Re: [asa] Bacterial Gene May Affect Climate And Weather

From: Bill Hamilton <>
Date: Wed Feb 21 2007 - 22:54:35 EST

Rich is right, Janice. In addition to the points Rich makes below, a good model developer will constantly test his model against real data to find where its predictions deviate from actual data. Once the reasons for the deviation are understood, the model can be improved to reduce discrepancies from actual data. Thus the model does not serve as a backup for the data, but its development cycle is intimately connected with the real data. One question a policymaker can ask to ascertain whether due diligence is being given to model development, is "Has the model's performance improved over time?" The answer for climate models appears to be yes, although obviously improvements can still be made. Bill Hamilton William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D. 248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile) "...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31 ----- Original Message ---- From: Rich Blinne <> To: Cc: Randy Isaac <> Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 6:40:45 PM Subject: Re: [asa] Bacterial Gene May Affect Climate And Weather On 2/18/07, Janice Matchett <> wrote: @ No one is suggesting that we should "give up" attempting to improve the computer models as "back up" to hard scientific DATA. What is being insisted on, though, is that computer model forecasts/predictions not be used by politicians to formulate economic policy. PERIOD. END OF STORY. Before I start one side comment. What scientific data tells you what is going to happen in the future? The alternative to a model is a guess. Models have the advantage over mere guesses of being tested against the data but they are not a back up to it. Tested models also are very good tool to see if we really understand the underlying phenomena. With respect to understanding the relationship between anthropogenic GHG and global temperature, the answer is yes because the models match the data. With respect to understanding how much sea level rise that results from the global temperature rise the answer is no because they don't. We can have all the data in the world but it is useless without a good model. This response truly shows you really don't understand how science works. Note to Randy: do we have a science education outreach? We need to do a better job of communicating science concepts to interested Christian laypeople. Back to my main point. That's an over-reaction to the uncertainty of the models. Evacuations have huge economic consequences. Hurricane weather models (the intensity part, the track part is pretty good) are worse than the climate models. So, should the hurricane forecasters not share their best estimates (which include the uncertainty) in order for politicians to plan for evacuations? What should be done is a better job of communicating the uncertainty to the politicians and the latest AR4 report shows a lot of care to try to do that. When Randy exposed the gross errors Michael Crichton made miscommunicating the climate forecasts it shows that the problem does not lie only with the scientists. Here's an easy clue of how to see whether a forecast is being politically manipulated: the forecast is expressed with one number. All scientific data has an error range and any responsible communicator will express that. The alarmists express the (single) worst case number and the skeptics the (single) best case number. The really irresponsible communicators compare apples and oranges, e.g. Lord Monckton who compared non-comparable numbers to conclude wrong things about sea level. That being said, the abuse of something is not an argument against its proper use. Just because a politician can demogogue the numbers, does not mean the forecasts should not be published for the use by the non-demogogue. Policy makers need more information, not less. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Don't get soaked. Take a quick peak at the forecast with the Yahoo! Search weather shortcut.

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Received on Wed Feb 21 22:55:01 2007

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