Re: [asa] NASA - Climate Simulation Computer Becomes More Powerful

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Sun Aug 30 2009 - 07:30:59 EDT

Rich Blinne wrote:
> Climate Simulation Computer Becomes More Powerful
> 08.24.09
> Remember the day you got a brand-new computer? Applications snapped
> open, processes that once took minutes finished in seconds, and
> graphics and animation flowed as smoothly as TV video. But several
> months and many new applications later, the bloom fell off the rose.
> Your lightning-fast computer no longer was fast. You needed more
> memory and faster processors to handle the gigabytes of new files now
> embedded in your machine.
> Climate scientists can relate.

IMO this is flat wrong. Climate scientists need faster computation, as
the later text says, to perform finer grid simulations or to model more
of the physics. Most users of home pcs do not suddenly add applications
(except possibly something like Photoshop or a video editing package)
that demand a great deal more processor and memory capacity. Typically
machines slow down for other reasons eg for Wintel pcs the registry gets
large and corrupted, the hard disk gets fragmented... Viruses etc and
small applications that users see on the web also tend to slow things
down. The inevitable crashes also seem to leave junk in the registry,
startup directories etc that slows things down. My machine crashed in
late May and I rebuilt but over June July and August it has gotten
noticeably slower. I think you would find that most users machines do
likewise. By the way I have not added any new programs and run both a
firewall and virus protection and obtain the latest patches from
software vendors when I have high speed network access.

Making this kind of error in the introduction creates an initial
unfavorable attitude to read the rest of the article. Having spent most
of my career at large corporations, I realize that such articles are
likely written by hacks and can discount the falsity however, it does
create a poor image.

I would also hope that the climate community is spending a larger amount
of their funding on basic climate science and improving data accuracy
than on modeling and modelers. Glenn's review shows that the accuracy
of ground stations leaves something to be desired and makes one wonder
if the whole effort is as shoddy as the ground station data.

Glenn's analysis can be seen at: If
Glenn's data analysis can be shown to be wrong I would be most
interested. Comments can be added to Glenn's blog entries.

Dave W

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Received on Sun Aug 30 07:32:11 2009

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