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Messages - 6roucho

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51
Science / Re: ClimateGate 2
« on: February 08, 2017, 11:22:41 AM »
You underestimate the gallery of villains the Koch apparatus and others have inserted into Trumpworld (and Republican Congressworld). Not an honest one in the bunch. I continue to be awed by the evil and harm that has been and continues to be done, constituting a large part of the life work, not yet over, of Fred Singer. Judith Curry also has a lot to answer for. Happer, Christy, and no doubt we will see the resurrection of Monckton. Delingpole a shoo-in, he's got just the sneer.

As far as I know, the Koch's didn't support the Trump candidacy at all.
There's an interesting "enemy of my enemy is my friend" dynamic between the libertarian right and Trump. On the one hand, he comes bearing extravagant gifts (the renunciation of science as a source of information) but on the other hand he's everything they fear (trillion dollar stimulus, nuclear Armageddon etc.). Like a cyanide praline. Interesting times.

52
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 31, 2017, 06:32:41 PM »
Elon Musk on the other hand, made his fortune by making products above and beyond the competition. No sleazy lies needed to make his billions.
That's partially true. Like so many of the big dot.com successes, x.com and PayPal succeeded by being in the right place at the right time, particularly by being brought by eBay. Plenty of the early dot.com billionaires were essentially lottery winners. Tesla on the other hand is an exceptional achievement.

53
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 31, 2017, 04:27:24 PM »
The fact that deniers misrepresent warming associated with solar cycles shouldn't mean it can't be discussed. If on a science forum we can't distinguish between the data associated with anti-science, and anti-science itself, then we're in danger of doing what we accuse deniers of: substituting politics for evidence.

Agreed. How about discussing it on the thread thoughtfully provided for that very purpose?

Solar irradiance

Then perhaps we can get back to the 2016/2017 freezing season in here?
I wasn't meaning to discuss it, Jim. I was only weighing in on the personal attacks on NeilT, on this thread. But point taken.

54
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 31, 2017, 04:11:14 PM »
The fact that deniers misrepresent warming associated with solar cycles shouldn't mean it can't be discussed. If on a science forum we can't distinguish between the data associated with anti-science, and anti-science itself, then we're in danger of doing what we accuse deniers of: substituting politics for evidence.

55
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 30, 2017, 10:05:48 AM »
As for FTB, thanks I will be more careful.  But, I have on at least one occasion been accused of potential concern trolling.  Me; who thinks that were totally screwed and that at least 2 Billion people, up to 7 Billion people, are going to be killed by AGW.

REG: Listen. If you wanted to join the People's Front of Judea, you'd have to really hate the Romans.
BRIAN: I do!
REG: Oh, yeah? How much?
BRIAN: A lot!
REG: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the Judean People's Front.
CROWD: Yeah...
JUDITH: Splitters.

56
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 30, 2017, 09:57:24 AM »
Musk's posture is indeed an odd one. His market for Tesla cars must be as squarely in liberal territory as it's possible for a mass-market American product to be. Thus we might assume his alignment isn't commercial, since even a large tax cut on a brand that has lost its unique lustre can't be a win in the long run. It opens the market to competitors.

On the other hand, there are his space aspirations...

Or maybe Musk is a social conservative as well as being a scientific rationalist.

57
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 28, 2017, 09:25:38 AM »
That is a scary thought ASLR..... Policy divorced from science !!! Reverse renaissance....Back to the dark ages...
Thankfully, only in America at this time. The effects of a new dark age in one country would be inconvenient, but not the end of the world. America has more direct means to achieve that.

58
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 28, 2017, 09:19:32 AM »
{edited for space}
This imply that the warmth of Arctic is partly endogenous, and that Arctic is able to sustain itself trough the darkness of the polar night.
 
As one guy (I don't remember who ^^" ) said, Arctic is becoming an Ocean. More and more, humidity and clouds and CO2 are insulating the Arctic, to the point that we are now almost at the point where no matter how cold it is in free atmosphere, the open Ocean will help with a heavy coat. Of course, for the theoretical/universitary remark, it is probably not a tipping point in the sense that if we could cool enough Arctic, sea ice will probably recover. It is more like an hysteresis, to be precise with words. But in the end, Co2 building up and temperatures soaring, this is more or less equivalent to a "no comeback from here and onwards".
Surface concentrations of CO2 in the Arctic around July 1st of last year were around 400 ppm +/- and now run about 420* ppm +/-. That does not give a large percentage of increase, but makes me wonder if between that and H2O vapor increase, some threshold was reached at some unknown point, and the amount of energy allowed to escape the surface was drastically reduced.

*I subtracted 32 ppm from current Earth NS values to allow for the 32 ppm they added, which is what was believed to have caused a jump on the 23rd of this month. The only increases I am considering are the ones that occurred gradually.
Surely the short-term forcing from 30ppm of C02 is minimal? It's the cumulative effect over time that provides measurable warming, e.g. since 1975, roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade. Perhaps the high C02 levels are an effect of the increased temperatures? Or am I misunderstanding the point being made? If there's a threshold effect where increased C02 concentrations can cause significant local warming then it's goodnight Vienna.

59
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 26, 2017, 04:57:44 PM »
If I recall correctly ftb referred to this thread as an 'alarmist's echo chamber' a few months ago . I have seen nothing but alarming information being posted . Is this a fault of observation and interpretation or is it a reflection of the reality ?
  b.c.
Probably both. Science is at least in part a machine for grinding away at the confirmation bias inherent in competing theories. Measurements are measurements, but interpretation is sometimes gifted the title of observation by people with theories to support. What has happened is observation. What will happen is prediction. If we could observe the future then we could give up science and bet on the races instead.

60
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 25, 2017, 07:12:56 AM »
Quote
A US national park has posted a series of tweets about climate change that were later deleted.
"Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climate," said one of the tweets.
The posts by Badlands National Park in South Dakota were widely shared but had all been removed by Tuesday evening.
The National Park Service shut its own Twitter operation briefly on Friday after an apparent clampdown.
The park service had retweeted photos about turnout at President Donald Trump's inauguration.
But the accounts were reactivated the next day after an apology for "mistaken" retweets.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38740205

Go Badlands.

According to some reports, there now a blanket ban on National Park Service employees communicating with the public. Which, if true, is not only outrageous, but obviously dangerous. [Correction, only by press or social media]

61
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 25, 2017, 07:09:39 AM »
ClimatechangePsychology took a snapshot from the wikipedia page of The new climate change denier head of CIA anticipating much rewrite. Hopefully this gets to be stored outside US too :  http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.fi/2017/01/our-new-cia-head-mike-pompeo-tea-party.html
Clearly a very capable man: a mechanical engineer before he became a lawyer, and first in his class at West Point is no small achievement. So, what causes him to reject mainstream science and become a climate contrarian? It just doesn't scan.

Robert E Lee was #2 in his USMA class, and we know what he was willing to do to the United States.  The Academies are full of exceptional men and women, but there are also plenty of "true believers".
pileus, I think in this case the reason is money. Pompeo went into the pipeline business after the army and is employed by the gas industry. A startling state of affairs, when the man is responsible for providing facts about national security issues.

62
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 24, 2017, 09:36:54 AM »
ClimatechangePsychology took a snapshot from the wikipedia page of The new climate change denier head of CIA anticipating much rewrite. Hopefully this gets to be stored outside US too :  http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.fi/2017/01/our-new-cia-head-mike-pompeo-tea-party.html
Clearly a very capable man: a mechanical engineer before he became a lawyer, and first in his class at West Point is no small achievement. So, what causes him to reject mainstream science and become a climate contrarian? It just doesn't scan.

63
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:58:16 AM »
Not that this has anything directly to do with science, but it's of a piece:

Quote
Trump Declares His Inauguration Date as ‘Day of Patriotic Devotion’

Donald Trump on Friday issued a proclamation declaring January 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration, a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” The decree was uploaded to the Federal Register on Monday and spotted by journalist Ken Klippenstein. The document is scheduled for official publication on Tuesday. “I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2017, as National Day of Patriotic Devotion, in order to strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country—and to renew the duties of Government to the people,” the decree reads.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/01/23/trump-sets-day-of-patriotic-devotion.html

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/24/2017-01798/special-observances-national-day-of-patriotic-devotion-proc-9570

64
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:32:33 AM »
Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Energy and Environment.
For those not familiar with Ebell, he was one of seven “climate criminals” wanted for “destroying our future.” according to posters put up by activist groups during the 2015 Paris talks. Not that that means anything, but as a contrarian activist he's been one of the most persistent and well-organised global warming deniers over the years.

More on Ebell's EPA paper at the Independent:

Quote
Donald Trump plans to 'reform' the way environmental agency uses science, report claims

Donald Trump is planning to "reform" the way that the Environmental Protection Agency uses science, according to a new report.
The new claim comes just days after the first thing on the new White House was an energy policy that called for the EPA to focus primarily on clean air and water, and not on its climate change activity. That same document didn't mention global warming at all – and neither does any other post on the administration's website.

That same approach appears to have carried on to the changes in the way that the EPA will use science in its work. A new document from inside the Trump camp says that the administration will seek to "reform" how the agency uses information.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/donald-trump-plan-reform-epa-environmental-protection-agency-science-climate-change-report-a7542191.html

The use of language is frightening, redolent of book burning, and Orwellian doublespeak.


65
Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: January 21, 2017, 05:50:00 AM »
Update: Obama web pages archived at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/

hat tip to http://www.snopes.com/white-house-web-site-trump-changes/

But I would still download and save stuff.  "Accidents" happen, or so I am told.

Fair play to Snopes. It notes that "Whitehouse.gov is sparsely populated". And legacy content will indeed live on in the ObamaWhiteHouse.gov site. It'll be interesting to see if they become competing poles of information.

66
Science / Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« on: January 21, 2017, 04:09:02 AM »
Evidence of the Trump administration's assault on science is already documented in several threads here, but now that he's President, and the science melt season proper has started, it seems appropriate to keep a record.

Within moments of yesterday's inauguration, all references to combating climate change disappeared from the White House website [https://www.whitehouse.gov]. A search for "climate" returns three results:

Quote
An America First Energy Plan | whitehouse.gov
www.whitehouse.gov/america-first-energy
...and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the
Lou Henry Hoover | whitehouse.gov
www.whitehouse.gov/1600/first-ladies/louhoover
Charles D. Henry, decided that the climate of southern California would favor
Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower | whitehouse.gov
www.whitehouse.gov/1600/first-ladies/mamieeisenhower
...visits to relatives in the milder climate of San Antonio, Texas. There, in 1915
The page that once detailed the potential consequences of climate change was replaced by a page entitled, "An America First Energy Plan." which vows to eliminate “harmful and unnecessary policies” such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule.

Thus the new administration is committing to a reduction in policy in place of a reduction in emissions.

67
Arctic sea ice / Re: What are you expecting to see this melt Season?
« on: January 12, 2017, 05:58:51 AM »
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

[It seems apropos of everything right now.]

68
[Sorry if this is off-topic, but it seemed like the best thread to put it]

A good article on Vox by David Roberts, on the social nature of science denial.

Quote
For most people, most of the time, social bonds matter far more than any particular bit of knowledge, any fact or belief. This is especially true when it comes to the kinds of things defined as political “issues,” like inequality, climate change, and other societal risks, which tend to be somewhat abstract and distant from daily experience. Most people don’t have settled, coherent opinions on issues at all, just bits and bobs they’ve picked up from their tribes. They certainly don’t have enough invested in issues to warrant risking their tribal ties on behalf of particular beliefs.

Most people will settle for their parochial, inherited tribal beliefs most of the time. Humans gonna human...

http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/12/28/14074214/climate-denialism-social

So: climate denial is a social process, about trust, rather than a cognitive one, about information.

I wasted some time these holidays arguing by email with a conservative commentator on an American political website. He'd written an article that included the assertion that climate change was a project of liberal elites.

Quote
As president, [Trump] will have command of the executive branch and a veto to check Congress. It’s hard to see how Republicans in Congress will go to the trouble of addressing entitlements if their efforts can’t succeed. And it will be hard for liberal elites to frustrate his policies.

He’s on particularly strong ground on climate change. Global-warming alarmists proclaim that their dire scenarios are certain to occur, and they would be clearly right if the only thing affecting temperatures were carbon dioxide emissions. But many other things (e.g., the sun) affect climate as well, and the interactions among them and their differing effects are not fully understood, as the failure of climate scientists’ models to explain past observations shows.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443345/donald-trump-climate-change-entitlement-reform-action-torpedoed

I made some obvious arguments about climate change being a project of nature, but he was having none of it. He made his case so serenely that I was convinced he believed it completely. He wasn't even overtly anti-science: he simply (and infuriatingly) accused the liberal elites of distorting science in pursuit of their own social agenda.

Science is an unrelated system to social belief. We can believe what we want, but when the time comes to build a plasma television set, or a nuclear weapon, we turn to science for real information. No amount of tribalism can cause an electron to behave in a certain way. When it comes to the universe of things, it's what happens that matters.

But what happens when people start to dispute the facts we use to validate outcomes? What happens when people insist the faith-based TV showed a picture in experiments but the electron-powered one didn't, and believe it?

What can we do about that? It seems like a new dark ages to me.

Roberts, in Vox concludes:

Quote
How can conservative elites be persuaded to think and communicate differently about climate change? That’s a subject for another post, but here’s a spoiler: The answer won’t be found in clever arguments or skillful persuasion, but in money, power, and material interests.

That seems correct. The contest for public opinion by the dissemination of scientific information is already lost. It simply isn't worth arguing with people who trust sources of misinformation, because any case you can make can be defeated by the same misinformation.

It has to be made directly about money. A lot of conservative opinion about climate change is simply the result of vested interests shaping the opinions of conservative influencers. The reality is that electricity from solar sources is now as cheap or cheaper than from coal in many parts of the world, including the United States and Europe. When that starts to shape balance sheets beyond the reach of subsidies then we’ll see an immediate change.

Provided governments don't intervene to prevent this happening. It's a trivial matter for governments to make electricity generation from clean sources more expensive to the point where investment in production becomes unprofitable.

69
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 25, 2016, 03:37:48 AM »
Sorry Groucho ..I am getting no plots .. here or at source .. can you help ?

i copied it to a tame web server. Can you see it now, be cause? Maybe the WP blocks hot linking. Also attached here, click to animate. Happy winter saturnalia,  everyone.

70
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 24, 2016, 08:40:56 PM »


Line plots showing average (near-surface air) temperature departures from normal, averaged around the world, across east-west belts (2.5 degrees latitude or ~250 km in width north-south) separately for land and ocean areas. (Jason Box).

From https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/23/the-arctic-is-behaving-so-bizarrely-and-these-scientists-think-they-know-why/?utm_term=.f83cecc18469&wpisrc=nl_most-draw8&wpmm=1

Reporting support for the “Warm Arctic, Cold Continents” thesis.

71
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 24, 2016, 08:03:54 AM »

It is really incredible (at least for me)!!! Not an earthquake involved? Just a cold front?

19-meter wave sets new record - highest significant wave height measured by a buoy
https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/19-meter-wave-sets-new-record-highest-significant-wave-height-measured-buoy

19m is remarkable. Since significant height is the average of the highest third of the waves, there were presumably even higher individual waves in the series?

72
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 22, 2016, 01:24:50 PM »
I've started to consistently use what I will call the ASCII dating scheme.   27 Dec 2015 would sort next to 27 Dec 2014.  20151227 sorts right next to the days before and after.  So would 20161231.)
I call that an ISO date - is there an ASCII standard for date formats as well?

http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/iso8601.htm

That would sort fine too, but the dashes are unnecessary.  It would have to be one or the other to work.  mixing with and without dashes would not sort in ASCII standard order.  ASCII (now called UTF-8) is a character encoding that fits in a byte.  It has a natural sort order simply by treating the characters as numbers, so if you plug dates in that format into just about any computer program that likes to sort things in alphabetical order then they will sort into date order.  (The obvious case being filenames in a directory.)
Agreed. I was being pedantic, Jim. ISO date format is with or without the dashes. It's a standard sortable date format in programming.

73
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 22, 2016, 04:39:55 AM »
I've started to consistently use what I will call the ASCII dating scheme.   27 Dec 2015 would sort next to 27 Dec 2014.  20151227 sorts right next to the days before and after.  So would 20161231.)
I call that an ISO date - is there an ASCII standard for date formats as well?

http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/iso8601.htm

74
Science / Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« on: December 18, 2016, 03:26:25 PM »
budmantis, I'm sure that a great deal of that vote for Trump was a rejection of the performance of mainstream politics, rather than a rejection of the political system. Hopefully some Trump voters are feeling buyer's remorse now, even of they can't quite admit it yet. A bracing burst of cozying up to Russia will bring many of them to their senses.

75
Consequences / Re: Trump to eliminate climate change research.
« on: December 18, 2016, 01:53:27 PM »
In Bush’s last year in office (2008) U.S. crude oil production averaged 5.0 million bpd (barrels per day). Under Obama, we've reached 9.4 million bpd in 2015 — a whopping 188% increase! Except it to be even higher in 2016. Also, this is from someone who supposedly understands our carbon-budget well.
TeaPotty, that's really not right.

I work in risk management in the oil & gas industry. Energy production decisions are taken ten, twenty or fifty years out. The lead time to peak production for an oilfield can easily be a decade, and in some cases, such as offshore, twenty years or longer. Most (maybe all?) of the oilfields included in those numbers have been live since *before* Obama, and perhaps before either Clinton or Bush.

Their specific output is the result of industrial decisions taken entirely outside the realm of government or politics. The tax incentives that made oil & gas so profitable in the United States have been in place since the Reagan years. The only way the government can reduce output is by reducing those tax incentives. That's one reason why decisions to mitigate carbon had to be taken a decade ago, to put in place new tax incentives, and thus reduce production.

If you want to beat current politics over the head, then try gas production and fracking, and the continuous eroding of regulation, over several administrations, aimed purely at changing the price, to make gas production seem profitable, by passing the real cost onto future generations. This is the "social cost" that the Trump administration is now gunning for.

Your fervour to exonerate one side is unhelpful. I say that as a fiscal conservative.

76
Consequences / Re: Trump to eliminate climate change research.
« on: December 18, 2016, 09:48:28 AM »
The linked article is entitled: "Researchers Are Preparing for Trump to Delete Government Science From the Web". 

On January 21, 2017 Trump will be empowered to shutdown most US federal government science websites that provide the public (including this forum) with climate change information.


http://motherboard.vice.com/read/researchers-are-preparing-for-trump-to-delete-government-science-from-the-web
Like all technologically naïve politicians who think they can supress information online, they'll fail. Let it be a lesson to them.

77
Science / Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« on: December 18, 2016, 09:45:31 AM »
This is 1933 all over again. Except the US are now the Nazis.

Ever wonder what you would have done if you had lived in 1930's Germany as an intellectual. No need to wonder anymore. You are there.

So what WILL you do.

They are compiling names for God's sake. What does it take, people?

America Erwache!

I think that's too harsh, Cid_Yama. The United States is very far from Nazi Germany yet. But it *is* pointing towards the 1950s, and McCarthyism, if these measures take hold, which they may not. America has many checks and balances.

78
Consequences / Re: Trump to eliminate climate change research.
« on: December 17, 2016, 09:06:08 AM »
I'm no fan of the Democrats, or American politics generally, but *much* worse.

This team could dismantle programs, ...

The ones which are weak and ineffective at fighting climate change and not having any noticeable effect on our accelerating carbon levels?

Science is a collective activity. Programs that *make a difference* at a policy-making level rely on hundreds of programs that do pure science, out of public sight, except in places like this. So yes, the axing of pure research programs that "make no difference" will do irreparable harm.

79
Consequences / Re: Trump to eliminate climate change research.
« on: December 17, 2016, 08:00:00 AM »
So, this is worse than Obama's administration full of bankers/lobbyists/shills/WallSt ppl who did nothing to push for climate action for nearly 4 years, then did some PR and took credit for saving the world?
I'm no fan of the Democrats, or American politics generally, but *much* worse.

This team could dismantle programs, extract the United States from binding international agreements, sideline climate scientists in public service roles, withdraw funding from vital research programs, and do irreparable harm to science. Those aren't partisan political issues. And no amount of impotent fury in the face of such raw excess is worth a hill of beans, once it's gone.

Here in Australia, a parachuted-in Silicon Valley whiz-kid venture capitalist axed 130 climate research jobs from our peak scientific body, in the name of pursuing more commercial lines of research, and we'll *never* recover from that.

There's a vast gulf between doing too little and deliberately doing harm. Ask any surgeon.

Of course none of this may come to pass. The beast may draw back its mask and reveal a lamb.

80
Science / Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« on: December 15, 2016, 01:27:08 PM »
The good thing about China is that there doesn't seem to be an active climate denier industry. They simply say "not now" when they don't want to pursue a green agenda, while investing heavily in renewables for the future.

One quote that really stuck in my mind in the opening article was "that Trump has appointed a “band of climate conspiracy theorists” to run transition efforts at various agencies, along with nominees to lead them who share similar views". I think that by the time we get to the level of cabinet, there are no conspiracy theorists, only frauds. I'm sure that Myron Ebell, for example, understands the science perfectly well. He's just build a successful business around denying it, which has culminated in him delivering it at cabinet level. His paymasters must be delirious.

81
Science / Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« on: December 15, 2016, 02:20:24 AM »
China will be gifted the lead by closing down American climate research programs. It's in the interests of us all that whoever has the lead is as advanced as possible.

82
Developers Corner / Re: Relevancy of Machine Learning to climatic models
« on: December 14, 2016, 12:36:44 AM »
I provide the following reference, co-authored by Murray Gell-Mann, that could be used to better address climate change issues including:  risk, insurance, revenue neutral carbon pricing, and other topics.  This reference makes it very clear that most humans (even most experts) have a very weak intuitive understanding of their own ignorance (which results in a poor understanding of gambles/risk that we are all exposed to w.r.t. climate consequences).
Absolutely.

I had the opportunity in the 1990s to work on the project at Lloyd’s to calculate the premium for reinsuring the bad long-tailed risk that was threatening the existence of the corporation. As part of that, we tried to understand why it had happened.

We highlighted three main causes:

•   Competition for profits
•   Consequences that played out in the future, beyond the likely incumbency of underwriters
•   A systematic underestimation of catastrophe risk

The irony is that insurance is well-served with excellent models, whose development budgets can often be many times more than pure science has to play with, but in this case underwriters with no mathematical knowledge chose to ignore them.

[Another is that if you substitute politician for underwriter, this relatively small business crisis (Lloyd's survived, even if all the Names who financed the insurance didn’t) played out much the same as the much larger catastrophe of climate change.]

I think that one area where machine learning has a lot to offer is in the interpretation of science by policymakers. If we go back to finance, systems that learn about markets can be exceptionally effective traders, because what humans tend to do in uncertain situations is throw away the mathematics, and instead bet by instinct, which black swan theory (and recent history) suggests is systematically optimistic when it comes to catastrophic events. The human instinct is to double down on optimistic bets when no good can come of the worst-case scenario.

Which is what some politicians are doing right now with climate change.

83
Developers Corner / Re: Relevancy of Machine Learning to climatic models
« on: December 13, 2016, 03:57:58 AM »
Isn't the problem here the limits of models, rather than the deficiencies of algorithms?

Machine learning could produce better algorithms, and thus provide better results, but state change behaviours in complex systems, although deterministic, can be difficult to predict with any accuracy, due to limitations in mathematics.

Without a state change in mathematics itself (and who could predict that?) I don't think we'll ever get to the point of being able to know in advance how a complex system will evolve far from equilibrium at the edge of chaos, or back again.

Murray Gell-Mann famously called such systems "an accumulation of frozen accidents."

84
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 12, 2016, 05:33:48 AM »
In short the statements above seem to lead us to believe that the scientists are deliberately misleading us for some reason.
I don't think anyone here thinks that, NeilT. It's the model extrapolation vs. state change argument playing out in real time. It's like musical chairs: it's not possible to predict in advance when the state music will stop, so some people with well-founded statistical extrapolations will inevitably be left without a place to sit. There will be schadenfreude.

85
I hope with all my heart that you are right Buddy.
I hope he's wrong. But I doubt it. :-(

86
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 10, 2016, 10:03:54 PM »
One person who must be watching this with interest is Peter Wadhams. It looks as though physics may wish to have the final say over what is possible in physics.

87
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 10, 2016, 01:12:41 AM »
Which highlights the importance of the amount of multi-year ice that is thick through compaction or ridging.

88
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 09, 2016, 09:38:02 PM »
Hey people, don't worry about the sea ice next year. Trump will "make the Arctic sea ice great again" :P
By liquidating its assets.

89
Arctic sea ice / Re: Ice free predictions and their uncertainty
« on: December 07, 2016, 09:03:32 PM »

It's an interesting correlation, maybe not wihout some merit in terms of building a model. An analogy might be that we are looking at the interior of an irregular pan of ice on a stove. We are watching the currents and eddies of the earth, modelling the convection cells and the material absorption, but the simply fact is the longer the pan is on the stove, the more ice will melt.

This could be a job for additive noise model testing.

One of the cornerstones of rationalism is that correlation doesn't imply causation (although it depends on what we mean by imply: correlated events are more likely to exhibit causation than those that aren't, so it encourages us to investigate physically to see whether causation is involved). What correlation doesn't imply is the direction of causation.

But there's some interesting maths around noise contamination that allows us to test this without experimentation. If noise from x causes noise in y, but noise from y does not cause noise in x, then we can prove that x causes y. So if warming causes noise in the melt data, but melt doesn't cause noise in the temperature data, then warming causes melt.

Of course we *know* that warming causes melt. The interesting question is whether the concurrent melting events at both poles is noise, or evidence of something substantive.

90
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 06, 2016, 12:30:39 PM »
Phugoid oscillation is a *great* analogy. A divergent phugoid is an unstable oscillation, like a double pendulum. It's arguably general to systems on the edge of chaos, such as markets that are about to crash. Perhaps it always occurs, markets (and ice) lacking the dynamic of a systematic change of direction?

91
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 06, 2016, 12:40:34 AM »
If you have 10M KM3 of ice that melts in 100 yrs the practical impact on the ocean will be greater than 10M KM3 of ice that melts over 1K yrs, or even 100M KM3. This seems to be what people are forgetting and I continue to be extremely alarmed that we are entering such an event as we speak.
However, the current rate of Greenland ice sheet melting (say 500 km^3?) is > 2 orders of magnitude less than 10M km^3 per 100y.

92
Arctic sea ice / Re: IJIS
« on: December 05, 2016, 12:35:49 PM »

... One kilogram of methane is 21x as effective at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere as a kilogram of carbon dioxide within 100 years ...

My understanding (always very limited) is that a more recent estimate puts the GWP100 value for methane at either 28 or 34, depending whether or not climate carbon feedbacks are considered.
21 -> 28 or 34 is a huge change in physical terms. Every climate risk vector seems to provide OMG adjustments at the moment.

93
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 04, 2016, 11:11:58 PM »
It would be an even larger experiment with the biosphere than the one we're currently conducting if we were to increase C02 production to ward off the possibility of global cooling, since that would of course increase the rate of warming if the theory were wrong. Better to mitigate the risks we know we face, and try to save the world we have, than take irrevocable steps to mitigate small possibilities.
But we can't save the world we have.  NOAA has issued a warning that we could face 10 feet (3.0508 m) sea level rise by 2050~2060
'Could' is a big word. But yes, we may not be able to save the world we have. Our job then becomes to save as much of it as possible. There's no tipping point where continued damage becomes unimportant. The people living in *that* world will want to save as much as they can.

Regarding your theory, if the Younger Dryas was caused by freshwater pulses into the Arctic as a result of ice sheet melt, as seems to be the popular theory (http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/gornitz_10/) then surely increasing C02 emissions now would increase the likelihood of such pulses occurring, and thus increase the likelihood of a Younger Dryas event beginning. So in order to try to save ourselves, we could bring about the very event we were avoiding, and in the process also lock in the worst impacts of warming.


94
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 04, 2016, 10:39:15 PM »
It would be an even larger experiment with the biosphere than the one we're currently conducting if we were to increase C02 production to ward off the possibility of global cooling, since that would increase the rate of warming if the theory were wrong. Better to mitigate the risks we know we face, and try to save the world we have, than take irrevocable steps to mitigate small possibilities.

95
Arctic sea ice / Re: IJIS
« on: December 04, 2016, 03:44:59 PM »
I don't know how accurate my calculation of 100k tons == 8.6GT  CO₂  but I fear it's close.  There's not much data floating about, w/regard to methane floating about...

One kilogram of methane is 21x as effective at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere as a kilogram of carbon dioxide within 100 years, so 100 Kt methane ~ 2.1 Mt C02 in terms of its warming potential. Far short of 8.6 Gt but nonetheless a significant contributor to warming.

The current yearly emissions of methane from all sources (natural and anthropogenic) is ~500 Mt. During the last two hundred years, atmospheric methane concentrations have more than doubled to ~1800 ppbv.

http://icp.giss.nasa.gov/education/methane/intro/cycle.html

96
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 04, 2016, 03:34:32 AM »
There's no time to stop trying, even at +3c, even when the last few idiots are huddled round their sacred refrigerators and praying to the moon gods to stop this infernal heat, so they can get to the game without their SUVs catching fire. The argument is really about whether we should *start* trying. America just elected a president who thinks climate change is a Nigerian 419 scam.

97
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 03, 2016, 06:33:34 PM »
(What has "cure for global cooling" got to do with anything being discussed?)
A "younger dryas type event" is a period of rapid cooling.

98
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 03, 2016, 05:43:41 PM »
...


Q:  Will we avoid the worst of climate driven impacts to our livable biosphere if we do not reduce our global CO2 emissions by 80%, from 1990 levels, by 2025?
A:  Almost certainly not.

...
That is a mouthful.

Am I reading this correctly when I read it to say that we can't dodge the bullet by having an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels by 2025?

Then why bother trying?

And you left out a question.

Q Are we going to have a younger dryas type event in the near future?  (by 2100?)

A Reasonably likely.


So what is the cure for global cooling?

More CO2 not less?
You need to speak to bbr2314.

99
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: November 29, 2016, 12:47:28 PM »
I don't think GHG's will be the reason for a nearly ice free arctic during winter. Albedo changes, atmospheric changes and ocean current changes will. To me this season is either a preview or the beginning of step changes that lead to a year round ice free arctic.
That argument surely has merit? An ice-free Arctic could generally be delivered in one of two ways: by a continuous evolution of the heat budget as a result of greenhouse warming, and thus an extrapolation of business-as-usual, or by a step change in the way the available heat is applied to the surface, as a result of a change in the mechanics of weather. We won't know about the second one until it happens, however the current, persistent 3 sigma conditions must give pause for thought. There is enough heat in the system *now* to melt all the ice.

100
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: November 28, 2016, 11:13:16 PM »
It's sad that these are the things we have to hold on to, but right now, things are looking like a lot more like a "normal" winter... just on a month delay. 

I have the uneasy feeling that although the curves might appear more normal, the month
delay will show up sooner or later.
800k km^2 is worth about ten extra August days of high-season melt.

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