torsdag 21 januari 2010

Filling Holes of Climate Models

The Nature article The Real Holes in Climate Science by Quirin Schiermeier, seeks to fill in the holes after Climategate by assuring us that:
  • Like any other field, research on climate change has some fundamental gaps, although not the ones typically claimed by sceptics.
  • A fuller reading of the e-mails from CRU in Norwich, UK, does show a sobering amount of rude behaviour and verbal faux pas, but nothing that challenges the scientific consensus of climate change.
  • But this climate of suspicion we're working in is insane. It's really drowning our ability to soberly communicate gaps in our science when some people cry 'fraud' and 'misconduct' for the slightest reasons. (Gavin Schmidt)
  • The sad truth of climate science is that the most crucial information is the least reliable.
  • Climate scientists think that a main weakness of their models is their limited ability to simulate vertical air movement, such as convection in the tropics that lifts humid air into the atmosphere.
  • IPCC's key statement — that most of the warming since the mid-twentieth century is "very likely" to be due to human-caused increases in greenhouse-gas concentration remains solid because it rests on multiple lines of evidence from different teams examining many aspects of the climate system, says Susan Solomon, the former co-chair of the IPCC team that produced the 2007 physical science report and a climate researcher with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado.
  • The IPCC's team of scientists, Solomon says, would not have said that warming is unequivocal based on a single line of evidence — even if came from Moses himself.
Nature thus seeks to give its readers the impression that Climategate has not happened: IPCC business as usual! Convincing? No.

The interesting information is that the main weakness of current climate simulation models is their limited ability to account for vertical air motion. We have pointed out that this is an unnecessary limitation, which can be removed by solving the full 3d Navier-Stokes equations, instead of some reduced version with vertical averaging, a possibility which we are now exploring, and which will be included in the next generation of climate models...

Maybe such new climate models will be able to offer us some meaningful information...

The Analysis of Climategate by John Costello gives a clear view of a dark moment of science with scientific malpractice. It should be read and contemplated by many, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The Analysis compares science to justice: You cannot prove that you are innocent if accused of something, but a trial concerns the different question if it can be proved that you are guilty. Similarly, in science it is impossible to prove that a synthetic statement about nature is correct, but it may be possible to prove that it is incorrect. Incorrectness is what Climategate is about.

a year...For a summary of 2009, read Monckton's report.

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