(Visited 99 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 It’s a little late to begin a new climate of transparency among climatologists. What does that imply about the past?It happened by accident, Paul Voosen reports in his article for Science Magazine, “Climate scientists open up their black boxes to scrutiny.”It began with an unplanned leave of absence. But it has blossomed into a full-fledged transparency movement for climate science.In 2010, Erich Roeckner, a longtime guru behind the global climate model at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPIM) in Hamburg, Germany, was unable to work. The timing was inopportune: Deadlines loomed for an international project that would compare the major climate models with one another, and MPIM’s had a bug….With Roeckner out of commission, a team of six people spent several months tuning the MPIM model to match the climate and eliminate the glitch. Their work, though laborious, was fairly routine. What was unusual was their decision, in 2012, to publish a detailed accounting of it. Roeckner’s absence was random. But in hindsight, it was the butterfly flapping that has now led climate modelers to openly discuss and document tuning in ways that they had long avoided, fearing criticism by climate skeptics.This revelation should strike readers as disturbing on several levels. That the details of such a politically-fraught subject have been concealed from the public in a “black box” seems contrary to the very spirit of science, where transparency in scientific methods should be paramount. Voosen has just let the cat out of the bag: “fearing criticism by climate skeptics,” climate modelers have “long avoided” letting the public look inside the box. Why? If their data are incontrovertible—as all the big science institutions constantly assure the public—why the fear?We also see a disturbing situation in that modelers “tune” their inputs to the climate in clunky ways. Does the following sound like the classical scientific method? Count the ways things could go wrong as you listen to Voosen describe the sausage-making in the modeling rooms:At their core, climate models are about energy balance. They divide Earth up into boxes, and then, applying fundamental laws of physics, follow the sun’s energy as it drives phenomena like winds and ocean currents. Their resolution has grown over the years, allowing current models to render Earth in boxes down to 25 kilometers a side. They take weeks of supercomputer time for a full run, simulating how the climate evolves over centuries.When the models can’t physically resolve certain processes, the parameters take over—though they are still informed by observations. For example, modelers tune for cloud formation based on temperature, atmospheric stability, humidity, and the presence of mountains. Parameters are also used to describe the spread of heat into the deep ocean, the reflectivity of Arctic sea ice, and the way that aerosols, small particles in the atmosphere, reflect or trap sunlight.It’s impossible to get parameters right on the first try. And so scientists adjust these equations to make sure certain constraints are met, like the total energy entering and leaving the planet, the path of the jet stream, or the formation of low marine clouds off the California coast. Modelers try to restrict their tuning to as few knobs as possible, but it’s never as few as they’d like. It’s an art and a science. “It’s like reshaping an instrument to compensate for bad sound,” Stevens says.Wait a minute: who decides what is a “bad sound”? There seems to be a lot of wiggle room in this “art” of modeling – enough to get a politically-motivated result by turning enough knobs. This is definitely not a case of following the evidence where it leads. It’s more like Finagle’s Rule #3, “Draw your curves first, then plot your data.” If funding sources, the politically powerful and the UN want a result they can promote like “Man-caused global warming will raise global temperatures by 2 degrees in 100 years,” then who is a lowly modeler to get a contrary result from his black box, especially if he fears climate skeptics? Voosen says this is exactly what has been going on all along.For years, climate scientists had been mum in public about their “secret sauce”: What happened in the models stayed in the models. The taboo reflected fears that climate contrarians would use the practice of tuning to seed doubt about models—and, by extension, the reality of human-driven warming. “The community became defensive,” Stevens says. “It was afraid of talking about things that they thought could be unfairly used against them.” Proprietary concerns also get in the way. For example, the United Kingdom’s Met Office sells weather forecasts driven by its climate model. Disclosing too much about its code could encourage copycats and jeopardize its business.One can see plenty of room for corruption here: profit motives, reputations, the us-vs-them mentality. Secret sauce? Taboos? This is not Las Vegas, where what happens there stays there. It looks for all the world like political parties or competing corporations using dirty tricks, not scientists seeking to understand the real world. His terminology about secrecy and fear should be alarming to a wary public that respects science but is worried about the economic costs of draconian climate mitigation policies, such as carbon taxes and elimination of fossil fuel jobs, that the politicians say, based on these models, must be imposed for the good of the planet.Voosen’s article doesn’t give much hope that climate science will improve with the new transparency fad. The following episode most likely never made it into the Paris accords or the latest IPCC report:Recently, while preparing for the new model comparisons, MPIM modelers got another chance to demonstrate their commitment to transparency. They knew that the latest version of their model had bugs that meant too much energy was leaking into space. After a year spent plugging holes and fixing it, the modelers ran a test and discovered something disturbing: The model was now overheating. Its climate sensitivity—the amount the world will warm under an immediate doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations from preindustrial levels—had shot up from 3.5°C in the old version to 7°C, an implausibly high jump.MPIM hadn’t tuned for sensitivity before—it was a point of pride—but they had to get that number down. Thorsten Mauritsen, who helps lead their tuning work, says he tried tinkering with the parameter that controlled how fast fresh air mixes into clouds. Increasing it began to ratchet the sensitivity back down. “The model we produced with 7° was a damn good model,” Mauritsen says. But it was not the team’s best representation of the climate as they knew it.Voosen undoubtedly believes in anthropogenic global warming, as do the editors of Science. But if they thought this article was going to make the public feel better about climate experts, they must be kidding themselves. Bugs, leaks, plumbers – what’s going on here? And look at this photo caption: “Storm clouds are too small for climate models to render directly, and so modelers must tune for them.” Think about that. Surely clouds must be one of the most important factors in any climate theory, but this says they can’t use real cloud data. They have to fudge the model. They have to tinker with the numbers to get the result they want.If modelers were afraid of revealing their secret sauce, what will they do now that the window is open? Published in Science, this exposé into how international climate policy has been shaped by a group of inept tinkerers in back rooms will give the skeptics a field day like the re-opened FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails. But perhaps that’s just dandy. After all, every cloud has a silver lining, and sunshine is the best disinfectant.If this goes on in climate science, given all the funding and political pressure involved, you can be sure similar tinkering goes on in models of Darwinian evolution. The DODOs and DOPEs must keep the Darwin skeptics at bay at all costs. Don’t count on transparency there.
Aged 79, Joyce Mosweu is raising her HIV-positive grandchild in the South Africantownship of Alexandra. Now 84, Norma Geggie is the founder ofthe Canadian Wakefield Grannies, anorganisation supporting grandmothersraising their Aids-orphaned grandchildrenin Alexandra. Psychiatric nurse Rose Letwaba’s chanceconversation with Norma Geggie in aCanadian supermarket led to theremarkable relationship between thegrandmothers of Wakefield and Alexandra. Some of the Alexandra kids thetransatlantic partnership helps support. Norma Geggie at home in Wakefield. Since 2004 the Wakefield Grannies haveraised funds as only grannies can, withquilt sales, music concerts, book salesand more.Khanyi Magubane“One day, an army of grey-haired women may quietly take over the earth,” said US feminist and writer Gloria Steinem. Today, a remarkable transatlantic partnership of grey-haired women may not be taking over the earth, but are certainly helping to change it.For some four years a group of grandmothers from the small Canadian town of Wakefield have been helping other grandmothers from the South African township of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, raise their Aids-orphaned grandchildren.It began in 2004 when Rose Letwaba, an Alexandra-based psychiatric nurse visiting a friend in Canada, struck up a conversation with a stranger in a Wakefield supermarket.Letwaba told the stranger, Norma Geggie, then 80 years old, the story of a group of South African gogos (grandmothers) who had been forced by the Aids-related deaths of their own children to return to parenting. Old women, they were suddenly heading households and raising their grandchildren. Herself a grandmother, Geggie was immediately moved to find a way to help.Geggie spoke to her friends. Soon Letwaba was standing in a church filled with elderly Wakefield women, telling them about her work with the grandmothers, mothers and children of Alexandra.Her talk inspired the Canadians to set up the Wakefield Grannies, an organisation working to provide financial and moral support to the gogos of Alexandra. Over the past four years they have raised funds as only grannies can: a quilt sale, a music concert, book readings. They also launched a range of salsa products, branded as Gogolaka sauces.They’ve used Canadian May Day celebrations to host garage sales, selling crafts and food, and to organise a variety of workshops. The money collected is wired to South Africa; a regular financial report is sent back, detailing how the money was used.The two groups of grandmothers are now the subject of a documentary called The Great Granny Revolution. Made by Brenda Rooney, a founding member of the Wakefield Grannies, and her husband Robert, it follows the story of the remarkable partnership – and friendship – that has grown between the grey-haired women of Wakefield and Alexandra.At one of the first Canadian screenings of the film, Ledwaba told the audience, “If everyone was like the people of Wakefield, the world would be a better place to live in.”The Alexandra granniesThe Alex Aids Orphans Project was started in 2001 when staff at the township’s East Bank Children’s Clinic became aware that many young HIV-positive patients were either missing appointments or dropping out of treatment altogether. As head nurse, Letwaba investigated the matter, discovering that across the township, grandmothers living in abject poverty were raising their Aids-orphaned grandchildren, some of them HIV-positive.What started out with three grandmothers sharing their grief at the loss of their children and supporting each other to care for their orphaned grandchildren has now grown to a group of 40 elderly women. The grannies, whose grandchildren were part of the Alex Aids Orphan Project, then started a group, the Gogo Granny Outreach Project. The 40 gogos are collectively taking care of nearly 160 children orphaned by Aids.Lucia Mazibuko is one such strong woman. In the documentary she’s full of joy and laughter, despite having to raise two grandsons, one of them HIV-positive. Mazibuko has lost both of her daughters and a son-in-law to Aids.Another is Magdeline Ramakobo, now caring for her daughter, who has full-blown Aids. When her daughter succumbs to the disease Ramakabo will be left, in their one-room shack, to raise her daughter’s two children.Each of the Wakefield grannies has paired up with 10 members of the Gogo Granny Outreach Project, with strong friendships developing over the years. The partners write letters and exchange pictures, keeping each other updated about their lives. The Alexandra grannies have started a sewing business and grow vegetable gardens as part of their project, as a means of generating funds.Stepping forwardOn 6 March, the City of Johannesburg, in partnership with the High Commission of Canada and the International Women’s Rights Project, screened The Great Granny Revolution ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March. The city flew the Wakefield grannies to South Africa to join their friends in a two-day project, training other elderly women to facilitate the development of the support model of the granny-headed home.“I feel so proud,” filmmaker Brenda Rooney said at the screening. “My eyes are full of tears and my mouth is full of smiles. If we all step forward I’m sure we can do enough to make things better.”Related articlesHIV/Aids in South AfricaHIV vaccine breaks new groundUseful linksThe Wakefield GranniesCanadian High Commission in South AfricaAlexandraCity of Johannesburg
SharePrint RelatedGroundspeak Weekly Newsletter – February 2, 2011February 2, 2011In “News”Announcing the 2014 CITO Weekend and SouvenirJanuary 26, 2014In “Cache In Trash Out”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – April 18, 2012April 18, 2012In “Cache In Trash Out” Geocache to Clean Up TrashInternational Cache In Trash Out weekend is nearly here! Cache In Trash Out (CITO) is an effort by the geocaching community to clean up parks and other cache-friendly places around the world. You can make a difference by picking up litter on every geocaching outing and by attending a CITO Event Cache. CITO Events are organized by geocachers and may involve assisting with a clean-up, removal of invasive species or revegetation efforts.CITO Events are held throughout the year, but the initiative gains special focus for one weekend around Earth Day each year, when the worldwide geocaching community holds CITO Events to benefit their local spaces. The 9th annual Cache In Trash Out weekend is scheduled for April 30th – May 1st, 2011.CITO Events are open to everyone. Participate in a CITO event near you to meet your fellow geocachers, add a CITO icon to your geocaching stats, and help preserve the beauty of the places where you love to go geocaching! There are many events scheduled for the dates surrounding April 30th, so make sure to check out the CITO Event calendar today.Thank you to Magellan, makers of the eXplorist® GC, which is 100% dedicated to geocaching, for sponsoring the 2011 Cache In Trash Out initiative. Learn more about Magellan.Share with your Friends:More
A medium intensity earthquake of 5.8 magnitude hit the Andaman and Nicobar islands on Wednesday morning. The quake, which had its epicentre in the Andaman islands, occurred at 6:09 a.m., the National Centre for Seismology said.The Andaman and Nicobar archipelago is prone to earthquakes.
The Deccan Chargers have lost their place as an Indian Premier League franchise after it failed to meet an extended deadline to furnish a Rs.100 crore bank guarantee.The beleaguered owners of Deccan Chargers failed to produce the bank guarantee before the Bombay High Court, a condition that had been set for the struggling team’s survival in the league.Claim to fameThe Hyderabad-based company has won the second season of the IPL in 2009 held in South Africa under the captainship of Adam Gilchrist. Media group Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd had bought the franchise for an amount of USD 107 million on 24 January 2008.Why in newsReports quoting sources say banks and financial institutions that have lent money to Deccan Chronicle Holdings are being investigated for alleged irregularities in their dealings with the Hyderabad-based media house.The finance ministry has asked a two-member panel to conduct the probe, which is expected to take two months. A Mumbai based real estate company, Kamla Landmarc has bought the Deccan Chargers IPL franchise. Owned by Mr Ramesh Jain, the company undertakes construction of residential/commercial projects.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says the Government is committed to strengthening the capacity of regional labour inspectors to eliminate child labour. Story Highlights “The Government is very pleased to be hosting this workshop to strengthen the capacity of our regional labour inspectors as part of our international thrust to eliminate child labour,” the Minister said. She was speaking at the opening of a ‘Training of Trainers Workshop’ on Labour Inspection, with a focus on Child Labour, and Occupational Safety and Health, held on July 2 at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston. Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says the Government is committed to strengthening the capacity of regional labour inspectors to eliminate child labour.She was speaking at the opening of a ‘Training of Trainers Workshop’ on Labour Inspection, with a focus on Child Labour, and Occupational Safety and Health, held on July 2 at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston.“The Government is very pleased to be hosting this workshop to strengthen the capacity of our regional labour inspectors as part of our international thrust to eliminate child labour,” the Minister said.“This regional initiative will promote integrated strategies at all levels to end hazardous child labour and address the specific safety and health issues faced by workers,” she added.Thirty-three trainers from the Ministries of Labour in Jamaica, Guyana and The Bahamas are participating in the workshop, which is slated to run from July 2 to 6. It forms part of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour regional initiative.For her part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Colette Roberts Risden, said the workshop will greatly enhance the capabilities of labour inspectors in identifying issues of occupational safety and child labour, “which, ultimately, will lead to a better and safer region for our children”.The workshop is being facilitated by Brazilian inspectors under the South-South Technical Cooperation Programme between Brazil and the ILO and hosted by the Ministry’s Child Labour Unit.Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil to Jamaica, His Excellency Carlos Alberto M. Den Hartog, who brought greetings at the ceremony, said the workshop will assist in building the capacity of labour inspectorates to deliver training programmes to address child labour in Jamaica and other participating countries.“It represents an important opportunity for countries to enhance the (resources) available in each country of the region to achieve a comprehensive and quicker result in eliminating child labour. It is a tool for the strengthening of the political efforts of governments to mobilise resources for eradicating child labour,” he noted.There are nine participating countries under the initiative. These are The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Haiti, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.The objectives of the workshop are to build national capacity in labour inspection, with the aim of improving the enforcement of national labour laws and contributing to the reduction and elimination of child labour in the country.