Originally Posted by AlTekhasski
The article can be found here (Google is your friend):
What did you find as "great" there? These are all well known problems. The article focuses on four aspects.
(1) "Regional climate prediction"
The reporter, Quirin Schiermeier, as usual for general ignoramuses, misrepresents the problem. He skews it into more favorable light, to make an impression that only "regional details" might be missing, and are of secondary importance. In fact, the lack of convergence of GCMs is a fundamental flaw in the entire approach. In exact sciences, it is customary to shrink calculation grid down to a point where all features of solutions converge, become stable. Only then the model is considered as relatively reliable, and numerical experiments may be conducted to explore various dependencies. In climatology, this is not a case. Climatology uses an excuse that since we do not have sufficient computational resources, this is "good enough". No wonder that details of GCMs fail apart as grid getting smaller. But what he forgot to say is that global climate model is a simple average of regional pieces, and if the pieces are wrong, there is no chance that the sum of them is right. To think otherwise is a fallacy that "two wrongs make one right".
This is the same problem as above. For example, in the climateprediction.net experiment (where Lenny Smith is one of principals), it can rain where there are no clouds, and massive arrays of clouds could appear or disappear in a matter of one-two time steps (15 or 30 minutes). Obviously this kind of processes could not possibly represent local energy balances correctly. This is a classic problem of "parameterization" in a system that has continuous spectrum of scales. Obviously, the rain cannot be without clouds, and clouds can block 90% or more of solar radiation at surface, which in turn affects evaporation and supply of humidity for cloud formation. It is a closed loop of an internal self-consistent prognostic variable, and parameterizations just cannot do the job of a closed-loop feedback system.
(3) "Atmospheric aerosols"
Again, same thing, an attempt to parameterize internal prognostic variable that is critically important for process of cloud formation.
(4) "Tree-ring reconstructions"
This is a total joke. It is obvious that previous three parts were a smokescreen for this apologism. BTW, Quirin Schiermeier seems to be a mouthpiece for the ClimateGate scandal, and his name is mentioned in the leaked mail. He was trained by Phil Jones on how to spin climate news down to "right message": " We simply want to do our best to help make sure that the right message is emphasized." [1211462932.txt]
So, nothing is new in this article.
If we dug a little, would we find you to be a raging libertarian? Or some sort of right-wingnut? Because your objections to climate modeling aren't really based in sound physics. You're a smart mathematician, but you desperately need global warming to be wrong so you fabricate objections without making sure they make sense.
1. You seem to think that climate is inherently unstable and that any little perturbation could cause huge shifts. At least that is what I get from the arguments you raise. While in an abstract sense what you say might be true and I can see where that would come from given your background, your political leanings color your intepretation and you lose focus that the planetary climate is the result of very basic physics, transfer of heat from the equator polewards. That heat flux bounds the variability, and a global climate model really is predicting the long-term average of that heat flow, which has to be roughly constant with time. That places a damping, if you will, on the internal oscillations, which you ignore because you don't want to think about it that way, you *know* nonlinear dynamics of complex systems, and by god, to you, if a nonlinear system in theory can wander all over the place on its own and be inherently impossible to model, so must global climate. But that hypothesis of yours is really your emotion talking, not an objective analysis of climate science. That regional climate doesn't work as well as global climate simply reflects that on average, the net heat flux from tropics to poles has to be constant, while the detailed pathways heat follows is highly variable. Of course, you won't even consider that because you need it all to be wrong.
2. Gosh, large arrays of clouds. There are cases where there is broken cloud cover that can stretch for hundreds of kilometers. What is a model to do that parameterizes clouds under those conditions? It can have clouds or not in a cell. Maybe it will flicker them on and off between timesteps to approximate the radiative properties of broken cloud cover? Who knows, but you won't even consider than this "misbehavior" in the model is simply it trying to get the physics correct within the limitations of the parameterizations. As far as rain is concerned, everyone agrees that models do a bad job with precipitation. However, rainfall is not as important to the global energy budget as longwave radiative transfer so maybe it's not as critical that it gets it right all the time. (The reason rainfall isn't as important is the average latent heat flux out of the ocean surface is around 100 W/m^2 and the oceans cover 75% of the planet. In contrast, the longwave surface flux is three times that number, and comes from 100% of the planet. Of course, you won't consider that because to you, the precipitation problem shows the whole theory *has* to be wrong.)
3. Everyone also agrees that aerosols need to be better modeled, but there are so many direct and indirect effects, that the overall net effect is probably not as large as the radiative effects from the RITS.
4. Do you suppose the e-mails between George Will and the CEI would be less damning? An alternative interpretation is that Schiermeier was doing due diligence as an objective journalist and talking to experts to try and understand the problem. Of course, to you, that's spin, but we already know you checked your objectivity at the door to the room containing climate science.
I suspect if I dug deeper on the net I would find others have made these same points to you, which you reject because you are in denial. That could be for political, religious, or good old fashioned stickittodaman syndrome, but it is there nonetheless.
And I only wasted my time on this because of something Dawei told me, so he can take a flying leap for that. :-)