BBC: Can computers solve UK weird weather puzzle?

Posted: June 5, 2020 by oldbrew in Forecasting, MET office, modelling, Natural Variation, Temperature, weather
Tags: , ,

Credit: BBC


What weird weather puzzle? Static high or low pressure systems (blocking patterns) are not that uncommon or unusual, but are likely to be pounced on by headline-seeking climate alarmists. And statistics for calendar months (‘wettest February’) are to some extent just arbitrary period selection. Better theories might be at least as useful as fancier computers.
– – –
A top climate scientist has called for more investment in climate computing to explain the UK’s recent topsy turvy weather, reports BBC News.

Prof Tim Palmer from Oxford University said there were still too many unknowns in climate forecasting.

And in the month the SpaceX launch grabbed headlines, he said just one of the firm’s billions could transform climate modelling.

Short-term weather forecasting is generally very accurate.

And long-term trends in rising temperatures aren’t in doubt.

But Prof Palmer says many puzzles remain unsolved: take the recent weird weather in the UK, with the wettest February on record followed by the sunniest Spring.

Weather somersault

Meteorologists were astounded by this unprecedented weather somersault – and especially by the amazing amount that May sunshine exceeded the previous record.

This year’s figure was 13% higher than the previous record – that’s like the winner of the 100 metres leaving opponents 13 metres behind.

Some point the blame on manmade climate change, but the Met Office says, as yet, there’s no strong evidence for that.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. saighdear says:

    Och munn! sounds like more dumbing down or whatever you call it: within past hour on Radio Scotland:’where can I expect to see it? ( the STRAWBERRY MOON) Ans. Low in the sky above the horizon. In which direction? …..
    I didn’t wait if she was going to ask whether there was an App for it ‘switch the b***y thing off ‘ same goes for the covid news (not) all day long.
    We need an App for mixed messages!

  2. oldbrew says:

    Further down in the BBC report:

    Scientists are now planning to re-run UK climate models over recent years and remove the heating element of CO2 emissions from the mathematical puzzle. That should offer a better understanding of British weather at least.

    Unlocking secrets

    Prof Palmer admits it’s surprising this exercise wasn’t done sooner.
    – – –
    ‘remove the heating element of CO2 emissions’? There’s the problem, or one of them.

  3. cognog2 says:

    Pov. Tim Palmer is obviously a computerholic desperate for another grant fix. If he successfully wound up with the ultimate computer to mimic the climate it would provide chaotic solutions just as the climate does. 🙄42 comes to mind.

  4. Peter Norman says:

    “Normally in science you learn about the system under study by doing laboratory experiments. With Earth’s climate, there is no lab experiment you can do.”
    May I suggest the “learned” prof reads some weather history before trying to predict the future using /abusing computer models. He could start here at his Royal Society
    https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wea.2317

  5. JB says:

    What is this obsession with predicting the future? Most people if they knew what was going to happen couldn’t resist mucking with it. It isn’t a good idea to try and make the future play out according to one’s fears.

    Predicting weather is the first step in controlling it. “Everybody” today wants to control something or someone, whether its by way of microprocessors or government edict. How many stop to think at how successful they are at controlling themselves?

  6. Stephen Richards says:

    And in the month the SpaceX launch grabbed headlines, he said just one of the firm’s billions could transform climate modelling.

    Here’s a solution for the Prof.

    Tell Musk that if he gives him £1B he will pay him back when the models can actually predict the weather and climate accurately out to 10 years.

    No public money. That’s easy to get. Private sector, that’s different. They actually want true and visible results not manipulated data

  7. spetzer86 says:

    I wonder if SpaceX engineers would reach similar conclusions regarding climate science as Google’s engineers did about Green Energy? You’d think someone that could set a rocket burny end down on a small platform in a large ocean could see through climate change.

  8. Gamecock says:

    ‘A top climate scientist’

    BBC rankings?

  9. oldbrew says:

    Prof Palmer admits it’s surprising this exercise wasn’t done sooner. But of all the uses of extra cash for climate research, he thinks the most useful spending on climate research might be to unlock the secret of clouds – one of the most intractable climate mysteries.

    Yes, that’s where the temperature variations are coming from, not from trace gases. ‘The secret of clouds’ doesn’t sound like settled science.

  10. Gamecock says:

    All cries for more funding are an admission that all before was JUNK.

    ‘Prof Tim Palmer from Oxford University said there were still too many unknowns in climate forecasting.’

    Junk. Trillions spent on junk. BWTM. Spose he gets the money. 5 years from now, 10 years from now, we will be getting the same plea. Whatever Palmer does will be declared junk in 5 or 10 years.

  11. Gamecock says:

    ‘A top climate scientist has called for more investment in climate computing to explain the UK’s recent topsy turvy weather, reports BBC News.’

    Climate is generalized weather. ‘Climate computing,’ whatever the heck that is, can never explain weather. You’d think that Palmer, and people at BBC, would know that.

    In fact, I suspect this line is a Harrabin invention.

    “Journalism: a profession whose business it is to explain to others what it personally does not understand.” – Alfred Harmsworth

  12. oldbrew says:

    Nature – article
    NEWS AND VIEWS 26 MAY 2020
    Six-hour weather forecasts have been used to validate estimates of climate change hundreds of years from now. Such tests have great potential — but only if our weather-forecasting and climate-prediction systems are unified.
    Tim Palmer

    There is little doubt, at least among those who understand the science, that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humans in the coming decades. However, the extent to which unchecked climate change would prove catastrophic rests on processes that are poorly understood.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01484-5
    – – –
    Let us know when there’s a proven method of ‘checking climate change’ 🙄

  13. tom0mason says:

    If the computer models are any good it should be able to say within +/- 1 day what will be the hottest day/month, the driest month, the wettest day/month and the coldest day/month anywhere in Britain. However I know they can not because they are just full of statistical nonsense, huff, puff and bluster (and a large amount of hubris).
    Climate and weather is chaotic but climate and meteorological models do not do tease out the patterns that chaos often makes. (Note that the chaos and its couplings make the patterns not the other way around, as many climate and weather ‘scientist’ seem to believe — see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory#Sensitivity_to_initial_conditions .)
    I contend that short term weather forecasting is no more accurate, either nationally or locally, than it was 40 years ago — it just cost many, many times more now.
    Forecasting 3 to 5 days is reasonably accurate (~65% or better) when it is reasonably moderate for the season (i.e. quite seasonable weather) but at 5-10 days is usually 65% or less accurate regardless of seasonality. However during those periods when the seasonality is disrupted (by unusually high or low Atlantic hurricane/tropical storms period, volcanic eruptions, or highly unusual polar vortex effects, etc.) you can kiss all the forecasts good-bye because the computer models are awful at accounting for these unusual but not that atypical effects. The models average these ‘noise’ from the data, removing most of the chaotic signal that requires analysis.

    How to make your own weather predicting ‘computer’ model is available at https://www.eslprintables.com/games_worksheets/wheels/Weather_wheel_223246/

  14. Graeme No.3 says:

    I thought that the Russians had modelled Climate Change© without any CO2 heating effect, and came up with the most accurate (or the least inaccurate) of the 35 Climate prediction models.

  15. oldbrew says:

    The obvious answer to their overheating problem always eludes the modellers, and it’s not a computer upgrade.

    Prof. Palmer: “The climate model is the only tool we have to understand what future is in store for humanity as a result of climate change.”

    Which ‘we’ is that?

  16. Stuart Brown says:

    Not the only tool:

    And just as accurate if you consider conditions are more likely than not to be the same 24 hours from now 🙂 In fact, I’d say that the rock is quite likely to predict the weather on the same date in 2050 with astonishing accuracy, so maybe we also need a diary/notebook hanging next to it.

  17. Philip Mulholland says:

    Prof Tim Palmer from Oxford University said there were still too many unknowns in climate forecasting.

    And of course there is always the biggest unknown caused by biasing the climate models to the zonal weather half of the natural 60-year climate cycle.