Friday, August 7, 2015

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 47

New meaning given to R & D
I missed the televised political competition to see which clown could persuade the most fools about the most irrelevant and non-scientific issues facing civilization as we know it.

Instead, I have been rendered aghast at how many scientists, activists, and bloggers (including me) missed some critical science concerning sea level rise change.

The gist of it is that sea level is both rising and falling, depending on location on the globe of the Earth.

In the scientific literature, ignoring those factors of sea level change has, for decades, caused strange contemplations of such things as "the European Problem" (see the video below).

The actual problem was that oceanographers and climate scientists were, for the most part, clueless about what was going on before them, in that case, hidden in very plain sight.

One effort to avoid being blind-sided by overly-specialized disciplines, which can create scientific myopia, is Sackler Colloquia:
The Fingerprints of Sea Level Change

This meeting was held March 31-April 2, 2011 at the AAAS Auditorium, in Washington, D.C. and was organized by Rita Colwell, Christopher Field, Jeffrey Shaman, and Susan Solomon

Meeting Overview

Climate science is addressing issues that require an increasingly interdisciplinary perspective, posing new challenges to scientists and to the organization and support of this science. Like other interdisciplinary activities, recognition and support of interdisciplinary climate science by the broader scientific community—including university and government administrators, journal editors and reviewers, and funding agencies—is advancing slowly. Often it is easier to recognize ideas that would represent major advances within a discipline, than ideas that would provide major advances but cut across multiple disciplinary foundations. This circumstance poses a challenge to interdisciplinary research and may slow interdisciplinary scientific advances. Such issues are of particular significance for studies of climate impacts, which may, for example, represent linkages between physical and social science, as well as feedbacks among physical, chemical and biological systems.

This Sackler Colloquium will provide a forum for addressing these issues. Specifically: How are high-quality interdisciplinary scientific ideas best recognized and nurtured in their nascent phase? How can we improve this recognition process so as to better support interdisciplinary climate science advances? The colloquium will examine the history of successful, innovative interdisciplinary scientific advances, drawing on experience not only in climate science but also in other fields. The purpose of the colloquium is to identify patterns in the evolutions of research in these areas. Are there common characteristics and/or principles that allowed critical efforts to succeed, thereby leading to significant advances? Did they begin as small concepts or as big, break-out ideas? How were these efforts nurtured, supported, or hindered? At what career stages were the primary researchers? How might future, novel interdisciplinary ideas in climate science be better identified?
(Comment on Youtube, emphasis added). Some of these efforts have led to a way of "finger printing" sea level change (e.g. Physics World).

This process is found in the scientific literature (e.g. Estimating The Sources of Global Sea Level Rise).

If sea level change is not considered by public works departments and port authorities, construction and/or improvement of sea ports will experience unexpected problems over time (see e.g. Peak Sea Level - 2, Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization - 5).

And in the worse case scenario, Inhofeism (e.g. Inhofe's One Man Troofiness Crusade), people will be deceived into purchasing property in areas that should not be utilized for homes (e.g. Will This Float Your Boat - 3).

Have a good weekend anyway.

Professor Jerry Mitrovica, Harvard University:


  1. Great post Dredd.

    i think Guy is doing his best to connect the interdisciplinary dots so people can understand what's going on - and it ain't 'purty' (like the two people pictured). He helps interpret these mileposts and puts up links to the original sources so anyone can check them out. As people go through the various stages of grief over this important, life-changing information, there is often confusion, bargaining and outright denial that HE has to address [the Scott Johnson and myriad other morons] and put up with [hate mail, death threats] for his efforts.

    You too are doing a spectacular job spelling it out for your readers.

    Thanks to both of you for your unwavering, heroic service to the truth.


    1. There is a link to "Nature Bats Last" on each Dredd Blog page under the "Blogs" section.

    2. Removed because of posts that are death silly.

      I assume the owner is in charge of controlling posts.

      I do not sanction even the appearance of death cults.