Monday, August 27, 2007

"If We Can't Predict the Weather Next Week, How Can We Predict 100 Years into the Future?"
Part of the common arguments from skeptics/deniers series

The Attack on Modellers
One would expect oil funded lobbyists, which have a vested interest in debunking global warming theories, to attack climate models, but sometimes even a few professional meteorologists that do not receive any oil money will make similar attacks. One such professional is the 77 year old Bill Gray which claimed: "So many people have a vested interest in this global-warming thing—all these big labs and research and stuff. The idea is to frighten the public, to get money to study it more." Gray attacked modellers in front of Congress by saying "and they trouble is they don't know how the atmosphere ticks. They're people that make assumptions that are not valid, and they believe them."

Gray vs. Climate
Round I : Catarina

In 1979 William Gray said the formation of a hurricane in the South Atlantic was an impossibility:

Genesis does not occur in the tropical southeast Pacific and South Atlantic because the background seasonal climatology is so unfavorable. Although short-term positive deviations of genesis potential may be as large at these locations elsewhere, they can never overcome their strongly unfavorable climatoligical background.
Yet the United Kingdom's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, a branch of the UK's Met Office, had predicted that a hurricane would form in the South Atlantic in a globally warming world. So what the models said would occur, Gray said would "never" occur. In March of 2004 such an 'impossible' hurricane formed. Her name was Catarina.

2004 went on to be a record shattering year for hurricanes. The number of intense storms were double of that predicted by William Gray. His explanation was simple: "This year did not behave like any other year we have studied." . Gray's forecasts are based upon comparison to the past. Perhaps in a warming and changing world past observations of seasonal trends won't apply anymore. On the other hand the GCM models forecast based upon our understanding of the laws of physics. This brings up a rather famous quote: "The laws of physics are eternal and cannot be changed with additional research, venture capital or majority votes."

Gray vs. Climate Models
Round II: Seasonal Forecasts

In December of 2004 Gray announced that he did not expect "anything close to the U.S. land-falling hurricane activity of 2004" for the 2005 hurricane season. Gray predicted 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. Only a slightly above average year. Unfortunately 2005 was going to to shatter all records. By late may 2005, Gray had upped the forecast to fifteen named storms. While this was an increase it was still only about half of what to come. Meteo-France on the other hand, was using a new form of hurricane forecasting which employs climate models. They predicted 22 named storms. The end game resulted in 28 storms. While both forecasts were off Gray was much farther off than the climate models. Meteo-France was off by 6 while Gray was initially off by 17 and later 13 names storms. Grays margin of error was 2-3 times larger than the Meteo-France's climate models. The biggest margin of error by a major climate model I've found so far is UK's Met office. But even this model which predicted 16.2 storms was much better than Grays initial prediction and was even better than his revised prediction (albeit not by much). Looking at 2005 alone, the climate models are the best forecasters we have. Much better than Gray's intuition and gut instinct and traditional forcasting in general. Surely as our understanding of the climate engine increases these models will only get better and better.

Thomas Kuhn once wrote that anytime there is a paradigm shift in science it will be met with resistance. Accepting climate models might be doubly tough for William Gray as he spent 52 years developing a forecasting method that might now be obsolete. But given that the models are currently outperforming Gray's own predictions and are correctly predicting what Gray thought was impossible then it might be prudent for him to acknowledge that the modellers do in fact know what they are doing.

Discover, Discover Dialogue: Meteorologist William Gray, Kathy A. Svitil, 09.09.2005
Meteorology Over the Tropical Oceans, Hurricanse: Their formation, Structure and Likely Role in the Tropical Circulation, William Gray, 1979, pp. 155-218 (quote on 181)


Anonymous said...

chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -
forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -

Anonymous said...

firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto pilot -
gain opinion -
gold secrets -
government records -
governmentregistry -
Auto Content Cash -
Banner Ad Blueprint -
Copy Paste Systems -
Every Other Day Diet -
Farm Ville Secrets -
Plugin To Green Profits -
Rapid Mass Traffic -
Tinnitus Miracle -
Tweetomatic Profiteer -
Woodworking 4 Home -
24 Hour Internet Business -
Blogging To The Bank -
Burn The Fat -
Earth 4 Energy -
Fap Turbo -
Fat Burning Furnace -
Fat Loss 4 Idiots -
Foex Auto Money -
Hemorrhoid Miracle -
Legit Online Jobs -
Magic Of Making Up -
Magni Work -
Micro Niche Finder -
Plr Article Software -

Anonymous said...

Pregnancy Miracle -
Software Submitter Pro -
The Affiliate Code -
The Diet Solution Program -
Truth About Abs -
Zygor Guides -
government registry -
green diy energy -
healthy urban kitchen -
highest pay surveys -
holo think -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
keyword elite -
learn photoshop videos -
lmt forex formula -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my list strategy -
my phone riches -
natural cancer treatments -
online tv pc -
panic away -
pdf creator -

combattery84 said...

Laptop battery
ACER Laptop Battery
ASUS Laptop Battery
COMPAQ Laptop Battery
Dell Laptop Battery
HP Laptop Battery
IBM Laptop Battery
SONY Laptop Battery
TOSHIBA Laptop Battery
APPLE M8403 battery
APPLE A1078 Battery
APPLE A1079 battery
APPLE A1175 battery
APPLE a1185 battery 1
APPLE A1189 battery
Acer aspire 5920 battery
Acer btp-arj1 battery
Acer LC.BTP01.013 battery

Acer ASPIRE 1300 battery
Acer ASPIRE 1310 battery
Acer Aspire 1410 battery
Acer ASPIRE 1680 battery
ACER BTP-63D1 battery
ACER BTP-43D1 battery
Acer lc.btp05.001 battery
Acer aspire 3000 battery
Acer Travelmate 4000 battery
ACER aspire 5560 battery
ACER BATBL50L6 battery