Author Archives: ...and Then There's Physics

The role of mathematical modelling

Christina Pagel and Kit Yates have an article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on the Role of mathematical modelling in future pandemic response policy. It’s part of a series in the BMJ on the UK’s covid-19 inquiry. I have … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Scientists, The philosophy of science, The scientific method, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 186 Comments

Some news

One reason things have been quite quiet here is that I’ve taken on a new role at work. I’ve just started as Head of the Institute for Astronomy, which is part of the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 31 Comments

The importance of science communication

I’m just back from teaching at a summer school on the Dynamics of Exoplanetary and Solar System Bodies. It started in Inverness and then moved to Skye, which was a lovely place to visit. I gave a couple of lectures … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy for Bloggers, Research, Scientists | Tagged , , , | 249 Comments

Considering Catastrophe

There’s been quite a lot of recent coverage of a paper suggesting that climate endgames, such as global societal collapse or human extinction, have been dangerously unexplored. For those who recall the contentious RCP8.5 debate, this may seem a surprising … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Climate sensitivity, ClimateBall, Gavin Schmidt, Policy, Research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 90 Comments

Revisiting causality using stochastics

The Proceedings of the Royal Society A has just published two papers by Koutsoyiannis et al. on revisiting causality using stochatics, the first being the theory paper and the second presenting some case studies. One of the case studies in … Continue reading

Posted in Greenhouse effect, Research, Science | Tagged , , | 41 Comments

Limits to Growth?

Tom Murphy, who is a physics professor at UC San Diego, runs a blog called Do the Math. Just over 10 years ago, he had a popular blog post asking can economic growth can last?, which I discussed in one … Continue reading

Posted in economics, GRRRRROWTH, Philosophy for Bloggers, physicists, Scientists | Tagged , , , | 198 Comments

FLICC

I should probably be writing about the UK recording temperatures above 40oC for the first time, but it’s been covered pretty extensively elsewhere. Instead I thought I might briefly mention something that I’ve become more interested in and have been … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Philosophy for Bloggers | Tagged , , , , | 153 Comments

A bit of a holiday

You may have noticed that it’s been a little quiet here lately. That’s partly because I’ve had little to say, but also because I’ve been away on holiday with the family. We rented a cottage and spent a week on … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Philosophy for Bloggers, Policy | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

Climate change and social justice

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) recently released a called Deny, Deceive, Delay: Documenting and responding to climate disinformation at COP26 and beyond. It highlighted a number of people who will be familiar to those who have followed the public … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Philosophy for Bloggers, Policy | Tagged , , , | 93 Comments

The ‘hot model’ problem

Zeke Hausfather and colleagues recently wrote a Nature comment with suggestions about how to deal with what is called the ‘hot model’ problem. The issue is that some of the latest group of climate models have somewhat higher than expected … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Gavin Schmidt, Global warming, Research, The philosophy of science | Tagged , , , , | 207 Comments