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The most interesting result in Shannon is hidden in his figure 3. From it it seems that 18 years is the lowest possible reasonable age of maturity. Regarding the natural variance – and it seems its true size is downplayed here, as the number of subjects over 19 a is much smaller than that below that age – there is a lot to be said for the traditional age of 21. Irresponsible adults are much more of an issue for society than responsible juveniles – see Kästner’s Fliegendes Klassenzimmer or Blyton’s Five Friends for somewhat exaggerated examples.
Looking at Kemp et al. several points catch the eye. First of course there is the complete change of thermometer at 1850 AD in Fig 2a. From that year on no proxy data are shown, only instrumental ones. It is well known that using the proxies in exactly the same way as for the centuries before, they record a completely different temperature evolution for the last century and a half. Looking at Fig. 3 and disregarding places with too small a time depth to be of any use we find Massachusetts, Louisiana, and to a certain degree Connecticut corroborating North Carolina, while Southern Cook Islands, Iceland, and Israel strongly disagree and show a higher sea level for 500 AD than today. We also note that the first places are close together and essentially the same while the latter are widely spaced all over the world. Their methods too leave many questions unanswered. Their age models are robust and unimpeachable at least for core A. But they use the depth as measured on the core as a direct measure for the height of the peat while growing. We would expect the lower strata, especially when consisting of soft spongy peat, to be compressed by overlying weight and the top metre or so to have grown more quickly than the rise of the surface while the bottom of that partial column receded. Both assumptions are partially corroborated by the overall curvature in both the age models. If these assumptions are correct, then the sea level will have risen more quickly in the older times before 1500 AD and less quickly recently, say from 1900, than their naive modelling implies. Lastly they try to establish long term stagnation or even fall interspersed with short rises of less than 0.6 mm/a as the general preindustrial baseline. In fact the sea level has been rising at an average 0.8 mm/a for the last 14 000 years. (Bindschadler 1998).
From Paterson and Asano it seems that the first Neolithic farmers already recognized the problem of the Green Revolution: High yield cultivars only succeed on exceptionally good soil and with lots of fertilisation and are maladjusted for all the countries with more marginal land.
Here’s the link to this week’s complete list.
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