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Earth Supercomputing Science

More Hot Weather For Southern California, Says UCLA Study 218

Posted by timothy
from the 469.9-times-more-spurious-precision dept.
The L.A. Times reports on a study by UCLA climate researchers who conclude, based on supercomputer analysis of a model "2,500 times more precise than previous climate models for the region" that the area around L.A. will experience more (and more extreme) hot spells in decades to come. From the article: "The study, released Thursday, is the first to model the Southland's complex geography of meandering coastlines, mountain ranges and dense urban centers in high enough resolution to predict temperatures down to the level of micro climate zones, each measuring 2 1/4 square miles. The projections are for 2041 to 2060. Not only will the number of hot days increase, but the study found that the hottest of those days will break records, said Alex Hall, lead researcher on the study by UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability."
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More Hot Weather For Southern California, Says UCLA Study

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  • Chaotic systems (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Precision is not the answer. Lorenz pointed that out rather a long time ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Norton_Lorenz [wikipedia.org]

  • by msauve (701917) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @12:22PM (#40429917)
    "2,500 times more precise"

    Which, of course, does not mean [agilent.com] "2,500 times more accurate."
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by petes_PoV (912422)
      Precision in climate modelling? Who knew meteorologists had a sense of humour?
      • by riverat1 (1048260)

        Climate models when run on a global scale typically use a grid size of 100x100 km (at the equator). In this case they ran them on a regional scale with a grid size of about 2.5 sq. miles which is about 2.4x2.4 km. That's where the increased precision comes from. It's easier to take in the vagaries of local geography into account at that scale.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      "2,500 times more precise"

      Which, of course, does not mean [agilent.com] "2,500 times more accurate."

      metrology != meteorology
      lol

      precision = true positives / (true positives + false positives)

  • Enough! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jhoegl (638955) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @12:23PM (#40429937)
    Enough of these ignorant blurbs.
    I dont care if this shit is accurate or not, I am going to attempt to do what is right, not what is cheaper.
    History has proven that cheaper is not better for us, for the environment, or for our future.
    If it were, we wouldnt worry about lakes catching on fire, cancer eating our bodies, and carbons heating up the earth (this is true BTW, look at historical evidence, and not just 50 years ago, more like 5 million years).
    So shut the fuck up, make your decision, and die in your environment, or live in it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The biggest problem is overpopulation, all else flows from that. I expect you will do what's right.
    • by gmuslera (3436)
      Just need to define "right" in a non subjective way, with all non subjective factors taken into account, and that includes what we don't know about what is an important factor and what not. Taking the cheapest route is the right choice for a lot of valid sets of important factors (i.e. what you can do with the budget you have, or the fastest way to profit, or the easiest path with all the unknowns that are in the middle, or just letting Darwin prevail). Taking fairy tales as the guide of what we should do (
    • by Kohath (38547)

      This is just complete nonsense. If you want a nice place to live, then keeping "lakes" from "catching on fire" (which apparently happens all the time in environmentalist doomsday fantasy worlds) is "cheaper" (or, more accurately, more valuable) than the alternative. On the other hand, if you're struggling to live at all, maybe you let the lakes take care of themselves.

      "Cheaper" is always what we get. When wealth is abundant (and thus "cheaper"), we can afford environmental improvements. The more wealthy

    • Your post would be a lot more interesting if you said what part you thought was ignorant. All I see in the post is a straightforward report of the results of a computer simulation. What is ignorant about that?
  • Experience (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have lived in SoCal all my life and there was a period in the 70's when pollution was rampant to the point you didn't trust any air you couldn't see, and even warm says resulted in eye and lung pain from acids in the air. It also served as a microclimate greenhouse effect.

    We now have more than double the cars, more than 4x the degree of traffic jams, a lot less pollution that is feelable or seeable. But the greenhouse effect is still about the same. Greenhouse gases in order of magnitude are:

    Water (dihyd

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You SoCal-er's problem is you keep leeching water off the rest of us, rather than solving your water crisis problems yourself. Up here in NorCal, the only time we've got a 'water crisis' is because our local water companies sell us down a river (or canal as it is) to you guys, then try and jack up our rates claiming that capacity doesn't meet demand. I remember before we all got shafted on water metering and even when we had a full resevoir they were putting us on alternate day water rationing for our lawns

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2038_problem [wikipedia.org]

    And a lot of folks won't give a rat's ass anyway, if an overheated LA burned down, fell over, and sank into the swamp.

    Call it Urban Improvement.

  • that the area around L.A. will experience more (and more extreme) hot spells

    Why do they get to have all the fun? I was looking forward to seeing global warming hit Death Valley hard, and setting a new high, and breaking it's own record for hottest recorded temperature, ever.

    Instead, the deserts have been having pretty mild summers for the past few years, as well as unusually large amounts of snow. And instead, a spot like L.A., which is 72F degrees year-round and only gets out of that long-sleve weather te

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      Easy: You need clouds (or at least humidity) to bottle up the heat. If it's always clear at night the ground can cool down despite all those greenhouse gases because water vapor (the strongest greenhouse gas) is low. That's why it gets cool during the night even in hot deserts.

  • Why not predict something verifiable* like say 2020? Or, given this astounding accuracy, 2014?

    * verifiable during the career of the guy releasing this study. As it is now the results seem to be designed not to put the author's reputation on the line.

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      Hansen's 1982 predictions were pretty good, only 30% too low, given that quantitative climate science was in its infancy back then.

  • I hope I am dead way before those years! :P

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      No, I want to see it. Pass the popcorn. Hollywood's latest thrillers have nothing on it.

  • I am not going to quibble over whether their predictions are right or not, all I have to say is, way to take the safe road ... a generation out meaning no one will remember the prediction.

    If you cannot predict accurate within five years why should I believe you can project out thirty to forty or believe that accuracy is better?

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      If you cannot predict accurate within five years why should I believe you can project out thirty to forty or believe that accuracy is better?

      Because weather has natural cycles (like ENSO) over a few years that average out over decades.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Maybe because they're only predicting an increase of 2-5 degrees in average temperatures(depending on region) 30 years out? That suggests that five years out the average increase would be at most 0.3 to 0.8 degrees, and probably much less since changes are accelerating. Add in the fact that the error bars are unlikely to be much smaller (since it sounds like they're using global climate predictions to drive a regional climate simulation) and any predictions would be lost in the noise.

      Basically they're say

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Oh, and fusion power is estimated at roughly $80 billion worth of research away - and (inflation-adjusted) estimates have held pretty close to that since the beginning (i.e. projected cost-to completion has been falling more-or-less in line with cumulative funding). The problem is that funding rates have been falling steadily almost from the beginning, so even though progress is being made, the speed of progress is falling fast enough that time-to-completion is holding steady.

  • I can see how you could say something was 2,500 x bigger, lighter or some other measurable aspect but how can a model be 2,500 more accurate? How exactly that defined? Almost as bad as something I saw the other day that claimed something or other was 10x more digital. WTF?
    • I can see how you could say something was 2,500 x bigger, lighter or some other measurable aspect but how can a model be 2,500 more accurate?

      They didn't say "more accurate", they said "more precise". Not the same thing at all....

      As an example, a temperature increase of 15 degrees, plus or minus 1 degree is much more precise than a temperature increase of 15 degrees plus or minus 10 degrees.

      However, if the temperature actually increases 1 degree, neither the more precise nor the less precise number would

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Note they said precise (=detailed) - not accurate (=correct), the two are independent concepts. As an example imagine you have two tape measures - one is marked only at every foot, the other also has markings at every inch. The second tape is 12 times as precise as the first. If you were measuring area that precision would square, for an area measured in inches is 144 times as precise as one measured in feet.

      In this case their simulation essentially has regional "pixels" covering 2-1/4 square miles - if

  • I would first like to say I am glad to hear they have a prediction for a time frame that is within reason. Now, that being said, here is what needs to happen;

    1. No additional "green" legislation (keeps the data used for prediction accurate, assuming the predictors did not factor in additional green initiatives)
    2. Begin a controlled measurement starting ASAP of the area of the prediction.
    3. In 2041 (29 years from now), gather all the results from the testing for each year, and see if prediction aligns with f

    • by rrohbeck (944847) on Sunday June 24, 2012 @03:15PM (#40431187)

      It's all been done, starting 30 years ago, and the results are in. It happened exactly as you wrote, except for

      8. Begin a massive disinformation campaign to avoid having to act on the results.

      • by Kr1ll1n (579971)

        It's all been done, starting 30 years ago, and the results are in. It happened exactly as you wrote, except for

        8. Begin a massive disinformation campaign to avoid having to act on the results.

        And this right here is why I refuse to take people like you seriously. I offered a fair, and non-preferential solution to encourage climate change research and validity, and you respond with biased hate and vitriol. My solution provides the following;

        1. A measurable result based upon a theory or prediction.
        2. A means to ensure the object being measured is as minimally affected by outside forces as possible.
        3. When an outside entity does interfere, a means to identify it and ensure the data it provides is co

  • And our local meteorologists were predicting a colder than usual winter last November; and it was the 3rd warmest on record. But sure, I'll trust these new awesome predictions that go decades into the future.

    Phhhttttt!

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      You're exhibiting your lack of education about the difference between weather and climate.

  • FTA sidebar:

    Average and projected annual days exceeding 95 degrees:
    Downtown L.A.: (1980-2000):1.4 -- (2041-2060): 4.6

    In Austin, a year with only 4.6 days exceeding 95 degrees would be a miracle indeed!

    In conclusion, downtown L.A., here I come!

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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