Site: Variable Variability

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Variable Variability : A short history of homogenisation of climate station data

The WMO Task Team on Homogenisation (TT-HOM) is working on a guidance for scientists and weather services who want to homogenise their data. I thought the draft chapter on the history of homogenisation doubles as a nice blog post. It is a pretty long history, starting well before people were worrying about climate change. Comments and other important historical references are very much…

2017-10-07 13:21   Click to comment

Variable Variability : The Earth sciences no longer need the publishers for publishing

Manuscript servers are buzzing around our ears, as the Dutch say.In physics it is common to put manuscripts on the ArXiv server (pronounced: Archive server). A large part of these manuscripts are later send to a scientific journal for peer review following the traditional scientific quality control system and assessment of the importance of studies.This speeds up the dissemination of…

2017-10-01 10:17   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Standard two letter codes for meteorological variables

For the file names of the Parallel Observations Science Team (ISTI-POST) we needed short codes for the meteorological variables in the file. Two letter codes are used quite often in the scientific literature, which suggests there exists a standard, but I was unable to find a WMO standard. Thus we would suggest to follow standard two-letter conventions. CodeElementUnitWindddwind direction[in…

2017-09-22 15:11   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Angela Merkel wins German election

After my spectacular success as UK election pollster let my try my luck with a prediction for the elections here in German next week Sunday: Angela Merkel will win the election and stays Chancellor. I admit that it would have been more fun to make a claim that goes against the punditry, but that is harder to do for Germany than for the UK or the USA; the quality of German (public) media is…

2017-09-18 06:03   Click to comment

Variable Variability : My EMS2017 highlights

When I did my PhD, our professor wanted everyone to write short reports about conferences they had attended. It was a quick way for him to see what was happening, but it is also helpful to remember what you learned and often interesting to read yourself again some time later. Here is my short report on last week's Annual Meeting of the European Meteorological Society (EMS), the European…

2017-09-13 11:03   Click to comment

Variable Variability : We need to talk about a geo-intervention

There was a time to work on (the technologies for) reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses (mitigation), now is the time we also need to work on adaptation and now is the time we need to start having a serious conversation about a geo-intervention. The journalistic hook is a new interesting commentary in the scientific journal Nature. It makes the surprising, at least for me, case that a…

2017-09-03 14:47   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Germany weather service opens up its data

Some good news from Germany. The government has decided to make the data of the German weather service (DWD) freely available for all. This comes after a parliamentary hearing in April on a bill to make the data freely available. All but one expert at the hearing were positive about this change. Data was mostly already free for research, but really free data still helps science a lot. If data…

2017-08-21 07:28   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Ottmar Edenhofer in 2010 on international climate politics and redistribution of wealth

If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.Cardinal Richelieu (or his circle)[[Ottmar Georg Edenhofer]] (born in 1961 in Germany) currently holds the professorship of the Economics of Climate Change at the Technical University of Berlin. He is deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate…

2017-08-03 16:39   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Will we be wiped out by machine overlords?

The American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) just aired a piece on artificial intelligence that seems to be quite typical for the American published opinion. The segment — titled "Will we be wiped out by machine overlords? Maybe we need a game plan now" — could not have been more wrong in my non-expert opinion.They gave examples of the progress of machine intelligence. The example that…

2017-07-31 16:16   Click to comment

Variable Variability : WMO Recognition of Long-Term Observing Stations

From the July 2017 newsletter of the WMO [World Meteorological Organization] Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS). With some additional links & [clarifications].Long-term meteorological observations are part of the irreplaceable cultural and scientific heritage of mankind that serve the needs of current and future generations for long-term high quality climate records. They are unique…

2017-07-27 22:43   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Is nitpicking a climate doomsday warning allowed?

Journalist and amateur mass-psychic David Wallace-Wells published an article in the New York Magazine titled: "The Uninhabitable Earth - Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think."Michael Mann responded on Facebook as one of the first scientists. He disliked the "doomist framing" and noted several obvious inaccuracies at the top…

2017-07-23 12:31   Click to comment

Variable Variability : How to talk about climate doomsday scenarios

David Wallace-Wells wrote a 7000 word cover story in New York Magazine on how unchecked climate change may make the Earth uninhabitable. With 2.5 million readers this longread was the most read article in the magazine's history. That shows the impact a well written article can have. It also point to a change in the mood in America. Since Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, happy to risk…

2017-07-19 17:43   Click to comment

Variable Variability : An ignorant proposal for a BEST project rip-off

It looks like the "Competitive Enterprise Institute" (CEI) just conned their dark money overlords with a stupid report rehashing all the same old claims of the mitigation sceptical movement the BEST project of Richard Muller already studied as a Red Team. Conservative physics professor Richard Muller claimed that before his BEST project he "did not know whether global warming was real, was…

2017-07-10 21:10   Click to comment

Variable Variability : The Trump administration proposes a new scientific method just for climate studies

What could possibly go wrong?[[Scott Pruitt]] is the former Oklahoma Attorney General who copied and pasted letters for pro-pollution lobbyists onto his letter head. Much of his previous work was devoted to suing the EPA. Now he works for the big money donors as head of the EPA. This Scott Pruitt is allegedly working on formulating a new scientific method to be used for studying climate change…

2017-07-02 20:46   Click to comment

Variable Variability : On the recent warming surge

"Incidentally, when in the journal Science in 2007 we pointed to the exceptionally large warming trend of the preceding 16 years, which was at the upper end of the [climate] model range, nobody cared, because there is no powerful lobby trying to exaggerate global warming.""And of course in our paper we named natural intrinsic variability as the most likely reason. But when a trend at the lower…

2017-06-20 15:35   Click to comment

Variable Variability : My unsolicited advice for a UK government

After my spectacular success as UK election pollster let my try my luck as UK political adviser. Offering outsider continental perspective from a citizen of a countries where coalition governments are normal.The electoral results could not have been more complicated. The conservatives lost their majority. Against British custom collaboration is necessary.Wikipedia: United Kingdom general…

2017-06-11 20:23   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Comrade Trend predicts the UK general election outcome

Poll whisperer Nate Silver himself just predicted that in the UK elections the conservatives would win by 7 %. My prediction is 2 %.The prediction of Silver is a simple average of the last polls of the ten main polling organisations. He uses the same data as I do, kindly gathered by the volunteers of Wikipedia, who also made the plot below.The statistics normally used to estimate the outcome…

2017-06-06 03:26   Click to comment

Variable Variability : The IPCC underestimates global warming

A month ago the New York Times insulted its subscribers with a climate change column by Bret Stephens, their new hire from the Wall Street Journal. The bizarre text was mostly a sequence of claims that did not follow from the arguments presented. The column also contained one fact. Which was wrong and later corrected. Stephens claimed:Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the…

2017-05-30 13:02   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Trump's I-am-not-a-witch moment

Dear Director Comey,...While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau....Donald J. TrumpDonald, even if Comey were prime evil himself, you can not fire someone who is investigating you. (Even if Democrats did or…

2017-05-11 19:38   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Red Cheeks Team

The idea has been simmering a few years, but now that their president is in office, the mitigation sceptical movement is increasingly pushing the idea of a "Red Team". In the last "hearing" of Lamar Smith in US House of Representatives, John Christy and Judith Curry repeated the claim that climate science needs a "Red Team". Roger Pielke Sr. contributes some tweets. In Murdoch's Wall Street…

2017-04-30 16:47   Click to comment

Variable Variability : "Hiatus": Signal and Variability

Stefan Rahmstorf, Grant Foster and Niamh Cahill just summarized the statistical evidence for the mirage people call the "pause" of global warming in their new article: "Global temperature evolution: recent trends and some pitfalls."The Open Access paper is clearly written; any natural scientist should be able to follow the arguments. The most important part may be a clear explanation of the…

2017-04-24 20:31   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Upcoming meetings for homogenisation scientists

There are several new meetings coming up that may be interesting for people working on homogenisation. If you know of more, please write a comment. Please note that the abstract submission deadline for EMS is already in 11 days.Urban climate summer school21-26 August 2017 | Bucharest, Romania. Registration deadline: 15 May 2017Climate monitoring; data rescue, management, quality and…

2017-04-10 22:42   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Did the lack of an election threshold save The Netherlands?

The Netherlands. Also known as flat Switzerland and as the inventors of the stock market crash. A country you think of so little that we were surprised by the international attention for the Dutch election last week. Although The Netherlands is the 17th economy in the world we are used to being ignored,* typically not making any trouble. But this time the three part question was whether after…

2017-03-19 18:55   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Global warming in the original Celsius scale

A short post with a question of counterfactual history.The Celsius temperature scale developed by Anders Celsius (1701–1744) himself had 0 °C at the boiling point of water and freezing was 100 °C. It had the advantage that negative numbers would not occur in normal use. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736) achieved this for his temperature scale by choosing the lowest temperature in his…

2017-03-05 13:41   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Politics is not rational

Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election because people are not rational. Except for racists and millionaires it would have been in the best interest of everyone to have voted for Clinton. But we are not rational, we do not always look at our best interests. Real humans are not homo economii.That includes me. As a scientist it is my job to keep a cool head. I hope you will excuse me for…

2017-02-21 16:00   Click to comment

Variable Variability : David Rose's alternative reality in the Daily Mail

Peek-a-boo! Joanna Krupa shows off her stunning figure in see-through mesh dress over black underwearBottoms up! Perrie Edwards sizzles in plunging leotard as Little Mix flaunt their enviable figures in skimpy one-piecesBum's the word! Lottie Moss flaunts her pert derriere in a skimpy thong as she strips off for steamy selfieSorry about those titles. They provide the fitting context right next…

2017-02-05 04:02   Click to comment

Variable Variability : With some programing skills you can compute global mean temperatures yourself

This is a guest post by citizen scientist Ron Roeland (not his real name, but I like alliteration for some reason). Being an actually sceptical person, he decided to compute the global mean land temperature from station observations himself. He could reproduce the results of the main scientific groups that compute this signal and, new for me, while studying the data noticed how important the…

2017-01-30 15:17   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Cranberry picking short-term temperature trends

If you look at the data and sort of cherry-pick a micro-trend within a bigger trend, that technique is particularly suspectJohn Grego, professor of statistics at the University of South Carolina.If you choose your start points and your end points carefully enough you can make it look as if any trend you want is happening.Christopher Monckton, sacked UKIP climate change spokesman & former chair…

2017-01-16 17:32   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Much ado about NOAAthing

I know NOAAthing.This post is about nothing. Nearly nothing. But when I found this title I had to write it.Once upon a time in America there were some political activists who claimed that global warming had stopped. These were the moderate voices, with many people in this movement saying that an ice age is just around the corner. Others said global warming paused, hiatused or slowed down. I…

2017-01-08 13:02   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Budapest Seminar on Homogenization and Quality Control

FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT9TH SEMINAR ON HOMOGENIZATION ANDQUALITY CONTROL IN CLIMATOLOGICAL DATABASESAND 4TH CONFERENCE ON SPATIAL INTERPOLATION TECHNIQUES IN CLIMATOLOGY AND METEOROLOGYBUDAPEST, HUNGARY3 – 7 April 2017Organized by the Hungarian Meteorological Service (OMSZSupported by WMOBackgroundThe first eight Seminars for Homogenization and Quality Control in Climatological Databases as well…

2017-01-03 15:16   Click to comment


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