Monday, March 7, 2011

Predicting Future Climate - the Decade Version

Predicting climate decades and longer in the future is nearly impossible. Not that a rough estimate is impossible, but enough accuracy to be useful is not an easy job. There is enough unknowns to drive most people batty. While most on the skeptic side will disagree with me, there is some hope for regional climate predictions in longer terms. Versions of chaos mathematics do hold some promise for the future of climate prediction. Trust me, I am far from scratching the surface understanding how to use chaos math. If it is any consolation, most PhD's are in the same boat.

There are a few math geeks out there that understand Chaos Theory enough to make some sense out of what happens in our atmosphere. I use geeks, as an affection term, but face it you have to be pretty geeky to get chaos theory. A. A. Tsonis is one that really seems to be on the right track. I read my first Tsonis paper, A Dynamical Method for Predicting Climate Shifts, about three years ago. It has taken me most of that time to understand what the heck he was talking about. Basically, using a hybridized combination of network analysis and basic chaos theory he was able to use atmospheric pressure measurement from satellites to see synchronization of climate oscillations which triggered climate shifts. The paper is not definitive, but it is a good start. Good enough that other scientists are picking up the ball.

His results match pretty well what I thought was going on. I guess that makes me a geek too. So geeky, I actually understand more about the complex statistics involved in time series analysis that I ever cared to understand. One thing I avoided like the plague in college was statistics! No, I will never be anything close to a statistician, but do understand how easy it is to screw up and basic ways to see how bad you screwed up.

Anyway, I may just go back to some of my unfinished posts and update them with research from real scientists that are on the same page, just much better at it.

No comments:

Blog Archive