Sunday, April 01, 2012

Uncertainty; (4/1) Climate science fixed, "wrong sign paradox" finally resolved. And other news.

RealClimate has the good news; though you might want to check the publication date.  (Also, is April Fools Day a worldwide observance, or is it just for Euro&North American culture?)

Also, from the NY Times on March 28, see Justin Gillis's Weather Runs Hot and Cold, So Scientists Look to the Ice - meaning the decline of Arctic sea ice, a disruption that'll likely disrupt weather patterns.

Climate models, which didn't predict this much weather weirdness, "have always had a kind of stodginess to them" (link); so when someone says that "climate models are uncertain," remember (since they typically don't mention this fact) that uncertainty cuts both ways, and increases the threat considerably:
"As uncertainty increases, the probability of a truly catastrophic outcome [goes up disproportionately: an increase in]...the standard deviation of our distribution...from .5 to 2.5 increases the likelihood of catastrophe by a factor of 200."
Edited (wording, add link) 2012-04-10,11.


Don Pelton said...

This sounds like an April Fool's article. The sign of the value returned by the ICHEAT FORTRAN subroutine should be unrelated to the basic issue, which is the whether warming is positively correlated to solar activity, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, cosmic rays, etc.

IMO ...

Anna Haynes said...

Was this not clear? My bad.