Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the modern world, with growing and important impacts on natural systems and human life. The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate events have powerful consequences. Hence, it is important to have models that can be used to make effective predictions on a variety of geographical and time scales.
The impact of these phenomena on human life is enormous. Intense and frequent heat waves caused by climate change can be fatal. Climate change is also expected to alter the geographic and seasonal distributions of existing vectors and vector-borne diseases. Rising temperature, changing precipitation patterns, and a higher frequency of some extreme weather events associated with climate change will influence the distribution, abundance, and prevalence of infection in vectors and pathogens.
Climate is a complex coupled system involving significant physical processes for the atmosphere, ocean, and land over a wide range of spatial scales (from millimeters to thousands of kilometers) and time scales (minutes to decades or centuries). Climate research has traditionally relied upon comprehensive computational atmospheric and oceanic simulation models designed to mimic complex physical spatio-temporal patterns in nature. Either through lack of resolution due to limitations in computing power or an inability to model nature through first principles, such simulations require parameterized models of many features of the climate system. There are, however, intrinsic model errors that are not readily ascertained. Climate change science must cope with predicting the coarse-grained dynamic changes of an extremely complex system by using a combination of first principles and models for which uncertainty quantification is limited at best.
A highly nontrivial interplay of partial differential equations, probability theory, numerics and large-scale computing, and mathematical and statistical modeling for large dimensional turbulentdynamical systems modeling will need to come into play to make progress in this very important area.