The relative infectivity of the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2

By Nic Lewis

Key points

  • A new variant, B.1.1.7, of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has recently spread rapidly in England
  • The public health agency’s best estimate of B.1.1.7’s weekly growth rate advantage is 1.51x
  • They mis-convert this in a reproduction number ratio of 1.47; converting appropriately gives a ratio of 1.25
  • Confident claims by the UK government scientific advisers that the higher growth of B.1.1.7 is due to increased transmissibility are misplaced; it could be partly of wholly due to other factors
  • 1.1.7 has not shown a greater growth rate advantage than two previous variants did, both of which are now thought to have no greater transmissibility than previously existing variants
  • There is little evidence that B.1.1.7 is more virulent, or likely to be resistant to existing vaccines

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2020 Year in Review

by Judith Curry

A year ago, there were many things about 2020 that no one anticipated.

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Asymptomatic spread(?) of Covid-19

by Judith Curry

I just finished reading an article entitled Asymptomatic Spread Revisited. Continue reading

The blame game

by Judith Curry

How the ‘blame game’ gets in the way of solving complex societal problems.

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Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye these past 10 (!) weeks

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Biden administration

by Judith Curry

I’ve received requests for a new politics discussion thread.

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Five rules for evidence communication

by Judith Curry

“Avoid unwarranted certainty, neat narratives and partisan presentation; strive to inform, not persuade.”

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Cultural motivations for wind and solar renewables deployment

by Andy West

“For me the question now is, now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we going to keep letting them destroy it?”. – Michael Schellenberger Continue reading

Slower decay of landfalling Hurricanes in a warmer world — really?

by Frank Bosse

A recent paper published in “Nature” made some excitement in the media, see here or here.

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Disconnect in the relationship between GMST and ECS

by Kenneth Fritsch

Abstract. An analysis is presented of  he disconnection between the CMIP5 and CMIP6 Historical and Future periods when considering the relationship of the individual model GMST changes and the climate sensitivity. I have included a simple model that can account for the period disconnection using the negative forcing of aerosol/cloud effects in the Historical period that is carried forward into the Future period.   I attribute some of the uncertainty in simulations of this simple model to endogenous model decision (selection) uncertainty that leads to variations in the changes of the negative forcing in the Historical period carried forward into the Future period.

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U.S. election discussion thread

by Judith Curry

No words.

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Science and politics

by Judith Curry

“I’m reaching out to scientists this week about the election. How do you feel about it? Which of the candidates has the best plan, for you, in science and technology?”

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Climate science and the Supreme Court

by Judith Curry

An alternative assessment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s statements on climate change.

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T cell cross-reactivity and the Herd immunity threshold

By Nic Lewis

An interesting new paper by Marc Lipsitch and co-authors, “Cross-reactive memory T cells and herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2”, has recently been published.[1] It discusses immunological and epidemiological aspects and implications of pre-existing cross-reactive adaptive immune system memory arising from previous exposure to circulating common cold coronaviruses. They argue that key potential impacts of cross- reactive T cell memory are already incorporated into epidemiological models based on data of transmission dynamics, particularly with regard to their implications for herd immunity. I believe that they are mistaken on the herd immunity point, as I will show in this article. Continue reading

What the pandemic has taught us about science

The scientific method remains the best way to solve many problems, but bias, overconfidence and politics can sometimes lead scientists astray

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How we fool ourselves

by Judith Curry

Crowd sourcing examples of fallacious thinking from climate science.

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Politics discussion thread II

by Judith Curry

Looks like we need a new thread on this.

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Herd immunity to COVID-19 and pre-existing immune responses

By Nic Lewis

I showed in my May 10th article Why herd immunity to COVID-19 is reached much earlier than thought that inhomogeneity within a population in the susceptibility and in the social-connectivity related infectivity of individuals would reduce, in my view probably very substantially, the herd immunity threshold (HIT), beyond which an epidemic goes into retreat. Continue reading

Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that have caught my eye this past 12(!) weeks.

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FIRE

by Judith Curry

Subtitle: our failure to live in harmony with nature.

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COVID-19: evidence shows that transmission by schoolchildren is low

By Nic Lewis

Much fuss has been made in the UK, not least by teachers’ unions, about recommencing physical school attendance. As this issue applies to many countries, I thought it worth highlighting research findings in Europe. Continue reading

Part of the heat is coming from beneath our feet.

by Judith Curry

A thought-provoking article  from my new favorite blog, The Ethical Skeptic.

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Politics discussion thread

by Judith Curry

It’s time for a politics thread, to deflect the political comments that are sneaking into the technical threads.

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New confirmation that climate models overstate atmospheric warming

by Ross McKitrick

Two new peer-reviewed papers from independent teams confirm that climate models overstate atmospheric warming and the problem has gotten worse over time, not better.

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New paper suggests historical period estimates of climate sensitivity are not biased low by unusual variability in sea surface temperature patterns

By Nic Lewis

An important new paper by Thorsten Mauritsen, Associate Professor at Stockholm University[i] and myself has just been accepted for publication (Lewis and Mauritsen 2020)[ii]. Its abstract reads: Continue reading