Chaos & Climate – Part 1: Linearity

Watts Up With That?

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

clip_image002“…we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

– IPCC AR4 WG1

Introduction:

The IPCC has long recognized that the climate system is 1) nonlinear and therefore, 2) chaotic. Unfortunately, few of those dealing in climate science – professional and citizen scientists alike – seem to grasp what this really means. I intend to write a short series of essays to clarify the situation regarding the relationship between Climate and Chaos. This will not be a highly technical discussion, but an even-handed basic introduction to the subject to shed some light on just what the IPCC means when it says “we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system” and how that should change our understanding of the climate and climate science.

My only qualification for this…

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