Edge: THE PHYSICS THAT WE KNOW: A Conversation With Gavin Schmidt [with video]
Some models suggest very strongly that the American Southwest will dry in a warming world; some models suggest that the Sahel will dry in a warming world. But other models suggest the exact opposite. Now, let's just imagine that the models have an equal pedigree in terms of the scientists who have worked on them and in terms of the papers that have been published — it's not quite true but it's a good working assumption. With these two models, you have two estimates — one says it's going to get wetter and one says it's going to get drier. What do you do? Is there anything that you can say at all? That is a really difficult question.
The problem with climate prediction and projections going out to 2030 and 2050 is that we don't anticipate that they can be tested in the way you can test a weather forecast. It takes about 20 years to evaluate because there is so much unforced variability in the system which we can't predict — the chaotic component of the climate system — which is not predictable beyond two weeks, even theoretically. That is something that we can't really get a handle on.
Freeman Dyson has made a critique of models. I don't know Freeman Dyson; I've met his children. He seems like a very smart person. He has done some very interesting physics. He seems like a guy I would like to know. Yet his statements about climate, climate models, climate modelers, Jim Hansen in particular, are not the statements you would expect a smart person to make. It's like Shakespeare writing a play and then pulling a quote from a penny dreadful sheet that he found in the street. It just seems very inconsistent that somebody who thinks so hard and is so smart about so many things says dumb things like, oh, climate modelers think that their models are real and can't see the real world. I paraphrase but he said something very similar. It betrays a complete ignorance of either climate modelers, climate models or what it is that climate science is all about. His statements about Jim Hansen were very similar.
What is so dumb about criticizing the climate modelers? They have yet to create a model that has any credible alignment with actual climate changes. The scientific method involves creating a hypothesis and then demonstrating the validity of the hypothesis through experimentation -- in this case, the model -- but global temperatures have been dropping for the past 8 years or so, and none of the models have been successful at predicting that. One shouldn't be willing to spend trillions of dollars when the climate scientists have been unable to demonstrate a strong understanding of climate and what elements are affecting it.
It's funny - 10 years ago I visited NCAR in Boulder -- even then, with tremendous computing power with Cray III computers, they deliberately did not include the energy of the sun in their models because 'it was too complicated'. We are far from understanding the causes of climate change.
I can't wait for Tom, the electrical engineer to explain to us about our ignorance of either climate modelers, climate models or what it is that climate science is all about.
Go for it Tom, show us how Freeman Dyson is an idiot ...
this should be interesting ...
It was Schmidt calling Dyson dumb, not Tom Nelson. Dummy.
And do tell us what climate science is all about, and how that in any way has anything to do with AGW.
I believe the point was to show that Gavin Schmidt, either deliberately or by mental deficiency, can't see the basic disconnect between climate models being worthless, he himself admitting they are worthless, and then condemning a great man like Dyson as dumb for speaking the exact same thing.
If the second commenter spends any time at all here he will discover that Tom has uncovered Schmidt as the worst sort of determined phony hypocrit (the type who is paid a salary for it) time and time again.
For a while it was a daily event.
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