Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The Japanese government in particular is investing millions in its own studies of El Nino, and for good reason. Japan has historically been a magnet for highly destructive Pacific typhoons, storms that, along with the earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions that bring regular ruin, have helped forge the national character traits of stoicism and mutual philanthropy. Forecasting such traumatic occurrences would of course be a fine thing, for the national economy, for the nation's morale. The recent accelerating ability to forecast the eruptions of volcanoes may still not have been matched by an ability to predict earthquakes. But to balance that, a major effort is now being made in Japan to fine-tune global long-term weather forecasting, and in particular to investigate the possibilities of predicting when an El Nino - with its clustering of typhoons - is most likely to occur.
-Simon Winchester, Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers