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Tutorial 7: Interpreting the Results#

Good Research Practices

Content creators: Yuxin Zhou, Samuel Akpan, Marguerite Brown, Natalie Steinemann, Zane Mitrevica

Content reviewers: Sherry Mi, Maria Gonzalez, Nahid Hasan, Beatriz Cosenza Muralles, Katrina Dobson, Sloane Garelick, Cheng Zhang

Content editors: Jenna Pearson, Chi Zhang, Ohad Zivan

Production editors: Wesley Banfield, Jenna Pearson, Chi Zhang, Ohad Zivan

Our 2023 Sponsors: NASA TOPS and Google DeepMind

Tutorials Objectives#

In Tutorials 5-8, you will learn about the research process. This includes how to

  1. Draft analyses of data to test a hypothesis

  2. Implement analysis of data

  3. Interpret results in the context of existing knowledge

  4. Communicate your results and conclusions

By the end of these tutorials you will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of good research practices

  • Learn to view a scientific data set or question through the lens of equity: Who is represented by this data and who is not? Who has access to this information? Who is in a position to use it?

Video 1: Interpreting the Results#

In Step 6, we created plots displaying the global CO2 levels and sea surface temperature data spanning the past 800 thousand years. Additionally, we attempted to fit both variables using a linear regression model. Nevertheless, it is crucial to bear in mind that correlation does not imply causation. The fact that global CO2 and sea surface temperature appear to co-vary does not automatically imply that one variable directly causes changes in the other. To establish causation, it is imperative to gather multiple lines of evidence. This underscores the importance of literature review in Step 2, as it aids in identifying corroborating evidence in climate research.

Quantifying the Uncertainty#

Click here for some information Look up "linear regression model R squared" and how it measures the uncertainty of a linear regression model. What does it say about how confident you can be about a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature?

Activity: Interpreting the Results Through the Lens of Equity#

For the next 10 minutes, discuss what the results capture well in terms of the relationship between CO2 and temperature. Who is represented by this data, specifically the compiled temperature record, and who is not? Who generated these data? Who has access to this information? Who is in a position to use it?

Further readings#

Click here for more readings on Interpreting the Results through the lens of equity

Donovan, R. (2023), Climate journalism needs voices from the Global South, Eos, 104,

Tandon, A. (2021), Analysis: The lack of diversity in climate-science research, Carbon Brief,