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1.  Do seasonal-to-decadal climate predictions underestimate the predictability of the real world? 
Geophysical Research Letters  2014;41(15):5620-5628.
Seasonal-to-decadal predictions are inevitably uncertain, depending on the size of the predictable signal relative to unpredictable chaos. Uncertainties can be accounted for using ensemble techniques, permitting quantitative probabilistic forecasts. In a perfect system, each ensemble member would represent a potential realization of the true evolution of the climate system, and the predictable components in models and reality would be equal. However, we show that the predictable component is sometimes lower in models than observations, especially for seasonal forecasts of the North Atlantic Oscillation and multiyear forecasts of North Atlantic temperature and pressure. In these cases the forecasts are underconfident, with each ensemble member containing too much noise. Consequently, most deterministic and probabilistic measures underestimate potential skill and idealized model experiments underestimate predictability. However, skilful and reliable predictions may be achieved using a large ensemble to reduce noise and adjusting the forecast variance through a postprocessing technique proposed here.
doi:10.1002/2014GL061146
PMCID: PMC4373130  PMID: 25821271
seasonal prediction; decadal prediction; ensemble; predictability; reliability
2.  Arabidopsis T-DNA insertional lines for CDC25 are hypersensitive to hydroxyurea but not to zeocin or salt stress 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(7):1183-1192.
Background and Aims
In yeasts and animals, cyclin-dependent kinases are key regulators of cell cycle progression and are negatively and positively regulated by WEE1 kinase and CDC25 phosphatase, respectively. In higher plants a full-length orthologue of CDC25 has not been isolated but a shorter gene with homology only to the C-terminal catalytic domain is present. The Arabidopis thaliana;CDC25 can act as a phosphatase in vitro. Since in arabidopsis, WEE1 plays an important role in the DNA damage/DNA replication checkpoints, the role of Arath;CDC25 in conditions that induce these checkpoints or induce abiotic stress was tested.
Methods
arath;cdc25 T-DNA insertion lines, Arath;CDC25 over-expressing lines and wild type were challenged with hydroxyurea (HU) and zeocin, substances that stall DNA replication and damage DNA, respectively, together with an abiotic stressor, NaCl. A molecular and phenotypic assessment was made of all genotypes
Key Results
There was a null phenotypic response to perturbation of Arath;CDC25 expression under control conditions. However, compared with wild type, the arath;cdc25 T-DNA insertion lines were hypersensitive to HU, whereas the Arath;CDC25 over-expressing lines were relatively insensitive. In particular, the over-expressing lines consistently outgrew the T-DNA insertion lines and wild type when challenged with HU. All genotypes were equally sensitive to zeocin and NaCl.
Conclusions
Arath;CDC25 plays a role in overcoming stress imposed by HU, an agent know to induce the DNA replication checkpoint in arabidopsis. However, it could not enhance tolerance to either a zeocin treatment, known to induce DNA damage, or salinity stress.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcq142
PMCID: PMC3091795  PMID: 20647223
Arabidopsis thaliana; cell-cycle checkpoints; hydroxyurea; root growth; NaCl; zeocin

Results 1-2 (2)