7 December 2019   Leave a comment

One of the criticisms of the science behind the debate about climate change is that computer models cannot accurately predict the extraordinary complexity of the earth’s climate. But a new study which examined the computer models over the last 50 years indicates that the computer simulations have been on target. According to a report in Science:

“The researchers compared annual average surface temperatures across the globe to the surface temperatures predicted in 17 forecasts. Those predictions were drawn from 14 separate computer models released between 1970 and 2001. In some cases, the studies and their computer codes were so old that the team had to extract data published in papers, using special software to gauge the exact numbers represented by points on a printed graph.

“Most of the models accurately predicted recent global surface temperatures, which have risen approximately 0.9°C since 1970. For 10 forecasts, there was no statistically significant difference between their output and historic observations, the team reports today in Geophysical Research Letters.

I suspect, however, that those who deny that climate change is occurring because of human activity will be swayed by additional scientific evidence.

North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Song, poured cold water on the US-North Korean denuclearization talks by saying that “We do not need to have lengthy talks with the US now and the denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiation table.” The statement could be simply a negotiating ploy, but it has become increasingly clear that North Korea has become frustrated with the lack of progress in the talks. North Korean leader Kim has said that he is considering offering the US a surprise by Christmas which could suggest another ballistic missile launch or even a nuclear bomb test. Both of those possibilities could pose a serious challenge to US President Trump. For his part, Trump seems to downplay the seriousness of the situation:

“U.S. President Donald Trump sought to play down a recent surge in tensions with North Korea, stressing what he said was his good relationship with its leader Kim Jong Un and saying he thought Kim wanted a deal, not to interfere in next year’s U.S. presidential election.

“’We’ll see about North Korea. I’d be surprised if North Korea acted hostilely,’ Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for Florida.

“’He knows I have an election coming up. I don’t think he wants to interfere with that, but we’ll have to see … I think he’d like to see something happen. The relationship is very good, but you know, there is certain hostility, there’s no question about it.’”

It is interesting that President Trump places the North Korean decision within the context of the Presidential election in the US. I strongly suspect that worrying about Mr. Trump’s chances in the next election is on the minds of the North Koreans. The North Koreans have raised the level of personal rhetoric in recent weeks:

“But the bonhomie has been tested this week, with Mr Trump reviving his derisive “Rocket Man” nickname for Mr Kim and again threatening to use military force against North Korea.

“One of Pyongyang’s top nuclear envoys, who once praised the ‘mysteriously wonderful’ chemistry between the leaders, slammed Mr Trump for using words that had prompted ‘waves of hatred’ among the North Korean people.

“She also dusted off an old insult the state has used for Mr Trump.

“‘If any language and expressions stoking the atmosphere of confrontation are used once again on purpose at a crucial moment as now, that must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard,’ said Ms Choe Son Hui, first vice-minister of foreign affairs, as quoted by the state’s official Korean Central News Agency on Thursday.”

It is difficult to find a more seriously flawed negotiating process than the one we have witnessed between the two states over the last three years. There is precious little to show by way of progress–indeed, the situation has clearly deteriorated while the two sides have been talking.

Posted December 7, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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