Climate models use quantitative methods to simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice. They are used for a variety of purposes from study of the dynamics of the weather and climate system to projections of future climate. All climate models balance, or very nearly balance, incoming energy as short wave (including visible) electromagnetic radiation to the earth with outgoing energy as long wave (infrared) electromagnetic radiation from the earth. Any unbalance results in a change in the average temperature of the earth.
The most talked-about models of recent years have been those relating temperature to emissions of carbon dioxide (see greenhouse gas). These models predict an upward trend in the surface temperature record, as well as a more rapid increase in temperature at higher latitudes.
Models can range from relatively simple to quite complex:
- A simple radiant heat transfer model that treats the earth as a single point and averages outgoing energy
- this can be expanded vertically (radiative-convective models), or horizontally
- finally, (coupled) atmosphere–ocean–sea ice global climate models discretise and solve the full equations for mass and energy transfer and radiant exchange.
Read more about this topic: Climatology
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Famous quotes containing the word models:
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—Judith Viorst (20th century)
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—Woodrow Wilson (18561924)
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—Marshall McLuhan (19111980)