Workshop on the mathematics of weather and climate prediction

Workshop on the Mathematics of Weather and Climate Prediction

Met Office, Exeter, 30 March – 3 April 2009

Organisers: John Ball (Oxford Centre for Nonlinear PDE), Mike Cullen (Meteorological Office), Sergei Kuksin (Centre for Analysis and Nonlinear PDEs, Maxwell Institute)


Computations using large and complex numerical models are fundamental in predicting the circulations of the atmosphere and ocean, and hence in weather and climate prediction. Validation of these models is essential, particularly in climate prediction where no verification is possible. It can be achieved by demonstrating that important asymptotic limit solutions of the governing equations, which are simple enough to be resolved by the computer models, can be successfully reproduced. There have been major advances in the mathematical analysis of several of these sets of limit equations, which has brought such validation within reach.

The meeting will contain four mini-courses describing recent developments in the mathematical analysis and physical understanding of important limit equations describing atmosphere and ocean circulations. There will additionally be about 8 research lectures on specific topics in the area. The intended audience are graduate students and research fellows working in either nonlinear partial differential equations or meteorology and oceanography. The intention is that the meteorologists and oceanographers will learn about the new results that have been achieved and the methods that can now be used for nonlinear problems; and that the mathematicians will learn about physically important unsolved problems to work on.


Breakout and Plenary Sessions

  • Breakout session 1: How can work in nonlinear PDE most benefit climate prediction?
    Chair: Paul Williams (Reading); Rapporteur: Marek Wlasak (Met Office)
    Presentation in plenary
  • Breakout session 2: How can nonlinear PDE work be exploited to improve the long-term accuracy of weather forecast models?
    Chair: Bob Beare (Exeter); Rapporteur: Chris Smith (Met Office)
    Presentation in plenary
  • Breakout session 3:How can we best enlarge our set of relevant well-posed limit equations?
    Chair: Jaques Vanneste (Edinburgh); Rapporteur: Keith Ngan (Met Office)
    Presentation in plenary (coming soon)

Further details

Postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers were supported to attend this event.