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Showing posts from October, 2016

Thinking in Systems: the Climate Big Picture

In another recently published column, written by Stephanie Kaza for the SE Examiner in Portland, she discusses the need for a systems view of climate change and its impacts. Here's the text:
From season to season it can be confusing whether hurricanes, floods, droughts, or wildfires are unusually harsh or whether they represent significant climate change.  No single event alone can tell us much about climate trends. If we want to know whether sea level is rising, for example, we have to look at the big picture over time. Taking a systems view can help make sense of isolated incidents. The global climate system is impressively complex, reflecting patterns on land, ocean, soils, air, and in all life forms. In fact, just about everything is part of the climate system.  Major events such as volcanic eruptions and solar flares can trigger significant changes in climate systems. Climate observers are especially interested in critical limits or thresholds beyond which a system does not r…