Wednesday, May 23, 2012


date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 09:41:07 -0400
from: David Rind <>
subject: Re: [Wg1-ar4-ch06] Comments on Section 6.3
to: Stefan Rahmstorf <>

Sorry, Stefan. In the interest of maintaining a constructive working atmosphere, perhaps I
should have used the term "conceptual" model, which I would use for any model (not just
CLIMBER-2) that parameterizes the water vapor feedback with a functional relationship, that
has a one layer cloud model, that parameterizes the dynamic transports, etc. These are all
zeroth or first order processes, which GCMs, with all their flaws (which I'm the first to
admit) at least try to calculate. I apologize if the comment was taken personally as
applying only to this one model. Unlike others, I believe conceptual models do have their
use, which is why I have included without argument the comment in Section 6.2 that models
of various complexity are useful for paleoclimate studies due to the long time periods that
need to be simulated. I believe such models can suggest possible mechanisms, and, by using
appropriate tuning procedures, can suggest orders of magnitude of various terms. But
"suggest" is as far as I would go, due to the highly parameterized nature of the primary
processes and climate feedbacks - and I should say that if you think this is just coming
from the GCM community, this comment comes straight from Peter Stone, who as you know runs
an EMIC and has published numerous papers with one. Given that opinion, or even regardless
of it, the reference is overused - it shows up four times in five paragraphs.

As for your comment about GCMs, if they were used to address questions that depended
heavily on highly parameterized representations of the processes you mention, I would call
their approach "simplistic" (conceptual) in those cases as well.


At 12:39 PM +0200 7/20/05, Stefan Rahmstorf wrote:

have a request on procedure. In the interest of a good and constructive working
atmosphere, I would suggest that all of us focus on sober scientific arguments and
refrain from unneccessarily derogatory comments about the work of colleagues. I'm
referring in this case to David's comment

- this reference is overused, especially for such a simplistic model

It would never occur to me to call David's model "simplistic" because it does not
include an interactive continental ice sheet model, vegetation model, carbon cycle
model, sediment model and isotope model.

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