CS Distinguished Lecture: Steve Easterbrook (University of Toronto) - Computing the Climate: Building the Software for Understanding Climate Change
Tue, Nov 10, 2020 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM
Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars
Speaker: Steve Easterbrook, University of Toronto
Talk Title: Computing the Climate: Building the Software for Understanding Climate Change
Series: Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series
Abstract: The history of climate science is closely tied to the history of computing. Climate scientists have always pushed the limits of computational modelling, from the first computational weather forecasts developed by von Neumann and Charney to run on ENIAC, to the earth system models used to produce projections of future climate change for the most recent IPCC reports. Along the way, climate scientists have developed a sophisticated set of software development practices tailored to the needs of a science in which virtual experiments are essential for understanding the relationships between human activity and the global climate system. In this talk, I will first explain what climate models do, via a quick tour of the history of climate modelling. I will then show how a core set of software development practices are used to support a culture of scientific experimentation which provides robust answers to societally important questions. I will end the talk with a brief overview of the current generation of climate model experiments. These address critically important questions such as whether there are still viable pathways to deliver the UN's commitment to constrain global warming to no more than +2*C, and whether geo-engineering can buy us more time to address the underlying causes of climate change.
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This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.
Biography: Steve Easterbrook is the Director of the School of the Environment and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. (1991) in Computing from Imperial College in London (UK), and joined the faculty at the School of Cognitive and Computing Science, University of Sussex. From 1995-99, he was lead scientist at NASA's Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in West Virginia, where he investigated software verification on the Space Shuttle Flight Software, the International Space Station, and the Earth Observation System. He moved to the University of Toronto in 1999. His research interests range from modelling and analysis of complex adaptive systems to the socio-cognitive aspects of team interaction. His current research is in climate informatics, where he studies how climate scientists develop computational models to improve their understanding of earth systems and climate change, and the broader question of how that knowledge is shared with other communities. He has been a visiting scientist at the UK Met Office Hadley Centre, in Exeter, the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado; the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology, in Hamburg, and the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris.
Host: Heather Culbertson
More Info: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0sw0PJhSTFuyqKxoQie5Gw
Location: Online Zoom Webinar
Audiences: Everyone Is Invited
Contact: Computer Science Department