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Comment Re:WSJ is not exactly a credible source (Score 1) 433

WSJ is simply reporting what the gov't reported, it isn't like WSJ intercepted this with its crack reporters. It is the US gov't that I don't trust.

That is precisely what I see no reason to believe. WSJ is Murdoch, and the Murdoch press is totally unreliable, not to mention (to put it mildly) an unlikely target for an Obama administration leak, not that they would leak this anyway. This smells like another fake scandal, of the sort that the Murdoch press are continually promoting, and frankly, not worth serious consideration.

Comment Re:Data does not show cooling. (Score 1) 417

Here is that NASA data you're referring to:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/ [nasa.gov]
or here, comparing various data sets:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/image/0/h/compare_datasets_new.jpg [metoffice.gov.uk]
I would not seriously characterize this as "the earth has been cooling for the past decade." Most notably, the increase in temperature observed from the 1960s has not reversed.
Here, from the BEST project, is the comparison of theory and data:
http://static.berkeleyearth.org/img/annual-with-forcing-small.png [berkeleyearth.org]

Dude, the data certainly does not support warming either. At 95% the data can support BOTH, you just believe ONE SIDE.

Over a time period of decades-- which is the time scale of relevance-- I see clear warming: a rise of about 0.6C in global temperature over the last 50 years. So, no, I disagree. I'd say "the data supports warming" quite clearly and unambiguously.

Comment Syria: not our probl [Re:Wanted: Stop wasting...] (Score 2) 176

...Honestly one 30Kiloton bomb on whatever city we think that scumbag running Syria is and the whole thing is over. AS soon as it drops, we need to make a world brodcast where the president says only one sentence...

"That is what happens when you fuck with us."

Uh, they're not fucking with us. We have no dog in this fight. They're basically killing each other.

Comment Re:Superstorm Sandy? (Score 1) 417

Yep. That's called "dendroclimatic modelling." It is, indeed, one of the best means we have to trying to understand the climate of the past in temperate latitudes (at arctic latitudes, ice cores are a good tool).

At least this article is somewhat accurate by using words like "influence" and "contributing factor"...yes, please, tell us what the other contributing factors and influences are.

Depends on time scale. Over short time scales, volcanic eruptions injecting aerosols into the atmosphere are a big factor. (Aerosols injected by humans have an effect too, of course.) Over longer time scales, Milankovitch cycles.

Comment Data does not show cooling. (Score 3, Informative) 417

Here is that NASA data you're referring to:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/
or here, comparing various data sets:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/image/0/h/compare_datasets_new.jpg

I would not seriously characterize this as "the earth has been cooling for the past decade." Most notably, the increase in temperature observed from the 1960s has not reversed.

Here, from the BEST project, is the comparison of theory and data:
http://static.berkeleyearth.org/img/annual-with-forcing-small.png

Comment Deliberate stupidity [Re:Superstorm Sandy?] (Score 1) 417

You are mixing up different things.

Our planet has gone through intense weather and drastic climate change long before we were here and will do so long after were gone..

Right. Human-induced climate change is not instead of other factors that change the climate; it is in addition to other factors that change the climate.

The most significant effect humans have is blaming it on shit (carbon, pagans, magnets, aliens, too much violence, not enough violence, foreskin, etc.).

This is not merely silly, but deliberately stupid. Or, more accurately, straw man. Nobody is "blaming pagans, magnets, aliens, too much violence, not enough violence, foreskin."

I have no patience with deliberate stupidity.

and then hocking horseshit to morons to fix it (carbon credits,

Now, you are really mixing different things. Understanding the causes of climate variation, and realizing that the human effect on climate pretty much matches what would be expected from the greenhouse effect models, is completely independent of what, if any, response should be taken to mitigate that effect.

regulations that don't affect the gross emitters of the world, divining rods, sacrifices, crusades, circumcision, rain dances, etc.)

Ah, back to sarcasm and deliberate stupidity.

without any actual evidence that the problem is due to their claimed cause,

Last time I checked, nineteen different global climate models are being run by groups on four continents. They pretty much all agree on the overall effect of carbon dioxide on climate, although the details vary somewhat. Which should be pretty non-controversial, since the basic physics is well understood. There are no climate models being run by any groups on any continent that don't show the effect.

that the problem is fixable by us, or that their proposed solution will fix the problem.

Again: a completely different question. You don't have to deny the basic physics of climate in order to ask whether proposed solutions will work. The argument "I don't like the solutions proposed, so therefore the problem does not exist" is not a good argument.

In fact, the opposite seem to be true-- there has been so much useless debate spent on arguing against idiots who want to deny the science that any debate about the cost, benefit, and efficacy of solutions has been completely short circuited. If you think that it is a valuable debate to ask what proposed solutions would cost, and whether they would work at all, it would be useful to actually do that debate, instead of the "none of the actual scientists knows anything, they're all in on a global hoax."

Comment No ice age [Re:When I was a Kid] (Score 3, Informative) 417

All I can say about global warming is that when I was a kidd these same people where saying we where headed to and Ice Age.

No, they weren't. Nobody was ever seriously predicting we were heading into an ice age. That "next ice age" played well in the media-- it made Time and Newsweek--but it was never a scientific consensus. Check out "The myth of the 1970s global cooling scientific consensus" in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, or the discussion and links here: http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2008/09/18/now-out-in-bams-the-myth-of-th/

Comment Re:OUCH (Score 4, Interesting) 479

That's actually not that paranoid. The FAA has been working on guidelines for unmanned aircraft for the last year. The things people call r/c aircraft when you do it for fun, drones when the government does it for tracking/blowing up people. So far the rules they've come up with have been pretty lax (no rules or limitation on flights under 400 feet as long as it's kept away from populated areas and regular aircraft). But some people are opposed to the current rules and want greater restrictions or outright bans. Fatalities from r/c aircraft are nothing new, but this is the first time I've seen one get this much press. I haven't seen anything unusual or notable about this particular death compared to previous r/c accidents, yet for some reason the story has gone national.

Comment Game theory model [Re:It's natural] (Score 1) 420

Imagine a game where you can choose between two options:
A - Try to move up: 1/5 you move up. 4/5 times you go down.
B - Try to stay: 3/5 you stay. 2/5 you move down.

In such a game, to place yourself in front, a good strategy is to try to move up until you reach a certain point where you're the first and then stay there, forcing everyone else to risk moving up.

If the "up" and "down" motions are equal in magnitude, then you lose 0.6 per turn in strategy A, and 0.4 per turn in strategy B. Clearly strategy "A" is the optimum one to maximize your return: to place yourself in front you chose strategy A, and gain the front position because every player who doesn't goes down faster than you do.

There's a limited amount of people with a limited amount of money. It's not important how far ahead you are but whether you're the first one.

OK, now it gets more interesting. Say that there are N players, only one can win, and you want to optimize the chance of winning after K moves. Now everybody is sliding down, but you can take a gamble on strategy A. It's a losing bet, on the average, but if you're already losing, the incremental cost is zero. So you take strategy A if and only if you're behind.

The limited amount of money changes the game slightly: now there is an absorbing boundary condition at the bottom-- e.g., you go bankrupt (and thus can take no more moves) when you hit a score of, say, -10. (Of course, the game is set so everybody goes bankrupt if you play long enough, so this is only interesting if the game stops after K plays.) This penalized risk taking even more, and pushes you toward strategy B, holding back, and letting all the people fighting for first with Strategy A go bankrupt.

Comment Re:In the solar system? (Score 2) 105

> Sorry if this may seem ignorant, but how can we be sure it might be the biggest volcano in the solar system if we only just discovered this one on *our* planet?

This is not an ignorant question at all. We are not sure if it is the largest volcano in the Solar System, we just know that it is the largest that we know of on Earth, and one of the largest that we know of in the Solar System. We will not be sure until we have completely explored the entire ocean floor, under the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps, and the surfaces of every rocky planet and moon in the Solar System. We need to get busy.

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