RC on Monitoring and Modeling

I started blogging because I saw scientists losing arguments to obfuscators and specifically largely because I saw RC coming off as arrogant and overly casual. Far be it from me to take any credit, but I’d like to take note of the current RC article, which is extremely elegantly put together, and in which the provocations are being handled deftly.

The article is in response from the latest noise from the Climate Audit folks. It absolutely demolishes their silliness; as usual they start with a nitpick and try to blow it up into a showstopper. Realclimate puts the whole thing in appropriate context very effectively.

Some very interesting conversation about the nature of GCMs ensues, and I hope to have more to say about it. After all, some people have me listed as a “science blog”, and it’s time I delivered some substance where I have some expertise.

Meanwhile, please note another aspect of the converstaion, the money double bind.

Many of the nits being picked are consequences of and adaptations to inadequate and episodic funding, yet the critics claim that the whole business is motivated by overfunding and are constantly applying pressure to scale back. Rather, they should be advocating more funding for more data, better data, and more contemporary software engineering practice with extensive maintenance and software infrastructure.

So we are being yelled at for not doing things more carefully and transparently and with better data and easier replicability, but all of these things are expensive. Yet the same people doing the yelling are convinced we are getting too much money.

Of course, the expectation that the big picture will be overturned at this point is silly. There is admittedly no point spending more money to pay people to find a different answer unless the truth is actually different than what we’ve been saying for almost thirty years now (including several correct predictions!)

We still have a lot to learn, some of it with policy implications, but it’s pathetic that people are still trying to make the “no such thing as AGW” case, and ridiculous that they accuse us of lying for the money and the proof is that we haven’t spent more money on the problem.

To those reading from America, happy 4th y’all!

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