IMSC2016: Day four

Day four of the IMSC in Canmore and once again many good talks to a wide range of topics. The day started with a downscaling session and covered emulators, handling of natural variability and perfect model frameworks. For me the imitation of complex results by simple models (emulators) have its interesting sides, but also frightens me a bit. I am a big fan of simple models and love to applicate them, but also learned that their results need a lot of statistical handling to deliver some acceptable results in their range of definition. Using them at the border of this definition or even out of it leads usually to inacceptable results. Sure, the simple models designed for the emulators are defined for this task, but it is still a very challenging topic and I am happy that some give it a try.

Conference hotel

The following session of nonlinear methods, with talks about coincidence and network analysis. This was followed by a talk of responsibility of climate science (and their consumers). Apart from some common misuse of statistical methods it also covered the call for communicating more completely the methods and assumptions used in studies. This very important challenge is rather complicate in modern science. Reviewers ask for reducing the method section only to the necessity part and so in many journals their readers just really see the results, without understanding the many assumptions went into it to create it. Statistics is a game of assumptions and so it is essential that they and the exact application of methodologies are added in detail to the papers. Nevertheless, it is the task of the reviewers to ask for it and for the authors to press for it to get it in. “Open methods, open data, open models” are required to replicate a scientific result and that should always be the aim of a publication (and yes, sometimes this is complicate, but trying is what counts here).

After lunch break I visited two more sessions, both covering extreme events. They included many interesting talks with a wide range of topics. Tomorrow will be the final day of the meeting and it will include homogenisation, a topic I really look forward to.

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