Category Archives: Mathematics

Evolution

No, not the theory, the software. Is there some good reason why it won’t synchronize with an IMAP server? I have this crazy idea that if email gets marked as junk locally, it should be removed from the inbox on the server, but it doesn’t happen. I don’t see it in the local inbox, but if I look at the server with roundcube, it’s all still there, and I have to manually remove it. The only thing I can find in a search to deal with it is to use offlineimap to synch, and point Evolution at the local files. But that seems like a PITA to set up. Why does this have to be so hard?

Trump, And Climate

Thoughts from Judith Curry. tl;dr He’s not crazy:

In my post Trumping the elites, I stated that Trump’s election provided an opportunity for a more rational energy and climate policy. Many in the blog comments and the twitosphere found this to be an incomprehensible statement.

Here is what I think needs to be done, and I do see opportunities for these in a Trump administration:

  • a review of climate science that includes a faithful and transparent representation of uncertainties in 21st century projections of global and regional climate change

  • reopening of the ‘endangerment’ issue, as to whether warming is ‘dangerous’
  • a do-over on assessing the social cost of carbon, that accounts for full uncertainty in the climate model simulations, the integrated assessment models and their inputs.
  • support funding for Earth observing systems (satellite, surface, ocean) and research on natural climate variability.

Even if politics are to ‘trump’ the conclusions of these analyses, it would be clear that the Trump administration has done its due diligence on this issue in terms of gathering and assessing information. If the Trump administration were to accomplish the first 3 items, they might have a scientifically and economically defensible basis for pulling out of the Paris agreement and canceling Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

I noted the other day on Twitter that if Myron is the new EPA administrator, we’ll finally have one who is not a rabid environmentalist, and will follow the law, doing actual cost/benefit analyses. As a bonus, many EPA employees may quit (though it’s unclear if they have any marketable skills outside of government).

Steven DenBeste

Rest in peace.

He was one of the greats of early blogging, and a brilliant man in many fields. I have to confess that I feel partially responsible (though I’m sure I was far from alone) in chasing him away from blogging with an ill-thought email. I think I later apologized, but if I didn’t, Steven, if you can read this, please accept my deepest apologies.

[Tuesday-morning update]

More thoughts from Jim Geraghty.

Climate

is chaotic:

What is the import of Lorenz? Literally ALL of our collective data on historic “global atmospheric temperature” are known to be inaccurate to at least +/- 0.1 degrees C. No matter what initial value the dedicated people at NCAR/UCAR enter into the CESM for global atmospheric temperature, it will differ from reality (from actuality – the number that would be correct if it were possible to produce such a number) by many, many orders of magnitude greater than the one/one-trillionth of a degree difference used to initialize these 30 runs in the CESM-Large Ensemble. Does this really matter? In my opinion, it does not matter. It is easy to see that the tiniest of differences, even in a just one single initial value, produce 50-year projections that are as different from one another as is possible(see endnote 1). I do not know how many initial conditions values have to be entered to initialize the CESM – but certainly it is more than one. How much more different would the projections be if each of the initial values were altered, even just slightly?

This has always been pretty obvious to me. What does it mean? That we cannot model it into the future with any confidence whatsoever.