You could have knocked me down with a feather

RP Sr sez: “We have shown in several studies that the downscaling of multi-year global model predictions by regional climate models is very strongly dependent on the lateral boundary conditions of the parent model”. Good grief, really? Well you’d hope so, wouldn’t you, since thats exactly what is supposed to happen.

It looks like rumours of RPs blog retirement have been greatly exaggerrated, though alas he is following in Pat Michaels footsteps by not allowing comments. And if you’re going to talk tosh like my quote from him above, thats a very good idea indeed.

And we all love pre-publication by “press release” don’t we?

6 thoughts on “You could have knocked me down with a feather”

  1. [You use too many words, and don’t know enough to ask sensible questions. (1) would benefit from an example. “anomaly” is a perfectly sensible word to use in the right context. (3) Read IPCC. The null hypothesis that the current changes we are seeing is natural has been examined and found wanting. Global climate: the world is warming, but not uniformly. If this is hard for you to understand, then you need to read more science (the IPCC being the obvious starting point) and less septic tripe -W]

    IS PAMELA ANDERSON REALLY HOT because of AGW?.. And other key empirical questions.

    Alright, I have A FEW PROBLEMS with some climate science, OK?

    (1) ANOMALY abuse. Please people, stop calling everything an ‘anomaly’. Variance is normal for climate, and most of these ‘anomalies’ are actually just ‘data’. In particular, observations which don’t fit models are NOT anomalies. It’s the other way around: models must fit the data. No data should be ‘compelled’ to fit a model. BOTH SIDES of the debate misuse the A-word. [Webster’s:] ANOMALY: 1 : the angular distance of a planet from its perihelion as seen from the sun 2 : deviation from the common rule : irregularity 3 : something anomalous : something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified.

    (2) Disinterested or Uninteresting? YOU decide. Science is of necessity disinterested and value-free. Sorry, but if you take sides, you are doomed to make bad lasagna. Then it becomes uninteresting, because it’s biassed. If you want to abjure science to be political about your ‘Doom Theory Du Jour’, go ahead, be political. However, you simply cannot be both. The empiricists will revoke your licence to think. If that doesn’t work, the rest of us will wait ’till you die, then arrange for the Library of Congress to re-catalogue your books into the ‘humour’ section.

    (3) Why don’t you climato-philes try disproving the NULL HYPOTHESIS for a change? All other scientists have to do it, why should you get off so easily? Before you jump up and run off in all directions (or run to Bali), do the basics. Here’s a null hypotheses to knock your socks off: THERE IS NO GLOBAL CLIMATE. Just because an astronaut took a nice picture of our darling Earth, does not mean that our planet is a ‘unity’. Gaia is probably not home. To prove that there IS a global climate, one must resolve orthogonalities. That is, if a key dependent variable shows a lack of correlation from region to region, then Houston, we have a problem. E.g., If surface temperatures consistently decline in the Outback, and shoot up in L.A., but many other places don’t change at all, then what the hey? I thought we were ‘warming globally’? First we were told that the poles would heat, but the equator wouldn’t, now [W] tells us that it’s only the North pole, then someone says parts of the ocean are heating, others are not, and meanwhile, glaciers are expanding and contracting like rubber bands.

    [W]’s discussions of northern sea ice seem to show that major components of northern climate can change, but that does squat to the rest of the planet. Before the astronaut took that picture, climate was regional, and it still looks that way to me. Prove me wrong, I dare ya.

    (4) GIGO BEGONE! Garbage In Garbage Out, the timeless number crunchers’ bugaboo. People play fast and loose with climate data, perhaps because they think it will ‘all average out’. But it doesn’t. E.g., California surface temperature records are a mess, and they are not getting any better. The Urban Heat Island effects are obviously pulling so much variance that it’s embarrassing (at least for me). Is California truly heating up or cooling down, or what? Are the people running the surface stations stoned-out hippies? PAMELA ANDERSON lives in L.A., so maybe AGW IS making her HOT (or me hot), but maybe it’s just UHI’s, which would be boring. Look at the data, it’s terrible.

    LaDochy, S., R. Medina, and W. Patzert. 2007. Recent California climate variability: spatial and temporal patterns in temperature trends. Climate Research, 33, 159-169.

    (5) PAY ATTENTION TO THE WHETHER! As in ‘whether or not an interaction is operating’. Blah blah… later for that, to be continued.


  2. Dear DemocracyRules
    I shouldn’t use iceagenow as your indicator of the state of the world’s glaciers….it’s utter rubbish. He clearly doesn’t have the faintest clue about how glaciers behave…..mistaking glacier flow rate with positive mass balance amongst other things.


  3. William – I did not state on my weblog that I would not comment on other weblogs when I become aware of inaccurate statements on my postings! 🙂

    On dynamic downscaling, we already have a paper on this subject

    Castro, C.L., R.A. Pielke Sr., and G. Leoncini, 2005: Dynamical downscaling: Assessment of value retained and added using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). J. Geophys. Res. – Atmospheres, 110, No. D5, D05108, doi:10.1029/2004JD004721.

    Click to access R-276.pdf

    which I suggest you read before you be so critical. The papers in press and submitted on this subject examined the issue we raise in the Castro et al paper, and so far have confirmed our conclusions that the regional climate models when used to downscale multi-decadal global model projections add no value on the propagating weather features beyond that provided by the parent model.

    They do provide added spatial structure, but this is misleading policymakers and others, as the more detailed surface information cannot correct for errors that result from the insertion of information at the lateral boundary conditions.

    There is an active group of the dynamic downscaling community which is discussing this, and I will post on at the appropriate time.

    [There is little to disagree with in the above, though the “add no value” is questionnable. The trouble is that what you posted to your blog is nothing beyond the obvious (I wasn’t criticising the *truth* of your statement, only its usefullness). More precise language is required! As to the value – as far as I can tell, the value added comes via the orography and other more detailed components -W]


  4. HEY MY FRIEND, I’m helping you out here…

    [Your evasion of the point is obvious. You didn’t know that the IPCC has done exactly the hypothesis testing you ask for. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to read up on what has been done, instead of attacking strawmen? -W]

    I am a scientist working in multivariate modelling, and it is rude to question my knowledge base (I don’t do that to you). It’s ad hominem and inappropriate. I do not pretend to be a climate expert, and in fact I have quite a different knowledge base than yours. However, with my very different training and background, certain things appear clear to me that do not seem to be clear to you.

    If I point something out as a problem, it is because I believe that my perspective may be useful to you or others who visit this website. I comment here because I have decided to help you out a bit. I don’t know why exactly.

    One reason is that the stakes are far higher than you seem to realize. If this global warming stuff is true, you will be asking the entire Planet to reallocate trillions of dollars, and asking 6 billion people to significantly change the way they live. These enormous changes are supposed to take place within a few decades. Given these circumstances, wouldn’t you want to be sure, I mean dead sure, that you are right? I don’t mean a little bit right, I don’t mean ‘Club of Rome’ right, I mean dead right.

    You can expect a massive groundswell of resistence to your ideas, and these attacks will not relent for centuries. They will be mounted by far more powerful forces than little old I could muster. There should not be a single idea that I can generate that you have not thought long and hard about, and for which you are well prepared to provide a convincing scientific rebuttal.


  5. This is a public service announcement. The Fourth IPCC assessment report section on the science behind climate change can be found here:

    It is free to download. It will take quite af ew hours if you are still on dialup.
    Once you’ve read it, come back to us with questions based upon what the report says.

    On the language side- if you know anything about science, you’ll know that the words “Dead right” sholdn’t feature in anything to do with it. “Best answer given what evidence we have” is closer to the truth.


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