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# American Geophysical Union talk - December 6th

Here's an early draft of the 15-minute AGU talk I'm giving at 9 am on Thursday December 6th:

So far I've just created some slides that explain what we're doing... but I don't have much time left, so I'd like feedback now!

I plan to continue with a short description of the problems we're facing and something like a plea for help.

I haven't been so nervous about a talk for decades. I really wish it were in the session 'Facebook, Twitter, Blogs: Science Communication Gone Social: The Social Media 101." But instead it's in 'Climate Modeling in a Transparent World and Integrated Test Beds'. I barely know what an integrated test bed is - a bed you can try out in a department store, where both black and white people can lie on it?

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edited December 2012

Hi John,

maybe one of the programmers here is more familiar with integrated test beds, maybe it happens when you fall asleep behind your computer? ;)

I found

(BRAND) Integration Testbed is the set of infrastructural (HW, network, access handling) and operational (support effort, procedures, facilities, communication channels) resources made available for the continuous integration testing process of (BRAND) software products.

Sounds still cryptic -- but we have a server and a forum too! ;-)

I would say the talk looks fine, it would be hard to do better. There is (educational) climate modeling inside, and you mention the transparency here. Maybe the audience is even happy that one talk isn't technical.

I have a few small comments:

and pull in people who are highly skilled but not professionally focused on these issues.

is this a way to rephrase that you/we haven't been able to attract many scientists who are professionally active on these issues?

Emphasizing education rather than research makes it

I guess that's related to the fact that most of us aren't professionals in environmental subjects, but can use their own professional skills (e.g. programming) combined with their own learning of these environmental matters

But as an educational goal towards scientists Azimuth does matter, I think. Just a side anecdote (unfortunately not related to modeling): a student in our group used Azimuth to look up a concept, coming from a page that I wrote :) Well, I suppose it helped that Wikipedia didn't have an entry, so Google pointed here...

Comment Source:Hi John, maybe one of the programmers here is more familiar with integrated test beds, maybe it happens when you fall asleep behind your computer? ;) I found > (BRAND) Integration Testbed is the set of infrastructural (HW, network, access handling) and operational (support effort, procedures, facilities, communication channels) resources made available for the continuous integration testing process of (BRAND) software products. Sounds still cryptic -- but we have a server and a forum too! ;-) I would say the talk looks fine, it would be hard to do better. There is (educational) climate modeling inside, and you mention the transparency here. Maybe the audience is even happy that one talk isn't technical. I have a few small comments: > and pull in people who are highly skilled but not professionally focused on these issues. is this a way to rephrase that you/we haven't been able to attract many scientists who are professionally active on these issues? > Emphasizing education rather than research makes it I guess that's related to the fact that most of us aren't professionals in environmental subjects, but can use their own professional skills (e.g. programming) combined with their own learning of these environmental matters But as an educational goal towards scientists Azimuth does matter, I think. Just a side anecdote (unfortunately not related to modeling): a student in our group used Azimuth to look up a concept, coming from a page that I wrote :) Well, I suppose it helped that Wikipedia didn't have an entry, so Google pointed here...
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Some of my colleagues work on "test beds" and are giving a talk in this session. I don't know if the term has a precise definition, but it loosely means a framework for testing computer models. This could include running a model in some simplified reference configuration that can be used to compare models "apples-to-apples", or developing a common set of skill metrics against which to evaluate model performance, or common data and documentation formats, or generally a common set of standards for evaluating and comparing models. This gets into open source-ish, community development ideas (how do we get together a bunch of model developers to agree on a set of common standards).

Yes, the science communication session would be a better fit, but you have to work with what you have.

Comment Source:Some of my colleagues work on "test beds" and are giving a talk in this session. I don't know if the term has a precise definition, but it loosely means a framework for testing computer models. This could include running a model in some simplified reference configuration that can be used to compare models "apples-to-apples", or developing a common set of skill metrics against which to evaluate model performance, or common data and documentation formats, or generally a common set of standards for evaluating and comparing models. This gets into open source-ish, community development ideas (how do we get together a bunch of model developers to agree on a set of common standards). Yes, the science communication session would be a better fit, but you have to work with what you have.
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edited December 2012

The idea is to do everything in a radically transparent way, and pull in people who are highly skilled but not professionally focused on these issues.

...

Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard, but so far not many climate scientists. We need help.

I find this sounds a bit contradictory, i.e. a climate scientist seems to be per definition a person who is professionally focused on climate issues, no?

Comment Source:>The idea is to do everything in a radically transparent way, and pull in people who are highly skilled but not professionally focused on these issues. ... >Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard, but so far not many climate scientists. We need help. I find this sounds a bit contradictory, i.e. a climate scientist seems to be per definition a person who is professionally focused on climate issues, no?
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edited December 2012

I think it would be good at least to point out that guidance from a professional is encouraged.

As professionals usually don't want to keeping working in their freetime this leads to the question of how such an engagement can be merged into the professional context. So for example you have some students work on issues, that is with this you are intrinsically able to devote some of your teaching obligations to Azimuth. I would explicitly mention this in the talk, because it gives an outlook on how professionals could engage in Azimuth.

In general I think that projects like Azimuth and other similar projects are great opportunities for education. Like for example there are these "inventor and designing plattforms", where people can hand in innovations, futuristic policies suggestions etc. A big problem with these kind of plattforms is that you may have great suggestions but also a lot of "crap", like physically unrealistic suggestions (buzz word "perpetuum mobile") etc. Here actually it would be great to have professionals or at least "skilled enough people" go through the suggestions and teach/explain people, why this and that wouldn't work. This task is done by (non-professional) peers only in a rather limited way. Usually this works if peers are sort of similarily levelled***, so that they can share there knowledge, like here on Azimuth. Knowledge exchange in such plattforms doesn't work well if there are big differences in knowledge (I made the experience personally, but this is also a rather well-known fact in peer to peer education).

The big question is of course who should pay for this "teaching/explaining work". Some of these plattforms have even problems to excerpt at least some of the useful information of its participants - even if they may use automated (!!) analysis in order to reduce costs. To have a "real" dialog with the participants of such futuristic plattforms may get way too cost intensive. (I should may be point out that this is a rather well-known fact and that there are concrete examples - its so to say "talk of the town** among developpers").

Keeping things rather technical, special and on a rather developped level, like on Azimuth repells of course people to some extend, but this is probably necessary. It is a difficult balance, but sofar it worked for Azimuth and I think it would be important to point that out.

I would also point out that the infrastructure is (currently) mainly based on university servers and that e.g. you John (Baez) and Andrew (Stacey), if I understood correctly devoted some of their "professional freedom time" (i.e. the time where you are free to choose about which professional issues you care about) or freetime to this project. Similarily Jim Stuttard with the server (I don't know how much you would talk about the server, or the google code hosting) You could have done research in that time. It'll be also interesting to see in how far your students will engage like in explaining things finally they were paying a lot of money (tuition) not for explaining things but for getting things explained (to phrase it a bit simplified), here the question how much they can learn by participating in the dialog with "skilled volunteers" will play a big role. The researchers at the conference may be interested in these infrastructural questions and how big the costs are for researchers - especially if they have no teaching obligations.

**any associations with Los Angieles would be purely accidental :)

*** there are of course other components like how the knowledges complement each other etc.

Comment Source:I think it would be good at least to point out that guidance from a professional is encouraged. As professionals usually don't want to keeping working in their freetime this leads to the question of how such an engagement can be merged into the professional context. So for example you have some students work on issues, that is with this you are intrinsically able to devote some of your teaching obligations to Azimuth. I would explicitly mention this in the talk, because it gives an outlook on how professionals could engage in Azimuth. In general I think that projects like Azimuth and other similar projects are great opportunities for education. Like for example there are these "inventor and designing plattforms", where people can hand in innovations, futuristic policies suggestions etc. A big problem with these kind of plattforms is that you may have great suggestions but also a lot of "crap", like physically unrealistic suggestions (buzz word "perpetuum mobile") etc. Here actually it would be great to have professionals or at least "skilled enough people" go through the suggestions and teach/explain people, why this and that wouldn't work. This task is done by (non-professional) peers only in a rather limited way. Usually this works if peers are sort of similarily levelled***, so that they can share there knowledge, like here on Azimuth. Knowledge exchange in such plattforms doesn't work well if there are big differences in knowledge (I made the experience personally, but this is also a rather well-known fact in peer to peer education). The big question is of course who should pay for this "teaching/explaining work". Some of these plattforms have even problems to excerpt at least some of the useful information of its participants - even if they may use automated (!!) analysis in order to reduce costs. To have a "real" dialog with the participants of such futuristic plattforms may get way too cost intensive. (I should may be point out that this is a rather well-known fact and that there are concrete examples - its so to say "talk of the town** among developpers"). Keeping things rather technical, special and on a rather developped level, like on Azimuth repells of course people to some extend, but this is probably necessary. It is a difficult balance, but sofar it worked for Azimuth and I think it would be important to point that out. I would also point out that the infrastructure is (currently) mainly based on university servers and that e.g. you John (Baez) and Andrew (Stacey), if I understood correctly devoted some of their "professional freedom time" (i.e. the time where you are free to choose about which professional issues you care about) or freetime to this project. Similarily Jim Stuttard with the server (I don't know how much you would talk about the server, or the google code hosting) You could have done research in that time. It'll be also interesting to see in how far your students will engage like in explaining things finally they were paying a lot of money (tuition) not for explaining things but for getting things explained (to phrase it a bit simplified), here the question how much they can learn by participating in the dialog with "skilled volunteers" will play a big role. The researchers at the conference may be interested in these infrastructural questions and how big the costs are for researchers - especially if they have no teaching obligations. **any associations with Los Angieles would be purely accidental :) *** there are of course other components like how the knowledges complement each other etc.
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edited December 2012

We've found out that modern javascript is very fast in the browser, and can be used for unexpectedly large simulations, as MIT have demonstrated. However this has a limit. Azimuth has a prototype machine for running backend applications which are served to the browser. Modulo size constraints applications can have been written in any language for which there is a linux compiler.

I'd like to know if any of the people you talk to have any ideas for:

• new interactive models which show significant qualitiative aspects of climate physics
• mpi Fortran or other code for interesting experiments which can run on modern multicore PCs, say 3.6 GHz, 32GB.

Azimuth has 100 members hasn't it which sounds better; I'd be happy if 50 were active. You might overcome some modesty and tell them and us what the readership of the Azimuth blog might be.

And maybe a request to post any news items about AGU members' climate research would be good to publish to +Azimuth on the Azimuth Google+ circle.

These are all pipelines open to any AGUer.

Comment Source:We've found out that modern javascript is very fast in the browser, and can be used for unexpectedly large simulations, as MIT have demonstrated. However this has a limit. Azimuth has a prototype machine for running backend applications which are served to the browser. Modulo size constraints applications can have been written in any language for which there is a linux compiler. I'd like to know if any of the people you talk to have any ideas for: * new interactive models which show significant qualitiative aspects of climate physics * mpi Fortran or other code for interesting experiments which can run on modern multicore PCs, say 3.6 GHz, 32GB. Azimuth has 100 members hasn't it which sounds better; I'd be happy if 50 were active. You might overcome some modesty and tell them and us what the readership of the Azimuth blog might be. And maybe a request to post any news items about AGU members' climate research would be good to publish to +Azimuth on the Azimuth Google+ circle. These are all pipelines open to any AGUer.
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edited December 2012

Frederik wrote:

John wrote:

and pull in people who are highly skilled but not professionally focused on these issues.

is this a way to rephrase that you/we haven’t been able to attract many scientists who are professionally active on these issues?

I guess so. More precisely: Azimuth did not begin with a precise plan... we are just trying things and trying to figure out what works. This is how things seem to naturally work: very few professional climate scientists seem interested - exceptions including Nathan Urban and the people who invited me to give the talk - while lots of smart highly skilled people who aren't professionals are joining in.

Professional climate scientists will mostly not be attracted to this project until it becomes prestigious enough to help advance their career: until then, they will mostly be interested in publishing in journals, going to conferences etc. We can try to change this somehow, but we haven't yet.

Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard, but so far not many climate scientists. We need help.

I find this sounds a bit contradictory, i.e. a climate scientist seems to be per definition a person who is professionally focused on climate issues, no?

Right, it's a bit contradictory... this 'contradiction' is one of the problems we face. I'll try to explain it in a sentence: we want professionals to give us advice, not necessarily to do lots of work (unless they want to).

Comment Source:Thanks, folks, for all your comments! Frederik wrote: > John wrote: > > and pull in people who are highly skilled but not professionally focused on these issues. > is this a way to rephrase that you/we haven’t been able to attract many scientists who are professionally active on these issues? I guess so. More precisely: Azimuth did not begin with a precise plan... we are just trying things and trying to figure out what works. This is how things seem to naturally work: very few professional climate scientists seem interested - exceptions including Nathan Urban and the people who invited me to give the talk - while lots of smart highly skilled people who _aren't_ professionals are joining in. Professional climate scientists will mostly not be attracted to this project until it becomes prestigious enough to help advance their career: until then, they will mostly be interested in publishing in journals, going to conferences etc. We can try to change this somehow, but we haven't yet. > > Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard, but so far not many climate scientists. We need help. > I find this sounds a bit contradictory, i.e. a climate scientist seems to be per definition a person who is professionally focused on climate issues, no? Right, it's a bit contradictory... this 'contradiction' is one of the problems we face. I'll try to explain it in a sentence: we want professionals to give us _advice_, not necessarily to do lots of _work_ (unless they want to).
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edited December 2012

...is this a way to rephrase that you/we haven’t been able to attract many scientists who are professionally active on these issues? I guess so. More precisely: Azimuth did not begin with a precise plan… we are just trying things and trying to figure out what works. This is how things seem to naturally work: very few professional climate scientists seem interested -

this part was from Frederick.

More precisely: Azimuth did not begin with a precise plan… we are just trying things and trying to figure out what works. This is how things seem to naturally work: very few professional climate scientists seem interested - exceptions including Nathan Urban and the people who invited me to give the talk - while lots of smart highly skilled people who aren’t professionals are joining in.

Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard, but so far not many climate scientists. We need help. Right, it’s a bit contradictory… this ’contradiction’ is one of the problems we face. I’ll try to explain it in a sentence: we want professionals to give us advice, not necessarily to do lots of work (unless they want to).

A bit simplified, but in principle I think this somewhat summarizes Azimuth: Azimuth is an academic online project, where however the participants are mostly non-academics

People will inquire WHY you John as an academic and of if not the major contributor didn't set up a professional group (like with ph.d. candidates, postdocs etc.) and one major answer will probably be that you are (sofar) not an expert in climate science and neither is most of the rest of us. So in the eyes of climate scientists Azimuth is a strange kind of "self-learning" group.

Moreover - experts can of course give a random advice, but the chance that this accidentally helps is usually not so big. Or in other words you can usually give only useful advices if you look at what people do and this is what teaching should be about to, to a great extend. And this (depending on how much you try to understand) is work ! (I mention this because it seems there are still people who think teaching is mostly about lectures.) Academicians usually know this and thus your quest for advice will be interpreted as a "teaching" job and this is why I wrote the above comment.

Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard

... by the way I find this "are willing to work hard" sounds quite misleading

Comment Source:>>...is this a way to rephrase that you/we haven’t been able to attract many scientists who are professionally active on these issues? >I guess so. More precisely: Azimuth did not begin with a precise plan… we are just trying things and trying to figure out what works. This is how things seem to naturally work: very few professional climate scientists seem interested - this part was from Frederick. >More precisely: Azimuth did not begin with a precise plan… we are just trying things and trying to figure out what works. This is how things seem to naturally work: very few professional climate scientists seem interested - exceptions including Nathan Urban and the people who invited me to give the talk - while lots of smart highly skilled people who aren’t professionals are joining in. >>Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard, but so far not many climate scientists. We need help. >Right, it’s a bit contradictory… this ’contradiction’ is one of the problems we face. I’ll try to explain it in a sentence: we want professionals to give us advice, not necessarily to do lots of work (unless they want to). A bit simplified, but in principle I think this somewhat summarizes Azimuth: Azimuth is an academic online project, where however the participants are mostly non-academics People will inquire WHY you John as an academic and of if not _the_ major contributor didn't set up a professional group (like with ph.d. candidates, postdocs etc.) and one major answer will probably be that you are (sofar) not an expert in climate science and neither is most of the rest of us. So in the eyes of climate scientists Azimuth is a strange kind of "self-learning" group. Moreover - experts can of course give a random advice, but the chance that this accidentally helps is usually not so big. Or in other words you can usually give only _useful advices_ if you look at what people do and this is what teaching should be about to, to a great extend. And this (depending on how much you try to understand) is work ! (I mention this because it seems there are still people who think teaching is mostly about lectures.) Academicians usually know this and thus your quest for advice will be interpreted as a "teaching" job and this is why I wrote the above comment. >Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard ... by the way I find this "are willing to work hard" sounds quite misleading
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Professional climate scientists will mostly not be attracted to this project until it becomes prestigious enough to help advance their career: until then, they will mostly be interested in publishing in journals, going to conferences etc. We can try to change this somehow, but we haven’t yet.

You could try to attract the interest of climate graduate students. They might have more time and are more willing to be involved in a "side project".

The other main alternative is to actually collaborate with a climate scientist on some research project, if there is a match in skills and needs.

Comment Source:> Professional climate scientists will mostly not be attracted to this project until it becomes prestigious enough to help advance their career: until then, they will mostly be interested in publishing in journals, going to conferences etc. We can try to change this somehow, but we haven’t yet. You could try to attract the interest of climate graduate students. They might have more time and are more willing to be involved in a "side project". The other main alternative is to actually collaborate with a climate scientist on some research project, if there is a match in skills and needs.
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Jim,

I’d like to know if any of the people you talk to have any ideas for: new interactive models which show significant qualitiative aspects of climate physics

Some possibilities:

• An 1D upwelling-diffusion energy balance model (generalization of the simple 0-dimensional linearized dynamics we've looked at earlier). This illustrates some transient dynamics of ocean heat uptake and can be tuned to the historical climate to make simple predictions.
• A 1D radiative-convective model of the atmosphere. (I've always wanted to code up some variant of some of Jim Kasting's models to look at runaway and moist greenhouses.)
• More sophisticated glacial-interglacial dynamical models (Saltzmann style) or Snowball Earth energy balance models for paleoclimate.
• Some simple fluid dynamics on a rotating planet, e.g. a beta-plane (tangent plane) approximation, or something illustrating a baroclinic instability in the atmosphere or a ocean double-gyre configuration, eventually working up to a simple aquaplanet. This relates to the "ocean modeling" thread. I don't know if you could make the resolution coarse enough to be interactive, yet fine enough to be realistic.
• A box model of the terrestrial or ocean carbon cycle (with ocean biogeochemistry like Revelle factors), or an ecological model (photosynthesis / respiration of vegetation, or NPZD model of plankton).
• A simple 1D flowline model of a glacier or ice sheet.
Comment Source:Jim, > I’d like to know if any of the people you talk to have any ideas for: new interactive models which show significant qualitiative aspects of climate physics Some possibilities: * An 1D upwelling-diffusion energy balance model (generalization of the simple 0-dimensional linearized dynamics we've looked at earlier). This illustrates some transient dynamics of ocean heat uptake and can be tuned to the historical climate to make simple predictions. * A 1D radiative-convective model of the atmosphere. (I've always wanted to code up some variant of some of Jim Kasting's models to look at runaway and moist greenhouses.) * More sophisticated glacial-interglacial dynamical models (Saltzmann style) or Snowball Earth energy balance models for paleoclimate. * Some simple fluid dynamics on a rotating planet, e.g. a beta-plane (tangent plane) approximation, or something illustrating a baroclinic instability in the atmosphere or a ocean double-gyre configuration, eventually working up to a simple aquaplanet. This relates to the "ocean modeling" thread. I don't know if you could make the resolution coarse enough to be interactive, yet fine enough to be realistic. * A box model of the terrestrial or ocean carbon cycle (with ocean biogeochemistry like Revelle factors), or an ecological model (photosynthesis / respiration of vegetation, or NPZD model of plankton). * A simple 1D flowline model of a glacier or ice sheet.
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Another application of a transient energy balance model like a UD model is to explore policy options. Give it a stabilization target (max allowed temperature) and compute the maximum emissions trajectory that can hit that target, as well as its derivative (to determine the peak mitigation rate), and a "procrastination time" (time until serious mitigation commences). This can be used to explore how procrastinating too long requires unrealistically high rates of emissions reductions in order to avoid some given amount of warming. It would work better if you could couple to a land-ocean carbon cycle model.

The Java Climate Model does some of this already, but we could probably come up with a cleaner interface aimed at this one question.

Comment Source:Another application of a transient energy balance model like a UD model is to explore policy options. Give it a stabilization target (max allowed temperature) and compute the maximum emissions trajectory that can hit that target, as well as its derivative (to determine the peak mitigation rate), and a "procrastination time" (time until serious mitigation commences). This can be used to explore how procrastinating too long requires unrealistically high rates of emissions reductions in order to avoid some given amount of warming. It would work better if you could couple to a land-ocean carbon cycle model. The Java Climate Model does some of this already, but we could probably come up with a cleaner interface aimed at this one question.
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edited December 2012

The other main alternative is to actually collaborate with a climate scientist on some research project, if there is a match in skills and needs.

Exactly and the point I tried to make above is that at least by looking at the talk slides it seems rather unlikely that a climate scientist may find that there is a match in skills and need. Nathan you are actually probably the one who could judge most which collaboration projects could attract climate scientists.

Comment Source:>The other main alternative is to actually collaborate with a climate scientist on some research project, if there is a match in skills and needs. Exactly and the point I tried to make above is that at least by looking at the talk slides it seems rather unlikely that a climate scientist may find that there is a match in skills and need. Nathan you are actually probably the one who could judge most which collaboration projects could attract climate scientists.
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edited December 2012

Comment Source:Nathan, Those seem like wonderful suggestions. I've been feeling guilty about not putting up any interactive box models from your and John's suggestions. I put up links to several graphs from Ch3 of the North book on the [[Slab Ocean]] page but got diverted by real life and setting up that prototype server among other things. The links were to my old server and are now dead. I only just found the graphs, starting with the one-box linear ramp-forcing response. I was looking for the post where I'd suggested that skipping about 50 equations in the North chapter I should work on an upwelling diffusion model as you've had to repeat. You suggested which 2 parameters should be equipped with sliders to make the model interactive but I can't find that post or work out what reliably what they must have been. I'll see if I can compile some of the other North graphs - I think I gave up at trying to write an root solver. Anyway I much appreciate your help and will come back to you on your suggestions when I've had a good think and done some more reading.
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No worries. I've been fooling around with UD models myself, and have a simple 40-layer diffusive ocean coded up, but I don't have it coupled to an energy balance atmosphere. The main two parameters to vary are the atmospheric feedback and the ocean vertical diffusivity.

Comment Source:No worries. I've been fooling around with UD models myself, and have a simple 40-layer diffusive ocean coded up, but I don't have it coupled to an energy balance atmosphere. The main two parameters to vary are the atmospheric feedback and the ocean vertical diffusivity.
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edited December 2012

So that's what the 2 sliders were! Do you have an appropriate link to Jim Kasting's work? What language did you write your 40-layer model in? Could it be made into a library? In that case it perhaps it could have a web interface.

Comment Source:So that's what the 2 sliders were! Do you have an appropriate link to Jim Kasting's work? What language did you write your 40-layer model in? Could it be made into a library? In that case it perhaps it could have a web interface.
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I can find some references to Kasting's models, but they're more advanced than what you'd want to start with. I'm at the AGU conference now, but will look later. I wrote the 40-layer model in R, which isn't ideal (slow). It could be easily ported to anything; it's just the 1D diffusion equation.

Comment Source:I can find some references to Kasting's models, but they're more advanced than what you'd want to start with. I'm at the AGU conference now, but will look later. I wrote the 40-layer model in R, which isn't ideal (slow). It could be easily ported to anything; it's just the 1D diffusion equation.
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Thanks again. I hope you and John have a good time at the AGU.

Comment Source:Thanks again. I hope you and John have a good time at the AGU.
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edited December 2012

A bit simplified, but in principle I think this somewhat summarizes Azimuth: Azimuth is an academic online project, where however the participants are mostly non-academics.

However, unlike many academic projects, it's more about teaching each other than research. At least so far.

People will inquire WHY you John as an academic and of if not the major contributor didn’t set up a professional group (like with ph.d. candidates, postdocs etc.) and one major answer will probably be that you are (sofar) not an expert in climate science and neither is most of the rest of us.

Actually that's not quite the answer. The real answer is that I don't want Azimuth to be an ordinary academic project that's focused on doing research, publishing papers and so on. I want it to help save the planet. I'm not doing a very good job at making this happen, for lots of reasons... but I don't think setting up an academic research team on climate science is the right way - for me, at least. There are lots of people already doing that, and I don't think I could do much better.

I want, instead, to get together a bunch of people and then figure out what's the best thing for us to do.

I think most of the people who have been following this project carefully so far have learned a lot of stuff. Well, I should just speak for myself: I understand ecological problems and their potential solutions a lot better than I did 2 years ago. So, to the extent that this project is educational in nature, it's been reasonably successful - at least for me.

But in terms of figuring out how to help the world in other ways, like finding solutions to problems... I don't feel it's been very successful so far. In fact, maybe it should stick with educational goals: that is, explaining things!

I think we should keep talking about this. One of my defects is that I haven't been encouraging us to talk about strategy enough.

More sophisticated glacial-interglacial dynamical models (Saltzmann style) or Snowball Earth energy balance models for paleoclimate.

My grad student Michael Knap might like to work on these. Right now he's starting to code up Didier Paillard's model, the one I talked about here. My grad student Blake Pollard is so far more interested in analyzing time series data of glacial cycles.

Comment Source:Nad wrote: > A bit simplified, but in principle I think this somewhat summarizes Azimuth: Azimuth is an academic online project, where however the participants are mostly non-academics. However, unlike many academic projects, it's more about _teaching each other_ than _research_. At least so far. Nad wrote: > People will inquire WHY you John as an academic and of if not the major contributor didn’t set up a professional group (like with ph.d. candidates, postdocs etc.) and one major answer will probably be that you are (sofar) not an expert in climate science and neither is most of the rest of us. Actually that's not quite the answer. The real answer is that I don't want Azimuth to be an ordinary academic project that's focused on doing research, publishing papers and so on. I want it to *help save the planet*. I'm not doing a very good job at making this happen, for lots of reasons... but I don't think setting up an academic research team on climate science is the right way - for me, at least. There are lots of people already doing that, and I don't think I could do much better. I want, instead, to get together a bunch of people and then _figure out_ what's the best thing for us to do. I think most of the people who have been following this project carefully so far have learned a lot of stuff. Well, I should just speak for myself: I understand ecological problems and their potential solutions a lot better than I did 2 years ago. So, to the extent that this project is _educational_ in nature, it's been reasonably successful - at least for me. But in terms of figuring out how to help the world in other ways, like finding solutions to problems... I don't feel it's been very successful so far. In fact, maybe it should stick with educational goals: that is, explaining things! I think we should keep talking about this. One of my defects is that I haven't been encouraging us to talk about strategy enough. > More sophisticated glacial-interglacial dynamical models (Saltzmann style) or Snowball Earth energy balance models for paleoclimate. My grad student Michael Knap might like to work on these. Right now he's starting to code up Didier Paillard's model, the one I talked about [here](http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/mathematics-of-the-environment-part-10/). My grad student Blake Pollard is so far more interested in analyzing time series data of glacial cycles.
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edited December 2012

In my view, there is not an absolute distinction between education and research, though there is a relative one. The whole endeavor can conceived as a teaching effort, of which the research component is at the frontier. What is a conference, or a research paper, other than experts teaching each other about their ideas?

I also think that it is important to distinguish between the general concept of research, and its social implementation in the form of academe. Although it is a truism, it deserves to be stated in this context, that in addition to the individual interests, motivations and drives of researchers in the academic system, there are strong institutional forces that shape the organization of academic research: the needs of grant raising and career promotion. The discipline of publish-or-perish leads to a tunnel-visioning pressure, and the aggregate effect of this is to add entropy into the research effort as a whole.

The driving force of the research effort as a whole deserves to be how to save the planet, and it will take a planet-wide research effort to come to terms with all of our problems.

I believe that the Azimuth project shows the germ of what a higher-level, integrated education-and-research effort can be. Yes, we are now concentrating on teaching each other things. But as we get to learn more, and as more people start contributing to the conversations, it may naturally evolve that we will start to think of new ideas. This is a parallel path to intellectual advancement beside the standard institutional ones. Emboldened by a higher-powered espirit de corps, we can hope that at least some of our members, over time, and by a natural process, will advance to the point of making new contributions to the state of knowledge. The closer we get to reaching advanced knowledge ourselves, the more will be the possibilities for collaborations with established experts. Then that could raise public interest, and draw new members into the effort.

So let's keep doing our "homework," enjoying the learning process, and having a good time together, while bearing in mind that the work that we are doing now may be part of the embryonic form of a research effort that directly targets the urgent problems of life on earth; a research effort that takes place in a social format that both includes and transcends the academic form.

Comment Source:In my view, there is not an absolute distinction between education and research, though there is a relative one. The whole endeavor can conceived as a teaching effort, of which the research component is at the frontier. What is a conference, or a research paper, other than experts teaching each other about their ideas? I also think that it is important to distinguish between the general concept of research, and its social implementation in the form of academe. Although it is a truism, it deserves to be stated in this context, that in addition to the individual interests, motivations and drives of researchers in the academic system, there are strong institutional forces that shape the organization of academic research: the needs of grant raising and career promotion. The discipline of publish-or-perish leads to a tunnel-visioning pressure, and the aggregate effect of this is to add entropy into the research effort as a whole. The driving force of the research effort as a whole _deserves_ to be how to save the planet, and it will take a planet-wide research effort to come to terms with all of our problems. I believe that the Azimuth project shows the germ of what a higher-level, integrated education-and-research effort can be. Yes, we are now concentrating on teaching each other things. But as we get to learn more, and as more people start contributing to the conversations, it may naturally evolve that we will start to think of new ideas. This is a parallel path to intellectual advancement beside the standard institutional ones. Emboldened by a higher-powered _espirit de corps_, we can hope that at least some of our members, over time, and by a natural process, will advance to the point of making new contributions to the state of knowledge. The closer we get to reaching advanced knowledge ourselves, the more will be the possibilities for collaborations with established experts. Then that could raise public interest, and draw new members into the effort. So let's keep doing our "homework," enjoying the learning process, and having a good time together, while bearing in mind that the work that we are doing now may be part of the embryonic form of a research effort that directly targets the urgent problems of life on earth; a research effort that takes place in a social format that both includes and transcends the academic form.
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edited December 2012

Actually that’s not quite the answer. The real answer is that I don’t want Azimuth to be an ordinary academic project that’s focused on doing research, publishing papers and so on.

yes of course its not the answer, but this is what peoples impression may be. And if you do not want that people get this impression one probably has to explain or emphasize this more.

And as already said I think that projects like Azimuth and other similar projects are great opportunities for education. And I do think that Azimuth is a bit more than a usual peer-to-peer learning project, since once in a while there are actually experts joining in. So again: I would emphasize the benefits of experts joining in, i.e. like that one can partially delegate students and that there may eventually be complementary skills available, because a lot of experts will think it's a lot of teaching work, only .

Emboldened by a higher-powered espirit de corps, we can hope that at least some of our members, over time, and by a natural process, will advance to the point of making new contributions to the state of knowledge. The closer we get to reaching advanced knowledge ourselves, the more will be the possibilities for collaborations with established experts. Then that could raise public interest, and draw new members into the effort.

.

...a research effort that takes place in a social format that both includes and transcends the academic form.

.

Azimuth has 100 members hasn’t it which sounds better; I’d be happy if 50 were active. You might overcome some modesty and tell them and us what the readership of the Azimuth blog might be.

I am a bit sceptical about the "advance to the point of making new contributions to the state of knowledge." This may happen in one or the other case, but in some sense here at the "Azimuth site" we have part-time volunteers, with limited access to resources and there are interconnected, full time scientists on the "experts side" which may shed some light on the possibilities of "catching up". Apart from this -given the unlikely case that if one would actually advance to such a point (like in some cases)- I could imagine that this could be even seen as a threat to experts, since it could question their existence - or in other words why should the public pay for experts if there would be volunteers who could do the same job for free.

Moreover I think that the current format worked sofar for the small group of active Azimuth members because it was small, so like everybody was able to more or less follow all threads in the forum etc. If this should scale up then alone the forum will get messy, you would need instruments to guide newcomers through the sofar made learning process (more advanced Azimuthers will then be "experts"), moderators for discussions etc.

So I think that this "...social format that both includes and transcends the academic form." is a great thing, but that the more you are trickling down the "knowledge pyramid" you will need to think about how to make the "teaching work" (more) attractive.

Comment Source:>Actually that’s not quite the answer. The real answer is that I don’t want Azimuth to be an ordinary academic project that’s focused on doing research, publishing papers and so on. yes of course its not the answer, but this is what peoples impression may be. And if you do not want that people get this impression one probably has to explain or emphasize this more. And as already said I think that projects like Azimuth and other similar projects are great opportunities for education. And I do think that Azimuth is a bit more than a usual peer-to-peer learning project, since once in a while there are actually experts joining in. So again: I would emphasize the benefits of experts joining in, i.e. like that one can partially delegate students and that there may eventually be complementary skills available, because a lot of experts will think it's a lot of teaching work, _only_ . > Emboldened by a higher-powered espirit de corps, we can hope that at least some of our members, over time, and by a natural process, will advance to the point of making new contributions to the state of knowledge. The closer we get to reaching advanced knowledge ourselves, the more will be the possibilities for collaborations with established experts. Then that could raise public interest, and draw new members into the effort. . >...a research effort that takes place in a social format that both includes and transcends the academic form. . >Azimuth has 100 members hasn’t it which sounds better; I’d be happy if 50 were active. You might overcome some modesty and tell them and us what the readership of the Azimuth blog might be. I am a bit sceptical about the "advance to the point of making new contributions to the state of knowledge." This may happen in one or the other case, but in some sense here at the "Azimuth site" we have part-time volunteers, with limited access to resources and there are interconnected, full time scientists on the "experts side" which may shed some light on the possibilities of "catching up". Apart from this -given the unlikely case that if one would actually advance to such a point (like in some cases)- I could imagine that this could be even seen as a threat to experts, since it could question their existence - or in other words why should the public pay for experts if there would be volunteers who could do the same job for free. Moreover I think that the current format worked sofar for the small group of active Azimuth members _because_ it was small, so like everybody was able to more or less follow all threads in the forum etc. If this should scale up then alone the forum will get messy, you would need instruments to guide newcomers through the sofar made learning process (more advanced Azimuthers will then be "experts"), moderators for discussions etc. So I think that this "...social format that both includes and transcends the academic form." is a great thing, but that the more you are trickling down the "knowledge pyramid" you will need to think about how to make the "teaching work" (more) attractive.
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My grad student Blake Pollard is so far more interested in analyzing time series data of glacial cycles.

I happened to walk past a poster just now, "A Characterization of Pleistocene Climate as Revealed by Empirical Mode Decomposition" (NG41C-1563), by a Cal Poly mathematician (Charles Camp). Might want to check it out if you have time. His publications involve a lot of climate time series analysis. I think I've seen his work before in the context of trying to identify the climatic signature of the solar cycle.

Comment Source:> My grad student Blake Pollard is so far more interested in analyzing time series data of glacial cycles. I happened to walk past a poster just now, "A Characterization of Pleistocene Climate as Revealed by Empirical Mode Decomposition" (NG41C-1563), by a Cal Poly mathematician (Charles Camp). Might want to check it out if you have time. His [publications](http://www.calpoly.edu/~camp/Publications/) involve a lot of climate time series analysis. I think I've seen his work before in the context of trying to identify the climatic signature of the solar cycle.
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Thanks, Nathan! I'll point Blake to your comment here. I don't think he reads the Azimuth Forum every day before breakfast yet, unfortunately.

Comment Source:Thanks, Nathan! I'll point Blake to your comment here. I don't think he reads the Azimuth Forum every day before breakfast yet, unfortunately.
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Thanks, Nathan! I'll point Blake to your comment here. I don't think he reads the Azimuth Forum every day before breakfast... yet.

Comment Source:Thanks, Nathan! I'll point Blake to your comment here. I don't think he reads the Azimuth Forum every day before breakfast... yet.
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David Tanzer wrote:

In my view, there is not an absolute distinction between education and research, though there is a relative one. The whole endeavor can conceived as a teaching effort, of which the research component is at the frontier. What is a conference, or a research paper, other than experts teaching each other about their ideas? I also think that it is important to distinguish between the general concept of research, and its social implementation in the form of academe.

Right - good point. When I said the Azimuth Project is so far more about teaching than research, I was speaking in terms of the classfiication that academics normally use. Namely: working on Azimuth will not (yet) give them new publications in research journals to add to their resume.

Obviously, I don't accept this classification as the last word in how science should be done. In fact ever since the internet was invented I've been trying to change how things are done. The Azimuth Project should change how things are done.

However, it's important to understand what motivates academics, at least those who are conformists rather than revolutionaries. I think understanding this makes it easy to see why most climate scientists have not been eager to jump in and help out the Azimuth Project.

However, I've been encouraged by my visit to the AGU conference, and the response to my talk. More about that in a minute!

Comment Source:David Tanzer wrote: > In my view, there is not an absolute distinction between education and research, though there is a relative one. The whole endeavor can conceived as a teaching effort, of which the research component is at the frontier. What is a conference, or a research paper, other than experts teaching each other about their ideas? I also think that it is important to distinguish between the general concept of research, and its social implementation in the form of academe. Right - good point. When I said the Azimuth Project is so far more about teaching than research, I was speaking in terms of the classfiication that academics normally use. Namely: working on Azimuth will not (yet) give them new publications in research journals to add to their resume. Obviously, I don't accept this classification as the last word in how science _should_ be done. In fact ever since the internet was invented I've been trying to _change_ how things are done. The Azimuth Project should change how things are done. However, it's important to understand what motivates academics, at least those who are conformists rather than revolutionaries. I think understanding this makes it easy to see why _most_ climate scientists have not been eager to jump in and help out the Azimuth Project. However, I've been encouraged by my visit to the AGU conference, and the response to my talk. More about that in a minute!
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edited December 2012

My talk went well, I think. I wasn't nervous, I managed to spontaneously add spoken words to my slides that rounded out their content, people said they liked it, and I got some interesting comments afterward.

1) In response to this bit on my slides:

Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard, but so far not many climate scientists. We need help.

someone kindly said that actually there are no "climate scientists": instead, there are specialists on many individual topics - and so, all these specialists might profit from something like Azimuth if it would help them learn about topics outside their speciality. This seems like a great way to 'sell' Azimuth to academics who are already interested in climate science.

We aren't teaching experts in the glacial cycles more about the glacial cycles, and we aren't teaching experts on stochastic differential equations more about those... but we probably can already teach experts in glacial cycles more about stochastic differential equations, and experts in stochastic differential equations more about their applications to glacial cycles!

2) Someone pointed out that for research scientists, the term 'education' makes them think of a lower, less interesting activity - teaching elementary school students, or secondary school students, or undergraduates. I know this is true because UCR has an 'education department' and people in other departments tend to look down on it.

So, while I titled this talk 'Azimuth: an open-access educational resource', I will avoid this terminology in future talks to research scientists.

This point is closely related to point 1) and also David Tanzer's comment. The word 'education' makes research scientists think about the boring activity of teaching 'kids'. It doesn't make them think about how they are always educating themselves! But Azimuth is not mainly about teaching 'kids'; it's about us teaching ourselves, whoever we are. So, a different wording will work better.

More later...

Comment Source:My talk went well, I think. I wasn't nervous, I managed to spontaneously add spoken words to my slides that rounded out their content, people said they liked it, and I got some interesting comments afterward. 1) In response to this bit on my slides: > Smart mathematicians, physicists and programmers are willing to get involved and work hard, but so far not many climate scientists. We need help. someone kindly said that actually there are no "climate scientists": instead, there are specialists on many individual topics - and so, all these specialists might profit from something like Azimuth if it would help them learn about topics outside their speciality. This seems like a great way to 'sell' Azimuth to academics who are already interested in climate science. We aren't teaching experts in the glacial cycles more about the glacial cycles, and we aren't teaching experts on stochastic differential equations more about those... but we probably _can_ already teach experts in glacial cycles more about stochastic differential equations, and experts in stochastic differential equations more about their applications to glacial cycles! 2) Someone pointed out that for research scientists, the term 'education' makes them think of a lower, less interesting activity - teaching elementary school students, or secondary school students, or undergraduates. I know this is true because UCR has an 'education department' and people in other departments tend to look down on it. So, while I titled this talk 'Azimuth: an open-access educational resource', I will avoid this terminology in future talks to research scientists. This point is closely related to point 1) and also [David Tanzer's comment](http://forum.azimuthproject.org/discussion/1116/american-geophysical-union-talk-december-6th/?Focus=8096#Comment_8096). The word 'education' makes research scientists think about the boring activity of teaching 'kids'. It doesn't make them think about how _they_ are always educating _themselves!_ But Azimuth is not mainly about teaching 'kids'; it's about us teaching ourselves, whoever we are. So, a different wording will work better. More later...
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3) People liked the emphasis on transparency. Someone pointed out that all the AGU talk slides and the referee's comments on papers are available online - I'll try to do a blog post about some of the talks, with links.

4) Someone else pointed out that we should get in touch with the Open Knowledge Foundation. I don't yet understand what cooperating with them would mean in practice, but it seems like a good thing.

5) Urs Beyerle from the ETH Zurich Institut fur Klima und Atmosphäre said he wanted to take an old GCM and make it run online. I forget the name of the model; maybe Nathan remembers. He said it was written in FORTRAN and the code was unpleasant but runs fine. He was thinking of running it ahead of time with a lot of different settings of parameters, storing the output, and letting the user choose parameter settings and see the output. The code is apparently too unpleasant to read and rewrite. He said he would look at what we've done. I told him to email me when he did something. (It might take a while, perhaps an infinite amount of time.)

Comment Source:3) People liked the emphasis on transparency. Someone pointed out that all the AGU talk slides and the referee's comments on papers are available online - I'll try to do a blog post about some of the talks, with links. 4) Someone else pointed out that we should get in touch with the [Open Knowledge Foundation](http://okfn.org/). I don't yet understand what cooperating with them would mean _in practice_, but it seems like a good thing. 5) [Urs Beyerle](http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/beyerleu) from the ETH Zurich Institut fur Klima und Atmosphäre said he wanted to take an old GCM and make it run online. I forget the name of the model; maybe Nathan remembers. He said it was written in FORTRAN and the code was unpleasant but runs fine. He was thinking of running it ahead of time with a lot of different settings of parameters, storing the output, and letting the user choose parameter settings and see the output. The code is apparently too unpleasant to read and rewrite. He said he would look at what we've done. I told him to email me when he did something. (It might take a while, perhaps an infinite amount of time.)
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edited December 2012

6) Last night, the author of the important climate blog Rabett Run said the "reason I was important" was that I'm a respected figure outside climate science who is taking climate science seriously. This flattered me but it should flatter all of us, since Azimuth is all of us. He invited me to write a table of contents of my 'Mathematics of the Environment' course and send it to [Michael Tobis], leader of Planet 3.0 - an organization of blogs on climate and sustainability issues, to which the Azimuth Blog belongs. Then he would add this table of contents to his Online Textbooks collection (visible on his blog, and worth publicizing).

7) Steve Easterbrook will be teaching a graduate-level computer science course on climate modelling starting in January. He says he would like the students to do projects and put them on Azimuth - the blog, I hope, and also the wiki. I told him I was very very very interested in this idea and would work to help him. He's still just planning out this course, so he's not quite sure what these projects could be. But they might be software for simple climate models, or they might be essays - blog articles, I hope - explaining ideas on climate modelling.

This is very exciting to me, since I want to increase the rate at which Azimuth produces useful explanations, and I want to get more academics involved, and Steve Easterbrook has very wise views on the interaction between computation and climate issues - read his blog if you haven't yet.

Now I have to run to see a talk...

Comment Source:6) Last night, the author of the important climate blog [Rabett Run](http://rabett.blogspot.com/) said the "reason I was important" was that I'm a respected figure _outside climate science_ who is taking climate science seriously. This flattered me but it should flatter all of us, since Azimuth is all of us. He invited me to write a table of contents of my 'Mathematics of the Environment' course and send it to [Michael Tobis], leader of [Planet 3.0](http://planet3.org/) - an organization of blogs on climate and sustainability issues, to which the Azimuth Blog belongs. Then he would add this table of contents to his Online Textbooks collection (visible on his blog, and worth publicizing). 7) [Steve Easterbrook](http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~sme/) will be teaching a graduate-level computer science course on climate modelling starting in January. He says he would like the students to do projects and put them on Azimuth - the blog, I hope, and also the wiki. I told him I was _**very very very**_ interested in this idea and would work to help him. He's still just planning out this course, so he's not quite sure what these projects could be. But they might be software for simple climate models, or they might be essays - blog articles, I hope - explaining ideas on climate modelling. This is very exciting to me, since I want to increase the rate at which Azimuth produces useful explanations, and I want to get more academics involved, and Steve Easterbrook has very wise views on the interaction between computation and climate issues - [read his blog](http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/?p=2961) if you haven't yet. Now I have to run to see a talk...
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3) Someone pointed out that all the AGU talk slides and the referee’s comments on papers are available online

Referee's comments on what papers? Was that the EGU open discussion journals?

5) Urs Beyerle from the ETH Zurich Institut fur Klima und Atmosphäre said he wanted to take an old GCM and make it run online. I forget the name of the model; maybe Nathan remembers.

It's the Bern 2D model, which is an EMIC, not a full GCM. It has since been superseded by the Bern 2.5D model.

Comment Source:> 3) Someone pointed out that all the AGU talk slides and the referee’s comments on papers are available online Referee's comments on what papers? Was that the EGU open discussion journals? > 5) Urs Beyerle from the ETH Zurich Institut fur Klima und Atmosphäre said he wanted to take an old GCM and make it run online. I forget the name of the model; maybe Nathan remembers. It's the Bern 2D model, which is an EMIC, not a full GCM. It has since been superseded by the Bern 2.5D model.
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Nathan wrote:

Was that the EGU open discussion journals?

Quite possibly - now I seem to remember hearing something like "EGU" and thinking "hmm, must be AGU".

Comment Source:Nathan wrote: > Was that the EGU open discussion journals? Quite possibly - now I seem to remember hearing something like "EGU" and thinking "hmm, must be AGU".
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edited December 2012

So again: I would emphasize the benefits of experts joining in, i.e. like that one can partially delegate students and that there may eventually be complementary skills available, because a lot of experts will think it’s a lot of teaching work, only .

John wrote:

So, while I titled this talk ’Azimuth: an open-access educational resource’, I will avoid this terminology in future talks to research scientists.

This point is closely related to point 1) and also David Tanzer’s comment. The word ’education’ makes research scientists think about the boring activity of teaching ’kids’. It doesn’t make them think about how they are always educating themselves! But Azimuth is not mainly about teaching ’kids’; it’s about us teaching ourselves, whoever we are. So, a different wording will work better.

It was sort of forseeable that people get this impression (see my remark), nevertheless I think its important to keep the educational direction also in the wording, because education is what Azimuth is also about. Apart from this - teaching kids is not boring per se, what may be boring in this context are usally certain ways of how teaching is done.

Comment Source:nad wrote: >So again: I would emphasize the benefits of experts joining in, i.e. like that one can partially delegate students and that there may eventually be complementary skills available, because a lot of experts will think it’s a lot of teaching work, only . John wrote: >So, while I titled this talk ’Azimuth: an open-access educational resource’, I will avoid this terminology in future talks to research scientists. >This point is closely related to point 1) and also David Tanzer’s comment. The word ’education’ makes research scientists think about the boring activity of teaching ’kids’. It doesn’t make them think about how they are always educating themselves! But Azimuth is not mainly about teaching ’kids’; it’s about us teaching ourselves, whoever we are. So, a different wording will work better. It was sort of forseeable that people get this impression (see my remark), nevertheless I think its important to keep the educational direction also in the wording, because education is what Azimuth is also about. Apart from this - teaching kids is not boring per se, what may be boring in this context are usally certain ways of how teaching is done.
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edited December 2012

what may be boring in this context are usally certain ways of how teaching is done

With respect to teaching I think 'boring' should not be the criterion, what should matter in my point of view is what you want children to learn or master and how this can be done most efficiently. Actually I think that for some subjects the 'boring' way may be more effective for the average child. But this is off-topic, so I won't extend my comment.

Comment Source:> what may be boring in this context are usally certain ways of how teaching is done With respect to teaching I think 'boring' should not be the criterion, what should matter in my point of view is what you want children to learn or master and how this can be done most efficiently. Actually I think that for some subjects the 'boring' way may be more effective for the average child. But this is off-topic, so I won't extend my comment.