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April 16, 2009

From Plankton to Hailstones

by brainoids

Another drive-by brainoid: while learning about the Processing visualization language, I stumbled across this beautiful visualization of a system dynamics model of marine ecosystems, which captures the evolution of three discrete categories: nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton (the latter two across a range of size bins):

Dynamic visualization of a multi-category nonlinear system

Dynamic visualization of a multi-category nonlinear system

This would be a perfect and beautiful visualization tool to apply to cloud physics models, which feature complex and sometimes nonlinear interactions between various categories of hydrometeors (supercooled water droplets, ice crystals, snow, graupel and hail, etc).   The tunable parameters could include aerosol or ice nuclei concentration, cloud updraft rate, ambient temperature, etc.   To run in real-time this would be more of a cloud physics parameterization visualization rather than a full-out cloud model or thunderstorm model, but could be an incredibly useful learning tool.

I love dataporn.

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