SPEARS Seminar: Opportunities and Challenges in Space Weather Modeling

Dr Terry Onsager, Space Weather Prediction Center, NOAA

Tuesday 29 March 2011, 1400-1600
Cavendish Colloquium Room

Dr Terry Onsager of the US Space Weather Prediction Center will be visiting the SPEARS group and will be giving a seminar. Dr Onsager is a world-leading figure in Space Weather studies and will be speaking on the difficulties of adapting basic solar system research to end-user demands in an area of increasing impact.


Space weather is undergoing a major transformation whereby the demand for decision-capable information is beginning to far exceed our ability to produce the needed information. This increase in demand is occurring among the commercial and government sectors in an expanding number of countries around the globe.

The increasing demand for space weather information creates the imperative to focus our research not only on improving our understanding of basic physical processes, but also on achieving specific outcomes that yield near-term progress in areas of high demand. The limitations in our space weather capabilities are due to a number of factors, including a sparsity of data, limitations in our ability to assimilate data into our models, and the difficulties in modelling the diversity of scales and processes that control the solar-terrestrial environment.

This presentation will discuss the opportunities and the challenges associated with this growth in space weather interest. One key opportunity is with the increasing access to data and shared products from partner organizations throughout the world. Our major challenge is to provide the timely and accurate space weather information needed to support the increasing demand, which will require targeted improvements in physical understanding and applications-oriented models.