Saturday, February 13, 2010

Global Warming

Two funny articles at Science Daily:
The first:
"previous studies have largely overestimated mass loss from Alaskan glaciers over the past 40 years. Recent data from the SPOT 5 and ASTER satellites have enabled researchers to extensively map mass loss in these glaciers, which contributed 0.12 mm/year to sea-level rise between 1962 and 2006, rather than 0.17 mm/year as previously estimated."
.17 over .12 is 41.67% error.

Given that introduction, the title of the next article delivers the punchiline:
"How Well Do Scientists Understand How Changes in Earth's Orbit Affect Long-Term Natural Climate Trends?"
Off by almost 50%, maybe? Not very well?
"compared the current warm interglacial period with one 400,000 years ago"
This is going to end well.
"The researchers found that the current interglacial has indeed lasted some 2.0-2.5 millennia longer than predicted by the currently dominant theory... But the anomaly vanished when the researchers considered a rival theory"
So, somebody is off by 2000 years.
"Future research should more precisely narrow down the influence of orbital changes on climate"
Yes, why don't you get right on that.

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