North, Gerald R. Climate System Research Program, Department of Meteorology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Dickinson, Robert E. Department of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
Sarachik, Edward S. Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Sun, Wen-Yih Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Last reviewed:December 2016
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- Climate modeling, published October 2015:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Climate modeling, published June 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Anatomy of models
- Feedback mechanisms and sensitivity
- Atmosphere-ocean-land models
- Atmosphere models
- Coupled models
- Sensitivity studies
- Uses of coupled models
- Uncertainties in climate models
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Construction of a mathematical model of the climate system of the Earth capable of simulating its behavior under present and altered conditions. The Earth's climate is continually changing over time scales ranging from hundreds of years to a few years. Since the climate is determined by the laws of classical physics, it should be possible in principle to construct such a model (Fig. 1). The advent of a worldwide weather-observing system capable of gathering data for validation and the development and widespread routine use of digital computers have made this undertaking possible, starting in the mid-1970s.
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