MEDIA RELEASE: Connections revealed

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Connections revealed
High-resolution simulations link distant events

We’ve all heard of El Niño and, more recently, La Niña. But how exactly do these ocean events influence the atmosphere?

The increase of computing power provides the tools to answer this question by enabling higher resolutions of global climate models.

Dr Kate Evans heads the Computational Earth Sciences group in the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Speaking on the Thursday of MPE Australia: The Conference, she will outline how global climate models are used, the difficulties, the successes and the wealth of information that they contain.

Many areas of the mathematical sciences are used in these models – physics, applied mathematics, statistics and atmospheric sciences.

The significance to Australia is that with the added resolution, investigations into the links between events such as El Nino – sea surface temperature warming over the Central Western Pacific – and changes to rainfall patterns over Australia can be made.  With the ability to establish connections between remotely forced events, we expect greater accuracy and predictability.

Though this brings to mind the butterfly effect (when a small change at one place results in a large change at another) these events are not chaotically driven – which is terrific!  It means that Dr Evans and her team can investigate the degree of predictability to them.

Dr Evans said: ‘My job is to be passionate about what I do and to interest people to study it. Naturally, scientists are skeptics.  If I can get people to stop and think “… hey, wait a minute…” and inspire them to become more involved, then I would consider that a great success.’

Dr Evans presents Recent strategies and challenges for simulation and reproducibility in global climate modelling, on Thursday 11th July, as part of Maths of Planet Earth Australia: The Conference.

– ENDS –

For interview
Dr Katherine Evans
Climate Change Science Institute
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Media Contact
Stephanie Pradier
M: 0424 568 314
E: stephanie@amsi.org.au[subscribe2]

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