Pielke Sr: Amazing Disconnect From The Scientific Process

Does a climate model really have to work to be accurate?

Roger Pielke Sr writes:

Recently, I reviewed a paper which had the following quote”

“A global climate model that does not simulate current climate accurately does not necessarily imply that it cannot produce accurate projections.”

I invite anyone to defend this perspective, and we will present as a guest weblog post. From my perspective, if a global climate model cannot simulate current climate, as well as changes in the climate system, accurately it cannot produce accurate projections of climate in the coming decades.

Papers that fail this test, or do not even make it, which then are still published, is a subversion of the scientific process.

14 thoughts on “Pielke Sr: Amazing Disconnect From The Scientific Process”

  1. “A global climate model that does not simulate current climate accurately does not necessarily imply that it cannot produce accurate projections.”

    Forty or fifty years ago it it would be unfathomable that someone would attempt to publish something like that in a “scientific” communication; this is symptomatic of where we’ve come.

  2. Chuck: [it IS irrefutable, you cannot prove I am wrong, at least for another 99 years anyway]

    Yes, it is currently irrefutable and equally currently unscientific. I suspect that is your point.

    Yet the alarmists are demanding that we restructure the economy of the globe according to their world view into one central, top down, command and control mechanism which will effectively stop the use of industrial quantities of reliable inexpensive energy. All based upon the premise that if the prediction of runaway global warming is true, it will be too late to act 99 years from now. The cost and consequence of the “cure” is not to be considered or even discussed.

    Considering how cold this winter has been, I would welcome a 5 degree increase even in the summer. I might even welcome staying alive to see if you are right or wrong (I would be 174). . However, I would not welcome trying to live without industrial quantities of reliable and inexpensive energy that powers nearly everything I do to stay alive and thrive.

    As a consequence, I think we need a bit more than simple irrefutably to guide us. After all, the statement “there are only 12 unicorns in the total universe” is irrefutable too. It is an equally inadequate guidance for rational action as your 5 degree prediction. All such statements are indifferent from verbal noise and are without actual content.

    How about some reproducible, in full context, uncooked, non cherry picked, EVIDENCE (aka scientific evidence) which, to date, does not exist? All we have are totally cooked, cherry picked data sets and the so called climate simulations . Simulations that produce their results based upon the the pretense that the designers of the simulations couldn’t think of anything other than CO2 causing the preconceived pending warming catastrophe caused by man caused increases of CO2.

    It makes more sense to accept the 17th century notion that witches cook the bad weather we experience. At least only the innocent witches suffered from the administrations of the climate “cure”. In the modern claim of CO2 caused bad weather, all of mankind will suffer from the proposed administration of climate “cure” and there is just as much objective evidence for the proposed cause.

  3. Early in primary school Ilearnt that 2 x 2 = 4.
    If I have a computer spreadsheet that tells me a different answer, does that mean my primary school teacher and the multiplication tables on the back cover of my exercise books were wrong?

  4. and the Magic 8 Ball says… “outlook is cloudy”

    I predict that Chicago will be five degrees warmer on average 100 years from now. Now give me a million dollars so I can document how I got that exact and irrefutable prediction. [it IS irrefutable, you cannot prove I am wrong, at least for another 99 years anyway]

  5. No surprise that now the combined solar forcing and the CO2 forcing are diverging we’re seeing the models drop their bundles. I’ve done a lot of modelling and when you leave out significant variables you have to smooge the remaining ones to fit the training data. Then when you try extrapolating you get into strange places because your statistical parameters are wrong.

    My prediction is when someone bothers to do a GCM with the GCR cloud production included, and add the oceanic cycles, they’ll actually fit the data and the predictions will be ‘way better.

    But unfortunately if they do that they will have proven CO2 is effectively harmless and therefore will defund themselves. Catch 22.

  6. I wish I could say, “unbelievable!” But of course I can’t; these folks have been mentally imprisoned in their ideology for so long that absolutely no reality can penetrate any more.

  7. All these models are software and thus must follow the rules of proper software engineering. To claim the output of a piece of software is correct, it must be validated and verified. If not, then it would be the same as making measurements with an uncalibrated instrument. In both cases the results can’t be trusted and must be thrown out.

    To my knowledge none of the current climate models has been formally validated and verified.

  8. There is nothing new here. These bozos have been saying for years that the accumulation of carbon dioxide will lead inexorably to the warmer climate that their models predict. They claim that the physics is not debatable. The problem that they refuse to recognize is that their models do not include all of the mechanisms that attenuate warming and reject heat to the cosmos. They seem to believe that they have found all of the important mechanisms and refuse to look for more and, even worse, mock and criticize anyone who has the temerity to look into alternative mechanisms, e.g. cosmic ray-induced cloudiness.

  9. Doug,

    Your stopped-clock comparison is apt, but there is another comparison. A perfectly-functional clock, if improperly set originally, will be wrong *forever*.

  10. This attitude results from the cases where a bad model projection just happened to match the actual result and the modeller assumes the model correctly ‘predicted’ the result. This is the “Blind pig finds truffle” scenario. And if you can define the outcome broadly enough, the truffle is all that easier to find. And the grant money flows…..

  11. It only stands to reason, even a stopped clocked is right twice a day. I don’t suppose the author of the study had any idea of when the computer model would be right?

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