Section: Application Domains
The Ocean-Atmosphere System
The evolution of natural systems, in the short, mid, or long term, has extremely important consequences for both the global Earth system and humanity. Forecasting this evolution is thus a major challenge from the scientific, economic, and human viewpoints.
Humanity has to face the problem of global warming, brought on by the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities. This warming will probably cause huge changes at global and regional scales, in terms of climate, vegetation and biodiversity, with major consequences for local populations. Research has therefore been conducted over the past 15 to 20 years in an effort to model the Earth's climate and forecast its evolution in the 21st century in response to anthropic action.
With regard to short-term forecasts, the best and oldest example is of course weather forecasting. Meteorological services have been providing daily short-term forecasts for several decades which are of crucial importance for numerous human activities.
Numerous other problems can also be mentioned, like seasonal weather forecasting (to enable powerful phenomena like an El Nio event or a drought period to be anticipated a few months in advance), operational oceanography (short-term forecasts of the evolution of the ocean system to provide services for the fishing industry, ship routing, defense, or the fight against marine pollution) or the prediction of floods.
As mentioned previously, mathematical and numerical tools are omnipresent and play a fundamental role in these areas of research. In this context, the vocation of AIRSEA is not to carry out numerical prediction, but to address mathematical issues raised by the development of prediction systems for these application fields, in close collaboration with geophysicists.