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An event going on called the Rotman Institute Conference on Knowledge and Model in Climate Change http://www.rotman.uwo.ca/videos/
Very interesting reading some of the tweets:
Steve Easterbrook @SMEasterbrook : Fleming: The butterfly effect is misnamed. Lorenz knew the perturbation would have to be really big. Better label: Mothra effect #Rotman2014
Gavin Schmidt @ClimateOfGavin : @smeasterbrook not sure I actually agree with this though. In GCMs smallest possible changes have same effect.
It goes on from there. Read the tweet conversation here: http://twitter.com/SMEasterbrook/status/525657433780535296
My take is that this speaker Jim Fleming suggested the idea that the chaotic models of climate as originally proposed by Edward Lorenz are not as chaotic as people think. Easterbrook interpreted that by stating that a butterfly was to weak a forcing to be able to change anything, and something more akin to Mothra (a gigantic SciFi moth) was needed to change the trajectory on climate.
I think that there are probably a couple of scales that we need to consider. Events such as hurricanes are likely unpredictable, but they are really inconsequential when compared to the largely deterministic trajectories of phenomena such as ENSO. Same with CO2, as that is a Godzilla of a forcing.
Gavin Schmidt on now!