Those illusive decimal points | The Meteorological Society of New Zealand

Those illusive decimal points

Year: 
1982
Volume: 
2
Issue: 
2
Author(s): 
K. Revfeim
Abstract: 

The number of digits used to represent the value of a phenomenon, such as temperature or daily rainfall, is all too often in excess of what is necessary. Consequences of this practice are the preservation in records of irrelevant detail and the cultivation of a false intuitive measure of what the numbers represent. An attempt is made to place the words value and represent in a rational framework with respect to the underlying sources of variability in meteorological data. More than half the numbers in present data records contribute nothing to the real information content of the data.

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