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Comment Let me google that for you (Score 3, Interesting) 156

Oh look, I found an interesting discussion about that very post from John Christy of UAH, posted on notorious denier Roger Pielke Jr's blog. The great thing about blogs as compared to scientific journals is that you get to choose your "pal review"! Who will notice if you mis–represent the original data, and use a flawed dataset?

One comment really nails it, and I can't link to it individually, so I'll just include it here:

The first thing I noticed when looking at Christy’s graph was that Hansen’s scenario B had been replotted to make it appear that it tracks scenario A very closely. It doesn’t, it never has. The graph on Real Climate uses the original data http://www.realclimate.org/images/Hansen

The next thing that was obvious was that the RSS and UAH temperature graph shows very little warming. I thought this issue was supposed to have been rectified after Spencer and Christy corrected the errors relating to orbital drift (meaning the temps were taken at progressively later times each day).

After making the corrections (version 5.2) the data now correlates with other global temperature records such as those of NASA and the CRU (remember when the skeptics always relied on the RSS / UAH temperature records, until it came to light that it was wrong).
Detail - http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/fu
Summary - http://www.ssmi.com/msu/msu_data_descrip
UAH Data - http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2l
RSS Data - http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2l
Comparison Data - http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temper
Hansen’s Data - http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1988/1988

It appears that Christy has chosen to use the old data in his comparison. In effect, what he’s done is to exaggerate the warming predicted in Hansen’s Scenario B (the one Hansen always said was most likely) and then downplay the true amount of warming that has occurred.

When the real data are used it becomes apparent how accurate Hansen’s scenario B projections have actually been – not exact but pretty close. Considering Jim’s 1988 projections were based on single inputs then this is quite impressive.

Comment They also need premiums to exceed payouts (Score 2) 156

You know, that whole solvency thing is pretty important. I think you're thinking of the gun industry.

Also, Sandy's storm surge, plus the Spring Tide, and the 1 foot of mean SLR since 1900, added up to that 2-3 metres. And also bear in mind: ice sheets are all melting far faster than expected; and also because of ocean currents and other effects, that "mean Sea Level Rise" can very dramatically depending on where you are. In a capitalist society, high flood insurance premiums are the appropriate signal to discourage people to either a) not build in low–lying areas or b) finally give a damn about Global Warming.

Heh, our /. userids differ by 11111 :-)

Comment as a non–scientist, I presume (Score 3, Informative) 156

This is how you do science: you repeat the method to test the hypothesis. The article hints at what these adjustments entail:

"These included the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, which spewed sunlight-blocking particles into the atmosphere, as well as the collapse of industry in the Soviet Union or the economic growth of China, ..."

This is similar to Hansen's 1987 (iirc) papers, which were based on a random prediction of a volcanic eruption in a particular year but it turned out to guess the year wrong. Predicting such events, which have a short term effect on the climate, is a guessing game. The numbers were pretty close, but if you repeat the method and replace the projections of CO2 emissions and aerosol emissions from volcanic and other sources, then they end up spot on.

These days, with more computing power available to run more detailed models more times, they do many model runs with a the random natural factors, and end up with a spectrum of results. This allows confidence intervals to be achieved. Hansen, in 1987, didn't have the resources for that; just like Sverre Arrhenius certainly couldn't do that when he estimated a 2C climate sensitivity from his manual model runs in ~1897.

Comment Well, possibly. (Score 1) 198

But the thing is you still need a store of special matter for those ion thrusters to eject, even though they're ejecting it at high velocity. And it's probably harder to store that matter than a 10T chunk of whatever you can commandeer in space, even though you might be solar powering the drive itself. What you're suggesting would be a good "first stage", useful for moving a relatively small object (perhaps there are some at the La Grange spots) into an orbit slightly different to that of the impact asteroid, so you don't have to launch that mass into space. At which point, I'd suspect there are some tricks you can use to deflect the energy of the impact asteroid into a slightly different orbit, effectively using the large weight as a "ballast" and the interception weight as a "sail", with the gravity between the objects the "mast".

ie, you might get a lot more total delta-V of the combined objects compared to the delta-V you expend with thrusters to adjust the interception vessel occasionally, due to the profile of the combined shape through the space-time slope at that point.

Comment Just redefine the categories (Score 1) 1091

It seems tempting to define "male" as "testosterone enhanced" and female as "not testosterone enhanced". Of course the long-lasting effects of testosterone lasting some time, those thinking to have a sex change to get into the easier category would be excluded right there. It would also mean that women like this would get to compete against men, and given they are not disadvantaged by hormones, possibly win. Now that would be interesting.

Comment Cquestrate is a Geotech solution for that (Score 1) 248

Which seems to me to be the first easy retort to this ... as there are geoengineering solutions which are all about taking limestone, baking it using "stranded" energy to slaked lime, then dumping it into the ocean. See Cquestrate.com. Fixing acidification is the mechanism for those geotech solutions - how can they not help with it? Very strange.
Censorship

Submission + - 'Avatar/Website Blackout' over .nz Copyright Law (creativefreedom.org.nz) 2

sam_vilain writes: ""Copyright holders" in New Zealand have successfully managed to subvert the democratic process and enact a law that was almost universally rejected during commission stages as vague and turning ISPs into 'police' for the entertainment industry. As a result, New Zealanders are being faced with disconnections of their internet connections over mere accusations from these groups. They are calling on people to "black out" their Avatars and Web Site themes in protest. "Innocent until proven guilty" has been a long standing legal principle dating back to Greek times and codified in Roman Law, though the maxim/catchphrase is more recent than that."

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