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An oversimplified picture of the climate behavior based on a single process can lead to distorted conclusions

An Erratum to this article was published on 17 May 2021

This article has been updated

Abstract

The nature of the climate system is reviewed. We then review the history of scientific approaches to major problems in climate, noting that the centrality of the contribution of carbon dioxide is relatively recent, and probably inappropriate to much of the Earth’s climate history. The weakness of characterizing the overall climate behavior using only one physical process, globally averaged radiative forcing, is illustrated by considering the role of an equally well-known process, meridional heat transport by hydrodynamic processes which, by changing the equator-to-pole temperature difference, also impact global mean temperature.

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Change history

Notes

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    William Nierenberg.

  2. 2.

    Lennard Bengtsson.

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    Aksel Wiin-Nielsen.

  4. 4.

    Hubert Lamb.

  5. 5.

    Basil John Mason.

  6. 6.

    Frederick Seitz.

  7. 7.

    Mikhail Budyko, Yuri Izrael and Kiril Kondratiev.

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Acknowledgements

The author’s research is currently completely self-funded, though prior to 2009, there was support from the Department of Energy.

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Correspondence to Richard S. Lindzen.

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The original online version of this article was revised: In the original published article the references have been ordered alphabetically by mistake.

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Lindzen, R.S. An oversimplified picture of the climate behavior based on a single process can lead to distorted conclusions. Eur. Phys. J. Plus 135, 462 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1140/epjp/s13360-020-00471-z

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