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Scientists Address Potential Achilles’ Heel In Scientific Study Of Climate Change


Many recent books discuss climate changes from the view of human impacts, but few spend more than a brief mention of natural variations — can we ignore them?

In a pre-publication article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Editors Chih-Pei Chang, Michael Ghil, Mojib Latif and John M. Wallace concluded that doing so may be detrimental to understanding our climate:

“An important message came from this research, and that is that internal climate variability on decadal and longer time scales is so large that not properly accounting for it may lead to false estimates of the climate’s sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing.” – C-.P. Chang, M. Ghil, M. Latif, and J. M. Wallace


With all the progress achieved in climate science today, two important challenges in understanding Climate Change remain:

1) How to delineate multi-decadal and longer time scales, when high-quality observational records available today only started being recorded and archived the last 100 years; and

2) How to separate variability due to anthropogenic forcing from natural variability?

A new book, Climate Change: Multidecadal and Beyond, published by the World Scientific Publications and Imperial College Press, seeks to address these challenges.

The book is based on the peer-reviewed and revised invited papers presented at the National Taiwan University International Science Conference on Climate Change. Unlike most climate change meetings and expert reports that have focused on projections of future climate changes based on computer modeling of anthropogenic effects, this book focuses on the understanding of the climate changes .

In this book, some of the world’s leading experts in the areas of observational analysis, mathematical theory, and modeling discuss these two issues to elucidate the changes.

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