15 Dec '11, 3pm

RealClimate: Curve-fitting and natural cycles: The best part <a new one for SkS - it's the moon!

RealClimate: Curve-fitting and natural cycles: The best part <a new one for SkS - it's the moon!

Of course, these forecasts are testable – we just have to wait for the data to come in. But why should extending these fits produce a good forecast? It is well known that one can fit a series of observations to arbitrary accuracy without having any predictability at all. One technique to demonstrate credibility is by assessing how well the statistical model does on data that was not used in the calibration. In this case, the authors have produced a testable forecast of the past climate by leaving out the period between the end of the last ice age and up to 4000 years before present. This becomes apparent if you extend their fit to the part of data that they left out (figure below).

Full article: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/12/cur...

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