Thursday, October 17, 2013

HadCRUT4: Decembers cooling by 9 °C per century

All data refer to the Northern Hemisphere

A blog named Sunshine Hours calculated some slopes in a simple case of linear regression: the warming or cooling trends in the last \(7\times 12=84\) months (since September 2006) restricted to each of the 12 months in a year according to HadCRUT4, the latest version of the British leading weather-station-based global temperature dataset:
HadCRUT4 Northern Hemisphere Winter Doom
See the New Climate Model blog for related earlier calculations.

The results look sort of shocking.

In this 7-year window, the December temperatures have been apparently cooling by 9 °C per century. Of course, you should better not trust the extrapolation. Similar extrapolations pretty much never work – and they have never worked. The extrapolation to longer intervals of time becomes even worse ideas in the case of regional (in this case hemispherical) temperatures; and in the case of restrictions to special dates or seasons (in this case months); and when the original period of time is too short (in this case 7 years).

Here is the more detailed table of the trends (the numbers 1-12 indicate months from January through December):
  1. –7.3 °C/century
  2. –1.9 °C/century
  3. –5.6 °C/century
  4. –1.7 °C/century
  5. +2.6 °C/century
  6. +1.7 °C/century
  7. +1.7 °C/century
  8. +1.3 °C/century
  9. +0.8 °C/century
  10. –1.7 °C/century
  11. –2.0 °C/century
  12. –9.1 °C/century
It almost looks like the monthly numbers are smooth enough – and they're positive for warmer months (only +2.6 °C per century is the highest positive figure, for June) and negative for cooler months (December's –9.1 °C per century is shocking but January stands at –7.3 °C per century which is not bad, either). Numerologists will surely be intrigued by the fact that ±1.7 °C appears four times among the 12 entries (after my rounding) which seems like too often. ;-)

The graphs for the individual months. Click to zoom in.

This mostly cooling trend since 2007, the peak of the climate hysteria, is rather symptomatic. ;-)


  1. Brian G ValentineOct 17, 2013, 6:52:00 PM

    All "quantum mechanics" are "axiomatic," they are a reduction of postulates, attempted to make self-consistent and non-redundant as possible.

    "Solving problems" with some formalism is the same as some "mathematical demonstration" using a system of symbolic logic and applying some rules. Nothing is gained except brevity, maybe.

    Anyway I don't think there is any correct "interpretation" of QM, they just are, applications give results that are sometimes at least internally consistent, and there you are

  2. Lubos at his best (in the grip of a rabies paroxysm :)
    Research into foundations of QM produced entanglement (EPR paper), Bell's theorem, GHZ experiments and this led to the quantum computing and quantum information research directions.

  3. Mephisto, everything you wrote is pure rubbish. Frankly, I don't understand where you take so much lust to humiliate yourself by writing about things you have no idea about.

    Entanglement was a part of quantum mechanics since it was discovered by Heisenberg et al. in 1925. They knew how to calculate anything in multi-particle systems since the 1920s. The only thing that EPR did was to popularize and demonize this feature of quantum mechanics by giving it a name, the spooky action at a distance, but that's it. Crediting Einstein with entanglement is comparably contrived as crediting the Inquisition with heliocentrism. Perhaps the interaction with Copernicus' followers etc. was important for the development of physics but crediting the Inquisition with the progress still sounds bizarre to me.

    Bell's theorem was produced by someone trying to rework the foundations of quantum mechanics but the result was exactly the opposite; it excluded huge classes of non-quantum theories. However, Bell's theorem isn't an important thing in physics. It's only important for those who refuse to see that classical ("realist") theories of physics have been known to be excluded since the 1920s. There are infinitely many ways to show that classical physics is a wrong theory of reality and Bell's theorem is just one of these infinitely many methods. More seriously, Bell's theorem is a negative result that talks about theories that are wrong, not a result about Nature and the valid theories describing it, so it doesn't really belong to physics.

    GHZ experiments have nothing to do with the research of foundations of quantum mechanics. They're just a funny game-like application of quantum mechanics applied to a few qubits. There's absolutely nothing about their content or their history that would mean that they're anything else than an tiny appendix, a followup on the 34654364th branch of the tree planted by Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, and others. Again, it's absurd to credit the anti-quantum zealots with anything here.

    None of the fathers of quantum computing worked on "revising foundations of quantum mechanics", either. See the actual history of quantum computation here:

    Most famously, the birth of quantum computing is often associated with Feynman himself who thought that the "workers on foundations of QM" are as deluded as I think.

    So the research trying to revise the foundations of quantum mechanics hasn't produced a damn thing in physics over those 80 years.

  4. Using an axiomatic method, you gain mathematical rigor beyond brevity. If you think that rigor is important or not is another story, but that you gain it is a fact. And it is not true that every approach to QM is axiomatic, and I am sure that this is the case for many textbooks on QM.

    Indeed, historically, the development of the mathematical formalism of QM was not so obvious. The original Dirac formalism was heuristic, and it take some years to the Gelfand triple and the Rigged Hilbert Space to be developed. And in fact, the first rigorous mathematical construction of QM was created by von Neumann using C* algebras.

  5. Brian G ValentineOct 17, 2013, 7:13:00 PM

    Somebody needs to take junk science and trash it, and otherwise the semi-educated come away with the impression that something esoteric-sounding is deep, when it is actually rubbish

    This is how "climate science" came to be viewed as "science"

  6. Brian G ValentineOct 17, 2013, 7:19:00 PM

    There are a number of algebraic approaches and C* algebras probably comprise most of them (there are some problems but I won't get into them.)

    Quantum mechanics are postulates, and these can be expressed in a number of different ways. So long as they are consistent, they can be applied indifferently.

    Quit confusing "esoteric" with "valid"

  7. Was is Bohr who reminded Einstein not to tell god what reality is?
    When I was a half century ago first vaguely aware of QM ... Because I read about how my transistor radio worked, I had not enough knowledge to ask why. When I read my undergrad text ... As the argentine said doesn't matter which one ... In physical chemistry I did begin to ask why.
    When I saw EPR overthrown I finally had my answer, the one I attribute to Bohr. When I have found this blog I had in meantime read at least 30 books at various levels that would raise the same objections to QM being complete. None of them was as clear as this blog. Nature works as nature chooses. Reality is not required to confirm our common sense.
    Instead we have experimental confirmation that reality is at the level of the wave function very different than what we think.
    It is no harder for me to accept that than 2+2= 4. We find that real while the child learning arithmetic will eventually be told that other numbers are imaginary. That is the start of the problem I think. Both

  8. Lol, the abstract is powerful and true but I recommend you the rest of the paper that seems very clear - and correct.

  9. Brian G ValentineOct 17, 2013, 7:43:00 PM

    Depends on how you look at it.

    Arithmetic can be reduced to axioms, it takes a long time to arrive at the conclusion "0<1"

    or "1+1=2" and except to know it is true within that system of axioms, there is no point.

    (Except to know that in any logic system strong enough to contain the axioms of arithmetic there are statements that are both true and false within that system)

  10. Dear m, could you please explain why you say that Dirac's formalism is (just?) heuristic? I honestly don't know what that statement could possibly mean.

  11. Right, I agree. But, just to clarify, what I am saying is that I liked to learn QM directly from the postulates, and sadly, not every textbook
    teaches the subject in this way.

    Now, learn arithmetic from axioms can be too complicated, so kids usually learns in school only the recipes of manipulation. But the postulates of QM are quite simple to understand and to apply at a first!

    And if people are able to understand that since the beginning, it could be more easy to see that there is no reason to "interpret" the theory, since we already have the axioms ;)


  12. I can't get edit to work and posted accidently before above is complete. Sorry
    Just wanted to say that both real and imaginary numbers are imaginary. We subjectively use them to keep track of what we consider real and imaginary but nature did not need to learn arithmetic or confirm to what we as children learn. So QM is a nice set of axioms to me that seem, like the numbers we manipulate, matters of imagination. Those who wish need also not accept that 2+2 is 4. I think they will fail but that does not mean they cannot try even more experiments to show tat nature does not conserve quantities. Ey need not bother to complain to me that they missed out on a lot of money and prestige exploring that which seeks to allow 2+2 to be more or less. If they want money and prestige however for not accepting that, the probably can go into American politics where what goes up never comes down and where paying also for profit gamblers and beurocratic machinery will drive down the cos of health care.
    I apologize for the poorly edited ramble ... Forgive me ... figuring out why the universe works is not so different from figuring out what it tells us. One needs to ask questions ... We call them experiments. For me Aspect told us much more than the Argentinian accepts. It together with other experiments confirming Lorentz invariance says to me that the why is that nature chooses to treat imaginary and real on equal footing and because we don't, we fail to realize reality is not real.

  13. Brian G ValentineOct 17, 2013, 8:26:00 PM

    It isn't evident how error bars would be placed around this "projection," anything like that would have to be done in conjunction with the 11 other months, probably arriving at the conclusion, that within the error, nothing can be concluded.

    The only thing I expect from this "news" is some bloggers providing some "explanation" of how "CO2 forcing caused this or is consistent with this"

  14. I am a masochist and I really enjoy my comments being downvoted. Please, I want to have a negative index. (as every proper devil should have)
    I agree with what you write about quantum mechanics (I am not fighting against the postulates and do not want to replace it with hidden variable theory) but I do not agree with your perception of history. IMHO you do not give enough credit to people like Bell and you idolize people like Bohr who was probably a very muddled thinker. You probably know Griffith - the author of another popular quantum mechanics textbook - you can read his article on the history of nonlocality
    The fundamental issues concerning quantum mechanics were not settled by 1927. Yes, the theory was more or less mathematically complete, but as the above article shows the fathers of QM themselves were quite uncertain about its meaning. Paradoxically, it was Bell and later Aspect who helped to settle these issues for many people. But anyway, these issues do not interest me currently as much as they used to a couple of years ago. Now I discovered QFT and I am fascinated by things like the Feynman path integral and Wick rotation. Maybe after I am done with QFT, I will come back to these foundational issues.

  15. It's just amazing how you can pretend to know something even though you clearly know nothing at all.

    Bohr was a towering figure of the whole generation that made the quantum revolution possible.

    The author of the quantum mechanics textbook is David J. Griffiths, not Griffith, and he has nothing whatsoever with the article you linked to which was written by H. M. Wiseman. The word "Griffith" in the URL is after the Griffith University in Australia which is named after Sir Samuel Griffith (1845-1920), the principal author of the Australian constitution.

    So you're completely incapable even of learning who is the author of a paper you post here as an argument. Every single thing you write is wrong, every ad hominem attack against me or against top physicists of the 20th century is an indefensible lie. You're not a masochist. You're just a fucking asshole going around and shitting on everything that is important.

  16. Dear Lubos, the original formalism introduced by Dirac can be considered heuristic at least for two reasons mutually related. First, the way in which he introduced and used his Delta function was not mathematically rigorous. Indeed, his work was one of the greatest stimulus (together with some considerations on partial differential equations) to the development of the generalized functions, which did not existed when Dirac wrote his "Principles".

    Second, the space in which his bra and ket vectors belongs to cannot be the ordinary mathematician's Hilbert space. For a simple way to see this, lets uses Dirac's notation and terminology. Given a real operator F whose eigenvalues forms a "range", if were always "finite" for all eigenvalue F'' of F, then we would have

    |F''> = ∫ dF' F'> = 0

    because of the orthogonality theorem - i.e., can be nonzero only if F'=F''. So must be giving in terms of a generalized function, in particular

    = delta(F'-F'')

    if normalized. But this cannot exists in the ordinary Hilbert space. A Rigged Hilbert Space, which was partly invented to make this formalism rigorous, allow this. [One can have there what some people call a generalized eigenfunction].

    In the other hand, von Neumann's formalism is rigorous even in the traditional Hilbert space. I recall that he wrote in the preface of his "Mathematical foundations (...)" that "Dirac (...) representation of quantum mechanics is scarcely surpassed in brevity and elegance (...) [but] in no way satisfies the requirements of mathematical rigor".

    However, now-days, his treatment is completely rigorous and stimulated a lot of research in functional analysis. And I am learning that there is some formulations of QFT that avoids the UV divergence by avoiding the multiplication of distributions (which is problematic). So, the relation between QM/QFT and functional analysis seems to be a very successful one.

  17. I do not know what happened in the above, but you must read f' and f'' as F' and F'', respectively.

    Oh, I remembered that Dirac acknowledge that the traditional Hilbert space was not sufficient for his formalism somewhere in the "Principles". I am not at home now to see exactly where; I guess that it is was in a section called "dynamical variables and observables".

  18. Oh, I see, so your problem are the continuous bases and normalization of vectors to the delta-function? Why are you mentioning such technicalities? This machinery clearly does work and may be given - and was given - completely rigorous rules if someone wanted. But once it's done, we may still use the very same Dirac notation, can't be? So in what sense is it non-rigorous if it is proved to be OK by totally rigorous arguments?

  19. From a mathematician perspective, the things that I described above are not technicalities, you LIKE it or not! However, I never said that the formalism did not works, but this do not
    change the fact that, *as it was constructed originally*, it was not
    mathematically consistent.

    And more, I said that the ORIGINAL Dirac formalism was heuristic, and not
    that the theory itself is inconsistent or not. You must read things more

    Now, should mathematicians be silent when the formulation of some physical theory (which apparently works) is not mathematically consistent just to not "strengthen irrational beliefs"?

    I do not think so; it would not be intellectually honest.

    Let me finish my participation in this discussion by saying that I really believe that the work of a mathematical physics is to make sense of what the physicists do, and not only to condemn them as "nonsense". But it is important to recognize when they are currently consistent and when they are not.


  20. I think Lubos you are being rather unfair to "m". Dirac's was certainly correct and rigorous at the level required by physics and later it was also proved rigorous at the mathematical level . I don't think he meant to disparage quantum theory in any way.

    Also, Newton's (and Leibnitz) use of calculus was indeed criticised, very fiercely (by Rolle and Berkeley among others) because of the use of intuitive use of infinitesimals and the lack of the proper concept of limit (although in Principia Newton minimised the use of calculus and replaced a lot of arguments by much more complicated geometrical ones). Only in the 19th century as a result of work mainly by Cauchy and Weierstrass, calculus began to be considered "rigorous". Even then, many people continued to regard the use of explicit infinitesimals (in formulas like ds^2=dx^2+dy^2 ) as essentially nonsense that somehow happened to work until Abraham Robinson showed that it was perfectly rigorous in the 1960s.

    The point is that when mathematicians say that something is "non-rigorous" they are not being disparaging about it (or at least the sensible among them), it only means that there is still some work for mathematicians to be done. Physicists are usually not much interested in that and usually they are right.

  21. 'Indeed, his work was one of the greatest stimulus (together with some considerations on partial differential equations) to the development of the generalized functions, which did not existed when Dirac wrote his "Principles".'

    'A Rigged Hilbert Space, which was partly invented to make this formalism rigorous, allow this.'

    I think you're misattributing which problems rigged Hilbert spaces solved and which they didn't. They are not at all necessary for the notion of generalized function nor Dirac delta in particular. The Riesz representation theorem was proved in 1907, and it established a correspondence between vectors in the Hilbert space and continuous linear functionals. The notion of "functional" was already defined at the time and used by Riesz, so this is not a modern retrofit to older theorem.

    Because of that correspondence, all including states like the Dirac delta needs is the interpretation of bras (kets) as (anti)linear functionals in general, not just the continuous ones. This is very natural: a Dirac delta (bra) acting on a function vector is just "evaluate at 0" written in integral notation, and so is definitely a linear functional that is discontinuous, as two nearby functions (‹f-g|f-g› < ε) can have arbitrarily large |f(0)-g(0)|.

    This stuff definitely existed in Dirac's time and was not invented along with RHSs. Dirac was probably simply unaware of it. Well, fine--Heisenberg was unaware of matrices before he seemingly reinvented them to suit his needs. A common enough story. But RHSs seem to solve different kinds of problems, e.g., if I was under the impression that the space of wavefunctions for a single particle was L² and I'm told that in the position basis, the momentum operator is (proportional to) a derivative, something is wrong, because "most" functions in L² are not differentiable even if I'm very careful about vectors being equivalence classes of functions. And so forth.

    However, I think you are correct in that Dirac was not as rigorous as he could been, and in that sense mathematical research into foundations of QM is not necessarily a waste. But this sense of foundational reasearch** is quite different from Señor Pablo is trying to do. Perhaps that's what you meant by "opposite side of the scale", but then it's not Dirac that's opposite in this, but Gel'fand et al.

    ** "I'mma inject MATHEMATICAL RIGOUR into the MESS the PHYSICISTS have made RAWR" ;)

  22. To me quantum interpretation seems too fluffy, that is why I ignore that tag in physics se... ;-P

  23. Jesus Christ, Mephisto! Bohr was a muddled thinker? That idea is so preposterous that it puts you in the class of nincompoop crackpots, which are only surpassed by self serving jerks like Woit and Smolin who profit financially from their idiotic rants.

  24. Generally the cold season temperatures are more variable, I think-in fact if you'll look at them over the last 30 to 40 years you'll probably find they went up faster than the warm season temperatures over that period. Seems to suggest that the system is more readily changed at low temperatures than higher ones.

  25. Anyone, anywhere on the planet who sees the search for the correct "interpretation of QM" as legitimate research in physics is a crackpot. You need to study the double slit experiment until you get it.
    I fear that will take some time.

  26. Nah, as I understand it m is just learning physics as a.mathematician and his taking mathematical rigor very serious is not meant to be an insult of Dirac or any other nice great physicist ...

    I agree with what Lucretius says, the nice mathematicians not just point out lacks of rigor from their point of view but are interested in helping to put things on a more rigorous base such that they are satisfied too, which can make things even cooler :-)

  27. No so long ago, you expressed an idea on this blog that if one cannot express himself clearly he is probably confused and doesn't understand the problem himself. Well, try to read some of Bohr's essays on QM. I do not understand him. He has a strange language, strange ways to express his thoughts. What he says is not clear, it is muddled. I do not know if it seems muddled because his thinking was muddled or because his language skills were not that good. Try to read his response to EPR paper
    From our point of new we now see that the wording of the above-mentioned criterion of physical reality proposed by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen contains an ambiguity as regards the meaning of the expression ' without in any way disturbing a system.' Of course there is in a case like that just considered no question of a mechanical disturbance of the system under investigation during the last critical stage of the measuring procedure. But even at this stage there is essentially the question of an influence on the very conditions which define the possible types of predictions regarding the future behaviour of the system. Since these conditions constitute an inherent element of the description of any phenomenon to which the term "physical reality" can be properly attached, we see that the argumentation of the mentioned authors does not justify their conclusion that quantum-mechanical description is essentially incomplete. On the contrary, this description, as appears from the preceding discussion, may be characterised as a rational utilisation of all possibilities of unambiguous interpretation of measurements, compatible with the finite and uncontrollable interaction between the objects and the measuring instruments in the field of quantum theory. In fact, it is only the mutual exclusion of any two experimental procedures, permitting the unambiguous definition of complementary physical quantities, which provides room for new physical laws, the coexistence of which might at first sight appear irreconcilable with the basic principles of science. It is just this entirely new situation as regards the description of physical phenomena that the notion of complementarity aims at characterising.

    Honestly, I do not understand it. Actually, if you read the whole paper, I think he didn't understand Einstein and just repeats his complementarity principle.
    And what did he discover that he is considered such a great physicist? Bohr's model of the atom and complementarity principle are the only things which come to my mind. Among all the great discoveries of the 20th century, these seem relatively minor in comparison.
    PS: now I will be put on a black list :-)

  28. I was sure that the GOP would wind up the loser in this, lucretius, but even I did not expect such a total surrender to the White House. It will be almost impossible to use the debt ceiling again for political gain; that strategy is dead for all practical purposes and less vitriol should be in our future. Clearly, that result was Obama’s main goal and he has succeeded.
    Now there are two possible scenarios in our future:
    1) Rampant spending will continue to roar out of control.
    2) Cooler heads will prevail and both parties will work together to try and bring spending more in line with income.
    I actually think there is good reason to expect the latter.

  29. You're right Mephisto - Bohr was a confused guy, a bit elderly when the real young stars appeared and explained his simple atomic model with proper maths and physics.His obsession with "complementarity" was almost religious - and from a modern view it is silly - we understand particles and waves now with concrete mathematical models. His dismissal of Dirac's attempt to construct a relativistic theory (because the "Klein-Gordon" one was known) shows that he was obsolete already by the 1920s.

    A nice guy, and great communicator - but did not add much more to physics after the 1920s

  30. Brian G ValentineOct 18, 2013, 3:10:00 AM

    Bohr had a tendency to equivocate in his later years - which I think was a fear of calling somebody "wrong."

    If you look closely at what Bohr writes, you can usually tell what he really thinks.

    The very worst was Hermann Weyl, who would not come out and say something directly.

  31. Your month #3 is actually month 1 duplicated. You have 13 months.

  32. Naw. It's the chinese dirty coal that's clogging the world's pores with the aerosol spray cans.

  33. Stephen Paul KingOct 18, 2013, 5:11:00 AM

    Lubos, i think that your rant is slightly misaimed. We maybe considering someone with "intellect envy"... They live!

  34. Stephen Paul KingOct 18, 2013, 5:14:00 AM

    Please, don't feed the trolls!

  35. Stephen Paul KingOct 18, 2013, 5:18:00 AM

    "...some formulations of QFT that avoids the UV divergence by avoiding the multiplication of distributions..." Which ones, pray tell!

  36. Stephen Paul KingOct 18, 2013, 5:23:00 AM

    off topic. Any Spanish speaker care to speculate as to why Argentinian Spanish is so similar in its accent to Castellano?

  37. Stephen Paul KingOct 18, 2013, 5:27:00 AM

    Umm, any comment on given "I find it very awkward to imagine that there's another, faraway scale where new weirder-than-quantum effects could arrive again."

  38. Brian G ValentineOct 18, 2013, 5:38:00 AM

    The ones that don't exist. Closure is derived from the semigroup property of renormalizations, so this is saying there is no semigroup operation.

  39. Brian G ValentineOct 18, 2013, 5:44:00 AM

    It isn't. z=th as is "c" in Casillian, not the way Argentines say it.

    Argentines say "v" as "w" in English, Castillian pronounces it as "b"

    True Calstillian is a lisp, really, and not Argentine

  40. Stephen Paul KingOct 18, 2013, 6:08:00 AM

    "semigroup property of renormalizations" Reference on this please. :-)

  41. Brian G ValentineOct 18, 2013, 6:22:00 AM

    "Relativistic quantum filelds," by Bjorken and Drell.

    Note that Ken Wilson won a Nobel prize for the description of closure of Co semigroups of renormalizations near (Type II) critical points.

  42. Wow, a four way cherry picking (is that how you get to "a conservative viewpoint"?):

    - HadCRUT data only

    - Northern hemisphere only

    - 7 years data only

    - 7/12 months show a cooling trend according to the graphs (your listing is inconsistent with a negative bias and has 8)

    Your quoting the data as "°C per century" is a misleading extrapolation that you warn against and even the originator of the graphs does not use. Its not necessary to extrapolate when the data back to 1850 is available online: I have reconstructed the December graph (showing-0-0905 trend) but have included the 1906-12 years for comparison over a century. As you can see both show cooling over the 7 year period but the 2006-12 temperatures are 1.2224 °C warmer than 1906-12. That's +1.2 °C per century for the HadCRUT northern hemisphere December median anomaly.

    I'm not sure what the numerologists will make of that.

    Your selection of data has no basis in testing the agw hypothesis that I presume you are attempting to discredit.


  43. Hi idiot, HadCRUT is the only comprehensive dataset that we have outside America. The American data won't be any substantially different, otherwise they have a problem.

    The Southern Hemisphere was omitted because in our winter, they have summer, and vice versa, so they would cancel. Check your nearest kindergarten to learn how seasons are shifted on the Southern Hemisphere, retarded imbecile.

    7 years data were used by the guy because that's the period where these interesting trends are most clear. With other intervals, one gets other results, although much less interesting ones. For example, the alarmists cherry-pick 30 or 100 years as their preferred length, to obtain (much smaller) warming trends.

    °C/century doesn't mean that I did extrapolate anything; it is just a damn unit of the temperature changing rate, as good as any other unit. I explicitly included one paragraph warning against any extrapolations but illiterate imbeciles have clearly missed it.

    I didn't contradict the existence of warming months. Quite on the contrary, you learned those things from me.

    Finally, I was not the original author of these simple calculations so even if there were something objectionable - and the paragraphs above prove that you haven't found an iota of objectionable stuff - I would not be the right target to be criticized.

    So please fuck off, obnoxious asshole, and never return again.

  44. Fixed, thanks, now the monthy trends look even smoother,

  45. I think it is rather strange to call someone a "muddled thinker" just because one does not understand him, particularly when he had been proved right. Bohr was trying to express in ordinary language ideas which are hard or impossible to express in this way because they refer to things which are not part of the experience on which our ordinary language is based. It is the language that was "muddled" not Bohr and this is also the reason why "shut up and calculate" does not at all mean "stop thinking" but "stop being muddled and start expressing yourself clearly" - which in such cases can only be done through mathematics.

    John von Neumann, who nobody ever accused of being a "muddled thinker" never had any doubt that Bohr was correct, even though many of his colleagues did. Here is how Ulam described it in his memoirs:

    "When we talked about Einstein, Johnny would express the usual admiration for his epochal discoveries which had come to him so effortlessly, for the improbable luck of his formulations, and for his four papers on relativity, on the Brownian motion, and on the photo­electric quantum effect. How implausible it is that the velocity of light should be the same emanating from a moving object, whether it is coming toward you or whether it is receding. But his admiration seemed mixed with some reservations, as if he thought, "Well, here he is, so very great," yet knowing his limitations. He was surprised at Einstein's attitude in his debates with Niels Bohr—at his qualms about quantum theory in general. My own feeling has always been that the last word has not been said and that a new "super quantum theory" might reconcile the different premises."

  46. I am not the author of the claim that if someone talks incomprehensibly, he can't understand what he's talking about. My feelings about this claim are mixed as I think that I know quite a few counterexamples.

    Moreover, I do understand Bohr which makes me sure that the problems are at your side, Mephisto, not Bohr's.

  47. Brian G ValentineOct 18, 2013, 7:24:00 AM

    "Ce qui se conçoit bien s'énonce clairement -

    Et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisément."

    - Boileau, Arts Poetique

    (What is well understood presents itself clearly, and the words to express it come easily)

  48. Following up with an ad hominem attack (Idiot, retarded imbecile,
    kindergarten, obnoxious arsehole) does not answer my criticisms.

    HadCRUT is probably weakest data set and may vary significantly over short
    periods such as used here. I haven’t bothered looking to see if it makes any
    difference in this case.

    All temperatures in HadCRUT are quoted as anomalies to overcome the seasonal
    variations. For example, Melbourne and Kennedy Airport NYC both recorded
    maximum monthly temperatures on 18 July 2013. Averaging these temperature
    anomalies would NOT cancel.

    Selecting a time period to obtain "interesting trends" just
    guarantees confirmation bias. You can easily harvest any big data set for
    "interesting trends" (like the Bible Code). The time period need to
    be appropriate to test the hypothesis under study. If data is variable or noisy
    you need more data not less to distinguish signal from noise. (7 months as you
    are advocating is not reasonable).

    Your selection of "units" is obviously provocative and is
    misleading given the actual trend observed over a century that I graphed.

    Your contradiction of the warming month has been corrected and your table is
    now consistent with the graphs.

    You republished "these simple calculations" on your own post and
    added your own commentary. You can be criticised for that, or was it irony?


  49. The point isn't the extrapolation. That was just used to mock the same people who project massive warming and sea level rise by 2100.

    The point is that trends change. Cycles change. Some months are cooling, while some are warming.

    The AGW cult wants to mash all the data together, good and bad and get a minuscule trend that the gullible think applies to every hemisphere, every month and every area in the world.

    The same drill down analysis shows some latitude bands cooling at 2.5C per decade.

    That would be 25C per century.

    If you live in the cooling regions, the AGW Cult won't admit they are cooling. You have to go find that out yourself.

  50. Following up with an ad hominem attack (Idiot, retarded imbecile,
    kindergarten, obnoxious arsehole) does not answer my criticisms.

    HadCRUT is probably weakest data set and may vary significantly over short
    periods such as used here. I haven’t bothered looking to see if it makes any
    difference in this case.

    All temperatures in HadCRUT are quoted as anomalies to overcome the seasonal
    variations. For example, Melbourne and Kennedy Airport NYC both recorded
    maximum monthly temperatures on 18 July 2013. Averaging these temperature
    anomalies would NOT cancel.

    Selecting a time period to obtain "interesting trends" just
    guarantees confirmation bias. You can easily harvest any big data set for
    "interesting trends" (like the Bible Code). The time period need to
    be appropriate to test the hypothesis under study. If data is variable or noisy
    you need more data not less to distinguish signal from noise. (7 months as you
    are advocating is not reasonable).

    Your selection of "units" is obviously provocative and is misleading
    given the actual trend observed over a century that I graphed.

    Your contradiction of the warming month has been corrected and your table is
    now consistent with the graphs.

    You republished "these simple calculations" on your own post and
    added your own commentary. You can be criticised for that, or was it irony?


  51. Dear Billy Bob, right, a high degree of agreement given the independence how we arrived to those things.

    I would say the comment about the units just a bit differently. I always and consistently choose the units °C/century for all temperature trends simply because one gets figures of order one (instead of the tenths one gets in a decade); and because the temperature change in a century is comparable to the climate sensitivity because one century is the time scale after which the CO2 "approximately doubles".

    And others talk about projections for a century, too, so that's why I do the same thing. It's not *necessarily* mocking them but yes, I do thing that the numbers end up mocking them whether I want it or not because all similar projections for a century are sort of ludicrous.

  52. just for the record, this guy write in the Spanish most pueril far left media:

    and of course he owns all the habitual tics of this herd: fobia to capitalism, hate to libertarianism, and, yes, the greatest concern for Anthropogenic Global Warming... you know, birds of a feather flock together. He does not deserve an entry in The Reference Frame, only deserves the slurs.

  53. The "shut up and calculate" reminds me of a joke about Bobo and his father, doing the rounds when I was young in Greece.

    Bobo ( name associated with slow wits) and his father are swimming along.

    Bobo asks : is America far away?
    Father: Shut up and swim

    If the joke were familiar to the people who coined the "shut up and calculate" , it gives an undertone to the statement of "no matter how hard it is" or even "no matter how futile".

  54. Can one read something between the lines on this article:

  55. What is this article about?

  56. I am afraid I my view is much more pessimistic. I do agree with you, Luboš and others that, in principle, the budget deficit and even the colossal National Debt ( ) are (perhaps) manageable if “everybody works together etc, etc.” but I don’t see this happenings now and even less so in the future. One has too look at such things dynamically and the dynamics point in all respects to the situation getting worse.

    The demographics of the US is changing, the entitlements are growing and with them the political habits. California is perhaps an extreme case but it is by no means unique and the data are staggering: “from the mid-1980s to 2005, California's population grew by 10 million, while Medicaid recipients soared by seven million; tax filers paying income taxes rose by just 150,000; and the prison population swelled by 115,000” ( ).
    Add to this the fact that it takes more than $100,000 to keep someone in gaol in for a year in California and you can do your own calculation.

    What depresses me is that it seems to me that what is happening in America is a massive failure of the American model of a democratic society, a failure that in the 19th century de Tocqueville was worried about and Salisbury predicted.

    When I left communist Poland many years ago I had a naïve trust in Western democracy, of which the US was a prime example. I knew that Hitler achieved power through democratic means but I believed that was a one-off aberration, that would never occur in a mature democracy. Later, of course, I saw Lukashenka, elected democratically bringing his country to utter ruin. I saw Chevez do the same in Venezuela and get repeatedly reelected. None of that surprised me, but until recently I believed that was immune from this phenomenon because of its political tradition, political system and education and maturity of its population.

    Obama has now proved to me that it was a naïve mistake to believe in any essential difference between Belorussians and Venezuelans on the one hand the Americans on the other. And this is not just true of the US - other western democracies (most notable the UK) have elected and re-elected leaders whose only skill was in fostering a sense of grievance of the majority against the productive and successful minority and in exploitation of the worst human qualities: envy, selfishness, complacency and cowardice.

    With the sole exception of Switzerland, which is based on a different and probably inimitable model of democracy, we see everywhere the fulfillment of Salisbury’s prophecy:

    “Political equality is not merely a folly – it is a chimera. It is idle to discuss whether it ought to exist; for, as a matter of fact, it never does. Whatever may be the written text of a Constitution, the multitude always will have leaders among them, and those leaders not selected by themselves. They may set up the pretence of political equality, if they will, and delude themselves with a belief of its existence. But the only consequences will be, that they will have bad leaders instead of good.”

  57. The problem is not the debt. At any
    fixed level as a percentage of GDP, debt can be sustained forever. The problem is the increase of debt as a percentage of GDP. It is that increase which causes ultimately a run on a currency. There is no need to repay the debt as long as the net increase of debt is growing below the growth rate of the economy.

    It is all about the increase in debt. In other words, the problem is the corruption of the work ethics. People expect to consume more than they earn by working.

  58. Tax the rentiers. Tax unearned income. Untax real wealth creation. Since real wealth requires labor in its creation, a progressive tax
    system who’s
    aim is to fund projects for the public good is the way to go. That's a
    system which limits predatory economic behavior by taxing its gains back
    into the public well. Make healthcare an infrastructure project that
    will lower the cost of working and doing business.

    As for the
    folks who decry government spending and poo poo public investment – well
    you folks ought to stop using public roads, sewers, electric
    infrastructure, water systems etc. instead of being hypocrites. As Simon
    Patten, the first economics professor at the nation’s first business
    school (the Wharton School) explained, public infrastructure investment
    is a “fourth factor of production.” It takes its return not in the form
    of profits, but in the degree to which it lowers the economy’s cost of
    doing business and living. Public investment does not need to generate
    profits or pay high salaries, bonuses and stock options, or operate via
    offshore banking

  59. Hi Lubos I'm confused by your reply to RogerDty with regard to why the Southern Hemisphere was omitted because I thought that anomaly data was used specifically to overcome this problem.

    In Australia we have just had a record high temperature winter yet this is not in any way being referenced here even though it coincided with heat waves in the United States. For example in July both Melbourne and New York recorded exceptionally high record breaking temperatures creating a positive anomaly for each location regardless of their different hemispheres and seasons.

    I suppose that I don't understand what you mean when you say 'the individual months wouldn't be globally correlated with the seasons' and how or why that would make the extrapolation invalid or justify omitting the Southern Hemisphere data. Sorry if I'm being thick and need to go back to kindergarten.

  60. Dear Helen, do you really misunderstand that in January, it's winter on the Northern Hemisphere but summer on the Southern Hemisphere? What the hell does this fact have to do with whether or not we use anomalies? If there's a hypothetical season-dependent pattern, it's clear that the hemispheres have to be treated in isolation because they're not in sync.

    Otherwise I am shocked by the idea that one apparently isn't allowed to talk just about a hemisphere without an idiotic criticism like yours. I didn't omit the Southern Hemisphere. It wasn't ever a part of this calculation, from the beginning.

    Why didn't you raise these idiotic complaints about studying the Northern Hemisphere when Michael Mann wrote these papers?

    And what about these 300,000 extra papers?