torsdag 14 oktober 2010

FRS Multiplication Table and CO2

The revised statement by the Royal Society Climate Change Summary of Science is full of scientific misconceptions as noted in the earlier post Royal Society in Free Fall, such as the following presented under the contradictory heading
  • Aspects of climate change where there is a wide consensus but continuing debate and discussion
  • Once atmospheric CO2 concentrations are increased, carbon cycle models (which simulate the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans, soils and plants) indicate that it would take a very long time for that increased CO2 to disappear; this is mainly due to well-known chemical reactions in the ocean. Current understanding indicates that even if there was a complete cessation of emissions of CO2 today from human activity, it would take several millennia for CO2 concentrations to return to preindustrial concentrations.
In the recent article The Carbon Cycle and Royal Society Math by Dr Klaus Kaiser at CFP, this is shown to lack any mathematical rationale. How can it be that even elementary mathematics is beyond the capacity of FRS?

Maybe history gives the answer: Recall that FRS Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) in his famous diary records his struggle to learn the multiplication table (July 4th 1662):
  • Up by five o'clock, and after my journall put in order, to my office about my business, which I am resolved to follow, for every day I see what ground I get by it.
  • By and by comes Mr. Cooper, mate of the Royall Charles, of whom I intend to learn mathematiques, and do begin with him to-day, he being a very able man, and no great matter, I suppose, will content him. After an hour's being with him at arithmetique (my first attempt being to learn the multiplication-table).
It seems that Royals have limited talent for mathematics, with one exception proving the validity of this observation: King Karl XII of Sweden was interested in mathematics and in particular wanted to replace the base 10 with 64, and to this end during one single night gave new names to all the numbers from 1 to 63. However, maybe because the corresponding multiplication table was too hard to memorize, his reform attempts came to 0.

1 kommentar:

  1. På UI hade man för inte så länge sedan en blogg just om hur lång tid det skulle ta innan människans CO2 inte påverkade klimatet längre:

    Jag frågade då om det verkligen var rimligt när det påstods att det skulle ta mer än 100 tusen år! Och tydligen var det helt ok...

    Vad gäller en av förutsättningarna som Kaiser ger "Earth atmosphere of 10 km thickness, at 1 bar" så är det väl inte helt korrekt. Det bör väl vara 1 bar vid marknivå och 0 bar på 10 km höjd? Jag har dock inte kontrollerat uträkningarna än.