Conducting integrated climate research with involvement of such diverse disciplines as mathematics, meteorology, oceanography, economics, geology, biology, social, and communication sciences poses great challenges to the underlying nomenclature and methodology. In this article, we give a definition of the notion of scales, which is a central term in the geosciences, but not so familiar to social sciences or economics. We start with defining agents, involved in a specific subject of study, determined by their attributes or states. We move on to understand processes and phenomena as maps and subsets of image sets. With this and the introduction of metrics, we can measure sizes of phenomena and processes and finally define scales. Several examples illustrate our definition. An attempt is made to motivate a notion of scale interaction. This concept has proved useful in an interdisciplinary teaching project.
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