Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Most Climate Models Simulate Amazon Poorly

Now how are we supposed to rely on such models that have known defects? I believe the answer is that we have to trust Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore. New Scientist has the details.

Sulphates, largely produced from coal-burning power plants, are known to reflect sunlight back into space, cooling the land and ocean below, and counteracting some of heating from greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Levels of sulphates over North America rose until the 1970s, and then fell as increases in respiratory disease and acid rain led to tougher pollution controls.

What this also meant, Cox realised, is that some of the effects of climate change might have been underestimated in models, which have not traditionally included sulphates.

Cox and his colleagues looked again at the triggers of Amazonian rainfall, using a global climate model developed by the Hadley Centre in Devon, UK – one of the few that simulates the Amazon and the surrounding ocean fairly well. The researchers ran the model with and without emissions of the sulphate particles, or aerosols.

Only with realistic sulphate emissions included, both from human activity and from volcanic eruptions, did the model correctly predict the Amazon's rainfall over the 20th century.
I believe IPCC uses 22 or 23 models and averages the results to make climate predictions. However, that makes no sense if we know that all but a very few of them are wrong. Even that is stretching it. We know from this article that even the good models leave things out. I suppose the bad modelers need a paycheck too. But calling all that science is stretching things. It seems more like an exercise in wallet extraction.

H/T LarryD in a comment at Prediction.


linearthinker said...

It's been said that an average global temperature is as useful in reality as an average global telephone number.

I believe IPCC uses 22 or 23 models and averages the results to make climate predictions.

So I stretch the metaphor. We now have the IPCC average global telephone bill. Except of course, it's adjusted by Kyoto to a weighted average bill.

LarryD said...

Researchers Question Validity Of A 'Global Temperature'
"Discussions on global warming often refer to 'global temperature.' Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility, says Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, who has analyzed this topic in collaboration with professors Christopher Essex from University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick from University of Guelph, Canada."

New news, it turns out that small ponds are a major carbon sink: Ponds Found To Take Up Carbon Like World's Oceans
"Research led by Iowa State University limnologist, or lake scientist, John Downing finds that ponds around the globe could absorb as much carbon as the world's oceans.

"Professor Downing found that constructed ponds and lakes on farmland in the United States bury carbon at a much higher rate than expected; as much as 20-50 times the rate at which trees trap carbon. In addition, ponds were found to take up carbon at a higher rate than larger lakes.

linearthinker said...

Beavers cheer!
Gaia smiles.

Headless Blogger said...

Great timing on this post M.

This confirms the solution to global warming that was published on my blog yesterday.

It's the sulfur, stupid.

LarryD said...

Investors Business Daily editorial: Al Gore And Climate Ka-Ching H/T Instapundit.
Gore's reaction to the death and destruction caused by a cyclone ravaging Burma was to utter an emphatic "I told you so" Tuesday on National Public Radio. In an interview on NPR's "Fresh Air" broadcast, the jolly green giant made the charge while talking about the paperback release of his ironically named book, "The Assault on Reason."

Ignoring the fact that the rising death toll is due in part to an incompetent, isolationist and authoritarian government that allows most of its people to live in shanty towns of tin and bamboo, Gore claimed that "we're seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming."

In other words, people die in Rangoon because of an SUV in Richmond, Va.

There's a "trend toward more Category 5 storms," Gore claimed, and this trend "appears to be linked to global warming and specifically to the impact of global warming on higher ocean temperatures in the top couple of hundred feet in the ocean, which drives convection energy and moisture into these storms and makes them more powerful."

Except, as we recently noted, the trend in the world's oceans — as shown by measurements taken by a fleet of 3,000 high-tech ocean buoys first deployed in 2003 — is toward cooling. As Dr. Josh Willis, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, noted in a separate interview with National Public Radio, "there has been a very slight cooling" over the buoys' five years of observation.