- 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.
- climateprediction.net: Potential influences on the United Kingdom’s floods of winter 2013/14
16.09.2014 15:17 Uhr
A new paper has been published in Nature Climate Change by climateprediction.net scientists including Chris Huntingford, Friederike Otto, Neil Massey, Nathalie Schaller and Myles R. Allen.
The paper, entitled, “Potential influences on the United Kingdom’s floods of winter 2013/14″ looks at the possible drivers behind the floods last winter, which affected large parts of the UK.
Dr Chris Huntingford, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the lead author of the paper, explains:
In this paper, along with my co-authors, we have tried to provide a summary document that collates and discusses all possible drivers behind the major flood events that affected the UK last winter. It has three themes.
First, a very brief overview of the large-scale meteorological events leading up to the storms is presented. None of the individual rainfall events was unprecedented, but the weather patterns behind them persisted for three months causing a near-continuous succession of Westerly storms. This had the cumulative effect that for much of the Southern UK, the total winter rainfall was record-breaking. Preliminary analysis suggests that particularly warm ocean conditions and heavy rainfall in and around Indonesia triggered wind patterns across the Pacific that travelled northwards before ultimately drawing cold air down across the USA. This in turn forced a particularly strong and persistent Jet Stream across the Atlantic and towards the UK. The Met Office is now studying this sequence of events in significantly more detail. In our paper, we show how the winter storms affected river flows, and place the events within a historical context.
Flooding in Oxfordshire, February 2014. Photo: Julia Lawrence
Second, questions mount as to whether fossil fuel burning could have a role. We have reviewed existing research literature for Earth system factors that may be both changing through global warming, and additionally are identified as influences on storm features for the UK. As expected, this confirms how complex and inter-connected the climate system is. Multiple possible UK rainfall drivers are identified that link to the state of the oceans, the atmosphere and sea-ice extent. Interestingly the recent rapid decrease in Arctic sea-ice that is widely attributed to global warming, for the UK at least is often portrayed as likely to bring more Easterly winds and colder conditions. The previous three winters had these features for some of the time, in marked contrast to winter 2013/14. Although the precise details of linkages between changing large-scale features of the climate system and UK rainfall intensity are still not fully understood, we hope our review article is a complete list of such connections. To apply that frequently used expression, we trust there are no “unknown unknowns” lurking out there we have yet to consider.
Third, we provide some thoughts on how best to proceed. Assuming that we do have a pretty good idea of all drivers expected to affect rainfall, and that require on-going computer modelling, three challenges are noted. These are: (1) the need for continued enhancement of physical process representation via ever better parameterized differential equations of the oceans, atmosphere and ice sheets, (2) increase further the numerical grid resolution of climate models, on which these equations are calculated and (3) undertake significantly higher numbers of simulations, all with slightly different initial conditions, creating a large ensemble of projections. The call for better resolution is because some characteristics of storms occur on fine spatial detail, thus needing small spacings between gridpoints on which calculations are updated. The request for large ensembles is because extremes, by definition, are rare events, and so we need to ensure that all heavy rainfall “return times” are fully sampled. This is both for pre-industrial and for raised levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases.
During the major flood events affecting much of Southern England from December 2013 to February 2014, it was inevitable that questions would be asked as to whether fossil burning could have a role. It is always (and correctly) stated that no single observed extreme event can be formally attributed to human-induced changes to atmospheric composition. But a statistic can be derived that assesses any changing probability of a particular extreme event occurring, a quantity sometimes referred to as “Fractional Attributable Risk”. By satisfying the three challenges we listed above, we will get near to stating if humans are increasing, decreasing or leaving invariant the chances of rainfall events of the type witnessed. However, even now limitations remain on computer speed and resource, and expenditure on climate research can only ever be finite. Hence an especially lively debate will now occur as to what constitutes the optimal balance between pursuing these three challenges, in order to get us most quickly towards the required answers.
Anyone studying meteorological systems, or the full Earth system, soon realizes of course how tightly coupled all features are of the climate system. In this review, by trying to collate in to a single paper the main factors affecting UK rainfall, this did though provide a timely reminder of such comprehensive interconnections. Understanding these further suggests a very interesting time lies ahead for climate change research.
This article was originally posted on the CEH website – read the original here.
- 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.
- Collatz Conjecture: Murphy's Law
21.11.2014 20:13 Uhr
Naturally, on the opening morning of hunting season, the server decided to hang while doing the backups. That left the project in a “down” status. Everything should be back up and running now.
- Collatz Conjecture: Electrical Line Work
07.11.2014 21:18 Uhr
ComEd was out to replace the meter today. What is normally a 5 minute job ended up taking 3 guys almost 4 hours to complete and the UPS doesn’t have that long of a runtime so the project was unavailable a some time. Everything should be back up and running normally now.
- 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.
- Constellation: SpaceUp Stuttgart returns (Saturday, 29.Nov.2014, in Space Center Baden-Württemberg @Uni_Stuttgart)
16.11.2014 14:42 Uhr
The event “SpaceUp Stuttgart” returns! After its two year break this year’s “SpaceUp Stuttgart” will (again) take place in the Space Center Baden-Württemberg at the University of Stuttgart. After the brilliant, very successful (german) premiere 2012 we want to bring it back to Stuttgart – on Saturday, November 29, 2014 – and we need your support to make that happen. Be there when we discuss current space issues! SpaceUp is your unconference, you are not only spectators but active participants! And you can influence the whole unconference by your creative contribution. SpaceUp Stuttgart – your space unconference When: Saturday, 11/29/2014 11:00 am to 18:00 pm Where: Institute of Space Systems (IRS) in the Space Center Baden-Württemberg (RZBW) Pfaffenwaldring 29, 70569 Stuttgart Free admission! In addition to rocket scientists and astronauts, all space-enthusiasts are warmly welcome! Talk about your diploma, master or bachelor thesis, on the activities of your student research group or any other personal space theme of your choice. Register now to secure your slot. There is only a limited number for participants. More info at: http://www.SpaceUp.org/Stuttgart Your organization team of SpaceUp Stuttgart Marcel Frommelt, Julian Herzog, Ferdinand Hertel and Sven Buchfelner Like us on Facebook.com – https://www.facebook.com/SpaceUpStuttgart
- 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.
- DistributedDataMining: Website translations powered by Google
11.08.2011 18:22 Uhr
Hi there, recently, some users suggested to provide this website in different languages. Unfortunately, a translation in other languages would be a huge effort and can’t be done by myself. Therefore, I was looking for a simple solution and I’ve found Google Translate. Today, I’ve added this nice feature in our dDM website in order to translate the content in different languages. From now on, you find a Translate section in the right top corner. I hope this motivates new users to join the dDM community and helps to understand what we are trying to achieve. Any comments are welcome in the website issues forum. Best regards Nico