It seems a simple enough question - yet it has baffled the best brains for at least 2,300 years.
•Aristotle agonized over it fruitlessly in the fourth century BC
•Roger Bacon in the 13th century used it to advocate the scientific method in his book Opus Majus •Another Bacon, Francis, wrote in his 1620 Novum Organum, that "slightly tepid water freezes more easily than that which is utterly cold" but could not explain why
•Descartes was defeated by it in the 17th century AD
•Even perplexed 20th and 21st century scientists and intellectuals have swarmed over it without result
The UK has seen some very wet and windy weather since the early hours of Sunday morning and that is set to continue in places for the next couple of days – but what has brought these disruptive conditions?
As is the norm, a low pressure which moved in from the Atlantic is to blame, bringing bands of heavy rain and strong winds (as you can see from the tightly packed isobars on the image below).
Forecast synoptic chart for 12:00 on Tuesday 25 September showing the low pressure over the UK.
Now the BBC have also joined in with a similar point of view with Charlotte Pritchard - "Should scientists stop giving advice?" All I can stress on these two essays is how far removed would it be for when the day comes, that the Met Office and other Institutions admit their failure to correctly correlate CO2 to Global Warming and also face crimminal action.
Just like scientists have at the L'Aquila earthquake trial, the Met Office and other Institutions have tried to achieve an impossible task as a result of Government Policy, rather then science....maybe that day is not far away!
This week six scientists and one government official were sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter, for making "falsely reassuring" comments before the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake. But was this fair?
I had to pinch myself over this story from Graeme Archer at The Telegraph.....The L'Aquila earthquake trial reminds us that scientific evidence shouldn't determine public policy!..Graeme have you not thought of another area this may apply?
People find it hard to understand the nature of risk: discuss. A pertinent assertion, in the week that scientists have been found guilty in an Italian court for understating the likelihood of the L’Aquila earthquake. Moreover, the assertion is true, as can easily be demonstrated. Stand behind someone in the queue at WH Smiths while they purchase a lottery ticket, and watch the care with which they select “their” (irrelevant) numbers. Or travel across the Atlantic on a plane, sat beside me.
The former is less physically demanding, as I’m less likely to claw at your arm in terror during the purchase of a lottery ticket than I am while the plane bounces around in turbulence. There’s no point telling me that there’s a very low probability of falling from the sky in a ball of flame, that such disasters happen only rarely. I don’t care about “long-run” arguments: I care about this flight. If the probability of any event is non-zero – if there’s a finite chance that it will occur – then it will happen, at some point; and nothing in the construction of a long-run probability (in its English sense, or its precise mathematical expression) has anything useful to say about any particular instance of any particular flight.
You may have noticed that I have started to take note of the so called "scientific" Journals and Newspapers who have reverted to what is best described as "name calling" when they descibe people who dont agree with "man made" climate change.
This issue has become so rife that even the President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, resorts to "name calling" by using the word "denialists" as if it's an OK thing to do. How can you debate with, or have any respect for people who do that, what thay are doing in effect, is making sure they are taking a moral high ground.
The "D" word to throw back at them is "Disempower".
Whenever people are faced with "name calling", as if what you have to say is unworthy.......you should make it clear that they are trying to disempower you, they are trying to take a moral high ground by depriving you of power or influence in order to make their point. In this respect their argument of the science being settled and therefore not open to debate is a "straw man". Science has to stand up to debate and skepticism, and "man made" climate change is no differant, what we ALL need is DEBATE.
The President of the Royal Society can be seen to try and Disempower people with their views on "man made" climate change with the following article in the New York Times with name calling.
A powerful storm wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover in August 2012. This visualization shows the strength and direction of the winds and their impact on the ice: the red vectors represent the fastest winds, while blue vectors stand for slower winds. Credit: NASA/Goddard Science Visualization Studio
I had noticed that there was a return of the Jet Stream to it's "normal" location over the UK leaving it's "tail" behind over the Mediterranean where there was also a major storm that followed in it's path. My notes on this at the time stated the following, and I would say this...these would be the same remarks I would also make TODAY, as it's the very same situation all over again:
I had a look at one indicator (TropicalStormRisk.com) to see if there was any sign of a "power up" going on with Tropical Storms and drew a blank on that. Then I looked at the netweather.tv to see if the Jet Stream had any significant movement, this, unlike the fast "power up" we see with tropical storms, can take a few days to materialise. The result is quite astonishing....The Jet Stream has now risen up to the North of the British Isles leaving it's tail behind (Red arrow) with disastrous results...
The following is the latest NASA forecast for SC24 "Maxima" from David Hathaway, he has moved yet another prediction from Spring 2013 to the "Fall", I can't help think it may have already happened!.....more to follow.GR
The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 76 in the Fall of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number (for 2012/02) is already nearly 67 due to the strong peak in late 2011 so the official maximum will be at least this high. We are currently well over three years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.