We can't understand the climate system without data.......
we won't have data unless we record it.
|"How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when clearly it is Ocean”|
- - Arthur C. Clarke
The need for long term observationsMuch of the present uncertainty about our climate system is associated
with the very brief records we have on temperature, pressure, humidity
and rainfall. There is natural variability in the climate system
along with a changing anthropogenic impact. How will we ever sort
out these effects without good long-term records of the physical state
of the Earth? We certainly could not test ideas about the physics
of a 10 second surface wave with only 10 seconds of data. Nor can
we sort out climate trends from oscillations with only a few years of
data. The vast heat capacity of the oceans, 1100 times that of
the atmosphere, imposes a centennial to millenial time scale on
climate. Clearly, we won't be able to understand and predict
climate without sufficiently long time-series observations at many
locations around the globe.