"But last fall, denial suddenly gave way to reluctant acceptance that the naysayers were right. Chinese officials staged a sudden about-face, acknowledging for the first time that the massive hydroelectric dam, sandwiched between breathtaking cliffs on the Yangtze River in central China, may be triggering landslides, altering entire ecosystems and causing other serious environmental problems—and, by extension, endangering the millions who live in its shadow."
Which was first popularized in the climate sciences, with the use of a computer.
"The main catalyst for the development of chaos theory was the electronic computer. Much of the mathematics of chaos theory involves the repeated iteration of simple mathematical formulas, which would be impractical to do by hand. Electronic computers made these repeated calculations practical, while figures and images made it possible to visualize these systems. As a graduate student in Chihiro Hayashi's laboratory at Kyoto University, Yoshisuke Ueda was experimenting with analog computers and noticed, on November 27, 1961, what he called "randomly transitional phenomena". Yet his advisor did not agree with his conclusions at the time, and did not allow him to report his findings until 1970."
"Edward Lorenz was an early pioneer of the theory. His interest in chaos came about accidentally through his work on weather prediction in 1961. Lorenz was using a simple digital computer, a Royal McBeeLGP-30, to run his weather simulation. He wanted to see a sequence of data again, and to save time he started the simulation in the middle of its course. He did this by entering a printout of the data that corresponded to conditions in the middle of the original simulation. To his surprise, the weather the machine began to predict was completely different from the previous calculation. Lorenz tracked this down to the computer printout. The computer worked with 6-digit precision, but the printout rounded variables off to a 3-digit number, so a value like 0.506127 printed as 0.506. This difference is tiny, and the consensus at the time would have been that it should have no practical effect. However, Lorenz discovered that small changes in initial conditions produced large changes in long-term outcome. Lorenz's discovery, which gave its name to Lorenz attractors, showed that even detailed atmospheric modelling cannot, in general, make precise long-term weather predictions."
Supercomputer utilitarian benefits in the context of computational resources:
The common intuitive description is to describe a pool table involving the momentums of 2 balls, and that of the momentums of 2000 balls. The underlying principles of momentum conservation remain simple, but predictability can become quite difficult when there are 2000 balls. Computation will become extensive.
Predicting the behavior of an entire system of 2 balls from its initial condition(s) is simple. Predicting the entire system of 2000 balls from its initial condition(s) is much more "complex" as mathematically defined. Computation that is.
The usefulness of supercomputers is understood. In fact, I never predicted that China would overtake the U.S. as quickly as they did.
The point being, there's nothing wrong with geoengineering (or equivalent terms) if it's well grasped.
It's the same with everything else in the sciences. A ship with an iron hull should scare quite a lot of people initially, not unless the physicists have a good understanding of the simple mathematical methods for calculating upthrust forces.
And concerning the effects of the Three Gorges Dam and equivalent infrastructural projects that may have unforeseen natural consequences, that's the main argument for why China should invest heavily in supercomputers.