Assorted links

by on July 5, 2011 at 11:45 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Will Iceland move to prescription-only tobacco?

2. Books which are coming out soon.

3. What does it cost to make a typical hit song?

4. Who is the most followed person on Google+?

5. New hypothesis about why global temperature was falling for a while (not good news).  More detail here.

6. What times of the day are criminals at work?  9-5 it seems.

7. New science blogs from Scientific American.

prior_approval July 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm

The idea that sulphate aerosols can be a ‘cooling’ is not new science – and using Chinese data simply demonstrates the basis for ‘global dimming’ – a generally empirically based explanation for how global temperature models did not work as expected in previous decades.

It is also the reason why sulfur has been removed from fuel as much as possible in the U.S. and Europe – there was no question that the Chinese were going to significantly increase their scrubbing of emissions on an absolute level, something obvious at this point from the 5 year doubling.

NeedleFactory July 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm

(5) For even-tempered and unenthusiastic commentary on the paper, see:
http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/04/an-explanation-for-lack-of-warming-since-1998/#more-3966

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm

5. “Bad news”? Geoengineering works!

Ted Craig July 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

6. That’s been known for years by the police – home burglaries happen when nobody’s home and auto theft occurs when nobody is in the car.
The 3 a.m. spike makes me wonder if drunk driving arrests aren’t creating noise.

TallDave July 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm

5. “science is a testing of hypotheses and seeing whether they hold up against real world data” I guess he hasn’t seen Hansen 1988, or the failed Met predictions. The irony would be funnier if they weren’t asking for trillions of dollars in economic misdirection.

7. Use to love SciAm, before it became a vehicle for trendy pseudoscience and needless debunking of things like creationism that are better left ignored. This appears to be another step in the wrong direction. I should probably revive my Science subscription.

Ezequiel July 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Temperature has not been falling.

Quiz: is this series raising or falling?

1, 20, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

I can’t do the math in my head, but I am pretty sure that any meaningful statistical analysis (besides “pick the highest and last member, see which one is higher”) will tell you that the series is raising.

Quiz: are 100 m sprinters getting faster or slower? Would “100 m sprinters are getting slower since August 16, 2009″ be the a good answer? I do not believe so.

GinSlinger July 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Reading comprehension, how do that works?

“New hypothesis about why global temperature was falling for a while

Ezequiel July 6, 2011 at 4:54 am

I believe I understand it correctly. And no, global temperature has not been falling for a while. Check out http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

“Even the highly “cherry-picked” 11-year period starting with the warm 1998 and ending with the cold 2008 still shows a warming trend of 0.11 ºC per decade (which may surprise some lay people who tend to connect the end points, rather than include all ten data points into a proper trend calculation).”

Jack July 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

(5) Intriguing, but hardly persuasive. It would be wonderful if more proponents and opponents of the AGW hypothesis admitted there is much we don’t understand yet–which suggests cautious but active research, and reasonable action (beginning with lower-cost ways to reduce GHG), until we find out more. Unfortunately, saying ”we don’t know” is not a way to get funding — and this is true for both camps.

Gabe July 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Warmer is better. When Greenland gets green again I’ll be happy.

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Or we could talk about the fucking mercury in the fishies. I’m going to start calling them “Actual Problem Deniers!”

Gabe July 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Mercury is very toxic to most living things.

It almost seems as if the “Actual Problem Deniers” are more interested in finding something that every person could be taxed on (like salt or tea in 1770)….than they are in solving pollution problems.

dirk July 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

2. Surprised Pinker didn’t make that list.

prior_approval July 5, 2011 at 1:54 pm

‘When Greenland gets green again I’ll be happy.’

Actually, odds are, you’ll be all wet.

Gabe July 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I am about 800 yards from the Atlantic ocean, but I’m 60 feet above sea level. House has been dry for 200 years.

Lots of fishermen have been in this town for over 300 years. These people are kinda anal about moon charts and sea shore maps and water levels. Sea level hasn’t gone up any. Al Gore can come check the records himself. If it starts rising, I’ll let you know.

J Thomas July 7, 2011 at 8:22 am

I’m all right too, Jack.

Justin July 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm

#5 is a perfect example of why the climate alarmists are such easy marks. They are a case study in the importance of meta-researchers like John Ionnidis.First the alarmists deny the cooling trend. Then they create a new (and of course, retrospective) model that is not yet falsified but properly back-dates and then they embrace the cooling trend. But our models of the climate are so incredibly unsophisticated compared to the actual climate that there are an endless number of degrees of freedom. It is easy to get a model that backdates properly – take your pick from a near-infinite number. What is hard is making predictions.

mulp July 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm

The problem with your claim is the only thing done was to input the new data for pollution from China and Asia into the old existing model and run it to see what the model produced to compare it to the existing data on global temperature.

Nothing is “new” other than the passage of time and thus new data to put into the old model to verify the model.

I wonder if you can explain the failure of economists to predict the course of jobs creation and economic growth and the debt and deficits over the past decade? Wasn’t the theory that Republicans would cut taxes and thus really deliver a much better decade than the dismal 90s economy, dragged down by the crushing Clinton tax burden which was the highest in peace time history. Based on the theory conservative economic theories were so well established, we get a new hypothesis a day about why the tax cuts creates jobs theory isn’t working.

Scott Sumner July 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I agree with “prior approval,” it’s not a new idea. And the dimming effect of sulfate aerosols is also the most likely explanation for the cooling period that ended in the 1970s. The enviromental movement in the West plus the collapse of the Soviet bloc sharply reduced sulfate emissions between the 1970s and the 1990s.

mulp July 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm

The heavy US pollution is correlated with the West Africa droughts of that era, and thus one might expect a connection between the surge of Chinese pollution and the drought in the US West.

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Steven Kopits July 6, 2011 at 7:33 am

I agree with most of the comments re: climate. The BBC is not the best source for this sort of thing. And once again, we have a “yes, but” paper. Yes, temperatures are falling (UAH is really more flat over the period), but [more snow is really a sign of global warming], [sulfur masks the signal], etc. It’s a fluff paper…shouldn’t have made the editing cut here.

mulp July 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm

“flat” is falling?

The paper was not published by the BBC, but by PNAS:

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States
of America

PNAS is one of the world’s most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials. Since its establishment in 1914, it continues to publish cutting-edge research reports, commentaries, reviews, perspectives, colloquium papers, and actions of the Academy. Coverage in PNAS spans the biological, physical, and social sciences. PNAS is published weekly in print, and daily online in PNAS Early Edition. The PNAS impact factor is 9.771 and the Eigenfactor is 1.668 for 2010.

mulp July 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

“5. New hypothesis about why global temperature was falling for a while (not good news). ”

How can a hypothesis from the 50s be considered “new”.

The global warming climate change theory, which is based on repeatedly tested hypothesis on how different factors affect, is a model of the interactions of solar insolation minus earth energy radiation as affected by the atmosphere chemistry, moderated by heat sinks like the oceans. As a theoretical model, the only way to challenge the model it to show it is incomplete. This model is like GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports − imports)

That sulfates reduce solar insolation is well established, so are the negative health consequences. The exact set of constants to use in the models for the quantity of sulfates spewed into the air, the number it gets multiplied to reduce insolation can be debated, but the hypothesis that sulfates reduce insolation is so well established it qualifies as theory.

Even those who claim we don’t need to worry about climate change argue it can be counteracted by spewing sulfates into the atmosphere.

In short, the description is like announcing another test of time dilation with the description “new Einstein special relativity hypothesis about time why dilates when moving”.

I suppose the concept is difficult for economists who keep proposing new hypothesis to justify the “tax cuts creates jobs” theory: puts money in peoples pockets to spend, let’s people spend more wisely than government, increases money driving up stock prices, works only after a few years, works only if taxes will never be increased, works only if their is no uncertainty, works only if government slashes payroll, works only if unions broken and wages slashed, works only if overpaid incompetent government workers are fired and start new businesses,…

Jim July 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

>>It almost seems as if the “Actual Problem Deniers” are more interested in finding something that every person could be taxed on (like salt or tea in 1770)….than they are in solving pollution problems.

Bingo.

Except for the “It almost seems as if.”

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