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Accelerating Actionable Climate Information Through Machine Learning

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Session Description: 

The Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI) proudly presents this Walter Orr Roberts Memorial Public Lecture, presented by Hannah Christensen (University of Oxford). This free public lecture will take place live, in-person on June 7, 2022, 6:00pm MDT at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) at Hallam Lake, 100 Puppy Smith St., Aspen, Colorado.

The lecture will also be live-streamed on Zoom. Click here to register for the Zoom event.

About the lecture: To improve societal and environmental wellbeing, decision-makers need climate information that is actionable. Actionable climate information needs to be timely; sufficiently detailed as to describe the region and processes of interest; trustworthy and truthful in acknowledging uncertainties; and policy- or decision-relevant. We have already begun to observe the transformative power of machine learning (ML) to produce actionable knowledge in weather forecasting (where we can conveniently check whether our predictions are correct). How could ML to do the same, and more, in the context of climate change? This talk will introduce how we make climate predictions, and then describe ways in which ML can enable us to make more trustworthy and more detailed climate predictions, at a faster pace. We’ll also explore how ML can provide a bridge between climate simulators and the idealized models used to develop climate policy, to provide a more complete understanding of the coupled Human-Earth system.

About the Speaker: Hannah Christensen is Associate Professor of Physical Climate in the Physics Department at the University of Oxford and a Fellow at Wadham College Oxford. Her expertise lies in the representation of uncertainty in numerical weather forecasts and climate predictions. She is particularly interested in uncertainty that stems from small-scale phenomena in the Earth system and in how we account for these uncertain phenomena in the computer simulators used to make forecasts. Hannah is leading a global initiative under the World Climate Research Programme on this theme. She believes that an intelligent application of machine learning tools has the power to transform weather and climate prediction. Hannah has written or been interviewed for various media outlets and has presented her work to members of the insurance industry, civil servants, Members of Parliament (UK), and US senators.