This principle addresses some of the natural complexities of our climate system and builds a foundation for the understanding of key components of the climate system such as the carbon cycle, the greenhouse effect, and interactions and feedback loops. It includes some of very active areas of climate research, including important topics such as:
How aerosols affect climate:
This principle explores the complex role aerosols play in the changing climate. These small airborne particles have both a cooling and warming effect and originate from both natural and human-caused sources. (Principle 3e)
How feedback loops affect climate:
Positive and negative feedbacks in the climate system contribute to the effects of increasing atmospheric CO2. (Principle 3f)
How oceanic processes help drive the climate system:
How oceanic processes are integral in the distribution of heat, absorption of CO2 and changes in circulation patterns. (Principle 3b)
How past climate changes have played out:
Why some past climate changes have been gradual and others abrupt.
How climate varies by region.
How local differences in clouds, ice, land, water, and life give rise to regional variations in climate. (Principle 3a)
Source: Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network