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NASA scientists have developed a new model that is among the first to simulate the strength of updrafts in storms. This model was applied to a global warming scenario to give a possible peek at what future weather might look like

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies is a leading research center, located in New York, which studies Earth's past, present and future climates.

The Institute has recently announced a new study which discusses what future storms might look like in a global warming scenario.

NASA's scientists at the Institute developed a new climate model for the study.  The model is among the first to successfully simulate the strength of updrafts in storms.  This allows the model to give a more complete picture of the strength of storms that are occurring around the world, and those that may someday occur.

The model is the first to successfully simulate the observed difference between land and sea storms.  It also is the first model to simulate how the strength of storms may change in a warming environment.

The model is run over regions several hundred miles wide.  It does not directly simulate thunderstorms and lightning, but instead identifies conditions conducive to producing storms of varying strengths.

The model was applied to a future scenario in which the temperature had risen 5 degrees and CO2 levels in the air had doubled.  This simulation found that the land would be warmed more than the sea, and that thunderstorms on land would be produced at higher altitudes than they are today, leading to higher intensity.

The model predicts that some regions will have less humid climates, which would indicate fewer thunderstorms.  However, Anthony Del Genio, Ph.D., lead author illustrates why this scenario may be more dangerous, particularly to western wildfire-prone states:
"These findings may seem to imply that fewer storms in the future will be good news for disastrous western U.S. wildfires, but drier conditions near the ground combined with higher lightning flash rates per storm may end up intensifying wildfire damage instead"
Central and Eastern U.S. are particularly prone to severe thunderstorms.  These storms arise when strong updrafts combine with horizontal winds to produce thunderstorms and deadly tornados.  The study indicates that this most extreme class of storms will become increasingly common, in these areas, with warming.

These increases in storm severity are due to two factors.  First, the land warms more than the sea, respectively.  Second the freezing level, will raise to a higher altitude, where stronger updrafts are present.  These factors are both common to all climate change simulations, but this is the first simulation to explore their effects on storm intensity.

A movie of cloud cover in 2000 generated from data from the GOES-11 satellite, which was used to verify the model, is posted on NASA's website.




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Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/2/2007 12:19:28 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The model was applied to a future scenario in which the temperature had risen 5 degrees and CO2 levels in the air had doubled.

With extreme changes like this, we would certainly expect some major changes in weather. But I don't see how this correlates at all with even the doomsday scenarios predicted by global warming enthusiasts. I mean, I've never even heard the most rabid extremists talk about a 2X increase in CO2 or five-degree warming.

I also wonder why NASA is wasting taxpayer dollars running simulations under conditions that wildly unrealistic, and then publishing press releases with the results. Are they actively trying to add to the global warming fear mongering/FUD? What's the motivation exactly of studying something so hypothetical?

This type of study reminds me of when I last saw Al Gore on CNN spreading this type of FUD.

GORE: You know, even a one-meter increase, even a three-foot increase in sea level would cause tens of millions of climate refugees.

If Greenland were to break up and slip into the sea or West Antarctica, or half of either and half of both, it would be a 20-feet increase, and that would lead to more than 450 million climate refugees.


ref. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0705/22/lkl...

This follows the pattern: if some hypothetical major change happens then humans will be severely impacted. Logically, the hypothetical thing will never happen, so why bring it into the discussion? But if you are spreading FUD, then you would make statements like this, because those who are not carefully following what you are saying will get the mistaken impression that horrible things are going to happen. And the speaker, like Gore in this case, can just say, "well, I didn't say that would happen, just that it could in the right conditions."

Can't imagine the reason people don't trust politicians. Do we need to think of NASA and NOAA the same way? Can we trust NASA or NOAA to give it to us straight without the hype? Based on this study, I think we would be wise to keep our eyes on them.




RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By Murst on 9/2/2007 7:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I also wonder why NASA is wasting taxpayer dollars running simulations under conditions that wildly unrealistic, and then publishing press releases with the results. Are they actively trying to add to the global warming fear mongering/FUD? What's the motivation exactly of studying something so hypothetical?


It is probably much easier to learn from extreme conditions than to attempt to predict the weather w/ a .01 degree change. Hell, we can't even correctly predict a 5 degree change (otherwise an article like this would be useless, as the conclusion would be obvious). You've got to start somewhere, and considering that global warming exists, it makes more sense to make a prediction of a temperature increase than a temperature decrease.

Also, I do like the fact that NASA works on stuff like this. No business would do it because there's no way to profit from it. However, research at NASA is not motivated by profit, at least not nearly on the scale of, say, IBM. The same can be said of SETI or the project that attempts to monitor large objects approaching earth. Are they also a waste of our money? Isn't finding ET life, especially something intelligent, even more unrealistic than a 5 degree warming of the earth?

The beautiful thing about NASA research is the by-products. There's been many great advances in the last 50 years that came about because of NASA - things that came about that had nothing to do with the original goal.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/2/2007 10:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
I personally wouldn't equate the merits of the type of research higlighted by this article against some of the technology that NASA's developed throughout the years. These are entirely different situations, in my view.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By Rovemelt on 9/3/2007 3:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the temperature prediction, there are some models showing that temperature rise (10degF), possibly within our lifetime:

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20070509/


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/3/2007 9:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
I just created a computer model that shows 100°C increase in 100 years. What does that prove?

In addition, it seems like from some of the other posts here (esp. from masher2) that GISS is pretty tainted. They seem to be peddling junk-food science and getting involved in politics.

Now come on, you don't believe 10ºF increase in our lifetime, do you? If so, I have some oceanfront property in Iowa for sale you might be interested in.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 12:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now come on, you don't believe 10ºF increase in our lifetime, do you? If so, I have some oceanfront property in Iowa for sale you might be interested in.


I won't dismiss their peer-reviewed scientific model simply because it tells me something I don't want to see come true. I'm not a climate scientist and so I trust the work of scientists who have invested 20+ years of their lives to climate science over my personal beliefs. Moreover, those climate scientists use a process called peer-review, where other people who have devoted 20+ years of their life to science can discuss their scientific results and make sure that the scientific method is properly applied.

The peer-review process is rigorous...don't believe me? Try and publish a paper in Science or PNAS. Peer-review is the foundation of good science. Michael(6%)Asher posts spin on his blog, it's taken as the word of god from his minions (i.e. you) and passed onto conservative blogs, from there it 's spread to the media as truth. This is how he gets his spin or what he wants to hear out into the news while bypassing the peer-review process. Michael(6%)Asher's spin is not peer-reviewed, and the scientists with the decades of experience on the subject get to watch their results get twisted by Michael(6%)Asher who has no scientific training in climate science (or much experience in publishing or as a professional scientist).

The point is, the model that is the focus of this blog post uses a future temperature that other models suggest could be possible. I've posted before that the temperature increase outlined in the IPCC is the happy-clappy version. There are plenty of peer-reviewed scientific models out there that show a greater increase in future temperatures around the planet, and they shouldn't be dismissed simply because you and Masher(6%)Asher don't want to believe it.

I certainly hope that we won't see a 10oF increase by 2080 as it would be devastating to humans and species all over the planet.

It's not so much about what I believe, rather I make a judgment based on the bulk of the data out there.

quote:
In addition, it seems like from some of the other posts here (esp. from masher2) that GISS is pretty tainted. They seem to be peddling junk-food science and getting involved in politics.


You seem to take anything Michael(6%)Asher writes as absolute truth, yet from his own spin, only 6% of published scientists endorse his theory on climate change.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By masher2 on 9/4/2007 1:12:15 PM , Rating: 1
> " I trust the work of scientists who have invested 20+ years of their lives to climate science...The peer-review process is rigorous"

And scientists who have devoted 20+ years of their lives to climate research have published peer-reviewed papers that predict only 2.5C rise over the next 100 years. Still other peer-reviewed publications have predicted cooling over that period.

Do you trust these scientists also...or do you only trust the ones who say what you want to hear?

By the way, the peer-review process isn't nearly so rigorous as you seem to believe. Even for a publication like Science, Nature, or GRL, it normally consists of a single reading of the paper by two other individuals. In a pinch, for someone with lengthy academic credentials, it may be read by only a single individual, or even skipped altogether. But in no case is there ever any cross-checking of data, calculations, or conclusions.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 1:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And scientists who have devoted 20+ years of their lives to climate research have published peer-reviewed papers that predict only 2.5C rise over the next 100 years. Still other peer-reviewed publications have predicted cooling over that period.


I trust that those findings that went through the peer-review process have at least had some experts look at them, and yes, that does include the papers that suggest the planet might cool in the future. I don't dismiss them. However, the majority of the peer-reviewed papers out there DON'T SUGGEST THE PLANET WILL BE COOLING in the future.

quote:
By the way, the peer-review process isn't nearly so rigorous as you seem to believe. Even for a publication like Science, Nature, or GRL, it normally consists of a single reading of the paper by two other individuals. In a pinch, for someone with lengthy academic credentials, it may be read by only a single individual, or even skipped altogether. But in no case is there ever any cross-checking of data, calculations, or conclusions.


And herein lies the crux of what I've been writing about. You don't trust the peer-review process and apparently don't even really understand what happens during that process. Perhaps because you haven't been through it yourself.

Peer-review 101 for Masher-types:

1) Everyone on the author list should have at the very least reviewed the or contributed to the writing of the paper, which could be a list of scientists or, possibly a single scientist. But generally, there are a number of authors.

2) That paper is submitted to the editor of a journal in preparation for peer review. I've never seen a paper go out to just one reviewer. If it only goes to one reviewer, it's not really peer reviewed. Generally speaking, there are three reviewers, all of whom have years of training in a particular field (and are usually PhD's.) Reviewers don't get paid for their contribution and may have published results in the past that contradict the results in the paper being reviewed.

3) The editor or editors of a journal will review the publication as well. The editors check to see that the questions the reviewers ask of the author in writing are properly addressed. Yes, there is a paper trail in the process.

4) The paper can then go back to the authors for revision to address the reviewer's concerns.

5) Updated paper goes back to editor, which can then be submitted for publication or rejected. Or even sent back to the reviewers for further scrutiny.

6) Scientists then conduct more experiments which may or may not support the previous finding. Models get revised and updated along the process.

So you can see that many expert eyes will look over a manuscript before it gets out of the peer-review process. The quality of the publication rests on the quality of this peer-review process. Lower tier journals are called lower tier journals because they don't get the expert review during the peer review process. Publications like PNAS and Science are considered top-notch scientific journals because they get access to the best scientists on the planet.

This is the best method we have for coming to a scientific consensus, and it's generally worked. If it didn't, we wouldn't have all the advances in medicine, technology, physics, chemistry, etc. that we do have.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By masher2 on 9/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 2:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The majority don't suggest a 10 degree rise either. But you say you "trust" those papers that claim this. Why is that?


Actually, I trust that it's been at least reviewed by experts. I didn't endorse that paper over others, simply showed that it a peer-reviewed model out there that happens to agree with the temperature basis for the manuscript Jason Mick is summarizing. Some posters suggest that a 5oC temperature jump is unreasonable, yet there are models out there that suggest it's possible by 2080. I have no idea if it will turn out true or not.

quote:
On the contrary, I do trust it. It does what its designed to do. What you fail to understand is that peer-review is not intended to validate the results or conclusions of research. Its a simple "minimum standards" check, not a full-scale audit. Reviewers read the paper-- that's it. They don't check the data or redo the calculations. That's not the goal of the process.


If you trust the peer review process, why do you so often dismiss the peer-reviewed papers that you can't seem to spin to your favor?

It's the follow up publications from other scientists that ultimately validates the results or conclusions of previous papers.

Since you can't seem to read my posts, I'll quote what I wrote for you:

quote:
6) Scientists then conduct more experiments which may or may not support the previous finding. Models get revised and updated along the process.


Why can't you grasp that? Oh, that's right, because Michael(6%)Asher has never been through the peer-review process, and would rather reduce it to a blog/cable news/popular consensus format. That way Michael(6%)Asher gets his say in the scientific world without actually doing any of the work that's required to competently review the science.

quote:
For popular journals that have a high number of submissions, peer review has a second purpose-- to ensure the paper is "newsworthy" enough. This step has nothing to do with the quality of the research...its based strictly on the novelty of the results.

Peer-review works quite well in many cases. In others, it doesn't...which is why the field of astronomy (among others) has pretty much dispensed with peer-review entirely. Nearly all major researchers in astronomy now simply put their papers online in electronic format.


I agree that it doesn't always produce the most accurate results. Never said it did. I'm saying that it's the best process we have and you're writing here is an attempt to circumnavigate the process. I also agree that some top-tier journals publish the more exciting research over other equally good research as they get to pick and choose what they publish. But the review process hasn't been corrupted along the way. Those other papers find their way to other peer-reviewed journals.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By masher2 on 9/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 6:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
Putting spin on the results of peer-reviewed research when you are not in a scientific position to even interpret the publication is dishonest to your readers/followers and disrespectful to the scientists and all the years of effort they put in. There are certainly flaws in the peer-review process, but the process has certainly worked well in the past, giving us general technological and scientific advances. And it's certainly better than the armchair reviewer game you play on your blog.

What goes on in Michael(6%)Asher's blog and gets passed on as "news" is an attempt to supplant the peer-review process with the goal of simply taking control of the dialog away from the people who actually did the work.

If you're so passionate about finding the truth here, put real effort in to show that and get the training you need to take part in the peer review process. Join a research group that's published peer-reviewed papers showing that the earth is not going to warm up, if that's your passion. I understand you're in physics, so go apply to a good physics graduate school or switch into atmospheric science--you probably can support yourself by teaching undergrad labs or, if you're really skilled, you can get a scholarship. Really, I mean it...I think you're bright enough to get through a program. The US needs more good scientists, and I trust that you'd make a fine professional scientist if you put the effort in. That's a big "IF", though.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 7:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, I'm sure Michael needs some career advice, since he's really struggling in his field. Not.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 2:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
Rovemelt, looks like you must have failed Peer Review 101, since you seem to believe that it is effectively a "stamp of quality."


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 2:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you should talk to Michael(6%)Asher about it...here's what he said regarding the peer-review process:

quote:


Rovemelt: "You don't trust the peer-review process "

Masher2: "On the contrary, I do trust it. It does what its designed to do."



RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 3:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
"Trust" is not the same as knowing what it's purpose is, now is it?


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 1:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, come on, that's a pretty weak reply. You can do better than that!

The purpose of peer review is not to challenge the reality of the suppositions of 2X CO2 and +10° temperature rise. Heck, if you supposed 20X CO2 and +100° rise, that wouldn't be a problem, assuming your methodology and conclusions were reasonable.

And just to keep focused, my criticism is that the suppositions the authors make are unrealistic, and so there's no point engaging in this type of study, unless your goal is to generate FUD about global warming and/or to collect global warming research dollars.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TheGreek on 9/4/2007 4:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just created a computer model that shows 100°C increase in 100 years. What does that prove?


But if the API creates a computer model that shows no increase that would be perfectly valid.

All hail the accuracy of API data.

quote:
They seem to be peddling junk-food science and getting involved in politics.


But it's such a long ways to catch up to the lobbyists of the oil industry.


RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 5:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
From what I can tell, the oil industry lobbyists are sitting out on the global warming debate. I think they realize there are plenty of business opportunities regardless of where the truth it.


The usual suspects?
By porkpie on 9/2/2007 12:03:17 PM , Rating: 3
This is the same Goddard Institute where an amateur blogger was able to find multiple data errors in their calculations? The same Institute where the director, James Hansen, continually refuses to make public his calculations, algorithms, or source code, asking the world to take his results on faith? The same director who says "a few errors" are less important than creating a message strong enough to ensure the public will take action?

Sorry if I dont jump up and down over this.




RE: The usual suspects?
By JasonMick on 9/2/2007 12:09:11 PM , Rating: 1
I think you sound like you might want to send a complaint email to Goddard Institute/NASA/Congress.

It sounds like you have some serious concerns. Why not try to make your voice heard?

Of course they might not read it, but if your opinion is shared by enough people I think your concerns might be addressed.


RE: The usual suspects?
By TomZ on 9/2/2007 12:42:17 PM , Rating: 1
Are you suggesting that we write to politicians and complain that a scientific institution has become too political ?

Might as well write a letter asking for a million dollars. The response will be about the same.


RE: The usual suspects?
By Ringold on 9/2/2007 1:40:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Are you suggesting that we write to politicians and complain that a scientific institution has become too political ?


On the one hand, that was funny.

On the other, I don't know what else one could do. Not that it means it'll be very effective but not sure what another option may be... Asides from revolution. Too lazy for that.


RE: The usual suspects?
By TomZ on 9/2/2007 1:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, and if the situation were more serious, it would be more frustrating to me. I just see it as probably some researchers, and maybe even Goddard itself, has got sucked into the global warming hype. I really think NOAA has as well - I can't believe some of the pronouncements that sometimes come out of that organization. It's like they've completely lost any ability to think objectively.


RE: The usual suspects?
By masher2 on 9/2/2007 2:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "I just see it as probably some researchers, and maybe even Goddard itself, has got sucked into the global warming hype"

Its important to remember that GISS is just a few researchers in one small office in NYC. It's a small component of the Goddard Space Flight Center, and a tiny portion of NASA itself. The media often equates GISS to NASA, but the reality is very different.

GISS is run by the politically-motivated James Hansen, who spends the majority of his time giving interviews to laymen and politicians...he's given over 1200 such interviews in the past 4 years alone. Lately, he's also been spending time as an "expert witness" in a new breed of climate-change civil suits, and even writing reviews in the NYT Book Review on films such as Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" (Hansen is himself a past advisor to Al Gore).

Hansen's recent published papers have dealt primarily with his frustration that the scientific community refuses to join his vocal attempts to alarm the public over impending climate change.


RE: The usual suspects?
By Ringold on 9/2/2007 4:50:41 PM , Rating: 1
4 years x 365 days each + 1 leap year day = 1461 days

1200 interviews / 1461 days = .82 interviews per day

Plus writing for the NYT, his own books, providing testimony in court, etc.

Please tell me I (as a tax payer) am not paying this guy any serious type of salary to finance his extracurricular activities. :P

He either has discovered the cure to the chronic disease known as sleep or isn't doing much for GISS beyond ideological leadership.


RE: The usual suspects?
By smitty3268 on 9/4/2007 2:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree that GISS has had some problems and this report shouldn't be taken as definitive, I think it's just as good as the research you've been posting that shows the opposite. If this study had shown no significant differences, I can almost guarantee you would have posted it yourself talking about how global warming wasn't a big deal. So let's take this with a grain of salt, but don't totally dismiss it just because you disagree with the conclusions.


RE: The usual suspects?
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 2:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
In my opinion, the report itself it not a real problem - it may be that bad things will happen with 2X CO2 and 10° warming. But the problem I have is understanding the scientific purpose of the study in the first place, considering that nobody is predicting anywhere near these types of changes.


RE: The usual suspects?
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 3:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
Correction, "10°" -> "5°"


RE: The usual suspects?
By masher2 on 9/4/2007 2:22:04 PM , Rating: 1
> "If this study had shown no significant differences, I can almost guarantee you would have posted it yourself talking about how global warming wasn't a big deal."

In addition to Tom's points, I have to point out the flaw in the above reasoning. Let's say we're discussing a car with a top speed of 90mph. Someone releases a study that shows that car is unsafe in a 125 mph collision. The obvious reply to that is, "ok...but is that even relevant"?

But now, lets say a study shows that car IS safe in collisions at that speed. If true, then its certainly safe in less severe accidents, and thus the study results are very relevant. The same situation exists here...if a study shows no meteorological changes from a 10 degree rise, that's big news, because it means no changes should be expected from the much smaller rises we're likely to see.

In any case, I'm not discounting the results of the study. I think they're very likely accurate. What I dispute is the conclusion that it implies any serious problem. In 150 years, some areas of the planet will be a little less stormy, some a little more stormy. Roughly half those areas will benefit slightly from the change, and half will suffer slightly. It's just not a big problem.


RE: The usual suspects?
By smitty3268 on 9/4/2007 3:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
That's a very different argument from the one many people were making - that GISS is just a political organization that was putting out FUD. It's also one I think has more merit. Anyway, this whole global warming thing has turned into a psychological experiment. Half of us think we should prepare for the worst, while the other half are optimists who think everything will work out well in the end.


RE: The usual suspects?
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 8:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure it's either-or as you imply. Let's start with Michael's example, suppose Ford does a study on a particular GM vehicle and finds it is unsafe at 125MPH. Ford then publishes that study as part of an advertising campaign.

Aside from the obvious logical folly in the study, wouldn't you consider it FUD? In other words, why would Ford do such a study in the first place, since nobody is going to drive the GM vehicle at 125?

Now, assuming that GISS is a "global warming advocate," how is the situation with this report any different than the example I gave?


RE: The usual suspects?
By fk49 on 9/2/2007 2:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't that NASA Goddard SFC in Greenbelt MD? The one where I've done a few internships? The intro sentence linking to the GSFC homepage has me severely confused..


RE: The usual suspects?
By masher2 on 9/2/2007 3:07:47 PM , Rating: 2
The wrong link is in the article. The actual link should be:

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/


RE: The usual suspects?
By KristopherKubicki on 9/2/2007 3:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks Michael. I fixed that for Jason.


RE: The usual suspects?
By TheGreek on 9/4/2007 4:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
This is the same Porkpie that refuses to accept all things wrong with MTBE?


Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By masher2 on 9/2/2007 12:34:17 PM , Rating: 3
> "The model predicts that some regions [will] have fewer thunderstorms. However, [the author] illustrates why this scenario may be more dangerous...</quote>

The study essentially says that, if world temperatures rise 5C (which the IPCC is predicting won't happen until around the year 2150), some areas will have fewer storms, other areas will have more. Any rational person would conclude the obvious; the net effect will be small..slightly better for some areas, slightly worse for others.

The conclusions the author draws are quite different, and represent the same "damned whichever way you turn" thinking that is typical of Hansen and his acolytes. More storms? That's bad. Fewer storms? That's bad also. This flawed rationale is based on the assumption that every single spot on the planet already has a perfectly ideal climate, and that any deviation whatsoever is harmful. Of course, the study qualifies this with "may be" and "possibly", secure in the knowledge that the media will subtract the wiggle words for them.

But ignoring all this, there's a much larger problem with this study. Its based strictly on computer modelling...modelling which isn't born out experimentally. Despite 100 years of global warming, no increase in storm frequency or intensity has yet been seen. The computer modelling of the early 1990s predicted it....when that didn't come to pass, those models had to be revised. Now, GISS's new model predicts it for somewhere around the year 2150.

Personally, I won't hold my breath.




RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By TomZ on 9/2/2007 1:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good point - there seems to be this false impression in people's minds that the current climate is opimal, plus people believe that climate should not be changing. Neither of these are truthful beliefs.


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By Rovemelt on 9/3/2007 3:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
Scientists in this field are more concerned over the rate of climate change, which affects the ability of a species to adapt. Here's a related link:

http://www.nature.com/nature/links/040108/040108-1...


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By TheGreek on 9/4/2007 4:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well TomZ has discovered that hypsilurus boydii dries well and tastes like beef jerky. Since this is now a business opportunity this can only be viewed as a good thing.


By TomZ on 9/4/2007 5:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
Your post kind of reminds me of monkeys randomly typing and then somehow get lucky and put together a string of English-like characters. Even though people are amazed that it almost looks like a sentence, it still doesn't make any sense.

In other words, WTF are you talking about?


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By Rovemelt on 9/3/2007 3:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
There are some models predicting a more dramatic rise in temperature than what the IPCC predicts. I point out one such study in an earlier post.

quote:
Its based strictly on computer modelling...modelling which isn't born out experimentally.


The experimental apparatus is the planet...scientists have to rely on models here. Over time, those models should improve as more empirical data is collected.


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By masher2 on 9/4/2007 7:25:17 AM , Rating: 2
> "There are some models predicting a more dramatic rise in temperature than what the IPCC predicts"

And there are models predicting a far smaller rise than the IPCC predicts. Some even predict cooling over the next 100 years.

> "Over time, those models should improve as more empirical data is collected. "

Perhaps they should, but so far they haven't. GCMs are continually retuned year after year, as recent data reveals they've again failed to accurately predict future trends.

There are scientists who believe that we don't have the mathematical basis yet to model chaotic systems like the global climate, and that accurate modelling is still 20 or more years away.


RE: Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 12:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are scientists who believe that we don't have the mathematical basis yet to model chaotic systems like the global climate, and that accurate modelling is still 20 or more years away.


There's no doubt in my mind that the modeling behind this science will evolve and improve with time. And hopefully someday scientists will have a better grasp on modeling chaotic systems as you mention. I put trust in the scientific method and peer-review, which thus far supports the theory of global climate change and rising global temperatures due to human activity and greenhouse gas emissions.


By TomZ on 9/4/2007 1:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
(laughs) Nice attempt to roll that up to support your views. There is no "consensus" about global warming, except by those who stick their head in the sand and ignore the discussions on the other side. Any reasonable person would conclude the jury's still out, based on the completed and ongoing studies.

Remember, there was "scientific method" and "peer review" of the consensus view in the 1970s that we were entering another ice age. Shows you how far off the so-called consensus can be.

Just for fun, please show me what hard evidence you've seen anywhere, anytime that proves that human activity is generating too much CO2 and causing harmful global warming? There is no evidence, only speculation. There is no data, only reports by politicians. Most of the studies are like the one in this article which pre-supposes an outcome, but doesn't prove whether that outcome is realistic or probable.


By Verran on 9/4/2007 4:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
I almost feel like even responding to this post at all does it too much justice. Half of me just wants to put a "LOL" here and move on. The other half wants to wade into the pool of completely unrelated half-logic sentences and show you how silly it is.

You put trust into the scientific method and peer review? What do that even mean? There are opinions of EVERY variety that can be backed by these two things. It sounds to me like you've just found one piece that's saying what you believe, so the fact that it's peer-reviewed means it's factual. What's even weirder is that this statement immediately follows an acknowledgment that the basis for your argument still has much maturing to do.


So What Else Are the Simulations Missing?
By jskirwin on 9/2/2007 11:50:24 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The model is among the first to successfully simulate the strength of updrafts in storms.


Updrafts haven't been simulated until now? What else is missing?

Isn't this like using SimCity 1.0 to predict crime in New York City?




RE: So What Else Are the Simulations Missing?
By JasonMick on 9/2/2007 12:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ha good quote!

I agree that modeling is still somewhat crude, even with today's incredible multi-core, multi-rack supercomputers. I was just speaking with a professor on Friday about some of his research on a type of biological reactions and he was discussing how, past models with a few hundred atoms, it would take to much power to precisely calculate the atomic interactions. Instead the reactions are modeled with a coarser grain model that may miss some of these effects and be slightly less accurate.

It is sorta scary that modeling, which everything from airplanes to weather reports rely upon for information is similarly coarse grained. Still, generally, well built coarse-grain models can be relatively effective in making general predictions as long as you are aware of their limitations.

Hopefully someday in the future, weather can be modeled on a cubic foot of air/square foot of land-sea basis with full physics modeling--an unthinkable level of detail today. Imagine the weather report always being right! It would really change human behavior. But that is still very far away in terms of computing power. Until then climatologists are left to use their more coarse-grain models to make more general predictions, as is true with many other branches of scientific modeling today.


RE: So What Else Are the Simulations Missing?
By TomZ on 9/2/2007 12:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand your implication that models have to go down to the molecular level in order to be accurate. The point of a model is to abstract out details that are not of interest. This is the only way that modeling is practical.

For example, we design and simulate electronic circuits all day long, using models that abstract away details of quantum mechanics, electron flow, etc. These models provide a close enough approximation to reality in order to meet the requirements. So what would be the point of modeling down the the most tiny inteactions?


RE: So What Else Are the Simulations Missing?
By JasonMick on 9/2/2007 12:46:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These models provide a close enough approximation to reality in order to meet the requirements


That was my point, precisely. I also was acknowledging that these models cannot predict some behaviors.

For example solid state electronics concepts such as tunneling and channel creation are only well modelled on a atomic basis. Large scale models would fail to anticipate these quantum effects.

My point is that it would give you more data if you could do a fine grain model on everything, such as your electrical example, but it would be too computationally intensive for today's computers.

Fortunately coarse-grain models such as electrical circuits modeling provide a good enough system to provide general necessary information about behavior, as you and I both stated.

We are both in agreement on this point, I was simply providing additional information on the short-comings of coarse grain models, which I believe the poster was referring to.


By TomZ on 9/2/2007 12:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is sorta scary that modeling, which everything from airplanes to weather reports rely upon for information is similarly coarse grained.

OK, then we both agree that these types of models are not really "scary." I realize you already backpedaled from that statement in the sentence that followed, but it still kind of sounded like FUD to me, especially when you brought up safety-critical systems like aircraft design.


RE: So What Else Are the Simulations Missing?
By Kuroyama on 9/2/2007 12:15:20 PM , Rating: 3
ALL models work by oversimplifying the problem. You then do simulations to see whether the model fits the data. Open any textbook (say economics for instance) and you should have little trouble discovering vast simplifications in the models. Even "common sense" is often wrong, for instance sometimes higher prices of necessities actually lead to higher demand! http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2007/0...

This is true even in hard core sciences. I worked in a quantum physics theory group one summer as an undergrad and basically the way it worked was the professor would propose a simplification of the QM to make things computable, then we would write up software and simulate, then the experimental group would do experiments and see if the simulations fit the experimental results.

So, no, this is not Simcity 1.0.


By masher2 on 9/2/2007 1:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
> > "ALL models work by oversimplifying the problem. You then do simulations to see whether the model fits the data"

Exactly so. It's a valid-- indeed a critical methodology. The problem is that GCM models have yet to "fit the data". Their abilities to predict future behavior have, so far, been nonexistent. The models are continually revised to bring them into alignment with current history....and when the next batch of data comes out, the models are again off base.


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