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Totally off-topic thread
midtskogenDate: Sunday, 27.01.2013, 11:00 | Message # 451
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I think most scientists engaged in government funded research are bias and I would not trust their data or conclusions.

And privately funded research is less biased?





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expandoDate: Sunday, 27.01.2013, 11:14 | Message # 452
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Well right, who are they representing, that is probably more important to know to form an opinion than the data or conclusions they present. In the public sector, often the government wanting to do something will simply get academics to produce papers to support their actions, the government can then cite various studies and charge full steam ahead ignoring anything else.




"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
 
WatsisnameDate: Sunday, 27.01.2013, 21:14 | Message # 453
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expando, please explain for me why the funding source and conclusion the only thing that matter as to the validity of a scientific paper. Why can the data and research methods not speak for themselves?

Quote
Government funds all the Climate Change research, you can bet for sure if one of them comes up with any conclusion that man made global warming is not a reality, their funding will be withdrawn.


Do you disagree with the scientific consensus that AGW is a reality?

midtskogen,
Quote
As I mentioned earlier, it's easy to be affected by an importance bias. (Which also applies to climate scientists regarding how important their work is).


Yes, 'importance bias' (good term for it!) can affect everyone. The peer-review process helps tremendously, but fields as a whole can still suffer from it sometimes. Multidisciplinary fields also tend to handle it better than others, as it forces one to be more aware of what other researchers are doing.

Quote
It's easy to attack many things in climate research, because of the uncertainties and the many assumptations that have to be made to arrive at a useful result.
...
But rather than simply attack the weaknesses, Humlum also presents alternative explanations which rely on at least as many assumptations and uncertainties. That I find hard to understand.


I can understand why this is hard to grasp, especially for those who aren't actively involved in the field. But saying that climate research is easy to attack because of uncertainties or assumptions is simply a big misunderstanding of how science works. You're always going to have uncertainty. It's when you don't see uncertainty that you should be concerned that the science is unsound. The same goes for assumptions. You have to start with assumptions because otherwise you'll never be able to get anywhere. You start with assumptions, use them to formulate a (hopefully logically sound) hypothesis, and then you test it. If the results of your tests do not agree with your hypothesis, then you know that one or more of your assumptions was wrong, and you may use that knowledge to improve your hypothesis.

Consider Special Relativity. It began when Einstein made 2 very big assumptions (postulates in scientific jargon).
-That the laws of physics are the same everywhere.
-The speed of light is the same in all reference frames.

It became one of the most successful theories in modern physics.

Regarding Humlum... I don't know if a critical review would be meaningful to you or not, but if you want you can try this one. The review is of a paper that was accepted in the journal of Global and Planetary Change, which is a reputable journal and not coincidentally the paper is pretty good also, but still suffers from some important logical fallacies as the review points out.

Now I hate linking to sites like 'skeptical science', although I find the material to be of good quality, it is not a reputable and primary source. But I still think this makes a good demonstration: compare the material I linked above with what Humlum writes directly to the public, such as in an opinion column in a newspaper. And compare the critical response to it. Striking, isn't it? This is why I said Humlum is known both for flawed research practices and dishonest communication with the public.

Quote
Most climate scientists wisely stay away from activism, so it's not from them we hear most about climate change.

Ah, I see what you're saying. Yeah, there are environmentalists out there who are extremely vocal about climate change and sometimes don't actually understand it very well. It's best to ignore them in my opinion. I prefer to listen to scientists. smile

Quote
When we have unusual weather, journalists will simply call scientists until they find someone who says something about how this could be linked to climate change, how we should expect more of this in the future, and there is a story. [etc]


Yep. The interplay between climate change and extreme weather is very complex and an active field of research. At this point we understand a number of things about it, but much remains to be seen and discovered. One note that I can make is that the atmosphere is getting wetter [on average], which is intuitive because warmer air can hold more moisture. This has an effect on storms, but the details are too complex to discuss here.

Quote
Yes, but are you saying that this is due to climate changes? I'd rather blame the invention of agriculture and domestication followed by the population growth that was then made possible.


No, it has many complex causes and they are not well constrained. I'm not only blaming climate change. smile

-made some some minor edits







Edited by Watsisname - Sunday, 27.01.2013, 21:25
 
DisasterpieceDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 03:49 | Message # 454
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I just upgraded my OS to windows 7 (vista before this). Noctis doesn't work anymore.




I play teh spase engien
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 03:51 | Message # 455
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Quote (Disasterpiece)
I just upgraded my OS to windows 7 (vista before this). Noctis doesn't work anymore.

That's the danger of upgrading your OS: getting older programs to work can be very difficult.





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expandoDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 09:17 | Message # 456
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Create a shortcut to the exe program, right click properties and select compatibility mode. Choose Vista/windows xp mode, whichever works.

If it is a old dos program, you can use free dos emulation program, they generally work very well.





"Religion is regarded by the common people as true - by the wise as false - and by the rulers as useful."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Edited by expando - Monday, 28.01.2013, 09:20
 
midtskogenDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 11:11 | Message # 457
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Consider Special Relativity. It began when Einstein made 2 very big assumptions (postulates in scientific jargon).

Well, these are like axioms in mathematics. Something that you can argue is reasonable, but you don't give a proof for it. You can't and you shan't. But this is basic science philosophy. You have to start with something that you don't prove. Otherwise your argument is going to be circular. You also need to be careful about what you assume to be true. It must be as little as possible, so it's clear to everyone exactly what you're assuming, and it must not a consequence in any way of what you're about to prove.

In this respect I'm a bit uncomfortable about several of the temperature reconstructions, or rather that much depends on them. And why has there been all that noise about scientists not willing to share their data so others can verify? I'm not thinking there is a conspiracy here, just that if you don't openly share absolutely everything needed to duplicate your work, it's not science. So I don't see why they didn't prepare for that in the first place. If the data aren't free, well, then you can't use it for science. Homogenisation in instrument records is another issue. Assumptations are made and frankly, if you read some of the papers dealing with homogenisation, if papers exist, it's a bit unclear what the assumptations are. Ultimately much rely on the experience and intuition of the authors, which may be the best we have, but still pretty woolly as postulates. And the accuracy of these adjusted records become themselves assumptations in new studies. The uncertainties then accumulate.

I mentioned the Svalbard temperature record. A homogenised record exists for Svalbard airport since 1911, and this is an RCS station, that is, a high quality station particularly intended for climate research. The trouble is that measurements only started in 1975, so the rest has been reconstructed from measurements at other places in Svalbard when they exist, or even from Greenland, and some years are simply interpolations. I've been to many of the sites at various times of the year, and frankly, a reconstruction where a few tenths of degrees for monthly means matter, is a hopeless task. High mountains and sea ice forming and breaking up locally create microclimates. Places only a few km apart at the same elevation can often differ many degrees depending on a complexity of factors. While trends affecting the whole archipelago are evident from the actual series that exist, comparisons of absolute temperatures now and earlier are a different story. We don't really know well the absolute temperature for anywhere but the place it was actually measured. For instance, there was a dramatic warming during the 1920's. It made scientists then think it had to be measurement errors. Having recently seen it happen again, there's no reason not to believe it, but since the measurements then and now were done in different places, for much of the time tens of km away, it's hard to say whether years in the past decade were warmer or colder than certain years in the 1930's. All we can say is that there were two major warming events, perhaps similar in magnitude. Reconstructed absolute monthly temperatures for places were nothing was measured or for the whole region might be off by a few degrees in some cases, but such uncertainties tend to disappear in further works.

Quote (Watsisname)
Striking, isn't it?

Yes, and as I said I have no problem with Humlum being concerned about the methodology used, but he doesn't leave it at that, he's apparently unable to resist giving an alternative hypothesis just as prone to the arguments he just presented, if not more. I disagree with him that it's not science if something can't be well verified until 50 or 100 years (so far I too think that the temperature record shows little evidence of the sensitivity predicted by AGW, but that doesn't contradict AGW either), but it may be fair to call it a hypothesis then, not theory. Humlum can offer valuable additions to the understanding of our climate. For instance, I think he's been involved in the study of 1000 something years old plants found in melting tunnels under Svalbard glaciers which adds to the knowledge of how changing the climate is, but even though the glaciers evidently were much smaller or gone in relatively recent history at that place at that time, that and other pieces of evidence, cannot be used to tell the cold future of our climate which Humlum frequently is involved in.

Quote (Watsisname)
No, it has many complex causes and they are not well constrained. I'm not only blaming climate change.

I don't think the 0.8 degree or thereabout warming in a century so far has any significance had it occurred without humans present. A further warming would of course have a larger impact, but as part of a mass extinction? Don't forget that there are large areas that have a subarctic climate now with low biodiversity which could become temperate and many kinds of life would thrive. I'm not sure about a mass extinction. There have been many climate changes, but there are not that many mass extinctions that we know of. But this is going to be all hypothetical since humans probably have come to stay. We plow, let our animals graze, we build cities and we leave our garbage in the sea, land and air.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 15:07 | Message # 458
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Quote (midtskogen)
A further warming would of course have a larger impact, but as part of a mass extinction?

The mass extinction level we've seen so far is probably almost entirely unrelated to climate. The potential connection between extinctions and climate change doesn't start until around now, and especially going into the future. Up to this point the primary causes have likely been other human ones, like deforestation and other habitat destruction, hunting to extinction, etc. I don't think that Watsisname, meant to imply that climate change was a major driving force in the extinction levels we've seen recently. More likely he meant that the effects of climate change - which are only just starting to manifest - could contribute to that.





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AerospacefagDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 16:47 | Message # 459
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I want to make a remark about the Climate Change topic, since I don't believe in it at all. It doesn't mean that the whole concept of it is completely off reality, but what surprises me is just the reaction of people. What do you expect from the signs of changing weather and what result do you expect? Why the approach to problem of "rising the temperature levels in global scale" is being approached so simple - is it just because easier to demonstrate on public?

A good analogue came to mind while watching this discussion. Imagine a train, a massive hunk of steel and machinery that weights 250 tonnes, moving in one direction at about 10 km/h. His engine is still, and it's moving silently, but purposefully. There's also the bunch of aboriginal people surrounding it - they do not know what the machine is, where it is moving and why - it doesn't matter if it is man-made or not. Most of them wouldn't have noticed it's presence, until some of other friends called them to look.

You know, it's not a good idea to stop that thing with just hands and legs, and you may get injured while trying too dissipate about 0.9 megajoules of kinetic energy, but some people may suggest it is necessary to do so just because this thing is so big and scary. And they will try it with all their might, if they discover that the direction of the movement is somewhere near their home bungalow (even if the rails actually turned away halfway to it). Most intelligent of them may use it for their own interest.

The most important question is - why in the world, would they consider this thing a major problem?


Edited by Aerospacefag - Monday, 28.01.2013, 16:48
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 17:02 | Message # 460
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The most important question is - why in the world, would they consider this thing a major problem?

That is a very, very poor analogy Aerospacefag.

They have no evidence that this thing poses them any harm, nor did they cause it to move in the first place, it has causes that are completely outside of themselves.

Climate change is not something which is "just happening" that we feel like controlling, it is something which is being caused by humans doing things that they don't need to be doing, and it will almost certainly have very negative effects if left unchecked. Your train analogy is similar to if people wanted to stop caribou from migrating. A better analogy would be people trying to stop a human-engineered virus from spreading.





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TimDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 17:25 | Message # 461
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Well aerospace, since you seem to like metaphors, let's continue with the metaphor.

When the aboriginals discovered about the train, they did not try to stop it, what they did, was research wether we should stop it. If you do nothing, if you do not follow the rails to see where it is heading, you may never know if that train is heading for your bungalow. Say that it would collide, you won't be able to say "wir haben es nicht gewusst", since nobody stopped you from following the rails.

By now, we have learned much about global warming and aside from natural climate changes, we have discovered that it never went as fast and extreme as it does today. For more scientific explanation, I advice watchin 'An Inconvenient Truth' by Al Gore, who admittely seems to try and blackguard Bush, the information he uses, however, is correct.
Not only will climate change be the cause of the extinction of many species, it will also endanger millions, if not billions of people because of the raising sea level.

I can see how it isn't considered major in Russia though, most of the Russians don't live anywhere near the sea.
My hometown could be a coastal city before 2100, with literally millions of Dutch and Flemish people searching refuge on our lands. For me, climate change is a real thing. Last year's measurements showed that the sea level is raising even faster than predicted ten years ago.


Edited by Tim - Monday, 28.01.2013, 17:26
 
midtskogenDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 18:46 | Message # 462
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Quote (Aerospacefag)
The most important question is - why in the world, would they consider this thing a major problem?

It's in the human nature to assume the worst. And to exaggerate to be heard.

I grew up with several environmental threats. Things like acid rain causing freshwater and forest death, ozone layer and Chernobyl come to mind. 2013 wasn't supposed to be like it is. I'm not saying that these weren't real issue needing some action, but there were some ugly exaggerations in the heat of that time. So surely with global warming. History repeats.

Quote (Tim)
My hometown could be a coastal city before 2100, with literally millions of Dutch and Flemish people searching refuge on our lands.

They live in a land that did not exist or wasn't habitable until a few thousand years ago. So do I. If not sea level rise, then perhaps erosion, or a new ice age will destroy it. The earth is alive, and humans shouldn't be surprised about it, nor fear it, but rather adapt to it.





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AerospacefagDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 20:29 | Message # 463
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Climate change is not something which is "just happening" that we feel like controlling, it is something which is being caused by humans doing things that they don't need to be doing

The idea I present is entirely different, Harb. It is not like the nature (as whole) reacting on certain actions, automatically. I think, humanity by this time is now presented so wide-spread that they can't avoid the disaster while living in certain regions. The train is moving forward and sadly they have to move out of it's path, witch is difficult enough.
In the past, humans did not consider these things as something disastrous, since they simply avoided it. If the climate was about to change, they moved to another location to search the place to live. They adapted faster and weren't so dependent on technology.

This summer, there was a major accident in town Krimsk, in mountains near Black Sea. The cause was, some people say, is that many people did not obey local norms, they built their homes in the way of seasonal rains - sometimes the water isn't escaping in time and a flood may happen, especially if some new objects like roads, bridges and dams are in the way. Nature got no harm since it is normal for the region, and the people simply were flushed away, which is very sad.
http://www.trud.ru/article....yj.html (in Russian)

Quote (Tim)
I can see how it isn't considered major in Russia though, most of the Russians don't live anywhere near the sea.

Let me think, it's not like we have no harm from some symptoms of "global warming". I'm living in Central Russia, the region with some dense forests nearby, and in 2010 there was a major heat wave. I've witnessed some forest fires, and some people say that the smoke was sometimes so thick, you could look directly to the sun, and it got difficult to breath. But, some other people say, that it's not something extraordinary for the region.

In the past, many historical notes say, there were many similar events, it just wasn't something astonishing for people, maybe because they avoided such regions deliberately. Others say, at present, that this is quite common for unpopulated areas in South and East Siberia.

Quote (Tim)
Last year's measurements showed that the sea level is raising even faster than predicted ten years ago.

The level of sea may change, but it only matters since so many people live in coastal zone now, ant they're highly dependent on infrastructure. First, it doesn't matter that the level is rising right now - it may fall in the future. Second, it i possible to adapt to it, but by other means then just reducing CO2 levels in atmosphere "to stop it from rising".

Quote (midtskogen)
I grew up with several environmental threats. Things like acid rain causing freshwater and forest death, ozone layer and Chernobyl come to mind.

I was afraid of these threat s when I was in school, but since then, I never encountered any of them directly, not to speak of my friends and relatives in three cities across the country.

Quote (midtskogen)
The earth is alive, and humans shouldn't be surprised about it, nor fear it, but rather adapt to it.

This is excellent conclusion! However, since people nowadays can affect local environment, it is more difficult task then 100 years ago.


Edited by Aerospacefag - Monday, 28.01.2013, 20:40
 
midtskogenDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 22:21 | Message # 464
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I'm living in Central Russia, the region with some dense forests nearby, and in 2010 there was a major heat wave. I've witnessed some forest fires, and some people say that the smoke was sometimes so thick, you could look directly to the sun, and it got difficult to breath. But, some other people say, that it's not something extraordinary for the region.

The heat wave was unusually strong, but weather is sometimes unusual, and in the world of internet we now get to hear about and see it whenever any place in the world is having unusual weather. So far I think it's more reason to begin panicking if the weather everywhere suddenly becomes average. That would certainly be unprecedented.

We went to Finland on holiday that summer, and we had some terribly hot days in Helsinki (whereas Oslo was quite cool). The heat abruptly ended with this storm passing straight over Helsinki. I had seen it approaching on the radar and knew it would be bad, but it was pretty insane by Nordic standards. I love this video. Pretty scary stuff?

As for forest fires, I once flew from Tokyo to Helsinki across Siberia during summer (in 1999, I think) and I remember seeing countless forest fires on the way as far as the eye could see in every direction, hour after hour during the flight. I guess it's a fairly normal thing, but might be viewed as unusual when they happen to bother more populated areas.





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werdnaforeverDate: Monday, 28.01.2013, 23:44 | Message # 465
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Star Wars now that J.J. Abrams is at the helm

If VII is full of lens flares and as fast paced as star trek 11, then I sense trouble. Since this isn't a reboot, he's going to be more restricted in what he can or can't do. He's making a Star wars film, which is about more than mindless action.

I have a feeling he's going to disregard alot of the EU, and won't really care whether or not star wars fans accept it since the movie will make money one way or the other.

Han should get some tinted windows for the Millennium falcon just to be prepared! smile
 
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