Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Prediction Shortgevity

Following on from my discussion about longevity comes something about the opposite: my short-lived prediction regarding Canberra rainfall. We have received a staggering 899 mm thus far this year, blowing past my 850 mm limit. Thus, my statistical analysis that pointed to technical desert conditions for Canberra by 2050 has been proven false.

So the key now for me is to keep watching to see where the evidence points. What is obvious now is that my conclusion was not warranted from the data, and I needed more data - data which I now have. But that is how science works: you build a model from observations and use that model to make predictions about the future, understanding that falsifying those predictions falsifies the model.

I will continue to track the rainfall and inflow (although with Canberra dams now at 100 per cent, tracking excess inflow is a little difficult - I will have to make some assumptions about extra inflow, and I am looking at what those assumptions might be at the moment.) We have received 142,000 megalitres of inflow thus far this year. What I might do is slightly increase the overall average to account for lost water. It should be pointed out that this amount of inflow is still significantly lower than the average.

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