Fluid Mechanics and Public Policy: Environmental Impacts and Change


Chiang C. Mei Lecture in Applied Mechanics
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Lecture Hall E14-633

Speaker: Julian Hunt, Professor of Climate Modeling, Department of Space and Climate Physics and Department of Earth Sciences, University College London

The contributions of fluid mechanics to dealing with problems of public policy concerned with natural disasters and environmental change are increasingly used by decision makers and practitioners. This has benefitted fluid mechanics through the new questions that have arisen from these problems. There has been substantial progress in the analysis and forecasting of extreme events and their impacts both in the atmosphere and oceans, and also progress in understanding and ameliorating the effects on the environment of human activities, from the scale of cities to the whole globe.

More technical progress with great social benefits should be possible through greater collaboration between fluid mechanics and other areas of science and technology, such as geology, atmospheric electricity, remote sensing, and urban development. But the greatest progress in using fluid mechanics will come from recognizing that new approaches are needed, since the future environment will have many features that differ from those in the past; it becomes even more necessary to follow the USA practice and have better exchange and communication of relevant data and knowledge.”


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