Why breakthroughs come from outside of the specialty.

In fields of study that become specialized there become a school of thought about how the thing works. In schools the basics concepts are reduced to schematics representing the concept to be taught. Somewhere in the course of study they forget to tell the student “this is just a representation of how it works”, in the real world it is a lot more complicated than is represented in this diagram. We are just showing you this to give you a basic understanding of how we think it works. So separate idea constructs are assigned names and processes, studied as individual themes, and papers get written and published about the concepts as if they real properties of the Atmosphere.

In the case of Meteorology, there are whole fields of studies that take on a life of their own, SOI, PDO, ENSO, Rossby waves, Jet streams, Ionosphere, magnetosphere, solar wind, solar activity, sunspot cycles, weather and climate. Never realizing that they are in reality smoothly interconnected and not just severed parts of a working whole thing, like a live frog before dissection into the neat little parts lying in the tray at the end of class. However the young farmer’s son that plays at the pond all summer, can tell you more about how those frogs live on a day to day basis.

Filed under: Natural Processes — by Richard Holle @ 12:44 am on April 1, 2010


Peter Taylor on Sep 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm

hello Richard,

much resonance on your approach to knowledge, truth and credibility!

I followed a link today from wuwt on hurricane igor – and watched the wonderful video of the eye – and am left with a major question…….

in my limited understanding, ‘depressions’ of low pressure move air upwards, and hence suck heat out of the ocean …BUT in the video, the ‘eye’ appears to take the air mass into a downward spiral.

What have I got wrong?

No, it is just that the out flow up through the middle is clear air, and not visible except where it creates the grooves and whorled edges in the down going clouds visible in the eye. Just like the clear air outflows of thunder storms create invisible down bursts that take down planes.

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