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Comment Amplification [Re:Small, but measured ] (Score 2) 560

The lifetime of water emitted into the air is so short that no, you really don't get a long-lasting greenhouse effect by directly emitting water. It condenses out. We call this "rain" on our planet.

It is, however, an amplifying effect: if you make the average temperature a little bit warmer for some other reason, that means that more water evaporates and the atmosphere can hold more water, which raises the temperature. This increases the effect of other greenhouse gasses, such as CO2.

If you ever get to the point where the amplification factor is greater than 1 (that is, 1 increase in temperature increases the atmospheric water such that it increases the temperature by another 1), you get "runaway greenhouse effect." Fortunately, Earth is far away from this condition. (It is believed to have happened on Venus, though.)

Comment CO2 emission spectrum [Re:Prediction validated] (Score 3, Informative) 560

You actually wouldn't see anything, as the spectrum of water swamps most of the IR spectrum. Hydrogen bonding is funny.

Yes, in some wavelength bands all you see is the water. In others the CO2 dominates. (It also somewhat depends on whether you're lookig up from sea level in the tropics, or from temperate zones).

But, overall, if you take the spectrum (especially across the CO2 band at around 15 microns), yes, you can clearly see the downwelling IR from CO2 emission.

I could show a dozen plots for you, but here's a nice one with the big CO2 emission labelled:

Comment Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 712

The salary of the vice president at McD's isn't taking money meant for the burger flippers pocket....

Um, yes... yes, he is. That's exactly the point.

Not really. If you took every dime the CEO of McDonalds made last year, and divide it among the burger flippers employed by McDonalds, it comes out to exactly $8.14 per *year* for each of them.

McDonalds employs a *lot* of burger flippers.

Comment You mean they are not stupid enough. (Score 1) 257

You are missing the fact that the telcos are not smart enough to make txt messaging free. They see it as a money maker, rather than a loss-leader.

You mean they are not stupid enough.

Given that the global SMS market in 2010 earned telephone companies US$114.6B, they'd have to be really stupid to give up that revenue by making texting free.

WhatsApp is an incredibly disruptive thing, since those 450M users they have, ~10% of cell phone subscribers, mostly outside the U.S., are going to be costing telephone carriers 10% or more of their SMS revenue. Even if it's not capable of being monetized directly, you're talking $20B the phone companies *won't* be getting in the next two years, which more than makes it worth the price.

The question you should be asking is why disrupting the phone companies business models is worth Facebook paying for that disruption on a dollar-per-dollar basis, for a 2 year amortization, or a 10 cents on the dollar basis for a 20 year amortization, assuming they get 0 more WhatsApp users (unlikely).

Comment I could see a bunch of ways... (Score 1) 137

I could see a bunch of ways to make tons of money from this, starting with selling it to FaceBook for $19B.

Why would I publish it for 300 Euro again? I know they *claim* it's not published, but if they didn't sign an NDA, you're not going to get a patent out of it outside the U.S., and you're not going to have any protection against them just using your algorithms.

This is a really silly contest.

Comment Prediction validated [Re:Small, but significant] (Score 4, Informative) 560

If you want to assert the anthropogenic greenhouse effect is both real, and dangerous, the burden of proof is on the affirmative to come up with a necessary and sufficient falsifiable hypothesis statement which rules out natural climate change as the reason for observed temperatures.

OK. My prediction is that if you aim an infrared spectrometer at the sky, you will see downwelling infrared radiation from the CO2 spectrum.

This prediction is falsified if you don't see downwelling infrared radiation.

Hey, we see it! I win. Carbon dioxide actually does re-radiate absorbed thermal infrared. The greenhouse effect is real.

This was done over a century ago, by the way. The greenhouse effect has been known for a long time. Good thing, too; the Earth would be frozen if it didn't exist.

Comment Logarithmic [Re:Small, but significant] (Score 1) 560

P.S.: I have NO idea how close we are to the point at which the atmosphere becomes essentially opaque to long infra-red. I doubt, however, that the scale is linear. Probably logrithmic.

Logarithmic is correct! Excellent back of the envelope physics. This was derived by Arrhenius; it's been known for over a century now. In fact, if you assume (as you did) an infrared-opaque atmosphere (a "greybody"), this is easy to derive from the adiabatic lapse rate (by defining an effective altitude at which the planet emits infrared, which moves upward as gas is added to the atmosphere).

This is why climate sensitivity is usually expressed in degrees of warming per doubling of carbon dioxide-- it's logarithmic.

So yes: once we've doubled the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we get to put in twice as much to get the same increment of temperature next time, and four times as much to get the same increment of temperature the time after that.

Comment Small, but measured [Re:Small, but significant] (Score 3, Informative) 560

1) easy, CO2 is a pretty shitty greenhouse gas water is much more important.

Water is indeed a very good greenhouse gas. It also condenses out of the atmosphere, in the form of rain. Carbon dioxide does not. As a result, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has a long-term effect. The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, on the other hand, goes in and out of the atmosphere on a short time scale, driven primarily by the temperature-- warmer air holds more water than cold air.

The infrared absorption of carbon dioxide is measured, by the way. It's not something made up.

2) we've been coming out of an ice age for 10,000 years,

Correct-- or, more correct, we are out of the ice age.

that this remains unexplained

Fifty years ago it was unexplained. It's pretty well understood now.

leaves any "blame the humans" nonsense as laughable.

The fact that there causes of climate variation other than human input does not imply that human input doesn't also have an effect. As was pointed out, the effect is small, about 0.7C so far. But it is real.

3) no, you dont, see one and 2

The theory matches the data. If you have another theory, you have to both explain why the theory based on actual measured facts, like the absortion of infrared by carbon dioxide, isn't true, and you also have to explain why we see rising temperature anyway

like the sea rising... panicing about a few mm when in many places it changes on a meter scale every day.

Huh? I'm not panicking. I do, however, believe that it is important to not dismiss the science because you don't like the conclusions.

4) Warming is much better than cooling.

I agree. That is, however, no reason to dismiss the science.

Comment Re:Microsoft had another option to be different (Score 1) 222

A $60 game (which is way too expensive to begin with)

Eh, not really. A game cartridge for the Atari 2600 was about $25 in 1981. Adjusting for inflation, that works out to $64.33 in 2014 dollars. Game prices have been remarkably consistent over the years. Don't make the mistake of comparing game prices you saw as a kid with modern prices. You always need to adjust for inflation.

Also the Atari games were usually made by a couple of programmers with a few months of work (stuff you can buy for $0.99 on your phone now). Your 2014 game has a production crew as big as a movie's and takes 1-2 years of development. You're getting a helluva lot more gaming value for your $60 than I got as a kid.

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