that he intended to release the standards this year, estimating then that the fuel efficiency of tractor-trailers could be improved by 25 percent using existing technologies.

A National Academy of Sciences report issued this year said the trucks could make broad improvements during the decade through existing technologies. It found that using advanced diesel engines in tractor-trailers could reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent by 2020 while hybrid versions of garbage trucks and buses could see a 35 percent cut in fuel use by 2020.

Environmental groups said they supported the push for greater fuel efficiency but said the plan should be strengthened to boost the long-term benefits.

Dan Becker, director of the safe climate campaign for the Center for Auto Safety, said that while the administration deserves credit for issuing the standards, "the bad news is that the proposal leaves almost half of the pollution savings on the table compared to what the National Academy of Sciences recommended."

The requirements would be voluntary at first but most trucks would need to comply in the 2016 or 2017 model year.

Commercial trailers would not be included in the requirements. Jackson said the agencies may consider regulating the trailers in future rulemaking.


Australia: Labor Party support in country areas dries up as anger over water wastage proposals runs deep: Newspoll

Under Greenie influence, Gillard wants to let dammed water run out to sea rather than give it to farmers for use in irrigation

ANGER about the Gillard government's handling of proposed cuts in water use appears to have helped the Coalition overtake Labor in the latest Newspoll.

The weekend survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian, found the opposition ahead of Labor for the first time since before the August 21 election, by a margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent in two-party-preferred terms.

The increase followed two dead-even results in previous post-election Newspolls. On election day, Labor won 50.1 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote to the Coalition's 49.9 per cent.

Although the poll shows only small movements in the primary vote since the previous survey, which was taken between October 8 and 10, Newspoll chief executive Martin O'Shannessy said last night that Labor had suffered a six-point plunge in primary support outside cities.

He linked the decline to the release of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority's draft recommendation of large cuts in water usage, which have sparked angry protests in rural areas in the past fortnight.

"A deeper analysis of this poll shows a potential backlash against the Murray-Darling plan," Mr O'Shannassy said. "Comparisons between this Newspoll and the one of two weeks ago show a collapse of the Labor vote outside the five main capital cities. " Regional and country voters have punished Labor with a primary vote fall of just over six points to 31 per cent, down from 37 per cent just two weeks ago."

The Newspoll was based on 1150 interviews and the results include a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

It found Labor's primary vote was on 33 per cent - down two percentage points from the October 8-10 survey and five points down from election day. The Coalition was on 43 per cent in primary terms - down from 43.6 per cent on election day - with the Greens on 14 per cent.

An AC Nielsen poll in Fairfax newspapers published yesterday delivered almost identical results, with the Greens on 14 per cent - up two points. The Sydney Morning Herald reported this as an indication that Labor was continuing to lose support to the Greens.

However, the Newspoll - conducted more frequently than the Nielsen survey - has recorded support for the Greens steady at 14 per cent since the September 10-12 survey - up from 11.8 per cent recorded at the election.

Mr O'Shannessy said the fact that Greens support had not changed while Labor's had fallen indicated Labor's real losses were to the Coalition in rural and regional Australia. The Newspoll also identified a four-percentage-point reduction in voter satisfaction with Julia Gillard's performance, to 44 per cent, and a corresponding four-point increase in the dissatisfaction rate.

Voter satisfaction with Tony Abbott climbed two points to 41 per cent, while dissatisfaction with the Opposition Leader fell a point to 46 per cent, with 13 per cent uncommitted.

Ms Gillard remained favoured prime minister by a rate of 53 per cent to 32 per cent, with 15 per cent expressing no preference.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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