Friday, August 05, 2022

NOAA Warming in US Graph

 There is a strange graph that is common in Climate Change denying circles.

The issues I see with it are

  • It only goes up to 2011. More recent data should be included.
  • The second access of CO2 is very weird. Generally 2 Y-axis graphs are frowned up and here it is confusing.
  • The graph shows US but the claims around it are about the World. Which are two very different things.

The link in the graph no longer seems to be working 

The Noaa does have data for North America still and it shows warming in the last decade

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Modernising Old Films

We can make old films look much more modern using AI. This is a great article on the technique used on early 1900s films 

"Using a variety of publicly available algorithms, Shiryaev colorized and sharpened the film to 4K resolution (that’s 3,840 horizontal pixels by 2,160 vertical pixels) and bumped the choppy frame rate up to 60 frames per second, a process known as frame interpolation."

The 2018 film They Shall not Grow old using WW1 footage used similar techniques as described here. But even in 4 years the AI technology has improved hugely. 

Archive historical footage is one thing. But is there a market for films upscaled in the same way? Would the Marx Brothers with realistic colours, smoother motion and sharper faces be watched by more people? I think the great Pathe news footage upscaled could make some great documentaries. The wired article goes into interesting detail about what counts as improvements and what is just being made up of the AI algorithm.

The value of these sorts of changes I am not sure about. The cost of them has been falling rapidly though. Due primarily in the last few years to improvements in the algorithms and hardware.

The recent crypto crash has put large numbers of GPU's onto the market cheap. In some cases these are located beside renewable power supplies for cheaper electricity. These tend to be remote locations with not great internet speeds. Old films can be moved around on USB sticks as they are not real time bandwidth dependant. At some point I think the price of Bitcoin will go low enough that a container filled with GPUs currently using, close to free, night time wind energy will have a greater return upscaling old films than mining.

Friday, June 17, 2022

The 15 year global warming pause that didn't happen

There is a nine year old article that is doing the rounds online. about how there was no increase in global temperature for 15 years

Here is what jumps out at me that is wrong in the article and its current interpretation

1. It is 9 years old. And those posting it don't mention the clear increases since.

2. They don't mention the changes before 1998

3. Or indeed the increase in the 15 years the article says there was no increase

4. "it is expected to address the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record" 1998 wasn't the hottest year by 2013

You could claim the Hadcrut data, the IPCC use, is flawed in some way that means we should ignore it. But then you can't post the article as it uses Hadcrut data. 
It is weird a 9 year old article has resurfaced and those posting it are only looking at the data for this exact 15 year period. And even then not actually looking at it. The code for these graphs is here

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Combined Solar and Wind Farms in Ireland

I was talking to a wind energy guy and he expects loads of these wind farms to get solar added soon.

He explained to me 

  • The cost of connecting to the grid is already covered. 
  • Sun tends to be best when wind is lowest. Daytime and the summer both have lower levels of wind.
  • These land owners do business with electricity companies already. Setting up that relationship is a big challenge that is already covered.
  • Most of the land wind farms are on now is fairly hilly and not of huge value for farming. Herd reduction is not huge from solar farms.

There are about 300 wind farms in Ireland

The one solar farm we have generates enough electricity for 3600 homes

There are about 2 million homes and apartments in Ireland. Which would be 3600 houses* 300 farms is about 1 million homes. That solar farm is 25 hectares. If all the wind farms had the same size solar added thats 300*25 hectare is 7500 hectares or 75,000,000 square meters. 75 square km. Which is a fair chunk of land

But the solar farms would be spread out 

This calculation is very back of the envelope. There are also all sorts of constraints about how much solar power can reasonably be put into the grid. Windless nights happen and electricity has to be available then so backup to wind and solar is needed. Also I am not sure if it is not just more efficient to put the same panels in Morocco but given the points above it is probable Irish Government subsidies will go to Ireland.

It seems a lot of solar power will be added to what are now wind farms soon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

An Abundance of Housing and TV that Promotes this

We know how to build lots of things cheaply. Things like clothes, toys, TV/computers and food have all gotten relatively much cheaper over my lifetime. These are mass produced, at a pretty high quality in factories with very specialised labour.

Housing however has not. The numbers who own by age 30 (when you want some stability if you are going to have kids) keeps dropping. One thing that could encourage cheaper housing is more programs that promote non unique one off builds. Instead of Ireland's most exclusive homes we should show the most inclusive ones.

Just Grand Designs where the house is fine and loads of them are made. “I can’t see the justification for gross spending on what are essentially basic requirements.” Kevin McCloud

Room to Improve where we build enough houses to give adults room to improve their lives by not having to silently ride in their parents house

RTE Home of The Year should be for a design of house that's had 1000 delivered this year and people can afford. Then have a decorating competition show between people who live in this same type of house. Thats fairer in terms of a competition and more practical help to people in how to decorate their own house.

There isn't a build your own car program. Grow your own food. Make your own pencil. As a hobby these are all worthwhile but the home building programs are not about a hobby. 

The reason things are cheap is the specialisation of labor and mechanized production. Why are houses different? And why does TV encourage this expensive way of building houses?

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Meta analysis of Vitamins Open Dataset

Vitamins and Mineral supplements are a huge industry worth billions or euros per year. The evidence that they have benefits is a lot more controversial though. I first learned about this controversy around supplements from this overcomingbias post

This 2007 meta analysis Mortality in Randomized Trials of Antioxidant Supplements for Primary and Secondary Prevention concluded "Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality. The potential roles of vitamin C and selenium on mortality need further study."

There have been meta analysis since including newer studies with slightly different conclusions. But this one is pretty well laid out and we can add newer studies later.

With any statistical analysis it is possible to find issues with what data was included or not. One way around some of these issues is to make a public dataset of the trials used in a meta analysis and allow a quick reanalysis with some trials removed (or added).

I have been reading this book Doing Meta-Analysis with R: A Hands-On Guide and by combining an open notebook of how the meta analysis was calculated and a dataset that everyone has access to I believe arguments over the effects of inclusions of some trials and methods used in a meta analysis could be made much more explicit and worked out faster.

There is an open collaboration platform for working together on datasets I have no connection with it. But it seems a good place to work together to make supplement meta analysis easier.

If you want to help track down papers used in this meta analysis and put them in a format others can use please message me. I have started putting up a dataset

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

The Pandemic. Fathers spend more time with their children

 A good thing that came out of the pandemic is how much time fathers got to spend with their children.

According to this research in 2014 time focused on their children was 35 minutes a day for working fathers. Up from 5 minutes in 1974.

This means I've spent more extra time over the usual amount properly with my kids in the last 2 years than 1970s dads got to spend with their kids over their entire childhood. And that is just extra time due to the lack of commute or work trips.

I am not counting time off school here. As that was just so difficult for so many. Particularly for mothers whom the balance of minding kids during the lockdown hit disproportionately

How are mothers and fathers balancing work and family under lockdown?

And plenty of fathers still had to be physically in their jobs just to keep society running.

But on that one measure of focused time spent with kids my generations relationship with our kids will be much closer than that of fifty years ago or even ten years ago just from the extra time we got to spend together.