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Chaos Theory and Global Warming


A reading titled ‘Chaos in the Atmosphere’ by Spencer Weart hosted on the website of Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics. This reading is a supplement to Spencer Weart’s book titled, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’, that explains complex models about weather prediction and chaos theory.

Students will learn about chaos theory with respect to the Earth’s atmosphere and climate system. They will also learn how chaos theory is used to make predictions and calculations for climate change.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is chaos theory?
  2. What makes climate calculation difficult to predict?
  3. How can small changes lead to catastrophic climate impact?
About Tool
Tool Name Chaos in the Atmosphere 
Discipline Physics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Chaos Theory, Climate Models, Atmospheric Physics, Weather Prediction
Climate Topic Planetary Energy Balance 
Type of tool Reading 
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Spencer Weart
Hosted at Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics
Access Online/ Offline 
Computer Skills Basic


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