Guide Computational Statistics in Climatology

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Computational statistics in climatology [1996]

If students are given hourly averaged temperatures, for example, they may be asked to compute daily, monthly, annual, or climatological averages. Spatial means can thus also be computed in a variety of ways including global, regional, and zonal. These various temporal and spatial options are also present when computing anomalies, averaged departures, correlations between two or more datasets, etc. Such concepts are often too complicated for introductory statistics students to grasp, but they are fundamental to the science and regularly presented without explanation in scientific journal articles.

I have found that by allowing them to practice such computations firsthand, students are better able to disentangle various spatial and temporal statistical methods. Following in-class discussion about theoretical statistical concepts, I ask students to compute values i. I then have the students jump right into much more complex applications using real climate data.

Computational Statistics I - SciPy 2015 Tutorial - Allen Downey

While mapping may seem overwhelming for a student who has only been using MATLAB for a few weeks, I've found that final product a visually appealing figure serves as a small reward for their effort. They are empowered knowing that they independently obtained data online and created a meaningful product. For one such assignment see attached figure , students are instructed to obtain global climate data form an online source.


  1. Climate and man's environment: an introduction to applied climatology in SearchWorks catalog.
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Before creating global maps, students must plot a time series of actual temperatures in a specified location here we examine Minneapolis, MN with the climatological mean over a specified period upper left panel. This graphical representation is relatively straightforward to most students and thus allows them to start the assignment with something familiar. Next, they must subtract the climatological mean from all data points to obtain temperature anomalies, and then divide all points by the standard deviation to obtain standardized anomalies upper middle, and upper right, respectively.

Students are then asked to discuss similarities and differences between the three figures.

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While students almost always start by saying that the figures are identical, they ultimately realize that the values do in fact differ. To promote this line of thinking, I often ask them to focus on one year which can be compared between the figures. Students are then instructed to compute the same values, but for just one year over the entire globe. In this example, we examine temperatures during bottom three panels. Professor Paul Crutzen won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in for demonstrating destruction of stratospheric ozone which protects the Earth from Sun's ultraviolet radiation.

He was one of the first scientists to identify the causes of the hole in the ozone layer, and has been actively engaging in environmental efforts. Thomson 1 May Massachusetts Institute of Technology News Office. Retrieved 7 March The Discovery of Global Warming. American Institute of Physics. Beginning with work by Joseph Fourier in the s, scientists had understood that gases in the atmosphere might trap the heat received from the Sun.

As Fourier put it, energy in the form of visible light from the Sun easily penetrates the atmosphere to reach the surface and heat it up, but heat cannot so easily escape back into space. For the air absorbs invisible heat rays "infrared radiation" rising from the surface.

The warmed air radiates some of the energy back down to the surface, helping it stay warm. This was the effect that would later be called, by an inaccurate analogy, the 'greenhouse effect. Retrieved 5 February Hansen earned the Rossby Medal for 'outstanding contributions to climate modeling, understanding climate change forcings and sensitivity, and for clear communication of climate science in the public arena.

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University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 22 January Ann Henderson-Sellers [is] Guardian News and Media Limited. As a climate scientist who has worked on this issue for several decades, first as head of the Met Office, and then as co-chair of scientific assessment for the UN intergovernmental panel on climate change, the impacts of global warming are such that I have no hesitation in describing it as a 'weapon of mass destruction'.

BBC News. His very precise measurements produced a remarkable data set, which first sounded alarm bells over the build-up of the gas in the atmosphere, and eventually led to the tracking of greenhouse gases worldwide. Bowden; Cynthia V.


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    Retrieved 3 April Archived from the original on November 21, Retrieved 12 March Kurt Lambeck, 64, was elected to the Academy in His principal research areas have included climate and environmental sciences, geophysics and space science. Stevens 18 June New York Times. His opinions attacking the formal consensus about climate change have made the year-old Dr.

    Lindzen a bete noir [sic] to environmentalists who trumpet the dangers of global warming But everyone takes him with the utmost seriousness because of a reputation for brilliance that got him elected to the National Academy of Sciences at age Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on September 23, Professor Lorenz 'made his boldest scientific achievement in discovering deterministic chaos , a principle which has profoundly influenced a wide range of basic sciences and brought about one of the most dramatic changes in mankind's view of nature since Sir Isaac Newton.

    The Independent. In Gaia he had conceived more than a radical idea: suddenly he had created a new persona, a reinvented Mother Earth able to inspire reverence and awe besides scientific curiosity.

    Advances in Statistical Climatology, Meteorology and Oceanography (JournalSeek)

    New Scientist. Manabe developed the first mathematical models of the atmosphere to predict the effects of adding carbon dioxide.

    There are few more provocative symbols in the debate over global warming than the "hockey stick". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 25 March Earth Observatory. The Serbian astrophysicist Milutin Milankovitch is best known for developing one of the most significant theories relating Earth motions and long-term climate change Milankovitch dedicated his career to developing a mathematical theory of climate based on the seasonal and latitudinal variations of solar radiation received by the Earth.

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded The Associated Press. The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 February Rahmstorf, the head of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Research into Climatic Effects, says more research is urgently needed to assess the impact of ocean acidification.

    Bibcode : PNAS.. Archived from the original PDF on