EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Weather pattern dynamics over western Europe under climate change: predictability, information entropy and production

Stéphane Vannitsem
Stéphane Vannitsem
  • Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, Meteorological and Climatological Information Service, Brussels, Belgium (

The impact of climate change on weather pattern dynamics over the North Atlantic is explored through the lens of the information theory of forced dissipative dynamical systems.

The predictability problem is first tackled by investigating the evolution of block entropies on observational time series of weather patterns produced by the Met Office, which reveals that predictability is increasing as a function of time in the observations during the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, while the trend is reversed at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century. This feature is also investigated in the 15-member ensemble of the UK Met Office CMIP5 model for the 20th and 21st centuries under two climate change scenarios, revealing a wide range of possible evolutions depending on the realization considered, with an overall decrease in predictability in the 21st century for both scenarios.

Lower bounds of the information entropy production are also extracted, providing information on the degree of time asymmetry and irreversibility of the dynamics. The analysis of the UK Met Office model runs suggests that the information entropy production will increase by the end of the 21st century, by a factor of 10% in the Representative Carbon Pathway RCP2.6 scenario and a factor of 30 %–40% in the RCP8.5 one, as compared to the beginning of the 20th century. This allows one to make the conjecture that the degree of irreversibility is increasing, and hence heat production and dissipation will also increase under climate change, corroborating earlier findings based on the analysis of the thermodynamic entropy production.

How to cite: Vannitsem, S.: Weather pattern dynamics over western Europe under climate change: predictability, information entropy and production, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6728,, 2023.