It seems like I just got done writing a post which incorporated the point that Real Climate leaves much to be mocked, and low-and-behold Gavin Schmidt deals us a whopper. A fantastic new paper was written as a comment for Nature called “Reconciling Warming Trends”, which proports to explain the lack of observed warming which directly contradicts the bulk of the climate models. The first thing the media should take note of is that these scientists have finally noticed what us evil skeptics have been telling you for several years –the predicted level of warming didn’t happen! It is warming, but not enough to be a problem, and that IS a big problem for the multi-billion dollar climate industry.
As recently as February 2013, Real Climate had their heads in the sand on models with this quote:
The conclusion is the same as in each of the past few years; the models are on the low side of some changes, and on the high side of others, but despite short-term ups and downs, global warming continues much as predicted.
Climate Models are Not Tuned to Observation
From RC Frequently asked questions: Are climate models just a fit to the trend in the global temperature data?
No. Much of the confusion concerning this point comes from a misunderstanding stemming from the point above. Model development actually does not use the trend data in tuning (see below).
Gavin comment response: [Response: If you read our papers (and my comments) we are completely up front about what we tune to – the climatology (average annual values), the seasonal cycle, the diurnal cycle and the energy in patterns like the standing wave fields etc. We do not tune to the trends or the sensitivity. – gavin]
Gavin comment response: I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, models are not tuned to match long-term time-series data of any sort. – gavin]
Gavin comment response: [Response: The AR4 runs were done in 2004, using observed concentration data that went up to 2000 (or 2002/3 for a couple of groups). None of them were tuned to the HadCRUT3 temperature data and no model simulations were rejected because they didn’t fit. – gavin]
Comment and Gavin response:
It seems clear that each model is tuned to match past temperature trends through individual adjustments to external forcings, feedbacks and internal variability. Then the results from these tuned model are re-presented (via Figure 2 above) as giving strong evidence that nearly all observed warming is anthropogenic as predicted. How could it be anything else ?
[Response: You premise is not true, and so your conclusions do not follow. Despite endless repetition of these claims, models are *not* tuned on the trends over the 20th Century. They just aren’t. And in this calculation it wouldn’t even be relevant in any case, because the fingerprinting is done without reference to the scale of the response – just the pattern. That the scaling is close to 1 for the models is actually an independent validation of the model sensitivity. – gavin]
Nevertheless, attributing climate trends over relatively short periods, such as 10 to 15 years, will always be problematic, and it is inherently unsatisfying to find model–data agreement only with the benefit of hindsight.
We see no indication, however, that transient climate response is systematically overestimated in the CMIP5 climate models as has been speculated8, or that decadal variability across the ensemble of models is systematically underestimated, although at least some individual models probably fall short in this respect.