Friday, October 08, 2010

Road trip (part 2)

Just back from a quick trip to give two seminars in a day, first at ECMWF on the outskirts of Reading courtesy of Tim Palmer (who has also been at the Newton Institute some of the time), where a handful of us had a short time to chat about the value of short-term forecasts for assessing (IPCC-type long term) climate model performance. It's certainly an intriguing proposition and I have followed the limited work in this area (eg) with some interest. One difficulty in making progress is that the NWP people generally don't have the remit to look at long-term changes, and the climate change people don't have the remit (or indeed technical capability) to look at short term predictions.

We followed this with a quick dash to Oxford and the AOPP department at the invitation of Myles Allen. We didn't have much time to talk outside our seminar but we seem to be doing some related work where there is the possibility of mutually complementary work and perhaps ultimately collaboration. After the talk jules and I spent a bit of time talking to other people there and had a great meal in the Chiang Mai Kitchen which seems to be still going strong - it opened just before I left more years ago than I care to remember. I think this trip might be the first time I've been back to the city since I graduated so it was great to have the excuse to visit again and see a few familiar sights, if only briefly.

We certainly had fun giving the seminars themselves. At the 2nd talk, I seemed to end up abusing the concept of a truth-centred ensemble a bit more emphatically than usual, perhaps due to having on the previous day both noticed another exceedingly ropey paper appear on this topic, and also receiving this decision, from the very same journal. So I was pleased to find several members of the audience eagerly agreeing that they had never thought the truth-centred thing made much sense. Of course the people I should be talking to are the ones who are still using it as a basis for their analyses...

Oh yes, I also confirmed what I suspected here. Not that I'm losing any sleep over that, but I do think it's a strange editorial decision. And the editor concerned is unfortunately no longer with us, so I couldn't even grumble at him if I wanted to. I'm sure it will come out in the end, and I'll probably have more to say at that time.

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