There is no denying that quantifying the observed behavior of our climate is a problem of immense complexity. It is, however, not a problem that is difficult to conceive. We have simple relationships based on calculating budgets of energy: production, loss, and transfers. These relationships define and constrain behavior of the processes that make up the climate as a whole. There is no free will, no credit, no overdraft protection to behave outside of these constraints. Arguments that the climate problem is too large and too complex to model and understand are simply spurious. We just require diligence, rigor, and checking our work in our accounting.
RickyRood, • 6:17 PM GMT on September 22, 2012
Because of the disruptive consequences of global warming, the scientific study of climate change has, long ago, moved out of the domain of curious scientists driven to explain the world around them. Climate change requires more than interpretation and guidance in order to be policy relevant. Stated differently, to be directly usable by society, there is a requirement for scientific investigation focused on specific questions or classes of problems. Addressing these problems require the use of complex software systems, multidisciplinary scientific information, rigorous and transparent evaluation, and interpretation of the knowledge produced and its uncertainty. Therefore, addressing these problems requires the combined efforts of many individuals from several professional backgrounds. There needs to be a process of planning, coordination, and execution.
RickyRood, • 5:27 AM GMT on September 12, 2012
Where does this element of time fit into the climate? Everywhere. Energy (heat) and carbon dioxide can stay in the ocean for a long time compared to how long they stay in the atmosphere. How long? That, too, is an issue of complexity, but think about the interest rate in that loan. If the interest rate goes up, it costs you more, and if you pay the same amount every month, then it takes you longer to pay off the debt. If you increase the amount of time that the atmosphere holds energy (heat) near the surface of the Earth, then it takes a little longer for that energy to get back to Space, to leave the Earth. Therefore the surface of the Earth is warmer. We change the transfers between accounts. It still, however, only requires us to balance the budget to understand what is happening.
RickyRood, • 6:04 AM GMT on September 01, 2012