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Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Melting Faster: New Study

Sea level rise rate has increased marginally, but are we doomed in the future?

ThwaiteNOAANOAARapidly rising sea levels that inundate the coastlines where billions of people live is one of the more worrisome concerns associated with climate change. A new report in Nature suggests that the rate of melting of crucial Antarctic ice sheets has tripled during the past 25 years and is accelerating sea level rise. The melting is the result of warmer ocean waters undermining glaciers grounded on sea bottoms around Antarctica and increased surface melt from warmer air temperatures. If all of the glaciers on the southern continent were to melt then sea level would rise by 58 meters (190 feet).

In its Fifth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested that average sea level rose by 7.5 inches between 1901 and 2010. The IPCC also reported that sea level very likely rose at a rate of about 1.7 millimeters (0.07 inch) per year between 1901 and 2010, but had accelerated to 3.2 millimeters (0.13 inch) between 1993 and 2010. If the rate does not increase, that would imply that sea level would rise by an average of 10 inches by 2100. In fact, that is the IPCC's low end estimate while its high end projection is nearly 39 inches depending on how much extra carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere during the rest of this century.

A February study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences based on satellite altimeter data that sea level rise at 3 millimeters per year has accelerated at a rate of 0.084 millimeters since 1993. If sea level continues to change at this rate and acceleration, the researchers estimate that average sea-level rise by 2100 will be closer to 24 inches than 10 inches in 2100.

In the new Nature report, a team of researchers has reviewed 24 different studies on the melting trends in Antarctic ice sheets. Overall, they find that since 1992, the frozen continent has lost about 2.7 trillion tons of ice into the oceans raising sea level by an additional about 7.6 millimeters (0.3 inch) during that period. Basically, the current rate of melting in Antarctica has boosted the sea level rise by 0.3 millimeters per year since 1992. However, the losses in the last five years have tripled over what they were in the first five years of the period. This roughly suggests that Antarctica glacial melting is now adding about 0.5 millimeters per year to sea level rise.

So adding that to 3.2 millimeters yields an annual increase of 3.7 millimeters annually. At a constant rate that would increase average sea level to nearly 12 inches by the end of this century. Not good, but hardly a catastrophe.

The IPCC's high end projection of 39 inches implies that sea level rise would have to average 12 millimeters (0.48 inch) per year from now until 2100. In its article on the new Nature study, the Washington Post reports, "In a controversial 2016 study, former NASA scientist James Hansen and a team of colleagues found that Earth's sea level could rise above one meter (or 3.3 feet) within 50 years if polar ice-sheet loss doubles every 10 years. A tripling every decade, were it to continue, would reach that volume of sea level rise even sooner."

That would imply an annual sea level increase of more than 20 millimeters (0.78 inches) per year; 7 times the current ratae and more than ten times the rate experienced during the 20th century. But as the Post notes, "There is no proof the current rate of change in Antarctica will continue. Scientists can't see the future, but they do fear continuing and even worsening losses."

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    These are always fun threads.

  • H. Farnham||

    Ron is a lefty enviro-religion preacher idiot. Also, Ron is a fossil fuels lobbyist science-denier idiot.

    That should simultaneously summarize the majority of the comments to come.

    Disclaimer: I'm a fan of Ron Bailey's work.

  • sarcasmic||

    That should simultaneously summarize the majority of the comments to come.

    No. Just John's.

  • H. Farnham||

    Blue John's also. Bailey gets it from both ends of the spectrum.

  • sarcasmic||

    Blue John's also.

    *snort*

    Considering I'm the one who came up with Red Tony, that's pretty darn funny.

  • General Skarr's Prize Petunias||

    The problem is that I'm Red Tony...from the future!

  • Jerryskids||

    My beef with Bailey isn't that he's an idiot, it's that he's a con man. The guy started studying and writing on environmental issues 25 years ago just on the off chance that some day he might be able to get rich peddling lies about global warming on a libertarian website - and you've got to admire that sort of dedication to the scam - but he should have known that 25 years of study means nothing to random internet commenters who saw an article this one time and now know far more than he does about climatology. But I suppose Ron's not just in it for the money, it's the cocktail party invites that really sweeten the pot.

  • H. Farnham||

    I, for one, would like to see the studies that show the correlation between cocktail ethanol consumption and rising global temperatures. That's what the elite really don't want us to know about.

  • Nardz||

    I'd be happy if just once, maybe, an article about climate mentioned the sun.
    Its energy output, which we have 0 control over, might possibly dictate upwards of 90% of the conditions on earth.
    I'd be a lot more receptive to this particular religious debate would at least acknowledge this fact.

    *note: haven't read this article yet. Might get around to it. Therefore I acknowledge the possibility that this is the one!

  • H. Farnham||

    Google TSIS-1. It's an instrument on the ISS that measures solar irradiance. I'm not sure it's been active long enough to have collected enough meaningful data though.

  • Tony||

    Why won't the scientists notice the sun!!!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Don't forget Red Michael Hihn.

  • ||

    Hihn has no color.

  • Texasmotiv||

    Yep Left - Right = Zero, guys.

  • perlchpr||

    You're able to decipher enough of his gibberish to have assigned a TEAM to it? And worse, there's a second one on the other TEAM?

  • General Skarr's Prize Petunias||

    Chipper's got a bug up his ass over Sevo for some reason. Don't know why. Sevo's not quite as old, and he doesn't shit up the entire thread with boldface when somebody questions him.

    Granted, he doesn't really know how to link either, but you get what you pay for.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    John will be the majority of the comments.

  • sarcasmic||

    You saying my real name is John?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm saying you often frequent prostitutes.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wish. Then I could honestly say I'd gotten laid at least once in the last two years.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Damn, you really are a libertarian.

  • sarcasmic||

    No. I'm a computer geek who works from home, is past 40, has a special needs child...

    Yeah. I really am a libertarian.

  • Z565||

    You're a very likable libertarian.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Sounds like you owe yourself a trip to Amsterdam, or at least Nevada.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Q: Where does Richard Gere go when he wants to pay for sex?

    A: Hamsterdam

  • ||

    Jesus Christ.

    This site has gone doooowwwwnn.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So you are a progressive adherent to the Church of AGW?

    By the way, John is much sharper than most of you dicks who whine about him. You're far better off listening to him.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    ^LOL

  • sarcasmic||

    If that means the coastal cities where all the liberals live will be drowned, then I need to trade in my Subaru for a Hummer.

  • Rockabilly||

  • perlchpr||

    I've had that thought, but unfortunately, it'll happen slowly enough that it won't take the liberals with it, which means they're all going to just move to the places they haven't destroyed yet. Much like a plague of locusts.

  • Rockabilly||

    Ban death; peoples die from it !

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Sea level rise rate has increased marginally, but are we doomed in the future?"

    We'll adapt to meet our problems, but ultimately, species come and go, and there's no reason to assume ours will be any different.

    Without any compelling evidence to the contrary, it's reasonable to assume, for statistical purposes, that we're probably near the mean. Homo Sapeins has been around for about 100,000 years, so it's probably safe to assume that's about how much more time we have 'til the species goes bust.

    And it may not go bust; we may just evolve into something better given various shocks (like climate) and genetic drift. Plenty of species have gone extinct--never to see the better adapted among them thrive because of their advantages. Gaining the ability to manipulate the genetic code of our progeny will surely help them survive--but, yeah, they'll stop being homo sapiens at some point.

  • sarcasmic||

    Crocodiles have been around for 200 million years. Why can't we?

  • Ken Shultz||

    The question is how much longer crocodiles have to go. If they're 200 million years old, then 200 million more years is the best guess.

    Fundamental theorem of statistics tells us to assume the mean is most likely and it becomes increasingly less likely as we move away from that. If we want to make a guess as to where we are right now, choose the mean.

    Is it possible to make a reasonable assumption that 1) unlike a billion other species that have come and gone, we're the only ones that will survive--no matter what the shock, no matter what the catastrophe is, no matter how much genetic drift we're subjected to and 2) that even as we evolve with these changes, we'll never change so much that we won't be homo sapiens anymore?

    I don't think so.

    The first single cell organisms from which we evolved may have survived by adapting--in that they turned into us. But if that species is extinct, I don't think you can call that survival--just because some of their progeny survived by becoming nothing like their ultimate ancestors.

  • sarcasmic||

    I took stats. It is based upon a lot of assumptions. I don't like to assume. It always bites me in the ass. Though I'd rather be bitten in the ass by an assumption than a crocodile.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Even if the stack of numbers you're pulling from aren't normally distributed, the numbers you pull from them, one at a time, will come out in a normally distributed way.

    It's not an assumption, really. It hasn't been contradicted in practice. They call these things theorems because they don't have the formal justification for it, but I generally only find these things compelling because they're proven empirically. And that theorem has survived an awful lot of empirical scrutiny.

    In regards to the idea that we're alone among species in both that 1) we survive all shocks (even to the environment) and 2) that we won't adapt in response to such things so much that our species would change--I don't think that's an assumption, really, either. Seems like you gotta do one or the other, right?

    You can't be both infinitely adaptable and infinitely immune to adaptation.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Also, we do have a formal justification for it.

    Here are two proofs. I believe there are others. In math, a theorem means it has been proven. It is different from a theory in science.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I am not a mathematician.

    My understanding was that a formal proof was lacking--and that there's a difference between a formal proof and a derived proof. If I'm off on my terminology or understanding of the differences between theorems, axioms, assumptions, formal proofs, etc., then that should probably be expected. Maybe the things I was told about the formal proof are outdated or were inaccurate.

    Regardless, the best assumption is that humanity's probably got another 100,000 years--for the reasons I've given.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Axiom is a base assumption. Assumption is not a formal term. We usually try to make very few of these. But they are necessary for any sufficiently complex system (per Godel's Incompleteness Theorem)

    Theorem is a proven statement. Formal proof is just a defined set of steps to prove something. Following those steps, the statement will always be true.

    In a given deductive system such as mathematics, if a statement is a theorem, then it is proven true, derived from some axioms, and then further theorems.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I appreciate the information, but my point was that this isn't really about semantics.

    My description isn't the issue.

    We've most likely got another 100,000 years.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    The main point of the Incompleteness Theorem is that for any axiomatic system, there are infinitely many true statements that cannot be proven to be true.

  • BYODB||

    No offense, but this is somewhat illogical since mankind is not like the other animals. Notably, creatures such as a crocodile aren't able to alter their own genome or alter the environment to suit it's needs.

    Not that something couldn't make a lie of that, but any disaster that's likely to take out humanity is quite likely to take out the planet along with us minus disease which is something mankind has already figured out how to work around, even if the solutions might be unpleasant in the here and now when the survival of the species isn't in question.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The average length of time for a species is about a million years.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The question isn't the length of time for every species.

    The question is the length of time for for one species in particular.

    And the mean and the average is not being used interchangeably here as in standard English.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    When the average person talks about an average, they mean the mean.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Fundamental theorem of statistics tells us to assume the mean is most likely and it becomes increasingly less likely as we move away from that. If we want to make a guess as to where we are right now, choose the mean.

    Can you explain what you mean by this?

  • sarcasmic||

    Statistics assumes a normal distribution, which is what you probably know as the bell curve. Odds are you're in the median, or the middle. So if humans have been around for 100,000 years, and we're in the median of a normal distribution, we've got 100,000 years to go.

    The math works, but reality doesn't always cooperate.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    But you also can't do statistics about a single point. Which if we're talking about how long humans will last as a species, that's a single point rather than a distribution.

    I understand this idea of in any large set of data, the most likely thing is that given a random data point, it's most likely within a std.dev from the mean. But I think we're making an error about what the distribution is.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm not defending Ken, just rooting out the cobwebs of my memory of stats.

    He could be right, he could be wrong. But at least he thinks before he types.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I don't know if that was an insult against me, but I'm not castigating anyone. I'm just discussing to understand his point.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't know if that was an insult against me

    If I said "BUCS doesn't think before he types" then that would be an insult.

    I was talking about Ken. Not you.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm just discussing to understand his point.

    Me too. Like I said, dusting off the cobwebs from MAT 380.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't see this until I wrote about it above.

    It's kind of mind blowing--and it isn't something people generally know about. They call it the Central Limit Theorem in statistics.

    "When independent random variables are added, their properly normalized sum tends toward a normal distribution (informally a "bell curve") even if the original variables themselves are not normally distributed. The theorem is a key concept in probability theory because it implies that probabilistic and statistical methods that work for normal distributions can be applicable to many problems involving other types of distributions.

    For example, suppose that a sample is obtained containing a large number of observations, each observation being randomly generated in a way that does not depend on the values of the other observations, and that the arithmetic average of the observed values is computed. If this procedure is performed many times, the central limit theorem says that the computed values of the average will be distributed according to a normal distribution."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_limit_theorem

  • Ken Shultz||

    You go to the bus stop, and you know the bus comes every fifteen minutes. What is the best assumption for how long before the next bus arrives?

    The correct answer is 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

    In other words, it is best to assume that you're halfway through the interval. That's the median--the center of the normal distribution.

    Now draw an interval from the origin to the extinction of a species.

    Where are you most likely to be on that time interval?

    Aren't we talking about the same thing?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Where are you most likely to be on that time interval?

    Aren't we talking about the same thing?

    No, because we are not talking about repeated sampling from that time interval. We're talking about one specific moment. Now. This isn't a distribution. The central limit theorem is only talking about repeated sampling from independent events.

    So, for instance. Roll 2 fair dice, find their average. Do this repeatedly. The distribution of these averages will tend towards a normal distribution. This is intuitive for 2 dice. Just plot out the possible sums of rolling two dice, you'll see it gives a normal distribution, with 7 being the most common.

    In your example of a bus stop. Let us say that we randomly choose a time while the bus is running. If it comes every 15 minutes, the average time that you have to wait will approach 7.5 minutes. This should hopefully also be relatively intuitive.

    Now, you're saying that if you choose this mean, then that is the most likely correct answer. That is, given there is an answer, the most like guess is the mean. In a uniformly distributed random variable (Let's assume finite, but the math holds for reals as well) this is incorrect. If you choose 7.5 you would be wrong almost always, as most of the time you will choose something else. The central limit theorem, just means as you draw from this, the error will approach the average. That's the limit in the Central Limit Theorem.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "No, because we are not talking about repeated sampling from that time interval"

    The reason the Central Limit Theorem is called that is because you're most likely to be in the midpoint of the interval--no matter how long the interval.

    If the bus comes every hour, you're most likely to be waiting for half an hour--the midpoint.

    If the bus comes every two hours, you're most likely to be waiting for an hour--at the midpoint.

    If the bus comes how ever so often, you still most likely got there at the midpoint. It's the midpoint that's the operative part of the distribution

    If the last bus came 100,000 years ago, we're most likely at the midpoint--and the other half of the distribution is another 100,000 years.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The reason the Central Limit Theorem is called that is because you're most likely to be in the midpoint of the interval--no matter how long the interval.

    No, it's because the limit as you sample repeatedly tends to be towards the center, or the mean.

    So, in your bus example, it doesn't say anything about if I go on one day, that I will most likely wait the average time. It's saying if I go every day, with some distribution of times that I go, that is I don't go the same time every day, then my average wait time will approach the mean.

    For simplicity sake, let us round to the half-minute, just to get a nice mean. If it comes every 15 minutes, and we can show up randomly any time on in that interval. You are saying that 7.5 is the most likely time.

    By definition, if you choose that, it is not more likely then any other result, this is the definition of a uniform distribution. Therefore, your statement is incorrect.

    What is correct, that is if you repeatedly sample from this distribution. That is you randomly go a different time each day, that on average you will wait 7.5 minutes.

    These are two different statements though.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The reason the Central Limit Theorem is called that is because you're most likely to be in the midpoint of the interval--no matter how long the interval."

    ----Ken Shultz

    "It's because the limit as you sample repeatedly tends to be towards the center, or the mean."

    ----BestUsedCarSales

    These are more or less saying the same thing.

  • sarcasmic||

    Should I ask my tutor to proof your work?

  • Mark22||

    Randomly dropping in on a bus isn't the same as a survival process. The upshot is that if a species has survived for 100000 years, its expected future survival is actually more than 100000 years.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's statistically incorrect, and you're missing some of the more basic laws of genetic diversification--which have mathematical functions associated with them.

    The law of genetic drift, for instance, demonstrates that any measurable genetic quality varies by the inverse square root of the population. The cycle of genetic change isn't arbitrary--there's a pace of change associated directly with genetic drift.

    And why wouldn't we expect that? A certain number of genes can change in a certain number of ways with a mean variation that approximates the inverse square root of the breeding population--so why wouldn't we expect those changes to track like something of a bell curve over time?

    As the population increases, the genetic variation diminishes, and the species becomes less specialized. As the population maximizes, members of the species with characteristics that give them reproductive advantages start to differentiate themselves, and those without the advantage don't reproduce as successfully. Over time, the old species diminishes--and as their progeny continue to differentiate themselves from what they were before, they eventually become a new species--leaving the old species behind to the ash heap of history.

    If this is the means by which genetic drift happens, yeah, I'd expect that the species population curve itself might look like a bell curve. It has a beginning a middle and an end.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If you have to guess where you are on a time interval, the closer you guess to the mean, the more likely you are to be right.

    It's like rolling dice. Rolling a seven is the most likely, six and eight aren't as likely as seven, but they're more likely than five and nine. That doesn't mean you'll never roll snake eyes. It just means that seven is most likely and closer your assumption is that the number, the more likely it is to be right.

    Tell me to pick an number between one and ten, and the closer my number is to 5.5, the more likely it is to be the correct number If the most likely place you are to be is in the middle, then there are implications of that--that's pretty much all I'm saying. Because you're most likely at the median, another 100,000 years is the most likely outcome.

    By the way, I'd love to be the genius who first noticed this stuff, but, I'm not. This is all basic evolutionary stuff that other people have ironed out.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm not trying to be mean Ken (no pun intended), but I think you need to brush up on statistics. If I randomly choose a number between 0 and 10, 5 is *not* the most likely answer. You can demonstrate this with some python:

    from scipy.stats import uniform
    import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
    x = uniform.rvs(size=1000,loc=0,scale=10)
    plt.hist(x)

    This will show a uniform distribution of values, which tells you that there is no number that is more likely to show up than any other. That is, there is no unique modal point. That is the *definition* of a uniform distribution.

    Now, if you take the mean of the distribution, you do get something close to 5.

    x.mean()
    5.0123814700878304

    And if you take some number of realization of that distribution, the means will be normally distirbuted:

    y = uniform.rvs(size=(1000,1000),loc=0,scale=10)
    plt.hist(y.mean(axis=0))

    That will show you a normal distribution. *That* is the central limit theorem at work: the distribution of the means is normally distributed around the exact mean of the parent distribution.

    But that is *not* the same thing as saying that the mean is more likely than some other value. I think you are confusing mean with mode.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Now, it is true that if you roll two dice you most likely will a sum of 7, i.e. 7 is the modal point of the sum of two distributions uniform over the integers from 1 to 6 inclusive. But that is because there are more combinations that give you a 7 than any other number. If you roll one die and ask what the most likely outcome will be, the answer is that all outcomes are equally likely for fair dice. If you have dice that don't behave that way, you're likely to get your ass kicked by some guys in the back alley.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If I randomly choose a number between 0 and 10, 5 is *not* the most likely answer.

    If you pick a number between 1 and 10, 5.5 is the number that is most likely to be closest to the actual answer--even if the number that comes up is 1 or 10, the two numbers furthest away from the mean.

    This is the essence of the Central Limit Theorem. Generate random numbers, and the number that is most likely to be closest to the actual number will be the mean (5.5).

    1 or 10 have an equal chance of turning up as 5, but 5.5 has the lowest margin of error.

    And so, the mean is the rational choice if one wishes to make the assumption with the lowest margin of error. Because 5.5, as the mean, is the assumption with the highest probability of having the lowest error, it is the rational assumption.

    4 and 6 are as likely to turn up as 1 or 10, but if you assume 10, you could be off by 9. If I assume 5.5, the worst I can be off by is 4.5. The assumption with the lowest margin of error is the rational choice. When you show up at the bus stop, assuming you got there in the middle of the interval is the most rational assumption.

    I don't need to brush up on any of that. You need to brush up on what I'm saying.

  • LynchPin1477||

    the mean, is the assumption with the highest probability of having the lowest error

    That is not equivalent to what you have said previously, e.g.

    If you have to guess where you are on a time interval, the closer you guess to the mean, the more likely you are to be right.

    you're most likely to be in the midpoint of the interval

    In other words, the correct answer is not equivalent to the least wrong answer.

    Another way of approaching this: saying "I know the bounds of the interval I am on and can minimize my error by assuming I am at the mean" is a fine statement, but saying "I don't know the upper bound of the interval I am on, but the most likely answer is twice my distance from the lower bound" is not, and the reason it is not is because you are not more likely to be at the mean that at any other point in a uniform distribution.

  • LynchPin1477||

    In other words, the correct answer is not equivalent to the least wrong answer.

    Sorry, that was sloppy wording. The least wrong answer is the answer with zero error, so of course that is the correct answer. But the answer that has the highest probability of minimizing your error is not the same as the correct answer.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It's also probably worth noting that although we've been talking about uniform distributions because of the bus example, you're probability of being alive is not uniformly distributed over the lifetime of the species because the population is not uniformly distributed over that interval.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Are you saying that given a data point, it is most likely to be near the mean? If so, that makes sense. Because we would expect many things to have a gaussian distribution on the large scale.

    But, I think in that case, the correct assumption would be to look at how long each different species has lasted, that is, for any identifiable species, how long did it exist before it went extinct, and then choose the mean of that.

    I think. I'm honestly trying to understand what you're getting at.

  • sarcasmic||

    Are you saying that given a data point, it is most likely to be near the mean?

    I think so. The fact that we've been around for 100,000 years or so could be an outlier. In which case we could be extinct next year or last for the next million.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    My guess would be among all species, that the average time is heavily left skewed gaussian. But I have no idea what the mean would be there.

  • sarcasmic||

    But I have no idea what the mean would be there.

    Odds are that any given point is closer to the mean than an outlier. That's the whole point of a normal (gaussian) distribution.

    So if you only have one data point, statistically you are better off assuming it is a mean than an outlier.

    Which means if our only data point is that humans have been around for 100,000 years, we've got 100,000 more years to go.

    Mathematically.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And I'm saying, that data point is a part of the larger distribution of "Species lifecycles" and so the mean of THAT distribution is what we should actually be comparing to.

    I mean, let's assume we had full knowledge of how long humans will last. Let's say, even, that we are right and it is precisely 200,000 years.

    Now, let's imagine we have a line in the reals, extending from epoch to extinction of humans. If you sample from that line you are NOT actually more likely to be near the mean, because it's a uniform distribution. Does that make sense what I'm trying to say? I only took some graduate stats, so I'm not super great.

    I wish we had a way to draw this out, as I fear there's some simple explanation confusion where I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.

  • sarcasmic||

    I didn't do graduate stats. I'm a mere undergrad CS major with a minor in math.

    I thought we were talking about distributions, not number lines.

    You already know stats, I'm done.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    No, I think you're right that we're talking about distributions. My point is, that the lifespan of the human species is a single data point. We don't know exactly the value, but it's a data point. The distribution we thus should be talking about is the distribution of lifespans of all species.

    In which case, we should be saying our expected lifespan is near THAT mean, not that we are near the mean of our lifespan. This is my confusion, and I'm hoping Ken can clarify.

  • sarcasmic||

    The distribution we thus should be talking about is the distribution of lifespans of all species.

    That just made my brain hurt.

    Something like 98% of all species have failed the test. While crocodiles have been around for 200 million years.

    Yeah. I want Ken to chime in.

  • sarcasmic||

    And I wasn't defending Ken, I was trying to clarify under the assumption that you didn't know stats.

    It all started with this.

    Fuck.

    I really hate to argue about math.

  • sarcasmic||

    This is my social life. Shoot me now.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    This is fun for me, honestly.

    Want to talk about how cool kd-trees are?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Also, I am by means no expert in statistics either. I just took some stuff while doing my grad work in CS. And then studied randomly for ML stuff I learn.

  • LynchPin1477||

    A few things. First, not all distributions are Gaussian.

    Second, the relevant comparison isn't to how long humans have already existed but how long species tend to survive. Then you might guess, absent other information, that humans are an average species and that our lifetime should be around the mean of *that* distribution. But I don't think we are an average species, and I'm not even sure what the distribution of species lifetimes is like. Also, the fossil record may be so incomplete that it's not well characterized.

    What Ken is saying is a little closer to an application of the Copernican principle - you aren't special. And if you aren't special then you must be alive at a "typical" time. But that would be the modal point of human population as a function of time, and that's not knowable unless you assume something about how the human population will change in the future. In other words, the answer is built into the assumptions.

    At any rate, species extinction seems more likely to be a "black swan" type event.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    A few things. First, not all distributions are Gaussian.

    I know. It's just very common in many systems. That being said, I say elsewhere that my guess is species lifespan is probably a left skewed gaussian.

    Otherwise, I mostly think you're correct. Though I'm guessing species survival is probably the black swan event.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "What Ken is saying is a little closer to an application of the Copernican principle - you aren't special. And if you aren't special then you must be alive at a "typical" time."

    What I'm saying is that the closer your assumption is to the median, the more likely it is to be right.

    And there are implications of that.

    Roll two six sided dice, and the most likely sum is seven.

    Tell me that the median is seven, and--without any other information--I can conclude that the numbers one through six are mirrored on the other side of the median--eight through twelve. 12 is the high number!

    I am most likely at the median. There are 100,000 years behind me. It is most likely that we have another 100,000 years to go. That doesn't mean we won't survive as is for another 10 million years, but that is not the most likely outcome.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I can conclude that the numbers one [two] through six are mirrored on the other side of the median--eight through twelve. 12 is the high number!

    It must be time for me to hit the sack.

  • Mark22||

    My guess would be among all species, that the average time is heavily left skewed gaussian. But I have no idea what the mean would be there.

    If it is "heavily left skewed", it's not a Gaussian. Your intuition is reasonable, however: such distributions are often log-normal.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sorry, mean and median are not the same.

    I'm to tired to get into it. I'm sure Ken will clarify.

  • Greg F||

    Sorry, mean and median are not the same.


    If you have a symmetrical distribution then the mean is expected to be equal to the median.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I clarified above. Sorry I was so slow.

    Central Limit Theorem is fascinating!

    It's one of those things we shouldn't be able to know--like life, it doesn't come without uncertainty. But this is the most reasonable way to think about it, the most rational assumption to make.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Homo Sapeins has been around for about 100,000 years, so it's probably safe to assume that's about how much more time we have 'til the species goes bust.

    That's not good reasoning. If it was, every human that lived between t=0 and t=50,000 years since the species first appeared (to the extent you can define a t=0) should have guessed that the species would be gone by today, and each of them would have been proven wrong by the events from t=50,000 to t=100,000 years.

    You'd be on somewhat better ground if you based your guess on the frequency of extinction-level catastrophes, though even that assumes that the past is a good predictor of the future, which may not hold for a variety of reasons.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Once again, we're not talking about certain answers here, we're talking about probabilities.

    And the stats and probabilities here are absolutely correct.

    Someone 50 thousand years ago assuming that humanity would probably survive only another 50,000 years was a probabilistic conclusion.

    It's possible that humanity could survive another million years. That's in my table of probabilities, too.

    However, the assumption with the highest probability is that we're at the mean. The further your assumption is away from the mean, the less likely it is to be accurate.

    Yeah, real life isn't anything like Objectivism. The real world is rife with uncertainty.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I understand what you are trying to say, but you're reasoning is still flawed. First, the highest probability does not, generically, occur at the mean of a distribution, it occurs at the mode of a distribution (by definition). As I'm sure you know, the mean and mode are only equal for the subset of symmetrical distributions. Second, there is little reason to believe human population levels are going to turn over and decrease in a similar fashion to how they increased, and even less reason to believe that the inflection point is now.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Were there reasons to assume other species would go extinct?

    Are you familiar with how common the passenger pigeon was? What about Dutch Elm Disease and what it did to the Elm in America? Competitors, climate change, disease! The dinosaurs may have been wiped out by a meteor landing in the Yucatan.

    The Drake Equation back during the Cold War used to have a variable for what amounted to nuclear holocaust. That was a Cold War mentality--we weren't sure that humanity or alien civilizations could survive nuclear technology forever. Nowadays, we think climate change may impact the probability of an alien civilization surviving for long enough for us to encounter it.

    We're talking probabilities. We can think of reasons to assume we won't survive and reasons we will. We're also talking about adaptations. As I stated above, our ancestors were single celled organisms. You could say they survived in us, but we're not the same species anymore. This is also being accounted for. Last I read, most of us apparently carry Neanderthal DNA, but they didn't survive as a species. Our species changing would be one way the old homo sapiens could come to an end.

    Regardless, when we come into an interval of uncertain length, the best assumption is that we're at the mean. I appreciate that the reality could be that the curve is skewed off the mean, but we're not talking about what's definitely going to happen. We're talking about the best assumption in the face of uncertainty.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In case the last part of that comment was unclear, there are two ways that species change: survival of the fittest and genetic drift.

    When we think of extinction, we tend to think of survival of the fittest, but genetic drift may take us away from what we were over time, as well.

    There doesn't need to be an extinction event in order for us to go extinct. Even without survival of the fittest, we would continue to evolve by way of genetic drift.

    Genetic engineering of offspring might accelerate that process of "extinction"--when our offspring become different from homo sapiens. This could easily account for the downward slope of the normal curve.

  • Texasmotiv||

    The only problem I have with you here is that you have hedged your bets and no one seemed to notice. Maybe neither did you. You said either humanity will go extinct within 100k years or we will have evolved beyond being called homo sapien. I guess that would technically be extinction but if in the future you can trace your pedigree all the way back to a homo sapien in the 1st or 2nd Millennia AD? If so, when did extinction occur?

    Seems like a distinction without any meaning.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yes, the end of homo sapiens could come with the advent of their progeny differentiating themselves to the point that homo sapiens becomes extinct and a new species takes over through reproduction.

    Extinction doesn't need to come by way of a meteor or alien invasion or total depletion of resources so that we all starve to death, no.

    Our species could just change so that it's no longer homo sapiens anymore. Homo sapiens and neanderthals (I believe) had a common ancestor, and that ancestor was supplanted by us and neanderthals. It might be hard to figure out precisely where to place the marker when one stopped being the species it was (Homo Erectus?) and became Homo Sapiens, but they were a different species. (We're probably talking about the explosion in size of the neocortex).

    I should add that the two halves of my original comment were both posted at 7:21--they're now separated by 30 comments or more!

    "Space colonists of the future (100,000 years from now) might engineer their children's DNA so they can thrive in an underwater world like that. At some point, though, they'd stop being homo sapiens and start being something else. It isn't fair to say that homo sapiens is doomed in that case.

    It isn't right to say we aren't doomed either."

    I didn't hedge my bet. The idea that our progeny would survive but be genetically differentiated from us to the point that they were no longer homo sapiens was always a big part of what I was trying to say.

  • Michael Cook||

    There is this to say about genetic drift--we humans self select whom we breed with, sometimes at parties of generally like-minded people. Like breeding dogs, rigorous trait selection accelerates evolution.

    Add to all that the factor that we can now get test tubes involved and select genes from multiple partners at once, or even create a brand-new (to humans) gene and plug it in. If we are really smart we can deal with the fact that genes are notorious multi-taskers which worse yet seem to possess an almost magical sense of timing regarding at which moment to do which trick.

    The climate change argument distills to the claim that science so perfectly understands all the factors that drive climate that any significant cause of "extreme" change other than carbon dioxide can be ruled out. What vainglorious poppycock!

    Probably the most extreme denial out there is the laziness and prejudice of most intellectual establishments displayed in ignoring the emerging science and relevant concepts of chaos, as hinted at in James Gleick's 1987 book of that name.

  • Jonny Scrum-half||

    Sorry that I'm late to the thread, but your logic would appear to mean that in estimating how much longer any person can be expected to live one can simply say that they're likely to live twice as long as their current age. Thus, I'm likely to live until I'm 110, but my youngest son won't make it past 28.

    I think that's flawed reasoning. Someone else proposed that you would need to know the average "life" of all species in order to estimate how much longer we have left, and that sounds more right to me.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There has been more research recently on the possibility that some Earth form DNA came from outer space.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....8?via=ihub

    They're talking about octopus DNA in that study, and if that theory were correct, we might guess Europa with its water plumes shooting hundreds of miles into space as a likely source. Space colonists of the future (100,000 years from now) might engineer their children's DNA so they can thrive in an underwater world like that. At some point, though, they'd stop being homo sapiens and start being something else. It isn't fair to say that homo sapiens is doomed in that case.

    It isn't right to say we aren't doomed either.

  • sarcasmic||

    Check out Titan if you have Netflix.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That Taylor Schilling looks pretty hot.

  • sarcasmic||

    Did you see her in Atlas?

    *drool*

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    She had some great lesbian scenes in Orange.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Will need to check both those out!

  • JeremyR||

    If it has DNA, it's from Earth.

  • Ecoli||

    DNA is probably scattered throughout the universe.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Batman gets around.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Let's hope it's isolated here.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I keep wondering why some scientists keep postulating that the earliest forms of life on Earth must have extraterrestrial origin. It seems to be an overcomplicated solution that just pushes back the question of how did that come to be.

  • Nardz||

    It's a "god" solution without God.
    Psychological origin

  • Nardz||

    Not implying that there's something wrong with that, as it's completely logical to fill the space where we reach unknowable with "g/God".
    It's natural.
    But those dicks who say aliens built the pyramids piss me off. That's some Mormon level BS. I have a he'll of a lot more respect - even more so for ancient Man - for our species than that.

  • General Skarr's Prize Petunias||

    Aliens didn't build the pyramids, but they did put the lines in the Sonoran.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I keep wondering why some scientists keep postulating that the earliest forms of life on Earth must have extraterrestrial origin."

    It's one possible explanation for what appear to be missing development cycles in the record.

    If we're not talking about missing time periods and we're not talking about missing fossil records, and yet we're seeing these big jumps in development that seemed to happen for no obvious reason--and don't seem to have arisen from what came before it . . .

    Then DNA coming in from space is one possibility with some support.

    Remember, though, the science is never settled, and it isn't there to validate theories. It's a process used to discredit them. This explanation hasn't been completely discredited yet, but I don't think any scientists are saying that extra terrestrial DNA is definitely the explanation.

  • BYODB||

    The evolutionary theory in question would be punctuated equilibrium, and frankly that makes more sense than 'alien DNA came to Earth' given the massive improbability that any such DNA would hit Earth in the first place compounded by the improbability that something that had DNA on it would survive atmospheric entry. Obviously, depending on time period, the atmosphere might not have even existed but...space rocks with alien DNA is fanciful at best.

    That said, my knowledge of this subject is probably ten years out of date.

  • mtrueman||

    " they can thrive in an underwater world like that."

    No. The GDP of your typical underwater world is abysmal.

  • Ken Shultz||

    mtrueman made a funny!

  • Sevo||

    Don't encourage it, Ken.
    You'll get a more consistent and intelligible result tossing those magnetic words at the side of your 'frige.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Ken, that paper is mere speculation. Yes, retroviruses are a very important factor in evolution. For a great book on this topic, check out the book Virolution. But there is no need to evoke any sort of extra-terrestrial delivery of organics to Earth and there is no evidence for any such thing.

    The best current explanation for the Cambrian explosion is a direct outgrowth of the development of multicellularity by Ediacaran fauna and the rise of multicellular predators. Multicellularity arose as a result of Snowball Earth, which was in turn caused by the colonization of land by some sort of proto-lichen. The extra consumption of CO2 by the proto-lichen led to a drop in greenhouse heating, causing Snowball Earth. As most of the Earth was in a frozen state, life survived in pockets near the equator or near areas of volcanic activity. The important point is that these areas were small and isolated, and resources were eventually depleted. Many protists exhibit colonization behavior during starvation times, the classic example being cellular slime molds. Thus, the theory is that as resources in these pockets were depleted, the protists eventually evolved colonizing behavior and later multicellularity, in which some cells sacrificed themselves to become the soma so that the germ line can survive.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Once you had multicellular life forms, multicellular predators came next, which led to the evolutionary arms race of predators and prey leading to such thing as the evolution of eyes, different forms of locomotion, and the many different forms of protective shells in the Cambrian explosion.

  • Greg F||

    The best current explanation for the Cambrian explosion is ...


    Highly speculative.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, it's a hypothesis they were testing, and they found that explanation was supported by the data.

    Science itself is about survival of the fittest ideas.

    And anyway, what I was saying about that wasn't tied to Cambrian explosion so much as I was citing it as a place that might be hospitable to human colonization 100,000 years from now. A place where life under the water might require genetically different "people" to thrive--"people" who might not be homo sapiens at all but something new. We might change through genetic drift, climate shocks, genetic engineering, etc. that people 100,000 years from now look back at us the way we look back at the neanderthals--as a different species.

    I never know what's going to be controversial around here, but if any argument were controversial, wouldn't it be that people 100,000 years from now will be just like homo sapiens today? That would be an extraordinary claim.

  • sarcasmic||

  • AlmightyJB||

    You wanna pass that bong over here.

  • sarcasmic||

    No, but I will pass the dutchie to the left hand side.

  • Ecoli||

    Every one of us is doomed in the future. I seldom forecast the future, but this time I must.

  • Kongming||

    You're a wizard, Harry!

  • Kongming||

    All the more reason to go nuclear. We should have started building new reactors decades ago.

  • Don't look at me.||

    We did start decagon. Trouble is, we stopped.

  • Don't look at me.||

    We did start decades ago. Trouble is we stopped.
    And there is no edit feature here.

  • DenverJ||

    Purposely. It leads to all kinds of fun with typos and auto correct.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Spell check on my phone pisses me off. I'll type a word correctly and it will be changed to a completely different word. Ridicules.

  • Kongming||

    True enough, true enough. On the subject of autocorrect, for about a second I thought that "Decagon" was some innovative new reactor design. I was about to say "tell me more about this Decagon Reactor!"

  • Don't look at me.||

    It was designed by Covfefe .

  • Sevo||

    "And there is no edit feature here."

    You're telling US?

  • Sevo||

    And ain't it great that the K-mart server Reason rents space on keeps jumping the page up and down? What did I click on THIS time?

  • General Skarr's Prize Petunias||

    My boner.

    Don't be scared. We're both old, and horny.

    Now enter my palace of magical delights.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The fact that nuclear power is still off the table tells me exactly how serious I should take man made climate change.

  • ||

    Well, nuclear plants can melt down, and that would be a disaster!

    [this is what I literally have been told]

  • AlmightyJB||

    Even the imaginary dangers of nuclear would seem trite compared to the end of the earth as we know it. Especially considering France gets 75% of their power from nuclear and somehow hasn't been destroyed. Well at least not by nuclear power. The left certainly doesn't care about cost.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    That France has that much nuclear is impressive, given their relative incompetence.

  • Kongming||

    I believe man made climate change is real, and a problem. But when the enviro crowd refuses to even consider nuclear, then I know that THEY don't really believe climate change is a serious matter.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Climate change has obviously always been real. I don't even doubt that our existence may well influence it. I'm very skeptical of the chicken little predictions especially given how the most dire of them come from those same enviros who say nuclear is off the table. Concerned folks should move inland.

  • Sevo||

    "I believe man made climate change is real, and a problem. But when the enviro crowd refuses to even consider nuclear, then I know that THEY don't really believe climate change is a serious matter."

    Agreed, although from all the failed predictions, it appears to be something mankind will adapt to with little harm.
    And I'll also take it more seriously when Charlie Sheen sells his waterfront place in Malibu.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The question, of course, is not whether your worldview derives from a callous disregard for the lives of children, but rather how precisely you envision your psychotic dystopia being implemented.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Conservatives know better than to worry about this.

    The Rapture is going to take care of it.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The man from mars won't eat up bars while the TVs on.

  • ||

    But the guitars. . .

  • Ecoli||

    Women and minorities hardest hit!

  • ||

    The Rapture is going to take care of it.

    Silly Christians, with all their "the-end-of-the-world-is-nigh" talk!

  • Morbo||

    My end-of-the-world cult is better than your end-of-the-world cult!

  • ||

    lol. I see what you did there.

    Christians (I love how they generalize this group) have nothing on the progressive left when it comes to scary talk.

  • Sevo||

    "Silly Christians, with all their "the-end-of-the-world-is-nigh" talk!"

    You're right. Why should we listen to them when we have the annoying asshole telling us "the-end-of-the-world-is-nigh"?
    I mean a post-modern religion beats the earlier one if you wanna stay in style, right, annoying asshole?

  • perlchpr||

    I love this parody account, BTW. You do an amazing job.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Ice shortage, great. Now I'll have to pay more for ice cubes. Guess I'll have to learn to enjoy my bourbon neat.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Chug! Chug!

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Ice pirates

  • Greg F||

    The melting is the result of warmer ocean waters undermining glaciers grounded on sea bottoms around Antarctica and increased surface melt from warmer air temperatures.

    Might have something to do with the massive volcano range hidden in Antarctica's ice.

  • Don't look at me.||

    You mean the volcano caused by global warming!

  • Shirley Knott||

    I apparently need to be reminded about two things that have slipped my mind.
    What meaningful difference, in the context of this article in particular, is there between foreseeing the future and making predictions by extrapolating from data?
    What part of the scientific method involves fear as an actual methodological component?

  • Longtobefree||

    The part where you cast the chicken bones - - - - -

  • Duelles||

    If. . . When. . . . Blah, blah. What is the future? Dunno!! Invest in coastal dams, but not RE. BTW what is the carbon footprint of one solar panel?

  • ||

    James Hansen and a team of colleagues found that Earth's sea level could rise above one meter (or 3.3 feet) within 50 years if polar ice-sheet loss doubles every 10 years. A tripling every decade, were it to continue, would reach that volume of sea level rise even sooner

    And if it accelerated by multiples of ten every month, it would go even faster still. We're calling this "science," now? Were we ever given a reason why it is we are assuming nature is going to stop working how it's always worked, and things will start in every direction trending away from equilibrium?

  • Don't look at me.||

    What if it doubled every day? My god, every day! What then?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Call me when it rises 900 feet. I'll have some beachfront property in central Ohio for sale.

  • mtrueman||

    "Were we ever given a reason why it is we are assuming nature is going to stop working how it's always worked,"

    You never heard of the 'butterfly effect?' A butterfly flaps its wings (or something trivial and barely noticeable) and it results in a hurricane. Mother nature has been plodding along with this for a long time. Time you caught up.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Exactly. It's just chaos.

  • Longtobefree||

    How much will it rise if a meteor hits directly on the north pole?
    And exactly how many damns will be given?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I would think most dams would be givin' in that scenario.

    Your autocorrect is out of control, BTW.

  • Longtobefree||

    And my 'give a damn' is also?

    I take comfort in the saying 'not all who wander are lost'

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I was just having pun.

  • Longtobefree||

    Time for the oldie but goodie; cue Moynihan - - - - - -

    This is from so long ago I lost the citation:
    Adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan, notable as a Democrat in the administration, urged the administration to initiate a worldwide system of monitoring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, decades before the issue of global warming came to the public's attention.
    There is widespread agreement that carbon dioxide content will rise 25 percent by 2000, Moynihan wrote in a September 1969 memo.
    "This could increase the average temperature near the earth's surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit," he wrote. "This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter."
    Wrong then (1969), wrong now (2018). "Widespread" agreement does not constitute truth; see flat earth.
    I was taught that carbon dioxide was necessary for plant life; has that changed?

  • NoVaNick||

    Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington

    Too bad he was wrong, especially regarding the second place.

  • BYODB||


    I was taught that carbon dioxide was necessary for plant life; has that changed?

    Hard to believe that people shit their pants over CO2 concentrations so far below what they have been that it's true that we are closer to a mass extinction of all life via loss of CO2 than we are to any potential harm from too much.

    All life on Earth would likely die out if CO2 drops below ~170PPM causing virtually all plant life on Earth to expire, and we're at something like 350-450 and we know for a fact, using the numbers of climate change believers, that CO2 concentrations have been as high as ~3000PPM and life went on as usual for the planet.

    So, no, I'm not shitting my pants over this. Mankind has no control over the sun, after all. Climatologists are people who couldn't hack real physics or even meteorology, or worse they were good at it and chose to lie knowing peer review is a joke.

    Real pollution exists, and pushing this bullshit causes active harm by diverting resources from real solutions into bogeymen but it's too profitable for politicians and huckster scientists to stop now.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    I think I speak for a large population of non-meteorologists and non-climate scientists when I say: Jesus fucking Christ on a popsicle stick, stop it already.

  • ||

    I'm not the brightest guy on the block (but I'm definitely a step ahead of Kirkland) but why are we quoting the IPCC and Hansen? Hasn't it been shown time and again that theirs is pretty much politicized manipulated data and interpretations mostly refuted by scientists and blogs?

    Are they really the baseline on the subject? Sheesh, some low baseline.

    Is the act pretty much 'Quote climate change cultists and refute with real data and context?

  • Sevo||

    "(but I'm definitely a step ahead of Kirkland)"

    C'mon! Give us something to aim at, not something to trip over.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Over the last 15 years the rate of temperature increase has dropped over that of the previous 15 years. Has the rate of ocean level rise also slowed because if it didn't then the warmists have some "esplainin'" to do. Ice melts are presumably a function of the present temperature so the ocean level rate of rise should relate to the temperature rate of rise. You wouldn't expect one variable to accelerate while the other slowed down.

  • Longtobefree||

    But whatever happens to any or all variables, the answer is more government control, and more tax money given out to the same guys to keep studying the same numbers.

  • Sevo||

    "Over the last 15 years the rate of temperature increase has dropped over that of the previous 15 years. Has the rate of ocean level rise also slowed because if it didn't then the warmists have some "esplainin'" to do."

    I dunno. There's huge thermal masses involved and consequent thermal inertia. I'm not qualified to do a back-of-the envelop number here, and I'd sure like some data, but I can see a 15-year delay in the melt.
    But if so, you'd also expect a 15-year resilience delay.

  • noyb||

    Sea level rise is actually good news, as it is negative feedback for the real global problem: overpopulation. Do the libertarians at Reason.com think we should be able to breed and reproduce without limit?? Does having 12,000,000,000 people on Earth hurt others?

    You bet it does. Do you think those Bangladeshis who will be flooded out first are going to be breeding and having more babies while they are being wiped out for trying to migrate across hostile borders? They WILL BE BRUTALIZED (and probably NOT having more babies)

    So stop talking about the "badness" of sea level rise. It is Mother Earth "having a fever" and her "immune system" trying to wipe out her "human infection".

  • Sevo||

    noyb|6.13.18 @ 10:05PM|#
    "Sea level rise is actually good news, as it is negative feedback for the real global problem: overpopulation. Do the libertarians at Reason.com think we should be able to breed and reproduce without limit?? Does having 12,000,000,000 people on Earth hurt others?"

    Oh, boy! Left over lefty from the '70s is here to repeat Erhlich's bullshit.
    Fuck off.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and:

    "So stop talking about the "badness" of sea level rise. It is Mother Earth "having a fever" and her "immune system" trying to wipe out her "human infection"."

    You first, germ. There must be a bridge near you where you could become fish food quite easily. If you let me know the time and the place, I'll be happy to organize a celebration of the first "Pop-Bomb" idiot to stand behind his/her claims!
    We can have some beers and BBQ as you dive off!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    As if this. All of mud has an 'immune system'.......

    And it's these assholes that say WE don't understand science. What a joke.

  • Texasmotiv||

    This is a "Manifesto-quality" post. Sheesh...

  • BYODB||

    This has to be sarcasm...right?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    This is what capitalism gets you: a big bath.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I live in NYC and I was told I'll get the big bath by 2012. I'm so disappointed.

  • Rich||

    "Scientists can't see the future, but they do fear continuing and even worsening losses."

    "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist."

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Do you like lasers?

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    IPCC reports are political documents, not scientific ones. NASA data is very clear the total ice mass on Antarctica has been gaining gigatons each year. To get loss figures, they have to concentrate on certain ice masses and represent that as the whole.
    And sea level rise increase is only found by mixing terrestrial data with satellite data.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Climate alarmists have no credibility left with me. They deny Greenland was warmer 1000 years ago. They pretend corals didn't survive the 400 foot sea level rise 15,000 years ago and have lived for several millions years at least. They deny temperatures have barely changed over the last 20 years. Here is another shining inconsistency in their fable (probably behind a paywall):

    Here we show that land-based sectors of the EAIS that drain into the Ross Sea have been stable throughout the past eight million years.

    No, it's not a smoking gun calling out their scare stories. And it's hardly fair to accept this study at its word while calling others lies. What it does point out is the incredible inconsistencies in all this alarmist claptrap. There may be a consensus that CO2 is increasing and that temperatures are warmer now than 50 years ago. But their models, predictions, coverups and lies stink, and I simply don't trust any alarmist report.

  • Amir Najam Sethit||

    Amazing article!

  • Variant||

    Debunked.

    Please remain calm. There is no need to join the religion of climate panic.

  • Pat001||

    Where can I buy a sleeping bag insulated with CO2? Asking for a friend.

  • NoVaNick||

    What these geniuses fail to mention is that sea level change is relative as some places are rising due to natural forces, while others like Norfolk, Va, have been subsiding for millennia, but now its entirely because of human-created climate change. So, is the 1m rise they predict an average spread over all of the worlds oceans and assuming flat or no land masses? Lets not forget that this thing called a tide causes the sea level to rise and fall quite a bit twice each day, and the change can be huge in some places like the Bay of Fundy, and nearly non-existent in others.

  • See.More||

    I wonder if the predictions of sea level rise have taken into account that The Bottom of The Ocean Has Started Sinking Under The Weight of Melting Glaciers...

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    Good news! 99.989% of the Antarctic Ice Sheet didn't melt!

  • Sam Grove||

    I love when scientist try to scare us with could/if statements.
    The seas could produce giant tsunamis if a large asteroid slammed into the ocean.
    Jeez

  • Jayburd||

    "Scientists can't see the future" "implies" or "suggests" Ronald Bailey. When it comes to the Antarctic Ice Sheets, cant we just "HIDE THE DECLINE"

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