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CATS update

CATS e-News                                    Issue 11,  25th October 2011




Welcome to issue 11 of CATS e-news.

Coming up very soon - we will be running the 'Confidence from Uncertainty' exhibition again as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science on Friday 4th November at LSE. Please see the attached flyer.
Interactive exhibit: 11.00-18.00, Lower Ground Floor, LSE New Academic Building, Public lecture by Dr David Stainforth: 18.30-19.30, Wolfson Theatre, LSE New Academic Building followed by a reception. There is no need to book, but it would be helpful if you could e-mail to let us know if you intend to come.

Congratulations to both Roman Binter and Joe Daron who have submitted their theses and now await their vivas.

Conferences, workshops, presentations, etc... September & October

Visiting Professor Arthur Petersen is on the organising committee of a workshop taking place this week at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, entitled 'Error in the Sciences: Diagnosis, Prognosis and Rectifying Measures. Leonard Smith is also presenting a talk entitled 'On the Role of the Relevant Dominant Uncertainty in Science and in Science-based Policy' at the workshop.

Henry Wynn is on the scientific advisory committee for the Design and Analysis of Experiments programme being held at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge which runs until the end of December 2011. 

Ed Hawkins (climate scientist in NCAS-Climate at the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading) gave a seminar entitled 'Uncertainty in Uncertainty', related to projections of future climate change, on 19th October 2011 at LSE.

Leonard Smith gave a talk at the NOAA Severe Storms Laboratory, Oklahoma, on 17th October 2011.

Roman Frigg gave a talk entitled 'Climate forecasting with chaos or chaos in climate forecasting?' at the EPSA 2011 Conference, Athens, 5-8 October 2011.

Joe Daron gave a talk at the 2nd One Day Research Student Conference Human Behaviour and Climate Change at Cardiff University, 22nd September 2011.

Leonard Smith attended the European Conference on Applications of Meteorology  EMS Annual Meeting, Berlin, 12-16 September 2011 and the SAMSI Geosciences Applications workshop, 21-23 September 2011.

Alex Jarman attended the SAMSI Workshop on Uncertainty Quantification, North Carolina, USA, 7th - 11th September 2011.

Professor Keith Beven visited CATS for a workshop on 6th September 2011.

Other news

CATS (with Leonard Smith as PI and Henry Wynn as CoI) are partners on an FP7 Environment call proposal submitted this month. The proposal, entitled 'Resource use Impact and Sustainability Indicators (RISI)' is led by Professor Thomas Pretz of the Department of Processing and Recycling at RWTH Aachen University. Other partners include the Department of Sciences for the Environment at
Parthenope University of Naples, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at Autonomous University of Barcelona, and the Finland Futures Research Centre at the University of Turku.  

Congratulations to Ron Bates, former Senior Research Fellow in CATS, who has been made a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Ron Bates is also currently a visiting Fellow at Brunel.

Following the submission of his thesis, Joe Daron has taken up a post-doc research position in the Climate Systems Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town. His position forms part of a team engaged in the development of climate services establishing relationships between scientists and decision-makers across Africa. His research will focus on the communication of climate information and explore issues relating to climate change uncertainty and the delivery of climate model output to users. Joe stated that he had very much enjoyed his past two years working in CATS and hopes to come back and visit in the near future.










photo credit: esther heyhoe







Papers & other outputs

Papers recently finished

Leonard Smith and Nicholas Stern "Uncertainty in Science and its Role in Climate Policy" has been accepted by the Royal Society Phil Trans A and the online edition will be available from 31st October 2011.

Khare, S., and Smith, LA., (2011), Data assimilation: a fully nonlinear approach to ensemble formation using Indistinguishable States Monthly Weather Review, Vol 139 (7), 2080-2097

Hanson, S., Nicholls, R., Ranger, N., Hallegatte, S., Corfee-Morlot, J., Herweijer, C., Chateau, J. (2011) A Global Ranking of Port Cities with High Exposure to Climate Extremes, Nature Climate Change, 104 (1), 89-111

Halegatte, S., Ranger, N., Mestre, O., Dumas, P., Corfee-Morlot, J., Herweijer, C., Muir Wood, R. (2011) Assessing Climate Change Impacts, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Risk in Port Cities: A case study on Copenhagen, Nature Climate Change, 104 (1), 113-137

Ranger, N. Hallegatte, S., Bhattacharya, S., Bachu, M., Priya, S., Dhore, K., Rafique, F., Mathur, P., Naville, N., Henriet, F., Herweijer, C., Pohit, S., Corfee-Morlot, J. (2011) An Assessment of the Potential Impact of Climate Change on Flood Risk in Mumbai, Nature Climate Change, 104 (1), 139-167

Beven, K. J. and Alcock, R., (2011), Modelling everything everywhere: a new approach to decision making for water management under uncertainty, Freshwater Biology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2011.02592.x

Beven, KJ., Smith, PJ., and Wood, A. (2011) "On the colour and spin of epistemic error (and what we might do about it)" Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussion, 8, 5355-5386, 2011

Beven, KJ (2011) "I believe in climate change but how precautionary do we need to be in planning for the future?" Hydrological Processes, Vol. 25, Issue 9, pp: 1517-1520, 30 April 2011

Ranger, N. and Garbett-Shiels, S.L. (2011) "How can decision-makers in developing countries incorporate uncertainty about future climate risks into existing planning and policy making processes?" CCCEP/Grantham Policy Paper in collaboration with the World Resources Report

Reeder, T. and Ranger, N. (2011) "How do you adapt in an uncertain world? Lessons from the Thames Estuary 2100 project". World Resources Report, Washington D.C

Westerberg, I., Guerrero, J.-L., Seibert, J., Beven, K. J., and Halldin, S., 2011, "Stage-discharge uncertainty derived with a non-stationary rating curve in the Choluteca River, Honduras" Hydrological Processes, 25, 603-613, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7848.

Alfieri L., Smith P.J., Thielen-del Pozo J., and Beven K.J., 2011, "A staggered approach to flash flood forecasting case study in the Cevennes Region", Advances in Geosciences, 29, 13-20

Beven, K J and Brazier, R E, 2011, "Dealing with Uncertainty in Erosion Models", in RPC Morgan and MA Nearing (Eds) 'Handbook of Erosion Modelling', Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, 52-79.

Buytaert, W and Beven, K J, 2011, "Models as multiple working hypotheses: Hydrological simulation of tropical alpine wetlands", Hydrological Processes, in press

Beven K J, 2011, "Distributed Models and Uncertainty in Flood Risk Management", in G. Pender and H. Faulkner (Eds.), 'Flood Risk Science and Management', Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, 291-312.

Ghil, M., Read, P., Smith, LA., 2010, Geophysical flows as dynamical systems: the influence of Hide's experiments, Astronomy & Geophysics, Vol. 51, Issue 4, pp. 28-35.

Beven, K J, Leedal, D T and Alcock, R, 2010, Uncertainty and good practice in hydrological prediction, Vatten, 66:159–163


An interview with former CATS research assistant Falk Niehorster was featured in Bermuda's Royal Gazette, 22nd September 2011.   

Several articles appeared following the CATS/GRI exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition:
'A Chance to Meet Real Live Scientists' The Guardian, 6th July 2011.

An interview with David Stainforth, part of the Royal Society 'Meet the Scientists' series, July 2011. 

David Stainforth was quoted in an article 'Can a Candid Climate Modeler Convince Contrarians?' in Scientific American, 19th July 2011. The article also appeared as 'Intrepid British climate modeler sets out to win over doubters'  in Climate Wire, 19th July 2011.

Papers submitted and/or in revision:

Nicola Ranger and Falk Niehoerster "Deep Uncertainty in long-term hurricane risk: scenario generation and implications for future climate experiments" submitted to Global Environmental Change.

Beven, KJ., Pappenburger, F., Cloke, HL., Wetterhall, F. and Dutra, E. "Hyperesolved ignorance: A comment on Wood et al (2011) Hyperresolution global land surfacing modeling: Meeting a grand challenge for monitoring Earth's terrestrial water" submitted to Water Resources Research.


Smith, LA, Tredger, E., Stainforth, D.A. &  Lopez, A. "On the Relevance of Model Averages for Science Based Policy" submitted to GRL


Baker, D. James & Richards, Gary "On the delivery of weather services and parallels for the development of operational forest carbon monitoring, reporting, and verification systems" submitted to Carbon Management. If you would like a draft copy of the paper, please contact Lyn Grove (


Young, RMB, Binter, R & Niehoerster, F "Limits of i-shadowing in a perfect model rotating annulus" submitted to Physica D


Barrieu, PM & Fehr, MW “Integrated EUA and CER price modeling and application for spread option pricing” submitted to Operations Research


Barrieu, PM & Tobelem,S “A new methodology for asset allocation under model risk” submitted to Quantitative Finance


Barrieu, PM & Sinclair Desgagne, B. “Economic Policy when Models Disagree” submitted to Econometrica                               

Maruri-Aguilar, H., Senz-de-Cabezn, E. and Wynn, H. P.  "the Betti numbers of polynomial hierarchical models for experimental designs" submitted to Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence

Bates, R.A., Maruri-Aguilar, H and Wynn, H.P. "Smooth supersaturated models" submitted to Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference


Smith, LA. & Du, H.L. "Parameter estimation using Ignorance" in revision for Physics Review Letters


Du, HL  & Smith, LA   "Improvement in Full Probability Forecasting at Seasonal Lead-times" in revision for QJRMS


Khare, S & Smith, LA  "Data assimilation: A fully nonlinear approach to ensemble formation using Indistinguishable States"  in revision for Monthly Weather Review

Maruri-Aguilar, H and Wynn, H. P. "D-Optimality of Sobol Sequences for Haar Wavelet Models" under revision for Journal of Statistical Theory and Practice

Giovagnoli, A and Wynn, H. P. "(U,V)-ordering and a duality theorem for risk aversion and Lorentz-type ordering. Under revision for Statistical Papers




















photo credit: esther heyhoe













photo credit: montse watkin


















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