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This Week at Physics

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Event Number 3289

  Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Variability, uncertainty, and vulnerability in our chaotic climate
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: John Young, UW Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Abstract: Climate and weather are part of a chaotic continuum which impact our world through variability, predictive and statistical uncertainty, and damaging extremes. In this talk I will illustrate these issues with examples from observed atmospheric temperature and precipitation patterns and time behavior.

Weather chaos naturally extends to slow variations and often power-law spectra. The probability distributions of temperature differ strongly from those for precipitation, which yield power law distributions at the extreme range. Impacts often result from extreme states which exceed threshold values. Since extremes are typically estimated with large uncertainty, ecological impacts are similarly estimated for a finite range of probability. An example of a physical constraint on extreme precipitation will be given: the "1,000 year flooding rain".
Host: Clint Sprott
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