Source for all non-hyperlinked items: The Weather Makers: How man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earth by Tim Flannery. All other sources are appropriately hyperlinked. Some items required calculations. I do not think I made any errors but corrections are welcome.

Ratio of energy generated by ethanol to energy consumed in its manufacture estimated by Hosein Shapouri et al at the Department of Agriculture: 1.24

Ratio according to Cornell Scientist David Pimentel: 0.71

Number of years Pimentels data was out of date: 10

Percentage of Italys farmland, according to chemical physicist Franco Battaglia, required to replace half of its oil usage with corn based ethanol: 100

Percentage of isolated hydrogen that is required to liquefy said hydrogen in order to transport it: 40

Estimated percentage of Australias energy that, according to Tim Flannery, could be supplied by geothermal Hot Dry Rock: 100

Days earlier spring arrives for each decade since 1950: 2.3

Days earlier spring arrives compared to 1950: 11.5

Year the journal *Nature *reported on the Golden Toad as the first victim of Global Warming: 1999

Years the Golden Toad had been extinct when the article published: 10

Pounds of carbon dioxide created by burning 1 gallon of gasoline: 20

Cubic feet occupied by 20 pounds of carbon dioxide at room temperature and pressure: 172

Cubic feet of passenger volume of the 2007 Toyota Prius: 96.2

Number of miles required for a Toyota Prius to produce its weight in Carbon Dioxide: 7947

Number of miles required for a 2006 Hummer H2 to produce its weight in Carbon Dioxide: 5120

Rank of the US in world carbon dioxide production: 1

Percentage of world carbon dioxide produced by the US: 24.3

Number of countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol: 161

Number of countries that have not: 35

Combined percentage of world carbon dioxide produced by the countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol excluding the US: <8

Millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by US electric utilities in 1997: 532.4

Percentage of US electricity generated by Coal: 57

Percentage of electric utility carbon dioxide generated by burning coal: 88

Pre-industrial parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide: 280

2004 parts per million of atmospheric carbon dioxide: 380

Increase in parts per million per year of atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1990: 2.54

Estimated parts per million tipping point for climate change: 440

Years until we reach the climate change tipping point: 20

Cubic kilometers of Mississippi River flow per year: 529

Cubic kilometers of Greenland ice melt per year: 249

Millimeters of ocean level increase contributed by Greenlands ice melt per year: 5.7

Feet of potential increase in ocean depth due to Greenland Ice Melt: 23

Degrees Celsius increase in ground temperature of Svalbard, Norway permafrost over the past decade: 0.4

Percentage this exceeds the rate of increase for the prior century: 400

Years some of the methane has been trapped in Svalbards permafrost: 40,000

Average degrees Fahrenheit increase between daytime high and nighttime low temperatures over North America while the US Commercial Air Fleet was grounded on Sept. 11 2001 to Sept. 13, 2001: 3

Last summer that was as warm as 2006s summer: 1938

Number of summers out of the last ten that were above average temperature: 8

Percentage probability that a random process will generate 8 out of 10 above average: 5.5 (see first comment)

Number of volunteer presenters Al Gore is recruiting to deliver his “An Inconvenient Truth” presentation: 1000

Percent probability that I will become one of these presenters: 55 (see note 2)

Number of statistics cited in this index counting this one: 42

Note 2: 1,800 people have applied for 1,000 slots. I am still waiting to hear… If you know anybody that can help connect me. I’d appreciate it.

Mark

2^8 is the likelihood that if I flip a coin 8 times, it will come up heads … 8 times in a row. (Or that over 8 summers, all 8 will be above the theoretical avg)

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What you are looking for is, if I flip a coin 10 times, what are the odds that any 8 of those 10 are heads.

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Or you should really ask, what are the odds that any 8, 9, or 10 of those tosses are heads: since there’s nothing remarkable about 8 in 10 exactly, the point is that it’s a lot, not 7, 6, or 5, etc.

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The odds of precisely 8 summers in 10 being above average is .044, or just under 1 in 20. Of greater relevance, the odds of at least 8 summers in 10 being hotter than average is .055, or just over 1 in 20.

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However, for a good analysis you should slide your 10-yr reference back a year or two to see if you pick up any outliers. The odds of only 7 or more summers out of 10 being above the avg is .17, or almost 1 in 5.

I goofed. Thanks for the correction. I did do the 8-in-a-row calculation.

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In a random process we’d expect five of the 10 summers to be above average and 5 to be below average.

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SO what is the equation you used to calculate the prob?

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Thanks,

Mark

With 10 summers, the number of ways you can end up with exactly one of those summers hotter than avg – doesn’t matter which one – is called in combinatorics “10 choose 1”. The answer is, of course, 10. (Any one of the 10 summers could be the hot one.)

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But how do we get the likelihood that exactly 1 summer in 10 will be hotter, compared to any other outcome? (zero summers being hotter, 2 being hotter, etc)

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You have to add up all the outcomes that are possible. This is your universe of all possible arrangements of your 10 summers relative to the avg. You get it by adding up the possible for arrangements for each result: 0 summers, 1 summer, etc.

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“10 choose 0” + “10 choose 1” + “10 choose 2” … + “10 choose 9” + “10 choose 10”

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= all_outcomes

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The odds of any 8 summers in 10 being hotter than avg is

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“10 choose 8” / all_outcomes

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The odds of more than 7 summers in 10 being hotter than avg is

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( “10 choosen 9” + “10 choose 9” + “10 choose 10” ) / all_outcomes

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Now…what is “10 choose 8”, or “10 choose 9”, etc?

You could research it here …

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But I got it by typing “ten choose eight” into google and seeing what comes up!