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

From: PvM <>
Date: Tue Oct 23 2007 - 02:22:32 EDT

Remember that climate is not weather. Climate is a statistical
concept. Those arguing that since the weather cannot be accurately
predicted further than 5 days out, that thus climate models are

On 10/22/07, <> wrote:
> 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 <>
> To:;
> 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:
> (Snip)
> 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 black!
> 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. ~ Mike
> @@ 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 in.
> 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 ancestors. [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 ocean.
> 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 Niņo. 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 faith.
> 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.
> [snip]
> [3] Chill out.
> Washington Post ^ | October 14, 2007 | BJORN LOMBORG
> Excerpts:
> "... 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 years.
> 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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> ________________________________
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> ________________________________
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Received on Tue Oct 23 02:23:44 2007

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