Thursday, January 12, 2012
Latest models could give disaster warnings
An ensemble of climate and weather simulations could help developing countries better prepare for extreme events such as tropical cyclones, droughts and floods, scientists have said. Many poorer countries rely on traditional weather forecasting techniques, in which an initial set of weather conditions is fed into a single model to predict future adverse events, typically one or two days ahead. Instead, the 'ensemble' method, developed in the 1990s but requiring a computational infrastructure that eludes most developing countries, uses multiple models, or versions of models, each processing different types of information to reach its conclusions. Ensembles yield an average forecast up to 15 days ahead.