With the complexity of the the Earth’ s climate can we ever accurately predict the effect of human activity?



  1. 0 Votes

    The truth is that there is no model that exists in science that can 100% accurately predict anything.  Even with medicines that work for 99 out of 100 people there is always 1 that won’t be benefitted.  However, scientists are very confident in the models they use.  Climate modeling has been around for 100 years and each generation of scientists has helped to create complex equations and do sampling that contribute to the overall process.  In truth, even gravity is a theory.

  2. 0 Votes

    We can never be 100% sure, since we can’t see into the future or pinpoint exactly what the climate is reacting to as a whole. However, science as a discipline focuses on looking at the smaller parts of a thing to lead to conclusions about its whole. So, let’s think about global warming/”climate change” for a moment. Scientists figured out many years ago that things like methane and carbon dioxide help hold in heat up in the atmosphere to keep the earth from freezing. Of course, human activities have been increasingly emitting these gases. There is also data that have been collected for decades about ocean temperatures (directly affected by the climate), which have been increasing as our greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing. So there’s a general conclusion that emitting lots of the gases that, when they’re balanced, help keep the earth warmer is actually making the earth wamer than it ought to be (note: the actual experimentation and data collection on global warming is more complicated than this).

    However, it is almost impossible to say that if we use X new technology or something, then Y will most definitely happen in the climate. It is possible, though, to look backwards and figure out if our activity has resulted in something that is happening now. It is also possible to extrapolate, to make educated (even tested) guesses about what will happen in the future due to human involvement.

  3. 0 Votes

    This is a really good question.  There will always be uncertainty with scientific modeling.  Many models have been way off in predicting the future, while some have been surprisingly accurate.  I would take any chart predicting the future with a grain of salt and make sure your own research, knowledge and common sense matches the scientific predictions that you are being presented.  

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