25 August 2007

The Map Is Not the Territory

Climate Model Prediction left, vs. actual readings at right (latitude x, altitude y)

It is sometimes easy to confuse the map with the territory. One can easily become lost if he believes the territory must absolutely conform to the map he is reading. It is good to make allowances.

The media and general public do the same thing with climate models--confusing the climate models and the reality. As we have learned from Surface Stations, Climate Science, and Climate Audit, the data that the models are based upon is less than stellar. Garbage in, garbage out.

While many branches of science engage in the study of climate--geologists, ocean scientists, atmospheric scientists, astrophysicists, meteorologists, dendroclimatologists, computer modelers etc--it is the modelers who get the most attention. These are the "scientists" who predict the alarmist futures that are written up in the media and trumpeted by political opportunists such as Al Gore. But as you can see from the graphic above, the model is not the reality.

Even among the computer modelers, the "consensus" is much less than is being presented to the (mostly) gullible public.

The media and policy-makers with their own vested interests, would like for the public to live on a razor's edge of anxiety over climate. This makes their work easier and more profitable. But what is good for the media is not always good for everyone else. Think for yourself.

Hat tip Lubos Motl, by way of Green Watch.

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Blogger AntiCitizenOne said...

I've said it before, so I'll say it again.

Climate models are worse than GIGO.

Because they are recursive, they suffer from exponential error. Meaning that any initial data error no matter how small, or any model error will eventually cause the model to start to emit rubbish.

It's Near Perfect In, Garbage Out! Both models and data are imperfect, so I would guess their usefulness as sub-zero (including the cost of developing them).

Saturday, 25 August, 2007  
Blogger Erika Lenz said...

I would love to think for myself, but you haven't included the source for your graphic. Where's it from, darlin'?

Sunday, 26 August, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

ACO: As you say, recursive models are subject to very slight errors in initial parameters.

Dearest Erika: If indeed you would love to think for yourself, an excellent first assignment toward that end would be for you to follow the links yourself and find the source of the graphic. I will assist you insofar as telling you if you are correct.

Heh! Just kidding. I shall email Lubos Motl for the source, and include it in a later update.

The graphic itself, of course, merely illustrates discrepancies between models and realities, which is not a controversial issue. Anyone who has ever modeled understands the limitations and difficulties involved.

Sunday, 26 August, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

Preliminary search for graphic source : (IPCC, 2007, p. 675, based on Santer et al, 2003. See also IPCC, 2007, Appendix 9C) from this article.

Sunday, 26 August, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

Followup search leads to this article contained within this larger report.

Look particularly at figure 5.7 near the bottom of the chapter.

Sunday, 26 August, 2007  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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