Basics of Climate Models

Adapted from Barsugli, J., K. Averyt, and A. Ray. How Climate Models Work. (August 7, 2009). Southwest Climate Change Network.

News headlines about climate change research often are based on climate models. But to most people, the way these models function is a mystery.

Researchers are continually improving the ability of climate models to simulate realistic climate. The models are imperfect descriptions of the Earth’s climate system, but their progress has advanced the understanding of future climate change and expanded …