Re: [asa] Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory and Busted Sod

From: <>
Date: Tue Oct 23 2007 - 01:09:53 EDT

 I don't really disagree with Freeman Dyson's comments.  He doesn't actually refute anything but the long-term accuracy of the models.  I understand the difficulty of predicting the weather five days in advance, much less five years or fifty years into the future.  But it's not the climate models that are at the root of the controversy.  It's the temperature and the CO2 levels that are both unequivocally climbing.  Whether it's a problem or not, time will tell.  If it's not, then I'll say you told me so.  If it is, our disagreement will be the least of our worries. 

Ton ami, -Michel



-----Original Message-----
From: Janice Matchett <>
Sent: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 11:01 pm
Subject: Re: [asa] Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory and Busted Sod

At 12:08 AM 10/21/2007, wrote:


I think, Janice, that
you are biased by issues external to the science and more to your
personal/political disposition.  You would do well to try and
examine the world purely on your own recognizance, and pay less attention
to the polarized, dogmatic positions of what passes for the American
political landscape. 

-Mike (But I still love ya.)

@  Now THAT is the funniest thing I've
heard all day!   Talk about the pot calling the kettle

I know you think that anyone who disagrees with your position has
succumbed to the polarization I mention above, but note that I agree with
your position about the idiocy of the corn alternative fuel issue. 
This indicates that I don't follow one side's prepackaged mindset.
I look carefully at the facts for the most part. I think that
you identify me as the "other side" but believe me I'm
not.  Hillary Clinton is just another Corporate apologist in a
kinder gentler packaging.  I am not the other side. I am my
side.  My side may still be disagreeable to you, in many ways, but
I would still prefer that you saw it as me disagreeing with you and
not some collective to which I subscribe.   ~

@@ Here (below) are "the
facts".   They aren't "my" facts. If you
disagree with the scientists below who have provided their interpretation
of the facts, you will be disagreeing with them, not me:

Here's the "interpretation" of the facts by the paramount
living physicist:

"... all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.
Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts
and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by
the computer models.

Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore
not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know
what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics,
and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the
atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the
clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and
forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live

The real   world is muddy
and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand.

It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building
and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what
is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the
climate model experts end up believing their own models."....
Freeman Dyson, (8/8/07)

Randy's source (K. Emmanuel of MIT) admits as
much: "Computer modeling of global
climate is perhaps the most complex endeavor ever undertaken by mankind.
A typical climate model consists of millions of lines of computer
instructions designed to simulate an enormous range of physical
phenomena, including the flow of the atmosphere and oceans,
condensation and precipitation of water inside clouds, the transfer of
solar and terrestrial radiation through the atmosphere, including its
partial absorption and reflection by the surface, by clouds and by the
atmosphere itself, the convective transport of heat, water, and
atmospheric constituents by turbulent convection currents, and vast
numbers of other processes.

There are by now a few dozen such models in the world, but they are
not entirely independent of one another, often sharing common pieces of
computer code and common
[A KEY point]

Although the equations representing the
physical and chemical processes in the climate system are well known,
they cannot be solved exactly.

It is computationally impossible to keep track of every molecule of air
and ocean, and to make the task viable, the two fluids must be divided up
into manageable chunks. The smaller and more numerous these chunks, the
more accurate the result, but with today’s computers the smallest we can
make these chunks in the atmosphere is around 100 miles in the horizontal
and a few hundred yards in the vertical, and a bit smaller in the

The problem here is that many   important  
processes  are much smaller than these scales. 

For example, cumulus clouds in the
atmosphere are critical for transferring heat and water upward and
downward, but they are typically only a few miles across and so
cannot be simulated by the climate models. 

Instead, their effects must be represented in terms of the quantities
like wind and temperature that pertain to the whole computational chunk
in question.

The representation of these important but unresolved processes is
an art form known by the awful term parameterization,
and it involves numbers, or parameters, that must be tuned to get the
parameterizations to work in an optimal way.

Because of the need for such artifices, a typical climate model has
many tunable parameters, and this is one of many reasons that such models
are only approximations to reality.   Changing the values of
the parameters or the way the various processes are parameterized can
change not only the climate simulated by the model, but the sensitivity
of the model’s climate to, say, greenhouse-gas increases. 

 How, then, can we go about tuning the parameters of a climate model
in such a way as to make it a reasonable facsimile of reality? Here
important lessons can be learned from our experience with those close
cousins of climate models, weather-prediction models. These are almost as
complicated and must also parameterize key physical processes, but
because the atmosphere is measured in many places and quite frequently,
we can test the model against reality several times per day and keep
adjusting its parameters (that is, tuning it) until it performs as well
as it can.

But with climate, there are precious few tests.  
 [Nooooooo kidding.]

One obvious hurdle the model must pass is
to be able to replicate the current climate, including key aspects of its
variability, such as weather systems and El Niño. It must also be able to
simulate the seasons in a reasonable way: the summers must not be too hot
or the winters too cold, for example.

Beyond a few simple checks such as these, there are not too many ways to
test the model, and projections of
future climates must necessarily involve a
degree of

The amount of uncertainty in such projections can be
estimated to some extent by comparing forecasts made by many
different models, with their different parameterizations (and, very
likely, different sets of coding errors).
We operate
under the
faith that the
real climate will fall among the projections made with the various
models.."  ~ K. E.

~  Janice (But I still love
ya. :)

You know Janice, that's all that really matters to me.  All
this other stuff will work itself out one way or another.  But you
being mi amiga after it's past is what's important more than
anything.  Because what you and I do one way or the other about
global warming is just a feather on the scales.  But what we are to
each other has a real, perceivable affect, now, in both our lives.

-Mike (tu amigo)

@@  ~ Janice ....a friend to all who
choose not to make me their enemy.


Chill out.

Washington Post ^ | October 14, 2007 | BJORN LOMBORG


"... predictions of impending
disaster just don't stack up.

"...research shows that the cold is a much bigger killer than
the heat. According to the first complete peer-reviewed survey of climate
change's health effects, global warming will actually save lives.
It's estimated that by 2050, global warming will cause almost 400,000
more heat-related deaths each year. But at the same time, 1.8 million
fewer people will die from cold.

"...Global warming will claim lives in another way: by
increasing the number of people at risk of catching malaria by about 3
percent over this century. According to scientific models, implementing
the Kyoto Protocol for the rest of this century would reduce the
malaria risk by just 0.2 percent.

On the other hand, we could spend $3 billion annually -- 2 percent of
the protocol's cost -- on mosquito nets and medication and cut malaria
incidence almost in half within a decade. Malaria death rates are
rising in

sub-Saharan Africa, but this has nothing to do with climate change
and everything to do with poverty: Poor and corrupt governments
find it hard to implement and fund the spraying and the provision of
mosquito nets that would help eradicate the disease. Yet for every
dollar we spend saving one person through policies like the Kyoto
Protocol, we could save 36,000 through direct intervention.

"......Wherever you look, the inescapable conclusion is the same:
Reducing carbon emissions is not the best way to help the world.
.....I'm frustrated at our blinkered focus on policies that won't
achieve it.

In 1992, wealthy nations promised to cut emissions to 1990 levels by
2000. Instead, emissions grew by 12 percent. In 1997, they promised to
cut emissions to about 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2010. Yet levels
will likely be 25 percent higher than hoped for.

"...Even if the policymakers' earlier promises had
been met, they would have done virtually no good, but would have cost us
a small fortune. The climate models show that Kyoto would have postponed
the effects of global warming by seven days by the end of the century.
Even if the United States and

Australia had signed on and everyone stuck to Kyoto for this entire
century, we would postpone the effects of global warming by only five

Proponents of pacts such as Kyoto want us to spend enormous sums of
money doing very little good for the planet a hundred years from now.

The typical cost of cutting a ton of CO2is currently about $20.
Yet, according to a wealth of scientific literature, the damage from a
ton of carbon in the atmosphere is about $2. Spending $20 to do $2 worth
of good is not smart policy. ...

...I formed the Copenhagen Consensus in 2004 so that some of
the world's top economists could come together to ask not only where we
can do good, but at what cost, and to rank the best things for the world
to do first. The top priorities they've come up with are dealing with
infectious diseases, malnutrition, agricultural research and first-world
access to third-world agriculture. For less than a fifth of Kyoto's price
tag, we could tackle all these issues. ....."

Bjorn Lomborg, an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business
School, is the author, most recently, of "Cool It: The
Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming."

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Received on Tue Oct 23 01:10:43 2007

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