What is data assimilation and how can we use mathematics to improve weather and climate prediction?
On the one hand, you have an imperfect computer model of a filtered version of the atmosphere and ocean; on the other hand, you have been taking imperfect observations of the actual atmosphere and ocean. How, mathematically, can you combine these two entities to obtain initial conditions that minimize prediction error and/or expose model error? These are the central questions addressed by data assimilation. In this talk, I’ll give a brief introduction to data assimilation and highlight how my research is using mathematics to address some of the major challenges currently facing the weather and climate prediction communities.
Professor Craig Bishop, Earth Sciences
Professor Craig Bishop
Professor Craig Bishop was born in Melbourne and was awarded a bachelor’s degree with honours and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Monash University. Prof Bishop’s innovative ensemblebased data assimilation and ensembleforecasting techniques are now used by leading environmental forecasting agencies such as the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, the UK Met Office, the German weather service, the Swiss weather service, the US National Weather Service, the US Navy and the Japanese, Korean and Brazilian Meteorological agencies. After completing his PhD, he was a postdoc at the University of Reading where he was awarded the Royal Meteorological Society’s L.F. Richardson prize for his PhD work on the dynamics of baroclinic waves in deformation fields. He then worked as a visiting scientist at the NASA Goddard space flight center where he received the Universities Space Research Association, 1994 Excellence in Scientific Research Award. This was followed by an appointment to the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University’s prestigious Department of Meteorology – then the largest atmospheric science department in the United States. There he was granted early tenure and promotion. However, to obtain a better understanding of the operational weather prediction problem, he left Penn State for the Marine Meteorology Division of the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, California. There he was awarded six outstanding contribution awards, three NRL Alan Berman publication awards, and one NRL Edison patent award. He returned to Australia as Professor of Weather Prediction at the University of Melbourne in June 2018. He is a founding cochair of the World Meteorological Organization’s Working Group on Predictability, Dynamics and Ensemble Forecasting. He is an associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. He served as chair of the Science Steering Committee of the Joint (NASA, NOAA, US Navy, US AirForce, National Science Foundation) Center for Satellite Data Assimilation from 2007 to 2010. He was elected to the International Commission on Dynamical Meteorology in 2010 and as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2012. In 2015, he served as the PhD student elected Distinguished Visiting Scientist of the University of Reading’s internationally renowned department of meteorology. His current research mainly focusses on the data assimilation science of using models, observations and advanced estimation theory to initialise ensemble forecasts and to identify and account for systematic and stochastic aspects of model error in ensemble forecasting.