The framework questions (figures 1.3, 1.4) have proved useful in making comparisons between the climate variability and ecosystem responses of all the LTER sites considered in this volume. The framework first called for an identification of the type of climate variability involved. The framework then poses the following questions, stated here in abbreviated form. What preexisting conditions will affect the impact of the climate event or episode? Is the effect direct or cascading? Is the effect completed by the time of the next event or episode? Does the event or episode return to an original state? Does the event or episode have an upper or lower limit? Does the climate and/or ecosystem exhibit chaos?
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