Saturday, April 30, 2011

By the numbers

Our typical math skills seem quite undeveloped relative to our nuanced language skills [perhaps because in the world in which we evolved] communication was life and death, math was not. Have you not admired, as I have, the incredible average skill and, perhaps more importantly, the high minimum skill shown by our species in driving through heavy traffic? At what other activity does almost everyone perform so well? Just imagine what driving would be like if those driving skills, which reflect the requirements of our distant past, were replaced by our average math skills!
-- Jeremy Grantham in Quarterly Letter, April 2011
An estimated 1,400 billion tons of methane is stored in [East Siberian] deposits. By comparison, total human greenhouse gas emissions (including CO2) since 1750 amount to some 350 billion tons...Release of ECS methane is already contributing to Arctic amplification resulting in temperature increase exceeding twice the global average. The rate of release from the tundra alone is predicted to reach 1.5 billion tons of carbon per annum before 2030...
-- Agnostic and Daniel Bailey on Wakening the Kraken at Skeptical science.

No comments: