Tuesday January 12th, 2021 Water Blog

Chaos and weather

Chaos theory owes a lot to the weather.

Weather is a chaotic system displaying chaotic behaviour on many scales. Today’s weather prediction models have over a million variables and are growing all the time.

But long term prediction is something very different. Global climate is subject to “feedback”. Positive feedback could accelerate even the smallest perturbation by our activities – leading to catastrophe.  This is a difficult thing to get our heads around – what the fate will be – but perhaps it’s better to be safe than sorry, and act now.  We all can benefit from reducing our impact on the planet.


In 1963, Edward Lorenz wrote a paper, “Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow,” which led to the founding principle of chaos theory.  This work expanded rapidly during the 1970s and 1980s into fields as diverse as meteorology, geology, and biology.


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