[ExI] Climate models

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Mar 29 19:14:35 UTC 2014

On Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 5:32 PM, John Clark wrote:
> In the current issue of Science News is a article about clouds and it
> confirms that clouds are the single biggest unknown in climate models.
> Everybody agrees that clouds warm things through the greenhouse effect at
> night and cool things by reflecting sunlight during the day, and everybody
> agrees that the cooling effect is larger than the heating effect, but they
> disagree about just how much larger and on if we will have more clouds in
> the future or less. And a recently discovered fact complicates things
> further, clouds made of ice crystals and water droplets reflect light about
> equally but the ice crystal clouds have a stronger greenhouse effect than
> water clouds. As a result of all this confusion and uncertainty are rampant.

> I have to say all this doesn't exactly give me confidence that I should bet
> my life on the fact that although they make lousy 17 year predictions
> climate models make wonderful 100 year predictions.

I wouldn't fret too much about climatologists having difficulty
putting clouds into their climate models.

I prefer to fret about the real world. Like Arctic ice and frozen
tundra melting. Or closer to your home, tropical pests and diseases
spreading further north every year.


The study, published in Nature Climate Change, examined 612 crop pests
and pathogens. Tropical insects, fungi, and bacteria are moving at a
rate of 1.7 miles a year toward regions normally considered too cold
for them to thrive. Warmer weather has greatly expanded these pests'
territories, threatening crops unequipped with defenses against these
new enemies.

American species are already feeling the effects. The mountain pine
beetle, for instance, has migrated to warming forests in the Pacific
Northwest, wreaking havoc on millions of acres of forest in what may
be the largest forest insect blight ever seen in North America.
Fusarium head blight, another pest attracted to warmer and wetter
conditions up north, has decimated American wheat and oat crops,
costing farmers billions of dollars. Still more pests are steadily
making their way northward.


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