“The Discovery of Rapid Climate Change.”
Spencer Weart
Physics Today,  August 2003

http://www.aip.org/pt/vol-56/iss-8/p30.html

Excerpt

“In fact, Ewing and Donn’s theory was erroneous, as other scientists
quickly pointed out. Nevertheless, it had served a useful function.
For the first time, there was respectable scientific backing for a
picture of rapid, even disastrous, climate change. Other scientists,
even as they rejected the theory, were stimulated to broaden their
thinking and to inspect data for new kinds of information.

“Further stimulation came from entirely different studies. In the
late 1950s, a group led by Dave Fultz at the University of Chicago
carried out tabletop “dishpan” experiments in which they used a
rotating fluid to simulate the circulation of the atmosphere. They
created a simulacrum complete with a miniature jet stream and
cyclonic storms. But when they perturbed the rotating liquid with a
pencil, they found that the circulation pattern could flip between
distinct modes. If the actual atmospheric circulation did that,
weather patterns in many regions would shift almost instantly. In the
early 1960s, climatologist Mikhail Budyko in Leningrad got disturbing
results on a still larger scale from some simple equations for
Earth’s energy budget. His calculations indicated that feedbacks
involving snow cover could indeed bring extraordinary climate changes
within a short time. Other geophysical models turned up more
possibilities for rapid change.”

See full article at http://www.aip.org/pt/vol-56/iss-8/p30.html

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