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Comment: Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (Score 2) 761

by Namarrgon (#47867947) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

A) CO2 accumulates. Plants absorb it, they also release it. So does the ocean. And even though the ocean is absorbing more than it releases (making it more acidic), the amount we have been releasing into the atmosphere is still pushing CO2 levels higher and higher. This is easily measured.

B) CO2 historically has not driven temperatures, it's acted as a feedback, making warming temperatures even warmer. Orbital cycles or other factors cause some initial warming, which triggers higher CO2 concentrations, which causes further warming. This is also easily measured in a lab, and shows up in countless lines of observations. CO2 and temperatures have both been higher in the past, but now we're the ones releasing CO2, and we'll have to deal with the results. "Runaway" warming effects are unlikely, but what we expect is going to be plenty expensive enough.

C) Climate models are intended to predict trends, not short-term variation. Longer term trends are easier to predict than random fluctuations, as the random cycles all average out. Only those who don't understand the models (e.g. they're not "all feedback-based models") claim that they're not "working".

D) The effects are already here, you just haven't been looking. They're showing up, not in dramatic unheard-of catastrophes, but in increased likelihood of heat waves, droughts, and fires (in some areas), floods (in other areas), melting glaciers, reduced ice mass (arctic and antarctic). These things aren't new, but they're getting steadily more common, and the costs are already adding up.

Increased CO2 means global average temperatures rise, both on the surface and (more significantly) in the oceans. This has been happening for 150 years, as predicted. More rainfall in some areas, less in others.

There are many studies about the feedback effects of CO2 on plant growth. The overall conclusions are that this will affect the climate, but not very much.

The predictions have been made for decades and longer. They're coming true all around us. Only the deniers refuse to look and see for themselves, insisting that this or that one little thing hasn't changed yet, so nothing could possibly be happening. But a glance at the bigger picture shows overwhelming evidence, which is precisely why there is such a strong consensus among climatologists.

Comment: Re:Scientific Consensus is: (Score 1) 761

by Namarrgon (#47867623) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

The *climatologists* see very little of that funding - they get a job with a moderate wage. Their scientific reputation, track record of published papers, is their biggest asset. If they could *solidly* show that AGW wasn't significant, with evidence such that a majority agreed with them - they'd be famous world-wide. The talk-show circuit alone would dwarf their wages. OTOH, deliberately fudging evidence to show something that wasn't the case is virtually guaranteed to kill their career stone dead.

Compare that to the vast amounts of money being made by the fossil fuel industry, all those jobs, and the trillions remaining in potential future assets. All that is threatened if climate change is politically accepted. There is a huge amount at stake for those people, and intense motivation to ensure the industry's survival, at any cost. We've seen that same scenario before too many times, more recently with the tobacco industry.

Comment: Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (Score 1) 761

by Namarrgon (#47859709) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

A) But water vapour doesn't accumulate over centuries like CO2 does (it rains out), so the long-term effect isn't there
B) Not true. CO2 has historically had a powerful positive feedback effect on temperature.
C) Climate models have only missed recent short term temperature fluctuations (as expected). Still important for long-term predictions.
D) So? We're concerned about how current levels will affect us.

Comment: Where Do These Stats Come From? (Score 1, Informative) 546

by eldavojohn (#47819359) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Nearly half of the software developers in the United States do not have a college degree. Many never even graduated from high school.

What? I pored over the article and the US BLS link in it to find the source of these statements. Aside from a pull quote that appears as an image in the article but isn't even in the article itself and is unattributed, could someone find me the source of this statistic?

Because I'm a software developer in the United States with a Masters of Science in Computer Science. All of my coworkers have at least a bachelor's degree in one field or another. And my undergrad very much so started with a sink-or-swim weed out course in Scheme and then another in Java. Yes, they were both easy if you already knew how to code but ... this article almost sounds like it's written by someone with no field experience. Granted that's a low sample set, I'd like to know where the other half of us are. Everyone keep in mind that a Computer Science degree is a relatively new thing and there very well may be elderly coders doing a great job without technically a degree in computer science.

The only way I can see the misconception spreading is that people who use Wix to drag and drop a WYSIWYG site (for you older readers that's like FrontPage meets Geocities) erroneously consider themselves "software developers".

Comment: Decommissioned (Score 3, Insightful) 220

by eldavojohn (#47807697) Attached to: Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media
Canvas (site, not the HTML5 element) and DrawQuest were killed earlier this year. I used it briefly in its beta form and thought it was a neat idea. Any chance you could elaborate on why it was shut down? The e-mail I got was brief and vague -- were you facing copyright issues? Monetization problems? Image space issues? Care to spill your lessons learned?

Comment: Re: As much as I hate Apple (Score 1) 187

by Namarrgon (#47804021) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

The obvious answer is that Apple was farsighted enough to diversify its product line, and came up with some innovative music players and phones.

My monoculture comment was more aimed at the iPhone line specifically. It's been very successful but lost market share anyway, because many people want something different. Apple itself will likely continue to do well, as long as it can create entirely new product lines as the old ones fail (as the iPod is doing now).

Comment: Re: As much as I hate Apple (Score 1) 187

by Namarrgon (#47799681) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Monocultures can be very successful. They do have associated risks though. Diversity usually wins in the end.

Apple of course are in no immediate danger, they're doing just fine. Though I do wonder why Apple fans point to their huge profits as a good thing.. Good for Apple, certainly; not quite so much for their customers.

Comment: UNCENSORED high-speed internet (Score 5, Funny) 542

I accidentally RTFA'd and realised the fatwa is actually against high-speed internet that isn't government controlled and censored:

All third generation [3G] and high-speed internet services, prior to realization of the required conditions for the National Information Network [Iran’s government-controlled and censored Internet which is under development], is against Sharia [and] against moral and human standards.

Thus I conclude that internet porn is just fine, so long as it's consumed slowly, scanline by scanline. He clearly wants you to enjoy the anticipation.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1) 465

by Namarrgon (#47763151) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

I think you're missing my point too. The models are only inaccurate temporarily. They're still quite valid for predicting longer-term trends.

The reason for this is because of the cyclic nature of the ocean warming. ENSO, AMO, PDO etc are all natural cycles that shift heat between the ocean and surface. While heat is being transferred to the ocean (as currently), the models will over-predict surface temperatures. When the cycle reverses, heat is transferred from the ocean back to the surface - and the models will under-predict surface temperatures.

Because heat isn't created or destroyed, only moved around, the net effect of these cycles is zero, and does not affect the longer-term warming trend that the models show. If you take a longer-term running average of surface temperatures, they still come very close to the models' predictions.

Climate scientists already know that the models won't match the short-term noise created by these currently-unpredictable cycles - but that's OK, because they're not intended to. It's only uninformed laymen that insist that any short-term mismatch is a "failure" of the models, rather than simply using them for longer-term predictions only, as designed.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1) 465

by Namarrgon (#47754307) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

Luckily, the detailed impact of natural ocean cycles like this one (and ENSO, PDO, AMO etc) is not required to be known.

Because they are cyclical, any contributions they make to surface temperatures are by their nature temporary; at the other end of the cycle, the process and temperature contributions are reversed, and the net impact is zero. For the purposes of long-term forecasting, short-term natural cycles are irrelevant.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1) 465

by Namarrgon (#47754297) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

Global CO2 emissions are tightly locked to economic development

This is only assumed to be true, and only if fossil fuels are your sole source of energy. Investment in other sources of energy creates economic development in itself, as well decoupling this assumption.

it certainly seems insufficient to advocate massive global political and economic reforms.

Luckily we have many thousands of informed individuals in dozens of countries who have studied the matter in depth, and they're telling us very clearly that there is more than enough certainty to warrant reforming our energy sector.

If you don't feel there's enough to go on, perhaps the problem is that you don't have all the information?

"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out." -- Montaigne