Tim Palmer (Oxford): Status and Future of Climate Modeling — #16

Tim Palmer is Royal Society Research Professor in Climate Physics, and a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin Institute.
Tim Palmer is Royal Society Research Professor in Climate Physics, and a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin Institute.

He is interested in the predictability and dynamics of weather and climate, including extreme events.

He was involved in the first five IPCC assessment reports and was co-chair of the international scientific steering group of the World Climate Research Programme project (CLIVAR) on climate variability and predictability.

After completing his DPhil at Oxford in theoretical physics, Tim worked at the UK Meteorological Office and later the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. For a large part of his career, Tim has developed ensemble methods for predicting uncertainty in weather and climate forecasts.

In 2020 Tim was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences.

Steve, Corey Washington, and Tim first discuss his career path from physics to climate research and then explore the science of climate modeling and the main uncertainties in state-of-the-art models.

In this episode, we discuss:

00:00 Introduction
1:48 Tim Palmer's background and transition from general relativity to climate modeling
15:13 Climate modeling uncertainty
46:41 Navier-Stokes equations in climate modeling
53:37 Where climate change is an existential risk
1:01:26 Investment in climate research


Tim Palmer (Oxford University)

The scientific challenge of understanding and estimating climate change (2019)


Physicist Steve Koonin on climate change

Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.

Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.

Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
© 2022 Steve Hsu