Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What 95% certainty of warming means to scientists

The AP's Seth Borenstein:
Top scientists from a variety of fields say they are about as certain that global warming is a real, man-made threat as they are that cigarettes kill.

"They are as sure about climate change as they are about the age of the universe. They say they are more certain about climate change than they are that vitamins make you healthy or that dioxin in Superfund sites is dangerous."


paleowave said...

David, on that note, have you read the essay, "The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future" by Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway [pdf].

I was intrigued by this excerpt:

"Much of the argu- ment surrounded the concept of statistical significance. Given what we now know about the dominance of nonlinear sys- tems and the distribution of stochastic processes, the then-dominant notion of a 95 percent confidence limit is hard to fathom. Yet overwhelming evidence suggests that twentieth-century scientists believed that a claim could be accepted only if, by the standards of Fisherian statistics, the possibility that an observed event could have happened by chance was less than 1 in 20."

David Appell said...

Thanks PW -- I will read this.