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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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RE: Very Hypothetical - Is this FUD?
By Rovemelt on 9/4/2007 1:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
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.

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
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.

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:

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.

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's what he said regarding the peer-review process:


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?

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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