When the overlap starts, many higher-order resonances are also involved so fairly large areas of phase space have their tori destroyed and the ensuing chaos is "widespread" since trajectories are now free to wander between regions that previously were separated by nonresonant tori. _WolframEl Nino (PDF) drive cycles of atmospheric heating and cooling, cycles of ice & snow, and strongly influence populations of living organisms worldwide.
Understanding natural chaos in climate is a crucial matter for policy-makers, who must determine the fate of US$trillions of future spending of tax dollars.
For science to provide the greatest benefit to those who fund it, it must focus upon genuine problems which need to be solved. As long as scientists have open, sceptical minds, they are more able to look at problems from varying perspectives -- from the close-in small picture, to the far-out big picture.
The last thing that tax-paying humans need is for their tax-paid scientists to fly off on a narrow tangent which ignores the larger picture. That would be a very wasteful tragedy.
Taken from an earlier article published at Al Fin