id: 06144461
dt: b
an: 2013d.00771
au: Roulstone, Ian; Norbury, John
ti: Invisible in the storm. The role of mathematics in understanding weather.
so: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (ISBN 978-0-691-15272-1/hbk;
978-1-400-84622-1/ebook). ix, 325~p. (2013).
py: 2013
pu: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
la: EN
cc: M50 N10
ut: meteorology; weather prediction; weather forecasting; atmospheric science;
atmosphere; chaos theory; butterfly effect; numerical methods
ci:
li:
ab: “Invisible in the Storm” is the first book to recount the history,
personalities, and ideas behind one of the greatest scientific
successes of modern times ‒ the use of mathematics in weather
prediction. Although humans have tried to forecast weather for
millennia, mathematical principles were used in meteorology only after
the turn of the twentieth century. From the first proposal for using
mathematics to predict weather, to the supercomputers that now process
meteorological information gathered from satellites and weather
stations, Ian Roulstone and John Norbury narrate the groundbreaking
evolution of modern forecasting. The authors begin with Vilhelm
Bjerknes, a Norwegian physicist and meteorologist who in 1904 came up
with a method now known as numerical weather prediction. Although his
proposed calculations could not be implemented without computers, his
early attempts, along with those of Lewis Fry Richardson, marked a
turning point in atmospheric science. Roulstone and Norbury describe
the discovery of chaos theory’s butterfly effect, in which tiny
variations in initial conditions produce large variations in the
long-term behavior of a system ‒ dashing the hopes of perfect
predictability for weather patterns. They explore how weather
forecasters today formulate their ideas through state-of-the-art
mathematics, taking into account limitations to predictability.
Millions of variables ‒ known, unknown, and approximate ‒ as well
as billions of calculations, are involved in every forecast, producing
informative and fascinating modern computer simulations of the Earth
system. Accessible and timely, “Invisible in the Storm” explains
the crucial role of mathematics in understanding the ever-changing
weather.
rv: Nina Shokina (Freiburg)