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  • Climate models get the basic patterns right

    Climate models get the basic patterns right

    By Marc Airhart
    Marc Airhart
    Published: Nov. 10, 2010

    Climate models do have uncertainties (clouds being one of them). With that being said, climate myth No. 3 delves into how climate models generally get basic patterns correct.

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    • Quote 2
      Marc Airhart said on Oct. 12, 2011 at 2:43 p.m.
      Ian, thanks for writing. If we had covered a 9th climate misnomer it might have been titled: "Climate scientists in the 1970s warned us of impending global cooling." Thomas Peterson and colleagues surveyed the scientific, peer-reviewed literature from 1965 to 1979 and found that only 1 out of 6 papers supported the idea that Earth was experiencing global cooling. Peterson et al. conclude that "global cooling was never more than a minor aspect of the scientific climate change literature of the era, let alone the scientific consensus..." Here's their 2008 paper in the American Meteorological Society's journal:
    • Quote 2
      Rick said on Oct. 12, 2011 at 7:08 a.m.
      "The fact that climate models get these patterns right gives modelers some confidence in their forecasts of future climate." But it is a hindcast in a model with many free parameters. Fiddle the parameters until you get a fit doesn't mean that you have actually understood the nature of climate. Science is about testing a hypothesis (e.g. a climate model) against data. If you look at the predictions of the "mean of models" as the IPCC prefer, then it is glaringly obvious that they are not correct, neither in aggregate nor in spatial distribution. The above cited statement is a bad argument.