Site: Variable Variability

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Variable Variability : Separation of review powers into feedback and importance assessment could radically improve peer review

After some blog posts about grassroots journals, it looks as if no one else will pick up the idea and I have started creating a first grassroots journal. (It is interesting how often fear of being scooped is mentioned as reason against Open Science. Typically good ideas are not recognised before they are presented in detail and even then it takes time. At least that is my impression with the…

2018-06-12 12:00   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Separation of feedback, publishing and assessment of scientific studies

I once asked a friend and colleague about a wrong sentence in one of his scientific articles. He is a smart cookie and should have known better than that. His answer was that he knew it was wrong, but the peer reviewer requested that claim. The error was small and completely inconsequential for the results; no real harm was done. I wondered what I would have done.Peer review has two roles: it…

2018-03-25 16:35   Click to comment

Variable Variability : I did not start the war

As I work in Bonn, I sometimes represent Germany, for example in the World Meteorological Organisation or in EU science projects. A colleague once noted that I am fond of making clear that while I represent Germany, I am actually Dutch. Could be, at least I like the slogan "I did not start the war". The Second World War. It is a truism, but Germans are not allowed to say so. So, I say it on…

2018-02-13 18:04   Click to comment

Variable Variability : GCOS Newletter on designing a GCOS Surface Reference Network

Outcomes of AOPC Task Team, 1-3 November 2017, Maynooth, IrelandArticle in the GCOS Newsletter of January 2018While not perfect, the in-situ component of the global climate observing system has been broadly successful in contributing to the detection, attribution, and monitoring of climate change. Measurements of surface meteorological parameters have been made for more than a century in many…

2018-02-01 15:27   Click to comment

Variable Variability : The variability diet

'Tis the time for dieting. Let me jump on the band wagon with a completely new diet that fits to this blog: the variability diet.Antipodes can skip this post or stay for some interesting science ideas; countries in the Southern Hemisphere apparently do not have a seasonal cycle in dieting. trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("TIMESERIES",…

2018-01-21 06:26   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Open science and science communication at #EGU18, the European Geophysical Union General Assembly

The EGU General Assembly 2018 will bring 14,500 geoscientists from all over the world to Vienna. Those are not just climate scientists plotting to take over the world. Climatology is just one of 22 disciplines present. In my last post on interesting meetings for climate data scientists, I already pointed to the relevant scientific meetings taking place for climate data scientists. In this post…

2017-12-27 16:03   Click to comment

Variable Variability : Where is a climate data scientist to go in 2018?

Where is a climate data scientist to go in the next year? There are two oldies in Old Europe (EGU and EMS) and two three new opportunities in the Southern Hemisphere (Early Instrumental Meteorological Series, AMOS and the Data Management Workshop in Peru). Early Instrumental Meteorological Series - Conference and WorkshopThe Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR) organises a…

2017-12-20 20:09   Click to comment

Variable Variability : The fight for the future of science in Berlin

A group of scientists, scholars, data scientists, publishers and librarians gathered in Berlin to talk about the future of research communication. With the scientific literature being so central to science, one could also say the conference was about the future of science.This future will be more open, transparent, findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. The open world of research

2017-11-21 17:02   Click to comment

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 12:21   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 09:17   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 14:11   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 05:03   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 10:03   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 13:47   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 06:28   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 15:39   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 15:16   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 21:43   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 11:31   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 16:43   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 20:10   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 19:46   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 14:35   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 19:23   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 02:26   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 12:02   Click to comment


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