Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Facts support themselves (Score 1) 171

by riverat1 (#49541867) Attached to: USGS: Oil and Gas Operations Could Trigger Large Earthquakes

Science is done by humans. Science therefore is political, agenda driven, fallible, biased

Humans are all of those things. The scientific method is by far the best technique we have developed to minimize those issues. The success and technology of our modern civilization validates the effectiveness of the scientific method every day.

Comment: Re:Doublethink (Score 1) 680

by riverat1 (#49538711) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

So the generation that votes wants to maintain Social Security and Medicare, ...

If you spent your whole life investing in those systems with the promise they would be available to you when your time came wouldn't you expect a return on your investment? I think your fear of plunging future citizens into debt is overblown.

Comment: What do publicly owned electrical districts say? (Score 2) 533

by riverat1 (#49505691) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

As far as I can see these complaints are all coming from investor owned for profit electrical utilities. What do publicly owned electrical districts (like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power or the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to name a couple of big ones) have to say? Do they make the same complaints or do they just get on with the business of making it all work? If they're not making the same complaints then I think the complaints of investor owned utilities are more about profits than anything else.

Comment: Re:Holy Fuck (Score 1) 304

by riverat1 (#49460677) Attached to: Obama Says Climate Change Is Harming Americans' Health

The parameterizations in climate models are done to cover things that don't fit well with the scale* the models have to run on or things that are not well enough understood to put into code in the model. The parameterizations just basically emulate things we know about that can't be directly included in the code. Even though they are derived from measurements that have error it makes no sense to carry that error into the models because the parameters are only an emulation of reality. It would make more sense to just vary the parameters based on the measurement error for different model runs to see how that affects the output.

* By scale I mean the grid size and time divisions they have to use due to the limitations of computer power.

Comment: Re:Adaptation versus Mitigation (Score 1) 304

by riverat1 (#49460635) Attached to: Obama Says Climate Change Is Harming Americans' Health

I think we're using two different definitions for forcing and researching the matter doesn't really clear it up very well. I was using forcing in the sense that the 280 ppm of CO2 that was in the atmosphere before the recent rise is a forcing and by adding more CO2 we've increase the forcing. A quote from a 2005 paper "Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications". by James Hansen, et. al. supports this:

The largest forcing is due to well-mixed greenhouse gases (GHGs)—CO2, CH4, N2O, CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons)—and other trace gases, totaling 2.75 W/m^2 in 2003 relative to the 1880 value (Table 1).

Notice the paper says "2.75 W/m^2 in 2003 relative to the 1880 value" which implies they're taking existing natural forcing into account. But I can see where you might consider forcing to mean just that part that's over and above the exiting natural forcing that preexisted anthropogenic climate change.

Also I don't think your math of subtracting the current anthropogenic forcing of 2.9 W/m^2 from the energy imbalance in valid. In the first place if the 2.9 W/m^2 forcing is relative to sometime in the 1800's then we've already realized a fair amount of the warming it caused so the energy imbalance is from only the part of that forcing that hasn't been realized yet, not the whole 2.9 W/m^2. To me that implies if the energy imbalance continues to remain the same over time then the forcing must be increasing to keep the imbalance going. Otherwise the energy imbalance would cause temperatures to eventually catch up to the existing forcing (natural and anthropogenic) reducing the imbalance to zero.

The only way we could reduce the anthropogenic forcing of 2.9 W/m^2 is by reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. If all we did was stop emitting CO2 the excess that we've added would remain and the anthropogenic forcing would still exist.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson