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Is Climate Change Impacting Your Long Term Planning?

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On 3/2/2019 at 12:39 AM, TrueMetis said:

There are only a handful of predictions, and they are all pointing in the same direction.

Heres another handful of predictions:

Cooler winters, Warmer winters

Smaller fish, bigger fish

More mosquitoes, fewer mosquitoes

Earth's spin speed up, Earths spin slows down

And the very worrying:

Grapes in Margaret river mature earlier, or later

The secret is predicting everything, that way at least one of them is right. Also, don't make any predictions time bound, that just makes them testable.

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6 minutes ago, Squab said:

Heres another handful of predictions:

Cooler winters, Warmer winters

Smaller fish, bigger fish

More mosquitoes, fewer mosquitoes

Earth's spin speed up, Earths spin slows down

And the very worrying:

Grapes in Margaret river mature earlier, or later

The secret is predicting everything, that way at least one of them is right. Also, don't make any predictions time bound, that just makes them testable.

I'm not even sure why I'm bothering, but... 

Several of those articles are looking at localized effects which can be simultaneously true. Ie yes it's possible for tuna in certain waters off Australia to become larger in the medium term, while simultaneously having generally smaller species of fish overall in the long term. And all of those are looking at the downstream, often very localized effects of the overall global climate warming, an incredibly complex system, and you're bound to get different results from different models, and as the models are updated with more information they will evolve.

A Doctor tells you that you have a brain tumor, you get a second opinion and you're told yes you have a tumor and it may effect your eyesight, and a 3rd opinion tells you that yes you have a tumor and it might be already causing loss of memory and fine motor skills. Do you disregard the initial diagnosis because they can't all tell you exactly what's happening and give you an exact time frame?

Frankly at this stage if you can't see warming is happening you have to be willfully disregarding the evidence.

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19 minutes ago, Squab said:

Heres another handful of predictions:

Cooler winters, Warmer winters

Smaller fish, bigger fish

More mosquitoes, fewer mosquitoes

Earth's spin speed up, Earths spin slows down

And the very worrying:

Grapes in Margaret river mature earlier, or later

The secret is predicting everything, that way at least one of them is right. Also, don't make any predictions time bound, that just makes them testable.

First I'm wondering if you read these articles, since the only the first article has a truly hard contradiction. (and since neither link to or talk about a study anyway you've got the solid "scientific" prediction of what two people say). The other contradiction is simply scientists making a prediction based on an isolated observation. Not exactly a good idea, but not really a big deal either given the context.

The first fish article says the overall size of fish will drop, as tropical fish expand their range, the second is concerned only with tuna. (and isn't a prediction besides, it's saying people have already seen larger tuna) That's not a contradictions, both can simultaneously be true.

The first mosquito article talks about mosquitoes being able to expand into higher elevations because of the change in temperature. The second talks about a single African nation where local conditions may make it so Malaria doesn't transmit as easily, but doesn't actually say anything about the overall population of mosquitoes. Indeed if you go to the actual paper on that one, you get in the conclusion "Increased biting and reproduction rates in mosquitoes’ population owing to high temperature will be balanced by shortening of their life span owing to decreased humidity and rainfall." Which suggests at least in Burundi the number of mosquitoes will remain the same. Of course even if it did say what you think it says, declining populations in one area would not mean declining populations overall, so it's entirely possible for mosquitoes to be on the decline somewhere, while the population of mosquitoes overall is on the rise.

The earth articles the first says that the earth will speed up because of shifting mass, the second that increased CO2 will have an effect on the atmosphere the will cause some slowdown. Both can be true, one will simply overcome the other, or they will cancel each other out, or both could be overcome by an even stronger force. Again not really the best idea to make predictions about complex systems based on singular data points, but it's a little blurb in newscientist, and a little blurb in BBC, so whatever. If you got into the actual papers involved they take into account other factors. And the prediction is that this phenomenon will have a cause an x amount of change in the earth spin over y years, but if I make a predictions that friction will cause X amount of force on a car in the opposite direction that it is moving, it doesn't make me wrong when the car moves in the direction opposite of the force of friction. It just means the force I calculated was overcome by other forces.

Finally on the wine, the first article does indeed predict earlier ripening due to warming. Of course the prediction isn't that warming causes earlier ripening, we already know that because we can see it happening. As supported by the second article, which isn't making predictions but reporting on data from the past. That all across southern Australian wine regions ripening times have been shortened due to heat, except Margaret River which hadn't seen warming and so hasn't yet seen decreased ripening times. So the prediction is that when Margaret River finally does see warming, it will see earlier ripening times. These are not even slightly in contradiction. In fact these predictions match beautifully.

And now, with all that said. I'm done chasing down actual science through the popular media. From here on out if you want me to engage meaningfully with you, link directly to the studies involved. I'm really not interested in trying to chase down what the science actually says though the lens of some journalist or a scientist trying to dumb down what thry're saying to get through to the scientifically illiterate population.

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1 hour ago, Squab said:

Heres another handful of predictions:

Cooler winters, Warmer winters

For the UK, and other parts of NW Europe, this is actually correct. In the short term, hotter summers, drier winters. But as instability mounts and other factors start kicking in (such as the melting glaciers from Greenland into the North Atlantic), the Gulf jet stream either shuts down altogether or migrates further south, at which point the climate and temperature of the UK and NW Europe snaps back to its global latitude norm (i.e. Canada/Siberia) and we get much, much colder.

Whether our extremely unseasonably long and freezing winter last year and our even more unseasonably extremely hot winter this year are indications of this or are isolated variations is unclear. But certainly the weather systems here are becoming more unstable and more unpredictable.

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14 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Compared to Australia, sure, Auckland is a bigger earthquake risk. But as New Zealand goes, the further north you go you move from earthquake to volcanic. All the volcanoes around Auckland are dead, so they're not a problem. You'll feel earthquakes in Auckland but it's highly unlikely Auckland will get hit by a big one directly. Then again, no one thought Christchurch would get hit by a big one, so you never know.

Honestly if I was ranking global locations based on "least likely to experience a severe short duration natural disaster" I can't think of any place that's better than Sydney. The biggest issue for us is drought which is also a very serious problem but that's a long time frame issue rather than a single "disaster".

So yeah, if we leave Sydney we're pretty much accepting that we're not moving for "safety from extreme weather events" but rather for similar but cooler climate, similar and compatible culture except not as xenophobic and racist as aussies.

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@Impmk2

@TrueMetis

You both miss the point entirely but I applaud the mental gymnastics required to believe things like the the world spinning faster and slower at the same time is not only possible but actually what is happening. If you are making long term planning decisions based on climate change, the list of predictions is such a big handful that is often contradictory so you can almost choose to do whatever you want and say, even though it isnt happening now, that it will happen in the future... probably... at some point.

We tried it in Australia; Tim Flannery who was head of the Copenhagen Climate Council, Australian of the Year and Chief scientist of the Climate Commission in Australia providing advice to the Australian government and public said in February 2007, "even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems" and in June 2007, he said that, "Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, water supplies are so low they need desalinated water urgently, possibly in as little as 18 months". Spurred into action, all 3 cities built desalination plants and Melbourne joined in because it hates being left out of anything. Results:

Sydney: completed 2010. turned off 2012 due to dam levels being too high. Restarting this year as dam levels are down to 60% as currently in drought. Lets hope it gets used in the future, at some point.

Melbourne: Flooded construction site by the Powlett river in 2011 prior to completion. Completed in 2012 and immediately put in standby mode. Current cost estimates are $649 million dollaroos a year until somewhere between 2035-45 when the contract to (not?) supply ends.

Brisbane: actually put on the gold coast, luckily as the Brisbane river flodded in 2011 as the dams were too full. Production was at 100% during a the flooding events in 2010 and 2011 where water sources were contaminated, Currently on "hot standby" not producing.

Adelaide: The Adelaide Desalination Project is the largest infrastructure project that the State of South Australia has funded, owns, and has completed successfully, giving you an idea of the backwater South Australia is. Currently operating at minimum capacity rather than cold storage but was used between 2012 and 2015 although the state was still adequetely supplied during this time...

Don't get me wrong. they will get used as the population increases, droughts occur and governments fail to build dams. Dams that would be cheaper than a desal plant to run and actually produce electricity through hydro rather than use it. And we were in a drought in 2007 when Tim Flannery was believed so easily. But as predictions go, I would say both of Tim's were proven wrong pretty quickly unless you want to put the qualifier of "at some point in the future" in which case everything is true.

So remember, never make your climate predictions time bound lest they be proven false.

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9 minutes ago, Squab said:

@Impmk2

@TrueMetis

You both miss the point entirely but I applaud the mental gymnastics required to believe things like the the world spinning faster and slower at the same time is not only possible but actually what is happening.

You don't have a point, you have an inability to understand. Or are you going to tell me it's impossible to pull something it two directions at once? Cause that's literally all that it going on here.

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1 hour ago, TrueMetis said:

You don't have a point, you have an inability to understand. Or are you going to tell me it's impossible to pull something it two directions at once? Cause that's literally all that it going on here.

Slowing down: "This will make every day a little longer than it is already."

Speeding up: "Earth will start rotating a wee bit faster, reducing the length of a day" I've even linked the article they were referencing for you.

Somehow you have been able to convinve yourself both are true. I feel as if you are just trolling now to derail the thread or somehow I've landed in the 1984. Maybe war is peace.

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7 hours ago, Squab said:

Slowing down: "This will make every day a little longer than it is already."

Speeding up: "Earth will start rotating a wee bit faster, reducing the length of a day" I've even linked the article they were referencing for you.

Somehow you have been able to convinve yourself both are true. I feel as if you are just trolling now to derail the thread or somehow I've landed in the 1984. Maybe war is peace. 

Or maybe, simplified pop articles are different from what the science actually says, and you should look at the studies involved.

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I work in science (microbiology, but the method is still the same) and I was going to make a rebutting post about the nuances of science and uncertainty. But then by chance this article popped up this morning, which makes a lot of the same points I was going to.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/good-climate-science-is-all-about-nuance-good-politics-is-not/
 

Quote

 

Confidence doesn’t equal competence. But our brains tend to assume it does. And that can create big problems when scientific evidence collides with political rhetoric. The senator who confidently throws a snowball to prove that winter is cold can be more memorable (and more believable) than the one who takes the podium to carefully explain how we know fossil fuel use is changing climate over decades. 

...

But the global climate system, and our understanding of how humans are altering it, is complex and nuanced enough that talking about it can easily involve a stumbled series of “ifs,” “ands” and “buts.”

...

Gathering scientific evidence is always a nuanced and complex process. So it’s easy for someone with an agenda to highlight that complexity and make the conclusions seem less trustworthy than they really are.

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Impmk2 said:

I work in science (microbiology, but the method is still the same) and I was going to make a rebutting post about the nuances of science and uncertainty. But then by chance this article popped up this morning, which makes a lot of the same points I was going to.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/good-climate-science-is-all-about-nuance-good-politics-is-not/
 

 

 

While gathering evidence and describing it may be as nuanced as creative writing, science is only as good as its predictions. A scientific theory that makes false predictions is rejected even if you learn something from it.

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I must have missed Newton's Theory of Universal Gravitation being rejected then. No wait, it does make several wrong predictions yet we still use it constantly. Or any of the dozen or so models of the atom, since we can't find one that works in all cases.

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18 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

I must have missed Newton's Theory of Universal Gravitation being rejected then. No wait, it does make several wrong predictions yet we still use it constantly. Or any of the dozen or so models of the atom, since we can't find one that works in all cases.

Read general relativity.

Exactly only as good as its predictions. Newtons theory is not accurate everywhere but where its predictions are good enough, we use it. To then try to use it where its predictions are innaccurate and expect a different result would be the definition of stupidity.

Edited by Squab

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2 minutes ago, Squab said:

Read general relativity.

Exactly only as good as its predicions. Newtons theory is not accurate everywhere but where its predictions are good enoguh, we use it. To then try to use it where its predictions are innaccurate and expect a different result would be the definition of stupidity.

So we've gone from "A scientific theory that makes false predictions is rejected" to " where its predictions are good enoguh, we use it." Nice shifting the goal posts.

Edited by TrueMetis

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1 minute ago, TrueMetis said:

So we've gone from "A scientific theory that makes false predictions is rejected" to "its predictions are good enoguh, we use it." Nice shifting the goal posts.

Really? You believe that days being longer and shorter at the same time is possible but cant see how if something cant predict X, then reject it for predicting X? If something (that same thing even) predicts Y the we can use it for that?

There is no grand unifying theory that predicts everything yet, as i understand it.

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2 minutes ago, Squab said:

Really? You believe that days being longer and shorter at the same time is possible but cant see how if something cant predict X, then reject it for predicting X? If something (that same thing even) predicts Y the we can use it for that?

No I don't believe that, but if you can't understand something as simple as opposing forces and the simplified nature of news articles vs scientific papers, than there's really no point in trying to explain to you further.

I also entirely agree with using theories even though there may be areas they break down, you are the one that said theories that make false predictions should be rejected, not me.

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23 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

I must have missed Newton's Theory of Universal Gravitation being rejected then. No wait, it does make several wrong predictions yet we still use it constantly. Or any of the dozen or so models of the atom, since we can't find one that works in all cases.

You are conflating two different types of incorrect theories. Newton's theory of gravitation and the model of the atom from basic chemistry are still used because we have considerable mastery of their successors and we know when a simplification is acceptable. That is, we not only understand general relativity, but we know the limits in which it reduces to Newtonian gravity and while we could always use GR for everything, we're sufficiently confident in our understanding to save some computational resources and use the limiting case. The same is true of the quantum description of the atom and basic chemistry -- don't waste CPU time when the simpler model is perfectly sufficient.

The type of incorrectness Squab is talking about is different: it's a case of starting with a valid scientific result and running around like a beheaded chicken screaming about possibly related phenomena every time one of the latter is encountered. The valid result is anthropogenic global warming -- at this point, we are confident that the average temperature of the world is rising and also what we've done to bring that about. So far so good... but then the media mentions "climate change" at practically every weather related event. Drought? Climate change. Flood? Also climate change. Heat wave? Definitely climate change. Polar vortex? Still climate change. Forest fire? You guessed it, climate change.

This is totally different from taking the current state-of-the-art theory and simplifying it down to a limiting case when you know that the latter is good enough. There is some fuzzy but plausible reasoning for higher temperatures to lead to more extreme weather, but to parrot "climate change" at every possible opportunity is not scientific -- the impact of higher temperatures on most specific phenomena has not been studied yet -- and it's not helpful.

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7 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

No I don't believe that, but if you can't understand something as simple as opposing forces and the simplified nature of news articles vs scientific papers, than there's really no point in trying to explain to you further.

I also entirely agree with using theories even though there may be areas they break down, you are the one that said theories that make false predictions should be rejected, not me.

A theory has a prediction in it with a set of assumptions. Thats what makes it a theory and not just a hypothesis. Prediction wrong, time to change theory. Prediction right, use it for that.

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Seven hells. It's called "climate change" rather than "global warming" for a reason: although we know for a fact that temperatures are rising *globally* we also know that localized changes or events are near impossible to predict. So it's not surprising that there are contradicting predictions as soon as we start going into details. This certainly does not invalidate the theory as a whole, unless you read the wrong stuff or have zero critical distance.

Then there's confusion between prediction of future events and interpretation of current events. Some extreme climactic events that we are witnessing are no doubt due to climate change, but it's difficult to know which ones or to what extent global changes are playing a role in them.
A single drought, heat wave, flood, polar vortex, or forest fire may not be a consequence of climate change but if such events are truly exceptional and/or start happening on a regular basis, it's a pretty safe bet that they are indeed part of the whole. Sometimes the media gets a bit sensational and may get a few things wrong, Nonetheless, *some* of these extreme events must be linked to climate change anyway so a few mistakes here and there are only to be expected, and again that certainly doesn't say anything about the theory as a whole.

Throwing doubt on the theory because of specific changes or events is exactly what deniers do. The fact remains that the temperatures *are* rising, and the discussions about possible mistakes are -quite frankly- silly. Yes, no one knows how climate change is really going to affect us as individuals. Biggity whoop. It's still going to affect us in some way or the other.

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No, it's not really something I take into account. I don't really plan much for the long term though, aside from making sure to save money for retirement.

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