A good video
laying out how climate scientists think:
There are problems that attract a different kind of thinker: really complex problems such as the human body, or an individual cell, or the climate system or solar physics. These are subjects that don't fit into the same aesthetic that special relatively fits into. They demand that you deal with multiple conflicting and intersecting elements. They are horribly non-linear right from the word 'go'; they are horribly complex. There is never going to be a theory of climate that somebody will come up with just by thinking about how the climate should work. People have tried, but they all fall pretty much at the very first hurdle. It is 'irreducibly complex'.
And you can't get away from that. You can't think that the climate is going to yield by just thinking about it. It needs to be thought about and measured and analyzed and thought about again and measured and analyzed and all of these disparate elements have to be brought in together. The reason climate models have grown up to be as complicated and as complex as they are, is not due to a lack of imagination. It's because that is how the real world is and that is the way the field has made progress. It hasn't made progress through people sitting in a room coming up with theories for how climate should work.
The field has made progress because people have made complex assumptions; they have built these things into models of varying complexity, all the way to the GCMs, (the big climate models that I was talking about earlier); they have been tested against very complex data from satellites, from intense observation campaigns, from in-situ observations.
Climate scientists take a lot of flak from the public for looking like they can't make up their minds. But these researchers have come up with some pretty smart ways of tackling such a tremendously complex system, and other researchers who build models of complex systems could learn a few things from the climate science community.