Friday, April 18, 2008

Negative results

James Correia sent this interesting article on publishing negative results. This articles makes the case that you shouldn't need to publish negative results. I have thought that we didn't make enough effort in atmospheric sciences to publish negative results. We always publish the big storms, but null cases that were forecast to be big storms are rarely ever published. Here are two counterexamples, plus a third study showing that a number of factors do not affect storm longevity.

Richter, H., and L.F. Bosart, 2002: The Suppression of Deep Moist Convection near the Southern Great Plains Dryline. Mon. Wea. Rev., 130, 1665–1691.

Doswell, C.A., D.V. Baker, and C.A. Liles, 2002: Recognition of Negative Mesoscale Factors for Severe-Weather Potential: A Case Study. Wea. Forecasting, 17, 937–954.

MacKeen, P.L., H.E. Brooks, and K.L. Elmore, 1999: Radar Reflectivity–Derived Thunderstorm Parameters Applied to Storm Longevity Forecasting. Wea. Forecasting, 14, 289–295.

What are your thoughts?

1 Comments:

Anonymous James Correia Jr. said...

There are also a series of papers from IHOP by Markowski et al. (2006; DOI: 10.1175/MWR3059.1) and Cai et al. (2006; DOI: 10.1175/MWR2998.1) where the topic was convective initiation failure.

As Markowski et al. (2006) point out: "it is not possible to know how the atmosphere would have
evolved had the processes observed in this case not been operating".

These articles, in contrast to those of the highlighted article, offer hypotheses after the analysis . It is reasonable to conclude that science is science no matter if your results are positive or negative; only that you advance the science in some measurable way.

Negative is good IF you can draw some information out and put forth a reasonable hypothesis

April 19, 2008 at 7:26 AM  

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