Archive for the ‘modelling’ Category

Australian coral [image credit: heraldsun.com.au]


Probably not much of a shock. One researcher said: “The models are accurate in projecting at a global scale that cyclones in the future are highly likely to be more intense because of climate change. But they are less accurate in projecting how those cyclones will affect individual coral reefs — that is the result of more localised conditions such as the pounding of waves.” But ‘accurately projecting’ that something is ‘highly likely’ in the future sounds more like an assertion than actual science.
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Climate models are unreliable when it comes to predicting the damage that tropical cyclones will do to sensitive coral reefs, according to a study published in the journal Earth’s Future.

With the expectation that tropical cyclones will increase in intensity with climate change, there has been interest among conservationists to use the models to identify the vulnerability of reef communities to storm damage, and to target conservation and protection efforts at those coral reefs that are less likely to be impacted by climate change, says Science Daily.

But a team of researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK, the Australian Institute for Marine Science and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CISRO) is urging caution when using the climate models, arguing they are not yet reliable enough to determine which reefs will be most at risk from cyclone damage.

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Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica [image credit: theozonehole.com]


Another hole in ‘settled’ climate science? Over-sensitivity to changing conditions may sound familiar. Researchers find “The major implication is that, even though the latest CMIP models improve the simulation of their mean states, such as radiation fluxes at the top of the atmosphere, the detailed cloud processes are still of large uncertainty.” Southern Ocean clouds seem to have been ‘improperly simulated’ when compared to data.
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Clouds can cool or warm the planet’s surface, a radiative effect that contributes significantly to the global energy budget and can be altered by human activities, claims Eurekalert.

The world’s southernmost ocean, aptly named the Southern Ocean and far from human pollution but subject to abundant marine gases and aerosols, is about 80% covered by clouds.

How does this body of water and relationship with clouds contribute to the world’s changing climate?

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We know what to expect from the climate propaganda machine. Here’s a critique of the ‘nudge’ method.
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Climate alarmism and journalistic bias have reached new heights of misleading hype on the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan which is reported to have received more than three times its annual rainfall in August, says NZW.

The question is, of course, if human-induced climate change has had anything to do with making the floods more dramatic that could reasonably have been expected in the absence of human influences, i.e, as a result of a natural disaster that have been hitting the Indian subcontinent for centuries.

The answer (as given in the small print) by climate scientists at the world weather attribution project is ‘no’ – although it is quite obvious that they, the BBC and much of the news media, don’t like this answer.

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Credit: weather.com


A 2020 news report (H/T Belfast Telegraph) headlined Extreme weather being caused by jet stream ‘not because of Arctic warming’, with the sub-heading: ‘Any link is more likely to be a result of random fluctuations in the jet stream influencing Arctic temperatures, researchers say’ – cites a study that comprehensively contradicts the findings described in the article below. “The well-publicised idea that Arctic warming is leading to a wavier jet stream just does not hold up to scrutiny”, said Professor James Screen [University of Exeter]. “With the benefit of 10 more years of data and model experiments, we find no evidence of long-term changes in waviness despite on-going Arctic warming.” But the stated lack of evidence hasn’t deterred this new research. Are they flogging the proverbial dead horse?
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A quartet of researchers, two with the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics and two with Pukyong National University, has created a group of simulations of changes to the jet stream under global warming, says Phys.org.

In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes using math theory to describe wind motion under given circumstances to create their simulations.

Over the past several years, the jet stream has become wavier than it used to be. Both peaks and valleys have become more extreme.

This has led to changes in weather patterns—some places have grown wetter and some drier, and there have also been more extended hot and cold spells around the globe.

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An unflattering analysis of climate models. Using mean values from numerous models is questioned. Climate attribution studies don’t fare any better: “these approaches are likely to be flawed”.
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A team of Australian scientists, financiers and economists have issued a stark warning over the use of “flawed” climate models to predict financial risk, says Net Zero Watch.

Writing in the journal Environmental Research they say building future strategies on information that is not understood and potentially misleading is likely to expose the global financial system to systemic risks of its own making.

Politicians and policy-makers are increasingly seeking to assess the potential risks to the financial system associated with climate change.

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Layers of Earth’s atmosphere


Q: What could possibly go wrong? A: Even the sky’s not the limit.
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A group of international scientists led by Cornell University is—more rigorously and systematically than ever before—evaluating if and how the stratosphere could be made just a little bit “brighter,” reflecting more incoming sunlight so that an ever-warming Earth maintains its cool, says Phys.org.

Their work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Solar radiation modification—or solar geoengineering, as it is sometimes called—is a potential climate change mitigation strategy that involves injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere, so more sunlight bounces off the Earth’s atmosphere.

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As described below, when climate scientists removed the warming factors they chose to create in their models, the results showed lower temperatures. They seem unaware or uninterested that this proves little or nothing, but label it science anyway and say their studies attribute most of the blame for any observed warming to human factors.
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Since 1880, the average global temperature on Earth has increased by at least 1.1 °C. The culprit? Climate change, of course, asserts Phys.org.

Getting hotter, faster

According to findings released by the World Weather Attribution (WWA) initiative, a global collaboration between climate scientists and specialists, the record temperatures would have been up to 4 °C cooler without human-caused climate change.

The hottest day ever (40.3 °C) in the UK was registered on 19 July. The WWA analysis also claims [sic] that climate change made this heatwave 10 times more likely.
. . .
Dr. Radhika Khosla from the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment applauded the WWA’s efforts:

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The ocean carbon cycle [credit: IAEA]


“Based on our model calculations, we assume that current estimates of oceanic carbon uptake must be substantially corrected upwards”, said one researcher. A major revision, of ‘roughly 10% of our carbon budget’, is suggested. Phytoplankton hold the key.
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Phytoplankton need light and nutrients to grow. The microscopic algae rarely find both at the same time in sufficient quantities in the ocean. In the upper water layers, they usually lack nutrients, and further down, they lack light.

A new study led by the Helmholtz Center Hereon now says: Phytoplankton can migrate back and forth between deeper layers and the water surface.

If this were confirmed, it would have enormous consequences for the calculations of the natural carbon pump and thus for current calculations of the carbon budget.

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California wildfire [image credit: NASA]


Another day, another topic of model uncertainty. ‘Refining’ an admitted high level of uncertainty is an odd concept, but researchers assert the issue will be ‘cleared up’. However, their belief in ‘potent climate-warming agents’ doesn’t inspire confidence.
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New research refining the amount of sunlight absorbed by black carbon in smoke from wildfires will help clear up a long-time weak spot in earth system models, enabling more accurate forecasting of global climate change, says Phys.org.

“Black carbon or soot is the next most potent climate-warming agent after CO2 and methane, despite a short lifetime of weeks, but its impact in climate models is still highly uncertain,” said James Lee, a climate researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory and corresponding author of the new study in Geophysical Research Letters on light absorption by wildfire smoke. “Our research will clear up that uncertainty.”

The Los Alamos research resolves a long-time disconnect between the observations of the amount of light absorbed by black carbon in smoke and the amount predicted by models, given how black carbon is mixed with other material such as condensed organic aerosols that are present in plumes.

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Monsoon region


A familiar story of inaccurate climate models. The overestimates would undermine various predictions.
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Global climate tools being used to predict future temperature rises and rainfall across Asia are significantly overestimating their potential growth and impact, according to new research.

A study published in Nature Communications suggests predictions by the World Climate Research Program’s Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) are overestimating future temperature growth by between 3.4% and 11.6%, says Phys.org.

Based on revised calculations, an international team of researchers say this could result in the rate of snow cover loss in Asia, notably in the Himalayas, being between 10.5% and 40.2% lower than previously predicted.

As well as the physical effects on the landscape, this, they add, could have significant knock-on effects on both predicted future climate warming and water availability in Asia.

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Saharan dust storm [image credit: BBC]


As a recent paper noted: ‘a comprehensive understanding of the global dust cycle and its climatic and environmental impacts has significant scientific and practical implications. Our current knowledge about dust aerosols is still limited.’
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A new instrument headed to the International Space Station (ISS) will help researchers learn how dust storms heat or cool the planet, says Phys.org.

NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) mission, which launched today, will greatly broaden scientists’ view of areas affected by mineral dust.

“Currently, the dust impacts of climate change are based on about 5,000 samples of soil for the entire Earth. EMIT will collect more than 1 billion usable measurements for the arid regions of the world,” said Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Roger Clark, a Co-Investigator on the EMIT mission.

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Credit: NOAA


Some scientists contacted by Carbon Brief have their doubts about the reasons given for the reported expansion of the Azores high. An assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, warns that “the title statement is not justified by the study”. Another assistant professor, at the University of Dartmouth, told Carbon Brief ‘that changes in the size and intensity of the Azores high could also have been driven by changes in aerosol levels, rather than changes in greenhouse gases emissions. (For example, the passing of the US Clean Air Act in the 1970s saw pollution levels drop significantly, causing localised warming.) That the authors did not investigate this factor is “a curious omission” he says.’ On top of that, Prof Richard Seagar – a research professor at Columbia University – told Carbon Brief that the expansion in the Azores high could also “easily be explained by the long-term variability and changes of the North Atlantic Oscillation”.
In short, this attempt to put the blame on humans for the more recent climatic conditions related to this phenomenon is already starting to look shaky.

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Parts of Portugal and Spain are the driest they have been in a thousand years due to an atmospheric high-pressure system driven by climate change, according to research published Monday, warning of severe implications for wine and olive production.

The Azores High, an area of high pressure that rotates clockwise over parts of the North Atlantic, has a major effect on weather and long-term climate trends in western Europe says Phys.org.

But in a new modeling study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, researchers in the United States found this high-pressure system “has changed dramatically in the past century and that these changes in North Atlantic climate are unprecedented within the past millennium”.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]


Hardly surprising, given the endless overestimates of global warming by climate models. They found that ‘Melt ponds covered 21% of the observed area during the summer, while the two models indicated 41% and 51%’.
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New research shows two widely used computer models that predict summer melt pond formation on sea ice greatly overestimate their extent, a key finding as scientists work to make accurate projections about Arctic climate change, says Phys.org.

The finding comes from measurements made during a year-long expedition aboard the research vessel Polarstern.

For the Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate expedition, or MOSAiC, the ship was allowed to freeze into place in the Arctic and drift with the ice pack from September 2019 to October 2020.

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Image credit: interactivestars.com


Not exactly a new idea, but worth pursuing. Given the present feverish pursuit of supposedly climate-related policies that attempt to counter imagined human-caused effects, all known aspects of natural variation must be highlighted and included in models.
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New analysis suggests that the Moon might be an unappreciated factor in climate change and, according to researchers from the Universities of East Anglia and Reading, its influence “cannot be discounted as an important driver of multidecadal variability of global temperature.”

It’s a suggestion that is bound to prompt debate and a possible reassessment of the relative influence of human factors on climate change in the past and the future when the lunar effect is included, says Dr. David Whitehouse @ Net Zero Watch.

It arises from the so-called lunar nodal cycle of 18.6 years caused by variations in the angle of the Moon’s orbital plane. During this period the Moon’s orbit “wobbles” between plus or minus 5 degrees relative to the Earth’s equator.

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Image credit: livescience.com

In their computer model game they use the discredited RCP 8.5 formula that assumes a highly unlikely surface energy increase of 8.5W/m^2 by 2100 (not 2050). What’s the point?
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You may have seen some of our forecasts that look a little further ahead than you would usually expect, says the UK Met Office.

Although they use the same graphics as our normal weather forecasts, we’ve been producing theoretical ‘forecasts’ for 2050 to look at what conditions we could expect to see in the UK if global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

One of the greatest challenges with communicating the risks of climate change is how to show, in a relatable way, how changes in our atmosphere could impact the weather we experience on the Earth’s surface.

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Canadian Arctic archipelago [via Wikipedia]


The clue is in the study title: The importance of Canadian Arctic Archipelago gateways for glacial expansion in Scandinavia.
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A new study led by University of Arizona researchers may have solved two mysteries that have long puzzled paleo-climate experts (says Phys.org): Where did the ice sheets that rang in the last ice age more than 100,000 years ago come from, and how could they grow so quickly?

Understanding what drives Earth’s glacial–interglacial cycles—the periodic advance and retreat of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere—is no easy feat, and researchers have devoted substantial effort to explaining the expansion and shrinking of large ice masses over thousands of years.

The new study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, proposes an explanation for the rapid expansion of the ice sheets that covered much of the Northern Hemisphere during the most recent ice age, and the findings could also apply to other glacial periods throughout Earth’s history.

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Cumuliform cloudscape over Swifts Creek, Australia
[image credit: Wikipedia]


Looking into the past and future of climatic conditions on computer models can give somewhat cloudy results, at least partly because “there’s considerable uncertainty about the simulation of clouds in global climate models”.
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Were Earth’s oceans completely covered by ice during the Cryogenian period, about 700 million years ago, or was there an ice-free belt of open water around the equator where sponges and other forms of life could survive?

Using global climate models, a team of researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Vienna has shown that a climate allowing a waterbelt is unlikely and thus cannot reliably explain the survival of life during the Cryogenian, says Phys.org.

The reason is the uncertain impact of clouds on the epoch’s climate.

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Is more computing power just getting us the wrong results from overheated models faster?
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Outside of their academic fascination, looked at in terms of their contribution to climate policy, it seems that we may have reached the useful limit of computer climate modelling, says Dr. David Whitehouse.

The first computers built in the 1950s allowed climate scientists to think about modelling the climate using this new technology.

The first usable computer climate models were developed in the mid-1970s.

Shortly afterwards the US National Academy of Sciences used their outcomes to estimate a crucial climate parameter we still calculate today – the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) – how much the world would warm (from ‘pre-industrial’ levels) with a doubling of CO2 — and concluded that it had a range of 1.5 – 4.5°C.

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Why ‘track climate change’? We all know ‘tracking’ means using climate models to conjure up attribution numbers that can’t be questioned, except possibly by other climate models. How useful is that?
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The Met Office will be reduced to its smallest size since the Second World War (says London Economic) if it is hit by a 20 per cent Civil Service staff cut, new figures have revealed.

Ministers have ordered every government department and agency to draw up plans to reduce their plans by at least one fifth, it has emerged.

According to the i newspaper, officials must also explain how they could cut staff numbers by up to 40 per cent if required.

Met backlash

The Met Office is expected to lobby ministers to preserve its current workforce, arguing that its role has never been more vital because of the need to forecast climate change.

It will also claim that its work pays for itself – because it is able to sell its services to commercial clients.

If the Met Office’s current workforce of just under 2,000 is slashed by 20 per cent, it will go below 1,600.

Full article here.


Cloud guesswork is hindering climate models, therefore relying heavily on their outputs to decide policies must be risky. A professor commented that we may “need a Manhattan Project level of new federal funding and interagency coordination to actually solve this problem.” This can’t be brushed aside as a minor issue.
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We hear a lot about how climate change will change the land, sea, and ice says Eurekalert.

But how will it affect clouds?

“Low clouds could dry up and shrink like the ice sheets,” says Michael Pritchard, professor of Earth System science at UC Irvine. “Or they could thicken and become more reflective.”

These two scenarios would result in very different future climates. And that, Pritchard says, is part of the problem.

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