A New View Of The Climate System Involving Spatio-temporal Chaos

There have been two post on Climate Etc [Judy Curry’s weblog] that may change how we view the climate system. These posts under a name Tomas Milanovic  are

Chaos, ergodicity, and attractors

Spatio-temporal chaos

The text of one of the posts concludes that

“Fluid dynamics is a field theory. This means that the solutions of the Navier Stokes partial differential equations are fields – functions f(x,y,z,t) like velocity and pressure fields. The “phase space” of fluid dynamics is a Hilbert space where the elements are fields (functions). This Hilbert space is uncountably infinite dimensional (the L2 space of square integrable functions) and exactly the same as the one used to study quantum mechanics and more generally any PDE system.

This above mentioned fundamental property, which applies to the even broader climate system of which fluid dynamics is just one part,  is what makes the difference between temporal and spatio- temporal chaos.”

This view significantly broadens out the view of the climate system to include its spatial components and pattern features involving atmospheric/ocean features such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, ENSO, the North Atlantic Oscillation, etc.  As the text in one of the post writes

 “….the only approach that in my opinion goes in the right direction is Tsonis (see also the thread on climate shifts). If one reinterprets the Tsonis theory in the frame of a more general and correct field theory, he suggests that the climate attractor exists and is 5 dimensional. He identifies the 5 fields with 5 oceanic oscillations and quantifies every field by a single number (index). He doesn’t formulate it that way and it is extremely unlikely that a 3D field can be relevantly represented by a single number, but the paradigm is on the right track. I am convinced that this kind of approach will eventually lead to progress.”

I am privileged to be working with a Ph.d. student at the University of Colorado, Marcia Hyatt, who independently, developed an intuitive idea of what is refersed to as spatio-temporal chaos.  Marcia is working with Anastasios Tsonis and Sergev Kravtsov of the University of Wisconsin (as part of her doctoral committee) on this subject and the viewpoint expressed in the weblog posts will be  very valuable.

I look forward to posting Marcia’s research results when available.

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