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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » Totally off-topic thread (Talk about anything.)
Totally off-topic thread
midtskogenDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 08:37 | Message # 691
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I was saying that reconstructing past global ocean heat content based on what you list is hard (the ocean is big, deep and may not carry that many proxies), and while you seem to take it for granted that there exist robust results, as far as I know it's only been done locally and not over the entire globe. If anyone can point to something, I'd like to have a look at it (beyond the abstract/conclusion). I'm not skeptical about every study, but they're limited by their data, scope and assumptions and I try not to read more into them than that. But, yes, I'm a bit concerned for science that there could exist some kind of subconscious forced, obsessive thinking (figuratively, I don't mean it as a diagnosis) that if data are missing, it must be possible to reconstruct them. It's a dangerous thing scientifically to believe in something that might be forever lost and no longer exists.




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Edited by midtskogen - Saturday, 09.03.2013, 08:38
 
WatsisnameDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 10:53 | Message # 692
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I do not claim that it is not difficult (scientific research seldom is), or even complete. The ocean is a big, complex, dynamic system and it is coupled with other systems in ways that we have only begun to appreciate relatively recently. But yes, we are capable of determining the thermal history of the ocean thanks to many processes that record ocean temperature, and also thanks to our understanding of how these systems operate. You had asked for examples of this type of work and I have provided you with the means of finding them. This is a big and multidisciplinary field (particularly between atmospheric, biologic, oceanographic, and geologic sciences), and it cannot even begin to be summarized in one post or one paper. Most of the studies I could give you are not free to view anyway. I have university access to all the major journals but of course not everyone else shares such access.

Perusing the free-text literature, I came across this one, which is reasonably good and deals with the state of the oceans and the ocean-atmosphere coupling during the Late Miocene era. Take it as an example.

Quote
It's a dangerous thing scientifically to believe in something that might be forever lost and no longer exists.

I/scientists do not 'believe' such things -- we generally know what the limits of scientific inquiry are. I'd love to be able to figure out if life once existed on Venus but any information that could answer that question was erased long ago. I claim we can figure out the thermodynamic history of the Earth's oceans because that's what the evidence tells me.

Hmm... this all sounds very similar to things that were written many pages ago. Déjà vu anyone?





 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 11:20 | Message # 693
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Quote (Watsisname)
this all sounds very similar to things that were written many pages ago. Déjà vu anyone?

Indeed...





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AerospacefagDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 13:03 | Message # 694
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Quote (Watsisname)
I/scientists do not 'believe' such things -- we generally know what the limits of scientific inquiry are.

Hey, just calm down, I'm sure he haven't intended to make discussion... personal.

The problem I was pointing at isn't actually a flaw in some scientific method of analysis, but rather the interaction between science ant public opinion. It sure creates strange situation, and some of the authenticity may be corrupted in the process. Though, it is easier to solve, if approach from science once again.
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 13:35 | Message # 695
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Hey, just calm down

He seems pretty calm to me.





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Antza2Date: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 21:56 | Message # 696
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AlessiaCristallooo,

Spam will not be tolerated





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 21:56 | Message # 697
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AlessiaCristallooo, if you absolutely must make such disruptive posts, at least put them in a spoiler...




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AlessiaCristalloooDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 22:07 | Message # 698
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
AlessiaCristallooo, if you absolutely must make such disruptive posts, at least put them in a spoiler...


That was supposed to be the funny thing smile

Antza2, it was not spam happy
 
Antza2Date: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 22:13 | Message # 699
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Antza2, it was not spam

It upset the forum layout so i regarded it as spam. Next time you should put such posts in spoilers.





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WatsisnameDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 23:19 | Message # 700
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Hey, just calm down, I'm sure he haven't intended to make discussion... personal.


There's nothing to take personally. smile Midtskogen was again bringing philosophy of science into the discussion, reminding that some things may not be possible to figure out since there might not be sufficient evidence surviving today. This is of course true, but in the context of determining the thermal history of the oceans is not as big of a hurdle to overcome as might be imagined.

Quote

The problem I was pointing at isn't actually a flaw in some scientific method of analysis, but rather the interaction between science ant public opinion. It sure creates strange situation, and some of the authenticity may be corrupted in the process. Though, it is easier to solve, if approach from science once again.


Right. We were originally discussing what the nature of the greenhouse effect and global warming were, and the physics that operates behind it, and the description of this that is given to the public. It is true that there is a world of detail that is being glossed over, but the underlying themes are still intact and quite correct. This is common to almost all sciences, as a full treatment would be too lengthy and too complicated to be viable to a popular audience. So a lot is left out in favor of explaining the most fundamental concepts.





 
midtskogenDate: Saturday, 09.03.2013, 23:45 | Message # 701
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It is true that there is a world of detail that is being glossed over, but the underlying themes are still intact and quite correct.

I have no problems imagining that the underlying themes are quite correct, but many things concerning details are presented to explain it, and as far as science is concerned, there is no good in being correct if you're not correct for the right reasons.

Obviously, with so many predictions of how the climate will be in 100 years, somebody will be correct. But for precisely the right reasons?





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WatsisnameDate: Sunday, 10.03.2013, 00:12 | Message # 702
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midtskogen, we've already gone over this topic.

Climate sensitivity has an inherent uncertainty, and the future of greenhouse gas emissions is also uncertain. Accounting for both of these, predictions of future warming have a spread of possible values -- a probability distribution. This distribution shows that global temperature may be expected to rise by no less than 2°C by 2100, with upper estimates as high as 5°C, and a mean of 3 to 4.

Saying 'someone will be correct' and questioning if it is for the right reasons is really silly.

edit: For clarity, it is silly to say 'someone will be correct' because nobody is claiming a unique value, and 'the right reasons' is silly because there is inherent uncertainty involved in these types of predictions.







Edited by Watsisname - Sunday, 10.03.2013, 01:08
 
midtskogenDate: Sunday, 10.03.2013, 06:26 | Message # 703
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Quote (Watsisname)
edit: For clarity, it is silly to say 'someone will be correct' because nobody is claiming a unique value,

Why do you need a unique value to make a prediction? Except that a prediction gets pointless if it doesn't exclude anything, and that would not be science.

Quote (Watsisname)
and 'the right reasons' is silly because there is inherent uncertainty involved in these types of predictions.

If "inherent uncertainty" means that you can't make a prediction, but you still do, then you break one of the primary rules of science, that it must be possible to falsify your claims. You're of course allowed to define some conditions, meaning that you can say that if CO2 gets within a certain and other things stay roughly the same, you will get at least and at most this and that temperature rise. If you got a temperature drop instead after a comet hit Earth, you weren't wrong, we just didn'y get the chance to find out. And those who claimed that there would be a temperature drop and didn't mention the comet, weren't proved right either.





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WatsisnameDate: Sunday, 10.03.2013, 07:57 | Message # 704
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It is incorrect to describe predictions of future warming as bunch of people coming up with different numbers, therefore it's not a matter of someone getting it right and someone else getting it wrong. Fifty years from now I won't be able to point and say "that scientist was right!" or "that scientist was wrong!". Rather, I would say "this value is where climate sensitivity appears to fall, and this emissions scenario was followed instead of that one."

Quote
If "inherent uncertainty" means that you can't make a prediction, [etc]


It does not mean this at all. If you do not understand why, then reread what I said about the contributing factors for these types of predictions.





 
midtskogenDate: Sunday, 10.03.2013, 12:34 | Message # 705
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It does not mean this at all.

Of course not, but you said something about having right reasons being silly when there are inherent uncertainty. If we in 50 years can know what the sensitivity is with reasonable confidence given the emission scenario that was followed, I think would be useful to investigate which models were able to predict it, and whether the reasons were right (e.g. they assumed the emission scenario that happened, they didn't simply roll a dice, etc). We don't scrap a model if it passes a test thinking that we don't need it anymore since we know the answer anyway. We would use it to make new predictions. I don't think this is what you meant, so care to elaborate on the silliness go "right reasons"?





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