1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby speising » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:44 pm UTC

I believe cargo ships are huge to save on crew. Robot ships could change the equation. How cool would fleets of robot solar powered cargo ships be!

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:48 pm UTC

lyagooshka wrote:1. I see some scribble on the side. Looks like you took it upon yourself to smooth out some spikes. What's the max of the value you use? Just curious, you know. Because when you go from 500 year periods to 100 year ones and claim you flatten any spikes, makes me curious if this isn't just another spike that in 2100 we'll be flattening.

This question has been addressed many times in this thread (it's probably the point most frequently brought up). The axes of the inset are not labeled, but it clearly seems to be on the same scale as the rest of the comic. It does provide sources which you can check for yourself.

2. I see you used a 30 year period as "Zero". Any scientific data backing that period as the "standard" for measuring all climate variation? You know, as opposed to the temperature in the corresponding time period before the last ice glaciation.

There is no "standard," it is an arbitrary baseline. The y-axis could be anywhere. This is simply the temperature convention used by climatologists. All that matters is the difference in temperatures and rate of change, not any absolute comparison to some specific point.

3. And speaking of which, how about some data for time between the second to last ice glaciation and the last one? You know, just to compare.

Well he has to start somewhere. But it's worth noting that during the Eemian, the orbit was significantly more eccentric, the North Atlantic Drift was much weaker, the Arctic was colder and icier, and mid latitudes were much warmer. So it's not a great model. Nevertheless, some data indicate that temperatures may have transitioned between warm and cold periods during the Eemian very quickly, so I would like to see someone else's take on this.

4. I really like the dotted line that says "current path". It looks scary. And, it reminds me of this one comic I saw on xkcd. It was about someone telling someone else not to get married because if they did, in 2 days, they'd have 2 spouses, and so on and so on. Do you remember which one that was? maybe you could send a link? Not sure why it made me think of it, it just did.

This would be a valid complaint if the projection were based on two data points instead of hundreds. The "current path" represents the median estimate in climatological literature assuming no change in CO2 emissions.

5. It seems that our temps are about what they were 5500 BCE. So it's not really a record breaker. I guess in 500 years we can look back and see if it was (you know, with adjustments for any "spikes"). Wouldn't it be cool to be able to do that? You know, to hold people accountable if their predictions fail miserably? But we won't live that long. Shame.

Yes, and you will notice it took 3700 years for the temperature to increase by as much to that level as we have seen in the past century (~1 C). It is indeed an excellent comparison and the entire point of the comic.

6. Speaking of failing miserably, I think I have a "What If" idea. What if we took that initial model put out by the IPCC (I see that is one of the sources here) and compared it to actual data? I mean we don't need to as I am sure it would line up perfectly, which is why we put so much faith in their long-term predictions. But hey, "what if"?

Something like this?

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Tyndmyr wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:As for nuclear commercial ships, yes, that is ultimately realistic, but the political horizon still seems pretty far away. Is that the only realistic option for carbon-free shipping?


Yes. There are severe math issues with solar powered ships. Surface area scaling is awful. Wind powered ships exist, of course, but a second age of sail would have a few downsides.

Yeah I figured sails weren't a realistic solution, and solar power seems even less feasible. This is why I was concerned there might not be any realistic alternative to oil-powered shipping in the next few decades. But I also don't know much about shipping, so I want to be sure I'm not missing any good options.

speising wrote:I believe cargo ships are huge to save on crew. Robot ships could change the equation. How cool would fleets of robot solar powered cargo ships be!

Large ships also make loading and unloading much faster, which is a very important economic consideration. And I believe they are more fuel efficient. I'm not sure smaller ships would do any better than large ships with solar power. Either way, you need a huge surface area to transport a comparatively small mass of containers at a comparatively low speed.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby SDK » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:18 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Wind and solar are not virtually free. Infrastructure, etc costs still exist, and while sometimes wind and solar are practical in a given area, they are definitely not virtually free.

They kind of are in one sense: they produce more energy than they take to make. That's still true even if you take into account the full lifecycle of all the materials. Once we get over the initial investment (and you're right that that's far from free) we can use renewables to make more renewables basically without limit.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby ps.02 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:24 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
speising wrote:I believe cargo ships are huge to save on crew.

Large ships also make loading and unloading much faster, which is a very important economic consideration. And I believe they are more fuel efficient.

While the available solar power for a ship depends on surface area, so does the water (and air) resistance, which I guess is the main thing you need propulsion for. (Yes, there's a velocity component as well, but at a WAG, it's not too significant at ship speeds.)

Which is to say, if solar-powered ships aren't practical, I doubt it would help much to scale them either up or down.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:26 pm UTC

Not really. They're reliant upon technology, maint, and materials, just like everything else.

Yes, the sunlight isn't going to run out, but that's never been an issue. Everything ultimately comes down to resources and man hours, and renewables are no different.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby ps.02 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:32 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Wind and solar are not virtually free.

They kind of are in one sense: they produce more energy than they take to make. That's still true even if you take into account the full lifecycle of all the materials.

For years I've been wondering why I can't find any information about solar-powered solar cell factories. You'd think they would see a marketing benefit to eating their own dogfood, demonstrating the practicality of the thing they are selling. Plus, there's the fact that (at least in the US) grid electricity for industrial customers is generally priced far higher than for residential. This should be a no-brainer.

What do they know that they aren't telling us? In what world does solar make sense for me, but not for the people who actually make the panels?

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:04 pm UTC

In practice, there's a lot of overseas outsourcing of electronics manufacturing, including solar cells. The local economy often tends to cheap and dirty coal. Ecologically horrible, but economically a better deal than setting up solar panels. Power also isn't necessarily priced sanely, or in accordance with the market. Some countries will attempt subsidies, etc.

So, a number of manufacturing plants are not solar powered because of economics, but there's no real hidden secret here. It's just math.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby SDK » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:31 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Not really. They're reliant upon technology, maint, and materials, just like everything else.

Yes, the sunlight isn't going to run out, but that's never been an issue. Everything ultimately comes down to resources and man hours, and renewables are no different.

Yes, and whatever you need was probably produced by burning coal. At the end of the day, though, that renewable energy source took less coal to produce and use than if you'd just used coal alone. At present, that's the best we can do. A couple centuries from now, if renewables are providing 100% of the resources via electrical energy, then that's all there is to it.

ps.02 wrote:What do they know that they aren't telling us? In what world does solar make sense for me, but not for the people who actually make the panels?

To add to what Tyndmyr said, no one can use 100% solar power without very expensive (currently) energy storage. Most solar companies are barely surviving as it is, so that's not feasible when you're competing against other solar suppliers who don't share your concern. A quick google search tells me that there are many solar companies who do use solar, but it's always just one part of their energy sources. I don't think you can expect much better than that.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby DanD » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:04 pm UTC

speising wrote:I believe cargo ships are huge to save on crew. Robot ships could change the equation. How cool would fleets of robot solar powered cargo ships be!


The major issue would actually be time in transit. Solar/wind powered ships would be slower than fueled ships. If your goods spend 4 weeks in transit instead of two weeks, you are holding inventory for two extra weeks. Average value per TEU incoming is somewhere around a quarter mil. So a large container ship is carrying somewhere around $4 billion in cargo. 2 weeks at 5% TVM would be $7.7 million lost.

This is grossly over-simplified, but time is money.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Cougar Allen » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:30 am UTC

[quote="ps.02"][/quote]

Thank you; that answers my question. I am quite surprised. :shock:

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby bob443@mahaska.org » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:23 pm UTC

Little bit of a correction for you here;
earth_timeline.jpg

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby SDK » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:37 pm UTC

Setting aside consideration of the data, there are two flaws with your graph. 1) The projections don't appear to be based on anything at all, and 2) "probably certain".
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:29 pm UTC

bob443@mahaska.org wrote:Little bit of a correction for you here
As seems usual for this aspect of the denialist position, you seem to have missed the fact that (maybe-)humans being able to survive in a warmer Earth is not remotely the same thing as modern civilization being able to continue uninterrupted through a return to those temperatures on a much shorter timescale.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:05 pm UTC

Also, pointy bit about Three Kings gathering "evidence" from stars rather than "ruling elite" is pointy and irrelevant culture wars bullshit.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby SDK » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:09 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Also, pointy bit about Three Kings gathering "evidence" from stars rather than "ruling elite" is pointy and irrelevant culture wars bullshit.

Bahahaha! I missed that on the first pass! Okay, you win, bob443. Your comic is much funnier than Randall's.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Dyno » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:14 pm UTC

Minerva wrote:
Rzah wrote:
Stargazer71 wrote:Am I missing something? the graph in the comic doesn't change scale.


But maybe it should change scale. Is this completely linear time scale really that useful? Obviously it's a fun excuse for an enormous comic, but for the best possible understanding of the changes industrialisation has made, perhaps we should switch the scale somewhere about the time of Newcomen and Watt.

Also, given the amount of social media coverage this one has received and the kinds of people I've seen sharing it, it would be great if perhaps next week Randall could turn his attention to the "stop calling yourself a climate change activist and then screaming that nuclear power is an evil Monsanto conspiracy" problem. Using Randall's influence here would be really valuable for climate change mitigation.


This is something that many people don't realise about a the sceptical position on climate change. The key points are: 1) Pollution is bad, but CO2 is not the pollution you should be principally be worried about and, 2) Whatever your view on pollution and climate change you should be embracing nuclear (preferable thorium).

The whole "hurr-durr oil industry shill" thing is just a straw man from what I've seen. Most sceptics are anti-pollution and pro-nuclear.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:55 pm UTC

They are probably also pro-family, anti-terrorism, and anti-baby eating, but they are still wrong about climate change.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby dolphintickler » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:47 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
dolphintickler wrote:I am referring to the Earth's average temperature - not that of the Earth's atmosphere or some subset of it. The graph relies on a temperature accurate to at least 5°C - if you know the Earth's temperature for today to that accurace I'd be fascinated to learn it. Once again I emphasize that this is the temperature of the whole planet, including its crust, mantle and core - not just its atmosphere.

Additionally, if you can tell me what temperature is actually represented in the graph (and how you know), I'd be interested in that. Does it cover the whole atmosphere, or just the lower parts? Does it include any of the rivers, lakes, seas, or oceans, or does it stop at the surface of the water?
Damn I thought this argument was dead.


What argument? There's no argument there, though if you want one I can certainly start one.

morriswalters wrote:The models use defined volumes, some area to some height. Sats can measure roughly the energy emitted by the earth and sampling is widespread to make fairly accurate assumptions about the average temperature over the course of a year. Other sats can measure the solar insolation. The models, at least 5 at my last glimpse, output a range not a specific number.


I didn't ask for generalities: I asked for what this one particular graph is supposed to mean. I have no doubt that there are models which specify lots of things, and I'm sure there are lots of other graphs, but this thread is about the graph in xkcd 1732 not those other graphs and not other models - only those used for this graph.

morriswalters wrote:You don't really need the core temperature,


Don't tell me what I need. If I'm curious about the Earth's average temperature, that alone creates a need to know it.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:57 am UTC

dolphintickler wrote:Don't tell me what I need. If I'm curious about the Earth's average temperature, that alone creates a need to know it.
Given the ambiguous capitalisation, it may be that you'd actually be more correct to ask about the pedosphere, however...

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby dolphintickler » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:59 am UTC

Cougar Allen wrote:Citation needed. Where does net metering require a utility company to buy at retail? Not where I live (Massachusetts) or any place I know of.


That is the definition of "net metering". See the Wikipedia article with that title. When the utility is required to buy at a price above retail, it's called a "feed-in tariff" (see Wikipedia again for details). If the price is below retail it doesn't have a special name because that's just the normal way of doing business.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby dolphintickler » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:01 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
dolphintickler wrote:Don't tell me what I need. If I'm curious about the Earth's average temperature, that alone creates a need to know it.
Given the ambiguous capitalisation, it may be that you'd actually be more correct to ask about the pedosphere, however...


Good point. And that would also be interesting.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:04 am UTC

There are sources on the graph. You can find out what they're taking the average of by checking yourself.

dolphintickler wrote:If I'm curious about the Earth's average temperature, that alone creates a need to know it.
No, that constitutes a desire to know it. Desires are not the same as needs, and furthermore your desires place no obligation on the rest of us to provide you with answers.

Do you want the average by volume or the average by mass? I suspect you don't actually care and are instead just being a pissy pedant, but you can at least go ahead and be specific in your inquiry.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby dolphintickler » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:06 am UTC

bob443@mahaska.org wrote:Little bit of a correction for you here;earth_timeline.jpg


Someone might have taken you seriously if only you hadn't claimed that +8°C was "double the temepratures (sic) of modern times".

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:11 am UTC

Yeah idk what the core has to do with anything. It might be an interesting thing to think about, but it is not related to climate. More importantly, it has not changed significantly in the past 22,000 years. It has cooled by perhaps 1 or 2 mK and most likely grown by a few meters.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:31 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:...in the past 22,000 years [Earth's core has] most likely grown by a few meters.

Oh me yarm! It's on a pace to consume the whole planet!

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby dolphintickler » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:34 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:There are sources on the graph. You can find out what they're taking the average of by checking yourself.


I assume you mean where it says "Reconstructions are from Shakun (2012), and Marcott (2015)...". Assuming this means Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation by Shakun et al, and A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years by Marcott et al, then both of these refer to "global surface temperature" and do not explicitly state what that means.

gmalivuk wrote:
dolphintickler wrote:If I'm curious about the Earth's average temperature, that alone creates a need to know it.
No, that constitutes a desire to know it. Desires are not the same as needs, and furthermore your desires place no obligation on the rest of us to provide you with answers.


I never suggested that anyone was under an obligation to provide me with an answer.

gmalivuk wrote:Do you want the average by volume or the average by mass? I suspect you don't actually care and are instead just being a pissy pedant, but you can at least go ahead and be specific in your inquiry.


I would be happy to get either.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:03 am UTC

"Surface temperature" is the temperature at the surface. So if you stick a thermometer a millimeter into ground or water, you are measuring the surface temperature.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby morriswalters » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:26 am UTC

Well, I must say, the core is pretty hot. What is it? Molten iron or something like that. I gave you the temperature 5 feet down. 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That you don't understand what that means isn't my problem. I would further muddy the waters by saying building codes designate winter frost lines and require plumbing lines to be below that. In my jurisdiction that would be thirty inches. To all intents and purposes the temperature taken by holding a thermometer at chest height will give you the surface temperature. If on the other hand you mean the ground temperature, define ground. If you mean soil temperature ask a farmer. They measure it. Otherwise specify what you mean by ground.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby niauropsaka » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:42 am UTC

That graph by bob443@mahaska.org rubs me the wrong way, somehow. I feel like, and maybe I'm imagining this, it has a whiff of churchy screwball around it. It doesn't seem to be from a Young-Earth Creationist, but it does seem to be pro-astrology!

Why the huge difference in description of the Younger Dryas? Is this seriously disputed? Does the apparent movement of the god-planets against the crystalline sphere of Heaven have the answer?

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby x7eggert » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:25 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If you start with accepting A as a premise, and conclude with !A, logically, you done fucked up.


Didi you ever disprove something by contradiction?

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:06 pm UTC

dolphintickler wrote:both of these refer to "global surface temperature" and do not explicitly state what that means

I imagine they didn't explicitly state what a degree means, either. Is that also a problem or are you capable of using Wikipedia?

Even if you aren't, that one phrase greatly narrows it down. They're not talking about the temperature underground and they're not talking about the temperature in the upper atmosphere and they're not just talking about North America or Africa or whatever.

But then I'm pretty sure you already knew that and are just being an ass.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:07 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote: Is that also a problem or are you capable of using Wikipedia? ... But then I'm pretty sure you already knew that and are just being an ass.


It bothers me that, as a moderator, you continually berate forum users. I only sampled a single post but you continue to take an elitist approach throughout this thread. It adds zero value to the discussion. I suspect this is one of the reasons many denialists have a hard time accepting AGW.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:15 pm UTC

Ah, the old "Stop being a meanie" argument.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby orthogon » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:33 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote: Is that also a problem or are you capable of using Wikipedia? ... But then I'm pretty sure you already knew that and are just being an ass.


It bothers me that, as a moderator, you continually berate forum users. I only sampled a single post but you continue to take an elitist approach throughout this thread. It adds zero value to the discussion. I suspect this is one of the reasons many denialists have a hard time accepting AGW.

As I understand it, gmal continually berates forum users as a forum member. I've always assumed that, were he to speak as a moderator, he would do so in red.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:43 pm UTC

Anyway, I gave you the answer, which I determined with Google. The reason gmal isn't helping you is because if you were really "just curious," you would have looked up the answer yourself, which takes like two minutes, tops. But instead you threw out a bunch of random questions and framed them as an objection to the comic, as if there was something wrong with it but instead of checking, you just posted a litany of possible objections hoping one would stick.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby morriswalters » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:14 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:It bothers me that, as a moderator, you continually berate forum users. I only sampled a single post but you continue to take an elitist approach throughout this thread. It adds zero value to the discussion. I suspect this is one of the reasons many denialists have a hard time accepting AGW.
That is the way he is, you might as well howl at the moon.

Had Dolphitickler cared he could have used the search function here since this subject has been covered ad naseum in other threads. However I'm bored so here is a link to the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) page at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies which goes into some detail as to why and how. Paleotemperature estimates are a different beast and he's on his own. He should love the link since the deniers go to hate object, developed the techniques.

edit
:twisted: Hansen :twisted:

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:46 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote: Is that also a problem or are you capable of using Wikipedia? ... But then I'm pretty sure you already knew that and are just being an ass.


It bothers me that, as a moderator, you continually berate forum users. I only sampled a single post but you continue to take an elitist approach throughout this thread. It adds zero value to the discussion. I suspect this is one of the reasons many denialists have a hard time accepting AGW.


Facts are facts. If you only accept them when people are nice, you're going to miss out on a great deal, but ultimately, that's your call. They're not more or less true because of berating people.

And, honestly, as someone who occasionally ridicules people who are stubbornly ignoring facts, we don't do it out of any idea that it makes our arguments more persuasive. We do it because it's entertaining.

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gmalivuk
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:06 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote: Is that also a problem or are you capable of using Wikipedia? ... But then I'm pretty sure you already knew that and are just being an ass.


It bothers me that, as a moderator, you continually berate forum users. I only sampled a single post but you continue to take an elitist approach throughout this thread. It adds zero value to the discussion. I suspect this is one of the reasons many denialists have a hard time accepting AGW.

If they can't accept a scientific position because some of the people who hold it are mean to them, then their thin skins and fallacious reasoning are not my problem.

I don't post solely to "add value to the discussion", especially not if you define "value" as "objective information expressed in as coddling a way as possible, bereft of any opinions or editorializing", and also especially not in the ICT subforum.

Besides, I find it very valuable to an interaction when a disingenuous argument put forward by someone who's just being an ass is explicitly identified as such. When someone else does this, it helps me realize I'm not misreading and I'm not alone in thinking the ass isn't really participating in good faith, and I like to return the favor.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby QuakeIV » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:40 pm UTC

Huh wow, I showed up kindof thinking that most people here would fairly sincerely want to seriously debate, rather than being here for personal entertainment, but the actual mods have the game down better than I ever will.

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Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:44 pm UTC

If this were the first time AGW denialists showed up on the forum to repeat their tired long-refuted talking points, people might be more interested in seriously engaging with them. But since these conversations have already happened multiple times, and no one's bringing anything new to the discussion, and on top of that some are participating in obvious bad faith, our motivation for serious discussion drops significantly.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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