With complexity, interconnection, and change comes chaos (Lorentz*) A mathematical theory describing systems that are very sensitive to the way they are originally set up; small discrepancies in the initial conditions will lead to completely different outcomes when the system has been in operation for a while. For example, the motion of a pendulum when its point of suspension undergoes forced oscillation will form a particular pattern as it swings.
Started from a slightly different position, it can form a completely distinctive pattern, which could not have been predicted by studying the first one. The weather is a partly chaotic system, which means that even with perfectly accurate forecasting techniques, there will always be a limit to the length of time ahead of that a useful forecast can be made. *Edward Lorenz elegantly demonstrated, notwithstanding the simplest system embodying these characteristics has a distinct limit to its predictability because of any error, however, small, in any component grows in magnitude with time and effects a chain of consequent changes in other components of the system. Edward Lorenz published his findings on the limitations of the predictability of the atmosphere, which in turn led to his pioneering work on deterministic chaos. See Butterfly effect, Complexity, system thinking design consideration overview
- Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change 2002