On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 08:08:26AM -0500, Roger Clough wrote:
> Hi Russell Standish 
> Thanks.  Causality has enormous importance, especially
> if you can differentiate it from correspondence. 
> I sometimes think that the rise of the stock market is 
> causally related to the price of gold.  Or the value of the dollar.
> Historical inflation of the value of the dollar at least corresponds
> to the tonnage of gold mined over the years.
> Politicians, depending on which point of view they want
> you to believe, generally make false claims of causality. 
> A particular case in point is the question of whether
> tax cuts enrich the economy.
> And I wonder if there are studies that differentiate 
> global warming/ CO2 as a correlation or is casual.
> Another one is whether Israeli attacks on Palestine
> are cause by Palestinian attacks on Israel or
> vice versa.  A timeline study of attacks should show this.

Interesting you should mention this. There's an article I was just
reading in New Scientist (4th August, p32, titled "Ruined") that was
reporting on a study by David Zhang linking climate change to agricultural
production, food price, population size and frequency of wars in
Europe during the period 1500-1800. This study used Granger causality,
not correlation, so really teases out cause and effect between these
time series. The actual paper referenced is PNAS, vol 108, p17296.

As far as I'm aware, the link between CO2 and temperature is one of
correlation - equivalent Granger causality analyses have not been
done. But I could be wrong on this. Granger causality is still not
widely known - so people do tend to fall back on simple correlation.

In any case, it will be tricky with CO2 and temperature, as causality
flows in both directions, since there's a positive feedback - warmer
temperatures releases stored carbon into the atmosphere, which then
drives temperatures.

The classic graphs that Al Gore showed in his movie were later shown
to have CO2 level timeseries lag that of the temperature timeseries,
indicating the significance of the stored carbon release effect.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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