Internal Waves. Continuing the meme of Everything Affected by Global Warming. Sigh.

March 4, 2014

Last evening I attended an enjoyable presentation on ocean dynamics at the Royal Society of Edinburgh by Professor Peter Davies, Professor of Fluid Dynamics, University of Dundee.

He spoke about “internal gravity waves” which propagate due to water density stratifications. While I was aware of such waves from my days a grad school studying ocean waves, I was not aware of their power as discussed by Professor Davies. He also told us about “dead water”, caused by internal waves, in which a boat may experience strong resistance to forward motion in apparently calm conditions. I was unaware of such a phenomenon.

I was pleased that not once during his presentation he mentioned those two words “global warming”. That is unusual for a presentation at the RSE. It took until the third question during Q&A for someone in the audience to ask if global warming had any affect. Using many words, Professor Davies basically said “no”. That didn’t stop a second follow-up question by someone else who prefixed that question with something about “global warming, which has melted the polar ice caps …”.

At that point I decided to leave. Perhaps I missed the next big risk to civilisation–huge and larger anthropogenic internal ocean waves.

Just How Unusual is UK Weather?

June 19, 2013

The press, television news, and even some people in UK are all aflutter about the “unusual” weather in UK.

My take is that it has been cool but dry, based on my attempts to use my global HQ office in the back garden and the state of our lawn (many brown patches of thirsty grass).

The problem is so big that the UK Met Office convened a conference to discuss why this “unusual” weather is happening. This meeting also received a lot of attention from the press and television news.

Neil Catto has written a guest essay on Watts Up with That about the “unusual” weather at a “southern UK location”. Well worth a read. Sort of what I notice without doing the number crunching.

“… 14.5 years of perfectly normal very stable weather.”

Update: Bishop Hill and “Commentors” comment here.

Quantitative Risk Assessment

June 13, 2013

Yesterday I attended the Palisade Software Risk Conference in London. While one or two of the presentations were a miss, there were some terrific presentations and conversations with other attendees which were enlightening and inspiring. It had been a while since I used @Risk software in earnest so I thought it was about time to kick the tires again.

I’m organising a golf outing for later this summer. We are certain of the costs (unit and overheads), but are uncertain about how many people will attend. I am assuming 21, but it could be as much as 28 (unlikely) or something less than 21. I’ve assumed here 12 as the minimum.

I know how much the golf rounds cost, how much food costs, the budget for the prizes, etc.

We plan to charge £100, which is £15 more than we normally charge. More than that is considered beyond the market.

How does this look if we model it in @Risk? See the following summary of the computation of surplus income:

The spreadsheet:


The Output (surplus) shown as a probability distribution:


Nice. It tells me we should consider charging more for the event as the current projections show we are unlikely to cover our costs.