Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Where is a climate data scientist to go in 2018?

Where is a climate data scientist to go in the next year? There are two oldies in Old Europe (EGU and EMS) and two three new opportunities in the Southern Hemisphere (Early Instrumental Meteorological Series, AMOS and the Data Management Workshop in Peru).

Early Instrumental Meteorological Series - Conference and Workshop

The Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR) organises a conference and workshop on Early Instrumental Meteorological Series. Hosts are Stefan Brönnimann (Institute of Geography) and
Christian Rohr (Institute of History).

The first two days are organised like a conference, the last two days like a workshop. It will take place from 18 to 21 June 2018 at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Registration and abstract submission are due by 15 March 2018.
The goal of this conference and workshop is to discuss the state of knowledge on early instrumental meteorological series from the 18th and early 19th century. The first two days will be in conference-style and will encompass invited talks from different regions of the world (including participation by skype) on existing compilations and on individual records, but also on instruments and archives as well as on climate events and processes. Contributed presentations (most will be posters) are welcome.

The third and fourth days target a smaller audience and are in workshop-style. The goal is to compile a detailed inventory of all early instrumental records: What has been measured, where, when and by whom? Is the location of the original data known? Have they been imaged, digitised, homogenised, or are they already in existing archives? This work will help to focus future data rescue activities.

Data Management Workshop in Peru

New is the “Data Management for Climate Services” Workshop taking place in Lima - Peru from the 28 of May to 1 of June 2018. I am trying to learn Spanish, but languages are clearly not my strong point. At a restaurant I would now be able to order cat, turtle and chicken. I think I will eat a lot of chicken. Fortunately the workshop will be carried out in two languages and will have a professional translation service from Spanish – English / English – Spanish.

The workshop is inspired by the series of EUMETNET Data Management Workshops held every two years in Europe. It would be great if similar initiatives would be tried on other continents.

The abstract submission deadline is soon: the 15 of January 2018.
  • Session 1: METADATA
    • Methods for data rescue and cataloguing; data rescue projects.
    • Methods of metadata rescue for the past and the present; systems for metadata storage; applications and use of metadata.
    • Methods for quality control of different meteorological observations of different specifications; processes to establish operational quality control.
    • Methods for the homogenization of monthly climate data; projects and results from homogenization projects; investigations on parallel climate observations; use of metadata for homogenization.
  • Session 3: GRIDDED DATA
    • Verification of gridded data based on observations; products based on gridded data; methods to produce gridded data; adjustments of gridded data in complex topographies such as the Andes.
    • Products and climate information: methods and tools of climate data analysis; presentation of climate products and information; products on extreme events
    • Climate services in Ibero-America: projects on climate services in Ibero-America.
    • Interface with climate information users: approaches to building the interface with climate information users; experiences from exchanges with users; user requirements on climate services.

EMS Annual Meeting

This time the EMS Annual Meeting: European Conference for Applied Meteorology and Climatology will be in Budapest, Hungary, from 3 to 7 September 2018. The abstract submission deadline is still far away, but if you have ideas for sessions this is the moment to say something. The call for sessions is open until January 4th. New sessions can be proposed.

The session on "Climate monitoring: data rescue, management, quality and homogenization" is organised by Manola Brunet-India, Ingeborg Auer, Dan Hollis and me. If you have any suggestions for improvements of our please tell me. New this year is that we have explicitly added marine data. The forgotten 70% will be forgotten no longer.
Robust and reliable climatic studies, particularly those assessments dealing with climate variability and change, greatly depend on availability and accessibility to high-quality/high-resolution and long-term instrumental climate data. At present, a restricted availability and accessibility to long-term and high-quality climate records and datasets is still limiting our ability to better understand, detect, predict and respond to climate variability and change at lower spatial scales than global. In addition, the need for providing reliable, opportune and timely climate services deeply relies on the availability and accessibility to high-quality and high-resolution climate data, which also requires further research and innovative applications in the areas of data rescue techniques and procedures, data management systems, climate monitoring, climate time-series quality control and homogenisation.
In this session, we welcome contributions (oral and poster) in the following major topics:
  • Climate monitoring , including early warning systems and improvements in the quality of the observational meteorological networks.
  • More efficient transfer of the data rescued into the digital format by means of improving the current state-of-the-art on image enhancement, image segmentation and post-correction techniques, innovating on adaptive Optical Character Recognition and Speech Recognition technologies and their application to transfer data, defining best practices about the operational context for digitisation, improving techniques for inventorying, organising, identifying and validating the data rescued, exploring crowd-sourcing approaches or engaging citizen scientist volunteers, conserving, imaging, inventorying and archiving historical documents containing weather records.
  • Climate data and metadata processing, including climate data flow management systems, from improved database models to better data extraction, development of relational metadata databases and data exchange platforms and networks interoperability.
  • Innovative, improved and extended climate data quality controls (QC), including both near real-time and time-series QCs: from gross-errors and tolerance checks to temporal and spatial coherence tests, statistical derivation and machine learning of QC rules, and extending tailored QC application to monthly, daily and sub-daily data and to all essential climate variables.
  • Improvements to the current state-of-the-art of climate data homogeneity and homogenisation methods, including methods intercomparison and evaluation, along with other topics such as climate time-series inhomogeneities detection and correction techniques/algorithms, using parallel measurements to study inhomogeneities and extending approaches to detect/adjust monthly and, especially, daily and sub-daily time-series and to homogenise all essential climate variables.
  • Fostering evaluation of the uncertainty budget in reconstructed time-series, including the influence of the various data processes steps, and analytical work and numerical estimates using realistic benchmarking datasets.
The next step is to analyse the data to understand what happens with the climate system. For this there is the session: "Climate change detection, assessment of trends, variability and extremes".


It is too late to submit abstracts, but you can still visit the Joint 25th AMOS National Conference and 12th International Conference for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology and Oceanography, AMOS-ICSHMO 2018, to be held at UNSW Sydney from 5 to 9 February 2018.

New is a session on "Data homogenisation and other statistical challenges in climatology" organised by Blair Trewin and Sandy Burden.
This session is intended as a forum to present work addressing major statistical challenges in climatology, from the perspectives of both climatologists and statisticians. It is planned to have a particular focus on climate data homogenisation, including the potential for merging observations from multiple sources. However, papers on all aspects of statistics in climatology are welcome, including (but not limited to) spatial analysis and uncertainty, quality control, cross-validation, and extreme value and threshold analysis. Statistical analyses of temperature and rainfall will be of most interest, but studies using any meteorological data are welcome.
If I see it right The session has four talks:
  • Testing for Collective Significance of Temperature Trends (Radan Huth)
  • Investigating Australian Temperature Distributions using Record Breaking Statistics and Quantile Regression (Elisa Jager)
  • A Fluctuation in Surface Temperature in Historical Context: Reassessment and Retrospective on the Evidence (James Risbey)
  • The Next-Generation ACORN-SAT Australian Temperature Data Set (Blair Trewin)
And there is a session on "Historical climatology in the Southern Hemisphere" organised by Linden Ashcroft, Joëlle Gergis, Stefan Grab, Ruth Morgan and David Nash.
Historical instrumental and documentary records contain valuable weather and climate data, as well as detailed records of societal responses to past climatic conditions. This information offers valuable insights into current and future climate research and climate change adaptation strategies. While the use of historical climate information is a well-developed field in the Northern Hemisphere, a vast amount of untapped resources exist in the southern latitudes. Recovering this material has the potential to dramatically improve our understanding of Southern Hemisphere climate variability and change. In this session we welcome interdisciplinary submissions on the rescue, interpretation and analysis of historical weather, climate, societal and environmental information across the Southern Hemisphere. This can include:
  • Instrumental data rescue (land and ocean) projects and practices
  • Comparison of documentary, instrumental and palaeoclimate reconstructions
  • Historical studies of extreme events
  • Past social engagement with weather, climate and the natural environment
  • Development of long-term climate records and chronologies.
It has five talks:
  • An Australian History of Anthropogenic Climate Change (Ruth Morgan)
  • Learning from the Present to Understand the Past: The Case of Precipitation Covariability between Tasmania and Patagonia (Martin Jacques-Coper)
  • Learning from Notorious Maritime Storms of the Late 1800’s (Stuart Browning)
  • Climate Data Rescue Activities at Meteo-France in the Southern Hemisphere (Alexandre Peltier)
  • Recovering Historic Southern Ocean Climate Data using Ships’ Logbooks and Citizen Science (Petra Pearce)

EGU General Assembly

EGU will be held in Vienna, Austria, from 8 to 13 April 2018. The abstract submission deadline is looming: the 10th of January.

The main session from my perspective is: "Climate Data Homogenization and Analysis of Climate Variability, Trends and Extremes", organised by Xiaolan Wang, Rob Roebeling, Petr Stepanek, Enric Aguilar and Cesar Azorin-Molina.
Accurate, homogeneous, and long-term climate data records are indispensable for many aspects of climate research and services. Realistic and reliable assessments of historical climate trends and climate variability are possible with accurate, homogeneous and long-term time series of climate data and their quantified uncertainties. Such climate data are also indispensable for assimilation in a reanalysis, as well as for the calculation of statistics that are needed to define the state of climate and to analyze climate extremes. Unfortunately, many kinds of changes (such as instrument and/or observer changes, changes in station location and/or environment, observing practices, and/or procedures) that took place during data collection period could cause non-climatic changes (artificial shifts) in the data time series. Such shifts could have huge impacts on the results of climate analysis, especially when it concerns climate trend analysis. Therefore, artificial shifts need to be eliminated, as much as possible, from long-term climate data records prior to their application.

The above described factors can influence different essential climate variables, including atmospheric (e.g., temperature, precipitation, wind speed), oceanic (e.g., sea surface temperature), and terrestrial (e.g., albedo, snow cover) variables from in-situ observing networks, satellite observing systems, and climate/earth-system model simulations. Our session calls for contributions that are related to:
  • Correction of biases, quality control, homogenization, and validation of essential climate variables data records.
  • Development of new datasets and their analysis (spatial and temporal characteristics, particularly of extremes), examining observed trends and variability, as well as studies that explore the applicability of techniques/algorithms to data of different temporal resolutions (annual, monthly, daily, sub-daily).
  • Rescue and analysis of centennial meteorological observations, with focus on wind data prior to the 1960s, as a unique source to fill in the gap of knowledge of wind variability over century time-scales and to better understand the observed slowdown (termed “stilling”) of near-surface winds in the last 30-50 years.
Also the session on "Atmospheric Remote Sensing with Space Geodetic Techniques" contains a fair bit of homogenisation. For most satellite datasets homogenisation is done very differently as they do not have as much redundant data, but the homogenisation of humidity datasets based on the geodetic data of the global navigation satellite system ([[GNSS]], consisting of GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) is very similar.
Today atmospheric remote sensing of the neutral atmosphere with space geodetic techniques is an established field of research and applications. This is largely due to the technological advances and development of models and algorithms as well as, the availability of regional and global ground-based networks, and satellite-based missions. Water vapour is under sampled in current operational meteorological and climate observing systems. Advancements in Numerical Weather Prediction Models (NWP) to improve forecasting of extreme precipitation, requires GNSS troposphere products with a higher resolution in space and shorter delivery times than are currently in use. Homogeneously reprocessed GNSS observations on a regional and global scale have high potential for monitoring water vapour climatic trends and variability, and for assimilation into climate models. Unfortunately, these time series suffer from inhomogeneities (for example instrumental changes, changes in the station environment), which can affect the analysis of the long-term variability. NWP data have recently been used for deriving a new generation of mapping functions and in Real-Time GNSS processing these data can be employed to initialise Precise Point Positioning (PPP) processing algorithms, shortening convergence times and improving positioning. At the same time, GNSS-reflectometry is establishing itself as an alternative method for retrieving soil moisture.
We welcome, but not limit, contributions on the subjects below:
  • Physical modelling of the neutral atmosphere using ground-based and radio-occultation data.
  • Multi-GNSS and multi-instruments approaches to retrieve and inter-compare tropospheric parameters.
  • Real-Time and reprocessed tropospheric products for forecasting, now-casting and climate monitoring applications.
  • Assimilation of GNSS measurements in NWP and in climate models.
  • Methods for homogenization of long-term GNSS tropospheric products.
  • Studies on mitigating atmospheric effects in GNSS positioning and navigation, as well as observations at radio wavelengths.
  • Usage of NWP data in PPP processing algorithms.
  • Techniques on retrieval of soil moisture from GNSS observations and studies of ground-atmosphere boundary interactions.
Also for ecological data homogenisation is often needed. Thus the session "Digital environmental models for Ecosystem Services mapping" by Miquel Ninyerola, Xavier Pons and Lluis Pesquer may also be interesting.
The session aims to focus on understanding, modelling, analysing and improving each step of the process chain for producing digital environmental surface grids (terrain, climate, vegetation, etc.) able to be used in Ecosystem Services issues: from the sensors (in situ as well as Earth Observation data) to the map dissemination. In this context, topics as data acquisition/ingestion, data assimilation, data processing, data homogenization, uncertainty and quality controls, spatial interpolation methods, spatial analysis tools, derived metrics, downscaling techniques, box-tools, improvements on metadata and web map services are invited. Spatio-temporal analyses and model contribution of large series of environmental data and the corresponding auxiliary Earth Observation data are especially welcome as well as studies that combine cartography, GIS, remote sensing, spatial statistics and geocomputing. A rigorous geoinformatics and computational treatment is required in all topics.
EGU also has a nice number of Open Science, Science communication and Publishing sessions[, you can find links in my new post]. I hope I will find the time to also write about them in a next post.

Other conferences

The Budapest homogenisation workshop was this year, so I do not expect another one in 2018. In case you missed it, the proceedings is now published and contains many interesting extended abstracts.

Also the last EUMETNET Data Management Workshop was in 2017. If there are any interesting meetings that I missed, please tell us in the comments.


  1. The early instruments conference sounds interesting. Mind you the Peru one would be very stimulating in an environment like that.

    Thanks for your interesting articles over the year.

    A merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and yours


  2. Thank you very much.

    Most of the homogenisation meetings are in Europe. I hope that the workshop in Peru will improve our contacts in South America. It is very expensive for them to come to Europe, thus the contacts rather lose.

    Stefan Brönnimann does a lot to understand climate change in the 19th century. [[The Year Without a Summer]] had an enormous impact on Switzerland. A wonderful scientist. London Bern is just 8 hours by train.

  3. Peruvian cusine is one of the great secrets of the Earth. Lima eats as well as Paris, just different


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