Climate Change Q and A Seminar 3: Friday 5 Sept – what future climate change scenarios are possible?

Seminar reminder and Discussion Thread.

Friday 5 September: What future climate change scenarios are possible?

Scientists can’t forecast what my local weather will do this weekend, how can they know what climates around the world will do in 50 years?” The earth is a complex system, as are the computer models scientists use to understand the effects of greenhouse gases in that system. Those models are attacked for being unreliable. They are said to exaggerate the effects of CO2 or neglect the robustness and history of the earth’s climate.

In this third of the Climate Q&A series, Prof Brook takes a close look at the models–how they work, what they can tell us and why it’s important we take them seriously.

Some of the sceptical positions to be covered include:

  • Models are unreliable
  • If you can’t predict next week’s weather, how can you predict it in 50 years time?
  • Climate sensitivity is low
  • The IPCC scenarios are not realistic
  • Models are unverified and ‘tuned’ to fit to past temperature change
  • Models ignore… [insert the thing they supposedly left out]
  • Recent flat temperatures disprove climate models

Guest Speaker: Dr Peter Hayman, Climate Applications, SARDI, Department of Primary Industries and Resources of South Australia, South Australian Government.

Peter is Principal Scientist, Climate Applications, with the South Australian Research and Development Institute. Prior to this he was an agricultural adviser and researcher with NSW Department of Primary Industries. Since the early 1990s he has worked with farmers and their advisers to apply the advances of climate science to improve the management of climate risk.

Time and place:
5.30 -7.00 pm, Friday 5 September 2008
Lecture Theatre 102, Napier Building, University of Adelaide (North Terrace Campus, City)

Any questions or comments, ask away!

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16 Comments

  1. Barry,
    If a thought processing system hasn’t got all the facts, how can it come up with the right answers?

    When it is obvious that scientists cannot know all the factors, facets and fallibilities of our chaotic atmospheric system, how can we believe a servant of these same scientists, [who BTW, mainly like yourself, have a very obvious pro AGW bias from the outset] i.e. a calculating idiot of a computer?

  2. Surely that is the point of the next lecture – to answer these questions (and others) – Do yourself a favour and wait until you have listened to the lecture before asking questions which obviously will be covered then.

  3. Closed mind “Drongo” – perhaps you could link to your peer-reviewed paper which scientifically dismisses Barry’s arguments. If it exists you may have some cause to miss the lecture. Otherwise listen and learn.

  4. Perps,
    Do you need a peer reviewed paper to point out that the results from a GCM is only as good as the data that is fed in?

    They really are, after all, only calculating idiots.

    How would you describe someone who continually believed, and promoted the belief of, an acknowledged idiot?

  5. Bugger you WotWot!

    You beat me to the punchline!

    Seriously though Drongo, just as with Ian Enting’s book, you need to assimilate and undertand the material first before you can usefully comment.

    After all, you’re not coming from a position of presumption of the answers, are you? Surely not…

  6. If a thought processing system hasn’t got all the facts, how can it come up with the right answers?

    When it is obvious that scientists cannot know all the factors, facets and fallibilities of our chaotic atmospheric system, how can we believe a servant of these same scientists, [who BTW, mainly like yourself, have a very obvious pro AGW bias from the outset] i.e. a calculating idiot of a computer?

    Whatever you do, never get on a modern airplane …

  7. Dhogaza,
    Believe it or not, people can actually fly aeroplanes and they are aware of ALL the potential problems of flight.

    In that situation a servant [computer] can actually be programmed to monitor and run the show.

    This is not the case with climate and never will be.

    Just try it with horses and the stock market.

  8. Believe it or not, people can actually fly aeroplanes and they are aware of ALL the potential problems of flight.

    That is simply not true. Which is why we have detailed forensic investigations of air crashes to 1) establish the cause, and 2) establish whether that cause is novel and if we need to improve our inevitably imperfect aircraft design, manufacture, and operating techniques.

    The same argument applies to many areas of human endeavour where we know enough to do a lot of good things fairly safely, but we still don’t know everything (and never will), and make serious mistakes from time to time. Medicine being another good example.

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