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Earth Science

Ask Dr. Bryan Killett About Climate Change and GRACE 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
Bryan Killett is a physicist working on the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. GRACE is a joint mission of NASA and the German Aerospace Center which collects satellite data to learn about Earth's changing gravity field, specifically the high frequency changes associated with ocean tides. As the high tide comes in, more water is present, so gravity in that location is temporarily strengthened. These changes are detected with GRACE and used to improve ocean tide models. Dr. Killett provides the open source (GPLv3) code used to process GRACE data on his home page. Bryan has agreed to take a break from measuring gravity fields and answer your questions about GRACE and the climate changes it has revealed. Feel free to ask as many as you like but please confine your questions to one per post.
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Ask Dr. Bryan Killett About Climate Change and GRACE

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <<eldavojohn> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @01:05PM (#40858783) Journal
    What in the world was up with this letter from ex-employees [plantsneedco2.org] (also discussed on Slashdot [slashdot.org])? Was that just totally out of left field? Was there an internal reaction to it? Did you respond?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @01:20PM (#40858989)

    What does this have to do with Climate Change? There's no reference to it in any of the pages linked. I assume mapping tides is important if sea level rises, but that's just a guess.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @01:31PM (#40859113)

    We've seen a lot of surface melting on Greenland over the past few weeks. Does GRACE provide enough detail quickly enough so to quantify that melting, and shed any light on how well we understand ice sheet melting dynamics?

  • Focus (Score:2, Interesting)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby AT comcast DOT net> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @01:40PM (#40859235)

    Should science drop the "Climate Change" mantra and get back to basics like pollution and sustainability? I believe climate change has become a political boogeyman and that science would be better off focusing on more clearly defined goals (making renewable energy usage more affordable etc).

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @01:42PM (#40859273) Homepage Journal

    referenced document for the below post [quackwatch.org]

    Yes, because most slashdotters aren't very good at applying the pseudoscience test to ideas. Climate change pretty clearly falls into the realm of 5-15% depending on how generous you are for pseudoscience characteristics. Compared against obvious pseudoscience like astrology or homeopathy which tend to score in the 95-100% range. And "skeptic" theories tend to hit in the 30-50ish% range, depending on the extent to which they allege conspiracy.

    But people don't operate that way, especially techies like us. We don't apply strict rules to our understanding of things. We build mental frameworks that help us problem solve complex problems that fall back to hundreds of "what if?" solutions without necessarily caring about the validity of them. Our group is one of problem solvers, and not understanding and interpreting data as accurately as possible. We're easily taken with concepts that endorse our own perspective, and that actually helps with the kind of work many of us do. We're generally smart people here, but we fall back on our intuition, and are easily fooled by the BS the GP presented.

If this is timesharing, give me my share right now.

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