23 thoughts on “NASA official says in NYTimes if you question climate models then you must also question Newtonian mechanics”

  1. He’s actually advising discarding Newtonian mechanics!!! Why? Just because the climate models aren’t working??? Unbelievable!!!

  2. Keep in mind that NASA’s early success — through the moon shot — depended in large part on the 120 Nazi scientists the agency was staffed with at its founding, including Werner von Braun, Kurt Debus (first director of Kennedy Space Center) and Arthur Rudolph (father of the Saturn V).

  3. Hmm…and of course, those very same models cannot accurately tell us where storms like Hurricane Sandy are going to make landfall even 10 days in advance, but those same models of Newtonian physics can forecast the climate decades into the future?

  4. Didn’t he defer to the satellite record as the source the for climate models? Haven’t they shown 0 warming?

  5. Piers J. Sellers is acting director of Earth science at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He may be too caught up with administrative duties to follow the science being reported by colleagues in NASA research establishments.

    What he does not seem to have read are studies by NASA’s Norman Loeb and Graeme Stevens and colleagues in other government agencies and contractors. These studies going back five years have been revising the parameters used by modelers to run models based on climate theory. (Loeb et al., 2009).

    Two groups NASA and other scientists have shown that the instrumental error bars are orders of magnitude broader than the statistical error bars that feature in their reports and by extension in the IPCC reports.

    In Stevens et al. (2012) the error bars for the Earth’s net energy imbalance were estimated as 17 Wm-2 while the imbalance estimate in the same year by Loeb et al in a study that included Stevens, was 0.5 Wm-2. The error bars were 34 times greater than the estimate of energy imbalance.

    The alarmism is not founded on the science but on the politics.

    References here:

  6. Using models for construction of bridges works well. The problem with climate models is not the science built into models or the construction of the models. let’s go back to basic dynamics. Given initial conditions and isolated external forces, one can increment the model to project the future to an arbitrary precision. The problem with climate research is the chaotic nature of the equations – tiny deviations in initial conditions blow up to large variances in outcomes. Also, it is impossible to isolate the Earth from changes in sunspot activity, which has just happened and is material in my opinion.

  7. Silly rabbit, weather is not climate! Weather reports have a far better record for accuracy than climate models that hav missed the pause.

  8. This sort of rhetoric reflects badly on NASA. It seems that ever since Charles Bolden Jr was appointed NASA Administrator, standards have been slipping.

  9. Think about it: When was it that you looked at a 7 day forecast and believed that you were looking at natural truth that without a scintilla of doubt would come to pass? Now, think about what the meteoroligists refer to as “spagetti” diagrams: a diagram that shows maybe a 5 day projection of the path of a storm system that’s provided by a dozen or so different computerized models whose doubtless well-paid designers sincerely believe are functionally accurate. Do you reckon that those programmers whose models go “off the scale” were ignoring Newtonian physics when they devised their models? And then there’s the GIGO effect to which all digital devices, even those that employ “fuzzy logic”, are susceptible. Heck, politics is the more predictable venue.
    Note: “Fuzzy logic” should not be confused with “fuzzy thinking” and a brainstorm is not the same as a brain cramp — or a logic lock. It appears that may happen even at NASA.

  10. Piers J. Sellers, the acting director of earth science at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center thinks that Newtonian mechanics and climate models are comparable?

    Newtonian mechanics requires a deterministic system state.

    Nobody who’s remotely competent believes that the climate models could ever be operating on deterministic levels.

    Climate models with a deterministic basis will never be realized. Climate is stochastic. The state of the system is changing continuously.

  11. What do Newtonian mechanics have to do with radiative heat transfer? Unless he is saying the lapse rate rules all then gravity is involved.

  12. There is a difference between Newtonian mechanics and the slipshod implementations using Newtonian mechanics that pass for ‘climate models.’ The implementations also use decidedly non-Newtonian concepts such as ‘climate sensitivity’.
    Imagine fruit juice, liquor and ice into a trash bin and calling it a ‘punchbowl’.

  13. Actually, they do not have a far better record for accuracy unless you constrain yourself to a limited future of 3-10 days. I will stipulate that climate models are accurate out to +3 days; however, not to +10 years

  14. Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    So one would also have to say than that the current weather forecasts that we listen to each morning before going to work must be very very accurate. Since they obviously are not than would would have to say that either the models are wrong or Newtonian mechanics were wrong … personally I’d go for the models!

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