Small Uncertainties can Significantly Impact Climate Model Outcomes

Audio, Climate, Frontier Centre

When it comes to climate change, politicians and activists often point to climate models in support of their preferred approach to the issue, such as those who favour carbon taxes.

Climate models are a virtual version of our planet, using powerful computers to project future climate trends.

The models use data and physical principles to represent various components, such as the oceans, land surfaces, atmosphere, and cloud movements.

However, there is growing scepticism about the overall reliability of some of the data, such as temperature records, on which these climate models rely.

There are also differing views on the understanding of some the processes, such as how much heat the oceans can absorb.

Even the smallest variations can have a significant impact on the outcome of a climate model and our understanding of the science.

While there’s nothing wrong with scientists learning from their mistakes and correcting them as time passes, activists tend to hold up these climate models as infallible.

They should be very careful when making these kinds of claims, because they have a major impact on public policy and incorrect models can undermine the public’s trust in science.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.

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