New paper: Model falsifiability and climate slow modes

Posted: April 6, 2018 by oldbrew in climate, Critique, modelling, Natural Variation, Ocean dynamics
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Image credit: NOAA @ Wikipedia]


Two professors question the validity of current climate modelling, pointing to a number of apparent difficulties.

New understanding of ultra-long timescales provides a new take on climate, says The GWPF.
– – –
A newly published paper in the journal Physica A suggests that there is an undiscovered universe all around us that we are too short-lived to perceive.

Authors Prof. Christopher Essex (Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario) and Prof. Anastasios Tsonis (Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) explain that even without external influences (e.g. man-made carbon dioxide) the weather patterns change over very long timescales, locally and globally.

If some elderly person claims to recall summers, say, that were different when that person was a child, that may not be faulty memory. Just because summers seemed warmer or colder; spring or winter seemed sooner; more or less snow was recalled, it doesn’t follow that the climate system has changed in any meaningful way.

Prof. Essex explains, “Unlike the stable virtual ‘climates’ seen in computer simulations, corresponding real-world conditions aren’t stable at all. There are perpetual, natural, internal changes in play that take longer than human lifetimes to play out.”

No human will ever fully perceive this change. No one lives long enough. But some astute people, in their later years, might just be able to make a little of it out.

Prof. Essex adds, “There is an ultraslow, mysterious, unseen world out there, under our very noses, that we cannot perceive. It’s beyond our measurement capabilities, and beyond the capabilities of our best computers using our very best physical theories. It belongs to a class of problems that we cannot overwhelm with data, or crush with our biggest computers.”

Nevertheless, there is hope. As Professor Tsonis explains, our growing understanding of the nature of natural ocean modes and how they are linked may open up a whole new field of research into ultra-long timescales taking us beyond the virtual stability of modified meteorological models:

“Ocean modes like the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, known natural internal dynamical features, affect weather patterns globally over years, decades and longer. They are deep structures that are coming to be understood on their own terms. We understand better than ever how they are linked, and we understand the mathematical structures in play in ways that we could not have only a few decades ago. We are on the verge of being able to predict what they will do next. If we succeed, a hitherto invisible world will open to us. We will see new wonders through new eyes.”

Professors Essex and Tsonis are both members of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.

Christopher Essex and Anastasios A.Tsonis (2018) Model falsifiability and climate slow modes, Physica A, Volume 502, July 2018, Pages 554-562
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physa.2018.02.090

Highlights
• Climate models do not and cannot employ known physics fully. Thus, they are falsified, a priori.
• Incomplete physics and the finite representation of computers can induce false instabilities.
• Eliminating instability can lead to computational overstabilization or false stability.
• Models on ultra-long timescales are dubiously stable. This is referred to as the “climate state.” Is it real?
• Decadal variability is understandable in terms of a specific class of nonlinear dynamical systems.

Abstract here.

Comments
  1. Phoenix44 says:

    What just about everybody who models (not just in science but also in economics and business) forgets is that they are modelling ASSUMPTIONS, not the real thing.

    And in climate science the start of the assumptions is the initial state. Get that wrong (which you will because you cannot know) and everything else will be wrong.

    It seems that the tweaks made to hindcasting focus on the way the models work. It would be interesting to try tweaking initial conditions instead to see if that worked better.

  2. JB says:

    “There is an ultraslow, mysterious, unseen world out there, under our very noses, that we cannot perceive. It’s beyond our measurement capabilities, and beyond the capabilities of our best computers using our very best physical theories. It belongs to a class of problems that we cannot overwhelm with data, or crush with our biggest computers.”

    Really. Then how did Professor Essex “perceive” what he said was unperceivable? Did someone not explain to the good professor c0omputers are not to be used as bludgeons? Yep, this is a definitive method for explanation, using grotesque and exaggerated metaphors.

    “…some astute people, in their later years, might just be able to make a little of it out.”

    Says the professor. Just how old is the professor himself, anyway?

    Just what is this “physics” that is unknown? Can it ever be known? Sounds like he has been reading too much of The Theory of Everything written by the Hawker (or watching the drama).

    [reply] request the paper and find out

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    While I’m glad to see a professor putting this in writing:

    This is news? Haven’t geologists known this since their field began? Hasn’t any kid talking to their grandparents seen this? (I remember being about 8 talking to an 80-something in my home town and being told the ’30s were warmer than anything since…)

    Didn’t Keeling & Worf (sp?) write a paper about lunar driven 1800 and even 5000 year cycles?

    Didn’t Milankovich have 100,000 year cycles in his Ice Age Glacial theory?

    It’s nice he has finally noticed, and maybe it’s new to him; and I do appreciate it getting to peer reviewed status, but: Some of us have known this for a very long time.

    So yeah, he pointed out they are not in the computer models. OK. Also not news…

    Oh Well. It’s published so progress… of a sort.

  4. We used to call it the “solar constant”, because it doesn’t change much, or fast. The universe is stable, and it has great inertia, so changes are slow. 50ppm co2 won’t do it.

  5. tom0mason says:

    Our climate runs to the solar beat, influenced by the moon’s cycles and very dependent on how Earth’s natural cycles wax and wane over time.

    So all that’s needed is a little computer model that can —
    1. Defines mathematically how the sun functions (And along the way mathematically explain how the planets interact with the sun). And thus completely models how all the sun’s radiations (electromagnetic, gravity waves, and charged particle output) varies in timing and direction into space.
    2. Be able to account for and adjust for how random extraterrestrial events like meteor showers, comets, gamma ray exposure from super-novas, etc., affect our climate.
    2. Completely model how the moon affects this planet and it’s interaction with solar cycle events.
    3. Identify, quantify, and parameterize all natural variation that affect the land, oceans, and all regions of the atmosphere. This includes (but not limited to) changes to flora and fauna, land use, tectonic changes, changes in oceanic movements, chemistry, and temperature, and finally changes in all layers of the atmosphere including changes in volume, ionization, chemistry (including humidity changes, changes in dust/particulates, cloud formation and precipitation), as well as movement, and temperature variations.

    All of these things and all the noise on them must be defined (measured and mathematically defined) to the utmost accuracy and precision.

    Once that is done then all that is needed is to correctly calibrate and synchronize the computer model to the current quasi-cyclic chaotic mode, and it will all perpetually work like clockwork, churning out super accurate climate forecasts.

    I name this system ‘Deep Think’ and will be the technological forerunner of ‘Deep Thought’.
    😊

  6. oldbrew says:

    ‘it will all perpetually work like clockwork, churning out super accurate climate forecasts’

    Until the next major volcano 😎

  7. erl happ says:

    Our monitoring of the climate of the entire globe begins with satellite technology in the nineteen seventies. So the record is a lot less than the scale of a human lifetime.They rightly point out that we should not jump to conclusions on the basis of sketchy information.

    It’s good when incumbent academics stand up for common sense.In the current political climate that’s risky. I bet these guys are close to retirement with adequate pension plans.

    The IPCC was never anything more than a lobby group with an extreme political agenda.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Robotic voice explains NOAA-14 weather satellite data errors…

    HOW SCIENTISTS FOUND AND REMOVED ‘FALSE WARMING’ IN SATELLITE DATA
    Date: 07/04/18 University of Alabama, Huntsville

    Details of that research have been published in the International Journal of Remote Sensing, and are available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01431161.2018.1444293

    http://www.thegwpf.com/how-scientists-found-and-removed-false-warming-in-satellite-data/

  9. stpaulchuck says:

    more of that “sciency” stuff gone astray. Wonderful.

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