Saturday, December 05, 2009

Climategate and Mediocre mathematics,A schoolboy howler

The Climategate saga continues to provide interesting revelations.Whilst the emails are deeply disturbing,a damning revelation that the code reveals problems of the simplest form are revealing of the standard of skill by these "modelers"

One of the simplest observations e have is the earth is a sphere,from the circumference we can deduce the surface area of the planet around 510,072,000 km2.

It seems an incorrect circumference measurement is used in the ?code of the UEA.

As was reported on BBC 2's Newsnight on Wednesday, UK programmer John Graham-Cumming has begun some analysis of the software code contained in the files released two weeks ago. So far, he has documented 4 bugs that he has found on his weblog here. It is impossible to ascertain at this time the effect those bugs would have on calculations performed with temperature records, but Graham-Cummings speculates:

"So some information is lost for data being plotted near the 180 degrees line. Admittedly, that's in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (although it does cut through some land mass). But if there are any ocean temperature measurements at the 'edge of the world' then bits of their data isn't being taken into account.

I wonder what, if any, impact these three bugs have on the output of this program.

PS. There's actually a fourth problem with this code. The number 110.0. It's being used to convert from kilometres to degrees of longitude and latitude. The same number is used for both even though the Earth isn't a perfect sphere.

The code is using a value of 39,600 km for the circumference of the Earth, whereas the mean value is actually 40,041 km. But, hey, what's an error of 1% between friends?"

I find it interesting that the software used to measure global warming has a 1% error in the Earth's circumference. I find it odd that they didn't adjust the numbers appropriately when converting kilometres to longitude and latitude.

Its worse then we thought.


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