Blog ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG
During a climate change discussion on Inside Washington, conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer acknowledged that "we're pumping more CO2 into the air than ever before, much higher than a natural rate and it's having an effect on the atmosphere." Krauthammer, who calls himself "a global warming agnostic," went on to dismiss the computer models scientists use to project future climate change:
KRAUTHAMMER: Our models are extremely incomplete, as we see in weather predicting. We can predict up to about a week and after that, it's a mess. So predicting, 20, 30, 50, 100 years into the future -- and our predictions are constantly changing, which ought to tell you that the models are at least incomplete and deficient.
For one, models of any sort are by definition "incomplete." Scientists use models because we don't have a second Earth to experiment on. The question is, do the models know enough about the climate system to provide a useful picture of how it might look under a given scenario?
Climate experts say yes, but Krauthammer seems to disagree, noting that weather forecasts aren't reliable beyond a week into the future. It's a common argument: If we can't predict next month's weather, how can we say anything about the climate in 2100? In reality, invoking the limitations of weather predictions is a terrible way to evaluate climate models.