chapter  25
13 Pages

Benchmarking Climate Indicators for Science Communication and Public Engagement across Europe

WithSTEVE MILLER

If one is trying to buy a new car or a new super-computer, one can run a series of standard tests to distinguish which is the best model to buy, which gives best value for money, and which should not be touched with the proverbial bargepole. This sort of inter-comparison goes under the general heading of “benchmarking,” a term quite literally derived from carpentry, whereby carpenters measure one piece of wood against another on their workbench by means of a series of marks-bench-marks. One test for a car might be the time it takes to accelerate from a standing start to 100 kilometres per hour. For a computer one might have a series of programmes designed to get behind the manufacturers’ claims of gigafl ops per processor and fi nd out the actual time it would take to run the job(s) that needed running-conceptually straightforward, if not necessarily straightforward in practice.