We’re not predicting games, we’re identifying trends

A passage from an essay on climate change that applies to predictive analytics in general:

People often say that meteorologists' inability to predict weather credibly beyond about ten days bodes ill for climate projection over decades. This misses a key difference between the instantaneous state of the atmosphere - weather - versus its time and space averages - climate. Even though the evolution of atmospheric conditions is inherently chaotic and the slightest perturbation today can make a huge difference in the weather a thousand miles away and weeks hence, large scale climate show little tendency to exhibit chaotic behaviour (at least on timescales longer than a decade).

- Confidence, Consensus and the Uncertainty Cops: Tackling Risk Management in Climate Change, Stephen H. Schneider

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