Friday, January 11, 2013


An excellent resource for understanding the current understanding of climate change is the recent series of blog posts by John Baez. Whereas journalists oversimplify matters, diving straight into the research papers would be overwhelming. Baez is the ideal guide if you know some elementary mathematics (just the basics of ordinary differential equations will do). He begins by explaining concepts such as albedo and the energy balance due to incoming and reflected sunlight. Then some positive and negative feedback mechanisms are introduced, and there is a discussion of glacial cycles, bistable models and stochastic resonance. All of it is very accessibly explained; it is definitely worthwhile to take the time and digest this material.

It begins here with some slides and continues as a series of blog posts.

Another useful source of information is skeptical science, especially if one ever needs to debunk the myths that people pass on without checking the facts.

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