With the increasingly realization that the multi-decadal global climate models are failing to be able to skillfully predict changes in regional climate statistics (such as extreme weather events) in the coming decades, there is an attempt to seek other ways to claim such forecasts can be made.
In today’s Reuters news article by Elias Biryabarema
there is a remarkable confession by Chris Fields, who is co-author of a new report from The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] and also Co-Chair of the current IPCC WG2 report due in 2014. This new report is discussed at
Climate Panel Charts Extreme Weather in a Warming World and Revkin.net by Andy Revkin
Friday Funny: Zombie head exploders and the new IPCC report by Anthony Watts.
The following is part of the text from the Reuters news report
Sceptics have questioned the models the IPCC uses to make its climate predictions, but Fields defended the science: “There are many cases in which just from observations, we’ve seen a change,” he said.
“Climate models are only some of the tools used to make future projections. Some … are based on projecting historical data forward or what we know about the physics of the system. Lots of observations are built in for us to test how they work.”
The models are starting to be “thrown under the bus”, but Chris does not document these other “tools”.
He does move in the more scientifically robust direction when he is reported as saying
“The clear message from this report is that there are a lot of smart things we can do now that reduce the risk of losses in disasters,” co-author Chris Fields told Reuters.
This is a sound approach, and is what we propose in our paper
Pielke Sr., R.A., R. Wilby, D. Niyogi, F. Hossain, K. Dairuku, J. Adegoke, G. Kallos, T. Seastedt, and K. Suding, 2011: Dealing with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based vulnerability perspective. AGU Monograph on Complexity and Extreme Events in Geosciences, in press.
I discuss this also in my post
As I have written often, the more robust approach can be summarized
“There are 5 broad areas that we can use to define the need for vulnerability assessments : water, food, energy, [human] health and ecosystem function. Each area has societally critical resources. The vulnerability concept requires the determination of the major threats to these resources from climate, but also from other social and environmental issues. After these threats are identified for each resource, then the relative risk from natural- and human-caused climate change (estimated from the GCM projections, but also the historical, paleo-record and worst case sequences of events) can be compared with other risks in order to adopt the optimal mitigation/adaptation strategy.”
Hopefully, Chris Field will continue to move towards this more robust approach to reduce the risks that society and the environment may face in the coming decades.