Unsure certainty: Germany's Potsdam local weather institute humiliated after a year-long El Nino forecast mannequin flop


Reposted by Pierre Gosselin's NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin on November 15, 2020

The German Potsdam Institute (PIK) stated last year that it had a superior El Niño forecast model for one year that required 80% certainty. Today, a year later, the forecast is completely wrong and the renowned institute is humiliated.

Hat tip: Snow fan

The German Potsdam Climate Institute (PIK) stated in 2019 that it had a superior El Niño forecasting model that claimed a year ahead, and with 80% certainty there would be an El Niño event at the end of 2020 (the upper curve is just an El Niño) illustration). The PIK model forecast, however, failed completely. In fact, the opposite is true. Diagram source: parts list (with additions).

A year ago, the alarming and yet highly respected German Institute for Climate Research (PIK), together with researchers from the Justus Liebig University in Giessen (JLU) and the Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan in Israel, courageously declared in a press release: “Probably by the end of 2020 another & # 39; El Niño & # 39 ;. "

PIK even boasted of the superiority of the forecasting model

PIK's November 2019 press release boasted that its research team had developed a new, far better model that could predict an El Niño event at the end of 2020 one year in advance: "The commonly used forecasting models still see no signs of this" wrote the PIK press release.

The PIK press release described the early forecast model's approach as "groundbreaking" and claimed it was based on a "novel algorithm" developed by his team. Their forecast was based on "a network analysis of air temperatures in the Pacific region that correctly predicted the last two" El Niño "events more than a year in advance."

The results were even published in a journal:


“Conventional methods are unable to produce a reliable El Niño forecast more than six months in advance. With our method, we have roughly doubled the previous warning time, ”emphasized JLU physicist Armin Bunde, who initiated the development of the algorithm together with his former doctoral student Josef Ludescher.

John Schellnhuber: "80% security" … "quite significant"

Prof. Hans-Joachim (John) Schellnhuber, emeritus director of PIK, explained: "This clever combination of measurement data and mathematics gives us unique insights – and we make these available to those affected." 100 percent security offers: “The probability that El Niño will come in 2020 is around 80 percent. But that's pretty important. "

The 20% uncertainty leads to a humiliation of the PIK physicists

Using past data and using their algorithm, the PIK scientists said that El Niño events “could then be accurately predicted the year before”.

Today, a year later, in November 2020, we see that the opposite actually occurs, see graphic above. Now the equatorial Pacific is entering a La Niña event instead of the almost certain El Niño previously claimed by the now-embarrassed PIK researchers.

Can't even get one climate component right over a year

The PIK prognosis for “high security” is completely wrong and thus underlines the risks and dangers of overconfidence in complex systems that are still poorly understood.

And if scientists have difficulty predicting a single regional component of the entire climate for just a year, imagine how reliable their full predictions of the climate system over decades must be. GIGO!

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