I have urged the recognition that climate prediction is an initial value problem; e.g. see
Pielke, R.A., 1998: Climate prediction as an initial value problem. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79, 2743-2746.
There is an excellent discussion and analysis of this subject by Joshua Stults on the weblog Various Consequences with the latest post
The entire post is worth reading including a valuable summary of Ed Lorenz’s published views on this subject. An excerpt from the reads
“……. Our ability to predict the future is fundamentally limited. Not really an earth-shattering discovery; it seems a whole lot like common sense. Does this have any implication for how we make decisions? I think it does. Our choices should be robust with respect to these inescapable limitations. In engineering we look for broad optimums that are insensitive to design or requirements uncertainties. The same sort of design thinking applies to strategic decision making or policy design. The fundamental truism for us to remember in trying to make good decisions under the uncertainty caused by practical and theoretical constraints is that limits on predictability do not imply impotence. “