### Number Watch Web Forum

This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

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Re: The Sinking of AGW

JamesV, you could benefit from a proper education, (difficult for your generation, I know). The SI system grew out of the 'metric' system as a collaboration between France and Germany, again, I quote for your edification:- “Legal units are --- the SI units --- decimal multiples and sub multiples of the SI units --- other legal units: see the tables: Selected Quantities and Units (From DIN 1301)”:--- Length l, SI unit = m (metre), mm (millimetre) = sub multiple. Volume V, SI unit = m^3 (cubic metre), l (litre) = sub multiple. Area A, SI unit = m^2 (square metre), ha (hectare) = 10^4 m^2 = multiple, etc. etc.. --- So James, from your post, you unwittingly confirm that the Germans Are Rigorous in the use of the SI system. (And unlike Larry, you hit your thumb instead).
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Exactly. Can you please tell me why, if the Germans are so rigorous about SI units, my local petrol station charges me for litres of gasoline rather than cubic metres (or rather cubic decimetres)? I know it might seem like a trivial point, but the litre is not, never has been, and never will be (if future committees have any sanse) an SI unit. The law is wrong in implying it is. It is a subdivision of convenience of a derived SI unit, and one for which a common exception is made because it is such a useful, everyday quantity. It does, however, demonstrate that the Germans are not "rigorous" about using SI units but quite prepared to make exceptions of convenience where this is helpful in everyday life. It is just easier, especially for poorly-educated people like myself, to think of 25.76 litres of gasoline than 0.02576 m^3 of gasoline. The risk of an order of magnitude error is reduced considerably by using numbers greater than 1, which is also why, in the lab, we use even smaller subdivisions, microlitre subdivisions on the pipettes and such, whereas under pure SI we should be talking about intervals of 0.000000001 m^3. But today's poorly-educated scientists don't like such inconvenient numbers very much - I suppose that's human psychology and bad education for you.

I'd also be very interested to know why "Are" and "Rigorous" are deserving of capital letters - after all, I need to improve my English, don't I?

Re: The Sinking of AGW

But our tolerance level to, say, changes in our core body temperature could well be, for hyperthermia, +/+ plus 10% to plus 15%, or for hypothermia, -/- minus 10% to minus 15%
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And I'm the one in need of an education?

Textbook human core temperature is 310K. A 10% increase gives 341K. A human at 310K is a dead human.

Of course, we should be using the Kelvin scale (or any absolute scale), unless of course you think that 100°C is twice as hot as 50°C (which raises the interesting question "is 0°C twice as hot as 0°C and 1°C infinitely hotter than 0°C")

Re: The Sinking of AGW