måndag 4 oktober 2010

On Curry on Climate Models

IPCC scientist Judith Curry writes in What Can We Learn from Climate Models:
  • At the heart of climate model complexity lies the nonlinear dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans, which is described by the Navier-Stokes equations. 
  • The solution of Navier-Stokes equations is one of the most vexing problems in all of mathematics
  • the Clay Mathematics Institute has declared this to be one of the top 7 problems in all of mathematics and is offering a $1M prize for its solution (Millenium Prize Problems). 
  • we need  a much more thorough exploration of how we should configure climate models and test their fitness for purpose.  
  • Computer simulations have transformed the climate sciences...
  • ....given the complexity of the climate problem, climate models are an essential tool for climate research, and are becoming an increasingly valuable tool for a range of societal applications.
  • But I think the climate modeling enterprise is putting the cart before the horse in terms of attempting a broad range of applications that include prediction of regional climate change, largely driven by needs of policy makers
What Judith Curry is saying is that computational solution of the Navier-Stokes equations 
opens new possibilities in climate science, but that a "climate enterprise" driven by policy makers (IPCC) has misused the possiblity. Too bad...

But this is good news for experts on solving the Navier-Stokes equations outside the policy driven climate enterprise... for perspective, see

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