Mark Maslin and Patrick Austin on: “Uncertainty: Climate models at their limit?”*) 
Do they understand too little from climate to discuss the matter sufficiently? 

Posted: 20 March 2013 (co_10-3)

  In a recent NATURE article (486, June 2012) Maslin and Austin assume that climate scientists face a serious public-image problem, as the climate models they are now working with, are likely to produce wider rather than smaller ranges of uncertainty in their predictions: “To the public and to policy-makers, this will look as though the scientific understanding of climate change is becoming less, rather than more, clear.”

 Any praise of the statements made would neglect the serious flaw their discussion has. When they criticizes, for example, the type of input by “greenhouse gases and aerosols”, or an input based on “more than 20 general circulation models”, it is very obvious, that  they are far away to see the problem. The oceans make climate. As long as the ability for a thorough modelling of the oceans and seas do not exist, any long term climatic simulation will fail. Even if big improvements could be made in a not too distant future, the result would be limited. The ocean holds 1000 times more water then the atmosphere, and has only an average temperature of about 4°C.

More details:

  Although unable to understand the basic of climate, they do not hesitate to demand actions and reduction of carbon dioxide, concluding the essay with the sentence:  “We do not need to demand impossible levels of certainty from models to work towards a better, safer future.”  

A “better future” requires scientists who know about the importance of water and the oceans in climatic matters.  


*) Nature 486, 183–184 (14 June 2012) doi:10.1038/486183a, Published online, 13 June 2012 ;


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