By Paul N. Edwards
The technology in the back of worldwide warming, and its background: how scientists discovered to appreciate the ambience, to degree it, to track its previous, and to version its destiny.
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Extra info for A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming
Rising global average temperatures will not put an end to unusually cold winters, late-spring ice storms, or other episodes that seem to run against the trend. 5–9°F) over the next 50–100 years. In terms of human experience, that is far less than the typical difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows in many parts of the world. Every year, the planet’s temperate zones endure temperature changes of ten times this magnitude, as frigid winters in the –10°C range bloom into steamy +30°C summers.
Projections of Earth’s spherical surface onto a rectangular page, systems of latitude and longitude, the North Pole as the world’s “top,” ways of depicting geographical features—these conventions and many more evolved and spread along with Western empires. 2 World maps undergird our ability to conceive global space. ” Like other cartographic concepts, the idea of mapping weather data took centuries to develop. Graphical conventions for showing weather relationships in space emerged many decades after the ﬁrst international weather data networks.
This was the case with the World Wide Web, which began as a protocol for exchange of hypertext documents but rapidly subsumed numerous pre-existing Internet ﬁle sharing mechanisms, including ftp, gopher, and nntp. From the operator’s viewpoint, networks or webs shift the focus from control to coordination with the systems or networks on the other side of 12 Chapter 1 the gateway. 20 To sum up: System builders seek to ﬁnd or create well-deﬁned niches that can be served by centrally designed and controlled systems, but users’ goals typically include functions that may be best served (for them) by linking separate systems.
A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming by Paul N. Edwards