Menon et al Publish Latest Crystal Ball Forecast For Indian Monsoons, Claiming It Is A “Robust Indicator”

The Geophysical Research Letters has just published the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research’s crystal ball visions for the monsoons in India, PIK press release here. I’ve highlighted the language to emphasize the speculative nature of the study.

Ups-and-downs of Indian monsoon rainfall likely to increase under warming

Day-to-day rainfall in India might become much more variable due to climate change – potentially putting millions of poor farmers and the country’s agricultural productivity at risk. The Indian monsoon is a complex system which is likely to change under future global warming. While it is in the very nature of weather to vary, the question is how much and whether we can deal with it. Extreme rainfall, for example, bears the risk of flooding, and crop failure. Computer simulations with a comprehensive set of 20 state-of-the-art climate models now consistently show that Indian monsoon daily variability might increase, according to a study just published by scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Ups-and-downs of Indian monsoon rainfall likely to increase under warming

Indian monsoon season: variability of rainfall is likely to increase – on one day it will come in a spell, wich might be followed by a drought. Photo: Thinkstock

‘Increased variability – this rather technical term translates into potentially severe impacts on people who cannot afford additional loss,’ says Anders Levermann, one of the study’s authors and co-chair of PIK’s research domain Sustainable Solutions. ‘The fact that all these different models agree is a clear message that adaptation measures can be built on.'”

Let’s stop right here. Models are pure speculation and only a gambler gambling with someone else’s money would trust them. To get an idea of just how much we ought to trust models, let’s have a look at how global temperature models have been doing so far:

73-models-vs-obs Roy Spencer

Global temperature model performance thus far:

Sorry Anders. I don’t mean to be picking on you today, but the “state-of-the-art climate models” have been crap so far, to put it diplomatically. As one reader commented over at WUWT, “98% (TM) of climate models say that 97% of climate scientists are wrong!

The PIK press release continues:

Even if seasonal mean precipitation would remain unchanged, impacts could be substantial, Levermann points out. “Focusing on the average is not always useful. If rainfall comes in a spell and is followed by a drought, this can be devastating even if the average is normal. This requires the right kind of adaptation measures that account for this variability – such as intelligent insurance schemes, for example.”

‘Limiting global warming is key, adaptation cannot replace but rather complement it’

The strongest change of 13 to 50 percent is found in a scenario in which greenhouse gases continue to be emitted unabated. However, even if global warming would be limited to the internationally acknowledged threshold of 2 degrees Celsius of global warming, this would bear the risk of additional day-to-day variability between 8 and 24 percent above the pre-industrial level, according to the analysis. ‘So limiting global warming is key to reduce day-to-day monsoon variability, adaptation cannot replace but rather complement it,’ says Levermann.”

The above monsoon variability claim is an assumption based WAGs (wild ass guesses) built into models. It’s pure speculation, and has no better quality than the global temperature models presented above.

The researchers focused on the ten models with the most realistic monsoon pattern – a conservative approach, as these ten models yield generally lower rates of change. The other ten models showed higher rates of change. ‘This is not about exact percentages. It is the clear trend that conveys the message,’ says Arathy Menon, lead-author of the study. The scientists used the latest ensemble of climate models, prepared for the 5th assessement report of the International Panel on Climate Change. All of them show increased variability.

‘This is a robust indicator’

Taking into account all 20 models, the spread of results reduces when the scientists looked at the rainfall changes per degree of global warming independent of the exact time path of the warming. The consistent result is that 4 to 12 percent variability change of daily monsoon rainfall in India are to be expected per degree Celsius of warming. ‘This is a robust indicator,’ says Menon.”

The “ensemble of models” used have been completely wrong so far, as Dr. Roy Spencer’s chart above shows. Faulty climate models cannot possibly be used as a basis for a “robust indicator”.

About 80 percent of annual rainfall in India occur during the monsoon season from June through September. Factors that could perturb rainfall regularity include the higher holding capacity of moisture of the warmer air, but also more complex phenomena like cooling in the higher atmosphere which changes current pressure and thereby rainfall patterns.

Article: Menon, A., Levermann, A., Schewe, J. (2013): Enhanced future variability during India’s rainy season. Geophysical Research Letters (online) [DOI: 10.1002/grl.50583]”


15 responses to “Menon et al Publish Latest Crystal Ball Forecast For Indian Monsoons, Claiming It Is A “Robust Indicator””

  1. Ed Caryl

    “4 to 12% variability change per degree C of warming… This is a robust indicator.”
    I can’t figure out what that even means!!! If it means anything. These guys are floundering so badly… They are like panicked victims of quicksand; all their struggles are just sinking them deeper.

    1. Jimbo

      Ed, you don’t understand.

      Here is one paper that says that Indian monsoons are to become drier. 🙁

      Here is the IPCC that says that Indian monsoons are to become wetter. 🙂

      And now we are told that Indian monsoons are to become much more variable. 🙁 🙂

  2. DirkH

    …scanning the text of the press release, looking for “valid[adated”], “verif[ication]” or “hind[cast]” yields no result.

    It is highly likely in my opinion that these models might have potentially been neither validated, verified, or get a hindcast right…

    The probability that Menon, Schewe and Levermann are con artists pretending to be scientists is therefore in my estimation non-zero.

  3. Mindert Eiting

    It is not just gambling. The models are that consistently wrong that we may say that it is 98 percent sure that monsoon variability will not increase. That is quite an achievement by our PIK people.

  4. lemiere jacques

    it is not science, it can’t be proven wrong.

  5. mwhite

    “The All-India area-weighted mean summer monsoon rainfall, based on a homogeneous rainfall data set of 306 raingauges in India, developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, is widely considered as a reliable index of summer monsoon activity over the Indian region. Long time series of this index since 1871 have revealed several interesting aspects of the interannual and decadal-scale variations in the monsoon as well as its regional and global teleconnections.”

    “All-India Summer Monsoon (June-September) Rainfall (AISMR) Anomalies during 1871-2009”

    How much more variable???

    1. Jimbo

      Thanks! So what I see is that the Indian monsoon IS ALREADY VARIABLE (since 1871) and now these climate clowns are telling us we are to get more variable variable monsoons. Yeah riiiiight. What a bunch of grant scoffing parasites.

  6. Jimbo

    This requires the right kind of adaptation measures that account for this variability – such as intelligent insurance schemes, for example.”

    Can you see the SCAM?? “insurance schemes”. As soon as I saw insurance I though Munich RE in bed with Potsdam Institute. Lo and behold I found them frolicking. This whole climate scare is one massive financial fraud perpetrated on the peoples of the world. It all relies on lies, fabrications and scare tactics – to put it mildly. Potsdam should be ashamed of themselves.

    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII)

    The Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) was launched by Munich Re in April 2005 in response to the growing realisation that insurance-related solutions can support the adaptation to climate change advocated in the Framework Convention and Kyoto Protocol. This initiative brings together insurers, experts on climate change and adaptation, NGOs and policy researchers intent on finding solutions to the risks posed by climate change……..
    MCII was founded by representatives of Germanwatch, IIASA, Munich Re, the Munich Re Foundation, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (SLF), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Tyndall Centre, the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the World Bank, and independent experts. The group is open to new members (e.g. representatives of other insurance or reinsurance companies, climate change and adaptation experts, NGOs and policy researchers) seeking solutions to the risks posed by climate change.

    How about better water storage and management for dry periods? The ancient reservoirs had reservoirs for dry periods etc.

    1. Jimbo

      I should have said:

      The ancient EGYPTIANS had reservoirs for dry periods etc.

    2. DirkH

      Schellnhuber is a Bavarian. Maybe he has some links to Munich Re.

    3. DirkH

      And this reminds me of one of those John Brunner tomes; was it Sheep Look Up or Stand On Zanzibar, one of those collage like future scenarios. (As a reminder Brunner was the author of Shockwave Rider, a prescient book if there ever was one. Brunner was also I think a bleeding heart liberal but I digress)

      And in that book he has a sage-like insurance actuary collecting data from all over the globe predicting the catastrophy the world goes into with his supercomputer (population bomb / Limits To Growth style, very Malthusian).

      Maybe Schellnhuber and the Munich Re actuaries replay that scenario, with the Munich Re CEO laughing all the way to the Bank.

    4. Mindert Eiting

      The only way I can make sense of it, is increase of variance of a spatial distribution, implying that we get in India more extremes of wet and drought spots during monsoons from year to year. Large amounts of reliable measurements are needed in order to get a variance estimate with an acceptable standard error, about ten times as much as needed for a mean. Still more measurements are needed for an estimate of variance increase, e.g. a variance trend. Now, all this would follow from models of which we know that 98 percent of them cannot reproduce a trend of temperature means. Would a statistician of Munich RE use the PIK information? Assuming that this company wants to survive, I guess that the PIK results will be send straightforwardly to the department of marketing and advertisement.

  7. Jimbo
  8. John F. Hultquist

    I’m a bit late to this party so briefly:

     “. . . day-to-day monsoon variability . . .”

    “ . . . during the monsoon season from . . .”

    Wait a minute. Is not the term “monsoon” derived from a term meaning season? Being a “season” where does the idea of “day-to-day” come from? These folks are either climatically incompetent or flunked technical writing class. Maybe they took fiction and fantasy classes. Such would explain the fantasy of providing a well ordered monsoon by tinkering with wind mills and electric cars.

    Then there is this “. . . the higher holding capacity of moisture of the warmer air . . .”

    Air is not a sponge and the phrasing suggests the authors do not understand the “. . . more complex phenomena . . .” of the atmosphere.

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