Posted by: Barry Bickmore | November 2, 2010

National Science Foundation on Clouds

The National Science Foundation has just posted a series of videos and short articles things like 1) how clouds are characterized, 2) how they are included in climate models, 3) why they are the biggest uncertainty in climate models, and 4) how scientists are trying to deal with that.  Good stuff!



  1. > “Good stuff! ”

    Well, kind of, but is it really good stuff if it doesn’t help to inform a layperson who reads/views it, to know what we should do? (besides “fund more NSF research”)

    It focuses on the uncertainty, not on how that uncertainty is bounded or how it should enter into our decisionmaking.

    • Hi Anna,

      I liked it as an antidote to Roy Spencer’s claim that everyone (but him!) is ignoring clouds. In fact, the other scientists acknowledge they are a major source of uncertainty in climate models, and are very actively trying to upgrade their characterizations and mathematical descriptions of cloud feedbacks.

      As for the uncertainty angle, the public needs to buck up and get used to it, and I’m all for shoving it down their throats. “Yes, there’s uncertainty in science. There always has been, and always will be. So get used to making decisions based on incomplete information, because that’s all you’re ever going to get!”

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