PAOC Spotlights

MIT on Chaos and Climate

Sun January 28th, 2018
Lauren Hinkel

Charney-Lorenz Symposium LC website banner slide.jpg (Full)

A Two-Day Centenary Celebration of Jule Charney and Ed Lorenz

We invite you to a symposium celebrating the diverse and enduring scientific legacies of former MIT professors Jule Charney and Ed Lorenz, groundbreaking contemporaries of the 20th century whose seminal contributions to atmospheric dynamics and chaos theory launched modern meteorology and transformed numerous other scientific disciplines. Their stories illustrate the critical and far-reaching value of basic scientific research.

This symposium is presented by: The Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences - Co-sponsored by the Lorenz Center and the Houghton Fund, featuring presentations by colleagues from across MIT and the scientific community.

If you'd like to attend, please register here and/or watch Friday's presentations online.

Full Agenda:  (note the location change on Thursday from 6-120 to 54-100)

Celebrating the Lives of Jule Charney and Ed Lorenz

Thursday, February 1st        
11 AM – 8PM 

11:00am Welcome and Mingle 9th Floor of the Green Building (54-915) Coffee, refreshments and light lunch

1:00pm Numerical Weather Prediction and Predictability MIT 54-100 with Introduction by John Marshall

Short presentations include:

Charney, Lorenz, and the concept of predictability amidst chaos—Jagadish Shukla

Charney and Lorenz: Two “wet” dynamicists—David Randall

Ed Lorenz was no Tarzan, but he loved the outdoors and he had Jane—Kevin Trenberth

My colleagues Jule Charney and Ed Lorenz—Carl Wunsch

Ellen Gille and the discovery of chaos—Dan Rothman



2:55pm The Science of Jule Charney and Ed Lorenz

Sneak peek at a short documentary in-progress Meg Rosenburg (’07 XII), Editor/Producer MIT Video Productions

3:05pm Coffee and Conversation


3:30pm Atmospheric Dynamics

Short presentations include:

Charney's role in the development of tropical dynamics—Peter Webster

Tropical meteorology in the field: Jule as Chief Scientist of BOMEX—Ray Bates

Charney, my advisor—Eugenia Kalnay

Meeting Jule in Venice in 1973, Ed in Cambridge in 1980—Paola Rizzoli

Why Charney would have loved exoplanets—Ray Pierrehumbert

Charney’s Zonally Symmetric Coupled Model Project—Ed Schneider

The Charney Number—Mankin Mak


5:30pm Adjourn

6:00pm Reception and Dinner Samberg Conference Center (E52-6th Floor) Open Mic for testimonials, vignettes and reminiscences

Celebrating the Science of Jule Charney and Ed Lorenz

Friday, February 2nd         —Open to the public—
8:30AM – 5:30PM | MIT Wong Auditorium, Room E51-115

8:30 am Registration & Coffee

9:00 am Welcome Robert van der Hilst, Schlumberger Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, MIT, Head of EAPS

9:10 am Basic research: the Lifeblood of a Successful Society Ernest Moniz, Cecil & Ida Green Professor Emeritus of Physics and Engineering Systems, MIT Special Advisor to the MIT President, CEO and Co-Chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative


Lives and Science of Charney & Lorenz

9:30 am Jule Charney as Role Model Joseph Pedlosky, Emeritus Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

10:00 am Edward N. Lorenz and the End of the Cartesian Universe Kerry Emanuel, Cecil & Ida Green Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT Co-Director of the Lorenz Center

10:30 am Coffee Break


Weather & Climate

11.00 am From Determinism to Probability in Numerical Weather Prediction Tim Palmer, Royal Society Research Professor, University of Oxford

11:20 am Atmospheric Dynamics Richard Lindzen, Professor Emeritus, MIT

11:40 am Convective Aggregation, Clouds, and Climate Allison Wing, Assistant Professor, Florida State University

12:00 pm From Charney’s Hypothesis to Multiple Climate Equilibria in the Sahel Elfatih Eltahir, Breene M. Kerr Professor of Hydrology and Climate, MIT

12:20 pm From Weather to Climate Prediction (by Numerical Process) Mark Cane, G. Unger Vetlesen Professor Emeritus of Earth & Climate Sciences, Columbia University

12:40 pm Carbon and Climate Inez Fung, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of California, Berkeley

1:00 pm Lunch Buffet


Beyond Earth Science

2:00 pm Experimental Fluid Dynamics Harry Swinney, Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair and Professor of Physics, UT Austin

2:20 pm Non-linear Dynamics & Turbulence Michael Brenner, Michael F. Cronin Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics Professor of Physics, Harvard University

2:40 pm Chaos and the Solar System Jack Wisdom, Professor of Planetary Science, MIT

3:00 pm Hydrodynamic Quantum Analogs John Bush, Associate Department Head and Professor of Applied Mathematics, MIT

3:20 pm Coffee Break

4:00 pm Fluid Dynamics and Health Lydia Bourouiba, Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Assistant Professor, MIT

4:20 pm Biological Population Dynamics Jeff Gore, Associate Professor of Physics, MIT Perspectives

4:40 pm The Legacy of Jule Charney and Ed Lorenz Sir Brian Hoskins, Professor of Meteorology, University of Reading Chair, Grantham Institute, Imperial College London

5:00 pm Predictably Unpredictable: Charney, Lorenz and the High Value of Basic Research Panel Discussion moderated by Robert van der Hilst

5:45 pm Adjourn


For more information: John Marshall | -or- Faith Zhang |