By Paul N. Edwards
The technology in the back of worldwide warming, and its background: how scientists realized to appreciate the ambience, to degree it, to track its prior, and to version its destiny.
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Additional resources for A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming
Professional training in science is long and demanding. It teaches would-be scientists to think according to prevailing standards of logic, to interpret and judge evidence according to disciplinary norms, to use and trust particular instruments and research methods (and reject others), to design experiments around well-established (often community-speciﬁc) principles, and to communicate with others according to certain kinds of protocols and conventions. Those who cannot master these practices cannot receive crucial credentials (typically a PhD degree).
Becomes visible upon breakdown. The normally invisible quality of working infrastructure becomes visible when it breaks: the server is down, the bridge washes out, there is a power blackout. • Is ﬁxed in modular increments, not all at once or globally. Because infrastructure is big, layered, and complex, and because it means different things locally, it is never changed from above. 10 • Most entities typically classiﬁed as “infrastructure,” such as railroads, electric power grids, highways, and telephone systems, are network technologies.
The WMO initiated a World Climate Programme in 1980 (after the ﬁrst World Climate Conference, held in 1979), but full consolidation at the technical level did not really begin until 1992, when the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) was established in support of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. 23 Very recently, increasing demands from many quarters for reliable climate forecasts have led US agencies to begin discussions on changing the orientation of the climate observing system from a research orientation to an operational—in my terms, infrastructural—one.
A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming by Paul N. Edwards