Is reality invalidating climate modeling?

climate model failure At present, the primary tools used by scientists and policy makers for predicting climate change are computer models, generally the global warming projections used by the  United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  According to some sources,  global average temperatures have not risen since 1998 and warming may not resume until some time in the next decade.  NONE of the IPCC models has a 20 year period of little or no warming.

As with anything based on computer models, projection results are subject to the accuracy of the input data provided to model and the validity of the assumptions used in the modeling.

On February 12, 2009 Dr. Patrick J. Michaels testified at a U.S. House subcommittee hearing, “The Climate Crisis: National Security, Public Health, and Economic Threats.”

Dr. Michaels explained, “The answers to the important questions about the implications of climate change are driven by a series of computer models and mathematical simulations.”  He subsequently stated, “I must report that our models are in the process of failing.”

With each post, I  link to videos, news, and/or other material  that I have read or viewed associated with climate change.

Prepared text for Congressional Hearing:



  • Get real, Wong tells greens, The Sydney Morning Herald, February 23 – “There is no point in putting a cost on carbon pollution in Australia if it simply results in jobs and emissions being exported to countries that do not yet face a carbon price.
  • Brazil climate change threatens top coffee crop – Soybean production also could be affected, The Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, February 22 – “The future for Brazil’s mighty farm sector could be grim, with hotter temperatures pushing crops past its borders, uphill into the Andes and toward the tip of South America.”
  • Consensus is a dangerous thing – the debate over global warming, opinion,, Fenruary 22
climate change, global cooling, global warming, politics, science, Uncategorized

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jean Browman--Cheerf Feb 23, 2009

    Having done a lot of computer simulations in my day, I'm always somewhat skeptical about what they predict. On the other hand, there is no doubt that glaciers are melting and there are a lot of other signs of long-term climate change. The world is changing fast even if we can't predict exactly how. IMHO 🙂

    <abbr>Jean Browman–Cheerful Monk’s last blog post..Going On an Artist’s Date</abbr>

  • Mike Goad Feb 24, 2009


    All of my experience with computer simulations have been on the receiving end or the application end in the simulator of the nuclear power plant. Over time the simulator became so realistic that it was uncanny, but then one of the software engineers would tweak a line of code to make some aspect "fit" and days or weeks later we would discover that some parameter that had been working just fine was causing unexpected results.

    Years ago, the operations manager saw something that he didn't expect during one of the scenarios. He asked one of the simulator instructors about it who then asked me. After doing some research, I found that the simulator was modeling fairly accurately some anticipated transient responses that I had not been covering in my classes, which I rectified with a short video in the next training cycle.

  • Friar Feb 25, 2009

    As an engineer, it really bothers me when someone presents a computer model (on global temperature, for example), and the media and Joe Public accepts it as gospel truth.

    Like you've been saying, a model is only as good as the assumptions on which it was based. And often, tweaking a parameter or two can totally change the results. This is what people need to realize.

    I like to keep an open mind about Climate Change. When new information comes up (like the earth's now apparently stopped warming up) that just goes to show that we puny humans aren't' as smart as we think. Our computer simulations obviously need revising.

    Or maybe there's something we've been missing. For example, the earth was much warmer 1000 years ago (before we started burning fossil fuels). Why is that?

    <abbr>Friar’s last blog post..Blogging Commenter Stereotypes</abbr>

  • Mike Goad Feb 25, 2009

    Friar – I’m trying to keep an open mind, also, but I’m trying to maintain a questioning attitude on climate change issues.

    I do think that most of those scientists who proclaim “The science is settled” or “The debate is over” have lost their scientific objectivity to a large degree and probably are serving their own agenda rather than serving the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

  • Friar Feb 25, 2009


    I so TOTALLY agree. Anyone who says "the science is settled" on Global Warming shouldn't be allowed to call themselves a scientist.

    History has proven, time and time again, just when we thought we knew everything, some new theory comes up that totally changes how we think.

    Like back in the 1890's, where they thought they knew everything there was to know about physics. Or in the early sixties, they thought the continents never moved.

    Have you read Michael Crichtons' "State of Fear"? The story itself, was so-so. But there was an excellent discussion on Global Warming. And how science has become politicized, and how people are pushing their own agenda, and are losing their objectivity.

    <abbr>Friar’s last blog post..Blogging Commenter Stereotypes</abbr>

  • Mike Goad Feb 25, 2009


    Actually, I had read "State of Fear" quite some time ago. Then, a few months ago, when I was really starting to question things, I went looking for it to reread it. It took me several days of searching our bookshelves periodically before I found it. I read it again while we were traveling in September.

  • Friar Feb 26, 2009


    I really like the case Michael Crichton made with it was extremely popular and widely accepted by leaders and scientists, until the 1930's..until they realized it was proven wrong.

    That's a great example of what happens when you politicize science..which is what we're in danger of doing with Global Warming, I think.

    <abbr>Friar’s last blog post..Blogging Commenter Stereotypes</abbr>

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