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Earth

New Analysis Shows Lamar Smith's Accusations On Climate Data Are Wrong (arstechnica.com) 502

Layzej writes from a report via Ars Technica: In 2015, NOAA released version 4 of their marine temperature dataset called ERSST. The new dataset accounted for a known cooling bias introduced when ocean temperature measurements transitioned from being taken in ship engine intake valves to buoy-based measurements. The warming of the last couple decades increased ever so slightly in NOAA's new analysis. This was a red flag for U.S. House Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX), who rejects the conclusions of climate science -- like the fact that the Earth's climate is warming. Suddenly he wanted to see the researchers' e-mails and echoed the accusations of contrarian blogs about scientists' supposedly nefarious adjustments to sea surface temperature measurements. Rather than invoking scientific conspiracies, issues like this should be settled by analyzing the data. A new study, led by University of California Berkeley's Zeke Hausfather, does just that -- and Rep. Smith won't like these results, either. To test the NOAA dataset, Zeke's team created instrumentally homogeneous temperature records from sensors available only over the last couple decades. As it happens, the Argo float data, the buoy data, and the satellite data each hew closer to the updated dataset that NOAA used. The older version (3b) gives a global average that is too cool in recent years, growing to an offset of about 0.06 degrees Celsius. The researchers repeat this same analysis for two more major sea surface datasets that are used by the UK Met Office and the Japanese Meteorological Agency for their global temperature records. Both of those datasets also drift cooler than the comparison data, but less so than NOAA's old dataset.

Comment Re:Understandable, but... (Score 1) 378

I usually get away with shopping late, but I guess I got my hand caught in the cookie jar on that one. There was no way I'd show up to the family X-mas party without a gift for my nephew (who is also my Godson). I'm just annoyed that Amazon displayed so much confidence in their shippers, and it ended up causing me headaches. The other 51 weeks of the year, 2-day shipping means 2 (occasionally 3) days. They're probably as good as anyone on the planet at shipping consumer goods to people, so when they said, "We've got this," I believed them. Meh.

Comment Re:Understandable, but... (Score 1) 378

I ordered a toy for my nephew 5 days before Christmas, with Amazon Prime 2-day GUARANTEED shipping. Right on the item page, Amazon GUARANTEED that it would arrive by Christmas. I don't hold UPS responsible. I hold responsible the vendor that made the claim. I spent my Christmas Eve driving to a Toys-R-Us 3 towns over, instead of sipping egg nog and decorating the tree.

Comment Re:Scalpel or gun can be used for good or bad ... (Score 2) 406

Let's ask this another way: why aren't business men considering the ethical implications of their investments? Why aren't militaries, bureaucracies, and governments considering the ethical implications of their orders? Why isn't the average person taking five minutes to understand a problem now so he doesn't demand government, the market, and God on high give him an answer that he's going to hate more than the original problem a year from now?

TFA presumes that we as engineers are smarter, better humans than everyone else, that we can and should forsee all of the ethical implications of our work. It's pure hubris, and I call shenanigans. By and large, engineers do what their employers pay them to do, to feed themselves and their families. IMO, every link in the chain should be held to the same standard of moral accountability. We're not exempt, but it's unreasonable to expect us to take any more (or less) responsibility for the bad things that our work makes possible.

That said, I once quit a job working on systems that could be used for what I perceived as evil. My girlfriend (also an engineer) works for a military contractor, and I give her a hard time about that occasionally. Her response is that she works on detection systems, not weapons. To my mind, it's at least a waste of good engineers to further meaningless political power struggles, and keeps the warmongers in business.

Comment Re:Liability of exit nodes (Score 1) 186

Who in their right mind would run an exit node in the first place? Who is this person who thinks it's a good idea to send data and requests on behalf of anonymous users who don't want to get caught doing it themselves?

All I can think of are:

  1. Good Samaritans with fat data pipes and legal immunity
  2. People who want to get on watchlists, to prove a point
  3. Underinformed nerds

Comment Re:LulzSec Connection (Score 1) 622

I think you just hit the nail on the head! Either...

1) Someone in LulzSec stole this dude's wallet
2) Someone in LulzSec fabricated the whole story (most likely, IMO)
3) The thief stole the BC and "donated" it to LulzSec in a bizarro Robin Hood-esque gesture
4) The pastebin is fake or something

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