RP Sr has had two previous attempts to knock holes in the IPCC WG I and they were both embarassing failures ([1] and [2] (the latter expanded at 2a)). Emboldened by this, he’s had a third go which is just as bad.

Am I being too cruel and unkind here? I’m assuming anyone posting to the blogosphere on other peoples “errors” is fair game.

Anyway, this time its back to the dreaded butterfly effect (James, cover your eyes). There’s an RC post on it here (see-also my early post on the old blog); RPs first take on it is here and all the arguments get hashed out in the comments there (oh, and don’t miss the follow up which is even worse but probably easier to follow). Clearly RP hasn’t changed his views since; clearly no-one else agrees with him, and James previous comment “I’m more than a little surprised to see a State Climatologist apparently misunderstand this” still applies.

His point 2 is more interesting but still probably wrong. RP objects to “”Projecting changes in climate due to changes in greenhouse gases 50 years from now is a very different and much more easily solved problem than forecasting weather patterns just weeks from now”. Assuming “just weeks” means more than three, then the statement is trivially true since exact weather prediction out past this time appears to be impossible.


  1. #1 Eli Rabett

    As per the nonsense going on at RC, projecting emissions 20-30 years is not very hard (see the Hansen 1988 paper and follow ups), projecting out 20-30 years is maybe twice to four times as hard. It is the old turning an ocean liner problem. There is a lot of inertia in the economic system too. 100 years and more IS hard

  2. #2 Eli Rabett

    should have been 20-30 years (40-60 years) more is two to four times as hard. Oh well, dinner was excellent, esp the wines.

  3. #3 djlactin

    and of course, ‘weather’ .ne. ‘climate’!

    If he doesn’t unterstand this fact, how can he claim to be knowledgeable about anything meteorological/climatological?

  4. #4 James Annan

    Not this nonsense again :-(

    For a bit of lighthearted entertainment, try looking up Richard Ekyholt “who is an international recognized expert on chaos and nonlinear dynamics” on google scholar – actually Eykholt is a better spelling, but only marginally :-)

    By google’s reckoning, he has a co-authorship on precisely one publication in the last 5 years.

  5. #5 Steve Bloom

    Eykholt’s own page also lists just the one publication in the last five years, but concludes with this interesting passage:

    “In the past, I have collaborated with researchers in the Department of Atmospheric Science on analyzing chaos and predictability in the weather and climate. Although I am not pursuing this research area at the moment, it might be possible to pursue such projects if a student has the appropriate background.”

    Aha, said I. A quick GS of “Pielke Eykholt” turns up a collaboration lasting several years (together with an X. Zeng also at UColo) and involving several papers. It ended in about 1992 and didn’t leave much of a citation trail, and too much of that behind sub walls for me to get a good sense of how the papers were received. One paper (an attack on Lovelock’s GAIA work) drew a response that based on the Pielke et al reply seems to have spotted some fundamental problems, although it wasn’t clear to me to what extent it bears on the present dispute. In any case, the collaboration and its work product looks to have come to a dead end.

    My impression from all of this is that Eykholt’s rapid exit from the debate may have been coincident with his figuring out that RP Sr. had enticed him into arguing with qualified people who wouldn’t just accept as received wisdom assertions that could not stand up to close examination. IIRC neither of them cited to these old papers, which is perhaps telling.

    I also found this old RP Sr. paper showing that there is nothing new under the sun. To give him credit, he does keep this stuff on his site rather than letting it disappear into the mists of time. Sadly but unsurprisingly, his basic stance is unchanged despite the added evidence of the last fifteen years.

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