Program on Mathematical and Statistical Methods for Climate and the Earth System (CLIM)

From the point of view of societal impacts, climate change remains one of the most pressing issues of our time. The fifth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) included stronger statements than ever before about the likelihood of human influence as the dominant driver of climate change, on the increasing frequencies and intensities of extreme events, the likely rise in sea level over the next century, and the human health impacts of climate change. More speculative, but still important, scenarios include the possibility of abrupt climate change through various mechanisms such as disruption to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the destabilization of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and late summer Arctic ice disappearance (these topics form the core of the recent National Research Council report on Abrupt Climate Change). However, while the basic scientific facts of climate change are very widely accepted, many issues of quantifying expected effects, and even more so, theuncertainties associated with those effects, remain unsettled in many cases. Moreover, there has been increasing involvement of mathematicians and statisticians, working in conjunction with climate scientists, to resolve many of these more quantitative issues.

This SAMSI program will study the interrelations among climate data, climate models and impacts with a view towards projecting future climate change and its impact on earth systems and the human population. Specific topics for working groups are expected to include:

  • Reconstructing climate databases using remote sensing data;
  • Global carbon cycle;
  • Parameter estimation in climate models;
  • Data assimilation;
  • Applications of data analytics to climate science;
  • Climate prediction;
  • Climate extremes;
  • Stochastic parameterizations;
  • Climate and health;
  • Applications of dynamical systems and agent-based models to food systems.

Questions: email