Seeing the Wood for Trees

Welcome to WoodForTrees.org. This site hosts some C++ software tools for analysis and graphing of time series data, and an interactive graph generator where you can play with different ways of analysing data.

Climate data

These tools could in theory be used for any time series but the main rationale for their existence is for analysis of historical climate data. The idea is to allow you to go to the source data and look for answers to questions like:

  • Has the Earth got warmer recently?
  • Is it still getting warmer?
  • Is CO2 the only explanation for what has happened?
  • Are there solar cycles involved?
  • Are there other influences we don't understand yet?
  • If so, how much do they account for?
  • What is likely to happen next?

It's not the place of this Web site (or anyone else) to tell you the answers, even if I could! This is just a tool to help you dig into the data to help you form your own opinions. Whatever you decide the most important thing is that you learned what the issues in analysis are and how to test your ideas against real data.

Beware sharp tools

However, with sharp tools comes great responsibility... Please read the notes on things to beware of - and in particular on the problems with short, cherry-picked trends. Remember that the signals we are dealing with are very, very noisy, and it's easy to get misled - or worse still, to mislead others.

About this site

This website is a self-funded personal project by Paul Clark, a British software developer and practically-oriented environmentalist and conservationist. You can provide support through my Charity Tip Jar if you like.

Personal note:

I started this site in 2008 because I wanted to dig underneath what seemed like extreme claims and counter-claims in the "Global Warming Debate". Eight years on, it now seems clear to me that CO2 is indeed the primary driver of global warming, which is proceeding at roughly 1.5°C per century, but with some interesting short and long-term cycles overlaid. These cycles can produce shorter-term periods of both flatline and rapid increase, which get both 'sides' over-excited.

However, please remember this is only historical data, and "past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future". Climate models which do predict the future take into account positive and negative feedbacks such as water vapour, clouds, albedo and frozen methane, and to my mind the most (only?) interesting discussion in this field is around the sign and magnitude of those feedbacks. What this site can do is act as a check on those models and illustrate how the climate system has reacted to past forcings.

As I said back in 2008, as a life-long Green I think a shift to a efficient and sustainable way of life is a Good Thing in any case, and I'd invite my fellow engineers to use their energies to help solve our many inefficiencies.

Best wishes

Paul

How you can help

I welcome constructive suggestions of new algorithms or datasets I could add, and in particular help from experts if I've got any of the maths badly wrong (which is quite possible).

Mail me at 'paul' at this domain. Flames will be silently extinguished.

UAH 6.0Beta

Now supporting UAH6.0Beta

29th August 2016:

I have now added UAH6.0Beta alongside the previous UAH5.6 release, so they can be compared. WTI is still using UAH5.6 until UAH6.0 is fully released.

HADCRUT 4.4

Update to HADCRUT 4.4 and WTI change

22nd August 2016:

WFT has now caught up with HADCRUT 4.4 (sorry for the delay!) and is using it to calculate WTI. The baseline offsets for HADCRUT and GISTEMP have also been updated to match current data. See the updated notes for details.

Charity Tip Jar

Charity Tip Jar for the Woodland Trust

1st January 2012:

A number of people have kindly suggested I provide a 'tip jar' as a reward for keeping WFT running, but I've always been uncomfortable with taking any payment myself because it's crucial that WFT is seen as independent of any agenda-driven funding.

However, I've decided to open a Charity 'tip jar' in favour of the British Woodland Trust. Please visit JustGiving.com/WFT if you find WFT useful and would like to provide encouragement.

Many thanks,

Paul