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Comment Re:For Linux users ZaReason and System76 (Score 1) 732

I bought a laptop from system76 in October and have been quite satisfied with it. They give quite good value for the money, and, in answer to the question posed in the OP, the site is simple and the models are well-differentiated and easy to buy. They just sold out all their ivy-bridge laptops and are now phasing in the sandy-bridge ones, so the selection is not quite as big as it was in October. When I get around to buying my next laptop, they will be at the top of my list. Definitely preferable to buying a Lenovo or Dell, if you want to run Linux

Comment Re:I see the Al Gore haters are out. (Score 1) 571

Be nice if you knew anything about what you're talking about.

(1) Mann and Wegman have nothing do to with anything in the article, or, for that matter future predictions of Global Warming.

(2) The Wegman Report was commissioned by Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield., from the Energy and Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives, not the Senate.

(3) Neither Barton (who recently gained further notoriety by apologizing to the CEO of BP), nor Whitfield were the chairman of the relevant committee at the time. The Republican chairman of the committee and the rest of the Republican and Democratic members commissioned a real report from the National Academy of Sciences. That report was by a team of real researchers, chosen by the normal, careful practices of the National Academy of Sciences. It was then sent out for a formal peer review. It found that while the statistical methods used by Mann et al had a minor problem, correcting the problem made no substantial difference. Moreover, Mann's results had been validated by being repeated by several different researchers that found the same results, using completely different proxies for past temperatures and mathematical analyses.

(4) In contrast, Wegman was chosen by Barton, whose opinions on climate change were already well known at the time, and Wegman was given material by Barton's staff to include in his report. He has said in interviews that he was under pressure to complete the report faster than he wanted.

(5) Wegman's report was *not* peer reviewed. Wegman claims to have sent it to 6 people to look at, but of course even if this is true, they were chosen by *him*, not by any normal process of peer review.

(6) Wegman's report is now known to have been plagiarized and Wegman is now under formal investigation for it by George Mason University.

(7) Wegman has refused to release supporting code or data for his report. Prof. David Ritson of Stanford University made such a request in 2006, shortly after the Wegman report was released. Wegman's report called for disclosure of supporting materials and openness generally, but he has himself refused to comply, citing the technicality that his report was not federally funded.

The Wegman report is a piece of crap and it's pretty amusing that people who want to deny the reality of Global Warming keep citing it.

Comment The Register never fails to amuse (Score 0) 747

Because their denialist agenda is so strong that they always get this stuff wrong. 1) Doubling CO2 doesn't mean doubling from the current value of 390. It means doubling from the original pre-industrial value of 275. Hence they are talking about what happens when there are 550 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, not 780. This is a huge difference from the point of view of how much time we have to stop the warming. 2) The model used in the paper predicts only a 1.94 C warming in the absence of the plant feedback. This is just barely inside the range of what is expected from a CO2 doubling. Most estimates are closer to 3.5C. Of course, changing the model to a more sensitive one (and therefore more likely), might change the plant effect, but if we assume that the plant effect is properly modeled, then it's -0.3C out of 3.5. 3) At any rate, we can't go on for centuries in any case. The authors are talking about what happens *after* the CO2 is stabilized.

Comment Re:Someone Please Explain (Score 5, Informative) 875

So do you know how the continents were arranged then, and what effect on climate that had? Any idea how different the solar irradiance was at that time? What the sea levels were? If not, why are you asking this question?

Do you really think that the members of the National Academy of Sciences haven't thought of these obvious questions?

If you really want to know the answers, you could start by reading articles on Wikipedia:

Comment The NZ dataset is fine (Score 1) 1011

The link you post to The Telegraph is merely repost of a blog posting from NZ. The graph he posts is clearly wrong: he is objecting to a set of corrections being made to the data, but then turns around and makes *no* corrections. Here is an explanation: Weather stations move or are replaced, and patching one timeseries onto another requires figuring out how to handle data collected in different ways at different times. The NZ warming hasn't gone away, and this shrill report is nonsense.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother. - Kahlil Gibran