Guest blog by Chris Colose (e-mail: colose-at-wisc.edu)
UPDATE: This is Part 1 of two posts by Chris. Part 2 is here
RealClimate has recently featured a series of posts on the greenhouse effect and troposphere, articulating some of the more important physics of global warming from first principles. It is worthwhile reviewing these elements every so often with different slants just so the broad picture is not lost in the disagreement over details. This post extends on this theme to discuss one of the greatest sources of interest and uncertainty in the physical science of climate change: feedbacks. Feedbacks behave in interesting and often counter-intuitive ways, some of which can only be fully appreciated by mathematical demonstration. The previous posts at RC were criticized for being either too complex or too simple, so this post will feature two parts, with the second part providing some more of the technical details.