Atmospheric Models

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

rj40
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:31 am
Location: Southern USA

Atmospheric Models

Post by rj40 »

OK, this is sort of off topic, but people seem to be well informed and relatively civil on this site. So I thought I would ask here. I am looking for some documentation as to why the climate scientists who think global warming is substantially human induced think their climate models are better than other models that don’t agree. I am looking for something other than “…their models are bad because they were funded by big oil.” I need something more along the lines of “…well that’s a good question. The reasons we believe ours are better is/are…” I need something that is for a non-expert general audience. Anyone have any sites/documents that may answer this? Thanks!

Helius
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:48 pm
Location: Syracuse, New York

Post by Helius »

I can't believe the value of an atmospheric model can be in the result; A terrible model is a terrible model even if it agrees accurately with a good one.

Similiarly, two good atmospheric models can disagree in the predicted result.

Moral: Don't try to predict the weather more than 5 days out.

Maxwell (Smart) tried to prevent it, but Chaos rules. Kontrol defunct.

rj40
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:31 am
Location: Southern USA

Post by rj40 »

People are asking us to make politcal decisions based on these models. I think we need a clear and concise description of why these models are believed. We also need a clear and concise answer as to why other models are NOT believed. Specifically. We need a lot of other stuff too, but I wanted to start with this.

drmike
Posts: 825
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:54 pm
Contact:

Post by drmike »

To me it is like the Y2K or Ozone Hole "problem". It is a secular religous belief - we don't just create religion - we need it to function because that is how our brains are wired. In a way, it doesn't really matter what the truth is - what we believe is all that matters.

As long as you can show the monkey at the top of the tree that they won't get hurt ordering other monkeys around, the belief system works. Religons come and go with the popularity of the top dude. For the moment, the majority of the humans on the planet believes that CO2 is a) the cause of global warming and b) they can do something about it.

The truth is we don't actually know what the cause of global warming is and given how insignificant humans are in the scheme of things it is highly unlikely that they can do anything about the physcial temperature of this planet. But it doesn't matter - the belief can be used to drive humans to behave in rational ways that benifit all life on the planet. If you can use models to help with the process that's great. If you try to prove that all models are flawed, you will be ignored - or worse, taken notice of.

The fact that all countries but one have decided they can do something about global warming is an interesting sociological phenomena and important historical trend. If the excuse to get the whole planet to talk to each other is bogus, what does it matter? They are all talking to each other! In one generation they will move on to something else. And maybe they'll keep on talking.

JoeStrout
Site Admin
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
Contact:

climate change "controversy"

Post by JoeStrout »

It's because virtually all climate models show that global warming is the very real result of the increase in greenhouse gases that has occurred due to industrial activity. There's nothing very mysterious about it: the concentration of CO2 (the primary culprit) has been measured with great precision from a variety of sources, such as ice cores; it's been going up dramatically since the industrial revolution; we can actually measure the CO2 coming out of smokestacks and tailpipes, do the math, and see that this correlates well with the measured CO2 levels; ergo, human industry is the cause of the current state of CO2. None of these facts are in dispute.

As far as the modeling goes, real scientists put a detail into their models, validate them against historical data, and spend a great deal of effort trying to poke holes in their own and others' models. The result is that the models keep getting better and better. As noted before, they all show that increased greenhouse gases result in increased global temperature, and predict the various effects (some of which we're seeing now). The models differ in some of the details, but none disagree on the major points. Talk to any climate scientist (I know several personally), or crack open a few issues of Science or any peer-reviewed climate research journal, and you'll quickly realize that there is no controversy about global warming in the scientific community.

What's amazing is how politically motivated pseudo-scientific hacks have given the impression of controversy outside the scientific community.

It is very much analogous to evolution. All biologists know that evolution is real; this is not in dispute and hasn't been for centuries. It is a fundamental tenet of biology, and if you don't understand it, then you don't understand how life works. Yet right-wing religious nuts have managed to keep up the appearance of a controversy by bringing out pseudoscientists with impressive-sounding credentials to "refute" or even just "dispute" evidence based on various flimsy counterarguments. Any scientist can tear through those arguments like tissue paper, but if they do so publicly, then the public comes away thinking, "huh, the scientists can't agree; maybe evolution really is bunk." And of course if they don't do so, then the public only hears the religious shills.

The exact same thing is going on with the whole climate issue, except that you have to replace "religious shills" with "republican shills." Though it's interesting to note that it's pretty much the same right-wing conservative types who are involved in both cases — I guess you either see science as a route to truth, or you see it as a tool to be twisted into whatever shape supports your agenda, whatever that agenda might be. I guess one difference is that even the Republicans have officially given up on denying anthropogenic global warming (though some of the lower minions apparently haven't gotten the memo yet), whereas the evolution deniers continue to soldier on (occasionally rebranding their snake oil, most recently as so-called "intelligent design").

Don't be fooled. Science works in climate change exactly the same way it does in any other field; consensus is reached by falsifying hypotheses, selecting the most parsimonious models to explain the data, and so on. Consensus about climate change was reached years ago and all scientists in the field (as well as anybody paying attention to the field) knows it, just as biologists know that humans evolved from apelike ancestors. Only a handful of nuts, mainly in America (one of the most religious countries in the world, alas), continue to argue otherwise on either point.

Best,
- Joe
Joe Strout
Talk-Polywell.org site administrator

seedload
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:16 pm

Post by seedload »

This is very easy. Climate models are based on theory. The theory is that more CO2 causes the global temperatures to go up. The models demonstrate what would happen if the theory were right. That is all. They do not prove the theory. They are based on the theory. The theory is unproven so the models say nothing.

A month ago I believed that man made global warming was real and that there was scientific concensis on the fact that rising CO2 levels will cause significant changes in our climate for the worse. I have been doing a lot of reading over the last month, initially spurred on by a post on this forum. I have read a lot of papers and studied a lot of web sites. My beliefs have changed significantly. I now doubt that our contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere is in any way a significant contributor to temperature.

In my reading, I find a lot more pathological science on global warming web sites than I do on sites questioning the factual basis of CO2 induced global warming. I am approaching this with an open mind. Al Gore's well constructed video was a very compelling when I first watched it. On later review, I find it very misleading to the point of making me angry.

I may be a Republican shill, but I didn't start that way. Global Warming is a huge industry. I suspect that there are far more "shills" trying to keep funding going than there are people like me who are just scratching their heads wondering how this all got so ****ing out of control.

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

It is because solar scientists have no input to the climate models.

The solar guys are predicting a little ice age with its depth around 2030.

So far temps have stalled for the last 10 years, they seem to be falling this year and ta da the next solar cycle is having a late start.

NASA guys say they expect sunspots to re-appear in late 2009. The solar guys are predicting a Dalton type minimum. No spots for 5 or 10 years.

We are in the midsts of a natural test of whether the sun or CO2 drives climate.

So far the latest satellite research shows that clouds/water vapor are a significant negative feedback factor. The models assume it is positive. NASA know this and it is confirmed by 6 years of data. The models have yet to be revised to conform to the "new" data.

The new data shows the CO2 forcing multiplier to be around 1.1 vs the 3X or 4X assumed by the models. Which is what the anti-hysterics have been saying for years.

How did the modelers get the wrong multiplier? Confusing cause with effect. Very easy to do when the data is so messy.

http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/200 ... -heat.html
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

Joe,

The consensus is not as strong as you maintain. It may be 60/40 in favor of CO2. It is not 90/10 which I would expect from a good theory or 99/1 from a very good theory.

In addition above ground based thermometers are a lousy way to measure climate. They are subject to all kinds of unquantifiable biases.

So scientists have done the right thing. They sent out 3,000 ocean based probes that measure from the surface to about 3,000 ft down. Guess what? They are trying to find where the missing heat went. They find the missing heat to be a "puzzle" because the theory predicts it should be there.

So what do you say about a theory where two independent systems of measurement (ocean - satellite) do not match the theory? Well you definitely have to say that there is some 'splainin to do.

Let me also add that when the Germans published a book by 100 scientists debunking "Jewish science" Einstein said "it only takes one". Consensus is not a good metric. Phlogiston theory was once the consensus.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

rj40
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:31 am
Location: Southern USA

Post by rj40 »

Thanks for all the input. I appreciate your time, this is most interesting. And now for some thoughts: When I get sick, I visit the doctor. The AMA board approved kind that is licensed by the state. The person the consensus says knows what he is talking about. I do this because I think my odds of getting fixed up are better. I may be wrong, the person down the street who hawks vitamin supplements could be the person with the best answer, but I don’t know anything about medicine, so I go with the consensus. Likewise with global warming/climate change. I don’t know anything about climate science, so I go with the odds as I see them. For now, I think the majority is probably right, but reserve the right to change my mind. I am in Joe Strouts camp. You had me at hello babe.

Here is my dilemma, when I see global warming folks talking about this stuff; it is almost always of the form: “Ice sheets melting, cities flooding, poor people being destroyed. And most climate scientists agree it is man made. Now back to the horrors.” Well, I think most people (VOTERS) believe things are warming up (true or not). The global warming folks have only tackled half the battle, if they want to stop/slow it; they need to convince voters that it is primarily man made. By this I mean presenting why they think what they think in easily understandable terms. Laymans terms. Specifically. Point by point. It also means addressing the critics. Specifically. Point by point. They need a Stephen J Gould (evolution proponent) for climate science. Someone who can explain to the average person why most climate scientists think humans are the main cause, and then address the critics. And I don’t mean calling them stupid or saying they are tainted because oil companies pay them. No, I mean address the critics’ points, one by one, in easy to understand terms. With specifics, without name calling. Attack their method, or data. But keep focused. Some folks are attacking “deniers” by noting that they work for oil companies. Well, that is coming back. Now the “deniers” are attacking the proponents with the same argument (“They want to save their cushy jobs fighting big oil!”).

Few of the people I know down here in the American south believe it is substantially human caused. They just don’t believe it. And when people like Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT, I) call people who don’t believe it stupid, it doesn’t help. What I get is: “Well, if they address their critics arguments with statement like ‘they are stupid,’ then that doesn’t convince me they understand anything. I don’t believe it.” And they vote accordingly. When you want to change someone’s mind, or convince them of something, but you call them stupid, you are in big trouble. Let me say that again; when one party to an argument calls the other party stupid, the first party has just conceded the argument. They have just. Given. Up. In real terms for global warming, this means time. When I read what Sanders said (and others) I rolled my eyes and thought: “well, there go the Seychelles, I wonder if we can save the Maldives? Thanks for the help Bernie!”

So, finally, I am looking for a website or document that lays out in simple terms, terms that your everyday voter can understand, why most climate scientists believe global warming is primarily man made. Specifically. Also, and very importantly, I need that website or document to do the same when it addresses critics. Step by step, numbered, and in plain speaking terms. Shooting down each critical statement with reasoned argument backed up by data. Does anyone know of such a site or document?

God, when are we going to get those Polywell results!?
Thanks for the input everybody! Most fun.

drmike
Posts: 825
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:54 pm
Contact:

Post by drmike »

In between watching Jules Verne autodoc with the ISS and figuring out PLL's in FPGA's I ran across this site: energy absorbed by greenhouse gases in various wavelength which has a nice plot of the absorption spectrum as a function of wave length for various gasses. I also looked up the composition of air in my CRC handbook and noted that CO2 is about 0.033% of the atmosphere and H2O is about 2 to 4% (depending on where you are of course it could be a lot more or less).

Two things pop out at me: 1) H2O is a MUCH bigger absorber of heat energy than CO2 and 2) it is a bigger component of the atmosphere. What confounds this more though is that H2O is a major component of combustion! So one could still argue that the change in climate is man made, but the problem is water vapor from combustion which is changing the atmosphere. For every long chain hydrocarbon fuel, there is as much water vapor created as carbon dioxide.

Now - try selling reducing fuel consumption by arguing that we have to reduce water vapor content being emitted into the air.

We need to reduce fuel consumption so our civilization doesn't commit suicide - but that won't work either. People have been trying that argument for decades. Using the green house gas argument seems to be working, so although I don't believe it - I support the end result.

And thanks for starting the discussion - it is fun!!
:)

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

You will love Real Climate.

They have just the arguments you want. And when sceptics ask inconvenient questions they delete them.

And BTW they claim to be Real Climate scientists.

As far as I know they don't call sceptics stupid. They don't have to. They control the argument.

BTW Leading Climate Scientist James Hansen has called coal trains Auschwitz Trains. That is a pretty good argument don't you think?

But if you really want to believe there is no better secular faith than Global Warming. Me? I don't want to believe anything. Not even Polywell.

If you want to look at evidence for the other side. May I suggest "Climate Audit" - by the guys who debunked Mann's Hockey Stick. And "Watts Up" by Anthony Watts who looks into the problems with the surface measurement stations. From those places you can find links to both pro and conn sites.

If you want to find out more about solar science and astrophysics may I commend you to Nir Shaviv's site (whose name I don't presently recall).

That should be enough to get you started.

I'd be careful though. I think your faith is going to be disproved soon. For instance 60% of Brits believe Global Warming = wallet extraction.

Arctic ice is now at its greatest extent since measurements started. No proof of anything of course. But neither was "the arctic is melting" hysteria. What we do know is that the Greenland Viking settlements from around 1100 (I'm probably off on the dates but it was around that time) are under ice. Which is kind of strange if we are having global warming. But the Real Climate types have an answer: it is a local phenomenon. Every fact that is inconvenient is a local phenomenon.

BTW if you look at history this is the third or fourth climate scare since around 1900. They usually come at the end of a phase. In the 1930s we had a global warming scare. In the 1970s it was cooling. And now we are back to warming. So the hysteria is periodic.

Join in. It will make you more socially popular. You will be in with the majority. Despite the current best evidence being against it.

Personal anecdote. I once worked on a project. I told every one involved the design was bad and would be a big headache. I was the lone sceptic. Every one else (including lots of engineers) thought the design was tits. And low and behold the first 10 preproduction prototypes worked perfectly. Boy did I have egg on my face. We go into production and the field failure rate was 99%. Had they done the redesign when I brought up the problems they would have saved millions (at the cost of a significant schedule hit). Telling the truth on that project cost me at least $100,000 in lost contract fees. I'm used to being odd man out.

I intend to be just as rigorous with Polywell. It is my job.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

BTW Dr. Mike,

Reducing energy consumption is not cost free. It will condemn the third world to poverty. No doubt we need to get off fossil fuels. But there is no panic. We
have at least 100 years and probably 200 years to do the job in terms of fuel availability.

Long enough to get even the ITER boondoggle to work. Or make solar power cheap. Or to extend our wind turbine network.

And why did I go into engineering? Well in 1962 I was afraid we were running out of energy. The consensus said so. I got my hands on my first solar cell that year. I have been working in energy off and on ever since including nuclear power and aircraft electrical systems.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

rj40
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:31 am
Location: Southern USA

Post by rj40 »

[quote="MSimon"] You will love Real Climate.
They have just the arguments you want. And when sceptics ask inconvenient questions they delete them.

But if you really want to believe there is no better secular faith than Global Warming. Me? I don't want to believe anything. Not even Polywell.

If you want to look at evidence for the other side. May I suggest "Climate Audit" - by the guys who debunked Mann's Hockey Stick. And "Watts Up" by Anthony Watts who looks into the problems with the surface measurement stations. From those places you can find links to both pro and conn sites.

If you want to find out more about solar science and astrophysics may I commend you to Nir Shaviv's site (whose name I don't presently recall).

That should be enough to get you started.

I'd be careful though. I think your faith is going to be disproved soon. For instance 60% of Brits believe Global Warming = wallet extraction. [quote]

Thanks, I will try both. But deleting comments from people who disagree with me isn't my cup of tea.
Secular faith? I do see people who fall into that. There is nothing that will change their minds. A pity.
Thank God I'm an atheist.
Be careful? My faith (in global warming) is going to be disproved soon? Jeez I hope so! I have no problem with that at all.

MSimon
Posts: 14332
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

I'm a believer in the Force.

F=ma
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

drmike
Posts: 825
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:54 pm
Contact:

Post by drmike »

MSimon wrote:BTW Dr. Mike,

Reducing energy consumption is not cost free. It will condemn the third world to poverty. No doubt we need to get off fossil fuels. But there is no panic. We
have at least 100 years and probably 200 years to do the job in terms of fuel availability.
I said reduce fossil fuel consumption, not reduce energy consumption :)
I think we need to increase per capita energy consumption to remove
poverty and disease. I would rather use all that hydrocarbon store for
medicine and plastic than fuel - plastic is a pretty nice construction material.
Long enough to get even the ITER boondoggle to work. Or make solar power cheap. Or to extend our wind turbine network.

And why did I go into engineering? Well in 1962 I was afraid we were running out of energy. The consensus said so. I got my hands on my first solar cell that year. I have been working in energy off and on ever since including nuclear power and aircraft electrical systems.


Same with me - just 10 years later! With the oil embargo it seemed pretty obvious energy was an important aspect to study. Economics makes it all happen though - once the price of energy gets high enough, all the alternatives become cost effective, and then engineering skills are applied to them, and they become much cheaper. It happened to wood fuel and steam engines, it happened to coal and it will happen to oil.

It's just that it is more sensible to be ahead of the curve.

Post Reply