Not Wrong

Winter                                                                Seed Catalog Moon

Snowing here last night and today.  We’ve got 3.5 inches already.  More on the way. deniersThat decaying snow, the dripping from the gutters, all gone now.  The landscape has again taken on that soft, rolling look that only snow can give it.

After reading a paper called, The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: How Do We Know We’re Not Wrong? by historian of science, Naomi Oreskes, I’m grateful for the snow and the cold.  Even more grateful than in the past.  We’re so lucky to have a northern climate that still delivers its distinctiveness in spite of a warming world.  This luck will not hold.consensus

If  you’re curious about the various kerfuffles around climate change, this is a very clear refutation and explanation of the climate change deniers wrapped in a carefully argued depiction of the current state of climate science.  A good read.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the snow, embracing the privilege of living here.

 

And, Now, For This Century’s Climate Predictions!

Winter                                                               Seed Catalog Moon

Most of the day spent in the Climate Change MOOC.  This is the first week and I’m RDPSmap_300getting used to the rhythm and expectations.  Running just a bit behind the pace they’re setting though I’ll catch up tomorrow and work out a good way to stay abreast of things.

(An image of the geographical domain covered by the Regional Deterministic Prediction System. Each box represents 15×15 model grid points.  Env. Canada)

One new learning for me, though it’s obvious in hindsight, is the dependence of climate science on meteorology.  It would not have been possible to raise climate related questions in any scientific way without particular advances driven by the desire to have better, that is more accurate, weather forecasts.

In fact, the first weather forecasts using modern techniques occurred in the early 20th century thanks to a Quaker scientist, Lewis Fry Richardson.  It was Richardson who decided weather could be forecast by creating a grid system over the whole planet and getting values from each grid for such variables as temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, cloud cover.  This grid system and the collection of data from within them are at the heart of modern weather forecasting and a variation on that theme also drives the climate modelling about which we hear so often.

The rapid advancement in computer technology and speed came at just the right time, since as larger and electronic computers developed, so did our awareness that the climate was in fact changing.  Without computers the kind of calculations necessary for climate modeling would have overwhelmed researchers.

I refer you again to the Links at the bottom of this website if you would like to pursue greater depth about any of these ideas.