The most interesting aspect of Prof. Emanuel’s lecture on the way that climate has been studied the last one-hundred and fifty years is the relatively naive way we take our current understanding of what climate and the weather is like. Mainly, that we have an understanding at all is astonishing, it’s a quiet revolution. It’s one that isn’t controversial or loud-mouthed because it benefits us all that today we can simply ask what the weather is going to be like tomorrow and have a certainty about it. It’s benefitted us all so much that we have taken it for granted.
Emanuel painted a picture of the revolutionaries and their discoveries that is very congruent with this idea of the climate revolution. It was done by scientists who were not be lauded as the great scientific saviors of their day. They weren’t trying to find the meaning of life in biology, or the laws that govern the ways of the universe in Chemistry. They were simply concerned about the weather. Yet their work has let us come miles further along in our understanding of that very topic.
Because up until recently, the weather was a phenomena that everyone dealt with but no one understood. It was also sort of dangerous to try and comprehend, because it required not just studying blue skies and sunshine but also bad weather, high winds, rain, blizzards. But alas it was studied, and once it was understood the daily could be extenuated into the long term and that is how a genuine understanding of climate, and what makes it happened occurred.
And what Prof. Emanuel’s lecture sought to do is to best describe the importance of this revolution. That we can now actually understand what is natural and unnatural about climate and that because of the work done on climate by scientists centuries ago we can understand the problem today of a climate that is being straying from the natural phenomena described. Simply, he gives the essence of any Scientific revolution, Connecting past observations with foresight to change the understanding of that we currently have on the world.