Models

GCMs (General Circulation Models or Global Climate Models) are computer programs based on fundamental physical, chemical, and biological equations that simulate Earth's climate in the past for verification and then predict it in the future.

Over nineteen GCMs are in general use.

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  • Physics-Based Space Weather Model Featured Article Physics-Based Space Weather Model Physics-Based Space Weather Model

    First Large-Scale, Physics-Based Space Weather Model Transitions Into Operation This model can provides forecasters with one-to-four-day advance warning of 'solar storms' The... More »

  • Future Climate Model Development Featured Article Future Climate Model Development Future Climate Model Development

    Climate models are evolving toward greater comprehensiveness, incorporating such aspects of the chemical and biological environment as active vegetation on land and oceanic... More »

  • Global Climate System Models Featured Article Global Climate System Models Global Climate System Models

    Modern climate models are composed of a system of interacting model components, each of which simulates a different part of the climate system. The individual parts often can be... More »

  • General Circulation Models Featured Article General Circulation Models General Circulation Models

    Climate models have undergone a transition from physical to mathematical. Early studies of atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns examined simple physical models.... More »

  • History of Climate Models Featured Article History of Climate Models History of Climate Models

    Early studies of atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns examined simple physical models. Sometimes, a container filled with fluid was placed on a hotplate that... More »

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State of the Climate in 2011 Last Updated on 2012-07-11 00:00:00 Worldwide, 2011 was the coolest year on record since 2008, yet temperatures remained above the 30 year average, according to the 2011 State of the Climate report released online by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Back-to-back La Niñas cooled globe and influenced extreme weather in 2011 NOAA-led report examines climate conditions experienced around the world The lead character of the 2011 climate story was a double dip La Niña, which chilled the Pacific at the start and end of the year. Many of the 2011 seasonal climate patterns around the world were consistent with common side effects of La Niña. More information. Worldwide, 2011 was the coolest year on record since 2008, yet temperatures remained above the 30 year average, according to the 2011 State of the Climate report released online today by NOAA. The... More »
Simulation: NASA Time Machine Visualization Last Updated on 2011-06-13 00:00:00 SUMMARY Explore the NASA climate visualizations and make assessments about accuracy and suggest relative uses around climate change. GOALS Visit the NASA time machine. For any ONE of the models, explain whether it helps your understanding of the topic, including how NASA might improve the tool to make it clearer. I expect that you will spend some time researching and drafting your comment before you post it—postings will be graded for clarity and content. I will not grade your writing per se, but your grade will depend on the extent to which your posting is understandable. Postings should be no less than 150 words but no more than 300. Links to references are appropriate. Postings should be in standard written English, and should develop a single, coherent idea. Funded by NASA Global Climate Change Education Grant NNXO9AL64G. Return to the NCSE-NASA... More »
Physics-Based Space Weather Model Last Updated on 2011-01-26 00:00:00 First Large-Scale, Physics-Based Space Weather Model Transitions Into Operation This model can provides forecasters with one-to-four-day advance warning of 'solar storms' The first large-scale, physics-based space weather prediction model is transitioning from research into operation. Scientists affiliated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM) and the National Weather Service reported the news today at the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in Seattle, Wash. The model will provide forecasters with a one-to-four day advance warning of high speed streams of solar plasma and Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These streams from the Sun may severely disrupt or damage space- and ground-based communications systems, and pose hazards to satellite operations. CISM is an NSF Science and... More »
History of Climate Models Last Updated on 2010-12-16 00:00:00 Early studies of atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns examined simple physical models. Sometimes, a container filled with fluid was placed on a hotplate that represented the warming of the tropics; cooler areas of the container represented the poles. In more elaborate physical models, a heated tank was mounted on a turntable to mimic Earth’s rotation (Coriolis force). These efforts became known as general circulation models (GCMs). Physical GCMs, however, were limited in their abilities to account for the intricacies of atmospheric convection or ocean currents, and climatologists soon turned from physical to mathematical GCMs...     The ENIAC computer, which began operation in 1947, was 2.4 m × 0.9 m × 30 m in size, and contained 17,468 vacuum tubes.     Contemporary mathematical models depict Earth’s... More »
General Circulation Models Last Updated on 2010-11-25 00:00:00 Climate models have undergone a transition from physical to mathematical. Early studies of atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns examined simple physical models. Sometimes, a container filled with fluid was placed on a hotplate that represented the warming of the tropics whereas cooler areas of the container represented the poles. In more elaborate physical models, a heated tank was mounted on a turntable to mimic Earth’s rotation, which is related to the Coriolis force. These efforts became known as general circulation models (GCMs). Physical GCMs, however, were limited in their abilities to account for the intricacies of atmospheric convection or ocean currents, and climatologists soon turned to mathematical GCMs. Contemporary mathematical models depict Earth’s climate in its entirety, and the acronym GCM also now stands for global climate model. Digital... More »