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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

Truth_Quark Re:Let's do the math (304 comments)

We've got a galaxy passing through in about 4 billion years.

So if you're up to star hopping, it'll be a good opportunity to colonize a whole stack of systems getting flung in a whole stack of directions ... assuming we're not sterilized by Gamma Ray Bursts from Andromeda.

11 hours ago
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UNSW Has Collected an Estimated $100,000 In Piracy Fines Since 2008

Truth_Quark $480 fines? (98 comments)

That would have gutted me when I was at uni.

about a week ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Truth_Quark Re:They WILL FIght Back (516 comments)

huge amounts of deforestation (nine thousand acres worth),

Really?

It looks from the aerial photography you link to that they just cut tracks to each turbine.

Wind power is a joke regardless of how you look at it.

I look at it from price per unit, insulation from oscillating fuel prices, greenhouse emissions, and production of harmful waste.

It's not as funny as you seem to think.

about a week ago
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Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Truth_Quark Re:Not For Me (194 comments)

> Remember, Hydrogen is really just a battery when you think about it, the power still has to come from somewhere else like coal (though ideally wind or solar). In most cases hydrogen is generated from natural gas, generating, you guessed it, carbon dioxide in the process.

The great thing about the Hydrogen economy, is you can increase the amount of renewable on the grid, and convert excess to hydrogen, when you have an excess, like in the middle of the day and the middle of the night.

about two weeks ago
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The Military's Latest Enemy: Climate Change

Truth_Quark Re:By electing a Republican President (163 comments)

I heard that now that the Republicans control the Senate, the US will soon be invading Ebola.

about two weeks ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Truth_Quark Re:History is written in the geologic record. (495 comments)

You're reasoning in isolated abstractions: "biodiversity is good for humans"

That's pretty well accepted.

The argument you see in textbooks is that the interdepedence of ecological systems is such that at it is difficult to know what species are key to our own survival. so dropping biodiversity is like playing Russian Roulette. (Of course the rich will be able to supplement, but I mean key to our own cheap survival).

But more importantly to me is the intellectual resource. Each species comes with it's unique proteins and biological processes. Losing them without studying them is a permanent loss to our knowledge, and future study is more likely to have useful results than current study, as our understanding of the biochemistry allows fuller understanding and so utilization of the processes observed.

"tigers dying reduces biodiversity"

I linked to a paper with this (generalized) result: reduced genetic diversity withing species reduces biodiversity of other species in the ecosystem.

"ice sheets move slowly and allows migrations"

The species in current existence have survived the repeated glaciation cycle of the holocene. The current warming is more rapid, and in the wrong direction.

With that kind of superficial reasoning, you can "prove" anything in any complex problem by just picking out the right abstractions.

I think you're ignoring the proofs. If you think one of them is wrong, we can delve into it. But read the paper linking genetic diversity to biodiversity first.

Large predators are usually already evolutionary dead ends, candidates for natural extinction

That seems like an isolated abstraction. Do you have any science-based evidence of this claim?

Humans have killed off many apex predators in many environments over the past few millennia.

Can you give a few examples?

Generally, the main effect has been that human livestock and humans have become safer.

Do you have any science-based evidence of this claim? I think that it is wrong. When you remove an apex predator, biodiversity crashes.

about two weeks ago
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New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

Truth_Quark Re:Abrupt, but like 100 years abrupt? (132 comments)

Saloomy's claim was:

Historically speaking, were in the "colder than usual" range of the bell curve today, and thats with using ice cores to detect CO2 levels and temperature histories.

This is not true, using the data set [s]he mentions. We're much warmer than normal, according to the ice core record.

This is not, as you seem to have been suggesting that the Earth is less than a million years old, but that Ice Cores don't go back further than that.

about two weeks ago
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New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

Truth_Quark Re:Abrupt, but like 100 years abrupt? (132 comments)

That's what I thought, but the link he gives only shows a 400,000 year window.

The link to the ice-core temperature reconstruction data from the Vostok Ice cores?

They only go back 400,000 years. EPICA cores go back a bit further.

about three weeks ago
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Gates Donates $500M+ To Fight Malaria and Other Diseases

Truth_Quark Re:How long will it take slashdot to spin this? (106 comments)

How many posts until someone finds a way to still hate on him, despite the fact that he's done more for the poor than all of us put together?

Are you counting creating poor as doing something for the poor?

His management of the Gates Foundation is not great for the poor. He is maintaining the unaffordable costs of medicines.

Doctors Without Borders criticizes Gates-backed global vaccine strategy

If his intention is to spend his ill-gotten gains to the benefit of humanity, he should put a humanitarian at the helm. Gates was very good at bullying governments and businesses, and illegal attacks on competition to drain the profits from businesses all over the world, but he's no manager.

about three weeks ago
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UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

Truth_Quark Re: Obviously. (695 comments)

UHA, (which uses the same satellite data) gets about 1.4K per decade since 1978

about three weeks ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Truth_Quark Re:left/right apocalypse (495 comments)

> The government more often makes the political decision to fund their research? By which you mean the National Academy of Science? If you think that they're not being sufficiently unbiased in their awarding of grants, would you mind naming the people there that are corrupt?

about a month ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Truth_Quark Re:left/right apocalypse (495 comments)

Yes, there are a half-dozen names most geeks know.

I would hope most geeks could name a few of the nobel laureates from the past few years.

That has nothing to do with day-to-day work in the field.

It has everything to do with what is considered successful in science.

about a month ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Truth_Quark Re:History is written in the geologic record. (495 comments)

Species don't adapt to ice sheets that are a mile thick.

Yes they did. They adapted by migration, generally.

The glaciations are recurring ecological disasters by the standard of global warming alarmists.

I'm not familiar with "global warming alarmists". Could you point me to a link where one calls the reoccurring glaciations ecological disasters?

The reason that glaciations are less disastrous than the current warming, is that the species involved had co-evolved with that climate, the change was a few orders of magnitudes slower than the current warming, and the species involved weren't already under pressure from habitat loss, over exploitation and pollution.

So what? What is your point?

The point is that your claim "There is no "state" to return to" is not really true. The aspect of the climate defined by that atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gasses is a state of the global climate that defines it in many ways. And that state doesn't suit existent species.

Help us? In what way do you imagine the loss of tigers hurts humans?

Loss of an apex predator in particular has a devastating effect on biodiversity. Do you know why dropping biodiversity hurts humans?

They are going away because their ecological niche has been filled by us.

Indeed no. They are suffering habitat loss and having their parts being valuable for TCM in china.

Futhermore, if we really wanted to fill that ecological niche, we could easily do it on human time scales.

How?

about a month ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Truth_Quark Re:left/right apocalypse (495 comments)

Almost no one will get tenure these days.

How many is "Almost no one"?

The politics is therefore intense for the limited slots.

If there are almost no slots, then this politics will arise almost never.

And tenure is no sort of guarantee of a job - it only means you can't be fired "at will".

It's meant to be a guarantee against holding unpopular opinions. It means you can't be fired without "just cause". Which means that if you do your teaching and don't commit academic fraud, you do have guarantee of a job.

You bet you need to publish, and bring in those grants

No, that's precisely what you don't have to do.

(And if you think "academic freedom" is common on campus these days, you really haven't been paying attention.)

I think its common and I've been paying some attention. What specifically would I have paid attention to to conclude that academic freedom is rare on campus these days?

about a month ago
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New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

Truth_Quark Re:Abrupt, but like 100 years abrupt? (132 comments)

The Earth is only 400 thousand years old?

No, the Earth is over 4.5 billion years old.

about a month ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Truth_Quark Re:left/right apocalypse (495 comments)

> The idea that being a professor isn't a job fraught with politics (both internal and federal) is a bit silly.

If you hold a tenured position, why would you bother with politics. The idea of tenure is to give as full as possible academic freedom.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Journals

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A Response to "Once More: Why "Climate Change" Alarmism Is Not Science"

Truth_Quark Truth_Quark writes  |  about 3 months ago

This is a Reply to "Once More: Why âoeClimate Changeâ Alarmism Is Not Science"

The scientific method is pretty simple: you suggest a hypothesis, calculate what facts in the real world must be true if the hypothesis is correct, and then check the hypothesis against reality. If the hypothesis implies false propositions of fact, it is wrong. Case closed.

It never actually works like that. This is from a school text-book on an idealized scientific method.

The claim that people throw out hypothesis because they don't explain all of reality is simply false. There is no Quantum theory of gravitation and no space-time theory of the strong force.

Do we abandon the theory of gravitation that we do have, and the quantum theory that we do have, "case closed"?

No, that would be stupid.

Climate alarmists stand the scientific method on its head.

...

When their theories, as expressed in climate models, conflict with reality, they conclude that something must be wrong with reality.

This is also wrong. Everyone knows that without improvements in resolution climate models won't reproduce all phenomena in the climate system. No one is concluding that observed phenomena are wrong. It is known that the models are imperfect.

What they do do is enlighten us on the cause of those phenomena that the models do reproduce, and to some extent allow us to understand some average consequences of changing climate.

The heat that their models hypothesize must be âoehidingâ deep in the oceans, or whatever.

Okay, the heat that is hypothesized is not from a GCM. This is from radiative transfer models. We use these to calculate what happens to the radiative energy incident on the top of the atmosphere. Those models are much more accurate. We do know that there is an energy imbalance by these models and our theory of optics.

And the temperature observations from Argo floats do confirm that the oceans are what has been warming faster than expected these last couple of decades.

This isnâ(TM)t science: it is a combination of politics and religion. A proposition that cannot be falsified by experience is not a scientific proposition.

Current observations appear to match established theory, that's not "cannot be falsified", that's confirmation.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to falsify if you want, but you need a competing theory that does a better job.

The Science and Environmental Policy Project does a good job of explaining this fundamental point in its Climate Fears and Finance:

This is very ironic when juxtaposed with "This isnâ(TM)t science: it is a combination of politics and religion." SEPP is an advocacy group.

We can see below the direct comparison between 102 model runs and observations.

The mid troposphere is one of the regions that current climate models do not well reproduce. This and the double intertropical convergence zone problem probably need high resolution models to unwrap.

The models on which climate alarmists rely are simply wrong.

No, they're merely inaccurate, particularly on mid troposphere temperatures. (And Southern Hemisphere Tropical rainfall).

Do we conclude that therefore the world isn't warming, because CO2 is no longer a greenhouse gas?

No, that would be stupid.

Do we conclude that although the world is warming, assuming no feedback would be a better estimate of ECS than the feedback from climate models?

No, the climate models cover a lot of phenomena, and so their estimate would still be better, despite their imperfection.

(And there are independent estimates of climate sensitivity from paleoclimate reconstructions, and from neural nets, and from observations of the consequences on temperature subsequent to volcanic forcing, that put the climate sensitivity in the ball park of models)

Much like the theory of gravitation, we are not going to throw out a useful theory, when there is no better one, merely because it doesn't work in one circumstance. The idea is to try to advance our knowledge of the climate, because this should affect policy. Abandoning policy because the science is too hard is antithetical to scientific, technological and sociological progress.

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Infilling of the HadCRU temperature data.

Truth_Quark Truth_Quark writes  |  1 year,13 days

Researchers (with an interest in climate science communication) have produced a temperature data set that includes the sophisticated (compared to NASA) sea surface temperatures, but with estimated global coverage (As NASA does, but HadCRU doesn't).

The result is a greater warming since 1997 than has been previously estimated.

Global warming since 1997 more than twice as fast as previously estimated, new study shows

The paper is titled "Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends". (Abstract only)

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World one century from being the hottest in 3M years - NASA

Truth_Quark Truth_Quark writes  |  more than 8 years ago http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0925-nasa.html

With the globe warming at a rate of 0.2C per decade over the past 30 years, and with current temperatures within 1C of being the higest since the middle Pliocene, when sea level was estimated to have been about 25 meters higher than today.

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