Posted by Nick.Barnes | Filed under announcement
[Updated: ccc-gistemp release 0.4.1 is now available]
I am pleased to announce ccc-gistemp release 0.4.0. This release is much clearer than previous releases. Give it a go.
- Almost all of our code has now been rewritten to remove the Fortran style which remained from the original conversion from GISTEMP. Previous releases had greatly improved steps 0-2; this release continues the improvement work there and also carries those improvements through steps 3-5. Almost all of the code now has sensible variable and function names, clearer data handling, and helpful comments. Many unused variables and functions have been removed. The current core algorithm has 3740 lines of code, of which more than half are either comments, documentation strings, or blank.
- Rounding has been completely eliminated from the system. Previously, rounding and truncation code was used to exactly emulate GISTEMP. Rounding made the code less clear, and Dr Reto Ruedy of NASA GISS confirmed that rounding was not important to the algorithm, so it has been removed. All temperature data is now handled internally as floating point degrees Celsius (previously it was a mixture of integer tenths, floating point tenths, and floating point degrees) and all location information is handled as floating point degrees latitude and longitude (previously it was a mixture of floating point degrees and integer hundredths).
- In a normal run of ccc-gistemp, no data passes through intermediate files. Much of GISTEMP is concerned with generating and consuming intermediate files, to separate phases and to avoid keeping the whole dataset in memory at once (an important consideration when GISTEMP was originally written). We have now completely replaced this with an in-memory pipeline, which is clearer, automatically pipelines all the processing where possible, and avoids all code concerned with serialization and deserialization.
We now have separate code to generate data files between the distinct steps of the GISTEMP algorithm, and to allow running a step from a data file instead of in a pipeline. This allows the running of single steps, and is useful for testing purposes.
- Parameters, such as the 1200 km radius used when gridding, and the number, 3, of rural stations required to adjust an urban station, which were scattered throughout the code, are now all to be found, with explanatory comments, in code/parameters.py
- It’s now possible to omit Step 4 and produce a land-only index, which closely matches GISTEMP.
- It’s also possible to omit Step 2, and run the algorithm without the urban heat-island adjustment.
- GISTEMP recently switched to using nighttime brightness to determine urban/rural stations. We made the corresponding change, which is switchable.
Note that none of these changes altered any of our results by more than 0.01 degrees C, except for the change to urban station identification, for which the changes in our results (none greater than 0.03 degrees C) closely match the changes the GISTEMP results.
The work for this release has been done by David Jones, Paul Ollis, and Nick Barnes.