In America we have a saying, “Seeing the forest for the trees…” which is used to suggest seeing the bigger picture. In Britain, the similar saying is “Seeing the wood for the trees…”. I’ll explain this in a moment, please read on.
Last week, when Basil and I posted Part 2 of our series on seeing a solar imprint in the HadCRUT temperature record, it spawned a lot of interest, debate, replication, and criticisms. One of the criticisms from Tamino surrounding the concluding results presented in figure 5 showed how using a different statistical test nullified the results. Thats good, falsification of results by alternate methods is what science is about, and we are now reworking our approach using some different data and methods to see if we can create a robust conclusion that stands up to many different statistical tests.
In the days following the posting of the essay, there was a lot of unnecessary name calling, but out of all the negativity, I’m happy to report that something very positive has emerged in the form of one Mr. Paul Clark, an audio specialist and C++/Linux programmer in the UK.
Our essay gave him an idea, and he ran with it. He ran far and wide.
Basil and I have spent the last week helping him refine it. Mr. Clark, like many people, had questions about climate science and data analysis, and felt that sometimes it is just too complex for the layman to get their mind around the way it is often presented.
I’ve often felt that “playing around” with something technical can often be a useful learning exercise. Paul felt the same way and took our idea of pulling signals from the noisy temperature data and turned it into a splendid interactive signal processing website called WoodForTrees.org
Below, you can see it displaying the signal from our original essay, replicated via FFT and other steps.
Paul writes on the main page:
Hang on, I thought, this needs a low-pass filter in the frequency domain, and I want to be able to play with different filters and link to the results easily from blog comments. Maybe other people would like to do that too…
The ‘analyse‘ tool and this website are the result of that thought, and this is the graph that resulted, which more or less replicates their filtering technique by a different method:
Please visit the site, and see the examples page. More data sets and filters will be added, and you should consider this version 1.0, meaning errors may be present. With your help, we’ll find them. Try it out, but most of all, learn while having fun.
Web driven digital climate signal analysis is now available for the common man, the amatuer scientist, and the researcher. Thanks Paul!