I wrote to my MP about the concerns my science fiction short story ‘Ripple Effect’ published in Jupiter 38 threw up. He was kind enough to ask the Secretary of State, the Right Honourable Edward Davey MP for a response. This is what the Secretary of State had to say:
“Small-scale local weather effects tend to dissipate quickly within the genral turbulence of the atmosphere. In theory a small-scale effect could result in consequences at much larger scales but this is generally only seen in grossly simplified chaos models. Complex models used by meteorologists confirm that much larger changes than those at the smallest scales are needed to make a real difference to the weather.
“The main reason why meteorologists are currently unable to forecast the weather accurately more than a few days in advance relates to the need to represent (or ‘parameterise’) some of the crucial physical processes governing the weather but which operate on small space scales (such as cloud formation). Parameterisation is needed because of limited available computing power. Also, model sensitivity to initial conditions is characteristic of highly non-linear systems, including the weather. Observations are necessarily limited, resulting in imperfect initial conditions for model runs. Such inaccuracies can grow over a few days to a week and reduce the skill in forecasting the weather than far ahead.
“Nonetheless, it remains essential that we take urgent action to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases, as certain weather events are projected to increase in frequency and/or intensity as a result of climate change.”
My thanks to both my MP and the Right Honourable Secretary of State for the time and trouble they took to reply to me.
… um… why do I think there will be further chronicles from Hermione? Or put it another way, one of friends who read my short story before it was published suggested I expand it into a novel entitled, “Climate Wars”. I’m now thinking he was right…