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Studies in Geophysics: Energy and Climate
For the energy question in particular, the most immediately critical outstanding problems are ocean-atmosphere coupling, cryospheric dynamics, cloud feedback, and cloud-aerosol interaction. However, there is still a general requirement for refinement and sophistication of all model elements. Moreover, the transitivity properties of the climatic system must be better understood in order to design meaningful and convincing sensitivity experiments. At the moment, it appears that experiments on the effects of heat sources will be easiest to undertake. CO2 problems will be more difficult, and those due to particulates the most difficult.
As was pointed out in connection with the earlier discussion of cloud reaction and ocean-continent contrast, the interhemisphexic-interseasonal differences are of the magnitude of significant climatic change. A detailed definition and understanding of the contemporary seasonal and interannual-interhemispheric variability is essential.
The details of an orderly program of research to cover all of these needs, as well as those in general for a broad range of climatic sensitivity and stability questions, have be en addressed authoritatively by the study conference in Sweden (GPS No. 16,1975), as was indicated earlier.
The international Joint GARP Organizing Committee meeting in Budapest (JOC X, 1975) initiated a plan to implement accelerated development. It takes the form of a decade of definitive global observation and of modeling research in the 1980’s. Between now and then, a great deal of preparatory work will be required.
There seems to be no clear shortcut for a careful and responsible attack on the problem. We should be wary of premature, hasty, and sweeping conclusions at this time.
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