Plugging the leaks

Climate impact models are used, along with crop yield, and hydrology models for instance, to inform far reaching decision-making. Climate research institutions are under pressure to build more accurate, more complex models that incorporate not only the physical climate, but also ecosystem processes and perhaps eventually, economic impacts. Testing and quality control should of course accompany these model developments, and it is to the credit of the modeling groups that they archive enough information in the public archives of CMIP3 and now CMIP5 that we can do these tests independently, assess the remaining problems and hopefully improve the predictions.

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54 comments on this post.
  1. Martin Jackson:

    The weather changed a lot and the balance on earth far form the normal values. The hydrology tool serves a different purpose than a climate simulation. It is trivial that the continuity equation has to be fullfiled exactly as movement of water through land is calculated as a result, and the overall balance is a test, that no systematic shifts occur distorting the very result one is about.

  2. Martin Jackson:

    The hydrology tool serves a different purpose than a climate simulation. It is trivial that the continuity equation has to be fullfiled exactly as movement of water through land is calculated as a result, and the overall balance is a test, that no systematic shifts occur distorting the very result one is about.

  3. Patrick 027:

    Re wind at equator – I think I remember seeing it described similiarly (qualitatively, not meant to suggest ~1000 mph) that the air ‘slips’ westward due to the Earth’s rotation there – in a geology book focussed on the creation and movement/collision/breakup of continents, which perhaps didn’t want to get into topics of conservation of momentum (angular or otherwise), etc (PS of course this will come up when discussing the outer core, but anyway…). In a sense this is true – with viscosity tending to keep the air rotating with the planet, while other motions redistribute angular momentum and so the air ‘slips’ west or east (setting aside the north-south portion of the coriolis effect acting on east-west winds)… Perhaps this is where Harold Pierce Jr. got the idea. (And of course, if the solid+liquid Earth were not already adjusted to the centrifugal component of local gravity, surface pressure would indeed increase toward lower latitudes – on the other hand, if the Earth stopped rotating, the air and water would fall polewards (until the solid Earth caught up).

  4. Patrick 027:

    … of course one must get into the pressure variations too as the wind away from the surface on the synoptic scale at latitudes not too close to the equator tends toward geostrophy … oh never mind, out of time…