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Climate change - Interesting book and an early paper on the subject.

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  • Climate change - Interesting book and an early paper on the subject.

    A really good book looking at climate change from a historical perspective is:-

    A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming

    Written for just about everyone with an interest in the topic, from laymen to scientists, Edwards gives insight into the origins of the problem and when it was first raised as a potential issue. He discusses many of the issues surrounding climate change, issues such as modeling, the use of historical data, the conflicts between forecasting and climate modeling, the struggles to build international organisations suitable for an international problem, etc., etc., and etc.

    I think he does a pretty good job at showing why we should be concerned. Besides this, what's worthwhile about the book is that Edwards provides references to some of the really early papers on the topic and explains the scientific debates these papers generated, even back in their time.

    This one is from an 1896 paper by S. Arhhenius:-

    On The Influence Of Carbonic Acid In the Air Upon the Temperature Of the Earth

    An abridged version is here:-

    On The Influence Of Carbonic Acid In the Air Upon the Temperature Of the Earth

    You will need to use the arrows at the top to flick from page to page.

    The thing about these kind of early papers is that they provide an introduction to the problem and provide some insight as to why we should at least be concerned.
    Last edited by rwatts; 04-05-2015, 07:17 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by rwatts View Post
    A really good book looking at climate change from a historical perspective is:-

    A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming

    Written for just about everyone with an interest in the topic, from laymen to scientists, Edwards gives insight into the origins of the problem and when it was first raised as a potential issue. He discusses many of the issues surrounding climate change, issues such as modeling, the use of historical data, the conflicts between forecasting and climate modeling, the struggles to build international organisations suitable for an international problem, etc., etc., and etc.

    I think he does a pretty good job at showing why we should be concerned. Besides this, what's worthwhile about the book is that Edwards provides references to some of the really early papers on the topic and explains the scientific debates these papers generated, even back in their time.

    This one is from an 1896 paper by S. Arhhenius:-

    On The Influence Of Carbonic Acid In the Air Upon the Temperature Of the Earth

    An abridged version is here:-

    On The Influence Of Carbonic Acid In the Air Upon the Temperature Of the Earth

    You will need to use the arrows at the top to flick from page to page.

    The thing about these kind of early papers is that they provide an introduction to the problem and provide some insight as to why we should at least be concerned.
    Interesting article:-

    Climatologists to physicists: your planet needs you

    The book I'm reading notes how clouds are one of the big unknowns in climate science. It discusses these kinds of problems and how modellers deal with them by "parameterizing" their effects. This can result in large uncertainties in model outputs, given the uncertainty in the parameter. One way of getting around this problem has been to undertake perturbation analysis, that is running the models with all kinds of different but realistic values for these parameters.

    It's an enormous task.

    A problem has been that to date, that these kinds of computer runs all point to the same conclusion, the planet is warming.


    This kind of thing goes to show that there are many interesting problems out there to be solved, not just those related to cosmology and particle physics.
    Last edited by rwatts; 04-07-2015, 04:19 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting stuff!
      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

      go with the flow the river knows . . .

      Frank

      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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