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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bremmer: Derek Jeter Should Stick to Baseball: Challenges at Davos

Shouldn’t Derek Jeter be more concerned about glacial movement than glacial melting?

Bunting for climate change

Surprise! Derek Jeter was here in Davos; PepsiCo flew him out to talk climate change and raise awareness. Jeter said: “Regardless of how you feel about it, it’s something that needs to be addressed because we’re seeing more and more natural disasters each year, it seems like. Something has to be causing it.”

...There have been a lot of publicity stunts to bring attention to climate change. But surely the only thing less effective than global climate summits is having Derek Jeter tackle the issue. As he’s speaking, the only pressing question on anyone’s mind is the status of that left ankle and whether he’ll be ready for Opening Day.

Repoz Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:18 AM | 135 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: melting, yankees

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   1. bobm Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4355858)
Jeter added, "One can visualize the expansion of the hole in the UV-blocking ozone layer just by watching me try to field ground balls at shortstop."
   2. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4355864)
Standing ovation for the Repoz intro.
   3. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4355868)
There have been a lot of publicity stunts to bring attention to climate change.


I know. I have a friend who was in NO when Katrina blew through. What a cheap and vulgar spectacle that was.
   4. Adward Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4355881)
Outsider's weather charters noted a significant Hole in Ozone in previous New York studies.
   5. The District Attorney Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4355883)
Hole in the D-Zone?

Hole in the Ultimate Zone?

Or, hole in the ho-zone?

Speaking of which, apparently Jeter is dating the girl from the DirecTV commercials so as always, he's doing fine.
   6. Bob Tufts Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4355887)
Jeter is right. We should use scientific methods and academic consensus to address pressing social issues.

And since the science has changed, do we readdress the abortion issue which was decided on the science of the day in the early 70's? Will science only rule when it is also politically correct?
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4355893)
Jeter said: “Regardless of how you feel about it, it’s something that needs to be addressed because we’re seeing more and more natural disasters each year, it seems like.”


"Regardless of how you feel about it, it's something that doesn't need to be addressed because we're not seeing more and more natural disasters each year, it doesn't seem like."
   8. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4355898)
"Regardless of how you feel about it, it's something that doesn't need to be addressed because we're not seeing more and more natural disasters each year, it doesn't seem like."


Or it does:


Dengue is fastest spreading tropical disease

Transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes, the disease is occurring more widely due to increased movement of people and goods - including carrier objects such as bamboo plants and used tires - as well as floods linked to climate change, the United Nations agency said.


   9. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4355901)
I lived in Indonesia for almost three years and I was exceptionally lucky in that I never got Dengue, although almost everyone around me came down with it. It's not a pleasant experience for sure.
   10. Blastin Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4355903)
Climate change denial, at this point, is just... I would say it's like ostriches putting their heads in the sand but it's a myth that they actually do that. I don't know what it's like. It's absurd. We can argue about the specific causes and how best to address it, but ignoring the results is puerile.
   11. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4355906)
as well as floods linked to climate change, the United Nations agency said.

Is there anything the U.N. can't connect to climate change?
   12. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4355909)
With enough black helicopter rotor blades, we can cool the planet.
   13. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4355910)
Well, Joe, why don't you debunk their argument then? You seem to have a countering argument. Provide us with that argument for an alternative explanation of global warming, with a synopsis of the data from the studies that support it.

By the way, Joe. The UN agency referenced is the World Health Organization. Can you also provide us with your credentials that might substantiate your expertise so that your challenge to WHO science would have some credibility?
   14. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4355916)
Well, Joe, why don't you debunk their argument then? You seem to have a countering argument. Provide us with that argument for an alternative explanation of global warming, with a synopsis of the data from the studies that support it.

By the way, Joe. The UN agency referenced is the World Health Organization. Can you also provide us with your credentials that might substantiate your expertise so that your challenge to WHO science would have some credibility?

LOL. Let's plummet the world economy into depression so we can try to avoid having a couple floods somewhere on the planet which allegedly spread dengue fever a few miles farther than it already existed. Give me a break.

You guys would be better off sticking with the "New York City is going to be underwater in 10 years!" scare tactic.
   15. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4355918)
I lived in Indonesia for almost three years and I was exceptionally lucky in that I never got Dengue, although almost everyone around me came down with it. It's not a pleasant experience for sure.

It's awful. I got denque about three years ago in India (at the time, there was something of an outbreak in Delhi. I believe it's happening again this year; it happens every few years) and while I was very lucky that it wasn't life-threatening or anything nearly that major (relatively minor, in fact), it was still really unpleasant.
   16. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4355923)
LOL. Let's plummet the world economy into depression so we can try to avoid having a couple floods somewhere on the planet which allegedly spread dengue fever a few miles farther than it already existed. Give me a break.


I'm asking you to substantiate your position, Joe. If you believe cap and trade will "plunge the global economy into depression", please site your sources and provide a synopsis of the data supporting this view. And while you're at it, please provide studies/data on what will happen to the global economy if we do nothing at all, so we can have an informed risk/benefit discussion comparing doing nothing versus invoking cap and trade.

And if you know of no studies and are just citing an opinion that has no substantiation, let us know that too so we can all gauge how seriously you think about things.

   17. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4355924)
It's awful. I got denque about three years ago in India


A colloquial name for it is "breakbone fever". Is that an accurate description of how you felt?
   18. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4355925)
I'm asking you to substantiate your position. If you believe cap and trade will "plunge the global economy into depression", please site your sources and provide a synopsis of the data supporting this view. And while you're at it, please provide studies/data on what will happen to the global economy if we do nothing at all, so we can have an informed risk/benefit discussion comparing doing nothing versus invoking cap and trade.

And if you know of no studies and are just citing an opinion that has no substantiation, let us know that too so we can all gauge how seriously you think about things.

My position is substantiated by something called "common sense."

It makes no sense for the U.S. to essentially unilaterally disarm environmentally and/or economically when we know the BRIC countries and other developing nations aren't the least bit interested in the issue, except to the extent they can fleece naive do-gooders in the U.S. with high-cost, low-yield environmental technologies and investments.

The American working class is already getting creamed. It's idiotic to make it more expensive and onerous for their employers to operate in the U.S. when the U.S. is already increasingly unattractive for businesses in the sectors most likely to be affected by schemes such as "cap and trade."
   19. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4355928)
U.S. CO2 emissions are lower today than at any point in the last 20 years. Per-capita emissions are their lowest since 1966. Obviously, we must conclude that any attempt to reduce CO2 emissions is impracticable.
   20. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4355930)
My position is substantiated by something called "common sense."


So you just want us to accept what you say because you're Joe Kehoskie and Joe Kehoskie claims he has "common sense".

That and a token will get you a ride on the subway.
   21. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4355931)
For now. I hear it will be underwater soon.
   22. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4355933)
A colloquial name for it is "breakbone fever". Is that an accurate description of how you felt?

Assuming I'm interpreting that correctly, yes, very much so. The most noticeable effects for me were a very high fever/extreme weariness (since they often go hand-in-hand) and serious arm and leg pain (which I figure would be the "breakbone" component). Thankfully (for me, at least), my family contains an inordinate number of doctors [insert Indian stereotype joke here], so at the very least, I was well taken care of while lounging around at home.
   23. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4355934)
So you just want us to accept what you say because you're Joe Kehoskie and Joe Kehoskie claims he has "common sense".


I'm not sure if you know this, but attempting to reason with Joe about anything is a waste of time.
   24. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4355937)
… says the guy famous for threatening people with neck-stabbings.
   25. Blastin Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4355944)
That and a token will get you a ride on the subway.


Metrocard!
   26. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4355952)
The most noticeable effects for me were a very high fever/extreme weariness (since they often go hand-in-hand) and serious arm and leg pain (which I figure would be the "breakbone" component).


This happens because immune complexes localize to the joints, causing inflammation. From what I hear, it's incredibly painful.
   27. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 27, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4355990)
Dr. Jeter's address started:

"you people are fools, fools! 800 foot tall reptiles don't awaken in Tokyo's bay by accident! The cataclysm is upon us!"
   28. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 27, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4355998)
Climate change denial, at this point, is just... I would say it's like ostriches putting their heads in the sand but it's a myth that they actually do that. I don't know what it's like. It's absurd. We can argue about the specific causes and how best to address it, but ignoring the results is puerile.


To lump all critics and skeptics together as "denialists" is to surrender your abilities as a critical thinker.

To accept the entire current climate change theory, you have to separately believe in the following.

1) that the earth is getting warmer.
2) that the warming earth is predominantly caused by man made effects.
3) that the costs of a warming earth outweigh its benefits.

I believe science can prove #1 with a fairly strong degree of sureness. I believe it can establish #2 as significantly more likely than not.

I am not convinced they have established conclusively #3 is true, and I'm skeptical of their ability to do so. I still remember the ice age that we have been long told is due in the next few thousand years, and the cooling during the Middle Ages that seemed to be its beginning. The current PR campaign to link specific incidents from our extremely variable weather conditions directly to global warming is almost ludicrous. The planet has had huge hurricanes and floods and specific areas dry decades and wet decades and colder years and warmer years forever. Trying to winnow out specific outliers in from a data set that has always had huge variance with many outliers seems disingenuous to me.

Does that make me a denialist? Anyone who accepts all of the tenets of climate change without thinking through each one and the evidence provided, has the critical thinking abilities of a sheep.

As far as WHO goes, again, accepting their opinions at face value is silly. There is a huge amount of junk science out there, and assuming they can link a specific illness, or even floods, directly to global warming requires a child like belief in WHO.

I have no doubt great scientific research is done under their auspices, but I am also confident they aren't always right, and that they have a strong political agenda to maintain their relevance and funding that impacts the type of studies they do and the PR they churn out.
   29. NattyBoh Posted: January 27, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4356005)
Did the Captain bring gift baskets with him to Davos or did he use them all on the flight attendants?
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4356009)
I don't mind people being stupid and denying global warming, but the scariest thing about the deniers, is this belief that it will cause economic ruin, or that there is a conspiracy afoot to profit off of it.... the energy companies in first world could easily change their methods and it wouldn't affect anything other than their margins for a little bit. And the third world countries aren't really going to change anything until they themselves get sufficient energy.

Conspiracy theorist are about the most simplistic human beings on the planet....They are even worse than religious radicalists... if you believe any one of the following, please shoot yourself before you breed. 1. Aliens visited earth 2. Moon landing was faked 3. Earth is 8000 years old 4. 9/11 was organized by Bush 5. There is a conspiracy in the Sandy Hook shooting 6. Loch Ness Monster/Sasquatch/Big foot 7. Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA/Mob 8.Global warming is an economic conspiracy of some sort.
   31. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4356012)
if you believe any one of the following, please shoot yourself before you breed

Any one, sure... but what if I can combine them all?
   32. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4356016)
Any one, sure... but what if I can combine them all?


Unless it involves the reverse vampires and the RAND corporation, I ain't buying it!
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4356017)
I have a friend who was in NO when Katrina blew through.

That's called "weather".
   34. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4356019)
I'm just glad pre-historic man was around to end all the previous Ice Ages in recorded history with their selfish wasteful SUV's, coal-fired power plants, incandescent light bulbs, and whatnot. Baseball is best played in the summer and not in blinding snowstorms. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.
   35. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4356025)
Here's what I don't understand:

People say "That guy should stick to..." every time an actor, an athlete, or another celebrity expresses political ideas. Why can't they have these, and why can't they talk about them? I feel free to take Jeter's opinion on climate exactly as seriously as I take another non-scientist's opinion. But it has value.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4356027)
U.S. CO2 emissions are lower today than at any point in the last 20 years. Per-capita emissions are their lowest since 1966. Obviously, we must conclude that any attempt to reduce CO2 emissions is impracticable.

The point is that reducing US emissions is completely pointless since China, India, etc. are expanding their emissions at multiples of any potential "First World" reductions.

In fact, if you pass onerous emission laws in the US/Europe/Japan etc., you're just going to drive more industry to China/India etc., where they will use cheaper, dirtier technology, and generate more emissions.

The biggest thing you could do to reduce CO2 emissions would be for the developed world to enact high tariffs on imported manufactures from China, etc., and move the industry back to the West. Anything produced in the US or Europe generates a tiny fraction of the pollution (of all kinds) that it does when produced in China.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4356030)
Here's what I don't understand:

People say "That guy should stick to..." every time an actor, an athlete, or another celebrity expresses political ideas. Why can't they have these, and why can't they talk about them? I feel free to take Jeter's opinion on climate exactly as seriously as I take another non-scientist's opinion. But it has value.


The issue is that actors, athletes and various celebrities, are not selected for their positions based on intelligence. Yet b/c of their fame/monetary success they have an inflated sense of their own importance, and the idiotic sheeple listen to them, making them dangerous. The average guy sitting two desks away from you at work probably knows more about climate change than Derek Jeter.
   38. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4356035)
The average guy sitting two desks away from you at work probably knows more about climate change than Derek Jeter.

… who, incidentally, lives in a 30,875-square-foot palace in Tampa. I know that probably qualifies as a starter home for the Davos crowd, but there always seems to be a lot of hypocrisy cognitive dissonance when the jet-setters talk about the environment.
   39. danup Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4356038)
People say "That guy should stick to..." every time an actor, an athlete, or another celebrity expresses political ideas. Why can't they have these, and why can't they talk about them? I feel free to take Jeter's opinion on climate exactly as seriously as I take another non-scientist's opinion. But it has value.

He should stick to whatever interests him, definitely. But once he's flown out to Davos to talk about it the value of his opinion is subject to a much higher replacement level, at least ideally.
   40. Shibal Posted: January 27, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4356045)
Yet b/c of their fame/monetary success they have an inflated sense of their own importance, and the idiotic sheeple listen to them, making them dangerous.


I don't think 'idiot sheeple' care or listen to Jeter talking global warming or whatever popular "end is near" scenario that makes the rounds on a given day. But it does give the media something to talk about. That's the main effect.

In the end though, it just hurts the cause. Normal people can see the hypocrisy of talking global warming while not changing one's behavior.

   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4356047)
… who, incidentally, lives in a 30,875-square-foot palace in Tampa. I know that probably qualifies as a starter home for the Davos crowd, but there always seems to be a lot of hypocrisy cognitive dissonance when the jet-setters talk about the environment.

Yeah, that's goes without saying.

That group could reduce a ton of emissions/pollution if they just flew commercial to Davos, but I'm guessing you can't swing a dead cat there w/o hitting a Gulfstream.
   42. TomH Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4356049)
Getting Jeter to talk climate change is no less than getting Joe Namath to pitch Noxema. "We" know it's silly, but celebrity marketing has a long history of success, even if it doesn't make sense. And if I am Jeter, why would I turn it down, assuming I personally endorsed the message? We're stuck with gang, and besides, it's fun to make fun of, so continue.....
   43. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4356051)
This happens because immune complexes localize to the joints, causing inflammation. From what I hear, it's incredibly painful.

Huh, that's really interesting, thanks. It hurt a ton but, thankfully, I had a pretty quick case, so it didn't last for very long (I don't know if that's normal or what). This is the only "me-sick" story I have that's any good, heh.
sheeple

I really, really hate this term, it's so pointlessly condescending.
   44. Blastin Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4356054)
Agreed.
   45. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4356058)
As far as WHO goes, again, accepting their opinions at face value is silly. There is a huge amount of junk science out there, and assuming they can link a specific illness, or even floods, directly to global warming requires a child like belief in WHO.


The WHO uses all the latest and most reliable analyses, like those from the the US National Academy of Sciences and the International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It takes major cajones on your part to dismiss National Academy reports as "junk science". And I'm going to have to ask you to substantiate your claim that "there is a huge amount of junk science out there". Please use specific citations and data from unbiased and independent organizations. I don't doubt that there have been some flawed studies. But there's a huge leap from that to nullifying the copious numbers of well-conducted studies and assuming WHO expert panels cannot distinguish good from bad science.
   46. Lassus Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4356075)
My position is substantiated by something called "common sense."

Jeter is indeed an awesome fielder. Just look at him!
   47. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4356080)
Jeter is indeed an awesome fielder. Just look at him!

Too clever by half, Lassus. I could make a similar joke about people who swear a couple specific floods or hurricanes were caused by climate change.
   48. Shibal Posted: January 27, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4356088)
The old Appeal to Authority fallacy, always love hearing that.

Thanks Publius.

Meanwhile, a new study in Norway just dug another dagger into IPCC's global warming models. That's OK though, they'll just move the goalposts one more time.
   49. Lassus Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4356097)
Too clever by half, Lassus. I could make a similar joke about people who swear a couple specific floods or hurricanes were caused by climate change.

Which would have no damned point at all. But go crazy.
   50. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4356100)
The old Appeal to Authority fallacy, always love hearing that.


Who else do you go to for the best information but the people who are working on it? There is no other source, unless you know of someone who's doing boffo climate science out of their parents' basement that nobody knows about.

And I'm impressed with the old "Intellectual Elites Are Out To #### Us" fallacy. Thanks Shibal. I also thought it was rich that, at the same time you scoffed at my appeal to authority, you rebutted by doing the exact same thing- citing the Norwegian study. Good job. Most people shamefully disguise their hypocrisy. You mount it on a pedestal and spray paint it in neon orange.

Oh, and please provide the Norwegian study that nullifies the last 25 years of accumulated data. No offense but I'm a bit skeptical of your claim.
   51. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4356105)
Which would have no damned point at all. But go crazy.

Huh? Your Jeter joke made fun of people who trust their eyes instead of data, which is exactly what a lot of people do when it comes to climate change. The idea that climate change caused Hurricane Sandy or some specific flood somewhere is little more than theory.
   52. vivaelpujols Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4356113)
I don't think you can directly attribute rises in temperature or extreme weather events to climate change. That would be like attributing Miguel Montero's 2012 BABIP to a new diet or something. Random variation needs to be considered as well.

But still humans are definitely negatively effecting the ozone layer and that will lead to a gradual change in climate long term.
   53. vivaelpujols Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4356127)
WAKE UP SHEEPLE
   54. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:50 PM (#4356128)
6. Loch Ness Monster/Sasquatch/Big foot


As a more general idea, the concept that there are large, hitherto unrecognized vertebrate species isn't the least bit weird in my book. Loch Ness seems poorly suited to support such a thing, but a large oceanic species consistent with the thousands of documented "sea serpent" sighting of the past 500 years isn't only possible, it's probable. If Sasquatch is too sensational a topic, why not DeLoy's South American Ape, purportedly killed and photographed on his Amazon expedition? As long as you're only positing the existence of merely an unknown animal and not some supernatural hybrid (Sasquatch phase shifting and all) I don't see that anywhere near as nutty as the various "mainstream" opinions of Americans regarding prayer or evolutionary theory, or mainstream Republican science in general.
   55. villageidiom Posted: January 27, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4356130)
The idea that climate change caused Hurricane Sandy or some specific flood somewhere is little more than theory.
While true that one can't realistically cite climate change as the cause of a specific event, one can definitively state that higher Atlantic Ocean temperatures contribute to a higher frequency of hurricanes, as well as a greater frequency of more powerful hurricanes. Climate change's effect on ocean temps is far more than theory.

So, yeah, citing one event as evidence doesn't get you far. Neither does denying on the basis that individual events prove nothing.
   56. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4356137)
As BBTF's resident (former) paleoclimatolgist and, I believe, the only person on here with a reasonable familiarity with climate science and atmospheric modeling, I once again take on fact checking role/invite questions.

Post #55 is incorrect. Higher Atlantic SSTs do not necessarily correlate with a higher frequency of hurricanes. Hurricane formation frequency is much more highly correlated with atmospheric conditions - instability, Saharan dust, wind shear, than SSTs; SSTs are rarely a limiting factor for hurricane development in the main development region. A good example of that is the eastern Caribbean Sea, which sees minimal hurricane activity during the peak season because of unfavorable atmospheric environment despite very high SSTs.

Global warming may lead to increased frequency of the El Niño state of ENSO, which increases wind shear in the tropical/subtropical Atlantic and thereby reduces hurricane frequency.

It is true, however, that we'd expect more intense hurricanes with higher SSTs because the potential intensity of a hurricane over higher SSTs is higher.
   57. bobm Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4356150)
http://www.forskningsradet.no/en/Newsarticle/Global_warming_less_extreme_than_feared/1253983344535/p1177315753918?WT.ac=forside_nyhet

A number of factors affect the formation of climate development. The complexity of the climate system is further compounded by a phenomenon known as feedback mechanisms, i.e. how factors such as clouds, evaporation, snow and ice mutually affect one another.

Uncertainties about the overall results of feedback mechanisms make it very difficult to predict just how much of the rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature is due to manmade emissions. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the climate sensitivity to doubled atmospheric CO2 levels is probably between 2°C and 4.5°C, with the most probable being 3°C of warming.

In the Norwegian project, however, researchers have arrived at an estimate of 1.9°C as the most likely level of warming.


From Wikipedia:

The Research Council of Norway (Norwegian: Norges forskningsråd) is a Norwegian government agency responsible for awarding grants for research as well as promoting research and science. It also advises the Government in matters related to research, and is subordinate the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.
   58. bookbook Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4356159)
Gravity is little more than theory. Yet, I seem unable to float.

About #3 way above.., the idea that we're going to upset the balance of the world's ecosystem and make it better for humans?!?

It's akin to betting that any single random mutation is likely to improve viability
   59. Shibal Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4356160)
Who else do you go to for the best information but the people who are working on it? There is no other source, unless you know of someone who's doing boffo climate science out of their parents' basement that nobody knows about.


The IPCC are the only ones doing research? Ok, it's settled then. They must be right.


And I'm impressed with the old "Intellectual Elites Are Out To #### Us" fallacy. Thanks Shibal. I also thought it was rich that, at the same time you scoffed at my appeal to authority, you rebutted by doing the exact same thing- citing the Norwegian study. Good job. Most people shamefully disguise their hypocrisy. You mount it on a pedestal and spray paint it in neon orange.


You made some lame attempt to cite IPCC as The Final Answer on global warming. I refuted that attempt. That's not the same thing, silly. lol.

Oh, and please provide the Norwegian study that nullifies the last 25 years of accumulated data. No offense but I'm a bit skeptical of your claim.


http://sciencenordic.com/less-global-warming-attainable

To paraphrase: global temps have remained stable since 2000, despite the fact that CO2 emissions are still climbing.

"The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity."

   60. Lassus Posted: January 27, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4356164)
Huh? Your Jeter joke made fun of people who trust their eyes instead of data, which is exactly what a lot of people do when it comes to climate change. The idea that climate change caused Hurricane Sandy or some specific flood somewhere is little more than theory.

No, it made fun of YOU for doing that. You. Not people.

If you're going to respond to that by arguing with people who aren't here, again, go crazy.
   61. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4356185)
The IPCC are the only ones doing research? Ok, it's settled then. They must be right.


The WHO does not rely solely on IPCC reports when they draw up their advisory reports. They draw on all relevant and reliable information.

You made some lame attempt to cite IPCC as The Final Answer on global warming.


No I didn't. Go re-read what I wrote. Here, I'll cut and paste it for you:

The WHO uses all the latest and most reliable analyses, like those from the the US National Academy of Sciences and the International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

So not only did I not cite the IPCC as the final answer, I actually expressly wrote in the National Academy and alluded to others. Lordy, how dishonest can you get?

To paraphrase: global temps have remained stable since 2000, despite the fact that CO2 emissions are still climbing.

"The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity."
dishonest can you be?


First, being stable means not changing. That's not what the Norwegian report says. The Norwegian report says that the temp increase from a doubling of the CO2 would result in an upward change less than the IPCC estimate. The IPCC estimate is 2.0-4.5 degrees. The Norwegian suggests a lower estimate of 1.2-2.9 degrees. The two reports only differ in the degree of upward change, not in whether change is happening or not. And the two estimates overlap quite a bit so the Norwegian report actually supports the IPCC. Here:

Natural changes also a major factor

The figure of 1.9°C as a prediction of global warming from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration is an average. When researchers instead calculate a probability interval of what will occur, including observations and data up to 2010, they determine with 90% probability that global warming from a doubling of CO2 concentration would lie between 1.2°C and 2.9°C.

This maximum of 2.9°C global warming is substantially lower than many previous calculations have estimated. Thus, when the researchers factor in the observations of temperature trends from 2000 to 2010, they significantly reduce the probability of our experiencing the most dramatic climate change forecast up to now.


You will also note that the Norwegian study only included data up to 2010. Here's a quote from NOAA:

The year 2012 was the 10th warmest year since records began in 1880. The annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This marks the 36th consecutive year (since 1976) that the yearly global temperature was above average. Currently, the warmest year on record is 2010, which was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above average. Including 2012, all 12 years to date in the 21st century (2001–2012) rank among the 14 warmest in the 133-year period of record. Only one year during the 20th century—1998—was warmer than 2012.


Global warming deniers like to use the outlier year of 1998 to show that the world isn't warming. George Will did it today in his WaPost column. Of course, its dishonest when describing trends to use an outlier as a baseline but that's how conservatives/deniers operate these days. Finally, here's a global map of the year 2012. While there were a multitude of areas that experiences record warms, none show record colds:


Global temp GIF
   62. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:07 PM (#4356191)
Here's another GIF that shows global temps since 1900. If you can't see a dramatic upward trend in this figure, you're blind:

Temperatures Wordlwide, 1901-2011.
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4356194)
Here's another GIF that shows global temps since 1900. If you can't see a dramatic upward trend in this fiture, you're blind:

Is anyone arguing temps haven't gone up this last century? There was a know "little ice age" in the late 19th century.

The issues are 1) whether there is going to be a long-term trend, 2) whether warming of a few degrees is even problematic (the medieval warm period was really good for civilization) and 3) whether there is anything we can do about it where the benefit would be worth the cost.
   64. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4356195)
Is anyone arguing temps haven't gone up this last century?


If you changed that to "aren't continuing to increase", yes, a lot of people are arguing that. Shibal seems to be arguing it and George Will argued it in the Post today.
   65. bookbook Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4356200)
Snapper, are you arguing that Medieval times were a great time for human civilization? I'm no historian, but I did take a few classes on the period in high school. That's not my recollection of the history...
   66. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4356201)
No, it made fun of YOU for doing that. You. Not people.

If you're going to respond to that by arguing with people who aren't here, again, go crazy.

This makes no sense. There are people right in this thread doing exactly what you supposedly were mocking me for doing, including the person who seems to take it on faith that climate change is causing dengue-spreading floods.

***
Of course, its dishonest when describing trends to use an outlier as a baseline but that's how conservatives/deniers operate these days. Finally, here's a global map of the year 2012. While there were a multitude of areas that experiences record warms, none show record colds:

Yeah? And what is it when people treat the measly ~130 years of weather records that exist from 1880 to 2012, out of the millions of years of the Earth's existence, as some sort of dispositive sample? (Or when people say things like you said in #62, pointing to a 100-year sample out of millions of years?)
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:35 PM (#4356202)
Snapper, are you arguing that Medieval times were a great time for human civilization? I'm no historian, but I did take a few classes on the period in high school. That's not my recollection of the history...

I'm arguing that when the earth got warmer in the early 1000's there was a huge boom in European civilization. The "High Middle Ages" were a huge leap forward from the "Dark Ages". Agricultural productivity soared, populations grew, technology improved, and the arts flourished. Likewise, the Muslim world reached its peak in that era. The Medieval times were quite good, and saw significant recovery from the damage of the fall of Rome, and the Viking and Arab invasions.
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:38 PM (#4356207)
If you changed that to "aren't continuing to increase", yes, a lot of people are arguing that. Shibal seems to be arguing it and George Will argued it in the Post today.

Most of the temp charts I have seen, including the one you posted in [62] seem to show a plateau in the last 10 years.
   69. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4356211)
Yeah? And what is it when people treat the measly ~130 years of weather records that exist from 1880 to 2012, out of the millions of years of the Earth's existence, as some sort of dispositive sample? (Or when people say things like you said in #62, pointing to a 100-year sample out of millions of years?)


This is called a non sequitor, Joe.
   70. spike Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4356213)
Likewise, the Muslim world reached its peak in that era

Have to take the bitter with the sweet I guess.
   71. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 08:50 PM (#4356214)
This is called a non sequitor, Joe.

Yet another Primate who doesn't know the meaning (or spelling) of "non sequitur."

You just complained that it's "dishonest when describing trends to use an outlier as a baseline," but then you pointed to a 100-year sample and want us to treat that 100-year sample, out of millions of years of the Earth's existence, as some sort of baseline. This, despite evidence the Earth was even warmer many centuries ago, long before factories and SUVs.
   72. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:08 PM (#4356220)

You just complained that it's "dishonest when describing trends to use an outlier as a baseline," but then you pointed to a 100-year sample and want us to treat that 100-year sample, out of millions of years of the Earth's existence, as some sort of baseline. This, despite evidence the Earth was even warmer many centuries ago, long before factories and SUVs.


We have excellent temperature records going back thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years, from the ice cores and speleothems. We have coarser temperature records from sediment cores from the ocean and on land going back millions of years. You are an embarassment, Joe, and I say this as a diehard Republican. Shut up and let the rational folks do the talking.
   73. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:11 PM (#4356222)
We have excellent temperature records going back thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years, from the ice cores and speleothems. We have coarser temperature records from sediment cores from the ocean and on land going back millions of years.

Then why is he quoting a 100-year sample rather than those thousands of years of records? And why so little talk about the warmer temperatures in the pre-manufacturing, pre-SUV era?

You are an embarassment, Joe, and I say this as a diehard Republican. Shut up and let the rational folks do the talking.

Coming from an elitist turd like you, I'll take this as a compliment. (And the "diehard Republican" is a bit of an oversell, based on your prior comments. "Diehard RINO" is probably closer.)
   74. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:12 PM (#4356223)
Yet another Primate who doesn't know the meaning (or spelling) of "non sequitur."

You just complained that it's "dishonest when describing trends to use an outlier as a baseline," but then you pointed to a 100-year sample and want us to treat that 100-year sample, out of millions of years of the Earth's existence, as some sort of baseline.


Well, as long as we're being pedantic, Joe, the earth is not millions of years old, it's billions of years old.

And: NON SEQUITUR

:a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said


It's a non sequitur because no comment was made about temperature data that captures the entire earth's history. We only have the data we have. And, quite frankly, I don't see how that is relevant.

Alternatively, do you think the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary is not important enough to worry about accidentally replicating?

   75. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4356225)
I'm arguing that when the earth got warmer in the early 1000's there was a huge boom in European civilization. The "High Middle Ages" were a huge leap forward from the "Dark Ages". Agricultural productivity soared, populations grew, technology improved, and the arts flourished. Likewise, the Muslim world reached its peak in that era. The Medieval times were quite good, and saw significant recovery from the damage of the fall of Rome, and the Viking and Arab invasions.


Snapper, you're attributing all this to a warmer climate? That seems a real stretch to me.
   76. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4356226)
It's a non sequitur because no comment was made about temperature data that captures the entire earth's history. We only have the data we have. And, quite frankly, I don't see how that is relevant.

LOL. In my 40-year lifetime, we've gone from worrying about cooling to worrying about warming. That seems like at least one shift too many on a planet that is, as you so helpfully pointed out, billions of years old.

Snapper, you're attributing all this to a warmer climate? That seems a real stretch to me.

Funny, since you seem sure that climate change is causing dengue-spreading floods [#8].
   77. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4356233)
I think we all know the real reason Jeter showed up at the conference.
   78. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4356234)
Another non sequitur, Joe. Keep this up you're going to earn a photo in Merriam Websters
   79. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:33 PM (#4356237)
Another non sequitur, Joe. Keep this up you're going to earn a photo in Merriam Websters

In order for there to be "another" one, there had to have been a first, which there wasn't.
   80. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:37 PM (#4356238)
Well, as long as we're being pedantic, Joe, the earth is not millions of years old, it's billions of years old.


I believe the most common opinion of Republicans is "thousands of years old".
   81. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4356243)
Your Jeter joke made fun of people who trust their eyes instead of data, which is exactly what a lot of people do when it comes to climate change. The idea that climate change caused Hurricane Sandy or some specific flood somewhere is little more than theory.
This, by the way, is completely true. There is no evidence that climate change caused any specific natural disaster. It is also true that there is no evidence that smoking was the cause of any specific case of cancer. In both cases, you can take your "contributing factor" arguments and go pound sand.

Sincerely, Philip Morris, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Brown & Williamson, and Lorillard Tobacco Company.
   82. OCF Posted: January 27, 2013 at 09:59 PM (#4356247)
I'm always amazed to see the idea that surface temperature records don't go back very far in time deployed as some kind of "gotcha", that it's something that scientists have not considered. Of course they've considered it, which is why they've worked on so many other proxies for temperature. Oxygen isotope ratios are particularly important, and they're just one thing.

Compared to the last 500 million years or so of earth history, our times have had rather low atmospheric CO2 concentrations and rather low temperature. The earth was much warmer (and with higher CO2) in the Cretaceous, and much warmer (in with higher CO2) in the earlier parts of the Cenezoic (i.e., the most recent 65 million years, with no dinosaurs other than birds.) Probably the most important driver of this low CO2 state in the last 20 million years or so is the India-Asia collision resulting in a lot of rapidly eroding high mountains, and an increased rate of CO2 capture into fresh soils and rocks.

The thing about this relatively cool (but not quite full ice age) state of the earth over the last 10,000 years or so is that it's the state the agriculture-driven human civilization grew up with. That's our crops and our domestic animals.
   83. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:34 PM (#4356263)
I'm always amazed to see the idea that surface temperature records don't go back very far in time deployed as some kind of "gotcha", that it's something that scientists have not considered. Of course they've considered it, which is why they've worked on so many other proxies for temperature.

It wasn't intended as a "gotcha." As I said in that very same comment, which 'zop conveniently ignored while doing his usual Smartest Guy in History performance art, "This, despite evidence the Earth was even warmer many centuries ago, long before factories and SUVs" (emphasis added).
   84. villageidiom Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4356268)
Hurricane formation frequency is much more highly correlated with atmospheric conditions - instability, Saharan dust, wind shear, than SSTs;
You're saying A is much more highly correlated with X than B is. I'm saying B and X are correlated. I'm not seeing a conflict, except that you're saying I'm incorrect, then your last sentence in your post essentially says I am correct. Did you just jump to quickly with the "incorrect" decree, thinking that I was saying more than I was? Or are higher ocean temps and hurricane incidence not correlated?

2. If I'm reading it correctly you're talking about the formation of the initial cyclonic activity that might or might not develop into a tropical depression, which in turn might or might not develop into a tropical storm, which in turn might or might not develop into a hurricane. That's fine, and a good clarification. But I'm simply talking about the development of hurricanes given such cyclonic activity. Ocean temps affect intensity; what we call a hurricane is simply a specific, severe, classification of intensity for an organized form of such a storm system. It is likely that, even with the same number of such systems developing each year, higher ocean temps will contribute to more of those systems reaching an intensity level sufficient to be classified as a hurricane. That's all I'm saying.
   85. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4356269)
I'm always amazed to see the idea that surface temperature records don't go back very far in time deployed as some kind of "gotcha", that it's something that scientists have not considered.
Internet wingers just know everything.
   86. Shibal Posted: January 27, 2013 at 10:52 PM (#4356272)
The Norwegian report says that the temp increase from a doubling of the CO2 would result in an upward change less than the IPCC estimate. The IPCC estimate is 2.0-4.5 degrees. The Norwegian suggests a lower estimate of 1.2-2.9 degrees. The two reports only differ in the degree of upward change, not in whether change is happening or not. And the two estimates overlap quite a bit so the Norwegian report actually supports the IPCC. Here:


First of all, the data doesn't don't overlap "quite a bit". One averages a 1.9 degree increase; the other a 3.9 increase. The range you are quoting is a 90% probability, like saying we ran one million simulations of the 2013 season and saw the Yankees winning between 75 and 100 games 90% of the time. It tells you next to nothing. Now if you say "we ran one million simulations and the average Yankee win total was 91 games", then it means something. Of course, you know that. You just want to be as vague as possible to bolster your argument.


2nd of all, the Norway study uses the same data as the IPCC study, plus an addition 10 years worth of data. I'll steal someone's quote about this: "When adding in less than 10% of the data cuts your model estimate in half, it is a good sign that your model is trash."



   87. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4356291)
Snapper, you're attributing all this to a warmer climate? That seems a real stretch to me.

Not all of it. But in an economy where 90% of the people are employed in peasant agriculture, a longer growing season is going to have a huge impact on the creation of wealth.
   88. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4356300)
The WHO uses all the latest and most reliable analyses, like those from the the US National Academy of Sciences and the International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It takes major cajones on your part to dismiss National Academy reports as "junk science". And I'm going to have to ask you to substantiate your claim that "there is a huge amount of junk science out there". Please use specific citations and data from unbiased and independent organizations. I don't doubt that there have been some flawed studies. But there's a huge leap from that to nullifying the copious numbers of well-conducted studies and assuming WHO expert panels cannot distinguish good from bad science.


LOL, WHO has a track record of over-stating risks and dangers (flu pandemic) in order to build it's importance and influence.

It's a freakin UN agency for christ sakes. That's like claiming a lawyer must be honest and ethical because he works for the NCAA.

Again, stop with your appeal to authority argument. I don't dismiss all WHO research because of the flaws in their track record, but its clear their research isn't above healthy skepticism. Only a sheeple would accept research at face value based solely on who did it.
   89. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4356304)
Probably the most important driver of this low CO2 state in the last 20 million years or so is the India-Asia collision resulting in a lot of rapidly eroding high mountains, and an increased rate of CO2 capture into fresh soils and rocks.


Perhaps. But this is subject to dispute. The new thinking is that silicate weathering isn't as strong of a carbon sink as they once thought. As I understand it, the cause of the decline of CO2 concentrations on millions-of-years timescales remains enigmatic and may be the result of a bunch of coincident factors; mantle plume activity (i.e., lower rates of volcanism globally); increased silicate weathering; changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation, etc.
   90. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4356308)
It wasn't intended as a "gotcha." As I said in that very same comment, which 'zop conveniently ignored while doing his usual Smartest Guy in History performance art, "This, despite evidence the Earth was even warmer many centuries ago, long before factories and SUVs" (emphasis added).


This may stun you, but there's both natural climate change and there's anthropogenic climate change. And the anthropogenic signal is overprinted on the natural signal; meaning that it is simultaneously possible that it was warmer many centuries ago AND that anthropogenic climate change is real and ongoing. Similarly, if the natural signal would be for cooling temperatures during the past decade, and the anthropogenic signal would be for warming, you'd get something that looks like what we've observed; a near flat-lining since 1999 or so. The evidence for anthropogenic warming isn't that the Earth is warming, its that the physics of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere demands that the Earth warms. The smart skeptics (i.e., not you) can debate the rate of warming or the ultimate magnitude of warming (within reasonable limits) or the specific regional impacts of warming but no respected scientist thinks its not going to warm up, because the science is so obvious than anyone with reasonable training in the field (i.e., not you) can "get" the problem.

None of this justifies tanking our economy to "fix" global warming, which may or may not be a "problem", since there's nothing inherently wrong with a warming earth, and remediation should only be implemented after a careful cost/benefit analysis.

Joe, do you realize that you're just masturbation fodder for the liberals? You're stupid and ideological and uncreative; you are easily out debated by anyone with reasonable intelligence and there are lots and lots of very smart people on this site. They play with you like a cat batting around a half-dead mouse, then feel self-satisfied at how much smarter they are than the conservatives. You might as well just suck their dicks, since you serve no purpose other than to reaffirm everything they believe about how much superior their cause is to the other side. I'm not a RINO; and you're not a Republican. You're a simple-minded #### who chose the Red Team and have about as much serious engagement with conservative concepts as Rickey Henderson does with self-deprecation.
   91. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4356309)
Wow.
   92. JE (Jason) Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:42 AM (#4356314)
Joe, do you realize that you're just masturbation fodder for the liberals? You're stupid and ideological and uncreative; you are easily out debated by anyone with reasonable intelligence and there are lots and lots of very smart people on this site. They play with you like a cat batting around a half-dead mouse, then feel self-satisfied at how much smarter they are than the conservatives. You might as well just suck their dicks, since you serve no purpose other than to reaffirm everything they believe about how much superior their cause is to the other side. I'm not a RINO; and you're not a Republican. You're a simple-minded #### who chose the Red Team and have about as much serious engagement with conservative concepts as Rickey Henderson does with self-deprecation.

This kind of swill is patently offensive in any BBTF forum.
   93. Depressoteric Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4356317)
Nobody paid attention to it because it was far too reasonable an expression of skepticism and appropriate caution (and apparently we all want to call each other names at this point), but KT's Pot Arb basically summarized my own position perfectly as well in his #28. I co-sign.
   94. BeanoCook Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:49 AM (#4356318)
Catastrophic anthropologic climate change is "settled science" just like the Earth is flat was "settled science". Nearly everyone in history that shouted "settled science" was eventually humiliated by the truth.
   95. Depressoteric Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4356321)
(i.e., the most recent 65 million years, with no dinosaurs other than birds.)
This little aside from OCF in #82 reminds me of something (as an amateur student of evolution) that has always interested me: at what point would you be able to say birds became BIRDS and not just another funky dinosaur offshoot of the raptor clade? I suppose it's more of a philosophical question than anything else, but at what point can you say a species was Aves and not still a theropod dinosaur? Loss of teeth? Beak? It certainly isn't feathers, because we now know that tons of late-Cretaceous dinos were sporting plumage.

Just a random question.
   96. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 28, 2013 at 12:58 AM (#4356326)
Catastrophic anthropologic climate change is "settled science" just like the Earth is flat was "settled science". Nearly everyone in history that shouted "settled science" was eventually humiliated by the truth.


Curious to know when the flat earth was settled science. The classical astronomers knew the earth was round - see Eratosthenes.
   97. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:02 AM (#4356329)
This little aside from OCF in #82 reminds me of something (as an amateur student of evolution) that has always interested me: at what point would you be able to say birds became BIRDS and not just another funky dinosaur offshoot of the raptor clade? I suppose it's more of a philosophical question than anything else, but at what point can you say a species was Aves and not still a theropod dinosaur? Loss of teeth? Beak? It certainly isn't feathers, because we now know that tons of late-Cretaceous dinos were sporting plumage.

Just a random question.


When I was a earth science student, both undergrad and grad, I blew off evolutionary biology/paleontology because (a) actually doing the science is painstaking, boring, and involves tons of memorization and (b) with isotopes, there isn't nearly as much need for biostratigraphy as there used to be. But now that I'm professionally lawyering and doing geology as a hobby, I totally dig evolutionary biology. Its totally ####### fascinating and there's tons of unknowns, and the rise of DNA analysis has turned the field upside down much like plate tectonics did to the main fields of geology back in the 1960s. Forget dinosaurs evolving into birds, we don't even have human evolution remotely buttoned down and that's two orders of magnitude more recent.
   98. Depressoteric Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:07 AM (#4356332)
When I was a earth science student, both undergrad and grad, I blew off evolutionary biology/paleontology because (a) actually doing the science is painstaking, boring, and involves tons of memorization and (b) with isotopes, there isn't nearly as much need for biostratigraphy as there used to be. But now that I'm professionally lawyering and doing geology as a hobby, I totally dig evolutionary biology. Its totally ####### fascinating and there's tons of unknowns, and the rise of DNA analysis has turned the field upside down much like plate tectonics did to the main fields of geology back in the 1960s. Forget dinosaurs evolving into birds, we don't even have human evolution remotely buttoned down and that's two orders of magnitude more recent.
For me the field that has taken up this position in my life is reconstructive linguistics, specifically Indo-European linguistics. Obviously there's less potential for stunning new discoveries in the field (unless somebody successfully decodes Messapic or Picenian or turns up a bunch of Gaulish-language books that somehow escaped Caesar's bonfires, that is), but it's the same sense of "jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces" that appeals to me about both IE linguistics and evolutionary biology. (And, in an interesting analogy, the history of the early -- as in pre-Punic War -- Roman Republic, for which a "traditional narrative" exists but the underlying truth of which is open to major dispute.) It's all about looking at the information we DO have, deciding what weights and values to accord it, and assembling the data into a picture that best takes account of everything without succumbing to fatal omissions.
   99. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:12 AM (#4356334)
This may stun you, but there's both natural climate change and there's anthropogenic climate change. And the anthropogenic signal is overprinted on the natural signal; meaning that it is simultaneously possible that it was warmer many centuries ago AND that anthropogenic climate change is real and ongoing. Similarly, if the natural signal would be for cooling temperatures during the past decade, and the anthropogenic signal would be for warming, you'd get something that looks like what we've observed; a near flat-lining since 1999 or so. The evidence for anthropogenic warming isn't that the Earth is warming, its that the physics of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere demands that the Earth warms. The smart skeptics (i.e., not you) can debate the rate of warming or the ultimate magnitude of warming (within reasonable limits) or the specific regional impacts of warming but no respected scientist thinks its not going to warm up, because the science is so obvious than anyone with reasonable training in the field (i.e., not you) can "get" the problem.

None of this justifies tanking our economy to "fix" global warming, which may or may not be a "problem", since there's nothing inherently wrong with a warming earth, and remediation should only be implemented after a careful cost/benefit analysis.

Ha ha. So you agree with the position I stated 85 posts ago, but you felt compelled to do your Smartest Man in History shtick anyway? That's great stuff.

Joe, do you realize that you're just masturbation fodder for the liberals?

Better to be "masturbation fodder for the liberals" than a guy who orgasms when he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror.

I'm not a RINO; and you're not a Republican. You're a simple-minded #### who chose the Red Team and have about as much serious engagement with conservative concepts as Rickey Henderson does with self-deprecation.

So after months and months of being told I'm too conservative to the point of being a "winger" and a "nutter," etc., it turns out I'm not really a conservative at all? I'm sure the lefties here will be relieved to hear that. We're all incredibly lucky to have someone of your supreme intelligence here to set us straight.

Maybe while you're here you could tell us that story about how you and your private-school buddies were the smartest kids in history. It's been at least a month since you told that one, and it's always a classic.
   100. Depressoteric Posted: January 28, 2013 at 01:13 AM (#4356335)
You know, conservatives and non-lefties have it hard enough on Primer without fighting amongst themselves. Let's lay down arms, okay?
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