# Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Measurements, philosophy: A) the problem of measuring is discussed in the context of interpretations of quantum mechanics. B) the comparison of D. Davidson's attribution of linguistic meanings to measurement is taken up in other theories.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Hans von Storch on Measurements - Dictionary of Arguments

Norgaard I 116
Parameterization/Measurements/von Storch: The climate system has different ‘compartments’, such as atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, land surface including river networks, glaciers, and ice sheets, but also vegetation and cycles of substances, in particular greenhouse gases. An important element (…) is (…) [the] fluid dynamics of the atmosphere, ocean and ice, which are described by simplified Navier–Stokes equations. However, due to the unavoidable discrete description of the system, turbulence cannot be described in mathematical accuracy, and the equations need to be ‘closed’—the effect of friction, in particular at the boundaries between land, atmosphere, and ocean, need to be ‘parameterized’ (e.g. Washington and Parkinson 2005)(1).
Norgaard I 117
This issue of parameterization is difficult to understand (Müller and von Storch 2004)(2). The basic idea is that there is a set of ‘state variables’ {Ψ} (among them the temperature field at a certain time t at certain discrete positions on the globe), which describe the system, and which dynamics is given by a differential equation d{Ψ}/dt = F({Ψ}). The function F is nonlinear in Ψ and only approximately known. A rigorous analytical or numerical solution of the equations (as for Newton's equations) is impossible. To simplify the equations, and make them tractable for a numerical treatment, one splits each of the state variables Ψ into a slowly and a rapidly varying component, Ψ = + Ψ′.
There are two important aspects of parameterizations. One is a linguistic aspect, namely that in the language of climate modelers, parameterizations are named ‘physics’, a shorthand for ‘unresolved physical processes’. For a person uncommon with the culture of climate sciences, this terminology may go with the false connotation that parameterizations would be derived from physical principles. Another aspect of parameterizations is their strong dependence on the spatial resolution. When the model is changed to run on a higher resolution, the parameterizations need to be reformulated or respecified.

1. Washington, W. M., and Parkinson, C. L. 2005. An Introduction to Three‐Dimensional Climate Modelling. 2nd edn., Sausalito, CA: University Science Books.
2. Müller, P., and von Storch, H. 2004. Computer Modelling in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences—Building Knowledge. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Hans von Storch, Armin Bunde, and Nico Stehr, „Methodical Challenges of the Physics of Climate”, in: John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, David Schlosberg (eds.) (2011): The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Storch, Hans von
Norgaard I
Richard Norgaard
John S. Dryzek
The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society Oxford 2011