How to Read the Figure:
all climate experts will necessarily agree on how the figure presents
relative climate change. This figure in some respects overgeneralizes
and over-simplifies climate processes, and in particular it does not show
the interactions of variability over varying time
scales. This figure is intended as a mental model to provide a general
"powers of ten" overview of climate variability, and to convey
the basic complexities of climate dynamics for a general science savvy
audience. Throughout the website, references and links to additional information
are made available for additional information.
What is variability?
A short definition of variability is "the range of change," and in this case variability refers to the range of climate change caused by various forces through time. The Climate TimeLine has been inspired in part by the original work of NOAA's J. Murray Mitchell who in 1976 wrote a paper on climate change entitled "An Overview of Climatic Variability and Its Causal Mechanisms" (Mitchell, 1976.)
The following interactive graphic
is designed to build on Mitchell's original conceptual framework for examining
the basic climatic processes and forces.
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Last Updated Wednesday, 20-Aug-2008 11:22:39 EDT by firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the Paleoclimatology Contact Page or the NCDC Contact Page if you have questions or comments.