"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Nature is more complex than our modelling predicted…

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There are some climate researchers still acting like real scientists:

Viewed as a potential target in the global effort to reduce climate change, atmospheric black carbon particles absorb significantly less sunlight than scientists predicted, raising new questions about the impact of black carbon on atmospheric warming, an international team of researchers, including climate chemists from Boston College, report August 30 in the latest edition of the journal Science.

……

Boston College Professor of Chemistry Paul Davidovits, an authority on airborne particles, known as aerosols. “In one respect, it shows that nature is much more complicated than our initial laboratory experiments and modeling indicated. Now we will try to unravel and understand that complexity.”

A reasonable conclusion…if reality does not reflect the model results, there must be something wrong with the model.  Now contrast that with a story two years earlier, based on modelling of soot particles:

“Controlling soot may be the only method of significantly slowing Arctic warming within the next two decades,” said Jacobson, director of Stanford’s Atmosphere/Energy Program. “We have to start taking its effects into account in planning our mitigation efforts and the sooner we start making changes, the better.”

To reach his conclusions, Jacobson used an intricate computer model of global climate, air pollution and weather that he developed over the last 20 years that included atmospheric processes not incorporated in previous models.

Which only serves to prove two fundamental truths about science:

– Science is always learning.  That is, science reserves the right to be wrong with each new day.

– Science provides an imperfect model of an infinitely complex reality.

Which is why we should not give in to schemes like painting all the rooftops white to increase solar reflection, since we don’t even have a good grip on the climate as a chaotic, complex process.  If we don’t understand the forcing situation in reality, and our models are only approximations at best, do we really have any basis to undertake dramatic actions when we can’t even predict the outcome?  (let along the weather tomorrow with any real accuracy)

In a world that seeks to reduce everything to simple truths, we have to remember that there is nothing simple about the creation.

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Written by sameo416

August 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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