The Problem of Climate: A Review for the Nonspecialist.
Historically, climate has determined the growth of civilization and the development of agriculture, and continues to influence patterns of food production and commerce today. At present we understand little of climate dynamics, and need to know more to answer such questions as: What will happen as man continues to clear forests, pollute the atmosphere, and emit waste heat? Global numerical models have been designed which simulate the various climatic elements and extensive efforts are under way to develop models of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. When more complex models are available they will be used to explore a variety of possible climatic changes. The need for understanding climate is urgent due to the seeming inevitability of natural and anthropogenic climatic changes in the future. We need to construct improved models and also begin the systematic collection and analysis of global climatic data necessary to calibrate the models and to support diagnostic and empirical studies. 14 pp. Bibliog.