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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esdd-5-683-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
10 Jun 2014
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Definitions of climate and climate change under varying external conditions
C. Werndl Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, WC1A 2AE London, UK
Abstract. Commonly, definitions of climate are endorsed where the external conditions are held constant. This paper argues that these definitions risk being empirically void because in reality the external conditions vary. As a consequence, analogous definitions for varying external conditions are explored with help of the recently developed theory of non-autonomous dynamical systems, and the similarities and differences between the cases of constant and varying external conditions are discussed. It is argued that there are analogous definitions for varying external conditions which are preferable to the definitions where the external conditions are held constant. In this context, a novel definition is proposed (namely, climate as the distribution over time under a regime of varying external conditions), which is argued to be promising.

Citation: Werndl, C.: Definitions of climate and climate change under varying external conditions, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 5, 683-719, https://doi.org/10.5194/esdd-5-683-2014, 2014.
C. Werndl
C. Werndl

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