Making CA Public Policy on Crap Modeling Science

The Sacramento Bee has a climate story about the future drought in California based on the result of climate models. Here are some excerpts from the story:

Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the U.S. Geological Survey used computer climate modeling tools to estimate the effects of warmer temperatures in future decades. In particular, they studied the effect on California’s mountain snowpack, the largest source of fresh water in the state, which refills thousands of water-storage reservoirs each spring via snowmelt.

The results show that by 2050, the median snowpack present on April 1 each year could be one-third smaller than the historical median, and by 2100 it could be two-thirds smaller. Such a dramatic loss of snowmelt would produce less runoff to refill reservoirs each summer, potentially making droughts an ever-present condition.

The research also shows that by 2100, there is only a 10percent chance that California mountains will see a snowpack equal to the median that accumulates today.

The article admits that the result of the study have not been peer reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. In other words it is just a wild ass guess base on a collection of climate models.

Cayan’s research into climate change would seem to support this direction. The research found that the Sierra Nevada, source of most of California’s crucial snowmelt, could warm by an average of 3degrees Celsius (or 5.4degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. This could mean less of the mountain range gets snowfall in winter but gets rain instead. That would result in less snowmelt to refill reservoirs, and a need for more ways to capture rainfall during winter.

The research shows that each 1degree Celsius of warming results in a loss of about 23 percent of the snowpack typical today. Cayan called the findings “fairly robust,” noting the results are based on 32 different climate simulations, an unusually large number.

Why is this research just a wild ass guess? Take a look how well those models have forecast the global temperature over the last 34 years.

ipcc climate model divergent

If the models cannot forecast the current temperature changes, how can the models be trusted to model the temperatures and the snow pack in 2100?

Why do we continue to vote for the fools that accept this modeling science as facts and base water management public policy this crappy science?


About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
This entry was posted in AB-32, Analysis, California, Climate Change, Drought, Local. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Making CA Public Policy on Crap Modeling Science

  1. Sean says:

    What’s even more remarkable is that the models were tuned to match the global temperature trend making the hind cast look better. But even with the advantage of hindsight, the models were never able to reproduce regional weather patterns. So a regional forecast based on these models is completely absurd.

    On the other hand, given the need for more water storage going forward due to population growth, the dire predictions may have some values for “adaptation” to a drier climate or even the same climate.


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