The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ has a variety of weather data sets and makes a good starting point. Historical weather data is available from climates as disparate as Los Angeles (http://www.losangelesalmanac.com/topics/Weather) to Omaha (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/oax).
The Old Farmer's Almanac boldly makes weather predictions a full year in advance, and puts them on-line at http://www.almanac.com/weather. Compare with current/historical weather data to see how well they do!
The U.S. Census Bureau maintains a world population clock projection service at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/popclockw, which reports that there are exactly 6,083,935,136 potential buyers for this book at the moment I am writing this. This site explains their model, and points to on-line sources of demographic information.
The details of your model can have huge impacts on the size of your predicted population. The Census Bureau and the United Nations differed by more than three months as to the date when the human population first crossed the 6 billion mark. The two counts differed by roughly 18 million people. Projecting such disparities forward for 50 years can lead to vastly different conclusions.
I hope you have enjoyed this excerpt from
Calculated Bets: Computers, Gambling, and Mathematical Modeling to
Win!, by Steven Skiena,
Cambridge University Press
Mathematical Association of America.
This is a book about a gambling system that works. It tells the story of how the author used computer simulation and mathematical modeling techniques to predict the outcome of jai-alai matches and bet on them successfully -- increasing his initial stake by over 500% in one year! His method can work for anyone: at the end of the book he tells the best way to watch jai-alai, and how to bet on it. With humor and enthusiasm, Skiena details a life-long fascination with the computer prediction of sporting events. Along the way, he discusses other gambling systems, both successful and unsuccessful, for such games as lotto, roulette, blackjack, and the stock market. Indeed, he shows how his jai-alai system functions just like a miniature stock trading system.
Do you want to learn about program trading systems, the future of Internet gambling, and the real reason brokerage houses don't offer mutual funds that invest at racetracks and frontons? How mathematical models are used in political polling? The difference between correlation and causation? If you are curious about gambling and mathematics, odds are this is the book for you!