David Straus, an AOES professor and COLA scientist, has been asked by the editors of Eos to contribute an article explaining “Concepts for Dealing with the Complexity of Weather and Climate”. Eos, named after the Greek goddess of the dawn, is the weekly magazine of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). His description accompanies a more detailed review article Dr. Straus co-authored in AGU’s Reviews of Geophysics.
From the article conclusion:
The ability of atmosphere and coupled atmosphere-ocean models to capture the observed preferred and persistent states (regimes) in the winds and temperature is an important area of research. In terms of week-to-week weather forecasting, the question is how well the models can predict the shifts between regimes, starting from the known initial state. The answer to this depends on two factors: one is the realism of the regimes simulated by the model in long simulations without any information from observations, and the second is how intrinsically predictable the regimes actually are.