Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Physics That We Know

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature From Edge:

THE PHYSICS THAT WE KNOW
A Conversation with Gavin Schmidt

There is a simple way to produce a perfect model of our climate that will predict the weather with 100% accuracy. First, start with a universe that is exactly like ours; then wait 13 billion years.

But if you want something useful right now, if you want to construct a means of taking the knowledge that we have and use it to predict future climate, you build computer simulations. Your models are messy, complicated, in constant need of fine tuning, exacting and inexact at the same time. You're using the past to predict the future, extrapolating the very complicated from the very simple, and relying on an ever-changing data stream to inform the outcome.

Climatologist Gavin Schmidt explains: ...

Video and full text of the conversion at Edge. Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature