"POSSIBLY full of bullshit and myth"
Ahhh, British understatement...
468 posts • joined 8 May 2007
Ahhh, British understatement...
Yep, the Macintosh was famously Jobs' baby. The anecdote reference is to the Apple I/II instead of the Macintosh.
Just a shout out that Luis Walter's son, named Walter, was a co-proposer of the impact extinction theory. He's a geology professor at UC Berkeley.
It's only a tiny portion of the waste that has long thousand-year half lives, so just burying it in the ground actually is a pretty reasonable solution -- it won't poison our children or even the earthworms (the latter because earthworms don't travel through salt or into metal storage containers).
Stevie, in response to my question "Stevie, you know that UEA was at the center of the climate data scandals over the past decade, right? ", you wrote
"How on earth would I know that? It's not like it was written down anywhere for me to see. Like in a newspaper. Even an E-Paper."
Since you apparently weren't paying attention, here's one of those articles you missed, from The Telegraph (UK) about a scandal from 2010:
In it, we find that " The University of East Anglia rejected requests for information relating to claims by academic staff that global warming was being caused by man-made emissions."
"The Information Commissioner's office ruled that UEA was in breach of the Freedom of Information Act – an offence which is punishable by an unlimited fine. "
The story notes that the "Climategate" emails revealed that:
" In an email, Prof Jones requested that a colleague delete correspondence regarding a report by the ... (IPCC), ..."
"He also told a co-worker he had convinced university authorities not to answer freedom of information requests ..."
You also seem to think that the sea ice surrounding Antarctica has been declining in (summer minimum) amount since your childhood, when instead it has been increasing and is now at record high levels.
I hope these revelations will inspire you to pay closer attention to the *actual* facts of climate change research.
Martin, apparently I misunderstood you -- I thought you were referring to modern political intervention by SF politicians, separate from the Hetch Hetchy construction. Had the Hetch Hetchy not been dammed, things would certainly be different; it's hard to know exactly what situation water politics might have produced in the intervening century.
Growing up in the Bay Area, I always thought of the rough boundary of "Northern California" to be just south of San Jose and Sacramento, and the rough boundary of "Southern California" to be just north of the San Fernando Valley, with "Central California" in between. By contrast, I've always thought the "Central" in "Central Valley" referred to its east/west position within the state.
Stevie, you know that UEA was at the center of the climate data scandals over the past decade, right? In any case, your link is a non-scientific fluff piece from 20 years ago -- for example, notice the lack of any description on how to tell the difference between a tree that responds to temperature vs a tree that responds to water availability vs a tree that responds to reduced cloud cover. During these past decades, the amount of data and statistical cherry-picking underlying tree-ring-based "temperature" reconstructions has become much clearer.
Jacoby and his colleague D'Arrigo (the subjects of your fluff piece) are infamous for not only massive data cherry-picking, but for actually defending the practice! For example, in Jacoby and d’Arrigo [Clim. Chg. 1989], they sampled tree rings from 36 northern boreal forest sites. After analyzing all 36 sets of data, they cherry-picked only 10 to use in their "temperature reconstruction", and not only didn't include the data from the other 26 (which didn't fit their desired interpretation) in their paper, they refused to release the data to other scientists for independent analysis of their work!
In part, Jacoby wrote "If we get a good climatic story from a chronology, we write a paper using it. That is our funded mission. It does not make sense to expend efforts on marginal or poor data and it is a waste of funding agency and taxpayer dollars. The rejected data are set aside and not archived." This is of course equivalent to a pharmaceutical company running a clinical trial of a new drug writing something like "If we get a good response from a patient, we write a paper using it....It does not make sense to expend efforts on patients presenting marginal or poor responses and it is a waste of dollars. The poor responses to the drug are set aside and not archived."
At the 2006 US NAS panel on paleoclimate reconstruction, D'Arrigo responded to a question about cherry-picking of data with something like "you have to pick cherries if you want to make cherry pie".
If that's what climate scientists think "established as sound" science looks like, perhaps it's just best if they retire.
Dagger - not sure what you mean by "cross-reference the radiocarbon and other *ingredients* against sediments and ice cores etc". The only "ingredients" are measured tree ring thicknesses.
Your "omission" argument omits the more likely possibility that a lack of correlation is just due to the correlation being spurious in the first place. If you try to match thousands of pairs of squiggles, some pairs will pass a threshold of similarity just by chance, but the correlation will not continue for out of sample data.
As for knowing sh*t, I was trained as a biologist, and have worked extensively with e. coli, the main component of sh*t.
AC, if one were to divert more fresh water away from the sea, salt water would intrude into the Sacramento River delta, damaging the local marshes and farms, and contaminating the local wells.
Martin, perhaps you're not familiar with California's geography -- the Central Valley runs from the north end of the state (Redding, up near Mt. Shasta) down to Bakersfield in the lower central part of the state, well north of LA. Thus, it's not in Southern California, which you seemed to imply. Also, the "burghers" of SF have nothing to do with this, as they secured SF's water supply over 100 years ago by damming the Hetch Hetchy valley in the Sierras.
Stevie, exactly *which* local weather conditions are indicated by a given tree's rings? It's like trying to recover the original data from the product of a hash function.
DS - you've unintentionally illustrated the fundamental problem of dendroclimatology: how does one identify what fraction of a scalar value (tree ring width) reflects which environmental variable?
Does an especially wide growth ring mean (a) temperatures were warmer, allowing increased growth, (b) temperatures were colder (perhaps shaded by extensive clouds), allowing increased growth (the tree having been too warm for optimal growth earlier), (c) temperatures were unchanged, but additional water was available, and had previously been the limiting factor, (d) temperatures and water were unchanged, but sunlight increased due to fewer clouds, or what? As you can see, an increase in ring width could mean increased temps, decreased temps, unchanged temps, increased clouds, decreased clouds, increased water, decreased water, etc., which makes robust scientific inference quite difficult.
In theory, each tree's data should be accompanied by an extensive evaluation of what factors limited the tree's growth given both today's local environment, and that during the tree's past life. This is normally not done by dendroclimatologists; interestingly, it does seem to be a part of normal varve (lake sediment layer) analysis work.
AC - you wrote that "And climate scientists are amazingly open with their data in comparison with some allied fields of science"
Perhaps you haven't been following tree ring and temperature station data access issues over the last decade, where UK researchers had to be taken before tribunals in order to get their data, and climate scientist Dr. Phil Jones famously responded to a request for data with: "Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?"
A molecular biologist trying a stunt like that would be quickly laughed out of academia; according to Steve McIntyre, a mining promoter trying to stonewall like that would run afoul of anti-fraud laws.
(see e.g. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/13/cru_missing/ )
AC, you seem uninformed as to the actual practices of dendroclimatologists. Rather than describing what IS, you describe what SHOULD BE. In most sciences, there wouldn't be a significant difference, but somehow climate science is "special", and not in a good way.
You claim that [dendroclimatologists] "verify, criticize each others' work and place statistical limits on the confidence of their interpretation". Please provide an example of such proper statistical limits in a dendroclimatology reconstruction of past climate. This would include accounting for errors in measurement of both tree ring widths and the desired climatological variable, accounting for the numbers of samples during different time periods, accounting for the number of tested samples *not used* in the reconstruction, accounting for the variability of tree ring width produced when the climatological variable is constant, accounting for non-linearity in the tree ring width/climatological variable relationship over the range of the climatological variable, and so forth. It would of course, also include out-of-sample testing.
I'm glad to see that we share common ground in believing that the "divergence problem" disqualifies at least many tree-ring-based climatological reconstructions.
This article IIRC is about snowpack, which as I noted above, is very different from "winter precipitation". The link in the Reg article is incorrect, and NCC is paywalled, so I'm unable to verify that myself.
c14, as a non-specialist, you might think that, but it's easy to show that can't be true: tree ring width is a single type of measurement. Some dendro scientists measure ring wood *density* as well/instead. However, dendro climatologists then try to infer many climate variables from THE SAME type of tree ring width/density measurement. Seasonal temperature highs. Seasonal average temperatures. Yearly average temperatures. Winter low temperatures. Water availability, both seasonal and year-round. Snow cover during the spring. Ocean surface temperatures, both basin-wide and in specific regions. Cloud cover. They try to avoid misinterpreting other influences as changes in the desired climate variable (one typically wants to rule out effects due to number of nearby trees, varying nutrient availability, pest infestations, land cover/use changes, etc).
So, the aspiring dendroclimatologist has a vector of scalars (tree ring widths), each scalar representing some unknown combination of a dozen or more climatological variables and a dozen or more confounding non-climatological variables, some correlated and others not. (S)he also has vectors of scalar climatological variables, typically measured tens to thousands of miles away. How can one, even in theory, hope to tease out a given climatological variable from the ring width?
The original work in the mid 20th century with trees from the desert southwest was an attempt to correlate ring width with seasonal water availability. Since it turned out that the few trees in that region were pretty much only constrained in their growth by water availability, this turned out to work reasonably well.
After that, some dendro scientists went hog-wild and started comparing just about any environmental variable they could find with tree ring data and looking for correlations. I don't know of any that has ever been plausibly confirmed to be correct, for example by returning to a site 15 or 20 years after the original sampling to sample still-growing trees and check if the earlier correlation held up in this "out of sample" new data. The typical excuse is a lack of funding, but many of the sampled locations are easily accessible to anyone with a week's vacation time and the wherewithal to rent a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and hit the Starbucks drive-through on the way to the site. An outsider might be forgiven for suspecting that many dendroclimatologists are unskilled in testing hypotheses (as opposed to practicing purely descriptive science) or are afraid of what they might find if they did so.
AC, your simple explanation of science veered into the simplistic -- you left out key steps. For example, you note "You go about checking by comparing how tree rings correlate with your actual measurements". That's fine for an initial step, but to show that you haven't just cherry-picked a relationship that matches by chance, you need to verify it with "out of sample" data. That is, you need to show that the relationship holds up even with data that you and others on your team didn't know when you came up with the original correlation. It's the failure to verify with such out of sample data (typically, by waiting for additional data to come in) that makes much of tree ring temperature reconstruction so shaky.
The "divergence problem" referred to in Climategate was such an issue, where temperatures inferred from many samples of tree rings from the 2nd half of the 20th century "diverged" from actual thermometer measurements from the 1960s until the end of sampling in the 1970s. Rather than heeding this warning sign of a failed correlation (and thus, an unreliable reconstruction method), prominent dendroclimatologists just swept the issue under the rug and continued their work as usual.
MC - I'm curious as to how inferred cyclone records can provide any information about SNOWpack, as snow is normally quite scarce in the warm ocean regions where cyclones form. In fact, since snowpack (as opposed to number/intensity of snow events) is dependent on the full range of wind history, ground temperature history, air temperature history, sunshine/clouds, snowfall intensity and timing in the season, and so forth, any claim to be able to reconstruct it without this information must be quite far-fetched.
Of course, Nature Climate Change is known to publish more than its fair share of papers toeing the alarmist PR line, without worrying too much about the soundness of the underlying data or math.
I think the potential issue with working at home is more the getting left out of social interactions at the office. It's always easier to let go those who you rarely see in person.
Consumer diesel engines are a tiny percentage of the American market, so it's not surprising that other car makers, not selling diesel-engine passenger cars there, wouldn't have felt competitive pressure to fiddle with diesel engine emissions.
The "HD" versions are the lower spec models. The higher-spec models are "HDX" -- these come in LTE data/GPS-containing versions as well as WiFi only, and have nicer screens and other specs, including 2GB RAM. The 7" Fire HDX has a 1200x1920 display, quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800, etc. The 8.9" Fire HDX has a 1600x2560 display, Snapdragon 805 at 2.5 GHz, etc.
There's lots of oil, gas (and of course, coal) in the ground, almost none of it accessible at the surface or by using hand tools. It's the current state of extractive technology, not the total fuels in the ground, that determines how much of those fuels we have access to. That technology is constantly improving, making more fossil fuels accessible -- as with fracking.
Those who claim we need to worry about "peak oil" or "peak gas" are ignoring the consistent history of technological development enabling access to ever larger amounts of fossil fuels.
It's not because "it does not achieve a precision...", it's because prominent practitioners within the field don't behave like scientists, and other prominent practitioners don't denounce that anti-scientific behavior. See, for example, Dr. Phil Jones' infamous "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" comment.
You're right as far as you go -- CO2's increase to currently around 400ppm is due to human causes, and it has/will raise the temperature.
HOWEVER, the calculations you quote predict only a small rise in temps. Even modern, observational-data-based estimates of how much temperatures will rise for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration (the "climate sensitivity") give a value of around 1.5C per doubling. We expect the doubling from pre-industrial CO2 values to be achieved around the end of the 21st century; since we've already warmed about 0.85C from pre-industrial times (with no adverse noticeable consequences!), we can expect another 0.65C of warming by the end of the 21st century. No big deal.
It's all in the IPCC AR5 "official science" report, so don't go calling them "deniers"!
The problem, of course, is that climate science is an immature field, and it turns out that a significant number of climate scientists are not credible. Credible scientists don't respond as Dr. Phil Jones did: "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Credible scientists don't publish articles based on novel statistical calculations without having any expertise in statistics nor a collaborator with such to prevent basic mathematical errors.
Scientists in other fields look upon climate science as a train wreck -- you can't look away, but feel sad for all the people hurt by the sheer incompetence so often on display.
As a fatster myself, I still can't ignore the fact that wholesale obesity seems to be a function of culture; 50 years ago your average American wasn't as fat as we are today. There are plenty of other examples of wholesale cultural dietary changes leading to increased obesity throughout history. Personally, I suspect part of the issue is less day-to-day exercise in getting to places -- we all drive rather than walking or cycling these days.
Dan, your "lemur theory" implies that the two groups of humans would have had to evolve independently from the primitive ancestors (that is, two or more evolutionary origins for the human species). The DNA evidence is strongly against this, so I'm afraid your hypothesis IS in fact much less valid.
Re: "about 25% of one's unique genetic code lineage is lost each generation"
Not sure what you're trying to refer to here (perhaps independent assortment?), but the statement is clearly wrong.
The more kids you have, the more of your DNA in the next generation (albeit somewhat re-arranged).
"Displaced" usually means you and your same-genetic-population spouse produce all the kids, or you and your same-genetic-population buddies father all the kids. "Absorbed" usually means you don't mess with the procreation too much and just force all the kids to speak your language and take on your culture (examples might be "displaced" - us/Neanderthals; "absorbed" - "Romans/Etruscans).
Since psest is worried about "sites" regarding "polls", surely election observers could provide an impartial report on the issue?
@vogon: you worry "even if we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow will likely already cause an eventual rise in sea level of several metres."
In this case, "eventual" means "thousands of years from now", so not really something we need to worry about in the 21st century. Now you know.
Come visit the western United States. Our cars emit pretty much only H2O and CO2, so no nasty fumes to breath while cycling. Perhaps your own country's government might want to emulate our regulations?
psest worries: "I don't want my kids hacking and coughing because every time they take a deep breath, half of what they take in is fuel exhaust in the future. "
No worries, then. Modern engines do a great job of fully combusting gas with only H20 and CO2 as "fuel exhaust". No hacking, no coughing, no problem.
None of those, just naive. Just as anthropogenic climate change alarmism isn't a conspiracy, just well-meaning groupthink by folks who are inclined to believe in human-caused giant environmental disasters.
veti, what does " may be more resilient than has been previously considered" even mean wrt Arctic sea ice? That it bends more easily without breaking? That the climate scientists who study it must now bend over backwards to fit the new observations into their alarmist predictions?
It's important to realize that while the "medical field routinely covers up as much as possible to avoid ambulance chasers", that's aimed at the *external* world. Hospitals also run (monthly?) morbidity and mortality review sessions for internal staff only, without recording names, where staffers review morbidity/mortality caused by preventable errors/circumstances. The purpose is for all to learn and to prevent repeats or similar errors in the future. These frank discussions are not made available to patients/lawyers/regulators.
An article on a version of the process: http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/may09/research8.asp
The sun "outputs" many things; not all are reflected in the "solar output" value. Describing a person's output with a single number doesn't work too well, either.
Without some CO2 in the atmosphere you'd starve to death. It's not a poison, it's just (effectively) insulation.
You clearly misunderstood my post -- I didn't (and don't) claim that "global warming" isn't happening, just that it's happening so slowly that we have decades yet to sort out the science so we can figure out what policies make sense. Your anecdotes about current weather events have no bearing on global warming or its speed, as you acknowledged before seemingly arguing the opposite. Check out the IPCC AR5 report -- no increases in numbers of big storms, sea level rise still as slow as it was 100 years ago, and so forth; I think it was fair for me to write "won't start to be evident to the average person until hundreds or thousands of years from now."
You also wrongly claimed that I engaged in "cherry picking" -- perhaps you were thinking of a different poster here?
I am curious -- do you actually believe the computer climate models can predict global surface temps to within 1C a hundred or more years from now, given a specific GHG emissions scenario? If so, do you then think that clouds have no significant effect on global surface temps?
@AB: Your info about the Trap eruptions is interesting, but what evidence is there that the CO2 spike, and not, say SO2 or other effects, where what caused the extinction? My understanding is that it's all just an exercise in correlation, without good evidence for CO2 causation.
Come on, Rik, even you write poorly-argued alarmist climate posts without understanding the science (your other articles were generally quite good, though). Lewis' military-related articles have been quite informative, particularly the series on the UK's aircraft carrier boondoggle.
@DerekCurrie: You write that "Darn, we've acidified the oceans so incredibly badly that coral can no longer survive..."
This is news to me -- do you have a reference you could share to any actual science that shows this is true today, much less "decades old" as you claim?
The issue, of course, is that the changes are not rapid at all on a human timescale, so the alarmists are left trying to spur drastic changes today for changes that won't start to be evident to the average person until hundreds or thousands of years from now.
The reasonable person will conclude that we can wait at least a few more decades to properly sort out the science. For example, climate scientists acknowledge that even the sign (warming or cooling) of clouds' effect on global surface temps is unknown. Such gaping holes in the understanding of the climate system naturally lessen one's confidence in the computer climate models that are the only basis for predicting significant warming in a few hundred years' time.
(then there's the name-calling: "denialists", really?)
Presumably, just as with volcanoes today, the massive Cretaceous volcanism emitted gases other than CO2, such as SO2 and nitrogen nasties. It's quite hard to pin down the specific effects of CO2 when you've got a multifaceted global disruption going on.
In any case, because of the massive volume of the oceans, changes there (including pH and temperature) occur quite slowly on a human scale, and so are not something we need to worry about for some centuries/millennia to come.
Surely there's some Ellen Pao connection here...
Surely we should also have been informed about whether or not those spikes carried lasers of death?
I find it amusing that the original typo rendering San Antonio Road as "San Atonio Road" has now undergone a transition to "San Atonia Road" in the followup article.
The problem of course is that it's often the students who are already earning an "F" who are the ones using cellphones in class. In "progressive" schools such as those in Seattle, where the district cares more about fashionable social theories than actual learning, that just means the student will be moved to an activity in the school where he/she will take up even more staff time.
JS notes "Dawkins relates an anecdote about a conference where, after one presentation, a respected scientist stood up and, to paraphrase, thanked the presenter for showing how he had been wrong all these years. So everyone applauded mightily. That's how scientific discourse should be, but I suspect that it doesn't happen very often..."
In fact, in real scientific disciplines, that IS how it works. For example, biologists didn't try to shout down Warren and Marshall when they showed that H. pylori bacteria, not the previous consensus "stress", caused most stomach ulcers. They didn't try to get them fired from their positions. They didn't concoct new, poorly-understood statistical techniques whose only virtue was to put a fancy gloss on poor-quality anti-H. pylori data.
To be fair, you got so caught up in denialism that you forgot about all the Democratic leaders and President paid by Big Alarmism to slow down/stop new oil and gas exploration, put restrictions or bans on fracking, pay big subsidies to wind and solar power equipment and power producers, and so forth.
I always thought de Nile was driven by Isis' tears of sorrow over the loss of her husband, Osiris.
What exactly are "these things"? Pro-alarmist climate "science" gets funded just fine and seemingly needs no proper statistical evaluation to reach publication in even formerly respected journals such as Science and Nature. Most authors still genuflect to climate alarmism, at least in the abstract -- the only part of the paper most non-scientists even look at.
I wouldn't feel too sad for climate scientists -- they brought much of this upon themselves by not standing up for full data disclosure, proper statistics vetting, and by trying to retroactively justify the childish actions of some scientists in e.g. Climategate. Any field in which one prominent scientist publicly calls another prominent scientist a "denier" is bound to have major problems...