Can Climate Modelers Be Serious?

Posted on Wed 06/12/2019 by

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By Dr. Jay Lehr ~

Fear-mongers daily prophesy the end of the world as we know it if we do not convert our planet to wind and solar energy. Sensible folks realize that we would then be living again the life of the 19th century. The man-caused global warming scare may well be the best false fear-mongering ever conceived. It has half the world clamoring to be lead to safety from climate change without a shred of physical evidence. What they do have are mathematical equations considered to be models of the Earth’s climate.

Our government has financed more than one hundred efforts to model our planet for the better part of three decades. They continue to do so though none could ever predict the known past or after a decade of study accurately predict what was to happen ten years later. If you watched this years Indianapolis 500 motor car race you know they predicted 80% chance of rain, but the sun never went behind a cloud.

The problem facing real scientists who study climate with no bias is that the public has no clue what a mathematical model actually is, how they work or what they can and can not do. So let’s try to simplify the very complex subject of mathematical modeling.

Before we build buildings or airplanes we surely make physical, small scale models and test them against the stress and performances that will be required of them when they are actually built.

When dealing with systems that are totally beyond our control we try and describe them with computer programs or mathematical equations that we hope may give answers to the questions we have about how the system may work today and in the future. We attempt to understand the variables that affect the operation of the system. Then we alter the variables and see how the outcomes are effected. This is called sensitivity testing, the very best use of mathematical models.

Historically we were never foolish enough to make economic decisions based on predictions calculated from equations we think might control how nature works. Today we are doing just that.

All problems can be viewed as having five stages, observation (seeing physical occurrence), modeling (estimating mathematical relationships), prediction (how the system might work), verification (seeing a correct result) and validation (determining that the result was not a random occurrence).

Perhaps the most active area for mathematical modeling is the economy and the stock market. No one has ever succeeded in getting it right and there are far less variables than occur in determining the climate of our planet. For many years the Wall Street Journal selected five eminent economic analysts to select a stock they were sure would rise in the following month. Then they had a chimpanzee throw five darts at a wall covered with that days stock market results. A month later they determined who did better choosing winners, the analysts or the chimpanzees darts. For many many years the chimps won so often that they discontinued the contests. I am not saying today’s mathematical modelers would not beat chimps throwing darts at future Earth temperatures, but I will not object if you reach that conclusion.

Consider the following: we do not know all the variables that control our climate, but we are quite sure they are likely in the hundreds. Just take a quick look at ten obviously important factors for which we have limited understanding.

1- changes in seasonal solar irradiation

2- energy flows between ocean and atmosphere

3- energy flow between air and land

4- balance between earth’s water, water vapor and ice

5- the impacts of clouds

6- understanding the planet’s ice

7- mass changes between ice sheets, seal level and glaciers

8- ability to factor in hurricanes and tornadoes

9- the impact of vegetation on temperature

10- tectonic movement on ocean bottoms

Yet today’s modelers believe they can tell you the planet’s climate

decades or even a century in the future and want you to manage your economy accordingly.

Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysics laboratory once calculated that if we could know all the variables affecting climate and plugged them into the world’s largest computer, it would take 40 years for the computer to reach an answer.

It is time to stop placing any credence in the recommendations of today’s climate modelers.

Dr Jay Lehr contributes posts at the CFACT site. Jay Lehr is a senior policy analyst at CFACT, and he graduated from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering. He went on to receive the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.  He is the author of numerous books, articles and scholarly papers.

Read more excellent articles at CFACT  http://www.cfact.org/