SF is reputed to be drizzly and cloudy much of the time, but unlike last year the weather here has been fabulous so far and is set fair for the rest of the week. We arrived on Saturday morning after a good flight and had a great couple of days over the weekend, On Saturday we visited the TCHO chocolate factory on the Embarcadero (that was jules' special request, naturally) and returned home via an early Chinese dinner - the House of Nanking gets mixed reviews, I expect there is better/cheaper food for those with energy and knowledge but it certainly fit the bill for us at that time. Sunday morning started with a jog to the Embarcadero, along and back over the hills of Powell and Hyde. We then got a bus over to the Cliff House for brunch and a walk on the beach, before meeting Rob who took us to one of his old favourite spots for dinner.
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reason excuse we had used to come here. Monday morning started with poster-viewing, so we had a late breakfast in the Blue Bottle cafe on the way. Then the posters themselves, including those associated with the afternoon talks we were planning to attend, which were quite fun, and I got to meet a few new people. Harry Elderfield's medal lecture was a reasonably interesting history lesson on the (mis)understanding of proxies, and then we had a useful working lunch with Dan talking about some collaboration. I was talking in the uncertainty session straight after lunch. I just about managed to rattle through a review of the work we have done with the CMIP3 ensemble, including the most recent GRL paper (now officially in press), without being able to go into much detail about any of it. The rest of the session was the usual sort of mixture, some old or incomplete stuff (promises to evaluate CMIP5 have mostly been honoured in the breach) but also some new. The philosophy session followed after tea beer. It is interesting and I think probably useful to hear people placing scientific work on model evaluation in some broader context, but these people seem to be mostly following rather than leading or inspiring the process, and doing so from a bit of a distance. For example, some of the audience pointed out that as well as the open CMIP3 archive, there is a huge amount of evaluation within the centres themselves that doesn't necessarily get reported in the literature. I also thought there was a bit of a logical failure regarding the vexed question of the "independence" of the models, but there didn't seem to be much point in picking a fight so I kept my mouth shut. [While considering the confirmatory effect of multiple models, several speakers stated confidently that the IPCC ensemble of models were not "independent", while openly admitting that they were utterly incapable of providing any operational or measurable definition of this property.] Apart from the wifi limitations, it was a good start to the week and the Thai restaurant that we discovered last year now seems deservedly more popular and perhaps even better food-wise than I had remembered. I'll note the "Angel Wings" starter for future reference.
Oh yes, and now we get to the