Short records constrain what we can know about the climate system

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The Ocean Time Series at Bermuda.
It’s noisy.  Broken up, aliased  and hard to use. A crisis every 3-5 years when funding came up for renewal: “You have 10 years of data; isn’t that sufficient?”.

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» orlando_oceansciences_2008_37743.ppt
Carl Wunsch's Power Point presentation at 2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Decadal and longer climate must be studied with multi-decadal time series

The shortness of the instrumental record is a very serious constraint on what can be learned about the workings of the climate system.  We cannot we sort out decadal and centennial climate signals with only 10 years of data.   We need continuous, accurate and consistent time series measurements of physical and chemical variables in the climate system that are maintained indefinitely.  It is an intergenerational problem that requires new institutions.


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Last updated June 5, 2008
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