- climateprediction.net: Live stream: IPCC AR5: Three numbers that matter, and numbers that matter less than you think
13.10.2014 12:46 Uhr
A talk by Professor Myles Allen, Tuesday 14 October, 9 am BST
“This lecture provides an overview of the climate change issue, highlighting what are, in my view, the most important findings of the latest IPCC report and their implications for climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We will focus on three numbers that matter a lot, and mention along the way some other numbers that matter rather less than you might think.
The first important number is 95%, the level of confidence the climate science community now has that human influence is the dominant cause of the warming observed over the past 60 years. I will explain where this number comes from, with a quick (and colourful) introduction to the methods used for “detection and attribution” in the IPCC Working Group I report, and explain why the apparent “pause” in ocean surface warming over the past decade or so doesn’t really change the big picture.
The second important number is 40.3 degrees C (105 degrees F), the national average temperature high over Australia on January 7th, 2013. While bad enough for Australia, the significance of that “Angry Summer” for the rest of the world is as an example of the kind of damaging weather event that, subsequent studies have shown, was made substantially more probable by human influence on climate. With the IPCC Working Group II finding that the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems are now evident on all continents and across the oceans, understanding the links between climate change and harmful weather events is becoming important for the UNFCCC’s new “Loss and Damage” agenda, and a key focus of Oxford’s climateprediction.net/weatherathome project.
The third number is the big one: one trillion tonnes. That is the total amount of fossil carbon that the IPCC estimates can be dumped into the atmosphere over the entire Anthropocene epoch while keeping the resulting warming to likely less than two degrees Celcius. Over half a trillion tonnes has already been emitted, and accounting for warming due to other forms of pollution cuts down the remaining “carbon budget” further still. This puts the mitigation challenge into perspective, and helps explain why the IPCC Working Group III report found such a pivotal role for carbon capture and storage in scenarios that have some chance of meeting the two degree goal.
What are the numbers that matter less than you might think? One of them, although much tweeted, is “97% of scientists agree…” I’ll explain how this kind of opinion poll isn’t really relevant to how science, or the IPCC, actually works. Another over-rated number is the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (the subject of earlier climateprediction.net experiments), which turns out to matter much less than people thought. Finally, if you are hoping for a purely scientific argument that two degrees is the threshold for dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system, you will be disappointed: the IPCC reports make it clear that the assessment of what is dangerous has an ethical and moral dimension and cannot be resolved by any purely technical assessment.”
- climateprediction.net: Explaining Extreme Weather Events of 2013 from a Climate Perspective
29.09.2014 15:28 Uhr
The annual Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) special issue on the attribution of last year’s extreme weather events is published today. This year’s issue “explaining extreme events of 2013 – from a climate perspective” includes two papers led by researchers from our climateprediction.net team.
This is a highly-cited and influential annual publication coined in 2012 asking whether and to what extent anthropogenic climate change altered the risk of major extreme weather events of the past year to occur.
The first of these papers, led by Dr Nathalie Schaller, looked at the heavy rainfall last summer in the Upper Danube and Elbe Basins in central Germany.
Nathalie explains her research: “Using the weather@home project, we performed two types of experiments to investigate the effect of human influence on the heavy precipitation event that occurred in May-June 2013 in Central Europe and led to floods along the Elbe and Danube rivers. Comparing extreme rainfall amounts in the Elbe and Danube catchments in simulations of the ‘world as it happened’ and of the ‘world that might have been’ shows that human influence did not affect the risk of such an event happening.
An attribution study that was based only on observations came to the same conclusion. This paper shows that despite the fact that in a warming world we do expect and observe more extreme precipitation on average, this is not true for all regions and all types of events.”
The second paper, by Dr Juan Añel Cabanelas and colleagues, looked at the extreme snow in the western Spanish Pyrenees during the winter and spring of 2013.
Juan explains his research: “We analyzed a phenomenon of extreme snow accumulation in the Pyrenees for several months of 2013 using different techniques. The phenomenon was extreme and rare. However results from weather@Home simulations were not able to find a conclusive fingerprint of climate change on it. If anything, the results suggest a slight decrease of the likelihood of such an accumulation of snow occurring in a warming world but this decrease is not scientifically significant.”
The special issue comprises of 22 studies of 16 events that occurred in 2013 all over the world. A particular focus of 5 studies was the extreme heat in Australia, which forced the local meteorological services to design a new colour for the weather maps to display unprecedented heat. All found a strong increase in the risk of such record-breaking heat waves occurring in a warming world, with Knutson et al. showing that the annual mean temperatures in Australia in 2013 are impossible to simulate without global warming.
The studies of extreme precipitation and cyclones show that our understanding of how the probability of their occurrence changes in a warming world is less complete, however, as the report concludes, a “failure to find anthropogenic signals for several events examined in this report does not prove anthropogenic climate change had no role to play. Rather, an anthropogenic contribution to these events that is distinguishable from natural climate variability could not be detected by these analyses. Thus, there may have been an anthropogenic role, but these particular analyses did not find one.”
In compiling different methods to answer the same research question and highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in these methods and gaps in our understanding these annual reports add considerably to the body of evidence of climate change.
- Collatz Conjecture: Android 5, aka Lolipop or Android L not getting work
12.02.2015 00:50 Uhr
Android 5 was recently released but it is not currently working – mainly due to work fetch issues. We are working to identify and fix the issues as soon as possible.
- Collatz Conjecture: Prepping for Android 5
02.02.2015 21:00 Uhr
Because Android 5 requires PIE support, the android app has been split into two plan classes, one for Android 4.1 and later (a new app), and another for earlier versions (the existing app). Please let me know if you run into any issues.
- Collatz Conjecture: Database Is Back Online
21.01.2015 02:50 Uhr
During the nightly backup process, the database once again stopped responding and had to be restarted this morning. Rather than bring it back online as I have been doing, I spent the day trying to duplicate the issue, but to no avail. Before bringing it back online, the database tables were optimized and I checked to make sure the database is in sync with the BOINC file system.
- Constellation: Google Summer of Code 2015 is on!
21.02.2015 09:58 Uhr
The Google Summer of Code 2015 started and organization applied until today. So if you are a student and want to code during summer time for open-source projects, have a look on www.google-melange.com for organizations you would like to work for. Constellation had been part in 2013 and 2014 and it rocked! So we also applied for this year and you can find our projects on our ideas page. Stay tuned for more news!
- Constellation: Constellation is back online!
20.02.2015 22:36 Uhr
Good news everyone, we’re finally back online! We are sorry to have you experiencing a longer than intended server down-time. Due to the new Comet Trails app, we generated more than expected results, which caused some trouble with our system. So thank you very much for helping this great application and also benchmarking our server. We already tackled the main problems, but we still leave the server under monitoring. So please be patient with us, if the server is not yet running as it used to. By the way, it is still the same server we started with in 2011 plus some new storage. He served us well, but if you like us to have a new and reliable one, please be so kind and donate on our donation page. We will keep you informed here or on our “emergency channels“. And we will also have some other good news coming up. So, thank you for your patience again! Best regards, Andreas
- Constellation: TYCHO paper now published in Acta Astronautica! [online / Volume 108]
21.01.2015 13:14 Uhr
So honored! My TYCHO paper is now published in Acta Astronautica! I did that as my Diploma Thesis at the Institute of Space Systems at the University of Stuttgart and the paper was selected for Acta Astronautica during the International Astronautical Congress 2013 in Beijing. It’s a concept study about a communication relays satellite in Earth-Moon Libration point (EML-4) as a permanent infrastructure. So something similar Elon Musk will need for his SpaceX and Google “space internet” ;) You can get it for free until March 5, 2015 -> http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1QN6u_29e7yxw- or here Volume 108, March–April 2015, Pages 156–170
- Constellation: Database problems fixed
08.12.2014 20:04 Uhr
The database problems are fixed. We are very sorry for the outage! Deadlines are disabled, that the returned WUs will be accepted by the server.
- Constellation: Database problems
04.12.2014 06:51 Uhr
In the moment, we have some problems with the database and try to fix it. Till its fixed, the project will be down.
- DistributedDataMining: Recent problems
10.12.2014 22:19 Uhr
Hi there, recently, we experienced some unfortunate problems: 1. The server hardware is old and can barely deal with the increasing load. This frequently leads to an unresponsive server. Website visitors are mainly affected since the boinc clients deal with the problem by trying to reconnect later on. The reconnects increase the problem additionally. 2. After getting back from two weeks of vacation, I realized that parts of the dDM database crashed and had to be restored. As far as I can see, we suffered no loss of important data. Maybe, some changes of user profiles were not stored. 3. The amount of dDM data increases steadily and the corresponding backup takes much more time than in the early stages of the project. As a result, the announced maintenance periods are no longer sufficient. I will think about a new backup strategy. 4. Some users reported about validation problems. I guess, this was due to the issues mentioned above. Right now, the validation of WUs is almost finished. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by these problems. Cheers, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Forum under spam attack
22.04.2014 16:01 Uhr
Hi there, the ddm forums are currently under heavy spam attack. I’ve just deleted the relevant posts. To prevent further spam, from now on users can only post new messages if they have at least one credit point. Cheers, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: dDM went offline
21.04.2013 12:46 Uhr
Hi there, this week, we had some serious hardware problems which forced us to switch over to a new server. Caused by hard disc failures some data was lost – but nothing important. Now, dDM is running on new hardware. We are still recovering data by replaying our backups. That’s the reason why, some WUs still finish with download errors. We are confident, that we will be fully operational at Tuesday. We apologize for any inconvenience. Cheers, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Usage of 'ARM' technology for the dDM project
12.03.2013 18:12 Uhr
Hello, Mr. Schlitter, I really enjoy this project and would like to contribute using the CPUs on my mobile device(s). Projects such as PrimeGrid, Enigma, SubsetSum@home, OProject@home, WUProp@home, and others have successfully used ‘ARM’ technology, which I understand is open-source, and I have been crunching for these projects for about a month successfully. Is DDM currently compatible with this technology, or are there plans to allow crunching on such devices? Many of the projects listed above have noted a sharp increase in the number of users as well as amount of research that is completed. Are you able to make this work for your project as well? I would be honoured to test and/or participate in any way. Thanks again, StandardbredHorse
- DistributedDataMining: Team challenges in September
28.08.2012 08:04 Uhr
Hi there, recently, I got message that two teams are going to focus on the dDM Project in September. The first one is team BOINC@Poland the second one is team The Knights Who Say Ni. I am going to create some more WUs in order to satisfy the upcoming requests. Many thanks goes to both teams for their support of our research. Best regards, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: New application version 1.36 for Medical Data Analysis
09.07.2012 19:57 Uhr
Recently, I’ve released version 1.36 of our application for medical data analysis. The new version takes care of finding the location of java on windows clients. As a consequence, it shouldn’t be necessary to set the path variable manually. Best regards, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: New application version 1.04 for our Multi-Agent Simulation of Evolution
21.06.2012 14:27 Uhr
Today, I’ve released version 1.04 of our Multi-Agent Simulation of Evolution. As planned, we finished the tests of this new application. Consequently, the latest version is now available for all dDM members. The new version deals with some problems that were reported by our beta testers:
- The first version was responsible for frequent hard drive activities. This was caused by writing checkpoints and detailed log files during the test period. Now, we have reduced the frequency between checkpoint writing and the level of detail in the log files.
- From time to time, WUs finished with error code -148, which indicates that something went wrong while starting the WU. We investigated this problem and did some code changes. Right now, we are not sure, if this solves the problem. We release the new version anyway in order to get some more log information and test data.
I also reorganized the structure of our forum:
- I added a new section Multi-Agent Simulation of Evolution dedicated to this new research topic and moved some recent postings.
- I removed the CafÃ© section because it was hardly used in the past and didn’t provide any additional benefit.
Best regards, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: New Research Topic
23.03.2012 16:05 Uhr
Hi there, currently, we are in the final stage of releasing a new application which deals basically with the simulation of evolutionary processes. Using the Multi-Agent Simulation of Evolution we investigate the biological phenomenon of aposematism (also referred to as warning coloration). This term describes the evolutionary strategy of certain animal species to indicate their unpalatability/toxicity to potential predators by developing skin colors and patterns that can be easily perceived by them. Prominent examples of toxic animals with distinct warning coloration are poison dart frogs, coral snakes and fire salamanders. For tackling this interesting research challenge, we developed a distributed multi-agent model that simulates the dynamic interactions of predator and prey populations over time. By systematically testing different adaptation and learning strategies for the agents and exploring the parameter space of our simulation model using the computational power of the dDM project, we might be able to deepen the understanding of the aposematism phenomenon and the evolutionary paths leading to it. So far, dDM members won’t get WUs of this new application. Currently, we are finishing our final tests and distribute these WUs to preselected hosts only. Soon, I’ll send out these WUs to beta test members. After finishing our beta test the new application will be available for all members. Cheers, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Website Restructuring
22.03.2012 18:58 Uhr
Hi there, as you may have seen, I’ve restructured the dDM website in order to gain clarity. The main changes are:
- I reworked the start site, which now provides a brief overview about the dDM project, its history and its objectives.
- The research challenges went to a separate page.
- I also created a new site which briefly reports about the dDM achievements.
- The menu structure was revised. All items related to the member account were moved the right.
- I also created four different color schemes, which can be freely chosen by the members (left bottom corner).
Your comments, suggestions and wishes are much appreciated. I am going to add some more minor web site features soon and would be happy to include some of your ideas. Furthermore, I’ll update and add some research related information. That’s it for now. Cheers, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Download problems caused by hardware issues
26.02.2012 19:17 Uhr
Recently, we had some hard-disc issues and as a result the data files of our medical application are temporary not available. We are going to reconstruct the data using the latest backup. Since this will take some hours, just a few workunits will be available in the meantime. We do not expect any problems regarding the user data (e.g. credits) because our ddm database is not affected. Best regards Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Security Update to Drupal 6.24
08.02.2012 15:07 Uhr
Due to some reported security vulnerabilities I’ve updated the content management system of our dDM website to Drupal version 6.24. Please, report any problems related to the dDM website in our forum. Best regards Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Server Maintenance
20.01.2012 11:18 Uhr
Since we are moving the dDM-Server to new hardware the project website and all BOINC functions won’t be available on Sunday (2012/01/22). So far, we don’t expect any problems. There should be no need for any changes in the client configuration. Best regards Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Scientific contribution
09.01.2012 11:56 Uhr
As already announced in an earlier post, some new research results from our Medical Data Analysis application were presented at the 162nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America which was held in San Diego, CA from 31 Oct – 4 Nov 2011. Our poster contribution was titled “Identifying relevant analysis parameters for the classification of vocal fold dynamics” and received lots of positive feedback from conference attendees and initiated interesting and inspiring scientific discussions. In the presented work, we systematically investigated the influence of a set of control parameters on the classification accuracy of the automatic diagnosis system for vocal fold dynamics based on high-speed videos. The particular suitability of certain parameter combinations was revealed in this study, helping to further improve the practical application of our diagnostic framework. The poster was heavily based on the results that we got from the extensive experiments conducted with the massive help of the DistributedDataMining community. An abstract of this work can be found in the accompanying conference proceedings: J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 130, Issue 4, pp. 2550-2550 (2011). Thanks a lot for your support! Best, Daniel
- DistributedDataMining: New WUs and MD5 download errors
11.12.2011 09:44 Uhr
Currently, I am generating new workunits for our medical application. It turned out, I was acting a bit careless, because as a consequence many members are getting MD5 download errors now. The reason is quite simple. During WU generation files are getting copied to the server. Sometimes these files are still existing because we use the some data files for multiple workunits. In these cases we just change the learning parameters or the experiment setup. Anway, overwriting these existing files leads to problems, because the old and the new file have different MD5 checksums and hence all WUs that are related to the old files error out with an MD5 download error. About 30.000 WUs are affected. I’ll take care of it but it might take a while to identify the failing WUs. There is a chance, that the dDM members error out the affected old WUs in the meantime. In that case, the new WUs should work fine. Lesson learned: Never generate new WUs if you are in a hurry – in the end it takes much more time and causes preventable trouble. I am sorry for the inconvenience! Best regards, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Let dDM benefit from your Christmas shopping
07.12.2011 16:16 Uhr
Hi there, As you know, the dDM project does not get financial support by universities, research institutes or private commercial organizations. Thus, we depend on private help to keep the project and our research running. Since the dDM website became part of the Amazon Associates Program, the dDM project can benefit from your Christmas shopping at Amazons online shop. Amazon rewards dDM with up to 6% of any issued gift certificate and up to 10% of each sold store item. If you intend to buy some Christmas gifts at Amazon, please remember dDM and follow the URL provided on this page. The provided URL links to the closest Amazon store of your region and contains our dDM partner ID. In case the wrong store is chosen, please select the right one out of the given country list. The dDM project gets a reward for each item bought after using these links. As always, all Amazon rewards or PayPal Donations are used to pay the server rent, maintenance and internet traffic. The possible remain is used to finance our scientific publications or conference presentations. Perhaps, we can even buy some new hardware in order to replace the aged project server. Thank you in advance for all of your generous support! Best regards and have a nice Christmas season! Nico
- DistributedDataMining: New application version 1.35 for Medical Data Analysis
05.12.2011 13:22 Uhr
Recently, I’ve released version 1.35 of our medical data analysis application. I am happy to announce that this version solves the problem of never ending workunits. The new version is out there for almost a week and so far there aren’t any workunits that had to be killed manually by our ddm members. Best regards, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: New application version 1.34 for Medical Data Analysis
29.11.2011 12:00 Uhr
Today, I’ve released a new version for our medical application. Version 1.34 should be able to detect the java location automatically. Doing so, it shouldn’t be necessary to adapt the PATH variable manually. This was necessary because it seems that the path variable that we used until now was changed by an automatic windows update. As a consequence our wrapper couldn’t find java and all workunits failed. Some users might have received an email notification and the suggestion to install java even if java was already installed on their computers. I am sorry for the confusion and the inconvenience caused by the circumstances. The new version uses the variables JAVA_HOME, JRE_HOME and JDK_HOME, which are usually set during java installation. I did some tests and it worked fine here. Lets see how it works out there. Any feedback and error reports are welcome in the forum related to the medical application. Regards, Nico
- DistributedDataMining: Update on Medical Application
29.08.2011 12:38 Uhr
Hi there, Here’s a quick update on our medical application: the latest results look really good! Lots of interesting relationships between the analyzed input variables were revealed and relevant research questions could be answered. Parts of these results will be presented at a scientific conference in November. Expect more details on that soon! We’ve learned a lot from the results regarding the use of parameter optimization and feature selection – which now allows us to create much more efficient (and hopefully even more reliable) experiments. For example, we’re planning to apply sophisticated search methods from the field of evolutionary computation combined with a more statistically sound validation approach. For that purpose, we developed a new version of our application, which will run the new experiments much faster and will take over quite a lot of the data analysis steps that were done manually before. This new version is being tested extensively at the moment and will be available soon. But we’re also thinking about implementing completely new ideas and exploring different research directions. For example, one potential project will be focusing on agent-based modeling in the field of simulating the emergence of biological and social phenomena. Well, that’s it for now. Thanks again for your support! Best, Daniel
- DistributedDataMining: Pending credit
17.08.2011 10:32 Uhr
As you might have noticed we had some minor problems regarding pending credits in the past. Today, I’ve fixed this issue. The problem was caused by a safety mechanism that is uses to avoid benchmark cheating. The algorithm marks suspicious workunits for further inspection and the affected workunits were pending until I’ve checked them manually. Unfortunately, there was a slight error in the cheating detection heuristic and as a result much more workunits than necessary were marked. Today, I found the problem and corrected the code. At a first glance, there won’t be any more pending workunits.
- DistributedDataMining: New application version 5.01 for Time Series Analysis Application
16.08.2011 14:39 Uhr
Today, I’ve released version 5.01 of the Time Series Analysis Application. The new version uses the same wrapper technology that is already in use for the medical application. It overcomes several problems and decreases the fraction of failing workunits. So far, the new version supports 32&64 bit Linux systems only. Versions for Windows will be published soon. As always, comments and error reports are welcome in the forum.