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Invisible in the storm : the role of mathematics in understanding weather

Author: Ian Roulstone; John Norbury
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2013]
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"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  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ian Roulstone; John Norbury
ISBN: 9780691152721 0691152721
OCLC Number: 820118666
Description: ix, 325 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Contents: Prelude: new beginnings --
The fabric of a vision --
From lore to laws --
Advances and adversity --
When the wind blows the wind --
Interlude: A Gordian Knot --
Constraining the possibilities --
The metamorphosis of meteorology --
Math gets the picture --
Predicting in the presence of chaos --
Postlude: beyond the butterfly.
Responsibility: Ian Roulstone and John Norbury.

Abstract:

"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"--

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Winner of the 2015 Louis J. Battan Author's Award, American Meteorological Society "Mathematicians Ian Roulstone and John Norbury demystify the maths behind meteorology. Trailblazers' work is vividly Read more...

 
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