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Significance tests in climate science

Ambaum, M. H. P. ORCID: (2010) Significance tests in climate science. Journal of Climate, 23 (22). pp. 5927-5932. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/2010jcli3746.1


A large fraction of papers in the climate literature includes erroneous uses of significance tests. A Bayesian analysis is presented to highlight the meaning of significance tests and why typical misuse occurs. The significance statistic is not a quantitative measure of how confident we can be of the ‘reality’ of a given result. It is concluded that a significance test very rarely provides useful quantitative information.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:15916
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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