It is halftime here in Canmore and the IMSC got its highlights today. It started with a podium discussion on one of the WCRP grand challenges, the one on climate extremes. The aim is that in the next years scientists will collaboratively try to move forward on this and six other topics. Prediction/projections of extremes, may it be droughts or heavy precipitation, is complicate and so the agenda for this topic is long. In the discussion many topics were highlighted, which would help to bring the field forward. The most important of this, at least from my view-point, is the problem of data availability. Still many countries do not share their climate data and still many information can be found in archives, but is not yet digitised. But data is everything (ok, at least a lot) in climate science. Without it new developments and proper projections are not possible and without political incentives it is doubtful whether there will be in the next years a decisive move forward. Another topic of interest for me is the problem about uncertainties and the different understanding of it between the different fields. What is uncertainty? What is included? How it is exactly defined? Many questions around this topic highlight the proble of missing standardisation and an appropiate format in the community to share uncertainty information. Uncertainty is more than just a standard deviation value, much more.
Next were two talks on extreme value theory followed and touched more the theoretical side of the field. The lunch break was filled with an award ceremony.
The next session on my list was on climate model evaluation and covered a wide range of topics. Among this was my talk on the application of the EMD in highlighting differences between different initialisation procedures in decadal hindcasts. It is always nice to show own work, even when this contribution was originally planned just as a poster due to its early stage. A final session on downscalling ended the day for me.
The second day started with a detection and attribution session. The talks ranged from theoretical approaches to the plans for the future large projects in this field. This was followed by a talk on extremes before the next session focussed on teleconnections. In the latter session as expected the EOF analysis got some attention.
After the lunch break I enjoyed a session on the great challenges of climate extremes. Talks therein applied statistics to some interesting real applications, so showed that different methodologies can be really helpful for the community.
The final session of the day was reserved for the poster session. For me posters are always a very important part of a conference and it is good when it is placed at the right time into the schedule. It offers people to talk and get to know each other and helps therewith to make a conference a success. Today some interesting posters were presented on a wide range of topics. Tomorrow, at the halftime of the conference, I got my own talk and so I look forward to the remaining days here in Canmore.
Every three years a group of statisticians and geo-scientist for a meeting to discuss the newest developments of the statistical side of climatology. This meeting, the International Meeting on Statistical Climatology, is an interesting meeting point of many scientist to exchange new ideas. This year, its 13th edition takes place in Canmore, roughly an hours drive west of Calgary, in the Rocky Mountains (so yes, that is the area where the 1988 Winter Olympics took place).
Myself have hoped to visit the conference three years ago, but at that time it had not worked out. Now I got the chance to enjoy the conference and of course, a nice location like this is added extra value. Anyway, the focus is on the statistical part and especially for me to get new ideas and insights into current statistical methodologies. The format of the conference is a quite interesting one. The day starts with two sessions for everyone, where in each session just three longer talks are given. After lunch it switches to two parallel sessions, where six talks are given each. That format allows to get deeper into a topic and still see a lot of new and interesting stuff.
This day started with a nice overview on verification techniques and new methodologies and strategies in this field. It was followed by interesting talks on attribution of extreme events. After lunch I followed a session on climate variability and one on model evaluation. All these topics cover a wide range of statistical topics, which made it a great start for this conference.