Review Of Climate Models Show They Are Unreliable For Forecasting…”So Much Disappointment”

Before getting to the subject of climate models, first two small points worth bringing up:

Eco-Trumpism spreading

Firstly, it appears that Trump’s policies are sending powerful political impulses worldwide. For example ultra-alarmist German climate and energy site klimaretter here bemoans that leading socialist Sigmar Gabriel seems to be turning into an “Eco-Trump”. Gabriel actually had the audacity to remind Germany that economics need have as great as or greater priority than climate change does, something causing a bit of political indigestion at klimaretter.

Fears of German companies moving to USA

Secondly, German business daily Handelsblatt here cites a study that tells us Germany will likely see jobs lost due to Trump’s tax reforms. It is feared that a number of German companies may opt to flock over to USA to take advantage of lower taxes, cheaper energy and less stringent regulation. Germany helping MAGA!

Climate models totally fail in practice: Can atmospheric circulation be simulated at all?

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated / edited by P Gosselin)

A large part of international climate policy is based on prognoses delivered by climate models. Here the key players act as if they are highly robust and thus serve as a good basis for policy decision making. But what hardly ever makes it through the media filter is the rather hectic discussion taking place behind the scenes among climate modelers.

In September 2014 Theodore Shepherd of the University of Reading summarize the entire extent of the problems in an article published in Nature Geoscience. The models simply fail to grasp the atmospheric circulation. And Shepard feels that will remain the case also in the future:

Atmospheric circulation as a source of uncertainty in climate change projections
The evidence for anthropogenic climate change continues to strengthen, and concerns about severe weather events are increasing. As a result, scientific interest is rapidly shifting from detection and attribution of global climate change to prediction of its impacts at the regional scale. However, nearly everything we have any confidence in when it comes to climate change is related to global patterns of surface temperature, which are primarily controlled by thermodynamics. In contrast, we have much less confidence in atmospheric circulation aspects of climate change, which are primarily controlled by dynamics and exert a strong control on regional climate. Model projections of circulation-related fields, including precipitation, show a wide range of possible outcomes, even on centennial timescales. Sources of uncertainty include low-frequency chaotic variability and the sensitivity to model error of the circulation response to climate forcing. As the circulation response to external forcing appears to project strongly onto existing patterns of variability, knowledge of errors in the dynamics of variability may provide some constraints on model projections. Nevertheless, higher scientific confidence in circulation-related aspects of climate change will be difficult to obtain. For effective decision-making, it is necessary to move to a more explicitly probabilistic, risk-based approach.”

Also accounting for solar irradiance is causing a lot of problems, as Zhou et al. 2015 point out:

On the incident solar radiation in CMIP5 models
Annual incident solar radiation at the top of atmosphere should be independent of longitudes. However, in many Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models, we find that the incident radiation exhibited zonal oscillations, with up to 30 W/m2 of spurious variations. This feature can affect the interpretation of regional climate and diurnal variation of CMIP5 results. This oscillation is also found in the Community Earth System Model. We show that this feature is caused by temporal sampling errors in the calculation of the solar zenith angle. The sampling error can cause zonal oscillations of surface clear-sky net shortwave radiation of about 3 W/m2 when an hourly radiation time step is used and 24 W/m2 when a 3 h radiation time step is used.”

Currently the author teams for the planned 6 IPCC climate report are getting together. Are the considerable problems surrounding climate models resolved? No sign of that. On October 11, 2017, Stony Brook University set off the alarms: The models still are not running properly! And the German press prefers to keep silent about this. The Stony Brook press release follows:

Study Reveals Need for Better Modeling of Weather Systems for Climate Prediction
Computer-generated models are essential for or scientists to predict the nature and magnitude of weather systems, including their changes and patterns. Using 19 climate models, a team of researchers led by Professor Minghua Zhang of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, discovered persistent dry and warm biases of simulated climate over the region of the Southern Great Plain in the central U.S. that was caused by poor modeling of atmospheric convective systems – the vertical transport of heat and moisture in the atmosphere. Their findings, to be published in Nature Communications, call for better calculations in global climate models.

The climate models analyzed in the paper “Causes of model dry and warm bias over central U.S. and impact on climate projections,” included a precipitation deficit that is associated with widespread failure of the models in capturing actual strong rainfall events in summer over the region. By correcting for the biases, the authors found that future changes of precipitation over the US Southern Great Plain by the end of the 21st Century would be nearly neutral. This projection is unlike what has been predicted as a drying period by the majority of current climate models. The correction also reduces the projected warming of the region by 20 percent relative to projections of previous climate models.

“Current climate models are limited by available computing powers even when cutting-edge supercomputers are used,” said Professor Zhang. “As a result, some atmospheric circulations systems cannot be resolved by these models, and this clearly impacts the accuracy of climate change predictions as shown in our study.” Professor Zhang and colleagues believe climate models will become more accurate in the coming years with the use of exsascale supercomputing, now in development worldwide.”

Already in 2014 Mauri et al complained of enormous discrepancies between the real and simulated developments for precipitation and temperature in Europe 5000 years ago. Modelling of the past, i.e. the calibration, didn’t work at all. With so much disappointment one has to ask where all the confidence surrounding models being reliable forecasters comes from.

The paper’s abstract follows:

The influence of atmospheric circulation on the mid-Holocene climate of Europe: a data–model comparison
The atmospheric circulation is a key area of uncertainty in climate model simulations of future climate change, especially in mid-latitude regions such as Europe where atmospheric dynamics have a significant role in climate variability. It has been proposed that the mid-Holocene was characterized in Europe by a stronger westerly circulation in winter comparable with a more positive AO/NAO, and a weaker westerly circulation in summer caused by anti-cyclonic blocking near Scandinavia. Model simulations indicate at best only a weakly positive AO/NAO, whilst changes in summer atmospheric circulation have not been widely investigated. Here we use a new pollen-based reconstruction of European mid-Holocene climate to investigate the role of atmospheric circulation in explaining the spatial pattern of seasonal temperature and precipitation anomalies. We find that the footprint of the anomalies is entirely consistent with those from modern analogue atmospheric circulation patterns associated with a strong westerly circulation in winter (positive AO/NAO) and a weak westerly circulation in summer associated with anti-cyclonic blocking (positive SCAND). We find little agreement between the reconstructed anomalies and those from 14 GCMs that performed mid-Holocene experiments as part of the PMIP3/CMIP5 project, which show a much greater sensitivity to top-of-the-atmosphere changes in solar insolation. Our findings are consistent with data–model comparisons on contemporary timescales that indicate that models underestimate the role of atmospheric circulation in recent climate change, whilst also highlighting the importance of atmospheric dynamics in explaining interglacial warming.”


28 responses to “Review Of Climate Models Show They Are Unreliable For Forecasting…”So Much Disappointment””

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    I suspect that if they used an empirically correct value for climate sensitivity, such as 0.5 C/doubling, the climate models would do a lot better for forecasting. Adding in the solar cycle and ~60 year ocean cycle would help too.

    If they had the correct ECS they’d also be able to use empirically correct numbers for aerosol cooling (presently too high) and clouds (presently too low) and solar irradiation (too low).

    That’s the problem: because the modellers religiously believe ECS is high they are forced to distort other variables like aerosol-based cooling to counteract the excessive warming. Otherwise they can’t get a fit to the validation century. Thus when they try to extrapolate, which is what forecasting is, there are several over-amped variables pushing the model results out of whack.

    1. AndyG55

      Another major issues is the model hind-casting.

      They tend to use GISS etc. That means that a fantasy trend is baked into the model calibration.

      The models, even if they actually were based on science instead of agenda driven assumptions, would still end up pointing way too high.

      None of the models come near reproducing the REAL 1940s peak, its been agenda-squashed. Steep rise from 1980 – 1997, where none exists. 100 or so models and every one of them is a load of junk (except perhaps the Russian one which has a low CO2 sensitivity)

      They don’t pick up the El Ninos, which are the only source of warming in the last 40 years.

      The whole of climate modelling is a data corrupted mess.

    2. Newminster

      But if you lower the ECS figure so that the other figures make sense then the whole global warming edifice crashes to the ground.

      And where’s the fun (and the profits and the grants and the subsidies and the tax receipts) in that?

      Have a heart, Bruce!

      1. AndyG55

        And if the use REAL temperature data, with a peak in NH 1940 around the same as now, they might have a better chance with their models…

        … but that would also destroy. the AGW meme.

        Isn’t it fun to see these poor creatures stuck in such a catch 22 situation 🙂

    3. SebastianH

      Serious question to you guys:
      The raw data is available and since you are all hobby scientists here, it should be quite easy to take the raw data and do what you think is the correct adjustment and then use that data to come up with a different model (with lower ECS, etc). What’s stopping you from doing just that?

      1. tom0mason

        Excellent idea Seb,

        Something I’ve been advocating for more than a decade.
        Defund all current modelers(!) and open all code, data — everything to public scrutiny. Turn the models into an Open Software project for everyone! Bug bounties to finding the bugs, awards for best coding, etc… Excellence will then evolve just as it has in the software industry.

        Glad to know you at least see the sense of doing it this way.

        1. SebastianH

          open all code, data — everything to public scrutiny. Turn the models into an Open

          Pretty much everything is available online, free for all to use. The models and adjustments get improved all the time and the code used is open source. What you are asking for is already there, but you don’t seem to agree with the results, so feel free to take the code and adjust it to your liking, produce different models that you like better, but be prepared to be criticized for whatever you’ll come up with 😉

          1. tom0mason

            “Pretty much everything is available online, free for all to use.”
            Except it is controlled by the same paid advocates that it’s always been.

            No the whole thing made Open Source, all decisions on software design made not by unaccountable academics but all interested software and science amateurs and professionals. Software and data NOT adjust to anyone’s liking but used and generated correctly.

            On the whole it would them be cheaper and better product

            It is after all not that important. It’s not reality, it is just a computer model, it can not ever produce anything significant, as we don’t know all the drivers and feedbacks that make climate. 😉

      2. AndyG55

        “quite easy to take the raw data”

        Raw data shows that the AGW farce is a load of junk, built ONLY on data adjustments.

        1940’s temps similar to now in most NH data.

        NH cooling very obvious from 1940-1979

        1979 the coldest in NH/Arctic for 80-100 years

        SH data too sparse to get any meaning from.

        With all the research you do, you MUST KNOW that… right seb.. 😉

        So why the continual DELIBERATE misinformation

        Is it a sickness you have?

        A compulsive LIAR?

        Maybe a pathetic plea for attention ??

        1. SebastianH

          Huh? What is wrong with you AndyG55?

          1. AndyG55

            Nothing wrong with me,

            It is YOU that is a compulsive LIAR , and a simple minded attention seeking little troll.

            Again, note that you are totally unable to face the FACTS. You are an EMPTY zero-science sad-sack.

            Raw data shows that the AGW farce is a load of junk, built ONLY on data adjustments.

            1940’s temps similar to now in most NH data.

            NH cooling very obvious from 1940-1979

            1979 the coldest in NH/Arctic for 80-100 years

            SH data too sparse to get any meaning from.

            Take your blindfold off, seb, and face REALITY

      3. Bruce of Newcastle

        I did that. It works.

        HadCET vs Bruce’s model

        All the information for you to replicate this result is given below the graph.

        In short using pSCL as a proxy for Svensmark and including the roughly 0.3 C sinusoidal swing of the ~60 year cycle you can replicate the temperature record for at least 250 years. I’d extend it back to the Maunder but the solar cycle lengths during that period are uncertain.

        If you leave pCO2 out and goalseek 2XCO2 it comes out at 0.7 C/doubling.

        Took me two days on Excel, without a supercomputer. I’m a R&D scientist with relevant experience in data analysis, models, thermodynamics and the like.

        1. AndyG55

          Bruce, you also need to remember that CET is known to be somewhat tainted by UHI at several sites.

          That means 2XCO2 will be LESS than 0.7ºC.

          I would suggest, that since there is no empirical proof that CO2 causes any warming whatsoever, what you are picking up is purely the UHI signal.

        2. SebastianH

          To me that model looks pretty far off before 1940/50. Have you tried to redo that calculation up to the year 2017? I’d be very interested to see how your model did.

          Thank you.

          1. AndyG55

            You mean include the 2016/17 El Nino?

            Thanks for reinforcing everything I keep saying about El Ninos being the ONLY warming.

            Doing well, seb 🙂

        3. Bruce of Newcastle

          I had updated it to the end of 2012 and 2013, which you can see in that collection of graphics. The fit with HadCET remained very good.

          I’ve not bothered to go much further because of what Andy points out. There was some evidence that both UHIE was creeping in due to the siting of the CET temperature stations, and because Hadley Centre was starting to do stuff with the CET for exactly the reason they’ve been playing games with HadCRUT 4 vs HadCRUT 3.

          However they can’t so easily alter the historical data, that is too well known and would cause a scandal.

          As for the exact empirical value for ECS, so long as it is below 1 C/doubling CO2 is completely harmless. So it doesn’t matter if it is 0.7 or 0.0 C/doubling. All the money spent on CAGW is fraudulent.

      4. Jeremy Poynton

        Not having the modelling software and huge computers.

        Christ on a bloody bicycle.

        1. SebastianH

          You don’t need a lot of computing power for the basic/simple models or the adjustment algorithms.

  2. Mikky

    Stick to re-analysis products if you want to understand why droughts occur, such as this about the link between the AMO and the Sahel, not a model or a CO2 molecule in sight:

  3. John F. Hultquist

    political indigestion
    Great phrase.

    ” German companies may opt to flock over to USA …”

    Well, okay, but no ‘greens’ should be allowed to come with the companies.

  4. Manfred

    It is a simply gorgeous Christmas present to see the World slowly becoming aware of the scourge of ‘settled politics’. Together with scientivism and the morally bankrupt kollectiv of the Fourth Estate, the anti-prosperity, anti-hope ensemble ensure climatism models are the faux-pivots for eco-Marxist UN / UNEP “transformational” agendas. The wheels will come of this teetering edifice as surely as the atmospheric sensitivity recedes inexorably toward unity.

  5. Ray Warkentin

    I’m not a scientist but I’ve never needed the analysis presented in this article or anything of the sort to know that models have no hope of correctly predicting climate. When you have many unknowns, no way to precisely know the interaction between variables and no way of accurately assigning weightings to known mechanisms, then how can you correctly model climate.Impossible on the face of it.If one model out of a thousand were to get it right it would be completely by accident.Ridiculous nonsense!

  6. Bitter&twisted

    And the average of multiple erroneous model results is still erroneous.

  7. Davidcaf

    China announced on Sunday a five-year plan to convert northern Chinese cities to clean heating during the winter through to 2021, state media reported, amid a deepening heating crisis.

    An unprecedented government campaign to switch millions of households and thousands of businesses from coal to natural gas in northern China this winter has backfired.

    Severe natural gas shortages have sent prices soaring nationwide, hitting businesses and residents across China’s industrial heartland.

    The plan was jointly announced by 10 government agencies, including the state planning National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Administration, the online edition of Securities Times quoted the China Energy News as saying.

    The plan covers 2017 through to 2021.

    The government has made “concrete arrangements” regarding geothermal heating, biomass heating, solar heating, gas heating, electric heating, industrial waste heating, and clean coal-fired central heating, the Securities Times said.

    Half of northern China would have converted to clean heating by 2019, reducing bulk coal burning by 74 million tonnes, it said.

    It gave no further details.

    Factories are closing or operating at reduced capacity, businesses are seeing profits shrink as supply chains are disrupted, and residents are struggling to keep warm in sub-zero temperatures without adequate heating at home or in classrooms, according to interviews conducted by Reuters across the region this month.

    The campaign to convert coal to gas is part of long-running government efforts to clean the region’s toxic air after decades of unbridled economic growth.

    On Saturday, PetroChina began diverting nearly 7 million cubic meters of natural gas from the southern province of Guangdong to icy northern China to ease gas shortages, state television said on Sunday.

    Chinese oil and gas major CNOOC had also started supplying some 3 million to 5 million cubic meters of natural gas per day from the South China Sea and its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Zhuhai city to fill the gap in Guangdong, it said.

    (catalog printing printing in China).

    The gas swap was organized by the NDRC.

    Gas shortages also spread to Changsha city, capital of the southern province of Hunan. Households that have bought 1,500 cubic meters or more this year were limited to buying 15 cubic meters per day from Dec. 15 onwards, state television said.

    The gas shortage in Changsha could exceed 60 million cubic meters this winter, it said.

  8. stpaulchuck

    “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” – IPCC TAR WG1, Working Group I: The Scientific Basis
    fraudulant temperature data in the climate assessment –

  9. Review: Climate Models Unreliable For Forecasting | Principia Scientific International

    […] Read more at No Tricks Zone […]

  10. Jim Ring

    IPCC Third Assessment Report
    Chapter 14
    Last paragraph:

    “In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

    This information was not included in the Summary Report for Policymakers given to the press and public.

    If the climate is indeed a coupled non-linear chaotic system (who can doubt the IPCC) then there is no rational or scientific basis to make a definitive statement about a future state of the climate.

    At this point the coupled non-linear chaotic nature of the climate makes scientific observations academically interesting but individually they have no relevance in predicting the future state of the climate. The climate is a system which means the relationships among these observations are what is important not the observations themselves.

    All the public discourse regarding the future state of the climate has been based on the false premise that the current climate models are predicting the future state of the climate when in fact the models are merely projecting these states.

    Predictions are the purview of science. Model projections can only agree with predictions when the models duplicate the real world which the IPCC says is impossible to do.

    To base public policy on an unknowable state of a system defies common sense. However, too much money and political power is at stake for the Central Planners to do otherwise.

    I would argue that the Climate Model True Believers are the ones taking an unscientific approach to the subject.

    In January 1961 President Eisenhower in his Farewell Address identified the situation in which we find ourselves today:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
    It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

    Other relevant publications from Eric Hoffer are: “The True Believer” and “The Temper of Our Times”

    From “The Temper of Our Times”: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

  11. skepticalWarmist

    Regarding the quote:
    “On the incident solar radiation in CMIP5 models
    Annual incident solar radiation at the top of atmosphere should be independent of longitudes. However, in many Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models, we find that the incident radiation exhibited zonal oscillations, with up to 30 W/m2 of spurious variations.”

    It seems to me that incident solar radiation at top of atmo would be a input or constant to the model. As I read it these models are generating a value for incident radiation —
    is that right?

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