Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Welcome and house rules

This blog will host the series of white papers for discussion at the workshop to be held at the UK Met Office in September 2010. More details are available from The white papers will be posted on or around July 27th and be open for public comment for approximately 4 weeks. Update 8/19: Comments will remain open until 9/1.

All posts will be moderated and will be processed at 8am EDT each weekday and at no other time. Posts deemed by the blog owner to breach any of these guidelines, even in part, will be deleted. Posts that will be accepted will be scientifically relevant, on topic, concise and constructive in tone. Any of the following will lead to post rejection:

  • Off topic posts or posts with too much off-topic content
  • Defamatory language or insinuations against others
  • Overt linkage to non-relevant resources (very limited and necessary links to strictly relevant scientific papers or scientific web pages allowed but not any links to blogs)
  • Comments on the reality or otherwise of global warming and political ramifications - there are plenty of other blogs out there to make these comments on.
  • Comments judged to be too long.
Decisions are final but you are welcome to resubmit a new version that you consider may be accepted having considered the reason why your original submission was rejected.

The purpose of the blog is to get relevant input from everybody as clearly we can only invite so many people to the meeting itself and there are many more scientifically relevant viewpoints out there. We welcome comments from anyone regardless of qualifications who believes they have something positive, constructive and relevant to provide. We will ensure the comments are considered within the September workshop.


  1. Excellent rules.
    Is there an RSS feed for comments?

  2. Am working on it, but its non-intuitive so I've called on some help from folks more IT literate than I am. Hopefully within the next few days.

  3. A more technically competent person than I am suggests this is already working ...


  4. From John Haslett, Trinity College Dublin

    The emphasis on uncertainty in this project is welcome, but there is as yet very little discussion of how a user of such data files can incorporate such uncertainty into an analysis; typically analyses will draw on multiple uncertain files.

    One option is to post for each variable - or for each group of variables - not just ONE file with the 'point-wise best' value at each spatial/temporal location, but rather (or as well) very MANY files, each being a coherent spatial temporal realisation from the joint distribution of the field. The analysis may then be completed, using existing software, by Monte Carlo replications and summary thereof, including an appropriate summary of uncertainty in the conclusions from the analysis.

    Note that this (a) avoids reliance exclusively on Gaussian linear models and (b) allows analyses to address non-linear functionals of the data sets.

    Various levels of approximations can be used for the sampling. The simplest level is of course that which is implicitly proposed – the publication of the single ‘best’ version.

  5. Hi Peter,

    Following the article in the Economist about this project (, and the response by Roger Pielke Snr. to that article which mentions that neither he nor Anthony Watt have been invited (, could you provide a list of those invited to the workshop in September please?


  6. I will discuss the viability of releasing this list with the international organizing committee on our final conference call next week.

    But to reiterate that the participant list includes representation of the full spectrum of views, includes many non-traditional participants and was selected by the international organizing committee as a whole and not any single individual. There are many people not attending who have an interest in this subject from multiple standpoints. You can only fit so many folks in a room.

  7. I think it would be very good for the public image of the project to publish the list of invitees as Slowjoe asked.

  8. You will "discuss the viability of releasing this list"? What a curious reply. It makes you sound like a politician!

    Your agenda says that "Another important aspect is to ensure openness, transparency and outreach".

    If this is one of your aims, you should publish a list of participants, as most scientific meetings do.


  9. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for your swift response.

    Just to clarify, my request is for the list of invitees (and the date of issue of the invites) rather than attendees/participants.


  10. To be clear, my aim has always been and continues to be that this be a meeting undertaken under the auspices of a committee. In that context any decision to publish attendees in advance is a decision for the committee to make and one that I will ensure we discuss on our next scheduled call next week. Normal practice in meetings with the World Meteorological Organization is to publish a list of people who attended after the meeting as an appendix to the meeting report and this will be done in this case regardless. Also, as ever, there are last minute changes as real life gets in the way for some folks.

  11. Peter, I hope you're going to get help on this project from other disciplines.

    As a software designer I hope you will use these 2 techniques early:

    * Personas - to design for real people

    * Use cases - real life scenarios of the personas using the 'system'.

  12. Regarding disclosure of invitees, this was discussed at some length by the international organising committee this morning in our final call. The unanimous decision was made to not release information as to who were invitees and when they were invited. Significant concerns were raised about the possible legality of such a move with regard to national and international data protection laws as this very obviously constitutes personal identifiable information (nobody on the committee has a legal background) and also about whether people who were not in attendance would be happy to be associated with the outcomes. As is usual practice and convention we will be listing actual attendees in the meeting write up. For discussion on this blog this subject is now considered closed and no follow ups will be posted.