söndag 28 mars 2010

SMHI (och KVA) stödjer IPCC

SMHI uttalar i Om IPCC och Klimatvetenskapen:
  • FNs klimatpanel, IPCC, har debatterats flitigt under de senaste månaderna. Upphovet har varit enstaka fel – och påstådda sådana – i IPCCs rapport från 2007. Även sättet på vilket panelen har reagerat på händelserna har väckt frågor.
  • Att enstaka fel förekommer hindrar inte att kunskapsläget från den internationella forskningen står sig mycket väl. Befintlig kunskap har i huvudsak bekräftats av forskningen sedan den senaste rapporten, i takt med att nya mätningar tillkommit och modeller och analysmetoder förbättrats.
I likhet med Kungliga VetenskapsAkademien står SMHI oreserverat bakom IPCC, trots alla skandaler. Hur länge till skall detta hålla? Vad blir konsekvensen för svensk klimatpolitik när
SMHI och KVA tvingas revidera sin hållning?

Samtidigt meddelar SvD i Klimatpanelen Mitt i Stormen:
  • FN:s klimatpanel IPCC sammanställer rapporter om tillståndet på jorden som världens ledare lutar sig mot. Men panelen har kritiserats hårt sedan flera fel upptäckts i klimatrapporterna. Hur ska IPCC återskapa förtroendet – för sig själv och forskningen?
  • Phil Jones har löpt gatlopp efter mejlskandalen. Han övervägde självmord efter att ha blivit hotad till livet.
Hotad till livet, av vem/vilka? Att överväga självmord på grund av hot till livet? Klimatdebatten är motsägelsefylld.

onsdag 24 mars 2010

Scepticism at the Science Museum

The Times reports that 
  • the Science Museum is revising the contents of its new climate science gallery to reflect the wave of scepticism that has engulfed the issue in recent months.The decision by the 100-year-old London museum reveals how deeply scientific institutions have been shaken by the public’s reaction to revelations of malpractice by climate scientists.

When will the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences revise its statement on climate science to reflect the wave of scepticism in recent months?

Self Similarity of Temperature Graphs

The Reference Frame suggests that temperature graphs are self-similar e.g. in the sense of
red noise or Brownian motion with temperatures changes of size t^0.5 = squareroot of t,
over time intervals of length t.

In other words, temperature graphs are Hölder continuous with exponent 1/2, or something
of that size like 1/3.

This connects to a basic property of turbulent incompressible flow, namely that velocities are Hölder continuous with exponent 1/3, as we show computationally in Computational Turbulent Incompressible Flow, with support by analysis.

This gives hope that turbulent climate dynamics can be simulated computationally.

tisdag 23 mars 2010

On Tennekes Three Essays on Climate Models

Henk Tennekes states in Three Essays on Climate Models:
  • climate forecasting has to focus on the slow evolution of the circulation in the world ocean and slow changes in land use and natural vegetation...
  • it is not a little bit alarming that the current generation of climate models cannot simulate such fundamental phenomena as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I will not trust any climate model until and unless it can accurately represent the PDO and other slow features of the world ocean circulation. Even then, I would remain skeptical about thepotential predictive skill of such a model many tens of years into the future.
  • If I were still young, I would attempt to build a conceptual climate model based on a deterministic representation of the world ocean and a stochastic representation of synoptic activity in the atmosphere.
  • From my background in turbulence I look forward with grim anticipation to the day that climate models will run with a horizontal resolution of less than a kilometer. The horrible predictability problems of turbulent flows then will descend on climate science with a vengeance.
Tennekes scepticism as to the predictive capability of current climate models seems to be well founded, but his prediction of the "horrible predictability problems of  turbulent flow", may well be too pessimistic 

Our experience of computing turbulent flow indicates that a global adaptive grid of say 1000 x 1000 x 100 = 100 million mesh points  could capture long-time turbulent motion of a coupled ocean-atmosphere system modeled by the full 3d Navier-Stokes equations, and thus potentially could  offer some prediction capability. At least it seems worthwhile to try, and the core of the computational technology is available in FEniCS/Unicorn.

Tennekes also discusses the need of giving not only forecasts but also forecasts of forecast skills. This couples to the automatic posteriori error estimation in FEniCS/Unicorn based on computing output sensitivities by solving associated dual linearized problems. 

Scientific Assessment by the Royal Society

On the recommendation of the Royal Society, Lord Oxburgh FRS is to chair a  Scientific Assessment Panel of six scientists to examine the veracity of the science of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

But the Royal Society is already assessing CRU in its stated support of IPCC, and so is to perform a form of self-examination, which is not the essence of science.

Moreover, Lord Oxburgh is chairman of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and the wind energy company Falck Renewables depending on climate change being seen as an urgent problem.

Professor Trevor Davies, UAE pro-vice-chancellor for research, said that the university had been aware of Lord Oxburgh’s business interests but believed that he would lead the panel of six scientists “in an utterly objective way” while making the following excuse:
  • It is unlikely that a group of people who have the necessary experience to assess the science, but have formed no view of their own on global warming, could be found.
In an interview in 2007, Lord Oxburgh said that the threat from global warming was so severe that 
  • it may be that we shall need . . . regulations which impose very severe penalties on people who emit more than specified amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Evidently, Lord Oxburgh has  invested in global warming and so his independence will be questioned...See Another Tainted Inquiry. 

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is also supporting IPCC but does not seem to see a need for any reassessment...

söndag 21 mars 2010

What Is So Funny, about Einstein, and Science?

My Knol Science and Scientists in Cartoons has now received 50.000 views. My idea is to
illustrate truths about science and scientists by studying how science and scientists are
depicted in cartoons. It is based on a "theory" that says that what makes a cartoon funny is that it tells a truth, which is so non-conventional that without a joke it would only be bad taste to say it.

A key example concerns Einstein, who in cartoons generally is described as stupid, unhappy and lonely, which is supposed to be funny, in particular by the cartoonists making the cartoons.

Is this then the truth about Einstein? What is the opinion of the cartoonist? Stupid or clever? I have recently been in contact with one cartoonist who did not like the theory of the Knol, (and also claimed that I violated copy-right by presenting a cartoon of his in support of the theory).

The cartoonist was upset because I had misinterpreted his cartoon as indicating that Einstein
was stupid, when in fact the idea of the cartoon was the opposite. So the cartoonist made a cartoon which was ambigious as concerns stupidity-cleverness, which was what made it funny,
but it was based on a belief of the cartoonist that Einstein was very clever, not stupid. When I
interpreted the cartoon as indicating that Einstein was stupid, then the cartoonist got upset.
Funny, isn't it?

Is this then a counter-example to the theory that says that a carton tells a truth, in this case that Einstein was stupid?

Not necessarily, because the theory also says that the cartoonist acts as a sensor to subtle vibrations floating around, a sensor to true vibrations. The theory thus says that a cartoon tells a truth, irrespective if the cartoonist is convinced about the truth or not.

Is this a correct theory? Was Einstein stupid, unhappy and lonely, or the opposite?

This is an important question in the aftermath of climategate: Is science a joke? What science?Are scientists stupid? Which scientists? If Einstein in fact was stupid, who can we believe in?

The answers do not seem to be so clear...

torsdag 11 mars 2010

The Royal Society on Sceptics and IPCC

On BBC4 the Royal Society's Lord Rees defended climate change research:
  • uncontroversial evidence (of AGW) is enough to motivate some concern...
  • press coverage of concerns over the reliability and credibility of climate change evidence should not be seen "out of proportion"  and with "exaggerated view on controverises"...
  • there may have been one or two cases where (IPCC) people have overstated things...
  • I don't want to comment on Climatgate...
  • sceptics should join the scientists...
  • uncertainties are being narrowed down...
  • we know enough to justify the coarse reaction of the kind our Government is taking...
  • the basic climate modeling of IPCC AR4 has not been criticized at all...
Amazing, I must say. Lord Rees also speaks for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences,
which like the Royal Society (still) supports IPCC and keeps it from collapse... 

The Royals are supported by the Nature Editorial Climate of Fear:
  • The integrity of climate research has taken a very public battering in recent months. Scientists must now emphasize the science, while acknowledging that they are in a street fight.
  • Climate scientists are on the defensive, knocked off balance by a re-energized community of global-warming deniers who, by dominating the media agenda, are sowing doubts about the fundamental science. 
  • Most researchers find themselves completely out of their league in this kind of battle because it's only superficially about the science. 
  • The real goal is to stoke the angry fires of talk radio, cable news, the blogosphere and the like, all of which feed off of contrarian story lines and seldom make the time to assess facts and weigh evidence. 
  • Civility, honesty, fact and perspective are irrelevant.
Amazing, I must say. Is this how British Lords handle scientific inquiry?  Compare with Richard Lindzen and Hadi Dowlatabadi on NASA alarmism, climate modeling, global mean temperature, satellite data,...Do Lindzen and Dowlatabadi fit the description, honestly?

Compare also with Climategate: the IPCC's whitewash 'review' is the AGW camp's biggest mistake yet and remember that the Royals belong to the AGW camp.

And listen to the this debate with State Rep. Mike Noel, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, showing in particular the crucial role of the Royals as scientific guarantees of IPCC. 

The Royal Society stated on Dec 16 2009 in Preventing Dangerous Climate Change: 
  • The trend in global average temperature within the last decade has been small but this is very likely to be largely due to natural variability masking the long term trend. Such a masking effect has occurred in the past.
Global warming is claimed to continue, but is "masked" by "natural variability" which makes it impossible to observe. Isn't this like the tortoises by some claimed to carry the Earth, which
cannot be observed because they are invisible?  One can as well claim that the Earth is cooling,
which is not observable because it is "masked by natural variability". How stupid are the people addressed by the Royals supposed to be?

As a sidestep: Get inspiration from  a glorious story of an emeriti.

onsdag 10 mars 2010

Law vs Science in Climategate 2

In a previous post I questioned if it is meaningful to separate legality from scientific truth in Climategate. This question comes up again as the UN announces an independent review of errors made by its climate change advisory body in an attempt to restore its credibility:
  • The review will be overseen by the InterAcademy Council, whose members are drawn from the world’s leading national science academies, including Britain’s Royal Society, the United States National Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • The review will be led by Robbert Dijkgraaf, co-chairman of the Interacademy Council and president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • He has been asked to investigate the internal processes of the IPCC and will not consider the overarching question of whether it was right to claim that human activities were very likely to be causing global warming.
What is the purpose of avoiding the overarching scientific question, and instead focus on administrative processes?  To recover scientific credibility?

If the processes are correct but the science incorrect, or if the processes are incorrect
but the science correct, then the investigation is meaningless.  A meaningful investigation  must address the science.

The fact that the Royal Society will oversee the investigation does not add to the credibility,
because the Royal Society fully supports IPCC even after Climategate. The outcome of the investigation is therefore fully predictable.

  • Even Al Gore, in an appearance this week on the Norwegian talk show Skavlan, to promote his recent book, Our Choice, has admitted: “I have thus far failed, and our world has thus far failed to respond adequately to this crisis". 

tisdag 9 mars 2010

FNs Klimatpanel och KVA

Nils Lundgren och Marian Radetzki skriver idag på Newsmill: Lägg Ner FNs Klimatpanel!

Naturligtvis bör så ske. Men så länge Kungliga VetenskapsAkademien KVA stödjer Klimatpanelen i sina uttalanden, så kommer den att finnas kvar, och utgöra rättesnöre för klimatpolitiken.

Den dag KVA drar undan sitt stöd kommer panelen att upphöra, och svensk klimatpolitik att ändras. När kommer reviderat uttalande om klimatet från KVA?

måndag 8 mars 2010

Svensk Klimatpolitik av Fel Anledning?

Maria Wetterstrand, Årets Kvinna i Expressen, svarar på frågan "Men vore det inte underbart om klimatskeptikerna hade rätt?":
  • Det vore väl jättebra men så är det inte, tror jag, och det vore otroligt dumt att driva politik utifrån tron att klimatförändringarna inte finns. Men om det nu skulle vara så, mot förmodan, att den stora majoriteten av forskarna har fel, och vi råkar skapa ett hållbart samhälle av fel anledningar, så ser inte jag det som det största problemet på den här planeten.
Kanske kan man resonera så i politik, även om det är tveksamt om ändamålen alltid helgar medlen, men inte i vetenskap: Där är "fel anledningar" fel. Men inom både politik och vetenskap
är trovärdighet helt avgörande: Om det upptäcks att "fel anledningar" uttnyttjas, så skadas trovärdigheten... Compare In Denial: The Meltdown of the Climate Campaign.

Och vad säger Maria Wetterstrand om Vaclav Klaus eller IPCC Science Designed for Propaganda? Att propagera för ett "hållbart samhälle" av "fel anledningar", är kanske just propaganda.

söndag 7 mars 2010

Americas Cup 2010: BMW Oracle Wing-Sail

The 33rd 2010 Americas Cup was won 2-0 by  the challenger BMW ORACLE trimaran powered by main rigid wing-sail, which showed to be far superior to the soft sail catamaran ALINGHI.

VPLP who designed BMW ORACLE reports that:
  • The primary advantage of the wing over a soft sail is that it is easier to control and does not distort. This makes it easier for the trimmers on board to maintain an optimum aerofoil shape in a wide range of conditions.
  • The wing-sail trimaran sails upwind and downwind at apparent wind angles of 20 - 30 degrees (monohulls typically sail at 30 - 40) 
  • The trimaran can sail up to 3 times the wind speed. 
This fits with the computational results presented in The Mathematical Secret of Flight and  Why It Is Possible to Fly and Why It Is Possible to Sail: With an apparent angle of 30 degrees and a speed of 2 times the wind speed, the effective angle of attack is about 10 degrees, which is an efficient regime for a wing but not for a soft sail. At a wind of 5m/s the BMW ORACLE could beat upwind at 10 m/s about 20 knots.  See the 68 m wing-sail!  See the performance. Extreme engineering!

a high narrow wing-sail, just as seen. Compare with Omer Wing-Sail.

fredag 5 mars 2010

Met Office Scraps Seasonal Forecasts

Bishop Hill reports that the Met Office reports that seasonal forecasts have been scrapped:
  • The Met Office is to abandon its long-term and seasonal forecasting after criticism for failing to predict extreme weather.
Bishop Hill then asks the natural question how it is possible for the Met Office to make long-time
predictions of the climate, if seasonal predictions are impossible. I have discussed this question in previous posts on Short-Time vs Long-Time Accuracy, with the conclusion that only in very special cases is it possible that long-time accuracy is possible without short-time accurcay.

The Met Office maybe should scrap also its long-time climate forecasts, and stick to its main mission of daily forcasts.

But the Met Office counters the scrapped seasonal forecasts by sending out renewed long-time AGW alarm: Climate Change Human Link Even "Stronger".

What does the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences say? No collapse of any AGW science in sight?

torsdag 4 mars 2010

En Svensk Tiger om KlimatFusk

Stefan Fölster skriver i Corren om Fusket som Media Tiger Om:
  • Det tycks vara näst intill outhärdligt för många svenska media att rapportera om att åtskilligt av den "klimatforskning" som de tidigare basunerat ut inte byggde på mer än miljöorganisationers spekulationer. Flera veckor efter rapporteringen i andra länder trycks nu små notiser om att Himalayas glaciärer inte smälter, och att chefen för FN:s Klimatpanel sannolikt tvingas avgå.
  • Den egentliga skandalen har ännu knappt berörts. Nämligen att de mest centrala forskarna systematiskt hemlighållit data, och att överdrifterna nu avslöjas på löpande band: Om livsmedelsproduktionen i Afrika, risken för översvämning i Nederländerna, om hotet mot Amazonas regnskogar, om risken för spridning av malaria, eller om temperaturen under vikingatiden.
Det är naturligtvis illa att svenska medier tiger, som om vi bara levde i vår lilla värld av hushållnära tjänster, men vad som är ännu värre är att Kungliga VetenskapsAkademien tiger. KVA borde ju verkligen ogilla vetenskapligt fuskverk, och inte som nu ovillkorligt stödja det IPCC som står för fusket. Eller hur Gunnar Öquist?

tisdag 2 mars 2010

Standard (Mal) Practice of Science

In the UK MPs Science and Technology Commitee Inquiry into Climategate the key scientist Phil Jones claimed that it was "standard practice" to not release data and computer models so other scientists could check and challenge research. See a summary of the British reaction to the  tragi-comics here. Then compare with the stunning NYT message: Peers Say IPCC Conclusions Remain Sound! Peers.

What Jones says may be true: The standard practice of science may not be what it is supposed to be, as expressed by the Institute of Physics in its submission to the inquiry, namely:
  • The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital.
The "standard practice" seems to be that computer codes and data can be kept as secret belongings to scientists, and that the peer-review process is closed to inspection and biased (corrupted)

Much of science is of little interest to society, politics and people, and  it does not matter much exactly what standards are used in the internal fights between different cohorts of scientists. 

But some science is of critical importance, and then the standards matter. Climate science is
an example where highest standards are required, at least if it as now is supposed to determine global politics. 

A good thing with Climategate is that it exposes scientific malpractice, and can lead to a renaissance of the holy principle of (nonclassified) science: data, codes and methods open to scrutiny by anybody. 

We are still waiting for the Royal Swedish Academy to express its support of this principle, in the foot-steps of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Statistics, in a withdrawal of its statement of support of the "standard practice" of IPCC and thereby indirectly of the "standard practice" of Phil Jones. When will it come?

In science, credibility is the most important asset of any scientist or scientific organization. 
To hand out Nobel Prizes requires scientific credibility. 

A recent poll gives the credibility of IPCC a 81% F, the worst grade. What would a poll for the Academy give? When will Swedish MPs inquire Swedish climate scientists? Compare Climategate hits Westminster: MPs spring a surprise:
  • MP Graham Stringer had done his homework, and through patience and dogged persistence, he began to swing the chairman behind him. Mirroring the collapse in public sympathy for climate science since the scandal broke, the stalwarts so vocal at 3pm were silent by the close.
It took 2 hours to go from alarmism to scepticism...

The Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee giving the 2007 Prize to Gore/Pachauri is now 
in trouble as demands of withdrawing the Prize are being made.

Which Committees, Academies and Societies will sink together with Jones/Gore/Pachauri? So far the Royal Society has said nothing indicating any departure from the sinking ship, nor has the Royal Academy...

But the Royal Society was shaking already on January 23: Royal Society capitulates on climate debate in worst week for global warmers since Climategate and thus can be expected to give in and follow the Royal Societies of Chemistry and Statistics and Institute of Physics any moment...and then the Royal Academy will have to follow as well...Eller hur Gunnar Öquist?

Now NYT! reports: 
  • Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious scientific body in the United States, said that there was a danger that the distrust of climate science could mushroom into doubts about scientific inquiry more broadly. He said that scientists must do a better job of policing themselves and trying to be heard over the loudest voices on cable news, talk radio and the Internet.
This also applies to the Royal Academy in particular. Let's hear!  

According to NYT at least Pachauri speaks out in an e-mail message:
  • Scientists must continually earn the public’s trust or we risk descending into a new Dark Age where ideology trumps reason.

PS2 To get some perspective take a look at historic reports on climate change.