September 4

# September 4 - September 4 2008 How can we predict these...

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September 4, 2008 How can we predict these events? Events can be short-lived or long-lived. Hurricanes are predictable Earthquakes are unpredictable Occam’s razor: generally trying to come up with a hypothesis with the fewest amount of assumptions. A cause and effect relationship and associated predictions is an inherently deterministic view It works only with events whose outcomes occur with nearly 100% probability. (ex: flooding from tidal forces) Mother nature is non deterministic individual events are inherently unpredictable this requires a statistical approach such as probabilities since we don't fully understand many natural processes. When trying to understand a particular phenomena, there's a bunch of theory's one can follow. We think in deterministic terms , where an event happens and there is an effect, and if we know the cause, therefore we will know the effect. only true for things that often often. generally, this approach cannot be used because they are very complex things. many different variables involved. ex: sea surface temp, humidity, pressure cells around the hurricane etc. Part of the reason we have trouble naturally is that there are things going on inside the hurricane or typhoon itself that control the intensity of the hurricane and those processes are not yet understood. (we do not know the physics of) # of variable we have to consider and we don’t understand all of them so we use probabilities, we take a statistical approach Recurrence interval : average time interval between the occurrence of two events of a given size/magnitude- they use probabilistic forecast on past occurrence Base probability estimates on past occurrences. Problems:

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## This note was uploaded on 09/24/2010 for the course ARTS NDIS235 taught by Professor Schwarts during the Fall '09 term at McGill.

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September 4 - September 4 2008 How can we predict these...

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