Science failed to predict flood and heat intensity, needs better computer – BBC

Posted: July 16, 2021 by oldbrew in climate, Forecasting, modelling, physics, weather
Tags: ,
metofficecomputer

Weather forecasting technology

Maybe they need better ideas, not just more expensive modelling gear run by the same climate obsessives pushing worn-out theories that have never worked. Sales talk of ‘delivering the quantum leap’ sounds a bit thin after decades of posing as masters of climate understanding.
– – –
Top climate scientists have admitted they failed to predict the intensity of the German floods and the North American heat dome, says BBC News.

They’ve correctly warned over decades that a fast-warming climate would bring worse bursts of rain and more damaging heatwaves.

But they say their computers are not powerful enough to accurately project the severity of those extremes.

They want governments to spend big on a shared climate super-computer.

Computers are fundamental to weather forecasting and climate change, and computing will underpin the new climate science “Bible” [Talkshop comment – give us a break], from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) next month.

But former Met Office chief scientist Prof Dame Julia Slingo told BBC News: “We should be alarmed because the IPCC (climate computer) models are just not good enough.

“(We need) an international centre to deliver the quantum leap to climate models that capture the fundamental physics that drive extremes.

“Unless we do that we will continue to underestimate the intensity/frequency of extremes and the increasingly unprecedented nature of them.”

She said the costs of the computer, which would be in the hundreds of millions of pounds, would “pale into insignificance” compared with the costs of extreme events for which society is unprepared.

Dame Julia is striving to promote this initiative at the COP26 climate summit in November.

She, and other scientists, agree climate change is an emergency. But Oxford Prof Tim Palmer told me: “It’s is impossible to say how much of an emergency we are in because we don’t have the tools to answer the question.

“We need a commitment and vision with the magnitude of CERN (Europe’s major physics research centre) if we are to build climate models that can accurately simulate the extremes of climate like the Canadian heatwave.”

Full article here.

Comments
  1. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    This has the all too familiar refrain of an addict.

    “I know I’ve spent billions of taxpayer’s money, but you can trust me now…”

    The more deep in debt the compulsive gambler gets – and there’s no way around the fact that this will occur – the more elaborate and exaggerated the lies and stories he or she begins to concoct. There’ll be the robbery that occurred as he or she was depositing money in the bank – and now everything’s gone. Or someone stole his or her wallet and now the credit cards are gone. There may have been an unbelievable investment opportunity and it had a limited window, so he or she had to jump in now or lose the chance… All this and more will come out of the compulsive gambler’s mouth as a way to explain what happened to your money.

  2. Douglas Dragonfly says:

    Craig – great description.
    COP 26 will be more of the same. They should at least have the decency of holding it in Las Vegas

  3. oldbrew says:

    Douglas D – yes, welcome to the climate casino. Choose a weather event and place your bet!

  4. Gamecock says:

    A bigger box running the same software will produce . . . the same results.

  5. oldbrew says:

    “We need a commitment and vision with the magnitude of CERN” say the Oliver Twists of climate hokum.

    Delete ‘commitment and vision’, insert ‘budget’.

  6. tom0mason says:

    “We need a commitment and vision with the magnitude of CERN (Europe’s major physics research centre) if we are to build climate models that can accurately simulate the extremes of climate like the Canadian heatwave.”
    NO WE DON’T!
    We need to realize, understand and teach that with so many influences affecting the weather the outcomes are quite chaotic, i.e. quite unpredictable. Currently volcanoes are popping all over the place, and as our sun has been laggardly at coming out of the last solar minimum certain aspects of the atmosphere and oceans, are probably approaching the limit of what is normal or usual.
    https://www.severe-weather.eu/tropical-weather/record-low-thunderstorm-cloud-temperature-tropical-pacific-mk/ shows some parts of the upper troposphere has been very cold before, have such cold areas reappeared, or changed in magnitude, or frequency?
    Can these models or the proposed ones, identify and track them? I very much doubt it.

    No amount of improvement in computer hardware can overcome basic programming errors.

  7. JB says:

    AND, is there any evidence that their successful predictions have benefited the world in any significant way beyond assuaging their sense of insecurity?

    The old ways of monitoring weather are still working for most of us.

  8. oldbrew says:

    They might want to investigate jetstream variability around times of low solar activity e.g. 2019 to now and 2009/10, and blocking patterns well known to meteorology.

  9. Phoenix44 says:

    This is complete drivel.

    “Unless we do that we will continue to underestimate the intensity/frequency of extremes and the increasingly unprecedented nature of them.”

    How can she know what she says she doesn’t know?

    Here’s the ONLY thing you must remember about models – if their predictions are wrong, they are wrong. You can’t claim they are right but not getting it right because the supposed direction of the results was right.

  10. Phoenix44 says:

    Gamecock, that is exactly right. Their models are wrong because their modelling of the weather/climate is wrong, not because their computer isn’t big enough. We have heard this for 20 years – this is what we would have predicted if we had a bigger computer and it shows we were right (despite being not predicted).

    Or much more likely, we didn’t predict this because our models are wrong.

  11. Gamecock says:

    JB says:
    July 16, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    AND, is there any evidence that their successful predictions have benefited the world in any significant way beyond assuaging their sense of insecurity?

    ————–

    This is a critical point when considering funding such projects. The result of predictions, even if accurate, aren’t going to change people’s behavior.

    E.g., telling Charleston that they might be hit by a hurricane 5 days out instead of 4 days out changes nothing.

    Telling Germany they are going to have heavy rain 4 days out instead of 3 days out . . . .

    You know, I don’t believe it possible to forecast local weather accurately more than 3 days out. Man will never know enough to do it. And the cost to try to do it will never be justified.

    . . . telling them rain will start at 2 PM rather than “Thursday afternoon” accomplishes nothing.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Here we go again…

    JULY 16, 2021
    Climate change to bring more intense storms across Europe
    by Newcastle University

    Climate change is driving a large increase in intense, slow-moving storms, a new study by Newcastle University and the Met Office has found.

    Investigating how climate affects intense rainstorms across Europe, climate experts have shown there will be a significant future increase in the occurrence of slow-moving intense rainstorms. The scientists estimate that these slow-moving storms may be 14 times more frequent across land by the end of the century. It is these slow-moving storms that have the potential for very high precipitation accumulations, with devastating impacts, as we saw in Germany and Belgium.

    Led by Dr. Abdullah Kahraman, of Newcastle University’s School of Engineering, the researchers used very detailed climate model simulations at the UK Met Office Hadley Centre. They found that slower storm movement acts to increase the amount of rainfall that accumulates locally, increasing the risk of flash floods across Europe beyond what has been expected based on previous studies.

    Published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the study results show that storms producing intense rain may move slower with climate change, increasing the duration of exposure to these extremes.

    https://phys.org/news/2021-07-climate-intense-storms-europe.html

    ‘Climate change’ – which definition, natural or ‘greenhouse’? As if we didn’t know what they’re claiming. Based on hypothesis-driven models they make assertions like ‘is driving’ and ‘has found’. Not good enough.

    ‘storms producing intense rain may move slower with climate change’ – waffle.

    Another quote: “Our finding that slow-moving intense rainstorms could be 14 times more frequent by the end of the century under the high emissions RCP8.5 scenario, shows the serious impacts that we may expect across Europe if we do not curb our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

    Only uber-alarmists refer to RCP8.5, which was debunked even by other alarmists last year. It’s just low-grade headline chasing and scare tactics, to generate funds for more of the same.

    Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading
    Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome — more-realistic baselines make for better policy.

    Happily — and that’s a word we climatologists rarely get to use — the world imagined in RCP8.5 is one that, in our view, becomes increasingly implausible with every passing year. Emission pathways to get to RCP8.5 generally require an unprecedented fivefold increase in coal use by the end of the century, an amount larger than some estimates of recoverable coal reserves.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00177-3

    Even then their claims depend on unproven greenhouse gas theories, which don’t work in existing climate models.

  13. cognog2 says:

    They won’t get anywhere unless they cease their obsession with the Greenhouse Effect and incorporate the Hydrocycle together with its basic behaviour and science into their assumptions, definitions and calculations.
    The current omission of this major element and influence in the climate in the models is a serious dereliction of duty and dare I say it? – perhaps deliberate for political purposes.
    Assigning the role of water to a POSITIVE feedback to the the Greenhouse Effect is scientifically grossly dishonest.
    Bigger computers will NOT solve that problem.

  14. avro607 says:

    Yes TomO,your phrase;quite chaotic,triggered off a description by the IPCC that our weather patterns are:dynamic,non linear and CHAOTIC.Computers dont do chaos,except mine does sometimes,or maybe its just me.
    According to Gerlich and Tseuchner,the initial computer settings consist of partial differentials that are unsolvable:Navier Stokes equations as they are known.
    So a best guess, or parameterisation as they call it to sound sciency does not cut it.

  15. T Walker says:

    This is the lady who told us “we have not seen anything like this before” when commenting on the very wet winter of 2013/14 in England and Wales.

    It was in fact within a few millimetres of 1914/15. Well within rainfall reading error.

    If you can’t portray facts accurately what chance do you have with climate prediction? Well actually a good chance because facts are difficult to hide, but climate forecasts will never be checked.

  16. tom0mason says:

    As one of the top climate scientists in the world, Kevin Trenberth said in journal Nature (“Predictions of Climate”) about climate models in 2007:

    None of the models used by the IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models.
    There is neither an El Nino sequence nor any Pacific Decadal Oscillation that replicates the recent past; yet these are critical modes of variability that affect Pacific rim countries and beyond. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, that may depend on the thermohaline circulation and thus oceanic currents in the Atlantic, is not set up to match today’s state, but it is a critical component of the Atlantic hurricanes and it undoubtedly affects forecasts for the next decade from Brazil to Europe. Moreover, the starting climate state in several of the models may depart significantly from the real climate owing to model errors. I postulate that regional climate change is impossible to deal with properly unless the models are initialized.

    Therefore the problem of overcoming this shortcoming, and facing up to initializing climate models means not only obtaining sufficiently reliable observations of all aspects of the climate system, but also overcoming model biases. So this is a major challenge.

    [my bold]
    As far as I’m aware this still remains so!

  17. avro607 says:

    Yup! TomO. Spot on.Accurate initialisation is impossible.Computers cannot do chaos.

  18. oldbrew says:

    The real reason for Germany’s flood disaster: A ‘monumental failure of the warning system’
    Date: 18/07/21 The Sunday Times

    Weather scientists say a ‘monumental failure of the system’ is directly to blame for the death and devastation triggered by a month’s worth of rain that fell in two days this week
    . . .
    One underlying problem is the parlous state of Germany’s alarm systems. Last September the BBK held a national “warning day”, when people across the country were supposed to be simultaneously deafened by sirens and inundated with alert messages in a simulated natural disaster. It was a debacle: most of the technology didn’t work.

    https://www.thegwpf.com/the-real-reason-for-germanys-flood-disaster-amonumental-failure-of-the-warning-system/
    – – –
    Politicians hope to avoid criticism by blaming the pseudo-villain of ‘climate change’.

  19. Gamecock says:

    “Weather scientists say a ‘monumental failure of the system’ is directly to blame”

    They had 4 days warning.

    See above:

    JB July 16, 2021 at 9:10 pm
    Gamecock July 17, 2021 at 11:24 am

  20. dennisambler says:

    How many more supercomputers do they need, they are getting a new super, super dooper computer to replace the super dooper one they got in 2016, https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/what/technology/supercomputer

    “This hugely complex Government IT project was successfully completed in December 2016, delivered early and on budget. Some fifteen times larger than its predecessor, this major science infrastructure investment has enabled the UK to continue to lead the world in weather, climate and environmental science high-performance computing.”

    Here we go again, with conflicts around contract transparency. Microsoft got lucky at the same time a Microsoft retiree was helping the UK government with Covid.

    https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/microsoft-awarded-12-billion-uk-met-office-supercomputing-contract-atos-files-legal-challenge/

    February 22, 2021.
    “Last year the Met Office announced it would spend £1.2 billion (US$1.56bn) on building the world’s most powerful supercomputer dedicated to weather and climate. The first phase is due to begin in 2022, with a second phase (2028) proposing to expand it a further threefold.

    Atos IT Services UK Ltd is claiming the secretary of state for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Meteorological Office breached procurement laws when choosing to award the contract to Microsoft in January. This is the first public mention of a company being awarded the Met Office supercomputing contract.

    Update: A Met Office spokesperson told DCD that the Court has lifted the injunction, allowing it to proceed with its supercomputer procurement.”

    https://www.hpcwire.com/2021/04/22/microsoft-to-provide-worlds-most-powerful-weather-climate-supercomputer-for-uks-met-office/

    “…the system – based in the southern United Kingdom – will use 100 percent renewable energy, which Microsoft estimates will save 7,415 metric tonnes of CO2 in the first year of operation (for reference, the annual energy use of an average UK home might be expected to cause the emission of just a few tonnes of CO2). (Of course if it wasn’t built they could save even more and where are they going to find 100% renewable energy?).

    The Met Office’s current supercomputing capabilities include three Cray XC40 systems that will reach end-of-life in 2022. (six years? is that it?).

    Penny Endersby – chief executive of the Met Office – took the opportunity to link the development of the system to the UK’s participation in COP26, the November climate conference that will be the latest in the series that produced the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement – and which, this year, will be hosted by the UK. The system is a major publicity coup for the nation, with the £1.2 billion investment constituting the largest-ever single investment for the 150-year-old Met Office.

    “This partnership between the Met Office and Microsoft to build the world’s most powerful weather and climate forecasting supercomputer is a ringing endorsement for the UK’s credentials in protecting our environment, as we prepare to host COP26 later this year,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK government’s business secretary.”

    An expensive ego trip, which may turn out to be a peta flop.

  21. stpaulchuck says:

    the only thing green about this rent seeking is the color of the cash going down the rat hole

  22. Gamecock says:

    “…the system – based in the southern United Kingdom – will use 100 percent renewable energy, which Microsoft estimates will save 7,415 metric tonnes of CO2 in the first year of operation”

    Imagine what they’d save if they just didn’t turn it on. Note also that this is not a consumption number, which could be hundreds of thousands of metric tonnes.

    ‘The Met Office’s current supercomputing capabilities include three Cray XC40 systems that will reach end-of-life in 2022. (six years? is that it?).’

    The half-life of super is pretty short.

    ‘Penny Endersby – chief executive of the Met Office – took the opportunity to link the development of the system to the UK’s participation in COP26 . . . . The system is a major publicity coup for the nation, with the £1.2 billion investment constituting the largest-ever single investment for the 150-year-old Met Office.’

    They wish they could spend more. The more spent, the bigger the coup.

    “ringing endorsement for the UK’s credentials in protecting our environment, as we prepare to host COP26 later this year”

    If you don’t stop endorsing yourself, you’ll go blind.

    Mauritius et al only care about how much you are going to pay them. 100 nations will think this money that could have been given to them. Which begs the question, just whom is the UK government trying to impress? Who is this Big Show for?

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