Saturday, July 9, 2011

Luboš Motl might not be a dishonest hack

The Reference Frame: Climate "scientists": 95 percent of people fry to death at 20 °C:
"However, if the planet were warmer by 5 °C, just imagine this nonsense for the sake of it, we could notice the difference but we would surely see no substantial death rate. In fact, that's about the point at which the warm-weather-related deaths would match the cold-weather-related deaths. At this point, the number of temperature-related deaths would probably be minimized. That's not a shocking insight - after all, 20 °C is the temperature we like in our living rooms - I actually favor 23 °C but it is not far - so if this is also chosen to be the global mean temperature, the planet will surely become more comfortable than it is now."

But seeing as he does have a PhD in physics I cannot write this sort of idiocy off to him being stupid or not understanding how statistical distributions work.

1 comment:

  1. Quite on the contrary. My statement is valid and important exactly because it takes the statistical character of the distributions of temperature into account.

    The optimum temperature of the environment for a human is 20-25 deg C - see your living room. The death rate starts to dramatically increase if the temperature deviates from this optimum interval - and it increases on both sides, pretty much symmetrically.

    In the same way, the real temperature at a given place isn't the global mean temperature but it deviates from it, as a function of latitude, season, and daytime, pretty much symmetrically, too.

    It follows from symmetry that if there exists a point of the global mean temperature for which the temperature-related death rate is minimized, it must be the same temperature as the optimum one - 20-25 deg C. We need about 5-10 deg C more warming to get there.


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