With the death of Ed Lorenz and a world apparently taking a hiatus on the way to unstoppable anthropogenic global warming, It has taken a group effort at RealClimate to try to deal with the issue of chaotic weather vs. climate modelling: “Butterflies, tornadoes and climate modelling“.
Rather unfortunately for the authors, the conclusions contain a remarkable amount of unintended irony.
[…] But how can climate be predictable if weather is chaotic? The trick lies in the statistics. In those same models that demonstrate the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, it turns out that the long term means and other moments are stable. […] Climate change then is equivalent seeing how the structure changes, while not being too concerned about the specific trajectory you are on
In other words, “climate change” is an entity that can only become observable in the long, long term. And since there is little concern for the “specific trajectory”, there literally exists NO possible short-term sets of observations that can falsify the climate models.
Another way of saying it is that for the climate problem, the weather (or the individual trajectory) is the noise. If you are trying to find the common signal that is a signature of a particular forcing then averaging over a number of simulations with different weather works rather well […]
In other words, since each and every atmospheric event can be obviously described as “weather”, there is no single observation that can falsify the climate models.
Their work doesn’t have to deal with any single observation, no short-term sets of observations…do they realize what they are saying???
Real climate is in their own words almost perfectly insulated from the real world. Nothing that can ever happen will be able to disprove the work of the climate modellers, apart from multi-decadal averages that are so poorly defined, they can easily be used to demonstrate anything.
Is this “science”? Looks more like long-term guaranteed employment to me… No wonder Anthropogenic Climate Change has important detractors in the metereological community.
In further irony, the above pairs up perfectly well with RC’s “comments policy” that can be summarized more or less into “we will censor everything we do not like“.
RealClimate: the insulated web site, where insulated researchers post insulated content. Now I understand why poor Gavin Schmidt had such a hard time dealing with an open debate…