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Diary dates, modelling edition

The Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario has an interesting conference this autumn:

We are delighted to announce that the Rotman Institute of Philosophy will host its second annual conference, Knowledge and Models in Climate Science, on Oct. 24-26, 2014.  The conference will bring together researchers to discuss the use of models in understanding the climate from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.  Models and computer simulations are essential not only for understanding the factors determining climate processes, but also for evaluating how changes in climate will affect ecosystems and human societies.  Recent gains in modeling precision and realism have allowed climate researchers to address both questions more confidently, yet there are many remaining sources of uncertainty. Participants in the conference will explore different approaches to modeling in order to gain a better understanding of the nature, strengths and limitations of the knowledge it produces, and build a better understanding of the means by which these uncertainties can be managed.

The confirmed plenary speakers for the conference include:

Gregor Betz (Karlsruher Institute for Technology)
Judith Curry (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Paul Edwards (University of Michigan)
James Fleming (Colby College)
Reto Knutti (ETH Zurich)
Rob Lempert (Pardee RAND Graduate School)
Linda Mearns (National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR))
Wendy Parker (Durham University)
Gavin Schmidt (National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA))
Eric Winsberg (The University of South Florida)
Charlotte Werndl (University of Salzburg)

Details here.

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Reader Comments (16)

"Recent gains in modeling precision and realism"

That's going to be a short session, then.

I wonder how many, if any, of the UK's Met Off will be on this jolly?

Aug 27, 2014 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

"to gain a better understanding"

So plenty of room for improvement, then? If that's still the case after all the "recent gains", one can be forgiven for wondering how bad they were to begin with (when, as I recall, AGW was a near certainty).

Aug 27, 2014 at 9:15 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Richard Betts "I am slightly bemused over why you think GCMs are so central to climate policy" won't be welcome there then.

Aug 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"Recent gains in modeling precision and realism have allowed climate researchers to address both questions more confidently"



Interesting and thoughtful comments on climate models from a *real* climate scientist.

Aug 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I know this is off topic and please pull it if it's inappropriate Bish. I was reading this article on health and saturated fats via a link from Guido's blog.

I re read it and substituted man made climate change and the names of the main protagonists like Mann etc and it made for a wryly amusing piece. Your the good guy by the way.

Aug 27, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterStu

"Recent gains in modeling precision and realism have allowed climate researchers to address both questions more confidently"

A pity about the spread of IPCC model "projections", then. Or is that just the problem of those who decide which, and how many, models get to strut down the IPCC catwalk?

Seems like a continuing surfeit of confidence over competence.

Aug 27, 2014 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Nils-Axel Morner over at NTZ talking - " all calls for an observationally based view of climate; instead of a general hysteria.”

When climate science can involve the modelling of results obtained from an ensemble of models it is time to ask if they have lost the plot. I have grave doubts about whether the basic assumptions that underpin the science are valid, never mind virtual results from a virtual world.

Aug 27, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

'Observational knowledge NOR Models in Climate Science' would appear a better summary of the current status.

Aug 27, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterVarco

The nearly 50 years' old CO2-AGW climate fraud appears to have been thought up at the 1975 'Endangered Atmosphere' conference which led to the then 'New Ice Age' lobbyists, led by Schneider, turning into the Saganite CAGW group.

Bearing in mind Max Planck's statement, 'Science advances one funeral at a time', increased longevity has meant this scam has gone on for longer than all its predecessors.

We in science and engineering who have always doubted this Cultural Marxist construct should consider ourselves privileged to have lived long enough to see its collapse. The key question though, is what will replace it?

Aug 27, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

They can have all of the precision that they want but only accuracy impresses ... we're so unimpressed.

Aug 27, 2014 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

Never in the histry of science has there been so many ‘remaining sources of uncertainty’ in something which has be claimed to be so long and so loud as ‘settled ‘

Aug 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

Stu at 09:54.
I also read the article about fats in food. It was all there, bad data, wrong interpretation, poor sampling, strong personalities, too much political influence and junk science. It was just like climate science.

Aug 27, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat


Thanks for the cross-reference to diet fads and the bombastic Ancel Keys. Presumably that means that statins* are also a waste of time?

*Upon which America spent $144 billion from 2001-2011.

Linking from there, I found a useful quote from one David Freedman, which also applies perfectly to climate science (my emphasis):

"We could solve much of the wrongness problem if the world simply stopped expecting scientists to be right. That's because being wrong in science is fine, and even necessary -- as long as scientists recognize that they blew it, report their mistake openly instead of disguising it as a success, and then move on to the next thing, until they come up with the very occasional genuine breakthrough."

Aug 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp


you might like to read the great cholesterol con by dr malcom kendrick

re ancel keys: making up and/or deleting data

re statins is there any connection between money and the recommendation middle age people take them for the rest of their lives?

presumably it look as there are parallels with climate science because there are

people get money and fame for inventing or discovering something

what is the incentive to say "sorry chaps I got it wrong"

Aug 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Shiers

Sadly, Judith looks like she is a 'token' addition. I hope they pay close attention to her and maybe learn.

I also hope that they make Gavin sit next to Judith.

It is curious that Gavin is attending; Considering that Gavin sits in the executive position, I would expect that there are senior employees that directly work with GCMs full time who should be attending instead.

Aug 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

Forget about improvements in precision.
Go for improvements in accuracy.
I can quote to n decimal places why my last bet on the horses was precise according to odds.
Unfortunately, to no decimal places, it was wrong.

Aug 28, 2014 at 1:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

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