New research from last week 23/2012

Skeptical Science
Posted on: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 6:04 PM

One important thing in science is method development. Science works at the edge between known and unknown, and in order to reveal little bit more of unknown, it is quite often needed to improve our research methods and even come up with some new ones. That is because the studied issues, or at least some aspects of them, have not been known for long, and research methods developed originally to study something else might not be suitable for studying the new issue.

We have some studies this week, that are at least partially method development papers. There is a paper about a meeting of statisticians, mathematicians, and climate scientists, where they discussed how uncertainties should be quantified in climate observations. One paper makes an effort to determine surface air temperatures using satellite measurements. Ice core syncronisation is the subject of one paper. Speaking of ice cores, there’s another paper on ice cores which is borderline method development. Ice cores are used to study past climates but they have limited reach back in time. Currently longest ice core reaches back 800,000 years. Now researchers have studied ice flows in Allan Hills icefield and found out that there old ice has moved upwards, so old ice is there at the surface presenting possibility to extend ice core records beyond 800,000 years.

Other studies this week are touching the unknowns of carbon cycle, temperatures in European Alps, atmospheric carbon dioxide effects, Greenland glaciers, Southern Ocean wind, climate change scepticism, tropical and African rainfall, and atmospheric methane.

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