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.”



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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