At first, he thought that the computer was malfunctioning. Then he realized that had not entered the initial conditions well. The numbers had a discrepancy of only 0.1%, but even this tiny divergence had completely changed the end result. Lorenz realized that in climate issues, the perfect prediction was a fantasy. A perfect forecast would require not only a perfect model, but also perfect knowledge of wind, temperature, humidity and other conditions around the world at the same time. Even a small discrepancy could lead to completely different forecasts. Lorenz published his findings in 1963.
The work he wrote is a masterpiece of clarity about why weather is unpredictable, said Doyne Farmer, Professor of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. The following year, Lorenz published another paper that described how a small change in the parameters in a model could produce completely different behaviors, transforming events scheduled, newspapers, in a chaotic pattern. During a meeting of the American Association for the advancement of science in 1972, gave a talk with a title that captured the essence of his ideas: predictability: the flapping of a butterfly in Brazil can unleash a tornado in Texas?. Lorenz was not the first to trip over the chaos. At the end of the 19th century, the French mathematician Henri Poincare showed that the gravitational dance of three celestial bodies was so complex that it was impossible to calculate, but the equations that describe the motion seem simple. But the ideas of Poincare were not recognized in his time.
The work of Lorenz attracted little attention until mid-1970. Lorenz remained active almost until the end of his life, researching and doing outdoor activities outdoor. Two weeks ago and a half made an excursion and makes one ended a work with a colleague, told his daughter, Cheryl. Wikipedia us adds to the respect of Lorenz, to study mathematics at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.