Real Climate and realclimate.org has been held up as the true authority for climate change information by a regular commenter on this blog and by Stuart at the Bee's Hot House blog. I may have a bias from how Real Climate treated my questions several years ago. Without going into the gory details, my questions were not welcome and they did answer them. I was dismissed with a wave of the hand, "you should read the literature." No answers only disdain for my lack of credentials to ask the question. At first I took it personal, and now I know they anyone who does not support Real Climate's AGW point of view are treated the same, including Professor Roger Pielke Jr, professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, who often writes on climate change issues at Prometheus.
Professor Pielke Jr. recently call into questions the validity of the IPPC models temperature forecasts when they were compared to the real world temperatures, including the satellite measurements and was given the bums rush by Gavin at realclimate.org. A models inability to predict future events is call the lack of skill, which is illustrated in this graphic above. (Click for a larger image.) There is some controversy over the difference between RSS and UAH temperatures, Dr, Christy stands behind his MSU/UAH numbers, some errors may have crept in to the RSS cooler temperatures. Either way the IPCC models show little skill in predicting the future. Remember these IPCC models are being used to justify California's greenhouse gas reduction regulations.
The issue according to Professor Pielke Jr.:
Real Climate has been speaking with two voices on how to compare observations of climate with models. Last August they asserted that one-year's sea ice extent could be compared with models:
A few people have already remarked on some pretty surprising numbers in Arctic sea ice extent this year (the New York Times has also noticed). The minimum extent is usually in early to mid September, but this year, conditions by Aug 9 had already beaten all previous record minima. Given that there is at least a few more weeks of melting to go, it looks like the record set in 2005 will be unequivocally surpassed. It could be interesting to follow especially in light of model predictions discussed previously.
Today, they say that looking at 8 years of temperature records is misguided:
John Tierney and Roger Pielke Jr. have recently discussed attempts to validate (or falsify) IPCC projections of global temperature change over the period 2000-2007. Others have attempted to show that last year's numbers imply that 'Global Warming has stopped' or that it is 'taking a break' (Uli Kulke, Die Welt)). However, as most of our readers will realise, these comparisons are flawed since they basically compare long term climate change to short term weather variability.
So according to Real Climate one-year's ice extent data can be compared to climate models, but 8 years of temperature data cannot.
You can follow the whole discussion here.
Professor Pielke Jr.'s final comment.
As is typical at Real Climate, rather than engaging substance they direct me to download some data to see what I can learn. I have no clue as to why they are complaining. Anyway, here is my last response to Gavin:
Thanks but this is a pretty lame response: "In a collegial spirit, I suggest you download the model data directly from PCMDI and really look at what you can learn from it." You are the climate scientist no? If you are unwilling to explain what is substantively wrong is my efforts to provide an example of forecast verification, then so be it.
I am quite confident in my conclusions from this exercise as summarized from my blog Prometheus, and nothing that you say here contradicts those conclusions whatsoever:
1) Nothing really can now be said on the skill of 2007 IPCC predictions.
2) By contrast IPCC dramatically over-predicted temperature increases in its 1990 report.
For 1995, 2001 (and some interesting surprises) please tune in next week.
Gavin, if you do decide to provide substantive critiques of the two conclusions above please do share them, as I still have absolutely no idea what your complaint about this exercise actually is, other than the fact that it took place.
Now you can see why I give little credibility to the information provided on realclimate.org, the operators have dog in this IPCC race. And they support their doggie models, no matter how bad they run in the race for the truth.