CGD Seminar Series

Title: Gordian Knots of Prevision: The lessons of history

Speaker: James Fleming, Colby College

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 11:00 a.m.
Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room

Atmospheric researchers have long attempted to untie the Gordian Knot of meteorology—that intractable and intertwined tangle of observational imprecision, theoretical uncertainties, and non-linear influences—that, if unraveled, would provide perfect prevision of the weather for ten days, of seasonal conditions for next year, and of climatic conditions for a decade, a century, a millennium, or longer. This presentation, based on Inventing Atmospheric Science (M.I.T. Press, 2016), examines the work of three interconnected generations of scientists (Vilhelm Bjerknes, C.-G. Rossby, Harry Wexler) and the influence of three families of transformative technologies (radio, aerospace, nuclear) in the first six decades of the twentieth century, from the dawn of applied fluid dynamics to the emergence, by 1960, of the interdisciplinary atmospheric sciences and the new Gordian Knot of chaos.


Room Number: 
Main Seminar Room

Type of event:

Will this event be webcast to the public by NCAR|UCAR?: 
Yes - ML-Main Seminar Room -
Announcement Timing: 
October 17, 2017
Calendar Timing: 
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 11:00am to 12:00pm