Climate Feedback Follies

Saw this on S.D.A.:

The Sound Of Settled Science
May 26, 2018 Kate Climate Cult Unsettled Science

@JudithCurry —“A new angle on climate model uncertainty: changing the order in which different climate processes are computed can vary climate feedback parameter by half the full CMIP5 spread in climate feedback. “

That points at this paper:

Impact of Physics Parameterization Ordering in a Global Atmosphere Model
Aaron S. Donahue
Peter M. Caldwell
First published: 02 February 2018

This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.

That finds:


Because weather and climate models must capture a wide variety of spatial and temporal scales, they rely heavily on parameterizations of subgrid‐scale processes. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that the assumptions used to couple these parameterizations have an important effect on the climate of version 0 of the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) General Circulation Model (GCM), a close relative of version 1 of the Community Earth System Model (CESM1). Like most GCMs, parameterizations in E3SM are sequentially split in the sense that parameterizations are called one after another with each subsequent process feeling the effect of the preceding processes. This coupling strategy is noncommutative in the sense that the order in which processes are called impacts the solution. By examining a suite of 24 simulations with deep convection, shallow convection, macrophysics/microphysics, and radiation parameterizations reordered, process order is shown to have a big impact on predicted climate. In particular, reordering of processes induces differences in net climate feedback that are as big as the intermodel spread in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. One reason why process ordering has such a large impact is that the effect of each process is influenced by the processes preceding it. Where output is written is therefore an important control on apparent model behavior. Application of k‐means clustering demonstrates that the positioning of macro/microphysics and shallow convection plays a critical role on the model solution.

Full PDF here:

I’m slogging through it now. So it looks to me like the “Climate Scientists” are learning that Math Is Hard, especially when it involves numbers, and computers do not make it easier, they just hide the problems better.

I could have told them that. Oh, wait, I have…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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40 Responses to Climate Feedback Follies

  1. p.g.sharrow says:

    liers figure that figures don’t lie
    If you get the answer you want, it must be correct…pg

  2. nickreality65 says:

    The up/down/”back” radiation greenhouse gas energy loop of the radiative greenhouse effect theory is pencil on paper, a spreadsheet cell, a “what if” scenario and NOT a physical reality.

    Without this GHG energy loop, radiative greenhouse theory collapses.

    Without RGHE theory, man-caused climate change does not exist.

    And with a snap of the fingers and “Presto!!” the bazillion dollar global climate change fantasy is suddenly unemployed.

    Must be why nobody is allowed to talk about this possibility. Not newsworthy enough? Or too far outside the fake news hysterical CAGW narrative?

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    From the results section of the PDF:

    The observational data sets used in this figure are listed in Table 2 and are, in our opinion, the best measurements available for the most important quantities in a climate model. The top plot of Figure 2 shows the impact on the global average of climatologically important quantities. It is immediately clear that the order of the processes in the model has a significant impact on the model results. In terms of annual global averages many variables have around a 10% range in errors (see FSNS and LWCF), with the most extreme range of error observed in the shortwave cloud forcing (SWCF) with a 30% range. Another interesting observation from the top plot of Figure 2 is that nearly all of the process orderings perform better in the longwave cloud forcing (LWCF) than the default order, while nearly all perform worse in the shortwave cloud forcing (SWCF). Ranking each process ordering in terms of average mean error reveals that the default ordering is not necessarily the best performing with respects to the annual global average, see Table 3. In fact, 6 of the 24 process orderings have a better overall global average error than the default ordering. Of those six runs, half have a process order where radiation directly follows the dynamics step, which is similar to the strategy employed in the GFDL AM3, ECHAM, and IFS models.

    Oh Dear… That cloud error band is just horrible. Especially given how important clouds are.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    And another one… down in section 4 interpretation of process order impacts:

    Liquid vs ice in clouds:

    The fact that process ordering has such a large impact on model behavior suggests that the model state must be significantly different between processes. To illustrate this, we consider in Figure 4 the large-scale liquid and ice cloud water path (LS-LWP and LS-IWP, respectively) following each before-coupling physics process. LS-LWP is found to differ by almost 50% depending on where in the call sequence it is evaluated. Shallow convection is the main source of cloud liquid, while microphysics acts to significantly reduce LS-LWP.

    So you can get a 50% change in what happens. Forming ice or condensate as water.

  5. H.R. says:

    “Oh Dear…”

    You could have just left it at that. 😜

    That ‘error band’ is a mile-wide river of errors. It has always seemed to me that the assumptions on which the models are built are a comedy of errors. What if the independent variable is temperature and the dependent variable is CO2? But of course the variable that is fudged nudged first is CO2. That’s wot dunnit; CO2.

    But what do I know? I’m just H.R.’s cat. H.R. went to bed an hour ago.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    Under 4.1 effect on warming:

    warming). These findings suggest that process ordering has a significant impact on climate predictions and should be carefully considered as part of the model development process.
    Figure 8 clearly demonstrates that shortwave cloud scattering (the effect of cloud albedo changes without changes in cloud fraction) is responsible for the large (lamda) difference between clusters 1–3 and 4–6. Figure 9 breaks the SW cloud scattering feedback down geographically, revealing that it is the Southern Ocean region in particular that is responsible for these large differences between clusters.

    So the order changes the model results significantly. It’s to do with the clouds, and especially those over the southern ocean.

    Like the CMIP5 average, all process-ordering runs have a tendency for positive SW cloud scattering feedback on the equatorward side of the Southern Ocean and negative feedback closer to Antarctica. The relative strength of these tendencies is strikingly different between simulations, however, with clusters 4–6 having much larger and stronger region of positive SW cloud scattering feedback and a much smaller region of negative SW cloud scattering feedback.

    “Send in the clouds, it must be clouds”…

    Down in Conclusions:

    Process order is shown here to affect not only current-climate behavior, but also the model’s prediction of climate sensitivity. Because prediction is the motivation for building climate models, this finding provides strong support for the idea that process ordering should be considered carefully during model development. The main source of spread in net feedback parameter is traced back to SW cloud scattering feedback over the Southern Ocean. Process orderings with lower LWP in the current climate have much larger increases in Southern Ocean cloud albedo in the future (more negative feedback). The exact mechanism for this shift is still unclear, but several promising possibilities were explored.

    On this we ought to play “Bet The Economy”?

  7. ossqss says:

    Uncertainty Monster!

  8. ossqss says:

    This is not changing anytime soon. Adaptation needed regardless, if action is actually needed.

    This data point has now been buried and is hard to find in these reports.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @H.R.’s Cat:

    Yes, the models are a huge batch of assumptions, knitted together with inartful construction, operated as a fantasy generator, with untold errors and errobands.

    I’ve occasionally described it as “Dancing in the minefield of error bands”.


    Yes, that’s the state of things. The world runs on fossil fuels. Plus some irrelevant bits.

    There are some important truths in such a graph, but also some slightly hidden truths. A matching chart showing money flow ought to be made showing how massive the flow of energy out is and how massive the flow of money back.

    In large part, the question of “Who will be an economic power?” is answered by “Who has fossil fuel reserves?” That has lead me to think some of this push to demonize western use of coal and oil comes out of a desire by {someone} to hobble the Western Powers. It is also possible that the EU Cabal, knowing it doesn’t have most of the fuel, is trying to maintain economic dominance via convincing everyone else to join them in excessively costly energy. (Or both combined…)

    Otherwise the world economy would end up dominated by the USA, OPEC, Russia, China, Canada, and Australia. (Indonesia used to be on the list as an OPEC member, but they have rapidly transitioned to not an exporter as they used up a lot of their oil).

    Think back to the start of W.W.II and Japan. They attacked Pearl Harbor AFTER the USA shut off oil supplies. Japan was on a quest for oil in the Pacific and rapidly invaded places with oil, rubber, and other minerals. It’s a good model to work from to understand geopolitics of energy. Post war Japan went heavily into nuclear power as that was they best way to replace foreign coal and oil imports. Similarly the French nuclear program.

    Which points to another unsaid thing in that graph: THE only viable option to replace all that oil and coal is nuclear power. There just are not enough good places to put wind turbines and solar does not work 3/4 of the day. Anyone wanting to actually re-power a nation away from coal and natural gas for heating and electricity must install nuclear base load. That this is not “allowed” tells me immediately that the PC Police have another agenda. It is not about finding an effective alternative to coal, oil, and gas: It is all about breaking the economy via attacking the source of power in coal, oil, and gas. Forcing costs high, effectiveness low, and availability sporadic.

    Now the big question is who gains from that? Who would want it, and why?

    I can think of a few potentials:

    1) The EU as they don’t have much oil, coal, or natural gas. Importing lots from Russia and Saudi Arabia / ME. Need to put everyone else in the same bad position to stay competitive.

    2) Communist Block. Russia & China. To the extent the West folds, they win.

    3) Soros. He loves destroying things to buy then cheap. Now working on whole countries.

    4) Globalists, for reasons I can’t quite figure out. Making the world one level playing field? Harvesting crops of Subsidy Money?

    Somewhere there’s some real massive hate going on. Resentment of the success of the USA post W.W.II and a desire to damage it. Hard to fathom it, but that’s what explains things best.

    But realistically, look at that chart. Over 80% of total world energy comes from fossil fuels. Eventually they will run out (in a few hundred years) so we WILL need to transition off them. But not, I think, today. When that time comes, what source of energy is about the same cost as at present (very competitive), available in essentially unlimited quantities for millions of years, and a well proven technology, that works around the clock and on demand? Nuclear.

    It is also the one technology that breaks the money flow cycle back to fossil fuel supplying countries. Want to make OPEC irrelevant and Russian Gas & Oil unimportant during European winters? Build a large nuclear generation capacity.

    So who might be against that? Who might be pushing to make it expensive and banned? Funding and promoting rabid Green Policies? Just sayin’…

    I take solace in the knowledge that the technology all exists, is shown to work, and is reasonably economical. Whenever folks get desperate enough (after solar and wind are shown to be too costly, unreliable, and insufficient) it will be easy to just go to the Nuclear Tech Closet, open it, and take out what works…

  10. H.R. says:

    Darn cat! That’ll teach me to turn off the computer before going to bed.

  11. EM – I’ve been getting more and more heretical the deeper I dive into the foundations of physics. Though this is off-topic for climate feedback follies, it is relevant to the energy problem. is the result of asking “why is momentum conserved”, which is another silly question when it’s an axiom. Following that rabbit hole to its logical conclusion, it turns out that momentum is not actually conserved after all, and that the energy used in accelerating a mass is not necessarily related to the kinetic energy gained by that mass as a result of its velocity. Despite having started off with the idea that we can’t make energy out of nothing, the logical conclusion is that in fact we can. Newton’s law that any action has an equal and opposite reaction is only true for situations where the field strength is not varying, and when we use a varying field then we need to take into account the time it takes for a change in that field to propagate.

    Of course, I’m working on the experimental proof of this, since I don’t expect many people to just accept such a wild claim. Still, people are welcome to try to find any error in the logic that led to this deduction. Still, if there aren’t any errors in the derivation, it’s going to be possible in future to make as much energy as we want at very little cost (the devices have no moving parts and the drivers are solid state, so nothing to wear out and good design can make them very long-lasting, though for simplicity we may use rotary generators to start with). Still, replacing a set of bearings when they wear out isn’t a large downside.

    If I’m right, we may not need nuclear power. Please see if you can find any error in the logic.

  12. jim2 says:

    @ossqss says: 27 May 2018 at 4:57 am

    Oh, I see you’ve put up a chart illustrating the fuel breakdown for electric cars.

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    I read it last time you linked to it. Fascinating idea. Was going to put up an article about it but so far all I’ve got to contribute is “Hmmm… Golly.”

  14. EM – sorry to repeat the plug, but I thought it had been lost at the tail of the tips. With something so outrageous, I’d expected to have a lot of people telling me I was an idiot. If I haven’t made any stupid errors, then this is rather important, but the article seems to have largely sunk without a trace. Could mean that nobody could find an error to pounce on but dismissed it as obviously wrong anyway, of course. The article does have a few comments on it and my replies there add extra examples. Maybe a few more months before I have any experimental data.

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    No worries. I’m fine with the repeat.

    For me, I’m in the “stunned silence” category. How damned obvious that momentum doesn’t exist, energy does. Momentum is just a manifestation. Yet I sucked up “conservation of momentum” like a week old puppy on a teat…

    So my poor soggy brain is just tying to cope with how completely uncritical I was, what all I “know” that destabilizes, what it means to my understanding, etc. etc. I.e. boggling.

    It’s hard to make an intelligent comment when you are “mid-boggle” so I sit quietly and do the face palm… ;-)

    I think I can say something intelligent about it in a day or two, then I’ll post something.

    The point that it is really energy and energy is quantized pretty much shouts that momentum is a quantum stochastic unit as well. Which turns over several more apple carts. I feel like this connects to the solar motion issue but can’t finger it. Something about “being in free fall is fine, except it’s a quantum seething free fall of unreal momentum so exactly what happens to solar nuclear reactions on a quantum level?” and the brain screams out that it really would like a pound of coffee and an I.V. please… ;-)

  16. EM – that makes me very happy. No obvious cock-ups, anyway.

    Newton’s cradle is the classic demonstration that momentum is conserved. So is rocket-science. No reason to question something that is so obviously true. I considered the EMDrive obviously impossible because of that, but the reports persisted so I looked at the question from another direction. That rabbit hole proved interesting.

    You’ve lost me on the solar motion issue since I didn’t know there was one, but yes, the lack of conservation of momentum does affect a large amount of some very basic stuff. Note that it only applies with varying fields, though (and will likely only give measurable results at high frequency RF), and most fields we come across are basically static.

    Thanks for looking, and I’ll look forward to results when you’ve had some time to cogitate.

  17. Gary says:

    When I took an ecology course in the 1970s that dealt with some very simple modeling, it bothered me that while nature worked simultaneously, the models processed sequentially. The professor showed us an analog circuit board with variable resistors and gauge meters to demonstrate how changing inputs affected outputs, but it seemed to escape him that it was closer to nature than the computer programs he was asking us to write.

  18. Larry Ledwick says:

    I think it may be an over simplification to say “conservation of momentum does not exist”. The thing to keep in mind is that “momentum” is a human defined concept, not a “thing”, as such is exists but has both stated and unstated assumptions in its definitions.

    When you say it does not exist, you are stating a situation which violates one or more of the stated or unstated assumptions for its definition. The trick it teasing out how that situation violates the assumptions and then intentionally creating a method to maximize that violation condition in order to generate an efficient EMDrive.

    Just like “gravity” is a concept which we have chosen a name for to describe and effect we observe, gravity is not a thing but a descriptive term for an observed behavior. Same goes for momentum, or inertia etc. We need to realize that the “name” is not the “thing” but just a handy label to facilitate discussion, description and computation.

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    The “solar motion thing” is the effect of the major planets on the position of the solar barycenter of orbit. sometimes the sun is orbiting around a point inside the surface, sometimes outside. The “angular momentum of the solar system is conserved” via this process as different amounts of mass end up on different sides of the sun. The assertion is made that since the sun is in ‘free fall’ any change of orbit is irrelevant to internal solar processes (sunspots, flares, TSI, UV vs IR, etc.).

    BUT… if Angular Momentum does not exist, and only quantized energy does exist, then we are transferring massive quanta of energy around in the sun to keep things balanced as the outer planets move. ANY tiny loss in that quanta exchange could show up as massive {somethings} given how large the sun is. By what mechanism would these quanta of energy be delivered perfectly and in sync throughout the entire mass of the sun at the same moment? IF it isn’t perfect, what does the error show up as? Spots? Flares? More UV?…

    More here:

    Since the whole put down of the idea that barycenter orbit changes ‘do something’ is based on the purity of freefall and conservation of angular momentum; as soon as AM becomes quantized and a bit stochastic with potential for minor error, then freefall becomes unpure and the sun can do odd things… it’s a massive ball of quanta, after all, and a little error in a very big thing goes a long way (especially as we have extremes of heat, pressure, velocity, magnetism, etc. etc. involved).

    That’s what I tried to imply in my shorthand reference to the solar motion thing…


    “Does not exist as a fundamental material in the universe”? That better?

    It is the “shorthand” of calling a human construct a fundamental principle that’s the issue. If it is really ONLY energy that is being conserved, then it is subject to QM behaviors and “interesting things” become possible. That’s Simon’s observation, basically.

  20. jim2 says:

    The solar system/planet model is massively parallel and is updated at the speed of light. Good luck programming that one with any shred of fidelity.

  21. jim2 says:

    RE: solar system and angular momentum. This answer makes sense, I think. From the article:

    WIthout considering that no actual (working and verified) theories include gravitons, the gravitational waves emitted by pulsar are no gravitons (not exactly the same at least). Gravitational waves are deformation of the space-time (of the metric actually) that propagate, they are produced only by non-spherical rotating objects (The sun-Jupiter system for example, not not by the sun only) and lead to a loss of momentum (since it is a radiation). Jupiter is thus getting closer to the sun because of this radiation (note that the solar system will disappear long before it becomes noticeable though). Hypothetical gravitons are quantum gravity bosons, they should exist as virtual particles even for a static systems. Obviously, they would also be involded in gravitational wave but it is not the same. For as long as the system does not evolves, the vritual bosons “flux” (not exactly the right term) would be the same from the Sun to Jupiter and from Jupiter to the Sun.

  22. cdquarles says:

    Why should momentum (a dot product) be conserved? Well, it depends on what conserved means. Quantizing (a form of discrete versus continuous) certainly may be conserved, given certain conditions. Where those conditions don’t hold … well, that’s above my pay grade.

  23. p.g.sharrow says:

    Mass, inertia, gravity, momentum all originate from the same foundation. To grasp them we first must understand the origins and nature of light.
    A. Einstein realized this and began his studies of the nature of gravity with an attempt to fully understand the nature of light. Unfortunately he got hung up in Quanta Mechanics and got caught in a logic cul-de-sac. I too started with light but as an Electrician/Electronics technician my POV originates from a different place. E.M.F.
    Wave or particle? How can a wave of energy also be a particle of energy? A quanta, what is this Quanta thingy? What is the nature of the Universe that allows/requires this?
    I began my examination of this fundamental thing after a vision of a Black Box that manipulated inertia, caused me quite a “startled shock” awake in the early morning hours. Not much else to go on, just that it worked!
    Just how can this Quanta travel for billions of light years without apparent degradation? It can’t! must be something else at work here. Our detectors must have some kind of inherent fault. All forms of detection require a quanta of energy to move, atomic shell to shell, for us to detect an event. So, what causes an event? a collision? an EMF pulse of energy? a particle wrapped in energy? Our detector just notes that it felt something. A photon of energy only exists as long as it is in motion. Stop all motion and it can not be detected. If we impede it’s travel but not it’s internal motion we can still detect it. Light has inertia, exhibits mass, can carry momentum.
    I settled on a Universe packed full of charge in chaos, Aether.. A photon is a wave of organization, EMF, traveling through thru Aether.
    When an Atomic event takes place a Gama or EMF burst takes place a “photon” is created and it travels at the speed of light,

  24. Larry – normally, momentum is conserved because the action and reaction are equal and opposite (and are not only equal in force but also equal in time, so the impulses received are equal and opposite). Momentum as such is not conserved, but normally appears to be because the fields transferring momentum are non-varying or vary slowly. Momentum has to be transferred through the action of fields – there is no other way of doing it.

    EM – For the Sun, we’ll mainly be talking of gravity fields. AFAIK, the gravity-field from each body is non-varying, though of course the net field at any point may vary down to zero since the net field is a vector sum. If this is the only field being used to transmit momentum, then momentum (and angular momentum) will be conserved as expected. If inertia is quantised as Mike McCulloch thinks, then there will be some quantisation errors, but the quanta are extremely small and only really get noticeable at around the 10E-10m/s² range.

    I suspect also that gravity is actually superluminal (instantaneous, in fact) since that fits with quantum theory nicely. If however Einstein was right and it’s mediated by gravitons at the speed of light, then the transmission of momentum could suffer some big screw-ups. I think we’d have noticed that (or maybe not – we probably wouldn’t be here to discuss it).

    Though it follows that angular momentum is not necessarily conserved, again if you’re going to break it you need to use a field that is varying and where the propagation has a speed-limit (such as c). Like linear momentum, it also needs some care on distances and phases to get it right.

    Where we may see errors in conservation are in the solar wind, which obviously absorbs momentum when it’s sent out and can transmit momentum to anything it encounters on the way, and there’s a delay between sending and receiving. Here we can see some mass that carries the momentum, though, whereas with the EM field we have a very small mass that can transmit a large amount of momentum. The Earth has however not been blown off-orbit by that wind, so it has to be a fairly small effect.

    It seems pretty certain that energy will be conserved when we’re dealing with non-varying fields (that is, almost every case), but that if we use high-frequency RF and “push” on the field itself we can gain (or lose) kinetic energy that can then be converted to other forms. There’s a small and well-defined loophole in both CoM and CoE. A bit like saying your girlfriend is only a little bit pregnant…. I don’t know whether this can be exploited well-enough to be useful, but then atomic energy was initially thought to be so small it wasn’t worth bothering with.

    Given the limits of the loophole, I think it probably won’t affect celestial mechanics to any measurable extent. There will be delays in transmission of momentum by electrical or magnetic fields that change rapidly (for example those big loops in the corona) but unless those fields act on something else outside the Sun then they won’t transmit any momentum outside the Sun, and it seems even the small effects would probably average out. Still, it’s hard to be definitive. We know the Sun oscillates (and thus produces EM waves) and we know that resonances can multiply effects. The Sun will not only orbit the barycentre, but will also have tidal bulges which would affect the resonances. When the Sun is more spherical, it will have one set of resonances, and these will change as it becomes more oblate. On the other hand, AFAIK the sunspots move with the surface of the Sun and are not aligned to an orbiting planet or towards the barycentre, so maybe the oblateness isn’t important.

  25. jim2 says:

    The planets spinning around the Sun underlies both the angular momentum of the Solar system and the shifting barycenter but angular momentum and the shifting barycenter aren’t the same thing.

    The barycenter, center of mass, of the Solar system shifts as the planets move – this has nothing to do with angular momentum per se, only the moving masses.

    Angular momentum is conserved in classical physics during the interaction by collision of two or more material bodies. The Solar system has already formed and the bodies are not colliding, so each body’s angular momentum is isolated from the others. Only if a body from outside the Solar system collides with at planet, for example, will the angular momentum of the Solar system change.

    At least that’s my understanding.

  26. jim2 says:

    It isn’t quite true that the planets aren’t coupled in a way that could change the distribution of the orbital angular momentum. The planets reside in one another’s gravitational wells, so they do affect the orbit of one another.

  27. p.g.sharrow says:

    @jim2: you have that right.The Sun rotates and drags the planets faster in their orbits, just as the Earth’s spin drags the Moon into a faster further out orbit. The moon’s drag slows the Earth’s spin.
    So it goes throughout the system, each body exchanges energy, speeding and slowing those within it’s influence.
    overall system gravity pulls/pushes everything in to the center.
    Gravity, mass/inertia, momentum all energies to be exchanged.
    If my concept is correct even Gravity works in the same manner and direction as Electricity, from high charge to low charge. ;-) …pg

  28. A conservative field such as gravity continuously changes the momentum of the objects (Sun, planets, etc.) in mutual orbits. The direction of the kinetic energy of each object is always changing. Angular momentum can be transferred via the field, too. Tidal drag slows the rotation of planets and moons, and for smaller bodies such as our Moon that results in tidal lock where the same face will on average point at the local barycentre (there’s some wobbling (libration) in what we see of the Moon’s face since the relative orbit isn’t circular). Angular momentum has thus been passed from rotation of the Moon to the Earth-Moon orbit. Again, since AFAIK there’s no frequency component in the gravitational field, action and reaction will be equal and opposite and so momentum (and angular momentum) will be conserved.

    I try to avoid getting locked in to any particular model of how the universe works, and instead look at the experimental data. There’s evidence from the GPS system, and the exact corrections required there, that Einstein got things a little wrong with relativity. See for an explanation from the guy who worked out the clock corrections required. If he was wrong, then GPS would give us incorrect locations, so this is pretty secure experimental evidence. There’s also a talk at I haven’t yet watched since it’s over an hour long. You can regard this data as either evidence for the Aether model or (as I do) that the way the system works can reasonably be modelled this way even if the details aren’t actually the truth. Use the model but be prepared to find that some of the predictions don’t pan out. We think of things by analogy to what we can see and touch at a human scale, but the reality may be something we’re not equipped to understand by analogy (since there is no human-scale analogy), and we may not have the concepts in our language to describe it. Without the right concepts, some thoughts are literally unthinkable.

    Though people will try to hold on to what they were taught was correct, as we get better at measuring things we’re likely to find more differences from theory that cannot be reconciled, so the theory needs modifying. Newton’s laws were corrected by Einstein, and now we find that Einstein’s theory needs correcting as well. For daily use, though, Newton’s laws remain valid and correct, but when we go outside the range over which they are valid (which we now can) we need to change to a more-accurate (and more-difficult to calculate) model. We simply need to know which model is relevant to the problem, that will give answers that work to the accuracy we need.

    Come to think of it, that also applies to the climate models this thread started with. By now, looking at the model projections, it’s very obvious that the models don’t predict the future correctly since the predictions diverge from reality. Given the obvious importance of clouds it should be seen as an error that they can’t be modelled to better than 30% accuracy. Instead, the IPCC holds that their theories are correct and that the models (which all disagree with each other as well) give good predictions if they take the average prediction. At most, one of those models can be correct, and it looks to me that none of them are.

  29. p.g.sharrow says:

    Simon Derricutt says:
    “we may not have the concepts in our language to describe it. Without the right concepts, some thoughts are literally unthinkable.”
    That is a problem in verbal /written communication. While I can “see” the functions of the Universe in my brain, it is devilishly hard to paint that picture in another’s brain.
    Often this problem of different apparent observations of cause and effect is due to view point, or which direction you are looking into your telescope. Atomic size operations look different when they are viewed on a stellar scale much as they are different on a human scale.
    The Universe works on very simple fundamentals, charge and no charge, in relative motion.
    Set charge in motion and everything happens. Add organization to Charge in motion, and our reality begins to appear…pg

  30. p.g.sharrow says:

    The EM-Drive works by briefly enforcing organization on charge chaos in motion to gain reaction thrust traction in it’s space. That reaction is on the outside of the reactor. Inside the reactor it’s atomic structure dielectric is briefly warped in the other direction to gain momentum. Kind of like rowing a boat.

  31. jim2 says:

    This article blames Karachi’s water problem partly on “climate change.” The problem is that 20 million people live in a town in the desert. What part of desert do they not understand?

    From the article:

    “The water shortage in Karachi is linked to myriad factors including climate change, mismanagement of water resources, and corruption. Most of all, however, a rising population increasing at a rate of 4.5 percent a year creates a strain on the finite water supply. Pakistan ranks in the top ten of countries worst affected by climate change, and water shortages are likely to deepen in both intensity and frequency in the coming decade. ”

  32. p.g.sharrow says:

    Row your boat by dropping your oars into the water and very slowly pull. your boat will move little if at all. Next drop your oars into the water and pull smartly, your boat will leap forward.
    Now imagine electronic oars that you extend and pull smartly then they disappear. Now you have an EM-Drive. Due to the nature of EMF most of the energy expended in creating the fields is returned in the circuit less resistance losses. Increase the voltage of that field increases the “slap” intensity and allows you to decrease the duration of the “slap” for less loss in the circuits and more effective thrust per cycle…pg.

  33. p.g.sharrow says:

    @jim2; THE most important service that a city government provides to it’s citizens is their water supply. It is also an expensive pain in the neck to politicians but a wonderful place for great graft for those connected. California is a wonderful example where deliberate bad planning has created water shortages where water abundance actually exists.
    Water shortages are due to bad planning, not bad luck!…pg

  34. E.M.Smith says:


    I have balanced visual and verbal skill sets. Yet at times the right side of the brain is “seeing” something and the left side is just struggling to find words to fit it… Usually I can come up with a translation, but sometimes it’s just “knowing” and no words involved or that fit. Then you either need to invent some or work on those artistic drawing skills… and I can’t draw well at all..


    Any time “mismanagement and corruption” are in the list of causes, nothing else is significant.

    Look at the Earthship. Works in the desert southwest. The only water shortage is a management shortage… Look at the Space Station. Talk about your desert… hard vacuum.

  35. cdquarles says:

    As far as I am concerned, Einstein’s space-time is a nonmaterial aether … the classical aether was material, if I am remembering correctly; which would make sense if all you could envision was a material universe ;). Plus, geometry isn’t limited to Euclid’s geometry.

  36. p.g.sharrow says:

    Actually Einstein liked the concept of Aether but didn’t need it in his formulations. The speed of light “C” contained the necessary fudge factors. Too bad he didn’t spend more effort on “C”…pg

  37. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; your ability to write is awesome to me. My ability to draw is fairly good but, the ability to speak and write is really poor. School teachers considered it to be implausible for someone of my abilities to have so much difficulty with communication and writing. It must be deliberate acting out or laziness on my part, so they attempted to force me to correct my “problem” by way of torture and threat. Only 60 years of practice and that most wonderful invention the “Word processor” has made a nearly impossible task easier…pg

  38. E.M.Smith says:


    Now it’s known that the two sides of the brain have different functions and high skill in one does not give high skill in the other. Though I note in passing that many teachers still stick with the “punishment will increase hardware ability and morale” stupidity.

    My spouse specialized in taking the kids with that sort of background and figuring out what would really work and making sure that they got that instead. Basically, test the kid for basic functions. Figure out what you have to work with. Tailor education to that set of input devices and modes. Develop coping “software” where possible. Follow-up to adjust as needed.

    Everything from blind & deaf to “processing issues” and “severely emotionally disabled” over the years. Turns out some kids can’t actually see the letters, others see them but they can’t detect rotation or ‘flips’ ( the classic writing R, N or S backwards – I did that in about 3rd grade as I saw that it was unique regardless of rotation so who would care how you rotated it? Turns out the teacher did despite my not understanding why she was so mad at me about it… ) Etc.etc. We are ALL different and expecting us to have the same hardware and software is stupid. Yet most of Formal Education does just that.

    So ask me to draw a person, you will get a stick figure. I could master that. Push harder, I’ll give you the “balloon guy” where each stick turns into an oval of some size. Beyond that? Well, i can see the idea of drawing, and I managed to do a passable dog once. Literally, ONCE…. but man it’s a lot of work…

    Don’t ask me to identify styles of art, or dance, or explain how to decide who sits next to whom at a formal dinner party – that whole social status sucking up thing… Might as well ask a pig to sing. Everybody is the same rank in my world… I understand the concept, but put me nose-to-nose with the Queen of England I’m going to say “Hi, how are you today? What’s it like being Queen?”… and not do whatever curtsy / bow / kneel or whatever is the “right” thing as it just isn’t stored in my brain anywhere… not important… And if you put me nose-to-nose with a prostitute on a street corner? I’m going to say “Hi, how are you doing today? What’s it like working a corner?”…

    (Actually did that one night in Sacramento… I was walking one way and we both were on the same corner waiting for the light to change. I noticed some nervousness about someone watching from a car and after asking if she was working, asked if she needed someone to walk her across the street… Got a polite “no, thank you” and a curious look of “Well what about that, what to make of this Geek guy being such a puppy… just so out of touch…” and then the “person to person I’m OK” statement… She continued to work her corner and I continued to walk to my car… but I got the impression that she had been a long time since someone just talked to HER and not to her “profession”… from both sides of the law… and that someone just seeing another person and treating them like that was a big surprise. I suspect it would be a similar surprise but highly negative to those in High Places who often seem to expect ‘deference’… not familiarity. Oh Well. I figure everyone is going to interpret my same ‘friendly familiarity’ as they will and it’s not “on me”. It’s their choice how they choose to feel. Even if I don’t quite “get it”…)

  39. philjourdan says:

    Math Is Hard, especially when it involves numbers, and computers do not make it easier, they just hide the problems better.

    Math r hard. And computers do not fix the original mistakes, it just makes them faster.

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