A climate science milestone: a successful 10-year forecast!

Postcards from the frontier of science

Summary:  The gridlock might be breaking in the public policy response to climate change. Let's hope so, for the gridlock has left us unprepared for even the inevitable repeat of past extreme weather -- let alone what new challenges the future will hold for us. The below graph was tweeted yesterday by Gavin Schmidt, Director … Continue reading A climate science milestone: a successful 10-year forecast!

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Irma might defeat the skeptics and end the climate wars

Model of a hurricane.

Houston is under water after the impact of Harvey, a category 4 hurricane. Irma, a Cat 5, might brush by or even hit Miami. Such moments are ideal for a thought experiment (Gedankenexperiment in the original German). How might a catastrophic hurricane season change the politics of the climate change wars -- the debate about … Continue reading Irma might defeat the skeptics and end the climate wars

We are living in the crazy years AND Fahrenheit 451.

"The Persistence of memory" by Salvador Dali (1931))

Summary: We have entered the "Crazy Years", as predicted long ago by science fiction author Robert Heinlein. Our lives are like scenes from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. These echoes from history help us break through the myopia of our daily routine to see how America has changed -- and more clearly see where we are going. … Continue reading We are living in the crazy years AND Fahrenheit 451.

Lessons for us about AI from the horse apocalypse

Summary: Artificial intelligence has arrived. The mid-twentieth century horse apocalypse shows us what it might do to employment. It is history's rebuttal to the pollyannas about tech. This is a follow-up to yesterday's post -- Films show us how smart machines will reshape the world. “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short … Continue reading Lessons for us about AI from the horse apocalypse