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The Emergent Thermostat

Abstract

The current paradigm of climate science is that the long-term change in global temperature is given by a constant called “climate sensitivity” times the change in downwelling radiation, called “radiative forcing”. However, despite over forty years of investigation, the uncertainty of the value of climate sensitivity has only increased.1 This lack of any progress in determining the most central value in the current paradigm strongly suggests that the paradigm itself is incorrect, that it is not an accurate description of reality. Here I propose a different climate paradigm, which is that a variety of emergent climate phenomena act in concert to keep the surface temperature within tight limits. This explains the unusual thermal stability of the climate system.

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