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About waxliberty

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    Earlly fan of Rand's writings, disappointed with the pervasively (and a priori) conservative ideological direction in which her philosophy was taken by her self and followers.

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  1. Actually I typed faster than I reasoned on that last one (between flights) and made a muddied comment about ECS of 1 implying 1.1 warming which is nonsensical, the ECS figure is absolute degrees, my apologies. Overenthusiastic about injecting the physics logic behind the unmodified CO2 contribution to ground the conversation. Correcting the representative napkin math (taking out the 1.1) you get 1.74 and 5.22 warming by 2100, which doesn't change the commentary, but does provide the requisite opening to argue I don't know what I'm talking about.
  2. *5*. Here you're misunderstanding what the numbers mean and comparing apples to oranges, although the confusion is understandable. ECS refers to "degrees warming per doubling of CO2". At ECS = 1 (no net feedback effects), warming would be about 1.1 deg C for a doubling of CO2. (For those interested in physics and math, this is a great site/web series that walks through the basic calculations of enhanced CO2 effect and derives the common 1.1 figure.) IPCC's RCP 8.5 (the highest emission scenario, where we just OK the pipelines and unleash the market to go after all remaining fossil fuel sources with enhanced technology throughout the century, essentially our current path) projects CO2 concentration reaching 936 ppm. Very rough math at ECS 1.5 temperatures would be 1.9 degrees warming above where we are today (one doubling and 16% of another) by 2100. This is absolutely considered very high impact / catastrophic warming. Roughly 3 degrees total warming in the modern industrial era since 1880, while not the ice age order of 5 degrees by 2100 we would be getting close and still warming. The Eemian (previous interglacial 120K years ago) was thought to be just a degree or two warmer, and sea level was about 4 to 6 meters higher. Do you have an idea what the order of economic cost is for that kind of sea level rise, the magnitude of human populations and cities impacted? We see significant acceleration of ice melt from the land already today, with the IPCC reporting a *5x* increase in measured melt: "The average rate of ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet has likely increased from 30 [–37 to 97] Gt yr–1 over the period 1992–2001 to 147 [72 to 221] Gt yr–1 over the period 2002 to 2011" (though this is not high confidence/precision because the satellite gravimetric analysis is relatively immature – relevant papers for anyone interested here, here, here.) At the other end, ECS = 4.5, it's 5.7 degrees warming by 2100. This isn't "high impact", it's "sweet mother of God". It is literally, very probably, game over for human civilization as we know it, well underway by 2100. You are so comfortable with the 1.5 possibility these are the stakes you blithely let ride on your dice roll. And what are you gambling for? The IPCC impact report gives the best estimate of economic cost of mitigation is reducing the median annual growth of consumption over this century by 0.06%. It is a complete false economy to imagine this makes remote economic sense even in the 1.5 scenario. In fact it is so far from any form of rational cost/benefit analysis it defies description. In business, your colleagues would consider you not laughable but dangerously insane. Only because we are talking about the world (merely human suffering and economies) are you able to step back and apply an ideological filter, that says there are exceptional philosophical obstacles to taking any action like this, enabling you to back additional demands of "certainty" into the physical science on an a priori basis to satisfy your ideological preferences. Well it is academically interesting to watch you try to square this. You are simply in (textbook psychological) denial of what the mainstream consensus is saying. The NAS can state "climate change is one of the defining issues of our time" and you think that squares with your "cool it, it's no big deal let's see if we learn anything" approach. Let's select a more explicit statement, this time from the European Federation of Geologists: "The EFG subscribes to the major findings that climate change is happening, is predominantly caused by anthropogenic emissions of CO2, and poses a significant threat to human civilization." I wonder if I am reading concern into this, when none really exists? You really should spend some time with the actual impacts report, with articles like this and this. Oh, for crying out loud, you don't sound familiar with the topic. For sea ice (which is different from land ice), just compare the arctic/antarctic changes visually in animations like these. It's actually chilling to hear this sort of intense irrationality so calmly conveyed. I realize speaking bluntly about this sort of logic probably comes across (to you) as strident, alarmist, and “impolite”, but really the stakes are unbelievably high (both on the specific question of global warming, and the general question of the rejection of rational scientific epistemology in a world where it is increasingly not just a luxury but a survival requirement.) Your standards of epistemology massively overweight selective uncertainty (and paranoia) relative to the approach of rational, conservative scientific epistemology, one of the many reasons I think it is defensible to characterize the position as anti-science. It’s great you reject creationism, but I think you fail to see the similarity of the trap. One can easily reject much of modern scientific understanding of the planet – evolution, the age of the earth, understanding of cosmology etc. – by demanding “certainty” and “proof” in the way commonly done here, resisting mainstream understanding of the planet and history. Quote from another forum today: “Climate denial isn't really about intelligence, anyway. Being intelligent often just means that you can concoct more elaborate rationalizations as to why your preconceived notions are correct.”
  3. Do you mean "why, just because the science points to us triggering a new 'hot age', different than what we've seen before, is anybody talking further about it?'
  4. I understand this all sounds good to you on a superficial level, but it's not defensible or actually well-formed. Despite the fact that you can't reproduce a globe in your lab, physical science lends itself quite well to reproducible validation. I'm well aware. It's something of an internet cliche – engineers animated by their ideological presumptions decide their engineering skill renders them an instant expert in any field of science they like, able to dismiss whole fields via ill-formed and strikingly shallow argument. I'm aware that you think those things are related or analogous.
  5. "Past results do not guarantee future returns" – possibly more confusing than helpful. If you mean the "past is not the future", that's clear enough to not need to be stated. If you mean "the way the climate responded to a physical variable in the past is no guarantee how it will respond in the future" is more problematic; clearly it is believed that you can apply learning from how the system responded in physical situations in the past. But it is not a simple question of expecting the same end results or assuming situations are exactly analogous. The statement from "climate science is largely concerned with discerning trends" through "from this, future projections are made" may put too much emphasis on "discerning trends" in context. Something like: climate science is concerned with understanding the physical mechanisms of the climate – informed by studying the paleoclimate record, directly applying principles from physics, chemistry and thermodynamics, and from empirical observations – from this, future responses are projected.
  6. I think my comparison here reads like it is stating more than intended – there can be shorter term ups and downs within the Holocene and the proxy data just doesn't have the resolution to capture, it wasn't necessarily so smooth. (Certainly see Younger Dryas etc. near the volatile beginning.) Sustained and global warming at such a rate would be unusual relative to the Holocene, and a ten year slowdown doesn't very detectably mess up the 'spike' or hockey blade effect underway.
  7. This gets into philosophical questions of determinism not really central to the topic at hand. In terms of the potential for infinite precision – quantum mechanics says this is extremely non-trivial, to say the least. Weather is exceptionally difficult because it involves chaotic factors per chaos theory, which basically concerns the fact that underlying deterministic mechanisms do not guarantee that a system is predictable. Climate is hard to model because the earth is complicated. For predicting just its balance of heat energy specifically, you can make some set of assumptions on the major variables (solar, human, and so forth) and make some projections with some stated error bounds, in the same way you can conceptually make calculations about how long a pot of water is going to boil if you know key variables like the volume, the temperature of the heat, and so forth. The thermodynamic problem is not inherently chaotic, in the same way weather modeling is. The further out in the future the uncertainty increases because more and more dynamics may come into play that you didn't have the opportunity to study from where started. (However, paleoclimate data is a huge rich store of information that is continually being mined to try to answer questions about "what does the real climate do in response to conditions X, Y and Z".)
  8. "fabrication of data where none exists" – no. It's calculating the best "average global surface temperature" possible, in this case applying data from satellites to improve the interpolation that is implicit in the entire enterprise. At the extreme this is just saying "if you can't actually measure every molecule's heat, you don't actually know what the 'average temperature is'." Who cares. Can you validate the statistical assumptions? Why, you can. You can apply the technique to areas where you have data coverage, temporarily withholding that data. Then you can compare the method to what you get from the direct thermometer coverage. That's what the paper is about – the validation of the technique and what it says when applied to the data gaps. For tracking global warming, the actual precise-to-n-digits temperature of the surface at a particular instant is not particularly critical to anything. We're tracking warming which means deltas and trends, so if you use a consistent measurement technique you expect to see trends you can meaningfully analyze over time. The heat swirls around the planet, and it's not reasonable to assume that a grid won't work because the cold air will always snake around the measurement points or some such. It's only a problem if you have a big gap in a geographically interesting region, like say the entire arctic. Tamino's post is just an exercise in separating "noise" you understand relative to a "signal" you are interested in, for whatever reason. It is completely straightforward. Let's take an example from software. Let's say you are tracking the availability of your servers and targeting a very high degree of uptime. You have active monitors (other servers) which ping your servers regularly to record their availability. This gives you some figure for their uptime – say 99.85%. (Which is deceptive – when the monitor wasn't pinging, we don't know whether the server was up, so we are essentially making up data where none exists!) Let's say you also have data that tells you when your monitors were down – i.e. the monitor service itself wasn't running, so it gives you some spurious false negatives during those periods. So to improve your measurement you remove the data from those time periods, which improves your uptime measurement to 99.97%... hold it right there! Cover the children's eyes, reprehensible data molestation. Highly irregular. Just delete any data you like, and think this is acceptable engineering? Yes, poisoned well, ad hominem etc. Realclimate was formed by 10 or so active publishing climate scientists, explicitly for the purpose of explaining the science to the public, and the material presented is meticulously sourced to published research. Contributors include Mann but also NASA's Gavin Schmidt, German oceanographer Stefan Rahmstorf, U.S. geophysicist Ray Pierrehumbert (as referenced above), and others. But yes, if we've got people believing one guy is a fraud, even if we don't have evidence of that, definitely best to try to tar as many scientists as possible...
  9. :-) I am not aware of any research saying this is a compelling mitigation scenario, but happy to hear about it. Quick search got me some chemical used to spray for them is a GHG? and they're moving north, run!
  10. For the record (just to clarify definitions), I would suggest something more along the lines of that offered in this useful here. The working groups and all IPCC stuff is categorized by the different RCP scenarios, which are based on different emission outcomes and "a model set-up that probabilistically takes into account the overall consensus understanding of climate sensitivity uncertainty". The scenarios with little mitigation (4.5 and above) all project significant impact. That's the mainstream view. 1.5 would be the ideal obviously, but it is unlikely (it is the extreme low end, many lines of evidence indicate it is implausible at best) and it still drives negative impact with unmitigated emissions. It is not rational to assume the extreme low end, it is a very common cognitive bias to think uncertainty can only break in your favor. You can justify it on the presumption that the IPCC is irresponsibly alarmist ("because everyone knows that"), but so far it has really been more the other way, as arguably the biggest IPCC model failure to date is ice melt, which proceeded much faster than predicted. Criticisms of the IPCC as overly conservative (responding to pressure) run pretty hot among climate scientists. Hansen and others lobbied for including higher ranges based on a variety of research, including the evidence of so-called slow feedbacks being not as slow as assumed. I just mention to underscore the dubiousness of assuming the low end is more probable. Your WUWT article doesn't quote from the Cato Institute, it's written by the Cato Institute (so, funded by Koch brothers and fossil fuels, sigh), and Knappenberger is somewhat infamous. I obviously would be happier with some scientific / reviewed source, as WUWT type hit pieces are legion, but let's not ad hominem *too* much, the general conclusion that "if" temperatures flatten or fail to warm models will be rejected is obviously not deeply objectionable. I would just watch the "if", especially with an El Nino brewing (which could fail to pan out, but if it doesn't we're highly likely to get our latest new record hottest year, maybe 2015.) I don't see an analysis of this newer post, but if you like the back and forth you can get the idea what some climate scientists think of Chip Knappenberger's analysis from Tamino's series of responses e.g. here, including his assessment that Knappenberger's attempt to reason from Tamino's own published paper is "some of the most ludicrous nonsense ever written" and general discussion of model performance, more here and here, somebody's snarky parody article here...
  11. LOL. Well that's quite a sweeping rebuttal. You wrote "However, the implication that this means industrial emmissions have caused the Earth's temperature to rise by 1 degree Celsius, isn't even close to true. Clearly. Such an conclusion would rest on the obviously false assumption that normally, the lowest and highest temperature over 11,700 years is the same." I was simply stating that I couldn't make sense of what you are trying to communicate with that bit with the 11,700 years. (I suppose it is something along the lines of 'what baseline are you comparing to'. Yes, it is a reference to the Holocene timeframe.) Points for desperation though. (I'd say I'm a believer in science and scientific literacy more than an expert, but I appreciate the insults...)
  12. "How come the scientists warning of much higher temperatures did not see all this coming?" Their models provide big error bounds for these things, so they "saw them coming". I think most scientists would agree they haven't done a great job communicating all this, but of course a highly motivated (and well funded) oppostion saturating media with counter-narratives to exploit confusion doesn't help matters. You do have to ask when you hear this line of argument – see all what coming, specifically? La Nina? I explained that it is not easily predicted, tied up in chaotic large scale weather. They can also easily go wrong because predictions have to model in some economics as well: human CO2 emission rates, Chinese industrial output of smog aerosols, etc., things not known to be trivial to predict but that don't reflect on core physical theory. Many of the common talking points about Hansen's or IPCC predictions "failing" goes after that class of error. The "hockey stick" is on the scale of the Holocene (Nicky's 11,700 years :-), so the "pause" is not really a detectable shift of a pixel on that chart, it would have to flatten out more and stay that way. In historical terms, even the "slow" pause period (say it is only 0.1deg C per decade; e.g. eyeballing UAH 1999 to 2013 looks like about 0.25 degree difference) would be extremely fast by Holocene standards, which doesn't look like it cooled a full degree in about 7,000 years of cooling. So what might look like uninteresting surface warming isn't obviously so; still spiking. (In truth, sampling a short period of time does not yield a statistically significant estimate of a trend easily – either to support "the trend flattened" or "the trend continued". Critics use this fact to argue that lack of statistical significance can only mean "not warming", one of the many other PR tricks.) Surface warming should be looked at (all climate scientists will tell you, as many times as you would like to ask) on decadal timeframe. So the key question is whether each decade is significantly warmer than the preceding one, and so far that continues to be quite dramatically true.
  13. Measurement challenges, data processing and signal/noise analysis are common to a pretty big number of problem domains. You mention medical research. In a previous reply I mentioned the kriging improvements to hadcrut to address the data gaps proposed in a paper by Kevin Cowtan. Cowtan is not a climate scientist – he is a data analyst and medical researcher who built up statistical expertise in contoured data sets working on "electron density functions in X-ray Crystallography", and was able to cross over and apply that expertise in a published contribution on climate data sets! There are some unique challenges with the complexity of climate, but in terms of the type of data and the physical properties being studied it really is not very different from other physical sciences. Think about geology, plate tectonics etc.; the link I referenced in #46 refers to how the noisy data and large error bounds for dating the age of the world were used to attempt to debunk the entire process of radiometric dating and/or the entire discipline of geology. Think about oceanography. (Really both of these are components of climate science.) Think about cosmology, trying to infer physical truths about structures tens of thousands of light years away from an incredibly noisy panorama of data up and down the EM spectrum. With uncertainty comes error bounds, part of why you see so many in the IPCC summaries. As with the dating of the earth, I claim critics react (defending a perceived attack on their world view) by seeking to aggressively (and erroneously) conflate "imprecise" with "completely meaningless", "unknowable", "incompetent" or "hoax". It is an interesting thought regarding economics, though I certainly don't see a unique relationship with climate. I think the core thing that makes economics extra devilish is that you are trying to model the behaviors of economic actors who are fully sentient with a set of possible synaptic combinations that breaks math, such that the complexity of predicting their behavior in all circumstances can explode a bit (especially if they are self-aware you are studying them and seeking to game it, etc.)
  14. I pasted the wrong link (that's a longer signal/noise exercise by Tamino that uses the data available for solar, volcanic and El Nino to show the leftover warming trend.) Sorry for noise; meant to post this summary by Rahmstorf of his view on causes/interpretation of "pause" all up – the Global Temperature Jigsaw.
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