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Davos, Switzerland

Stiller-Reeve M.A.,University of Bergen | Heuze C.,Gothenburg University | Heuze C.,University of East Anglia | Ball W.T.,PMOD WRC | And 11 more authors.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2016

Science, in our case the climate and geosciences, is increasingly interdisciplinary. Scientists must therefore communicate across disciplinary boundaries. For this communication to be successful, scientists must write clearly and concisely, yet the historically poor standard of scientific writing does not seem to be improving. Scientific writing must improve, and the key to long-term improvement lies with the early-career scientist (ECS). Many interventions exist for an ECS to improve their writing, like style guides and courses. However, momentum is often difficult to maintain after these interventions are completed. Continuity is key to improving writing. This paper introduces the ClimateSnack project, which aims to motivate ECSs to develop and continue to improve their writing and communication skills. The project adopts a peer-learning framework where ECSs voluntarily form writing groups at different institutes around the world. The group members learn, discuss, and improve their writing skills together. Several ClimateSnack writing groups have formed. This paper examines why some of the groups have flourished and others have dissolved. We identify the challenges involved in making a writing group successful and effective, notably the leadership of self-organized groups, and both individual and institutional time management. Within some of the groups, peer learning clearly offers a powerful tool to improve writing as well as bringing other benefits, including improved general communication skills and increased confidence. © 2016 Author(s).

Thuillier G.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Melo S.M.L.,University of Toronto | Melo S.M.L.,Canadian Space Agency | Lean J.,U.S. Navy | And 7 more authors.
Solar Physics | Year: 2014

Proper numerical simulation of the Earth's climate change requires reliable knowledge of solar irradiance and its variability on different time scales, as well as the wavelength dependence of this variability. As new measurements of the solar spectral irradiance have become available, so too have new reconstructions of historical solar irradiance variations, based on different approaches. However, these various solar spectral irradiance reconstructions have not yet been compared in detail to quantify differences in their absolute values, variability, and implications for climate and atmospheric studies. In this paper we quantitatively compare five different reconstructions of solar spectral irradiance changes during the past four centuries, in order to document and analyze their differences. The impact on atmosphere and climate studies is discussed in terms of the calculation of short wave solar heating rates. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Thuillier G.,French National Center for Scientific Research | DeLand M.,SSAI | Shapiro A.,PMOD WRC | Schmutz W.,PMOD WRC | Melo S.M.L.,Canadian Space Agency
Solar Physics | Year: 2012

We present a new method to reconstruct the solar spectrum irradiance in the Ly α - 400 nm region, and its variability, based on the Mg ii index and neutron-monitor measurements. Measurements of the solar spectral irradiance available in the literature have been made with different instruments at different times and different spectral ranges. However, climate studies require harmonised data sets. This new approach has the advantage of being independent of the absolute calibration and aging of the instruments. First, the Mg ii index is derived using solar spectra from Ly α (121 nm) to 410 nm measured from 1978 to 2010 by several space missions. The variability of the spectra with respect to a chosen reference spectrum as a function of time and wavelength is scaled to the derived Mg ii index. The set of coefficients expressing the spectral variability can be applied to the chosen reference spectrum to reconstruct the solar spectra within a given time frame or Mg ii index values. The accuracy of this method is estimated using two approaches: direct comparison with particular cases where solar spectra are available from independent measurements, and calculating the standard deviation between the measured spectra and their reconstruction. From direct comparisons with measurements we obtain an accuracy of about 1 to 2%, which degrades towards Ly α. In a further step, we extend our solar spectral-irradiance reconstruction back to the Maunder Minimum introducing the relationship between the Mg ii index and the neutron-monitor data. Consistent measurements of the Mg ii index are not available prior to 1978. However, we remark that over the last three solar cycles, the Mg ii index shows strong correlation with the modulation potential determined from the neutron-monitor data. Assuming that this correlation can be applied to the past, we reconstruct the Mg ii index from the modulation potential back to the Maunder Minimum, and obtain the corresponding solar spectral-irradiance reconstruction back to that period. As there is no direct measurement of the spectral irradiance for this period we discuss this methodology in light of the other proposed approaches available in the literature. The use of the cosmogenic-isotope data provides a major advantage: it provides information about solar activity over several thousands years. Using technology of today, we can calibrate the solar irradiance against activity and thus reconstruct it for the times when cosmogenic-isotope data are available. This calibration can be re-assessed at any time, if necessary. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Schmutz W.,PMOD WRC | Shapiro A.I.,PMOD WRC | Kretzschmar M.,University of Orleans | Zhukov A.N.,Moscow State University | And 2 more authors.
Solar Physics | Year: 2013

The Large Yield Radiometer (LYRA) is an XUV-EUV-MUV (soft X-ray to mid-ultraviolet) solar radiometer onboard the European Space Agency Project for On-Board Autonomy 2 (PROBA2) mission, which was launched in November 2009. LYRA acquires solar-irradiance measurements at a high cadence (nominally 20 Hz) in four broad spectral channels, from soft X-ray to MUV, which have been chosen for their relevance to solar physics, space weather, and aeronomy. We briefly review the design of the instrument, give an overview of the data products distributed through the instrument website, and describe how the data are calibrated. We also briefly present a summary of the main fields of research currently under investigation by the LYRA consortium. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Diemoz H.,ARPA Valle dAosta | Diemoz H.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Eleftheratos K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Eleftheratos K.,Academy of Athens | And 3 more authors.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques | Year: 2016

A MkIV Brewer spectrophotometer has been operating in Athens since 2004. Direct-sun measurements originally scheduled for nitrogen dioxide retrievals were reprocessed to provide aerosol optical depths (AODs) at a wavelength of about 440ĝ€nm. A novel retrieval algorithm was specifically developed and the resulting AODs were compared to those obtained from a collocated Cimel filter radiometer belonging to the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). The series are perfectly correlated, with Pearson's correlation coefficients being as large as 0.996 and with 90ĝ€% of AOD deviations between the two instruments being within the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) traceability limits. In order to reach such a high agreement, several instrumental factors impacting the quality of the Brewer retrievals must be taken into account, including sensitivity to the internal temperature, and the state of the external optics and pointing accuracy must be carefully checked. Furthermore, the long-term radiometric stability of the Brewer was investigated and the performances of in situ Langley extrapolations as a way to track the absolute calibration of the Brewer were assessed. Other sources of error, such as slight shifts of the wavelength scale, are discussed and some recommendations to Brewer operators are drawn. Although MkIV Brewers are rarely employed to retrieve AODs in the visible range, they represent a key source of information about aerosol changes in the past three decades and a potential worldwide network for present and future coordinated AOD measurements. Moreover, a better understanding of the AOD retrieval at visible wavelengths will also contribute in improving similar techniques in the more challenging UV range. Author(s) 2016.

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