Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:The Invisible Unicorn Argument. (Score 1) 238

I would argue that most of the scientists you hear arguing for atheism have absolutely no clue what they are talking about, because they assume that if it exists in any way, it can be reached scientifically, and that anything that cannot be reached scientifically, cannot exist (that combined with their reluctance to trust the authority of anyone or anything they can't understand tends to lead them to atheism). That doesn't follow.

It's true that it doesn't follow, but an entity that does not in any way interact with reality may as well not exist for all I care. If on the other hand it does interact with reality, that interaction should be observable - and hence part of scientific inquiry. So while it's strictly speaking true that non-existence does not follow from non-observability, you seem to be attacking a strawman argument by shifting from practical non-existence (i.e. having the same effect as not existing at all) to actual non-existence (i.e. the claimed "cannot exist").

Mind you, anything that occurs in the natural world does (so magic is right out), but you cannot rule out the possibility of supernatural beings existing.

By your logic we cannot rule out the existence of magic either. It may simply have effects outside of our natural world.

Comment Re:I'm ready... (Score 1) 339

That graph only lists carbon emissions for energy demand though, not total greenhouse gas emissions. But it's something at least. And I do accept that gas is better than coal (wrt CO2 emissions). What I don't accept is that growing your economy should have any influence on the assessment of this development - I doubt the climate cares that the US only increased it's emissions slightly (before the recent downturn) while growing its economy. The total emissions matter in this context, the economy does not.

Even with that graph it's still quite a different story to what the AC suggested: "reducing carbon emissions year over year".

Thanks for the extra data.

Comment Re:I'm ready... (Score 2) 339

Citation please? As far as I know there's no reason to believe that the US reduces its carbon emissions at all. The only reduction seems to be from the economic problems in 2008 - which should hardly count as successful energy policy.

Yes, China and others are increasing their emissions a lot faster, but their excuse for not joining any climate treaties right now is that the US doesn't reduce its emissions either.

Comment Re:Not climate 'skeptics' (Score 1) 504

- Looking at graphs doesn't tell you anything. You need to do a proper analysis. (Case in point: what I got from looking at the same graph was that the warming in the last 40 or so years was incredibly huge compared to anything we've seen in the last 2000 years or so. Same graph, different interpretation. This is why scientists don't just look at their graphs but employ proper statistical analysis.)

- Are you aware that the temperature proxies are calibrated with the instrumental data? If those two weren't closely correlated, the proxies would be completely useless. So I don't get the point in stating that the last decade was purely instrumental data. That's the most reliable data after all.

- Even if all you take from the paper is that there has been a time in the last 2000 years when the NH was as warm as it was 30 years ago, this does not mean that climate change is not happening ("[...] temperatures were [...] below the levels of the past decade"

- This is only data for the northern hemisphere. Have you checked that the SH wasn't colder during that same period referenced in your quote? Taking one data point from one paper and saying that all other papers don't matter is kind of silly. Especially if the conclusion of the paper directly contradicts your view.


I provided direct scientific evidence that warming since 1850 is NOT anomalous within the last 2,000 years of history.

No you did not. What you provided was scientific evidence that the temperatures in the NH were not higher than anything measured during the last two millenia. That does not mean that the warming wasn't anomalous. This paper does not support that conclusion. (Temperature and change in temperature are not the same thing.)


I am NOT misquoting Mann's paper what so ever. He reanalyzed his data with a different and by his own words more accurate statistical method, and his graphs of the results clearly show that the warming since 1850 has been exceeded multiple times before.

If you still insist the graphs support this, please show where in the graph you can see a warming of 1K within 100 years (1900-2000 from -0.4K to 0.6K). Or even a warming of 0.4K within 100 years without a corresponding drop in temperatures immediately before that increase.

What it comes down to is this: Mann's paper does not support your conclusion. It may show a weakness in one of his earlier papers, but that's all.

Comment Re:Not climate 'skeptics' (Score 1) 504

What the heck are you talking about? Quoted from the conclusions of the paper you linked:
"We find that the hemispheric-scale warmth of the past decade for the NH is likely anomalous in the context of not just the past 1,000 years, as suggested in previous work, but longer."

How can you possibly take that to mean that "warming since 1850 is NOT anomalous"? There is not a single mention in the conclusions about anything but the warming in the last decade.

Let me guess, your methology was something like this: "This paper doesn't state anything at all about warming before the last decade, therefor I can make up whatever I want!"

Comment Re:Just goes to show the lunacy of the conservativ (Score 2) 638

This doesn't address (or even acknowledge) my argument at all.

If you have one line of evidence, it may be flawed the way you suggest. But if you have several independent lines of evidence, and they all show the same trend, that's not something you can account for with inaccurate data collection methods (i.e. what you described).

Just by having lots of independently run weather stations, your made up data would be averaged out unless the majority of operators just happen to make up the same trend in their measurements.

Comment Re:Just goes to show the lunacy of the conservativ (Score 5, Insightful) 638

You're talking about data submitted to the scientists by tree rings, right? Or by drilling cores? Or satellites? I'm sure those lazy satellites are just making stuff up instead of measuring it! Just like those evil weather stations all over the world!

If there was only one line of evidence that climate science was based on, you might have a point. But it's not.

Comment Re:Base load and wind energy (Score 1) 822

I'm sorry if I didn't state my question clearly. The claim in the article is about the currently running reactors.

I don't think any majority can be gained in Germany in the near future for building new reactors - even if they would be safer, more economic or more flexible than the current ones. So while gen 4 reactors might be a solution, they're not feasible in the current political climate and hence not a viable solution to the problem stated in the article.

Can you give any insights relevant to the current situation?

Comment Base load and wind energy (Score 3, Interesting) 822

While personally I would prefer a nuclear over a fossil fuel plant, I read that nuclear reactors are too slow to react to the highly variable energy production by wind turbines and photo-voltaic installations which make up an increasingly large percentage of the energy production in Germany.

If this is true, keeping the existing reactors running for an extended period would not be beneficial towards the goal of migrating to renewable energy sources.

The only source I can find for this at the moment is (in german) - I would love to hear someone with a better understanding of the subject matter than me address this (and maybe to the other claims in the article).

Comment Re:Observer effect - did it mention this? (Score 1) 139

The observer effect is not something specific to self-aware observers. It can simply be interaction with other matter - which has then "observed" the item in question.

Now with that out of the way, what you want to happen has no influence on what does happen. That's simply not what the observer effect is about.

Slashdot Top Deals

Established technology tends to persist in the face of new technology. -- G. Blaauw, one of the designers of System 360