Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

July 29, 2011

Who is chilled out about warming?

Filed under: Climate change,Politics — Razib Khan @ 8:52 am

Chris Mooney pointed me to a report on a study which finds that white males are the most sanguine in relation to climate change. Unfortunately there wasn’t a link to the full report that I could see. But no worries, the GSS added a variable, TEMPGEN1, which asks: “In general, do you think that a rise in the world’s temperature caused by climate change is….”

1 – Extremely dangerous for the environment
2 – Very dangerous
3 – Somewhat dangerous
4 – Not very dangerous, or
5 – Not dangerous at all for the environment?

Below is a bar plot which illustrates the result by demographic:


May 30, 2011

The rise and fall of societies in Greenland

Filed under: Climate change,Greenland,History — Razib Khan @ 8:10 pm

I have no idea when the paper will be on PNAS‘s website, so I thought I would at least point to the ScienceDaily release, Climate Played Big Role in Vikings’ Disappearance from Greenland:

Greenland’s early Viking settlers were subjected to rapidly changing climate. Temperatures plunged several degrees in a span of decades, according to research from Brown University. A reconstruction of 5,600 years of climate history from lakes near the Norse settlement in western Greenland also shows how climate affected the Dorset and Saqqaq cultures…..

The Dorset were the non-European population which preceded the Inuit, and the Saqqaq preceded them. Last year Nature published a paper based on 350,000 SNPs from an ancient Saqqaq male which showed that he was related to modern Siberian peoples, and not to the later Inuit. That’s at least a very clear argument for why we should be very cautious about extrapolating from the genetic patterns of the present back to the past (and to be fair, poking around Google Books it seems that the archaeologists were skeptical of continuity between Saqqaq and Dorset cultures on empirical grounds, even if their theoretical disposition tended toward establishing an evolutionary relationship between the two).

One major issue ...

January 7, 2010

The unpredictable darkness | Razib Khan

Filed under: Climate change,Climate change scepticism,Ethics,Religion — Razib Khan @ 1:30 am
In complex and non-linear systems, the only thing we know is that our predictions are unreliable. I fear the reliably unpredictable

I fear the predictable unpredictable. Over the past decade there have been many warnings about Global Warming; precise extrapolations of temperature increases and projections of sea level rise. Such prognostication is understandable, they make the threat concrete to a complacent public. But the reality is that these physical processes are non-linear systems subject to wild fluctuations, with "flips" between alternative equilibrium states. Try to turn that into punchy prose!

Continue reading...

The unpredictable darkness | Razib Khan

Filed under: Climate change,Climate change scepticism,Ethics,Religion — Razib Khan @ 1:30 am
In complex and non-linear systems, the only thing we know is that our predictions are unreliable. I fear the reliably unpredictable

I fear the predictable unpredictable. Over the past decade there have been many warnings about Global Warming; precise extrapolations of temperature increases and projections of sea level rise. Such prognostication is understandable, they make the threat concrete to a complacent public. But the reality is that these physical processes are non-linear systems subject to wild fluctuations, with "flips" between alternative equilibrium states. Try to turn that into punchy prose!

Continue reading...

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