Significance testing is important for assessing whether a given initialized prediction system is skillful. Some questions that significance testing can answer are:
- Is the correlation coefficient of a lead time series significantly different from zero?
- What is the probability that the retrospective forecast is more valuable than a historical simulation?
- Are correlation coefficients statistically significant despite temporal and spatial autocorrelation?
All of these questions deal with statistical significance. See below on how to use
to address these questions. Please also have a look at the significance testing
p value for temporal correlations¶
For the correlation metrics, like
climpred also hosts the associated p-value, like
that this correlation is significantly different from zero.
_pearson_r_eff_p_value() also incorporates the reduced degrees
of freedom due to temporal autocorrelation. See
Bootstrapping with replacement¶
Testing statistical significance through bootstrapping is commonly used in the field of
climate prediction [could add some example citations here]. Bootstrapping relies on
resampling the underlying data with replacement for a large number of iterations, as
proposed by the decadal prediction framework of Goddard et al. 2013 [Goddard2013].
This means that the initialized ensemble is resampled with replacement along a
member) and then that resampled ensemble is verified against
the observations. This leads to a distribution of initialized skill. Further, a
reference forecast uses the resampled initialized ensemble, e.g.
compute_persistence(), which creates a reference skill
distribution. Lastly, an uninitialized skill distribution is created from the
underlying historical members or the control simulation.
The probability or p value is the fraction of these resampled initialized metrics beaten by the uninitialized or resampled reference metrics calculated from their respective distributions. Confidence intervals using these distributions are also calculated.
This behavior is incorporated into
climpred by the base function
bootstrap_compute(), which is wrapped by
bootstrap_perfect_model() for the respective prediction
simulation type. See
|[Goddard2013]||Goddard, L., A. Kumar, A. Solomon, D. Smith, G. Boer, P. Gonzalez, V. Kharin, et al. “A Verification Framework for Interannual-to-Decadal Predictions Experiments.” Climate Dynamics 40, no. 1–2 (January 1, 2013): 245–72. https://doi.org/10/f4jjvf.|
|[Wilks2016]||Wilks, D. S. “‘The Stippling Shows Statistically Significant Grid Points’: How Research Results Are Routinely Overstated and Overinterpreted, and What to Do about It.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 97, no. 12 (March 9, 2016): 2263–73. https://doi.org/10/f9mvth.|