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Comment Re:Hockey Stick is NOT the full story (Score 1) 163

Specifically the part where it notes that the trend from 1900 onwards is graphing the instrumental record, while the period before 1900 is from their proxy reconstruction.

They can graph the trend based on a proxy measurement of observations discovered on stone tablets for all I care. What's important is not the source of the measurement (despite what the anti AGW crowd like to claim) but rather the accuracy and repeatability.

Amen on the accuracy. The original article has the graph data available here.

The overall reconstructions show about a 0.4 to 0.5C change in temperature with an error margin +/- 0.2C, so an error margin that's nearly as large as the signal. And that's just for the statistical uncertainty, not any other unaccounted for factors. When the comparison between that and an instrumental record differ, it's a bit less shocking and perhaps that difference in precision is a factor and not solely human activity starting in 1900.

Comment It's not so simple (Score 1) 163

The math of climate change is fairly straightforward. CO2 and methane in the atmosphere cause more heat to be trapped in the atmosphere and oceans. There's a certain amount of carbon that was stored underground over millions of years in the form of oil and coal. That carbon was slowly extracted from the atmosphere by plants over the course of 500 million years and stored underground. During that time, the planet's temperature went up and down for various reasons 1) Earth's orbit and distance from the sun 2) volcanic activity releasing CO2 3) aerosols reflecting light back into space 4) the reflectivity of the surface of the earth from accumulation of snow or melting of snow during those other changes 5) sudden die off or surge of plant life 6) other reasons.

The rate of change for temperature and CO2 levels during all of those changes was gradual, with the changes taking place over thousands or millions of years. When CO2 was released in previous times, it was gradual. What's different about the current climate is that humans have raised the CO2 levels in the atmosphere by 140% in 200 years (280ppm to 400pm). That rate is way faster than any natural change in the history of the planet. That rate is what is so significant about human caused release of CO2 into the atmosphere. There are simply no natural factors to compare the methodical migration of carbon from the ground into the atmosphere.

So, yes this is significant.

Quick, tell the climate modelling teams how easy the problem is, they've been mistakenly making it much more complicated than required...

Let's try an analogy. We're stuck in a bathtub over top a fire. The water's kind of warm, we aren't freezing and we aren't so hot we need to get out. Simple math does tell us that putting more fuel into the fire beneath us will make things warmer. Same goes for more CO2 in our atmosphere, we equally know that will make things warmer. The more important question is how much warmer will it make things, and that is NOT a simple question. Now we need to know how much fuel are we adding, how far is that fuel from the tub, is the fire space beneath enclosed, how much fuel is left, what kind of fuel, how fast does it burn, how much water in the tub, what material is the tub made of, how dense is it, what's it shape and how is it attached to anything around it.

The bathtub analogy is trivial compared to the interactions of all the molecules that compose our planet's surface, oceans and atmosphere. Assessing the degree and speed of warming MATTERS and it's not anywhere as trivially easy as you imply.

Comment Re:Hockey Stick is NOT the full story (Score 1) 163

That's not undermining, questioning or denying anything, it's a restating of the words of the author's themselves.

Then why did you say anything at all?

it's pretty blasted important not to leave that out when analyzing an abrupt change in trend exactly coinciding with a change in data source.

Which you just said isn't a problem because you are not undermining, questioning, or denying anything. So again, why did you say anything at all?

Sorry, I was already worried about sounding condescending by adding the detail I was, but it seems required.

The proxy reconstruction data is the best reconstruction that the researchers were able to produce. It's sensitivity to short term trends is uncertain, we only know so much and have limited data to work with. Within that context, the 100 years of instrumental data is a short term trend. Higher resolution reconstructions by groups like Mann(the original hockey stick author) show temperatures matching the current day within the last 2k years(look for his most recent EIV research if you wish).

In fact, Mann even notes that: in the case of the early calibration/late validation CPS reconstruction with the full screened network (Fig. 2A), we observed evidence for a systematic bias in the underestimation of recent warming.. Meaning that if they calibrate their reconstruction to the instrumental record prior to 1950, the proxies systematically underestimate recent warming since 1950. This is not listed as proof positive proxies miss current warming, but it is suggestive.

I put the notice of a distinction because so do the author's of these papers! It's not mentioned just for interest, but because it is important to the integrity of the graphed data. When comparing disparate data sets you need to take into account their different error margins, precision and uncertainty. The precision and uncertainty on the proxy construction is grossly larger than that from thermometer measurements. Accurately assessing the uncertainty and errors in the proxy estimates is an active area of research. I'm not decrying or reject it. I'm stating that because it's still on going it is wrong to jump ahead and simply assume it isn't contributing to the change in trend between the two data sets. Doubly so when work within the field, as noted by Mann, gives indications that could very well be the case.

Comment Inline CSS above the fold (Score 1) 300

Nobody wants to be forced to use a desktop computer to see the whole web page.

I was thinking of a news site that shows photo, headline, and first paragraph to desktop or tablet users, but only the headline and a differently cropped photo to users of 6" or smaller devices. This way you can still fit as many stories into 320x440px.*

The real threat to bandwidth usage is [...] embedded CSS/Javascript in the HTML that can't be cached from page view to page view.

I thought additional HTTP 1.1 requests were more expensive than repeating any styles or scripts that block rendering of the first screen of the document. Google PageSpeed Insights recommends that web authors inline CSS above the fold.

* In CSS, px means roughly 1/2700 of the distance from the eye to the surface, rounded to the nearest hardware half-pixel.

Comment Re:Fruits and vegetables (Score 1) 317

Because herding cattle across a wide area requires managing a wide area. That means more cattle-hands, more moving from place to place, more expending fuel, more maintaining machines, more trying to extinct wolves for eating your cattle (estimate total population in Washington is 90), and, essentially, more wages paid per pound of beef, meaning more cost and higher prices at the grocery store.

I'd rather pay those wages to buy another month of Spotify than employ 40 fewer engineers at Spotify and 40 more ranchers herding cattle and not have anything to replace Spotify.

Comment Re:Taking CO2 out?? (Score 4, Interesting) 163

Actually, with excess nuclear power, we can produce eDiesel. We've got new catalysts and high-pressure processes making eDiesel highly-efficient, about 70%; that means pipelines fed from eDiesel plants placed near nuclear and geothermal power plants would come in slightly less-efficient than electric cars at 15% transmission loss and 85% charging efficiency.

We can stockpile eDiesel; we can use it for airplanes (no way to make those battery-powered); we can generate eMethane or otherwise use eDiesel to run fuel cells, creating liquid fuel electric cars (possibly airplanes, but it's a tough job for an electric motor); we can use it to drive factories which need more power than the grid provides.

Newer tweaks to battery technology are targeting high-surface-area electrodes. Lithium ion batteries grow tin whiskers internally, creating more surface area for reaction, thus higher and longer power output; current research targets new structures and new battery chemistries to maximize this, essentially attempting to create an activated-carbon-style surface as the battery consumes itself. The processes in eDiesel similarly use catalyzed hydrolysis, and it's non-consuming: if we can manufacture high-surface-area electrodes using current or improved catalysts, we can raise eDiesel efficiency. The two efforts are semi-parallel, in that efforts in one give insight to the other, yet they're distinct in significant ways and so can't directly translate.

That means more-efficient batteries and more-efficient eDiesel generation in the future. If the overall efficiency exceeds 85%, eDiesel will beat any electric vehicle: transmission loss is 15%. At the same time, low-cost eDiesel will immediately replace more-expensive petroleum, as it's compatible with current, unmodified gas turbine technology; and eDiesel can feed or be modified to feed hydrogen fuel cells, which provide electricity, giving a method of feeding electric vehicles with a liquid or heavy gas (not hydrogen, which has storage and transport issues) fuel tank rather than a battery.

At the same time, plant and atmospheric petroleum (e.g. eDiesel) products such as polyester, rayon, plastic, and lubricating oil (PAO, Group-3) will sequester oil. Recycling carries costs and complexity; cheap atmospheric petroleum, once expended, can be incinerated for power or dumped into expended oil wells. Deep well dumping provides an attractive option: the expended liquid petroleum becomes a feed stock for later mining and refining, while effectively removing the carbon content from the atmosphere.

This is all stuff that will happen naturally, eventually. eDiesel will scale; a reduction in cost of nuclear, geothermal, and solar will outcompete oil; and refining waste oil into recycled stock will be less-efficient than producing new oil at the point where atmospheric petroleum has become cheaper than oil. The only question is when.

Comment Re:Hockey Stick is NOT the full story (Score 2) 163

Yup, we can't trust any reckoning of temperatures before the "instrumental" temperature record.

Oh wait, they've moved the instrument due to construction on campus and now the temperatures need to be adjusted! OMG IT'S NOT RAW DATA!!!!eleven!!!11!!1!

Now here comes satellite measurements! We can't trust any numbers before 1980-ish! Oh noes! We can't know anything about anything!

Upside to not knowing anything about anything: when Florida sinks, can we just pretend it never existed?

The flames from all the straw men makes it hard to hear you.

Nowhere did I call into question any of the data sets. I provided a link to the actual journal article no less so anyone could fact check. What I DID point out is that we have two data sets on the graph, one that is the proxy record and one for the instrumental. That's not undermining, questioning or denying anything, it's a restating of the words of the author's themselves.

The reconstructed data is going to have different accuracy, precision and sensitivity than the instrumental record. The authors of course did their best to account for that. None the less, it's pretty blasted important not to leave that out when analyzing an abrupt change in trend exactly coinciding with a change in data source.

Comment Well it's about time! (Score 1) 163

From the IPCC's first assessment report from 25 years ago we were supposed to hit this point by 2010. Look for the graph in chapter 1 where CO2 concentrations are graphed for various scenarios. The scenario with human emissions increasing every year by 2% hits 400ppm in 2010.

On the whole, that's not a terrible estimation though given the limits folks were working under back then. Doesn't sound as scary though in the papers to declare that we are about 6 years behind early estimates of when we'd hit this point...

Comment Hockey Stick is NOT the full story (Score 4, Informative) 163

Just going to note that here's what this means in terms of how the global average temperatures have been changing, and how rapidly so compared to the past:

Here's a link to the actual paper the xkcd graph is derived from.

Before drawing conclusions from the graph trend starting at the year 1900, read the journal article more closely. Specifically the part where it notes that the trend from 1900 onwards is graphing the instrumental record, while the period before 1900 is from their proxy reconstruction. As in, before leaping up and declaring human industrial era began at 1900, also note that the SOURCE OF DATA changed at 1900 too.

Comment Re:No you don't (Score 3, Interesting) 124

The problem with Microsoft, is that they view themselves as a "Windows" company. I've said this for years, and was laughed at a long time ago. They are still a "Windows" company. Everything they do, they try to tie into "Windows" regardless of whether or not it fits that product. In the end, they will be a Windows company.

Their mistake, is thinking "Windows" when they should have been thinking "Technology"

Comment Re:8% (Score 1) 97

It's weird whenever a company expands, alters its technology, or merges, they have redundant employees, and so eliminate a small chunk of the workforce (I mean, 5,000 at Dell where they have 100,000 employees is only 5%), and Slashdot loses its shit and goes on about how we should all pay higher prices to keep these people in useless jobs instead of moving that money to buy other products supporting other jobs.

Twitter cuts 300 jobs in a desperate attempt to save money, with a statement of "We can't pay for this anymore" instead of "we don't need these people," and Slashdot is jumping up and down demanding to know why Twitter even has all these jobs in the first place.


Comment Re:Fruits and vegetables (Score 1) 317

People with high-meat-intake diets can, but rarely do, get deficiencies; people on vegan diets have to jump through hoops not to. That was the point: fruits and vegetables aren't the primary source of all nutrients, and aren't holding up your critically-deficient, mainly-meat diet; a cursory preponderance of evidence suggests the eggs consumed by ovolacto vegetarians are holding up their critically-deficient, mainly-vegetable diet. I've seen statistics stating between 75%-95% of vegetarians and vegans bail on the diet because of adverse health effects; and vegans themselves always have something to say about how you have to make sure you're eating the right vegan diet or else of course it will make you sick, which simply isn't a concern with modern incidental-vegetable-intake diets that get their main source of greens and yellows and reds from hamburger toppings and tacos.

As for fiber, Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms.

For no fiber, reduced fiber and high fiber groups, respectively, symptoms of bloating were present in 0%, 31.3% and 100% (P

CONCLUSION: Idiopathic constipation and its associated symptoms can be effectively reduced by stopping or even lowering the intake of dietary fiber.

The medical term "idiopathic" means "we don't know why," as opposed to being caused by an observed deficiency, disease, genetic condition, stress, or anything else. It's a placeholder for "healthy adults" when the adults are experiencing a symptom making them not healthy.

The benefits of a high-fiber diet have been repeated again and again, but rarely actually researched. Don't look too closely, or you'll find out you're wrong.

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