“an extra thousand code checkers”
Well, GISS/NASA employee Dr. Gavin Schmidt has done it again. He has given direct proof that the fundamental concepts of software Verification and Validation and other Software Quality Assurance procedures are not in the work universe of GISS/NASA.
I posted this response to a couple of comments on the GISS/NASA RealClimate blog. And I got this reply from GISS/NASA employee Gavin Schmidt which says:
[Response: Dan, repeating the same thing a hundred times does not make it true. If you want to campaign to double the climate modeling budget so that we can employ an extra thousand code checkers, great. But funders have made it absolutely clear that they prefer that we focus on science (we are scientists after all) and that no doubling of funding is on the horizon. The priorities are reversed in the nuclear industry and so they do things differently. If you want to check though our code, go ahead – nightly snapshots of our repository are on our website. All bug fixes will be greatly welcomed! In the meantime, feel free to ignore all modelling and instead base your projections on the tea leaves in your cup. – gavin]
To which I responded. Note that Dr. Schmidt has ed out part of my response in which I asked a direct question. I’m reconstructing that part here because I did not keep a record. The intended focus was as follows:
BTW, you failed to point out what part(s) of my comment were not true. If it was this part:
The problem, and it’s a critically significant problem, is that we continue to read that Climate Science seems to be the only community that cannot preform these fundamental tasks. The use of “an extra thousand code checkers” serves as validation of my characterization of the GISS/NASA approach to these fundamental issues.
then all that is required is for you to point us to the documentation that indicates that the V&V and SQA procedures have been successfully applied to the GISS/NASA ModelE software.
So, the net effects of the editing are: (1) Dr. Schmidt was unable to identify what parts of my comment were not true, and (2) apparently the V&V and SQA documentation for the ModelE software does not exist.
Note, too, that in the course of these exchanges Dr. Schmidt threw out another one of those GISS/NASA pointless strawmen: “an extra thousand code checkers”. No one other than Dr. Schmidt has ever used any number approaching 1000 as the personnel required for implementation of acceptable Independent V&V and SQA procedures. And in typical GISS/NASA fashion, the strawman is tossed into the discussions at the very time that the NASA employees decide that it’s time to end this line of thought.
Well, this latest episode of pointless information exchanges with GISS/NASA employees on RealClimate did result in some possibly useful information. According to an e-mail that I received from Dr. Schmidt, he indicates that this paper contains the final form of the momentum balance in the vertical direction. Equation 2 on page 612 is reported to be the equation in question. So, the GISS/NASA ModelE model for the vertical momentum balance is the equation for steady-state hydrodynamic equilibrium. The approach usually encountered in hydraulics.
Dr. Schmidt continues to insist that I and others search through the published papers to find information that we ask for. Gavin knows very well that I and others have in fact more than once attempted to do that very thing. For my part I did not begin to ask for assistance until after I had made attempts on my own. Generally, what I have found is that it’s like the Russian eggs that require digging deeper and deeper. Except, with the ModelE documentation you never get to anything meaningful. The information does not exist, or is buried so deep in the eggs that it is not efficient to keep digging. Additionally, if we do it ourselves we can see that the official GISS/NASA response will be that we didn’t find the right egg.
Well, while I’m at it I’ll continue with another example of tossing around strawmen with no other purpose than to distract from the real issues. In this response to comments, we get this from GISS/NASA employee Dr. Gavin Schmidt:
[Response: Ah, but someone has claimed the LHC will destory the world. The consensus of scientists says it’s bollocks. But have you examined their code? checked their calculations? examined their assumptions? Why not? Surely the whole world is at stake! – gavin]
Again, another clear avoidance of the issues.
However, I will agree that sufficient documentation such that Independent evaluations of all aspects of the issues, including numerical results from all computer software, are possible should be a goal of the GISS/NASA scientists. Additionally, associated risk analyses of the possible consequences is also highly desirable. Instead, The Climate Change Community continues to invoke The Precautionary Principle. While GISS/NASA employee Dr. Gavin Schmidt seems to think that the computer software and theoretical analyses for the LHC are candidates for independent review, he continues to insist that the same is not required for the GISS/NASA ModelE models and code and applications.
BTW, is The Precautionary Principle solely an instrument of The Climate Change Community?
Finally, “Surely the whole world is at stake!” hmmm … I think I’ve heard that statement before. Where was that and what was the subject area …. ?