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Comment Re:NASA and I have different definitions of enormo (Score 1) 248

I often wonder how accurate their temperature monitoring is. Are their thermometers better accuracy than .01C? What is their drift?
Anyone who knows about metrology knows you need at least 10x the accuracy of your measurements to put the errors down in the noise a bit.
They're talking about hundredths of a degree, are they really calibrated that accurately down to millidegrees? I doubt it.

When you're averaging a large number of measurements it's reasonable to have a much higher precision than the precision of the individual measurement itself. The clearest example of this I know of is baseball batting averages. A batter either gets a hit or an out, that is an integer 1 or a 0. But batting averages are typically expressed to 3 decimal places (thousandths).

Comment Re:Pretty graph of uncorrected data (Score 1) 248

Click here to see the uncorrected data graphed alongside the main corrected analyses (source: Berkeley Earth via Ars Technica).

Hopefully this makes it abundantly clear that the raw data still shows an obvious warming trend even before known problems are removed. It also shows how little difference the corrections have actually made, particularly in the last 75 years.

Not only that but the corrections before about 1940 actually raised the temperature which reduces the overall warming trend. That kind of counters the people that claim the adjustments always increase the warming trend.

Comment Re:At this rate... (Score 2) 248

(Dec 2007) This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions."


I suppose you can argue that that since he used the word "could" rather than "shall", it make his statements null and void. But they sure sounded scary at the time.

Did you notice the qualifier "At this rate"? It was more of a comment on the substantial drop in the sea ice minimum in 2007 as it was a prediction of the future. But coincidentally 2012 does happen to be the record year for sea ice minimum.

Comment Re:Not even a debate (Score 1) 502

But sea level has been rising for hundreds if not thousands of years - pretty much with the same trend throughout.

Your bullshit detector failed to work on your own bullshit. Sea level had been very stable over the last several thousand years varying up and down by less than 3 inches over that time period. In the last 150 years though there has been 8 inches of SLR and the rate of rise has increased being about 1.4 mm/year in the early 20th century but over 3 mm/year in the past 25 years.

Comment Re:instrumentally homogeneous temperature records (Score 2) 502

There's nothing pristine about the historical data. In the case of sea surface temperatures they first used wooden buckets thrown over the side then hauled to the deck to have a thermometer stuck in it, then they switched to canvas buckets that have some issues with evaporative cooling. Then they started using engine cooling water intake ports, those have a problem of producing slightly warm readings due to their proximity to the engine room. Nowadays we have buoys and Argo floats. Since each of those methods produces its own biases you have to do something to bring them together for a complete record.

Comment Re:instrumentally homogeneous temperature records (Score 1) 502

1) How big is the effect of human greenhouse emissions compared to natural temperature variation?

The latest IPCC report has a whole chapter on that:

Chater 8: Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing (PDF)

The upshot is that without human greenhouse emissions there would be a slight cooling trend.

My beef with the climate change people is the attitude of omniscience about a complex topic that nobody actually understands.

How do you know nobody understands? It's true that the climate system is very complex and I'll admit that nobody completely understands it but that's not the same as having no understanding at all. In studying an area of science you generally start off with the big things. For climate the big things are the energy coming in from the Sun, the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that keep the planet warmer than it would otherwise be and the geophysical state of the Earth*. After that you start getting into details that just modify things without changing the general direction. I think we have a pretty good handle on the big things and a lot of the more important details. Usually if you're studying something and you're missing something important it will show up as a hole in your work. I'm not aware of any such holes in climate science.

* The geophysical state of the Earth includes things like the amount of water on the surface, the location of continents and mountain ranges, the topology of the ocean basins and a myriad of other things. It generally doesn't change fast enough to be a significant factor on century time scales but a supervolcano eruption or asteroid strike can change things rather suddenly.

Comment Re:Get yer data here. (Score 1) 502

Sadly, I think we're screwed.

Actually, the logical conclusion of your argument is somewhat different: some of us are going to be screwed.

I believe many of us will do quite well out of global warming. If you make your money out of a portfolio of financial investments, regular rebalancing of that portfolio means your exposure to the downside of change is limited.

Of course that presumes that the effects of climate change don't cause our civilization including the financial system to collapse. Civilizations have collapsed before due to climate change and just because our current civilization is global doesn't mean it can't happen to us.

Comment Re: Who cares? (Score 1) 502

The point is more that no model is accurate- ever. NONE of our scientific models are accurate with respect to reality, certainly not climateology.

So are you claiming because climate models aren't up to your standards of accuracy we should just ignore them? Do you know of anything else that is more accurate than current climate models? They're not perfect but they're better than anything else we have.

Comment Re: It doesn't work that way. (Score 1) 502

Of course depending on slope along the shore vertical centimeters can translate into horizontal meters.

And don't dismiss rapid sea level rise. It has happened in the past. If the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were to go into rapid collapse (something that can't be ruled out) it could mean a meter or more of SLR in a matter of a decade or two. Yes the rise wouldn't be so fast that you can't walk away from it but it could be faster than we could rebuild the infrastructure that it affects.

Comment Re:We are now in La Nina conditions (Score 1) 364

BOOM ! how can you say that these NATURAL effects are justification for the IPCC's AGW hypothesis which is ANTHROPOGENIC. Do you even think before you guys post ?

You lost me there. There are many things that affect climate both natural and anthropogenic. How can you make sense of climate without looking at all of them?

I understand the scientific method just fine thank you. The results of climate model runs are contingent on the real world more or less matching the parameterizations they do ahead of time before they know what will actually happen. How can scientists know ahead of time what will happen with solar radiation, volcanic eruptions, the ENSO cycle and even the actual change in greenhouse gas forcing? It is perfectly reasonable to rerun the model using what actually happened to those things to test the model.

I don't see how Stokes' third graph says anything about models. Maybe you can enlighten me.

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