Explanation behind 'warm winters', and 'cold summers'

By | June 20, 2014

+John Baez has an written an excellent, easily-understandable article on why 'warm' and 'cold' weather patters cycle every frew years.

The one thing missing from his map: El Nino affects Europe too. It is what is responsible for the very cold winters in Germany – and I certainly don't look forward to a biting winter, should the El Nino prediction for 2014 hold true!

Have a look:


Reshared post from +John Baez

El Niño Project

El Niño is the biggest unpredictable aspect of the Earth's weather system.  It causes floods here, droughts there, it happens roughly every 3 to 7 years, but it's very hard to predict more than 6 months before it happens.  The last really big one, in 1997, unleashed a blast of global warming as heat stored in the Pacific Ocean entered the atmosphere!   Now we're waiting for the next.

This February, a paper caused a stir by predicting that an El Niño will start in late 2014 with 75% probability.  It used ideas from 'network theory' – the math of systems made of many interacting parts.  It claims that before an El Niño, sea temperatures in a large patch of the Pacific become highly correlated, going up and down in synch.

It could be right, it could be wrong – but the cool part is, the ideas in this paper are pretty simple.   So the Azimuth Code Project wants to check the calculations, study the ideas, and maybe do better.   This is a little band of programmers and scientists working with me on network theory and global warming.   Right now the people taking the lead are David Tanzer, a software developer who works for financial firms in New York, and Graham Jones, a self-employed programmer who also works on genomics and Bayesian statistics.

I hope some of you will join in!  I'll be writing blog posts explaining what we do as we do it – and you can also read what we're doing, and help out, on the Azimuth Forum.  We're just getting started, we're not experts on this topic – so this will be a bit like a reality TV show, with science rather than sex as the main source of drama.

My first blog post:


is a very basic intro to how El Niño works, why it's important, and what we want to do.  More details will follow, but if you can't wait, you can read our discussions on the Azimuth Forum:


To join these discussions, join the forum:


This is gonna be fun!

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