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Climate change and the trillion-dollar millennium mathematics problem

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  • UserTim Palmer (ECMWF)
  • ClockThursday 22 November 2007, 14:00-15:00
  • HouseMR15, CMS.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Doris Allen.

Whilst climate change is believed by many to be the greatest challenge facing humanity, predictions of climate change, both regionally, and globally, remain uncertain. Such uncertainties inevitably lead to difficulties, whether in guiding global policy to mitigate climate change, or in guiding decisions on infrastructure investment to adapt to regional climate change. It is suggested that one of the principal reasons why it has been so difficult to reduce these uncertainties, lies in what, to many, seems a rather arcane mathematical problem: do smooth solutions to the Navier-Stokes equations exist? Although a solution to this problem would win the solver a million-dollar prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute (as one of its Millenium Prize Problems), I will argue that a solution may, a fortiori, have trillion-dollar implications in facing the challenge of climate change.

This talk is part of the Geophysical and Environmental Processes series.

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