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Pentagon Unveils Plan For Military's Response To Climate Change

Xyrus Re:LOL. 'Climate change' indeed. (228 comments)

What's really happening is climate destabilization. It really doesn't take a lot to destabilize the climate system; plus or minus 2 degrees is enough to bring on the heat or cause an ice age. But the real kicker is you don't even need to cause the whole delta. You only need to push the climate past a tipping point and the positive or negative feedbacks do the rest.

The climate is just like any other thermodynamic system. You add or remove energy from the system, it's going to destabilize until it reaches a new balanced state.

about a week ago

Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

Xyrus Re:Robots? (421 comments)

Very few of the people who are now dead licked it. Yes, the media loves fear stories and it's overblown, but you're underblowing it.

Incorrect. The practices of the most affected countries is the equivalent of "licking" it (drinking the water used to wash the dead). Combined with a mistrust of health workers/modern medicine/sanitation practices it's a wonder why it hasn't spread farther than it has.

about two weeks ago

Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

Xyrus Re:No worse than AIDS, are you kidding? (421 comments)

AIDS doesn't cause contagious blood, spit, diarrhea, and vomit to go everywhere. Ebola does.

AIDS doesn't infect health care workers who are treating patients unless there's a needlestick or sexual contact. Ebola does, with alarming frequency. Even if you DO have sex with someone with AIDS, it's not 100% that you'll get AIDS.

AIDS can't be spread by sneezing or coughing. It's possible Ebola *is*.

In terms of contagiousness, Ebola seems 10x worse. It's like saying "smallpox is no worse than chickenpox". Maybe if you put them both on a logarithmic plot and back up 50 feet!


The 1918 influenza outbreak killed an estimated 25 million people in it's first 25 weeks, and killed an estimated 50 million in the course of the year. It infected over 500 million people in total.

The regular yearly flu kills anywhere from about 4,000 to 40,000 people a year in the US and infects many many more.

And yet, you don't seem to be panicking about that.

Heart disease kills a million a year. Cancer kills about half that. Car crashes kill about 40,000 a year.

And yet you don't seem to be losing your mind over it.

In fact, there's a whole list of things that are more likely to kill you on a day to day basis and Ebola is right down there around lightning strike, terrorist attack, and getting hit with a meteor.

Perspective. It helps.

about two weeks ago

The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

Xyrus Re:A travel ban is only prudent and necessary (478 comments)

Well, since you seem to be content in wrapping yourself in tin foil you don't have much to worry about, do you?

Try sticking to the facts. If Ebola was anywhere close to how bad you're trying to make it most of western Africa would look like a mass grave. Strangely, it doesn't. Even with their piss poor conditions, poor sanitation, and customs which actively encourage the spread of the disease the numbers of infections has been small and limited almost entirely to the region where the outbreak started.

The current outbreak began in December of 2013 and has infected approximately 8400 people and killed about half of them.

By comparison the 1918 influenza pandemic during a similar period of time infected approximately 500 million people, with 25 million people killed in the first 25 weeks of the outbreak.

I don't see any reason to get whipped up into a frothing panic over Ebola, which is what you and the news cycle seem to want.

about two weeks ago

BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

Xyrus Re:Alternative headline (429 comments)

As opposed to the bittorrent user(s) who are pushing everyone else out of the way and preventing their access?

Its one thing to do so with permission from the network owners .. its another thing to wade in and beat up on people just so you can get what you want.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

No, but the second wrong sure makes you feel better.

about two weeks ago

NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

Xyrus Re:Proper link (213 comments)

It's actually a generating station. The PNM San Juan Generating Station is a very large plant located in Waterflow, NM. In GE, you can see all the massive piles of coal all around the area, along with all the smoke stacks and some rather questionable looking ponds of water.

about two weeks ago

NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

Xyrus Re:Everyone should just say "interesting" (295 comments)

Because that is what every new report is field of science that we don't actually understand.

And we don't. As regards global climate we have models and data but we don't really understand what is going on here. We never have...

Correction. You never have. High school physics and chemistry is all you need to create a basic physical model to demonstrate planetary warming with increased greenhouse gas contributions. The first climate model to demonstrate planetary warming with increased greenhouse gas concentrations was formulated back in 1899. You read that right. Svante August Arrhenius, the father of modern chemistry, created the first climate model and was one of the first to predict global warming in response to human activities.

Global warming is not magic. It's not even new science. It's basic thermodynamics that even someone without a calculator or computer could figure out. That's why scientists don't bother having conversations with idiots/deniers. For their inanity to be even remotely correct would indicate that some of the most fundamental concepts of physics (laws of thermodynamics, conservation of energy, etc.) would also need to be incorrect. Now if they had really strong evidence to show that this was indeed the case, then great. Publish and get ridiculously rich. But graphturbation is not strong evidence, and neither are ridiculous conspiracy theories that make no logical sense.

about two weeks ago

Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Xyrus Re:Lots of cheap carbon stuff (652 comments)

Instead, we'll probably breed right up to the edge of capacity and then die in billions when something unexpected happens.

No, we won't....But with about two billion people being born in each new generation, and a lifespan of approximately five generations, it appears that we're on track to peak at about 10B people, before we start declining.

We won't make it to 10 billion. There aren't enough resources to do so, even if climate destabilization wasn't going to add further havoc. Not just fossil fuels, but arable land, water, etc. All our "plans" have been burning the candle at both ends, with hardly any thought being directed to building a sustainable civilization. Actions have consequences, and we're going to be seeing a lot of them.

about two weeks ago

Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Xyrus Re:Say "No more!" to Climate Posts (423 comments)

Enough already.


The Earth is warmer, probably.

No probably about it. By every known measure the planet has warmed over the past 150+ years.

We don't know for how much longer.

Yes we do. As long as we keep pumping more GHG's into the atmosphere the planet will continue to warm. And after we stop or at least get back to some sort of equilibrium the planet will keep warming for another 30-40 years due to climatological lag. Then it will stay warm until the system (or we) start taking some of the excess GHG's and getting them back out of the atmosphere.

We don't know how much warmer.

Yes we do. Climate sensitivity studies indicate that at our current rate of emissions we will warm the planet by about 4C by 2100.

We don't know how it's happening, mostly.

Yes we do. The basic chemistry and thermodynamics of how it's happening have been around for more than 100 years. It's not rocket science. A high school physics text gives enough background to create a basic model to demonstrate warming in relation to increased GHGs.

We don't know why it's happening.

Yes we do. Human emissions of GHGs. The level of GHG's in the atmosphere have increased greatly since human industrialization (isotopic analysis of carbon shows the source is fossil fuels). After that, physics does the rest.

That's climate in a nutshell.

Only if you're a complete idiot.

Do you want a _government_ ringing in new policies based on that?

Non-sequitur. What the science says and what the government does are unrelated.

A government can't even get well understood problems under control ... like say, traffic, or urban development. And if you dare say, "Hey, traffic is hard to model!", well guess what, climate is harder.

Non-sequitur. What the science says and what the government does are unrelated. Traffic models and climate models have nothing to do with each other.

The only thing you've managed to demonstrate here is your total ignorance on the topic.

about two weeks ago

Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Xyrus Re:please no (423 comments)

I think what annoys me the most about climate alarmism is the false certainty such as conflating opinion with fact. The second most annoying thing is the lack of scientific grounds for the arguments made.

"Alarmism" as you call it, is social. I've yet to read any scientific papers claiming we're all going to die.

As for your "lack of scientific grounds", that's just bullshit. The basic chemistry and thermodynamics were worked out well over a century ago. The first prediction of AGW was made by Arrhenius in 1899 (he also created the first climate model and is considered the father of modern chemistry). If you want to go further back you could talk a look at the preliminary work on greenhouse gas theory from Fourier (1825).

For example, the above two links in the parent post show considerable divergence between the models and reality (sea level and polar ice extent while substantially and suspiciously downplaying the temperature difference between model and reality). The "myth" is confirmed but the writer portrays it as affirmation of their desired conclusion.

Irrelevant. Those aren't scientific papers. They're not peer-reviewed. Any idiot on the web can say whatever they want. That doesn't make them a legitimate source of information.

Meanwhile the assertion that models fit past events is near irrelevant since that is data which is already known and it is expected that the models would have been adjusted in the first place to fit that data). For example, I can construct an interpolation of any temperature (or other numerical) data to perfect precision using an even degree polynomial of sufficiently high degree, yet it'll be completely irrelevant once I attempt any sort of extrapolation into the future (odds are good, about 50% I'd say, that it'll predict temperatures far below absolute zero by 2100).

Ignorance only hurts your argument. Climate models are physical simulations. They work based on physics, not some statistical curve fitting which is what you seem to be implying. Climate models are initialized with some historical set of conditions, and then run forward to see how well they model climate responses.

That's why physical models in general (fluid dynamic models, gravitational models, weather models, climate models, etc.) can be used for helping make useful decisions and research.

We see this attitude in action in the current story. First, the story noted that these models don't actually predict past events when they're run backwards from a current state. Then someone rationalizes that it's because the observations are wrong, not the models. This not only runs counter to your empty assertion that the models predict the known past, but also is profoundly anti-scientific.

You have terrible reading comprehension. The article (which isn't the paper) says the scientists used climate models to look into the past, not "run the models backwards". Running them backwards doesn't even make any sense. You can read the paper to see their methodology.

The issue the paper is addressing, which you fail to grasp, is that the the data from recent higher accuracy observations (namely the ARGO network) are reporting a lot more warmth than was previously estimated from earlier, lower quality observations. They then analyzed the discrepancies and discovered that global ocean heat in the upper 700m may have been off by as much as 25%, which would have potential impacts on things like CO2 sensitivity studies.

Here are two examples where the most FUD-inducing interpretations are used. The climate models are "too conservative" because they allegedly underplay sea level rise, but the corresponding inability of the models to predict temperature increase is not (though that means the models are exaggerating sensitivity of carbon dioxide temperature forcing, the most important of the unknowns in climate research.

You are viewing a climate model as a singular entity, which they aren't. A climate model is comprised of multiple physical models that interact to simulate the climate system. In addition, the model is only going to be as good as the data it gets. Some parts of the climate have a lot more data and are better understood than others.

All this and more is covered in the summary chapters of the IPCC. They go over the models, how they are run, accuracy, known unknowns, etc. Even if you think climate science is conspiracy created by Al Gore when he went back in time riding a velociraptor and threatened to club Fourier to death with a rubber baby Jesus, reading at least the summary sections would allow you to make much stronger arguments for your case.

Similarly, when models are shown to be out of whack with past observations (as they were with future observations), the interpretation is that the observations are wrong, not the models even though it is more likely to be the other way around.

The observations weren't "wrong". Did you even bother reading anything? The ARGO observations are higher resolution and more accurate. Even allowing for that they noticed a considerable discrepancy between the ARGO observations and the previous observations. That's what they investigated.

This profound inability to admit error is why I don't trust current climate models or the doomsday predictions they spawn in the least. That's why I'm going to wait a few decades and see what happens. If it genuinely is as bad as claimed, then we'll see something by then.

Error analysis is a fundamental part of any research, and climate science is no exception. You'll see it in practically every paper. Science is confidence intervals, not absolutes. Saying otherwise demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge and experience about how science, any science, is actually done.

There are no doomsday scenarios in climate science. We can certainly make living on Earth a hell for ourselves if we don't smarten up, but not single legitimate scientific source I'm aware of is predicting the end of the world, or even human extinction. So stop with that nonsense. It simply isn't true.

As far as the wait and see approach goes, I hear that always works out well especially when you're screwing around with climate system on the only planet we live on. By the time things are bad enough that even someone like you must face reality, it will be far too late to do anything about it. That's like getting a vaccination for polio after you're already paralyzed.

about two weeks ago

Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Xyrus Re:please no (423 comments)

So it wasnt going into the oceans before and all of a sudden started going into the oceans all at once? Thus creating a "pause"? Why wasnt the heat going into the oceans before the "pause"?

You know, if people who arent climate scientists are not qualified to question the science, then people who arent climate scientists are also not qualified to defend the science.

You know, if you could engage your brain for 5 seconds instead of going to your default ideology routine, you may be able to figure this one out for yourself. The oceans are not static objects. Ocean currents can and do have periods that can span a couple decades. These currents can bring warmer or cooler waters to the surface.

Form there, it's basic physics. If the air is warmer than the water, the water heats up. If the air is colder than the water, the air heats up. If the net energy balance of the system is positive, then the water (having much greater heat storage capacity) will gradually warm up over time. As the currents cycle there will be periods where air temperatures will be cooler and periods where air temperatures will be warmer. And again, if the net energy balance is positive then temperatures will stair-step higher and higher (which is what we've been seeing).

about two weeks ago

Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Rollout

Xyrus Re:Was it really so bad? (392 comments)

To be fair... I have worked on many software projects in my life and have also worked with government software projects. A simple fact of life is that government funded software projects are only given to blood sucking leeches that intentionally underbid and lie their asses off about delivery schedules. Legitimate software houses who actually can plan projects and meet schedules are never evaluated.

I'll let you in a little secret. Plans and schedules mean exactly dick on government software projects. You'll have idiots and imbeciles with no technical experience making major changes a week before a deliverable. You'll get reports that your software doesn't work when deployed, and find out a week later that they didn't bother to inform you that they decided to move to a completely different environment. You'll get new requirements on the day of delivery. You'll meet deadlines and won't hear anything for days or even weeks until you get some angry email from somewhere asking why a problem that was never reported hasn't been fixed yet. You'll be forced to use their dev environments, but not given the privileges necessary to actually use them. You'll get countless technical decisions made...without anyone actually consulting the technical team. And I'm just getting started.

It doesn't matter how competent your team may be. If the government side of the project is managed by a bunch of monkeys on meth, you're going to have a bad time. Double that if your company is hell bent on getting their foot in the door that they're willing to bend over backwards just to keep them happy.

And guess who gets tarred and feather when everything goes to hell? I'll give you a hint. It's not that G15 manager who needs a Garmin in order to find where to put the Charmin.

A successful government software project requires competence on both sides. It is a rare circumstance when that is the case.

about a month ago

Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Rollout

Xyrus Re:Please describe exactly (392 comments)

I see you have a very selective memory. Please read the original plan and then follow the idiotic path of compromises that Republicans forced onto it rendering it into the watered down ridiculous mess that it is.

But then again, the democrats didn't help things either since they were so desperate to get SOMETHING through that they were willing to do just about anything without really thinking through the consequences of their actions.

And of course, the ones ultimately to blame are ourselves. Congress's successes and failures are a direct reflection of the voting population. It's not democrats or republicans. It's this bizarre us vs. them mentality that prevents anything useful or effective being done. It's not a fucking football game. The leaders we elect are supposed to get shit done, not to act like spoiled 2 year olds when they don't get their way.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

Xyrus It's not burnout.... (275 comments)

It's life. Family > Job. Health > Job. Life > Job.

You sound like you're still young, unattached, and naive. I'm passionate about what I do, but I'm not going to deliberately choose a course of action that will lead to 12 hour days for months at a time. Nor am I going to selfishly place my passions before my family's needs, or detrimentally affect my health and well being by being a continuously sleep deprived stressed out mess.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

Xyrus Re:Business (275 comments)

Umm... JSON is a pretty significant force behind modern Web design. Without it, the Web would still be a pretty static place.

Judging by the number of broken web sites I've seen lately, we could use a bit more staticness and a bit less dynamicness. :-}


Well what do you expect? Web technologies are a hodge-podge, organically grown mess trying to shoe-horn a paradigm into something that was never meant to handle it in the first place.

about a month ago

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Xyrus Re:Time for new terminology (635 comments)

You jest but first it was global warming, then global cooling, than warming again and finally climate change.

The greenhouse effect was first proposed by Fourier (yes, that Fourier) in 1825. Way back before modern technology and computers he already figured out the basic relationship between heat trapping gases and planetary temperatures. From his paper in 1827:

"The establishment and progress of human societies, the action of natural forces, can notably change, and in vast regions, the state of the surface, the distribution of water and the great movements of the air. Such effects are able to make to vary, in the course of many centuries, the average degree of heat; because the analytic expressions contain coefficients relating to the state of the surface and which greatly influence the temperature."[

In 1864, John Tyndall furhter refined Fouriers work to show that different gases had different absorption spectra, and that water vapor, methane, and CO2 specifically were potent green house gases.

In 1896, Svante Arrhenius (considered the father of modern chemistry) put forth the first climate model and was one of the first to quantify the impact of CO2 on planetary temperature.

Since then, the science has only improved. We've gone from basic physics models to complex integrated global climate models. And they all show the same thing.

There was never any "global cooling". There were a handful of discredited papers in the 70's that tried to establish a possible cooling scenario. However the overwhelming majority of papers on the topic were all discussing warming and it's impacts.

And warming, while accurate, doesn't really define what the real problem is. Warming isn't the problem. It's what happens as a result of the warming that's problem. The additional energy into the climate system shifts the climate, which we, as a civilization, depend on. Also, warming gives the impression that every place on Earth is going to get warmer, which is not the case.

Climate change is a more accurate description of what's happening.


What it should be is "atmospheric CO2 level rise"

That is all the more we can really say in macro. All these attempts to predict outcomes have only damaged their credibility. Rational thinking people should still find it of great concern that we have ever increasing and never before seen (while humans have walked the earth) CO2 levels, and you follow that up with and their exist relation ships between solar energy retention, ocean currents, ocean acidity, and mean temperatures, etc with that.

Nobody really knows what will happen at least not on a short ( 0-50 year) time scale. If they just would have been honest up front about the fact that human activity is radically altering the composition of the atmosphere and that there will be consequences but those can't be entirely identified because its a hugely complex interconnected system maybe it would be taken seriously.

Instead we got decades of alarmist and bogus predictions. its no surprise that so many folks are so dismissive now.

Incorrect. We can say quite a bit about the macro. There is quite a compendium of science out there. The problem is that people don't know the difference between a projection 100 years into the future about general climate conditions and the weather in their backyard. Ignorance is the problem, and there are those who hope people stay that way.

about a month ago

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Xyrus Re:It's getting hotter still! (635 comments)

I and many others would like to see this contrary evidence you speak of, along with the physics that model the scenario AND can adequately explain observations from both present and past AND does not violate little things like thermodynamics and conservation of energy.

about a month ago

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Xyrus Re:It's getting hotter still! (635 comments)

slashdot today!? ... difference between North and South

There is a distinction between the two, of course, but it is without difference to the topic of this thread. Both ice-caps were supposed to shrink (with dire consequences for the rest of the world, of course).

One expedition set out to measure the loss of the ice, found itself stuck in it — not that it changed the leading professor's opinion about the global warming...

The Antarctic sea ice extent was not and is not projected to shrink in the near term. It was expected to expand as a result of the influx of fresh water from increasing land ice melt. As the planet continues to warm it will reach a point where the ice extent will start shrinking again (as the 0C starts pushing further south), but that isn't projected to happen until later this century.

about a month ago

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Xyrus Re:It's getting hotter still! (635 comments)

If you're going to troll, at least try to do a decent job.

1. Al Gore is not now, nor has ever been, a climate scientist.
2. His remarks were purely speculative and had absolutely zero scientific support. There is not a single peer-reviewed research paper anywhere that makes such a claim.
3. The AR4 and AR5 model ensembles show an ice free summers in the arctic around the middle of this century.
4. The article is talking about ANTARCTIC SEA ICE, which has absolutely nothing to do with the ARCTIC SEA ICE.

Climate model ensembles have consistently predicted an overall increase in ANTARCTIC SEA ICE in the near term as a result of increased freshwater runoff from the continent. The decrease in salinity allows for ice to form at higher temperatures, thus expanding the sea ice extent.

about a month ago

Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

Xyrus Re:Global Warming? (273 comments)

All models are wrong. There is no such thing as a perfect model outside of trivial classroom models e.g. spherical cow. Modeling fluid dynamics for aerodynamic lift, structural integrity models for bridges and buildings, etc . all have errors. They don't account for all variables and it is impossible to do so.

Science isn't built on models. Models are built on science. As with any other branch of science models are used to help get a better understanding of the phenomena being studied. Models are TOOLS that are built out of the results of science.

As to GCM's in particular, there is plenty of information out there describing the models, their error bounds, what they account for, what they don't, so on and so forth. For a layman's summary the IPCC does a fairly decent job describing the models, what they're used for, and accuracy.

about 2 months ago


Xyrus hasn't submitted any stories.



Yesterday, I got modded a troll...

Xyrus Xyrus writes  |  more than 9 years ago

In my response to the PA kids who were threatened with felony class 3 charges, I stated a simple truth: The kids broke the law, now they have to deal with the consequences.

Those who modded me troll did so out of ignorance, did it "for the children", believe the punishment does not fit the crime, or believe the school "had it coming" because of crappy security.

Out of all these reasons, only one has even the slightest bit of merit: the punishement does not fit the crime. All the rest are ludicrous.

The first one: Ignorance. This is the the typical knee-jerk slashdot reaction made by those who do not RTFA. Felony charges for messing with school computers? OUTRAGE, how can you support this?

Quite simply because they were using state computers and illegally altering them by bypassing security measures. The fact that they're teenagers is irrelevant. What if this has happened on the schools main servers and the teens were placing porn in teachers directories? What if they started messing with their disciplinary records or grades? What if they were doing this on a bank's system?

In short, where do you draw the line.

A lot of responses claim that the felony charges will ruin the kids lives. Again, this is sheer ignorance. Prosecuting felony charges is expensive, and pressing felony chrages on teens has often been a delicate point. Of course, the sensationalistic media coverage fails to mention this.

In reality, it is extremely unlikely that felony charges will be brought against these teens. In fact, school disciplinary action will probably be all these kids get. Worse case scenario, the teens get convicted of a misdemeanor and have to do some community service.

As far as their records go, their juvenile records are sealed once they hit 18 (or expunged, depending on what the state policy is).

The above addresses the "for the children" crowd as well. In addition to that, I have little sympathy for teens who continue to do things that they know are wrong.

One response I received was that these kids shouldn't be punished for being curious. And if that were the case, then I would agree. But that was not the case.

These kids didn't figure out the admin password and say, "Oh, this should be brought up to the school". They used it and distributed it to deliberately go around the restrictions that they agreed to abide by. It was wrong, they knew it, and continued their activities.

Which brings me to the last, and possibly most idiotic response: "It's the school's fault for having crappy security on the computers".

And I suppose that it's the woman's fault for being raped because she's hot. Or it's the homeowner's fault for getting burgled because he only had a regular lock on the front door. I'd like to see someone use that type of excuse in court.

Just because the security was weak doesn't give these teens the right to circumvent the restrictions. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.

So now we come to the last response, the one that is arguable: the punishement does not fit the crime. As I stated earlier, it's unlikely these teens will see anything other than school disciplinary action, since no administration data was compromised. The kids did not have access to the school's main server.

Any judge would see that this is at most a minor offense. That is why we have judges. To interpret the law and deal out appropriate punishment when those laws are broken.

Sure, PA state law may make what they did "technically" a felony, but it is the judge who decides whether or not that is the case. In this case, it was the media acting as the judge which is never a good thing (just look at Faux News).

I agree a felony charge does not fit the crime here, but as of right now THERE IS NO PUNISHEMENT DECIDED YET. If a judge does decide to follow through on the felony charges, then we can talk about unjust punishments. Until then it's just a bunch of media driven bruhaha.

In the future I hope when people respond they will stop, read, and think before modding instead of responding with "OMFG you're a troll!".

But then again....this is slashdot.


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