Navigation

Assessment of the reliability of climate predictions based on comparisons with historical time series

Koutsoyiannis, D., N. Mamassis, A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis, and S.M. Papalexiou, Assessment of the reliability of climate predictions based on comparisons with historical time series, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2008, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 10, Vienna, 09074, European Geosciences Union, 2008.

[doc_id=850]

[English]

As falsifiability is an essential element of science (Karl Popper), many have disputed the scientific basis of climatic predictions on the grounds that they are not falsifiable or verifiable at present. This critique arises from the argument that we need to wait several decades before we may know how reliable the predictions will be. However, elements of falsifiability already exist, given that many of the climatic model outputs contain time series for past periods. In particular, the models of the IPCC Third Assessment Report have projected future climate starting from 1990; thus, there is an 18-year period for which comparison of model outputs and reality is possible. In practice, the climatic model outputs are downscaled to finer spatial scales, and conclusions are drawn for the evolution of regional climates and hydrological regimes; thus, it is essential to make such comparisons on regional scales and point basis rather than on global or hemispheric scales. In this study, we have retrieved temperature and precipitation records, at least 100-year long, from a number of stations worldwide. We have also retrieved a number of climatic model outputs, extracted the time series for the grid points closest to each examined station, and produced a time series for the station location based on best linear estimation. Finally, to assess the reliability of model predictions, we have compared the historical with the model time series using several statistical indicators including long-term variability, from monthly to overyear (climatic) time scales. Based on these analyses, we discuss the usefulness of climatic model future projections (with emphasis on precipitation) from a hydrological perspective, in relationship to a long-term uncertainty framework.

PDF Full text:

Related works:

  • [doc_id=900] Credibility of climate predictions revisited (follow up study)
  • [doc_id=864] On the credibility of climate predictions
  • [doc_id=849] The Hurst phenomenon and climate
  • [doc_id=865] Climate change as a scapegoat in water science, technology and management

Remarks:

.. admonition:: Please visit/cite the `peer-reviewed version of this article`_: :class: standout Koutsoyiannis, D., A. Efstratiadis, N. Mamassis, and A. Christofides, On the credibility of climate predictions, *Hydrological Sciences Journal*, 53 (4), 671-684, 2008. Blogs and forums that discussed this article during 2008: * `Koutsoyiannis 2008 Presentation`_ (Steve McIntyre, `Climate Audit`_) * `Multi-Decadal Global Model Predicted and Observed Indian Ocean Warming - Are They In Agreement?`_ (Roger Pielke Sr., `Climate Science`_, `also quoted in Skeptical Science`_) * `Inconsistent With? One Answer`_ (Roger Pielke, Jr., `Prometheus: The Science Policy Weblog`_) * `Über die Zuverlässigkeit von Klimaprojektionen`_ (Tomislav Rus, `Oekologismus`_) * `Koutsoyiannis tests if Global Climate Models are scientific`_ (`Uncommon Descent`_) * `Climate Models Are Irrelevant, and Latest IPCC Models a Regression`_ (`Omniclimate`_, also featured in `World Press`_) * `How Good Are Global Climate Models?`_ (`The Motley Fool Discussion Boards`_) * `How Reliable are those climate models?`_ (`Science a GoGo's Discussion Forums`_) * `Model outputs at annual and climatic scales are irrelevant with reality`_ (`TWO community`_) * `The Sound Of Settled Science`_ (`Small Dead Animals`_) * `New study reveals (again) that climate models don't reflect reality`_ (`MSNBC`_) * `Model predictions are much poorer than an elementary prediction based on the time average`_ (`Marginalized Action Dinosaur`_, also quoted in `Blogging Canadians`_) * `Ten of the Best Climate Research Papers (Nine Peer-Reviewed): A Note from Cohenite`_ (`Jennifer Marohasy Blog`_) * `Wie realistisch sind Klimamodelle?`_ (`Klimablog`_) * `Vertrauen zu Models?`_ (`Klimablog`_) * `Les prédictions foireuses et foirées des modèles de l'IPCC`_ (`Z Forum`_) * `Modelos`_ (`Valdeperrillos`_) * `Klimamodeller, Karl Popper og falsifering`_ (`Forsiden - Aftenposten.no`_) * `Assessment of the reliability of climate predictions based on comparisons with historical timeseries`_ (`UD/RK Samhälls Debatt`_) * `Εξέταση της αξιοπιστίας των κλιματολογικών προβλέψεων`_ (`Oikologio.gr`_) Blogs with comments about this article during 2008: `Real Climate 1`_, `Real Climate 2`_, `Prometheus: The Science Policy Weblog 2`_, `Environmental Niche Modeling,`_ `Rabett Run`_, `Internet Infidels Discussion Board`_, `Science Forums`_, `BBC News Blogs`_, `Jim Miller on Politics`_, `James' Empty Blog`_, `Green Car Congress`_, `Channel 4 Forums`_, `Deltoid`_, `Washington Post Blogs`_, `Herald Sun Blogs 1`_, `Herald Sun Blogs 2`_, `Herald Sun Blogs 3`_, `AccuWeather`_, `Skeptical Science`_, `Debunkers`_, `Yahoo groups: AlasBabylon`_, `Sciforums`_, `Lughnasa`_, `Jennifer Marohasy 2`_, `Jennifer Marohasy 3`_, `Jennifer Marohasy 4`_, `Bruin Skeptics`_, `Changement Climatique`_, `Klimatika`_, `JFER Forum`_, `The Sydney Morning Herald Blogs: Urban Jungle`_ **Errata:** In slide 3 "regional projections" should read "geographically distributed projections" and the reference of figures to IPCC chapter 11 (Christensen et al., 2007) should change to Chapter 10 (Meehl et al., 2007; also in list of references in slide 20). In slide 11 "Albany, Florida" should read "Albany, Georgia" (thanks to QE in the Small Dead Animals blog who spotted them). .. _`klimatika`: http://klimatika.blogspot.com/2007/09/1.html .. _`multi-decadal global model predicted and observed indian ocean warming - are they in agreement?`: http://climatesci.org/2008/05/20/multi-decadal-global-model-predicted-and-observed-indian-ocean-warming-are-they-in-agreement/ .. _`modelos`: http://valdeperrillos.com/books/materia-oscura/modelos .. _`how reliable are those climate models?`: http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26019 .. _`jfer forum`: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=3832351#post3832351 .. _`jim miller on politics`: http://www.seanet.com/~jimxc/Politics/May2008_2.html#jrm6079 .. _`climate science`: http://climatesci.org/ .. _`the motley fool discussion boards`: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26639657&sort=whole .. _`prometheus: the science policy weblog`: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/ .. _`uncommon descent`: http://www.uncommondescent.com/ .. _`z forum`: http://www.forum-zetetique.com/forum/forum/index .. _`how good are global climate models?`: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26639657&sort=whole .. _`marginalized action dinosaur`: http://marginalizedactiondinosaur.net/ .. _`prometheus: the science policy weblog 2`: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/001425how_to_make_two_deca.html .. _`green car congress`: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/05/mauna-loa-obser.html .. _`ten of the best climate research papers (nine peer-reviewed): a note from cohenite`: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/09/ten-of-the-best-climate-research-papers-nine-peer-reviewed-a-note-from-cohenite/ .. _`science forums`: http://www.scienceforums.net/forum/showpost.php?p=407830&postcount=21 .. _`omniclimate`: http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/ .. _`model predictions are much poorer than an elementary prediction based on the time average`: http://marginalizedactiondinosaur.net/?p=4041 .. _`assessment of the reliability of climate predictions based on comparisons with historical timeseries`: http://uddebatt.wordpress.com/2008/05/11/assessment-of-the-reliability-of-climate-predictions-based-on-comparisons-with-historical-time-series/ .. _`real climate 1`: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/global-cooling-wanna-bet/#comment-86408 .. _`debunkers`: http://www.debunkers.org/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001400.html .. _`ud/rk samhälls debatt`: http://uddebatt.wordpress.com/ .. _`bbc news blogs`: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/2008/05/david_miliband_responds.html#comment15 .. _`jennifer marohasy 4`: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003165.html .. _`also quoted in skeptical science`: http://www.skepticalscience.com/article.php?a=2029 .. _`skeptical science`: http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm#876 .. _`new study reveals (again) that climate models don't reflect reality`: http://boards.msn.com/MSNBCboards/thread.aspx?threadid=673307 .. _`sciforums`: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?p=1855634#post1855634 .. _`koutsoyiannis 2008 presentation`: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3086 .. _`small dead animals`: http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/ .. _`changement climatique`: http://skyfal.free.fr/?p=229 .. _`jennifer marohasy 2`: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003069.html .. _`real climate 2`: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/#comment-86701 .. _`model outputs at annual and climatic scales are irrelevant with reality`: http://theweatheroutlook.com/twocommunity/forums/t/18289.aspx .. _`blogging canadians`: http://www.bloggingcanadians.ca/NonPartisan/model_predictions_are_much_poorer_than_an_elementary_prediction_based_on_the_time_average/ .. _`bruin skeptics`: http://bruinskeptics.org/2008/05/27/innumeracy-in-global-warming-skepticism/ .. _`accuweather`: http://global-warming.accuweather.com/2008/05/globally_april_was_13th_warmes.html#comment-84866 .. _`climate models are irrelevant, and latest ipcc models a regression`: http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2008/05/12/climate-models-are-irrelevant-and-latest-ipcc-models-a-regression/ .. _`internet infidels discussion board`: http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/showthread.php?p=5329764#post5329764 .. _`klimablog`: http://klimablog.blog.de/ .. _`msnbc`: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/ .. _`science a gogo's discussion forums`: http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ .. _`climate audit`: http://www.climateaudit.org/ .. _`oikologio.gr`: http://www.oikologio.gr/ .. _`yahoo groups: alasbabylon`: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AlasBabylon/messages/40522?threaded=1&m=e&var=1&tidx=1 .. _`the sydney morning herald blogs: urban jungle`: http://blogs.smh.com.au/urbanjungle/2008/07/actually_global.html?page=fullpage .. _`vertrauen zu models?`: http://klimablog.blog.de/2008/09/30/vertrauen-models-4801962 .. _`oekologismus`: http://www.oekologismus.de/ .. _`world press`: http://wordpress.com/tag/koutsoyiannis/ .. _`peer-reviewed version of this article`: http://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/864/ .. _`james' empty blog`: http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2008/05/are-you-avin-laff.html?showComment=1210796940000#1202543489395721526 .. _`valdeperrillos`: http://valdeperrillos.com/ .. _`εξέταση της αξιοπιστίας των κλιματολογικών προβλέψεων`: http://www.oikologio.gr/content/view/910/ .. _`environmental niche modeling,`: http://landshape.org/enm/the-virial-theorem-miskolczi-part-2/ .. _`koutsoyiannis tests if global climate models are scientific`: http://www.uncommondescent.com/science/koutsoyiannis-tests-if-global-climate-models-are-scientific/ .. _`deltoid`: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/05/pielke_train_wreck.php#comment-889852 .. _`the sound of settled science`: http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/008729.html .. _`inconsistent with? one answer`: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/001424inconsistent_with_.html .. _`forsiden - aftenposten.no`: http://www.aftenposten.no/ .. _`jennifer marohasy blog`: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/ .. _`two community`: http://theweatheroutlook.com/twocommunity/ .. _`rabett run`: http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/05/flatland-to-be-honest-eli-can-accept.html .. _`jennifer marohasy 3`: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003080.html .. _`lughnasa`: http://www.lughnasa.net/blog/2008/05/bad_science.html .. _`washington post blogs`: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2008/05/tropical_cyclone_nargis_which.html .. _`über die zuverlässigkeit von klimaprojektionen`: http://www.oekologismus.de/?p=977 .. _`wie realistisch sind klimamodelle?`: http://klimablog.blog.de/2008/05/29/wie-realistisch-sind-klimamodelle-4242205 .. _`klimamodeller, karl popper og falsifering`: http://debatt.aftenposten.no/item.php?GroupID=18&ThreadID=234125&page=1#item3629282 .. _`herald sun blogs 1`: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/not_model_weather/ .. _`herald sun blogs 3`: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/hansens_prediction_a_cool_20_years_later/ .. _`herald sun blogs 2`: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/labor_cools_on_warming_crusade/ .. _`les prédictions foireuses et foirées des modèles de l'ipcc`: http://www.forum-zetetique.com/forum/forum/viewthread?thread=1364 .. _`channel 4 forums`: http://community.channel4.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/9250037634/m/4250012079?r=1030060989#1030060989

Our works that reference this work:

1. Koutsoyiannis, D., A. Efstratiadis, N. Mamassis, and A. Christofides, On the credibility of climate predictions, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 53 (4), 671–684, 2008.

Other works that reference this work:

1. #Ekmann, J., and R.C. Dolence, Energy project risk amidst climate change regulatory uncertainty, 25th Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference, PCC – Proceedings, 2008.
2. #Taylor, P., Chill, a reassessment of global warming theory: does climate change mean the world is cooling, and if so what should we do about it?, Clairview Books, 404 pp., 2009.
3. #Howell, B., The Kyoto Premise and the catastrophic failure of rational, logical, and scientific thinking by essentially all scientists, Lies, Damned Lies, and Scientists: the Kyoto Premise example, Chapter A.1, 2011.
4. Bakker, A. M. R., and B. J. J. M. van den Hurk, Estimation of persistence and trends in geostrophic wind speed for the assessment of wind energy yields in Northwest Europe, Climate Dynamics, 39 (3-4), 767-782, 2012.

Tagged under: Works discussed in weblogs