December 21, 2011

Country roads

Take me home... to the place I belong... Ok, I am not traveling to Inida this December but I really want to go!

April 01, 2011

The cloud

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.

~Percy Shelley

March 30, 2011

Felt like 1996!

An India-Pak clash in the World cup semi-final where Sachin has a big score and team India shines is what cricketing history will surely have in bold. The match reminded me of the euphoria that followed the quarter-final clash in 1996 and Jadeja's blitzkrieg. The only thing missing for sure was the fireworks after every fall of wicket.

March 27, 2011

Global Warming

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a tweet by someone which claimed global warming to be a hoax. I felt kind of sad that there are many people like this who blissfully take the stand without knowing or having the inclination to know anything about climate and to make matters worse politicians try to politicize the issue instead of taking concrete actionable steps. I think there is a gap between what researchers know and what the general public knows. What is badly needed is the ability to transform the results from climate scientists and let the world know of things at large. In this post I try to do my two bit to transform some knowledge that I learned in the past one year. Please note that I am no climate scientist but I am a data miner by training and have been working with climate data to find systematic ways to mine information from it.

Climate prediction is an inherently hard problem because the Earth is not a simple linear stationary system. There are about 20 institutes all over the globe which run complex mathematical equations using laws from physics to generate the interactions between atmosphere, ocean, land surface and simulate the climate seen so far and make predictions on the future. These models inform the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about climate change. While these models may vary in their prediction of a regional phenomenon they all agree that the anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas(GHG) Emissions are causing the warming of the planet. To understand the seriousness of the issue look at the following plot. The average global temperature of the Earth was less than 0C until the year 2000 and in the absence of human induced GHG emissions the planet would have been cooling! However projections of climate show that the in the situation of the warming of the Earth the average temperature can increase upto 4C by 2100. That is a lot as it will cause the rise in sea level and change in precipitation patterns. The different colored lines show the different scenarios defined by IPCC of GHG emissions and for the past 10 years we have been living the worst case scenario.

On the same note I came across this article from Nature Into Ignorance on how the US Congress was poised to pass legislation that would overturn a scientific finding on the dangers of global warming.
To quote from Nature,
"It is hard to escape the conclusion that the US Congress has entered the intellectual wilderness, a sad state of affairs in a country that has led the world in many scientific arenas for so long. Global warming is a thorny problem, and disagreement about how to deal with it is understandable. It is not always clear how to interpret data or address legitimate questions. Nor is the scientific process, or any given scientist, perfect. But to deny that there is reason to be concerned, given the decades of work by countless scientists, is irresponsible."

March 19, 2011

It's been a year...

Since I started working on Climate. Have you ever wondered if you create a graph out of all the locations on the Earth as the nodes and the edges as the correlation between the timeseries of air temperature, pressure, etc, how would it look like ? The following is a heatmap of all the negative edges on the globe in Pressure. The negative edges are fascinating because they imply that two locations on the Earth have negative correlation in Pressure (anomalies) and not only that these negative edges correspond to some well known climate phenomenon like the El-Nino which is responsible for climate changes like droughts, hurricanes, warming throughout the globe. For one year my research life has been to find these dipoles and study their behavior. So far so good.