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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » Totally off-topic thread (Talk about anything.)
Totally off-topic thread
werdnaforeverDate: Wednesday, 15.05.2013, 19:34 | Message # 1276
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
4+ does not mean more than 4, it means 4 or more. >4 would mean more than 4.


Personally I prefer ≥4 over 4+
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 15.05.2013, 19:38 | Message # 1277
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Quote (werdnaforever)
Personally I prefer ≥4 over 4+

Perhaps, but that's exceedingly impractical to type, and also impractical for other reasons at times.





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NovaSiliskoDate: Wednesday, 15.05.2013, 20:20 | Message # 1278
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An American trying to dribble a football from Seattle to Brazil in time for the 2014 Brazil World Cup has died less than two weeks into his trip.

Richard Swanson, 42, was hit by a truck in Lincoln City, Oregon. His football was found nearby.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22537627


Edited by NovaSilisko - Wednesday, 15.05.2013, 20:20
 
WatsisnameDate: Wednesday, 15.05.2013, 21:33 | Message # 1279
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Edit: "4+ degrees" means, very specifically, four or more degrees Celsius of global average surface temperature increase relative to some base period, generally pre-industrial. Right now we are at roughly 0.8°C. It should be noted that the nature of the effects from increased warming is not linear. I.e. 4° is not simply twice as severe as 2°. 4° also means an increased potential for large-scale climate shifts that we may not be able to predict well in advance.

It should also be noted that avoiding 4° (or whatever 'target') is not determined explicitly by when we begin to reduce emissions, or how rapidly we reduce them. The atmosphere doesn't really care. What most directly matters is the total amount of equivalent CO2 emitted. You can see what the probable ranges of temperature rise as a function of this (or, if you prefer, various emissions scenarios) are, in the literature. 4+ degrees is a potential outcome that must be taken extremely seriously.

Quote (midtskogen)
Any action that has global consequences has ethical issues. If someone gets the power to change global climate in a controlled manner, yes, I see issues.


The power to change climate already exists. Humanity is doing it right now! And as has been shown, allowing this to continue will have dramatically adverse effects for much of life on Earth and ourselves. Therefore, allowing this to continue is unethical. Do you agree so far?

So what does not allowing it to continue mean? You're labeling it as 'someone' getting the power to change climate in a controlled manner. This is such a bizarre characterization I'm not even sure what sort of thought process leads you there.

Climate change is global problem which demands a global solution. Humanity needs to adjust its behavior if we are to avoid these outcomes. Not 'someone'. And it's not a matter of changing climate in a 'controlled way'. It's a matter of saying enough of our continued changing of climate in an uncontrolled way.

Quote

Within this century. I take 4+ as more than 4. The estimates for sensitivity vary, but we need not revisit this.


Okay, so you and I are looking at the same timescale. Great. Then what is your response to what I said in my last post regarding this point?

Quote
That's overly simplistic, as you say. Just as power can't be infinite, input and methodology never get perfect either.


I didn't say they were perfect. I said climate and weather modeling are currently limited by computer power rather than understanding. If we had better computer power, model skill would improve. This is not a simplification, this is a fact that can be seen if you bothered to do a little bit of research in the field.

Quote
But they can be tested. They could for instance try to recreate the Eocene. It's probably not easy. But it must be harder to use the current conditions, since for the Eocene there are more unknowns leaving more freedom to fill them out with things that will produce the expected results.


Modeling the Eocene climate would be very interesting, but would not lead to much in the way of a validation of the climate models for precisely the reasons you mention -- we understand present climate far better than we understand the Eocene climate. You'd have to consider the ocean circulation (possibly quite different when the continents are in different positions!), global wind patterns, topography, ecosystems, cryosphere (basically the lack thereof), all sorts of things, for which our data is not exactly superb.

It is better to test models by seeing how the handle more recent and better understood climates. E.g. the last thousand years:



Models do a pretty good job. Not perfect of course, especially the farther back you go, but you can see that they are well validated.

Quote

I'm surprised that you protest vigorously against a not very controversial statement that global warming, in general, reduces the effects of latitude and seasons, and lessens the extremes in the cold end more than it increases them in the warm end.

I'm not, at all. What you said is true. What I am protesting is how overgeneralized this description is, and your earlier use of this sort of argumentation to imply what the impacts of near-future climate change will be for life on earth and human civilization, and their severity. For that, you should look at the results of actual study on these subjects, which go into far greater detail. I have already provided multiple links to these. Once again, I am inclined to ask you, have you looked at them?

Look, the crux of the argument here is whether it is acceptable for humanity to continue 'business as usual', considering what the results of this would be. We can choose to take action to prevent it, and there are a number of ways we can go about it.

Consider what happened a few decades ago, when scientists realized that the widespread use of certain types of refrigerants was having a serious detrimental effect on the ozone layer. It came down to a choice -- we could choose to do nothing and suffer the consequences, or we could choose to change our ways. Humanity went with the second option, and the ozone layer is recovering.

Here we are today and a similar decision faces us. Why is it so difficult to make the same choice again?







Edited by Watsisname - Wednesday, 15.05.2013, 22:40
 
DisasterpieceDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 02:42 | Message # 1280
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Quote (NovaSilisko)
An American trying to dribble a football from Seattle to Brazil in time for the 2014 Brazil World Cup has died less than two weeks into his trip.

Richard Swanson, 42, was hit by a truck in Lincoln City, Oregon. His football was found nearby.

People say they were inspired, I say that's pretty funny. But then again, my humor reminds some of death and sorrow, which is really why its humorous.





I play teh spase engien
 
anonymousgamerDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 02:46 | Message # 1281
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What drove him to even attempt something like that? I don't understand people sometimes.




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WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 06:03 | Message # 1282
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People sometimes do the strangest things...

Seattle to Brazil is a freaking long way to go. I wonder how he had planned it out, supplies and places to stay and all that. Doesn't sound like it'd be easy.





 
Antza2Date: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 09:50 | Message # 1283
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biggrin





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midtskogenDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 09:51 | Message # 1284
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Quote (Watsisname)
The power to change climate already exists. Humanity is doing it right now!

The key is "controllable". That is, in a deliberate direction.

Quote (Watsisname)
Therefore, allowing this to continue is unethical. Do you agree so far?

Yes, with modifications. Remember that CO2 is not a pollutant in itself, something that we don't wish in the air. The question is whether a balance of nature is badly disturbed. It's not as simple as just banning CO2 emissions, or more specifically such emissions from fossil sources (of course). The emissions are a consequence of the energy needs, energy that we might even need to find the proper replacement. And energy is a key to wealth and welfare, the lack of which itself has ethical issues, and this is again the key to population growth, which is not only unsustainable, but also strongly linked to many adverse effects on the planet, including CO2 change, whose atmospheric levels happen also to be a pretty much perfect match with global population. Meanwhile it doesn't help anyone to panic, nor to pretend that this is a simple matter. Or perhaps it would be more effective to forget about all that is not bad about global warming, so things get done faster to fix something that we really should even if there were no global warming. And be a bit selective in ethics. We all are anyway.

Quote (Watsisname)
If we had better computer power, model skill would improve.

It is the lazy modeller who would scream the most for more power. The models are not done and completed, just waiting for more power. Climate scientists do not belong to a dying profession being replaced by computers.

Quote (Watsisname)
Once again, I am inclined to ask you, have you looked at them?

I get the embedded pictures, but I'm afraid a proxy is denying me access to all u.to links, because the domain supposedly is linked to spam. I'm sorry about that.

Quote (Watsisname)
ozone layer

I grew up in the 70's and 80's and Norway lead some way here, so I remember this well. See my second paragraph in this post.

But I also remember another scare of the 80's. Bigger than the ozone hole and the cold war put together. Acid rain. It was a catastrophe in progress. Forest death. Empty lakes. It was already happening, images and stories of dead trees and lakes were all over TV and newspapers. European conifers would all die in the 90's unless immediate and dramatic action was taken. Supported by experts and science. The cause of acid rain is pollution in it's most evident and easy to understand way. The positive effects are hard to imagine. I like nature and this is bad pollution. Anyway, the scare worked. Things were done politically and improvements slowly implemented (but acid rain is far from gone). It's pretty evident now that the exaggerations were bad. Really bad. People were dead wrong. I don't think anyone denies it, not even claiming that the actions simply worked better than expected. One can argue that the exaggerations were justified to get things done. Is it ethical? Anyway, memory fades and history tends to repeat. But you can cry wolf only so many times.

EDIT: I just discovered that the destination URL's for your links are included in the title attribute if I look at the HTML code. I had a look at your reference for saying that I am wrong in "it will mainly be the relatively unproductive winter seasons and polar zones that will decrease". That study seems to indicate an increase in arable land from global warming, but a slight decrease if population growth is factored in. While we can expect population growth, it is not a consequence of global warming. In addition, since the context was the things that can benefit from global warming, yield is relevant, not just arable area. Global warming means longer growing seasons for areas that have frost. Also, more CO2 in the air itself directly affects growth in a positive way.
Quote (Watsisname)
This finding also does not account for the effects of increased extreme weather

You cherrypicked. The study also mentions beneficial effects not accounted for.





NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI


Edited by midtskogen - Thursday, 16.05.2013, 11:47
 
WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 11:54 | Message # 1285
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Quote (midtskogen)

The key is "controllable". That is, in a deliberate direction.


Yeah, I'm sorry, but my previous post still strikes me as still being the ideal response to this, so I'll point back at it. Feel free to revisit it and say more if you like, I'm happy to keep going if we can go forwards, but otherwise we might be at the point where we simply must agree to strongly disagree, a shame though that is.

Quote
Remember that CO2 is not a pollutant in itself, something that we don't wish in the air.

I do not hold such a ridiculous view of CO2. CO2 itself is not a problem. The removal of all CO2 from the atmosphere would put us in an ice age. It is the additional CO2, that human activities are adding to the atmosphere in large quantities and short time-scales, that has consequences, and the nature of these consequences is well understood. We can continue business as usual and suffer those consequences, or we can, like with CFC's, do something about it.

Quote
The emissions are a consequence of the energy needs, energy that we might even need to find the proper replacement. And energy is a key to wealth and welfare, the lack of which itself has ethical issues, and this is again the key to population growth, which is not only unsustainable, but also strongly linked to many adverse effects on the planet, including CO2 change, whose atmospheric levels happen also to be a pretty much perfect match with global population.


The atmosphere does not care how many people are on the planet. It does not care how much energy we produce, or how we produce it. What it cares about, is the total amount of greenhouse gases that get added to it. There are many ways of solving the issues of climate change without requiring we allow it to happen and adapt to the changes, or limit energy availability, or limit population growth. Additionally, the changes that come with 4+ degrees could very well limit population growth on its own, and not in a very nice way.

Quote
I get the embedded pictures, but I'm afraid a proxy is denying me access to all u.to links, because the domain supposedly is linked to spam. I'm sorry about that.


No worries, I don't even think it's on your end. You're talking about the World Bank page, right? That link went bad for me as well. Try searching "Turn Down - The World Bank - Climate Change", should be the first result, a pdf page.

Quote
It is the lazy modeller who would scream the most for more power. The models are not done and completed, just waiting for more power.


Again, not I nor anyone else is saying models are 'done and complete'. Such a thing never occurs in science. What I am saying, again, is that limitations in computer power are what currently limit model capability, more-so than an understanding of the processes being modeled.

Like I suggested last time, why don't you do some research before you continue to argue about this? Even a google search for something like "computer power climate weather model skill" could have been helpful.

Quote
[Acid Rain stuff]


This is a discussion of a specific aspect of atmospheric chemistry; namely the effects of sulfuric compounds being added to the atmosphere by industry, which can, and does, cause acid rain. The impacts you mentioned were real. The understanding of the mechanisms was correct (it's actually not all that mysterious, even my atmospheric science textbook covers it, and in great detail.) But you're right, some people blew the impacts well out of proportion -- people who were never taken very seriously by experts.

It would be a good idea to become skillful in determining what claims are credible, and what are not so credible. Learn to take notice of who the people are that make these claims, what their specialty is, what sort of research they have done in the past, what journals they get published in, and who they get cited by. This is a skill that takes time to develop but goes a very long way.

The impacts of climate change that are being discussed here are extremely credible, and the vast majority of the world's leading experts in climate science are in agreement about them. And believe me, they know that the last thing they want to be doing is 'crying wolf'. They are actually being extremely cautious with what they say. It would be most unwise to not take them seriously.

How do you feel about this discussion so far? Is it worth continuing or are we not really getting anywhere?







Edited by Watsisname - Thursday, 16.05.2013, 11:58
 
midtskogenDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 17:08 | Message # 1286
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Quote (Watsisname)
The removal of all CO2 from the atmosphere would put us in an ice age.

Ice age? That would be among the least of our worries. Google tells me that plants begin to starve rapidly when the concentration drops below 200 ppm, and the absolute minimum lies in the 100-150 range for most vegetation. If vegetation disappears, the catastrophic word may have a proper use. So we've been dangerously close during the ice ages, but again I think nature has worked out some failsafes to prevent that from happening.

Quote (Watsisname)
the changes that come with 4+ degrees could very well limit population growth on its own

That's scare talk.

Quote (Watsisname)
This is a skill that takes time to develop but goes a very long way.

You're not supposed to say that openly. Prejudice and confirmation bias do the same job for many. But hindsight beats them all.

Quote (Watsisname)
How do you feel about this discussion so far? Is it worth continuing or are we not really getting anywhere?

It suffices to revisit this every decade or so.

What strikes me as most odd about the discussion is that describing the situation less black and white causes such debate. Yes, I know that some people consider CO2 as a blessing, a fertilising gift from the rich world to the poor. I am not in that lair. I consider myself somewhat in the middle of the extremes in this debate, thinking that both sides too eagerly jump to conclusions. I also note that there is a greater tendency for "either you're with us or you're against us" sentiment on the warm side. To be fair, the weakest founded opinions are on the cold side.

The acid rain story is fitting to some degree. The language was much the same. "Irreversible", "catastrophic", "grand experiment", "can't wait", discussions whether the science is settled, etc. Things were done, but anthropogenic acidification remains as a real issue. Yet things are going relatively ok. Don't exclude the possibility that after some decades things have been done and the effects of global warming are still real, yet things are going ok. The predicted disasters didn't happen for various reasons.





NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI


Edited by midtskogen - Thursday, 16.05.2013, 17:17
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 17:21 | Message # 1287
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Quote (midtskogen)
That's scare talk.

And that's an unsupported assertion.

Quote (midtskogen)
The acid rain story is fitting to some degree. The language was much the same. "Irreversible"

No it isn't, for reasons that Watsisname has already described. Also, no one that I know of has called the effects of climate change "irreversible".

In any case, saying "well I heard something that sounded like this before and therefore I will assume that this will work out the same way" is bad reasoning, and I hope you can understand why.

Quote (Watsisname)
How do you feel about this discussion so far? Is it worth continuing or are we not really getting anywhere?

This same discussion has been had several times with identical results, it's not going anywhere.





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Thursday, 16.05.2013, 17:22
 
WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 17:26 | Message # 1288
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Quote (midtskogen)
That's scare talk.


Is it? Is it really? Why don't you educate yourself by looking at the data? You've been provided with the means of doing so.

Quote
This same discussion has been had several times with identical results, it's not going anywhere.


I think you're right. This one isn't going anywhere either. Pity.







Edited by Watsisname - Thursday, 16.05.2013, 17:34
 
midtskogenDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 18:11 | Message # 1289
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Quote (Watsisname)
And that's an unsupported assertion.

It's not fruitful. "Agree with me or people will die". Sorry, supported or not, I don't think such talk will generate many followers regardless of its truth. Have you support for such talk working?

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Also, no one that I know of has called the effects of climate change "irreversible".

Depends on who you know. "Climate change irreversible" gives plenty of hits on Google. NOAA, IPCC and others.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Thursday, 16.05.2013, 18:20 | Message # 1290
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Quote (midtskogen)
It's not fruitful. "Agree with me or people will die"

He didn't say that. He said that 4+ degrees of global warming could possibly hinder population growth. He provided reasoned argument and evidence in support of this. You dismissed it as "scare talk". No reasoning or evidence provided.

Quote (midtskogen)
Depends on who you know. "Climate change irreversible" gives plenty of hits on Google. NOAA, IPCC and others.

If you read further it doesn't say "forever irreversible", just irreversible for a set period of time, and even then only if CO2 levels remain at their elevated state. That doesn't sound very "irreversible" to me, just very hard to reverse (all the more reason to just not do it in the first place since there's no reason to).





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