# Is it possible to predict the weather a century from now in a given spot?

If you had a Dyson sphere, say, and enough determination, could you discover the exact weather in Chicago in 100 years?

Do you have any idea what a Dyson Sphere actually is?

Regardless, the answer is no. The non linear behaviour of weather precludes being able to definitively state what the conditions in a particular place will be, despite knowing to some ridiculous precision, the initial conditions. You would, however, be able to provide an estimate of what the conditions most likely would be.

I take it you didn’t read the “chaos theory” books or read up on Ed Lorenz and the butterfly effect. We can’t reliably predict the weather a month from now in a given spot; we aren’t even really very good at it a week from now. Too many variables, too much sensitive dependence on really precise starting conditions.

Even if you could measure the exact state of every atom of air, you still couldn’t predict the weather to that level of detail. For one thing you can’t measure both the position and momentum of a particle to arbitrary detail due to the Uncertainty principle. Another, you can’t measure the state of a particle without bouncing particles off of it, which means the act of measuring a microscopic event to arbitrary precision will change the event, the Observer Effect. And lastly, some events on the quantum level seem to really be random, and cannot be predicted even if you know everything about the system. When will a particular uranium nucleus decay? You can predict the likelihood of it decaying, but you’ll never be able to predict when that decay will actually occur.

So there’s no way to learn the initial state of the system with enough precision that you could predict the weather 100 years later, or even one year later.

“Is it possible to predict the weather a century from now in a given spot?”

I think you have to solve the Universe to do that.

No it’s worse than that. If you go and build your deterministic model your starting conditions can only ever be approximations. You’re limited by both your measuring tools and computer power. Those small differences can have the model produce completely different outcomes each and every time it runs (weather prediction).

Which is why you’d have to run the model numerous times and take a look at the overall trends in outcomes to get a picture as to what *may *happen in 100 years (climate prediction).

It will be exactly warmer in March 2116 than in December 2115 in Chicago.

You can predict the climate, if that’s what you’re getting at. Imagine you’re filling a pool with water from a hose. When you know the water level is rising on average, that’s climate. The splashes and waves on the surface (which often dip below the average water level) is weather. Climate can be predictable through modeling known parameters like sunlight, Earth’s albedo, greenhouse gases, etc. Weather, barring educated guesses based on previous experience and knowledge of regional conditions, is basically unpredictable.

We know about global warming due to climate models (and the fact that the earth is getting measurably warmer), but it’s still basically spitballing when you run those models 100 years out. So, while there are tools to help you predict the climate 100 years in the future, unlike weather, in practice predicting the climate next century in a particular location is going to be just as difficult as predicting the weather a century hence.

Hell, we can’t predict the exact weather in Chicago 100 hours from now.

100 years from today in Hilo Hawaii the high will be around 80 the low will be around 68 and it will rain for about 5-15 minutes. Just like every other day.

I predict it will be windy.

Can anybody figure out what the Dyson sphere has to do with the OP?

Well all weather ultimately comes from the sun. If you live on a dysons sphere you wouldn’t have variations in solar heat so there would be no weather.

I’m going to bet that the OP was just postulating a Dyson sphere sized computer to do all the calculations.

As noted, you cannot do the calculations no matter how detailed the information you have is because of chaos theory combined with truly random quantum effects. It isn’t that you don’t know - you can’t know and you will get different results even if you were able to run it as a perfectly controlled experiment 1,000,000 times. The universe isn’t deterministic on very small or large scales.

That is a major problem I have with time travel stories. They usually warn the traveler not to do anything that will interfere with the future but that is impossible. Even doing something as simple as speaking to someone for a brief instant changes the entire chaotic timeline from that point forward in completely unpredictable ways.

You couldn’t even predict the exact future weather for March 22, 2016 if you went back to March 22, 1916 with a copy of today’s weather reports in hand. The fact that you existed 100 years ago in the new timeline would change everything including history and weather. The popular name for chaos theory is ‘the butterfly effect’ and it refers to the fact that large chaotic systems are so sensitive to small inputs that a butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo can influence weather in another part of the world weeks or months later. That is meant to be a literal statement and not hyperbole.

I was gonna buy one of those fancy vacuums, but they cost too much.

Several people have come close to me; can I predict it? Sure! The high will be 57 and the low 43 degrees, winds will be light and from the southwest, and some of the northern districts will see some cloud cover but most areas will have good strong sun for a majority of the daylight hours. Clouds will be rolling in before dusk however. See? Predictions are the easy part.
Will I be correct? Possibly but even I wouldn’t bet on it.

I think it’s to put a wall around the Earth, making it self-contained and removing the possibility of unpredictable outside influences such as meteorite strikes.

Look at a pending storm track, whether snow or a hurricane & how the further out it is the wider the cone that might be affected; & that’s 2, 3, 4 days out. Maybe in 100 years the models will be good enough to predict 100 years beyond that, but I doubt it.

Well, that sucks.
Do you know the weather in Hell when I arrive in my handbasket?

I predict it’ll be a cold day.