Review Article | Published:

The quiet revolution of numerical weather prediction

Nature volume 525, pages 4755 (03 September 2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

Advances in numerical weather prediction represent a quiet revolution because they have resulted from a steady accumulation of scientific knowledge and technological advances over many years that, with only a few exceptions, have not been associated with the aura of fundamental physics breakthroughs. Nonetheless, the impact of numerical weather prediction is among the greatest of any area of physical science. As a computational problem, global weather prediction is comparable to the simulation of the human brain and of the evolution of the early Universe, and it is performed every day at major operational centres across the world.

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Acknowledgements

We thank C. Jakob and M. Miller for motivating us to write this paper. We are grateful to E. Källén, F. Rabier and A. Simmons for comments and to L. Magnusson for input and figures.

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Affiliations

  1. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Shinfield Park, Reading RG2 9AX, UK

    • Peter Bauer
    •  & Alan Thorpe
  2. Environment Canada, Trans-Canada Highway Dorval, Québec H9P 1J3, Canada

    • Gilbert Brunet

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Contributions

P.B. led the writing of the paper and conceived the ideas of Figs 5 and 6. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript and assembled the remaining figures.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peter Bauer.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14956

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