Monday, August 11, 2008

A bit of gratitude

...on two fronts. First of all, took the family (minus 3 daughters with their grandparents for the week) to an excellent ice cream shop in Excelsior. It has the same super-dark chocolate ice cream as in Chaska, and if you should need to get a new ride, visit Excel Bike shop. Lots of super-premium ice cream and lots of super premium bicycles to be found in Excelsior, and a really nice downtown as well.

On the other front, I'm very grateful for the "global warming" coverage of IEEE Spectrum. Given that Spectrum tends to uncritically accept the hypothesis (and I don't), this might surprise you, but I am grateful. Why?

Because their uncriticality leads them to make basic mistakes in presenting the evidence, like showing a graph with the "effect" predating the "cause," letting slip that major calculations of historic "temperatures" are nearly tautological, and in "solving" the argument by appealing to authority of an IPCC member--ignoring the fact that Al Gore would not likely have appointed him to the IPCC had he not been a "true believer." It is as if Spectrum desires to prove its case by employing all of the fallacies of informal logic.

Their latest gift is in last month's issue, where they note that current climate models are incapable of modeling the effect of cloud cover. Given that this effect is said to be the major thing that keeps the planet Venus at 900F or so (instead of hundreds of degrees cooler), this is a fairly significant deficiency, to put it mildly.

The cure? Buy a dedicated computer for tens of millions of dollars (or perhaps even billions) to map out the planet in 1km size chunks and start running the models. In other words, one models the day by day interactions of clouds and other weather in just about the same way that your local weatherman does, just on a global scale.

In other words, their very plan reveals that yes, indeed, the cutting edge in climatology is depending on the same basic algorithms that enable your local weatherman's predictions to be slightly better than flipping a coin.

2 comments:

Night Writer said...

Someone already built a dedicated computer costing millions, even billions, of dollars to find an answer.

The answer was 42.

Bike Bubba said...

Yeah, and then they choose their own units to make it say what they want it to say anyways....