Engineering .vs. Science Pt 2
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2023-01-29 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 750 references Ignore this thread
Engineering .vs. Science Pt 2 *
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My previous piece on this general topic was on the difference between people who take a science view of things and an engineering view of them.  I explained how an engineering view, when faced with an unexpected failure of some sort, immediately stops whatever they're doing, reverts it if something was recently changed.

A "science" view holds that statistical power is enough.

The problem is that each human is not a statistical problem; you are an engineering example.  That is, there is only one of you just like for any individual road over water there is one bridge.  One bridge failure is not tolerable because there may be cars on the bridge when it fails and the people in the cars will die.

The key to an engineering view is that engineering looks at the world as deterministic and thus statistical failures are not permitted.  That is, it looks at the world like physics does even given our imperfect understanding, and thus seeks to place outcomes well beyond confidence intervals.

Physics says that kinetic energy is always 1/2 mV^2.  Never anything else.  2H2 + O2 -> 2H2O + energy, always.  You never get gold, you always get water.  Gravity (on earth) accelerates all objects at 32 ft/sec^2, always.  It does not matter if the object masses one gram or one ton; that is the acceleration.

Here's the functional difference, and what you must understand: Everything in the universe is in fact deterministic.

But wait, you say -- medicine never seems to be.  Nor does weather.  Nor, for that matter, is so-called "climate science"; remember we were told by scientists the polar icecaps would be gone 10 years ago?  Well, they're not.  The weatherman can't even tell you with certainty whether it will rain tomorrow at 2:00 PM and he's wrong more-often than right.  The NOAA forecasters can't give you where the hurricane will hit in five days and how strong it will be either, or if a tornado will form.

Every one of these outcomes is in fact deterministic -- that is, it has exactly one outcome, just like hydrogen and oxygen always produce water and energy when combined at or above the activation level of heat.

Note that it was, for quite some time, believed that a rock and a feather were acted upon differently by gravity and this, it was believed, was part of why birds could fly.  It wasn't until we figured out how to construct a vacuum pump and remove the air from a chamber we proved otherwise.  That which looked not to be deterministic (gravity) in fact is; it didn't look that way because we did not understand enough of the full system in which it applied.

So why is it that when you are told you have cancer the doctor cannot tell you whether or not he can cure it?  At best he can give you some set of odds.  Ever notice that a medical study that claims a "p < 0.001", that is, almost-certainly the result is allegedly real, still does not claim that everyone is cured or helped?  It doesn't have to in order to get that "p" value -- it just has to have an outcome that is wildly improbable to be due to chance.

It is active fraud to use such to claim you should or must do a given thing.  To suggest a course of action is fine, but to cajole, coerce or mandate it is not.

Why?  Because you're always a trial of one.

So why is it that we can't actually tell you where the hurricane is going to hit a week out, whether the tornado will come (and where if it does), whether the medicine will cure you or whether you need your umbrella in two hours?

Simple: We do not actually understand the thing we are analyzing; at best we have only a partial understanding.  When it comes to biochemistry that understanding beyond the basics (e.g. metabolism of foods into ATP and thus your survival) is in fact quite poor in both depth and breadth.  This is also true for essentially all large-area physical systems on Earth and indeed through the universe.

An example from the planet we live on: Despite the claims that CO2 emissions are driving the warming of the earth nobody, to my knowledge, has been able to accurately provide the carbonate buffering reaction between the atmosphere and the oceans.  This is in fact critical to being able to accurately model anything related to same because there is far more carbon dioxide in the ocean in the form of carbonate than that which is in the atmosphere as a gas.  Without being able to describe this buffering reaction accurately (and several scientific groups have realized, after much experimentation that they have no accurate idea at all how to do so) you can't possibly determine how this will all balance out -- or, even more-importantly, which is the driver and which is the driven element -- or whether both in fact are in different places and times!

We lack the understanding required to be able to accurately describe it and, despite decades of trying, we are nowhere near being able to do so.

Yet in fact the outcome -- that is, the buffering reaction -- is deterministic and, if we understood what we were analyzing we could tell you 100% of the time what was going to happen.  The reason we can't is that we're ignorant of significant parts of what's being treated or predicted.

That's all it is folks.

There are myriad buffering reactions in every living thing.  We do not understand how most of them work accurately enough to describe them with a formula, function or model yet all are utterly essential to survival.  I can list a dozen off the top of my head and every single one of them is essential to the continuation of that organism's life.

The claims of anyone in these fields are not facts -- they're guesses.  Perhaps educated guesses but they are guesses and you must never confuse them with facts.

Policy, especially binding policy, is never legitimately made from a guess.  That is no different than religion; I may believe in God, but that belief is a guess.  I cannot prove it and you cannot disprove it; we both lack the ability to reach a deterministic outcome.  There is one but neither of us know what it is and by the time we know its too late to change our minds.

A climate "scientist" might tell you that we must reduce CO2 because he claims that humans emitting CO2 will cause the earth to get warmer and the sea level to rise, both of which are claimed to be bad and must be avoided.  I'll leave the "warmer" thing out for a minute and focus on the sea level aspect.  Said "scientist" in fact has made two claims, not one: First, that the sea level will rise (the bad outcome) and second that CO2 emissions by man are the cause -- that is, if we stop doing that the sea level will not rise.

This claim has multiple problems not the least of which is that he can't design an experiment to validate his hypothesis because said scientist doesn't have a spare earth laying around that is identical to this one upon which to run his experiment nor does he have the hundred years or more to prove he's right.  Therefore all he's got is back-fit mathematics which do not meet the scientific method that, I remind you, requires a hypothesis, formulation of an experiment in which only the desired variables are changed, recording and analysis of results and then publication of all of it so the results can be replicated by any interested party.

A back-fit model is never scientific; it is not, by definition, a test of a hypothesis.

Remember, the alleged "scientist" has not only claimed an outcome will occur he claims he knows why.  He has no evidence for either of these claims other than a historical back test which, anyone who's worked around any system that has a lot of unknowns (e.g. the stock market, for example) will tell you almost never validates on a forward basis.  These sorts of models don't even have the record of a coin toss; they nearly always fail to be predictive.  There are plenty of people who have blown up their trading accounts believing they have found the exception to this rule and nobody that I've ever heard of who has even a decent record of being right with what they've discovered in that regard in any system that exhibits evidence of non-deterministic, as we see it, behavior.  If such could be done the person who did it would wind up with all the money, obviously.

Let's ask what happens if he's wrong about the reason the sea level will rise?  Let's first presume that he's right in part and the sea level does rise.  He can't prove that his claim of cause is correct, however, as he cannot show determinism; he doesn't have enough facts to produce a deterministic result.  If he turns out to be wrong we take all the costs, societal, economic and otherwise, to reduce CO2 emissions and yet the people will still get screwed because the sea level rises anyway!

That is the alleged "solution" makes it worse than if you did nothing; the people still get hosed by the sea level rise but you first confiscated a large amount of their money by raising the cost of power, transportation, heating, cooling and agriculture so your "solution" screws them twice!

The engineering view of this problem, assuming the fear is that sea level will rise and destroy property and people is deemed both reasonable and worth defending against, is to build walls and otherwise insulate people and property from the sea level rise, or move the people and things out of the way so they don't get flooded out.  That, provided you do so beyond a reasonable confidence interval of said rise and are far enough on the safe side of it, will always work.  That is the engineering solution; it is deterministic in that provided you build the wall to the correct height with the specified materials of a given strength and/or move the stuff the bad result will not occur.

Why the sea rises from the engineering perspective is irrelevant.

When the pandemic hit in the first couple of months it was clear that young, healthy people were at statistically no risk (materially less than the flu) yet older, more-morbid people were at serious risk I put forward an engineering-style solution, albeit an imperfect one as we had wildly insufficient knowledge to get a decent confidence interval, which was ignored.  That is, the sanitarium model which was used for tuberculosis.  That absolutely would have worked far better than what we did because it did not rely on anything that we did not know was correct; there was no element of guesswork in the solution.  The only people allowed in and out of facilities housing said high-risk people would be those who had seroconverted and thus were known unable to acquire or transmit the infection.  We had no choice but to accept the "who's living there and has tested negative now is ok" but that risk only had to be accepted once for a given facility at the very outset when few people were infected at-large.  This meant putting up housing (e.g. rented RVs) at said facilities on site for workers who hadn't seroconverted and paying them whatever was required to work and stay there with food and other essentials brought in and sanitized.  If they rotated out for any reason they could not come back in until and unless they had seroconverted.  As the young, healthy people in the general population got the virus, shook it off and did seroconvert they could be hired to work safely and not have to stay on-site.  Within a couple months with no attempt to contain spread among the low-risk side of the population there would have been tens of millions of available seroconverted workers and those who found the premise of on-site lodging onerous could have been replaced.  There were no unknowns that could result in ineffectiveness; while we might have had some failures here and there due to human mistake (people are not perfect) beyond that it would have with near-certainty prevented the infection from getting into those facilities and very few high-risk people would have died.  Instead we did the exact opposite in several states and shoved infected people into those buildings, attempting to rely on masks and testing to prevent transmission. The masks and testing regimes repeatedly failed as they were based on statistical reductions which we had every reason to believe was irrelevant (once you cross the threshold of enough virus to become infected how much more gets into you doesn't materially matter with a virus since viruses replicate exponentially) and many died because the fools implemented a scientific method focused on probability and statistical reduction in emitted particles rather than an engineering approach that relied on deterministic process designed to be well beyond reasonable confidence intervals.

Engineering is always deterministic because it has to be as a discipline; if its not people die and the engineers who did not employ deterministic methods are held responsible for the failure.  Scientific methods only are deterministic and thus interchangeable on a functional basis when all the variables are known and correct.  The practitioners of scientific methods are almost-never held responsible when they're wrong; when was the last time a hurricane forecaster was charged with manslaughter when he incorrectly predicted where the storm was going or failed to predict the intensification of the Cat 2 storm to a Cat 3 or 4?  The engineering answer is always superior since it does not rely on that which is not known to be correct -- or even known at allIf I do not know, for example, what the physical load a bridge pier that is driven to 80' can take without displacement under a specific set of conditions then I have to measure that before I can accept 80' as a suitable depth.

The scientific answer often kills people when all the inputs and variables are either not known or incorrect because it is a guess and guesses are frequently wrong.  The more unknown variables the worse the guess will be.

Facts are absolutes.  Physics is a set of facts.  Chemistry is a subset of physics, when you get down to it; it describes the physical interaction of atoms and molecules, which are comprised of protons, neutrons and electrons (and then subatomic particles beyond that.)

If and when we ever manage to understand biological systems sufficiently we will reach the point of determinism in medicine.  We will not say "you have a chance of beating this condition"; we will know what the outcome will be and whether the condition can be resolved or not -- and if so what you must consume or do to resolve it.

The same is true for "climate"; what is currently proclaimed may be a scientific process but it is not engineering and must never be used to drive policy because we simply do not understand what we're studying well enough to make accurate predictions nor establish causation.  The predictions that have been made have almost-all been proved wrong and as such they don't even qualify as educated guesses.  To make policy decisions on that basis is to make the wrong decision in virtually every instance, that is to screw people in some form or fashion who then have the bad thing happen anyway.

Some day we will reach an engineering level of understanding when it comes to medicine, climate, and many other things -- just as we have with chemistry and, at least at the atomic level, physics.

That day is not today, whether we are talking about climate, weather or all manner of biological things around us - including medicine.

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Comments on Engineering .vs. Science Pt 2
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Statman6 28 posts, incept 2021-04-19
2023-01-29 08:47:09

As a degreed engineer, I appreciate this article. Once again, you have nailed it. (I think that you need 2H2O to balance the reaction.)
Dmj625 4k posts, incept 2010-03-01
2023-01-29 08:47:16

Bravo Karl! Another masterpiece.

These tickers paint the "believe the science" crowd is a new light.

We might need to start selling "trust the engineering" t-shirts.

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Deport, Deflate, De-Militarize

Thuddenly Tracker: Firsts-6, Seconds-24
Boredfree 2k posts, incept 2021-09-15
2023-01-29 09:31:38

I can remember being a child and thinking adults act strange. They'd preach one thing and do the opposite.

My adults were always yelling at me 'to think of the consequences of my actions' when my childish self would make a mistake. Somehow they hadn't learned this lesson themselves and continually struggled with their finances and other life skills.

As I matured I came to understand adults somehow learned to hold opposing beliefs, and much of the world's problems are due to their cognitive dissonance.

Karl has hit another out of the ballpark homerun with the engineering vs science approach to problems.

I'd never thought about the differences between the two. Knuckleheads like me think they're basically the same; complicated and hard to understand.

Karl has removed my blinders and I see the LIGHT! Seriously, why isn't this concept universally understood?

The climate scam shows just how ignorant western humans are. Honestly, in the early 90's, I thought it made sense. But then nothing changed. No cities flooded, no vast wastelands from heat and drought caused by my flatulence (actually made me sad, my farts can be epic!)

The scientists they allow to speak are doom porn peddlers who dislike humans. They don't care they are lying fuckers, they hate humanity and blame people for all the world's ills. I hate to admit, I often feel like this too.

However(in my defense), I lump the climate cultist in with all the other problem-makers. They don't feel the same. They think they are preaching holy gospel to ignorant savages.

The covid culling happening MIGHT wake a few more people up. It certainly has wacked the gullible the hardest.

God works in mysterious ways...


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The problem is most people want to point a finger rather than their thumb when dealing with challenges.
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-01-29 09:32:47

The best-fit T-shirt for "Trust the science!" is a woman being burnt at the stake with her black cat walking past a dude who is obviously diseased.

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"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
Bodhi 6k posts, incept 2008-02-23
2023-01-29 09:37:32

The first few sentences says it all.

Quote:
My previous piece on this general topic was on the difference between people who take a science view of things and an engineering view of them. I explained how an engineering view, when faced with an unexpected failure of some sort, immediately stops whatever they're doing, reverts it if something was recently changed.

A "science" view holds that statistical power is enough.


Yep. It might look good on paper, but that doesn't always translate into how it manifests in practical application.

If a project doesn't work as planned, then something in your calculations is wrong. At this point you stop and figure out what that something is, as no progress can be made until you do.

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There is too much negativity in the world. Do your best to make sure you aren't contributing to it.
Forever_young 548 posts, incept 2022-11-22
2023-01-29 09:37:44

Quote:
when was the last time a hurricane forecaster was charged with manslaughter when he incorrectly predicted where the storm was going or failed to predict the intensification of the Cat 2 storm to a Cat 3 or 4?


This right here, along with the engineering vs. Scientific answer to rising sea levels, is what should shut up any climate change mouth-breather trying to make your life worse.

You know what else I notice about these sheep? They never volunteer to change anything themselves first, because fuck the idea of making their life difficult I guess. I mean, saving the planet is important and all, but not if it makes things inconvenient.
Wayiwalk 1k posts, incept 2016-11-09
2023-01-29 09:44:38

The fail to me of the climate change scientists and their models was given to me by being a mechanical engineer and how we were taught to solve any kind of energy balance equation..... Basically drawing a control volume around the system of interest.

In the case of climate that would put that control volume like a Box around the Earth and when you study what the energy inputs are and where the energy losses go you have basically inputs from the sun and losses by radiation to space.

Right away that points to the biggest trick which would be to successfully model the inputs coming from the sun which of course we know no one is capable of coming up with anything other than a guess or approximation or assumptions on variation due to sunspots whatever but the reality was a very accurate model was not gonna be available until we could collect more data.

Now I know the people I would like to send to the sun to collect surface temperatures of the sun directly but that's another hope entirely smiley

But given that major Source of energy for the sake of actually making a predictive model on the Earth's surface I figured that these people were all full of s*** and all they were doing was as has already been noted adjusting the model based on things they could measure to represent what happened in the past

Now as far as the notion of climate change to be used to impose new taxes on civilization there's another thing I realized in the last year after reading a couple of articles related to what's happening to the location of magnetic North and then some other ideas that have only recently been put out there and that is if there's some surface temperatures that are reflecting slight shifts in the Behavior of the core in the Earth which is of course molten (energy source relative to surface temp until the molten core isnt molten a billenia from now) I realize that my simplistic model with the single control volume was wrong. By the way, that molten core is iron, right?...that is the magneticshift angle... That's why that is a data point relative to temperature changes that they think are attribute to that something is shifting no surprise in geologic time there's a h*** a lot of data we don't have and there's only guesses at this point.

My control volume should have been both outside of the Earth to address losses from space and inputs from the sun but there should be a second control volume, a spher just beliw the surfacebecause although the entire Earth temperature or energy is captured by that the surface temperature which is generally much lower than the temperature of the core of the Earth would need to be isolated and the energy inputs from the core would have to be considered.... So basically maybe not a Box surroundig the Earth but a sphere and then a slightly smaller sphere just below the surface of the Earth that would capture all inputs relative to our surface temperature.

I don't investigate this nonsense because again obviously it's political and it's about control and scientists that jump into the realm of controlling the population well there's gotta be a good word for those people and it's surely not an honest or healthy one.

The folks that Believe in the climate models and there's so many of them who are "well educated" I just figuratively put my fingers in my ears when they start talking because I know they're full of s*** and they're not using their brain.

( My apologies in advance for a somewhat rambling discussion I'm entering this on a small screen smartphone and it's a little tough to add it for clarity)

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I keep thinking, "it can't get any worse" and then it does!

Let's Go Brandon!
Mrbobo 191 posts, incept 2021-12-01
2023-01-29 09:55:21

Is it me or have the weather forecasts, specifically the prediction of rain gotten much worse in the last few years?

I feel it all boils down to fraud and the enablement thereof. We're comfortable with black boxes and soothsayer types who claim only they understand the inscrutable. In contrast to the discipline described here; it is either deterministic or it isn't.
There is also the case of just changing the measurements (relatively quietly) to meet whatever narrative necessary. When there is a tornado or earthquake now, I have no idea what the severity is. Those scales have been replaced but the news will tout the new measurement as if it was the same number.
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-01-29 09:55:59

No, it is always deterministic.

The reason you can't make a prediction that verifies on a consistent basis is that you don't understand what you're analyzing at a sufficient level.

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"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
Mrbobo 191 posts, incept 2021-12-01
2023-01-29 10:00:35

That's what I meant. You either understand it or don't.
Hobbled 304 posts, incept 2011-02-09
2023-01-29 10:22:05

I was trained as a range ecology scientist and I learned a lot and enjoyed it but it was a dying field and I did not get a job in the field. I had to take a job in an allied field of landscaping to feed my family. SO I have been out of it for over 30 years so my studies and understanding may a bit outdated.

But, I had to read a good article on CO2. One author proposed what you said here, that it is not forests that are the sink for absorption and sequestration of CO2 but the oceans. Made a lot of sense to me as 2/3 of the planet is water and of the other 1/3 all of that is not forest and trees but other ecosystems. So my question remains how can less than 1/3 of the worlds surface area absorb CO2 and clean it up to breathable O2. But you still hear that deforestation is adding to CO2 problems so we got to quit taking trees. Even though I have since read there are more trees in North America now that when the colonists got here you still see we are gonna die from deforestation.

So, like you say our scientific knowledge is more limited than they want us to believe. Science has become a god and a catch all phrase yet there is not really a scientific consensus on a lot of areas because there are reputable folk who still have questions who are trying to come to more of an engineering type understanding of the scientific fields they love.

And that ain't no way to run a railroad and force our economy and society to adopt certain behaviors based on guesses and activist agendas. Real people are hurt and killed by that type of thinking.
Tonythetiger 1k posts, incept 2019-01-27
2023-01-29 10:40:54


The truly scary part is that many of "the science" crowd are making their policy decisions based on a MODEL of the climate, and not actual data.

Of course it's much easier to construct and run a model. You don't need to know all the inputs and outputs, you simply ignore them and continue on as though they don't matter.

Such a simplistic model only approach moves "the science" into the realm of magical thinking. It doesn't even qualify as science any more.

I use modelling extensively in my work for incredibly complex problems. As an engineer, the model has to include as many performance driving factors as possible. Understanding which of those factors matter the most takes decades of learning. Even then, the models are only an estimate. Depending on how you use them, you can explore best case performance (use optimistic inputs), worst case performance (use worst inputs), and specific cases where you can vary the inputs over parametric ranges to see where performance begins to break down.

That kind of information enables ENGINEERING based decisions, where real world designs can be based on avoiding failure zones. Later on, the real world design is compared to the model and the model is changed to reflect what actually happens, to the best extent that can be determined.

We have a couple maxims regarding modeling, to remind the old-timers and to teach the newbies:

Experience wrote..
All Models are wrong, some Models are useful.

and
Experience wrote..
A Fool with a Tool is still a Fool.


Still, there are a never ending stream of Fools, not realizing the extent of their ignorance, who believe that the Model is exactly what happens in the real world. More often than not, they will argue to their last breath that you don't understand things as well as they do.






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"War is when the Government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide that for yourself." - Benjamin Franklin

You can vote your way into Communism, but you have to
Dmj625 4k posts, incept 2010-03-01
2023-01-29 10:53:22

The climate narrative broke for me back in 2000-2001 timeframe. I read a paper that hypothesized that there were 9 primary variables to global temperatures. The authors readily acknowledged that they had a poor understanding of how 7 of them worked. There were two that they believed they had sufficient understanding to model - water vapor and CO2.

So they built a computer model and plugged in estimates for the 7 variables and held them constant while they modelled water vapor and CO2. Then they focused on CO2, because water vapor isn't "man-made".

Well I'm not a trained engineer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once. If you've ever tried to maintain a pool you know that there are many variables that affect the water quality and anytime you tinker with one you impact all of the others.

The idea that you could estimate 7/9 variables and hold them constant when you readily admit you don't understand them is patently absurd.

The real challenge with many of our so-called "scientists" is that they are not disinterested parties trying to gather objective data. They already believe something and set out to prove it. That's how you get someone who thinks they've made a breakthrough discovery when they put a gas stove in a hermetically sealed 10'x8'x8' room and discover NO levels are too high.

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Deport, Deflate, De-Militarize

Thuddenly Tracker: Firsts-6, Seconds-24
Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-01-29 10:54:58

.... And ignored that before the NOx got you the CO2 and lack of oxygen would.

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"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."
Thombradley 307 posts, incept 2021-11-01
2023-01-29 10:59:01

Weather predictions are the perfect analogy. People (some) feel the need to tune in 24/7 to some hair on fire prediction of 4 to 6 inches of snow or an inch of rain which in AZ may be a big deal if you were stupid enough to buy a house in the foothills and be in a former wash area. Must be like watching a horror movie , scare me please. The realtor probably said the prior owners rarely had a boulder roll through their house. A bit like when a couple of tourists asked me if the Wendella ferry off Michigan ave was safe, I replied oh yes one hasn't sunk in several months.

In 67 Chicago got 29 inches of snow and when in 6th grade my mother threw me out of the house to walk to school when it was probably 8 inches already. The group of us who walked together had a blast. The nuns finally gave up teaching since we were all looking out the window and let us watch till they decided to let us out 1 hour early. No frantic calls to soccer moms to come pick us up. Rear wheel drive cars were going no where anyway. Had a blast crawling home over snow drifts

While this is largely off point, the forecast the previous day was 1-3 inches of snow.
Chemman 480 posts, incept 2021-05-03
2023-01-29 11:14:11

@Hobbled: So my question remains how can less than 1/3 of the worlds surface area absorb CO2 and clean it up to breathable O2.

It doesn't. Around 80% of O2 production is from phytoplankton located in the ocean.
Ajkalian 239 posts, incept 2015-09-16
2023-01-29 11:17:09

The next time someone mentions "Globull Warming" show them this.
Inline

Tickerguy 202k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2023-01-29 11:15:49

And somewhere between 80 and 95% of the CO2 is actually in carbonate in the oceans. Yes, they really don't know to that degree of uncertainty how much is there say much less what the buffering reaction looks like.

What's even worse is that we already know that it's not homogeneous across the ocean as a whole.

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"Perhaps you can keep things together and advance playing DIE games.
Or perhaps the truth is that white men w/IQs >= 115 or so built all of it and without us it will collapse."

Larryboy 771 posts, incept 2012-12-29
2023-01-29 11:36:24

In my engineering classes of the 1970s they taught that scientists try to learn how the rules of the universe work, then engineers follow up and learn how to put those rules to use to improve life. Guess it is still true
Asimov 150k posts, incept 2007-08-26
2023-01-29 11:36:34

Another thing that everybody totally ignores as that the #1 global warming gas is not CO2, not by a LONGSHOT. Water vapor is something like 75-80%, CO2 is a MUCH smaller contributor.

Not like it matters, I'm sure. The CO2 probably causes more winds which cause more waves which puts more water vapor into the air.

Or something.

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It's justifiably immoral to deal morally with an immoral entity.

Festina lente.
Chemman 480 posts, incept 2021-05-03
2023-01-29 12:15:39

@TG; The buffering reactions aren't complex but they are contingent upon temperature and other reactions going on and that's where the lack of knowledge comes in.
Carbonate ions can react with any metal ion available and with the exception of the Group One metals and a couple of Group Two metals the resulting compounds are insoluble and precipitate out of the solution settling to the bottom.
Then there are the critters pytoplankton, corals and others that use carbonate to make a protective shell.
So most of the carbonate like you point out is removed from the system. Over long time frames some is returned via volcanism at subduction zones.
Spitcher2 242 posts, incept 2018-05-17
2023-01-29 12:16:19

Tickerguy said, "Some day we will reach an engineering level of understanding when it comes to medicine, climate, and many other things -- just as we have with chemistry and, at least at the atomic level, physics."

Engineering Optimism!

Thank You. This is the kind of medicine I need.
Thombradley 307 posts, incept 2021-11-01
2023-01-29 12:16:29

And the (experts) have no f in idea of how many undersea volcanoes exist or what they admit. An aside I laugh at nature/geology/archeology documentaries which invariably showcase a VERY serious professor with a nubile grad student off in some far away place or on a (tax funded?) ship. If they could keep my Chardonnay cold Im all in! Love you hon, see you in three months!
Thombradley 307 posts, incept 2021-11-01
2023-01-29 12:16:57

Correction emit though they may admit if you believe in Pele.
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