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How to cope with climate's complexity?
Crucifix, M. (2009). How to cope with climate's complexity? European Review 17(2): 371-402. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1017/S106279870900074X
In: European Review. CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS: Cambridge. ISSN 1062-7987; e-ISSN 1474-0575, more
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  • Crucifix, M., more

Abstract
    Climate exhibits a vast range of dissipative structures. Some have characteristic times of a few days; others evolve over thousands of years. All these structures are interdependent; in other words, they communicate. It is often considered that the only way to cope with climate complexity is to integrate the equations of atmospheric and oceanic motion with the finest possible mesh. Is this the sole strategy? Aren't we missing another characteristic of the climate system: its ability to destroy and generate information at the macroscopic scale? Paleoclimatologists consider that much of this information is present in palaeoclimate archives. It is therefore natural to build climate models such as to get the most of these archives. The strategy proposed here is based on Bayesian statistics and low-order non-linear dynamical systems, in a modelling approach that explicitly includes the effects of uncertainties. Its practical interest is illustrated through the problem of the timing of the next great glaciation. Is glacial inception overdue or do we need to wait for another 50,000 years before ice caps grow again? Our results indicate a glaciation inception in 50,000 years.

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