Although there is broad consensus that there will be a significant rise in average global temperature, there is great uncertainty over the extent of the change, and the implications for different regions. Greater accuracy is urgently needed to provide a sound basis for major policy decisions and to ensure that politicians and the public remain convinced that significant changes in consumption patterns and energy production are essential to stave off serious consequences in the coming decades and centuries.
The climate modelling community has become increasingly aware that some of the statistical tools that could improve their modelling of climate change may already have been developed for econometric problems, which have some of the same features. The European Science Foundation (ESF) brought these two communities together for the first time in a recent workshop, sowing the seeds for future collaboration.
“We achieved our goal of bringing together people from two very distant but equally valuable fields,” said the workshop’s co-convenor Peter Thejll. “It was designed as a one-way session whereby econometricians were supposed to convey knowledge of econometric methods to the climate researchers.”
This has already proved highly valuable because economic and climate models require similar kinds of statistical analysis, both for example involving serial correlation where the aim is to predict the future value of a variable based upon a starting value at an earlier point in time. In economics such a variable might be the price of a commodity, while in climatology it might be temperature or atmospheric pressure. In both cases the variables change randomly during successive time intervals subject to varying constraints within a closely defined zone, and therefore can be analysed using similar “random walk” techniques.
“To solve important climate problems related to climate change and change attribution with statistics, these methods have to be used and understood by climate researchers,” said Thejll. “We brought together people who understand these problems and had a great, and informative, time.”
Thejll is confident the new found cooperation with the econometric community will improve climate modelling and forecasting, but first there is a need to digest some of the new tools and ideas. The aim is to introduce greater statistical sophistication into climate analysis, partly by understanding better the correlation between different aspects of change, for example how one region impacts another. “We first need to see the spread of econometric methods so that we no longer read climate research papers that ignore important statistical problems,” said Thejll wryly.
This will lead to an important first step towards better climate change predictions models – understanding the limitations of existing models. “One improvement that can follow from the use of econometric methods in climate research is a better understanding of the level of ignorance we have,” said Thejll.
One problem at present is that uncertainties are commonly underestimated, and this makes it very difficult to predict with much confidence even the broad climatic consequences or rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. But Thejll hopes and expects that by incorporating the key tools of econometric modelling, climate prediction will become much more accurate and valuable.
The ESF workshop, Econometric Time Series Analysis applied to climate research, was held in Frascati, Italy, in September 2007.Contact:
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences