ECOMS 2016: Three days in Exeter

Last week I attended the European Climate Observations, Modelling and Services (ECOMS) at the MetOffice in Exeter. The conference itself lasted three days and for me personally it was the first time to pay Exeter a visit. The event was the last meeting for three EU projects, which in the days before had meetings on their own. All three projects are involved around seasonal and decadal climate predictions and cover different aspects of it. The projects were NACLIM, concentrating on the physical mechanisms and observations, SPECS, focussing on the modelling, and EUPORIAS, looking for the establishing of climate services. As such the topics and the background of the attending scientists were quite diverse, leading to interesting talks and conversations.

MetOffice in Exeter

MetOffice in Exeter

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Why media reporting on discussion papers can lead to manipulated science

During this week discussions on twitter and on the blogs focused on a discussion paper by James Hansen et al in Earth System Dynamics Discussions. The paper forms part of a legal case in the US and basically states that the current and expected warming over the next decades is unprecedented since the last interglacial. In this context the Guardian has run an article on the paper. While they state that the science is not yet peer-reviewed, the authors have run a series of interviews and comments, which is usually happening only when a paper is actually published. As usual I refrain in this blog from commenting on climate politics, but as I have written my PhD on scientific publication processes I would like to focus here on the implications of the media scrutiny within the discussion paper phase of a scientific publication. Continue reading

Dames 2016: Conference report

Last week the conference on Data Analysis and Modeling in Earth Sciences took place just around the corner in Hamburg. As one of the smaller conferences it stretched over three days. Each day was divided into two parts: in the morning three keynote speakers had 45 Minutes to give a broad overview on their topics, while in the afternoon the talks lasted 30 Minutes.

The talks covered topics from Nonlinear Time Series Analysis to Big Data and few were on the applied side. Some went really deep into the theoretical background, which was good to make the long talking times interesting, and so were consequently quite mathematical. A main theme was also statistical parametrisations, a topic, which is often not so high on the agenda on the conferences I visited in the past. And as always, extremes were on the topics list, as it is currently one of the main themes on which people focus their research. A poster session on the first evening, conference dinner on the second and coffee and lunch breaks animated further conversations.

All in all it was an interesting conference. Having mathematicians beside those on the applied side, was a nice change to the usual separation. Of course it makes it sometimes hard to follow long talks, when they go into many details, but it was an interesting experience. The usual international 12 + 3 talks are tiring as well, but more due to the fast change of topics and the necessity to think into new talks avery quarte rof an hour. Longer formats give you the feeling, more like a lecture during your studies, that you understand more of the presented content. As such I liked it, but of course it just works when the number of participants is low. Myself had a poster in the poster session and it was the first time that I presented my current main work on the NAO. As such it was an important step towards the first publication to it, which I hope to submit until the end of the year.