New Newtonian Alchemy: Turning Noise into Signal
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
This talk will summarise progress on the application of three strands of the Newton Institute Mathematical and Statistical Approaches to Climate Modelling and Prediction Programme, which are all connected through the general notion of turning noise into signal:
(a) Maximum Entropy Production (MEP) principles of the climate system – application to surface-to-atmosphere turbulent fluxes.
(b) Time-series techniques to give forewarning of climate tipping points – application to possible climate-driven Amazon forest dieback.
(c) Fluctuation theories to determine climate system sensitivities – using interannual variability of CO2 as a constraint on the sensitivity of tropical land carbon to climate change.
In the case of (b) and (c) short-timescale variability is used to determine the vulnerability of the system to an abrupt change and a warming-induced release of land carbon, respectively. In (a), the application of MEP to vertical turbulent fluxes puts these “noisy” fluxes at centre-stage in the climate system, rather than being treated as a residual term in the surface energy balance.
The Newton Institute programme has stimulated progress in all three of these areas. This talk will summarize the current state-of-play and suggest priorities for follow-on research.