Climate Model Definition

by Laurent Cousineau
(Montreal)

A climate model is essentially a representation of the many interactions within the climate which includes the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice.

Climate models are typically quantitative in nature and range from simple depictions of the Earth's climate to very complex ones.

Climate Models and Climate Change

Although climate models can be used to simply study the dynamics of our climate, they are also used to make projections.

In fact, scientists are using climate models to predict global temperature increases in the next few decades due to greenhouse gases.

Virtually all climate models will take into account the incoming visible light and infrared radiation from the sun as well as the outgoing infrared radiation (of longer wavelength) that is sent back into space.

Although different climate models are used and different projections are being made, the scientific consensus on climate change still persists.

In other words, although scientists disagree as to how much exactly temperatures will rise, the great majority of scientists do agree that anthropogenic global warming is a reality and a serious issue.

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