I got another couple of subscriptions to the Climate Data Service (see the end of the post if you want to sign up), and one of them included an interesting question:
I’d also like to ask a question. I’m thinking of making a career change to data science, but am not really sure where to start. I currently work as an analyst for the Department of Defense, so I’m interested in the national security aspects of climate change as well as the human and economic changes coming. (my background is in physics so I’m not new to quantitative analysis)
How did you get your start and what would you recommend as a good path to get there? Thanks!
Regular readers know that I love to work with data. It’s what I call fun.
But this blog is about more than playing data games. It’s about global warming/climate change, and that is a serious problem, a severe threat to our future, our security, our stability, our survival. What should we do about it? By “we” I mean ordinary citizens, of the world, but especially of the U.S. I think I know the answer.
Surely some of you noticed that the area around Houston Texas suffered extreme flooding recently. At least 8 people were killed and damages ran into the billions of dollars. It was a major disaster.
People keep telling me, “You should teach!” I do seem to have a gift for explaining things in terms that can be understood. And, there are certain subjects — things people want to learn — that I know.
defendourfuture.org has some excellent videos. This one is funny:
This one’s not.
I’m glad I started the Climate Data Service, because it makes working with climate data easier. Even for me. I could access and study it before, but now it’s all in one place and one format, and the ease of use is a good motivator for closer study.
Something I’ve just been looking at is the relationship between sunspot counts and solar irradiance. I’ve used TSI (total solar irradiance) to estimate the influence of solar variations on global temperature, but reliable records don’t start until about 1976 when satellite observations began. Before that, we have to rely on proxies, of which the most common is sunspot counts. There are many reconstructions of solar irradiance which use more, but I’m not aware that any of them can be considered particularly better than the others.