align-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcamerachatcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-crosscrosseditfacebookglobegoogleimagesinstagramlocation-pinmagnifying-glassmailmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonplusImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartwitteryahoo

Lecture: Predicting Climate in a Chaotic World - How Certain Can We Be?

Join us at the Lorenz Center of MIT's annual John Carlson Lecture Series, as Timothy Palmer of Oxford University presents Predicting Climate in a Chaotic World - How Certain Can We Be?  The Lorenz Center was founded in honor of MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz, whose pioneering experiments in chaos theory in weather systems were famously (amongst math geeks anyway) presented to the lay public in James Gleick's book, Chaos.  Timothy Palmer today carries on the late Lorenz' tradition as a leading expert on the dynamics and predictability of weather and climate.

The lecture starts at 7:00.  We will meet outside the IMAX theater around 6:30, then go on inside to get seats as soon as it looks like it's filling up.

Afterwards, we will head over to Zuma's in Faneuil Hall for Mexican food, drinks, and discussion.

Once again, the RSVP limit is for the restaurant event.  If you're interested in attending the lecture only, it's free and open to the public, so no need to RSVP - just stop on by (but please leave a comment so folks know you're coming).

Hope to see you there :)

http://events.mit.edu/event.html?id=14980231&date=2012/08/11

http://web.mit.edu/lorenzcenter/activities/

http://www.zumatexmexgrill.com/

From the MIT website:

Edward Lorenz's pioneering work on systems whose evolution is unpredictable and chaotic was motivated by a skepticism about the use of statistical models to predict next month's weather. And yet, on the web and elsewhere, one can find predictions not only of next month's weather, but also of the human effect on long-term climate. Can we have any confidence at all in long-range predictions of weather? And should we believe these estimates of human-induced climate change? Or is the whole notion of predicting long-term changes in climate misguided and unscientific?

Biography: Palmer is the Royal Society Professor of Climate Physics at Oxford University and a world expert on the the dynamics and predictability of weather and climate. He has pioneered the development of probabilistic forecast techniques for both weather and climate prediction. These techniques are now used routinely in operational centers around the world. Palmer is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and has won both their Jule G. Charney and Carl-Gustaf Rossby Medals.

Join or login to comment.

  • Jim B

    I found it impressive how far the science has come in predicting storms. Palmer showed how while 5 or 6 days out, predictions of Sandy's path were broad, with 2 days out his group could see with good certainty the storm would make landfall and where.

    I learned a lot. A worthwhile event.

    November 2, 2012

  • Doreen C.

    I thought yhe lecture was well done. Loved that he pointed out the limitations of predictions with the computers they currently have access to. He strongly believes in global warming but wsd quick to point out the difficulty of predicting the results. Too many are screaming doomsday without enough data to back it up. The fact that the earth is warmer is fairly well proven. But whether this will lead to devastation or not is still in question.

    November 2, 2012

  • John

    An interesting talk by a very good speaker. I feel like I came home with some take-home insights. The discussion afterwards at dinner was interesting, even though the food was ehh (the search for a good after event venue near the Aquarium continues...) Apologies to folks who might have came out and had a hard time finding us amidst the chaos (pun fully intended :> )

    As far as believing/denying "climate change", I agree that there's a fair amount of uninformed rhetoric and hyperbole surrounding the issue, as well as varied ideas about what "climate change" means. I do tend to lend credence (however naive and misguided it might be of me to do so) to scientists who show a bit of awareness of their limitations in the form of statistically based "fuzzy" claims. It'd be interesting to study meteorology/climatology and make some first hand evaluations of some of these ideas. But until then, I guess I have to put my faith somewhere, so it might as well be scientists like Tim Palmer.

    November 2, 2012

  • Jim B

    The lecture was quite good. At one point Pamer presented 3 predictive data set forecasts for possible paths of a hurricane.
    Each was for a different hurricane, Sandy, Katrina, etc.
    The contrast was how predictive each was. In one case, very predictive. At the other end, not very predictive.

    Food for thought, indeed for claims about what 2100 will be like.

    And Palmer wasn't pompous at all!

    I prefer facts, reason, and scientists who welcome questions, disclose methods and data, who favor integrity over dubious political testimony. ;-)

    November 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Didn't attend last night's lecture @ the Aquarium, but I've received messages from this board the last couple days, so I'll weigh in. Whatever the reality may/may not be re: climate change, I prefer that whatever information comes to me on the subject come from actual, professional climate scientists. Simplisms on the subject from pompous lay-folk with dubious agendas are just so much noise.

    November 2, 2012

  • Jim B

    After decades of scary stories of coastal cities being under water, global warming has left a lot of people frightened, and Al Gore very rich.

    So when I go to read up on how the decades of global warming are creating this crisis of sea level rising, imagine my surprise when I find a net added 1 mm/year rise over what we typically saw last century.

    1 mm/year extra?  That is it?

    Scary speculation of what the world be like 100 years from, but not much in the way of solid facts.

    Now with the vague phrase "climate change" every storm or warm season can be proof of climate change!

    November 2, 2012

  • Jim B

    Very interesting speaker! Thanks for putting this together John!

    November 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think you'd better take a look at the huge melt down of the polar ice. The environmental impact of the global warming is not just a 2mm sea level rising, but in many many aspects. Go ahead and do more study.

    November 1, 2012

  • Jim B

    A few decades into global warming, how much have sea levels increased? Put your thumb and forefinger close together.  No, closer.... even closer.  Good, that tiny space of 2 mm is pretty damn small.

    Can we survive a sea level rise of 3 mm a year?

    Well the great grand children of parents in the the 1950s survived a 2 mm/year rise!

    "Over the 2005 to 2008 time period, the MSL rate was estimated to be 1.09 mm per year."
    [masked] yearly average global sea level rise ran about 1.7 mm.
    [masked] satellite data finds about 3.3 mm rise per year in global average sea level.


    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise#section_9

    November 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    John: Sorry to bail. Had to make another tough choice between 2 events. (Btw, Weren't we supposed to figure out bi-location by now? ;-p LOL)

    October 31, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi! I'm Emily and new to Smvl and your site... How do I get on your waiting list for an event? (since I'm too late to be included straight-up for the two upcoming) thanks! - emily

    October 9, 2012

    • John

      Hi Emily...welcome to the group, and to Somerville :) I would just go ahead and sign up for the events you're interested in, and you'll be put on the waiting list automatically if they're full. There tends to be turnover, as people find they cannot attend for one reason or another, so all hope is not lost if you don't get in right away. For my events, I usually send out a reminder to folks update their RSVPs if their plans have changed. If a spot opens up, you'll either be automatically bumped in (usually the case), or you'll get an email saying a spot has opened up so you can RSVP, if the organizer has set the event up that way. Also, be sure you have your email settings set up so you get notification of new events as they're scheduled (which tends to be every few weeks for us). Looking forward to seeing you at a future event :)

      October 9, 2012

7 went

  • John
    Organizer
    Event Host
  • Doreen C.
    Assistant Organizer
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy