Saturday, May 26, 2012

How will we know if our model works?

Simply put, models are notorious for “getting it wrong” and equally well recognised as the only way we know how to “predict the future”. That said, our GPP model isn’t predicting the future, it’s a hind-cast model, re-analysing observations and quantifying primary production based on our thorough understanding of climates past.

Spanning recent decades, our hind-cast model will produce moderate resolution monthly epoques of GPP accumulation based on remotely sensed estimates of greenness and absorbed radiation and Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO climatology’s of the land surface. We will calibrate and validate our model against the OzFlux network of towers- the only internationally recognised way to observe carbon fluxes for biomes.

Our model provides a baseline for comparison against other approaches to modelling GPP, i.e. state-of-the-art, high-temporal resolution models capable of resolving carbon fluxes at more frequent time steps and higher resolutions- in other words, the complex approach.

Our model is uniquely simple because it can be at 5km on monthly time scales. It’s usability comes from its malleable, simple design which can be modified or repeated with ease.

Our challenge: If you can’t do it better than a simple model- then why bother?

Our simple model and modelling system will be released into the public domain so that it can be benchmarked by the world.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

This project is supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). ANDS is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program and the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative.

For more information visit the ANDS website and Research Data Australia