Professor Michael Kelly, Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge, kindly sends us his comments on a letter this month to Nature Geoscience, Test of a decadal climate forecast, by Myles R. Allen, John F.B. Mitchell and Peter A. Stott. I previously commented on the letter in Climate forecasts fulfilled or what? Mike just returned to England after spending seven months as Visiting Professor at the prestigious MacDiarmid Institute, Victoria University of Wellington.
The recent paper of Allen et al. does a careful job of estimating errors in forward projections of global temperatures from earlier calculations on global circulation models of the atmosphere. Given the simple question — are the models doing a good job or not — the increasing level of sophistication needed to defend them is of concern. For many of us, a temperature stasis of 17 years is enough to suggest that the models are not as robust as some of their advocates maintain. Read more… »