It’s like if I take the Lord’s name in vain and then get sick and you tell me this shows that I shouldn’t swear. Then you lick a handle on the subway and get sick and I tell you this shows how disease is transmitted by germs. The two may look superficially similar, but the underlying reasoning is important.
There's nothing logically or philosophically or scientifically preventing both explanations for why we each got sick from being simultaneously true. You're attempting to draw a dividing line between "religious thinking" and "rational, scientific thinking". No such division existed throughout history. Even today many "scientists" think along religious terms while many religions are evidence-obsessed. Counter-examples abound.
The last three years have been highly above average in the arctic. This isn't "arctic has one warm day!". It's "the entire year is abnormally warm in the arctic, like the past three!"
The appropriate comparison would be the US having a whole winter which is 10-20 degrees colder than normal.
The discussion is we know this is happening, what do we do to stop it?
Hot weather in July in the Northern hemisphere is not unusual and does not require explanation or study. Snow in July would be unusual and would require explanation and study.
The problem is how much and how often this happens: global warning is very likely to be caused by human activity.
Future looks ugly, everybody is (maybe unconsciously) afraid and at fault. And instead of looking for a solution I use my brain 40 hours/week to solve useless problems. Those who have also money send cars in the space. What could go wrong.
Insane heat waves AND insane cold snaps is very much part of 'global warming', or the consistent moderate increase in energy we're doing.
Thousand and ten-thousand-year storms and extremes become yearly or monthly events as the range of the system's outputs has changed. Expect other cold snaps… and ridiculous, dangerous heat waves… and other sorts of dangerous and destructive weather events.
We're all sure gonna be kicking ourselves after it all goes Mad Max. Completely avoidable, yet all but inevitable with no off-switch in sight in the real world.
So yeah, we're doomed.
The thing is the curve is moving towards higher temperatures and we get unexpected deviations more on one end than the other. And have you considered these events may be not significant - yet, because the science department is hopelessly understaffed?
Let's say your assumption is that the things we observe happen by chance. Now, we have, say 100 years of temperature
records. If only the last year just happens to be the warmest year of all observations, there would be an 1:100 probability that this was by chance.
Now, Wikipedia says: "A 2013 article published in Geophysical Research Letters has shown that temperatures in the region haven't been as high as they currently are since at least 44,000 years ago and perhaps as long as 120,000 years ago. The authors conclude that "anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases have led to unprecedented regional warmth.""
So it is way more than one warm year in 100 years.
But to comprehend the unlikelihood that this happens by chance, consider another record. Look at this graph:
It shows that the instrumental temperature record sind 1880 to today. You see that since 1980, every year was warmer than all the years before.
What is the probability of that for the hypothesis this happened by chance? From 1880 to 2017 are 137 years. The last 37 years have higher temperatures than all the years before. Assuming that no systematic change is happening, the probability is the same as putting the numbers from 1 to 137 into a box, drawing blindly 37 from them, and discovering that you have drawn the numbers 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, and so on, until 137. What is the probability of this?
It is given by the binominal coefficient:
with n = 137, k=37, 1 : n! / (k! (n - k)!).
>>> def fak(n):
... if n <= 1:
... return 1
... return n * fak(n-1)
... return fak(n) / (fak(k) * fak(n-k))
1 / 3902541575254646835963436276286280
Do you still think it happens by chance?
xkcd had a nice illustration: https://xkcd.com/1732/
I mean, that would be really really nice.
Everyone is agreeing there is climate change, in fact there have always been climate change and according to them the climate have been much worse than it is now.
Most sceptics even agree that humans affect the climate.
The discussion as far as I can understand is to what degree do humans affect it. I.e. is it enough for us to worry about it.
There is as far as I have been able to learn no actual consensus, in fact, ICSC has been lowering their projections over the last 10 year or so.
If you want to figure out whether you should worry or not may I suggest you try and find out what the official consensus on humans effect on the climate is. You will be surprised how little certainty you will find. I certainly was.
I am pretty agnostic here, but if you want me to worry I need to see more than "enough certainty" and as many say "enough significance" without ever providing any actual hard numbers.
I am not a scientist but I know that if you can't actually show any concrete numbers then you have interpretation i.e. no consensus.
It's frustrating when you are trying to figure out what's up and down in this discussion.
This is, after all, rather like living with the sword of Damocles over my head. I'd really rather not have it dangling there, glinting menacingly at me, but wishing the sword wasn't there doesn't help one jot.
I'm sorry, but it is impossible to be a truly intelligent person that also believes in any religion without serious cherry picking or psychological compartmentalization. I say this as someone that loves studying religion (I have a degree in it), but I study it as an artform of human expression or an oddity that once was, not as a serious pursuit of self-completion. Hopefully, we can one day study those that deny basic climate science and geology the same way...
I wouldn't say so. At least not in the epistemic/anti-epistemic way that parallels climate-change denialism. Most religions make a lot of unfalsifiable claims. Since opponents cannot conclusively falsify those claims, it gives religious adherents an epistemic place to hide and claim personal religious experiences, etc.
Most religions have not, in the main, been conclusively refuted, since they involve events that happened thousands of years ago, and even when something is shown to have not happened, the adherents have good precedent for claiming that a given portion is allegorical. Since religious interpretation is rife with different viewpoints, they'll even have a respected theologian to point to who called it in advance.
Flat-eartherism is a horse of a different color. It makes a bunch of falsifiable predictions, which have subsequently been falsified many different ways. Then its proponents just ignore the evidence and keep on believing their viewpoint anyway. Epistemologically, climate change denial has a lot more in common with this than it does with religion.
I say this as an anti-theist. I don't have much good to say about religion, but I'd rather deal with someone who believes things which can't be proven rather than someone who believes things that have been conclusively disproven. Religious people are in that way a lot like anyone else. They aren't as deluded as someone who can look at clear evidence and simply ignore it.
That's because most religions have as their central tenet a completely unfalsifiable claim: that there is a god.
Zero falsified things are true (plus some false negative rate)
Personally, I believe in God because it’s tautological. Saying there is a god is like saying half of children are above average. As soon as you reference a line in the universe, there is inevitably an ultimate point on it.
Edit: I will add that I don’t think God is truly omnipotent. She is bound by the laws of physics, same as us, and will die with the universe. Perhaps sooner. But my article of faith is that she will long outlast me. If I’m wrong, and God dies on my watch, that’s a bridge I needn’t worry about til I get there.
I have a hard time understanding how someone can get a degree in religion without noticing how unfalsifiable most religions are.
I'd also be interested to hear what great new evidence has arisen since the 19th century that makes religion so foolish. Take Maxwell for example. He knew about the age of the Earth and recognized the validity of Darwin's theory of evolution. Yet he was by all accounts a very religious man.
If you think, all are the same, then you are now moving towards existence of a superior being and possibly creationism.
I don’t think you need to adhere closely to one single tradition in order to be “religious” if that’s what you’re getting at.
To answer your question directly though, I was raised in a Christian church. I adhere to some basic form of that. Humility, forgiveness, we were made in Gods image, the original sin of the knowledge of good and evil, etc.
Most skeptics if not all of them agree there is climate change, most of them even agree some of it is man-made.
The discussion is how much and you won't find any consensus on that no matter how much you try to ask for it.
People still want their 24/7 AC, their steaks, their huge cars, their big heat inefficient houses, their plane flights etc.
No one does a thing.
Believing in climate change, or not believing, when reflected in the actions of people, is in my eyes completely equivalent.
However, it is true that too few people in "developed" countries do that. And it's also true that too many people in "less-developed" countries lust after energy-intensive lifestyles. So overall, its unlikely that overall climate forcing will decrease. Unless solar energy and battery usage take off exponentially enough.
Even worse, there's already enough CO2 in the atmosphere to drive substantial climate change. And the poles are warming fast enough to drive substantial CO2 and CH4 outgassing from melting permafrost.
So maybe it's just too late. And so maybe the rational option for those alive now is to party hearty. Russia and China probably like that path.
A good comparison would be FOSS. Richard Stallman inconveniences himself to the point of absurdity, but I'm pretty sure barely anyone does anything close to it.
I changed my diet, I live in good housing, but when I put the numbers on paper, I'm not doing much at all, and could do much more.
I'm not sure that's an apt comparison. rms simply has a workflow that doesn't require the use of proprietary software. It's not that inconvenient for him.
In on-topic comparison, it would be having a lifestyle where you'd simply have no use for a car: you live close to work, enjoy riding a bicycle, etc.
Of course, finding that workflow or lifestyle might limit some options, but once you accept that, it's not all that inconvenient.
I suppose so. More home cooking, sourcing ingredients, finding small markets, knowing the right restaurants, etc.
> The thing is, one has to start somewhere, and no one starts anywhere because they see the change as inconvenient.
That's probably and unfortunately very true, in software as well as food and CO2 reduction.
People will keep eating candy. They will never eat their vegetables, unless they taste like candy. It's pointless to imagine worlds in which they eat their vegetables and everything is great because, although it's possible to write a plan to get from here to there, those worlds are strictly fantasy. The plan can not be followed. I could also write a plan for the sun to rise in the west—and it would also fail, for largely the same reason.
If you want to solve the problem, make a better, cheaper vegetable that tastes like candy.
I'm not exactly sure how candies are causing climate change.
Although, food is just one part of the equation. I've never said diet is the only change necessary to make. A person in the first world would do more by not using AC and heating than switching to a different diet, so one might optimize there. Although, not many want to optimize there, so it's easier to change the diet if they wish to lower their footprint.
For instance, the following products are worse for the environment than their alternatives:
1. Hand-crafted, locally produced goods
2. Non-factory farmed food
3. Organic food
(Sure, in the grand scheme of things, these will make small differences, but we have to cut our use of fossil fuel everywhere.)
Such a statement seems to assume that the mind is an immutable object only created in childhood.
While it certainly causes cognitive dissonance for some, an SUV driving redneck carnivore with no children has created far less emissions than a public transport using vegan environmentalist with 2 kids.
There are better ways to change minds.
Instead of buying and fueling the car, you can buy the luxury bicycle.
Instead of flying to Venice, you can rent a sailing yacht. Or whatever is local to your area.
It’s like dieting. The impulse is to reduce, naturally because you’re cutting things out, but eventually you figure out that you can fill your life with other experiences.
Despite factory-farming being one of the main drivers of CO2?
How do you know?
I live in Whitehorse, Yukon. For reference I drive due South to Alaska.
The weather here is nothing, and I mean nothing like it used to be. It would reliably be -40 for all of Jan and Feb in the past. The river would freeze to the point of holding the massive festival ON the river with cars, tents, thousands of people ,etc.
The river has not frozen for a decade, it regularly goes above freezing in Jan and Feb, and even some of the mighty lakes up here don't freeze enough that you want to walk on them. The ice used to be so think my 4 ft. ice auger wasn't long enough to let me ice fish.
It's actually happening this weekend! It's always the last full weekend in February, in case our city piques your interest ;)
Anecdotally, I've also heard from a couple of farmers that the wind up here is different than it was in the '70s.
My first year it didn't get above -40... daytime high temps :)
And as a crazy question, given that there's only a population of 25k in Whitehorse... what's the tech scene like? :)
You can really only work for the big Telco (Northwestel, owned by Bell), or the Yukon Government, or the city. Each have an overall IT team of something nearing 100 people, with lots of hardware, software, BAs, PAs, etc. etc.
Each has their pros and cons, each is incestuous and everyone knows everyone. Tons of people have worked for all three and hop back and forth as the seasons change. Once you have been in town a couple of years everyone knows you.
There is also a couple of small development shops.
A few people have worked really hard to get a maker space going (Yukonstruct) and from all reports it's doing great. Lots of members, lots of workshops on programming, 3D printing, etc. etc.
The money in the North is decent, and I only pay ~20% income tax, so it's a great place to sock away savings.
I know of a couple webshops that are mostly WordPress/Drupal-based, mostly running Mac+Linux.
I think Make IT is the most serious custom software vendor, they ship some Scala but I believe are mostly Windows-based. http://www.makeit.com/
FWIW NWTel is also Windows-based, but I'd wager that per capita the Yukon has more Linux users due to the more rugged/self-sufficient/off-grid appeal.
YuKonstruct also opened a co-working office on Strickland called (co)space, they offer desks and a few private offices, though those might be filled.
I just got a small office down the street from them for $300/month, but I think most small office spaces go for $400-500.
Renting a house is $1,400+, but the vacancy rate is less than 2% for detached houses and townhouses, IIRC. Our gov't releases handy stat booklets, and has one for rentals, so maybe I'll get around to scanning it this week.
Thanks, you two, for the insight. I have idly looked at the Northwestel careers page off-and-on for a year or two, but I'm not sure I'd make a very good "company man".
But the perks of living in the North are immense. I miss it every day and know for certain I will be back there when I'm done roaming Africa.
What are the job prospects like out there? Is it all mining and mining-related stuff like PLC?
25deltaC = 45deltaF (just multiply by 1.8 for delta C to F)
Ah why did you reply to your own comment instead of pressing edit. I thought you were the grandparent poster replying to the correction. God damnit.
Last 3 years have been truly crazy.
Was hard from the beginning to understand the severity of the situation with no units denoted.
Here in Toronto, it's been 16˚C this past week. In February. We've had about 2 or 3 real snowfalls that stuck around for a few days before melting.
As somebody who loves ice skating outside, it's really frustrating. And I love the snow.
Every year it seems like the winter gets a little milder...
It snowed the day after it was 75˚F.
It's rather usual for a northerly place like Calgary to go from -20˚ to +20˚ Celsius (or the reverse) over the course of a day due to Chinook winds from the mountains. They're really quite a sight if there are any clouds—you can watch the wall of whatever front is blowing in.
In Ontario, it's rather unusual for the same kind of phenomenon, and we've experienced it multiple times this winter.
One single day hit 16 at the max. Another hit ~14. That's a very generous way of looking at our weather this winter. This has been a much snowier winter than last year as well (and some others of recent memory).
Yes it's been unusual to have the final 2 weeks of February average above 0 during the day.
Both December and January were very cold with a monthly mean temp of -5˚C (ref: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/climate_data/daily_data_e.html?...). By mid-January there were a ton of stories in the media about how cold our winter had been and various records had been set. Everyone in the city was complaining about this winter for most of it (until recently).
Following a sudden stratospheric warming, the high altitude winds reverse to flow eastward instead of their usual westward. The eastward winds progress down through the atmosphere and weaken the jet stream, often giving easterly winds near the surface and resulting in dramatic reductions in temperature in Europe.
see also (in german):
Not necessarily. If there was no long term warming trend, records would become less common over time, since they would be weather-related random values and there are more previous year data points to compare against. A warming trend would act counter to that effect, but not necessarily overcome it.
yes it does.
“This next batch of abnormally warm air is forecast to shoot the gap between Greenland and northern Europe through the Greenland and Barents seas. Similar circumstances occurred in December 2016, when the temperature at the North Pole last flirted with the melting point in the dark, dead of winter. Similarly large jumps in temperature were documented in November 2016 and December 2015.”
It happens every year? Therefore it's not unusual.
So that makes this, “This latest huge temperature spike in the Arctic is another striking indicator of its rapidly transforming climate.”, uh, what?
While we're quoting the article:
> These kinds of temperature anomalies in the Arctic have become commonplace in winter in the past few years.
Implying they haven't been in the past.
I wasn't implying that.
> Implying they haven't been in the past.
My only intention was to agree with the original commenter that the title and start of the article made it sound like this one event was a complete anomaly.
Later on we find out that, no, this has been happening for a while.
If it is not an anomaly then we need to know how frequently this temperature spike happens. Multiple times during the winter? Has it been spiking only in the last few years. How anomalous is it?
Am I not allowed ask these questions?
For most of the dataset the winter temperatures have followed the model fairly well (of course there are spikes), but for the last few years the winter temperature has been significantly higher than the model.
Not news: "there's been this major spike the last few days! (oh btw, there have always been spikes)"
Sort of news: "there's been this major spike the last few days! the severity of the spike is fairly unprecedented, it happens once every 50 or 100 years"
Worrying news: "there's been this major spike the last few days! these have been happening more and more frequently. they have been getting more and more sever. increase in frequency is X%, the increase in severity is Y%. these increases have been going on for Z years. this falls outside climate change variability by V%.
Alarmist news: "there's been this major spike the last few days! omg, climate change!"
That Danish data set you linked to. Have you have noticed that the numbers jump around at the edge of the year? Check out the break between 1999 and 2000. I can see by eyeballing it that the winter temperature has been somewhat (not significantly) more erratic (not higher) than the model which is 1958-2002. How much more erratic though? I don't want you to interpret the data for me using your words, I want the percentage differences themselves. I'll make up my own my mind about what words to use to describe the variability if that's okay with you.
Here's what it says, “Calculation of the Arctic Mean Temperature
The daily mean temperature of the Arctic area north of the 80th northern parallel is estimated from the average of the 00z and 12z analysis for all model grid points inside that area. The ERA40 reanalysis data set from ECMWF, has been applied to calculate daily mean temperatures for the period from 1958 to 2002. From 2002 to present the operational model (at all times) from The ECMWF is used for mean temperature calculations.”
So we're getting one number for everywhere north of the 80th parallel? What are the 00z and 12z analysis?
The document they link to explaining the methodology leaves me with more questions than it answers: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/documentation/arctic_mean_temp_da...
1. Climate change implies increased variability in weather--hotter summers, wetter winters. Agriculture does best in a relatively stable environment. Just look at California--extremely wet winters followed by extremely hot wildfires. It's hard for a species to thrive in a very wide variety of conditions. Not impossible, of course, with humanity being the crowning example of that kind of flexibility, but it's harder for an annual grain like wheat, rice, or corn to pull off.
2. Less sun at northern and southern latitudes mean a shorter growing season.
There are a few other reasons I can think of for why yields will generally drop, among them ozone pollution, but they're not related to climate change specifically.
There's a book discussing the business opportunities being created by global warming - "windfall" by McKenzie Funk.
A and B are instance of cognitive dissonance.
I'm in category C. I would be in favor of any measure that could help reducing the risk even if it decreases greatly my comfort. But I don't see this happening. Even small harmless restrictions are not taken. Try to tell people that they should drive smaller and less powerful cars for instance.
But maybe the rational attitude to have (which is less heard) is to stop caring as we're not going to solve this anyway. We're not going to solve our mortality problem either and we don't worry too much about this. Future generations will have it harder than we had (climate change, pollution and resources depletion) but why should we worry about them (esp. if we don't have kids)? It's not like we really care about miserable people living now.
Deep Bore Into Antarctica Finds Freezing Ice, Not Melting as Expected | National Geographic
At the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, scientists used a hot-water drill hose to create a hole through the thick ice until they reached the perpetually dark water. What they found surprised them. Christina Hulbe/University of Otago/K061
Real weather information:
Sure. Great idea. Brilliant. Why wouldn't we welcome it?
The comparison to "getting colder" isn't really valid, as it is not the only option.
Most people would like things to stay the same. Perhaps we should be looking at what temperature would be the most beneficial to the planet as a whole.
If we were to create a new earth, what would be the ideal temperature, how would we manage it, where is that in comparison to where we are now, how can we get there.
Is it a dangerous question? probably.
Earth itself will do just fine at any temperature that's below literally evaporating. Various life on this planet has evolved to thrive in wildly disparate climates, and short of complete eradication of an ecosystem, surviving organisms both tend towards better suitability for their given environment and adapt their environment towards better suitability for them (both with limits). We humans should be looking at what temperature ranges would be the most beneficial to human society as a whole. Sure, that's incredibly self biased, but as a human, I contend that's an incredibly useful bias to have.
Attempting to adapt the environment will have unforeseen, probably serious, consequences. I for one hope we do not try, or have no choice but to try, geoengineering attempting to avoid catastrophe.
To your second point I've always preferred climate change as a term over global warming as some areas will end up cooler, others more changeable. Especially if one of the major ocean current systems slows or stops.
Having read parts of the official IPCC report, there are still significant holes all the way down to the treatment of the woefully incomplete data used to draw admittedly uncertain conclusions. The picture is nowhere near as certain as many have been lead to believe, and it is difficult for me to take climate change reporting seriously, because as soon as one moves past published literature, the concept of uncertainty is abandoned for politicized groupthink.
Now, it is not unreasonable to assume that something is happening. And, given the chance that it is not transient, it makes sense to hedge our bets and reduce emissions. However, even here I hesitate because of an almost total void of literature discussing the potential benefits of a warmer earth.
Such is the curse of taboo.
A warmer weather is an 'unknown'. We have trouble with EVERYTHING. We hardly know anything atm with the stable environment so a whole new challenge of future planet might be just to much. It is already to much.