Modeling Climate

Down-scaling Climate Models Without Up-scaling Costs

A recent study published in Global and Planetary Change demonstrates cost-saving opportunities in the otherwise computationally expensive process of high-resolution climate modeling.  General Circulation Models (GCMs, occasionally also referred to as ‘global climate models’) are extremely useful tools used to understand how our climate system works.  The models use mathematical equations to describe the physics of the oceans and atmosphere.  These equations quantify, for example, how hot air tends to rise (the reason hot air balloons fly) and how the wind flows from high-pressure areas to l

Ken Gillingham: A Workshop on Uncertainty in Climate Change: Introduction & Opening Remarks

Yale Professor Ken Gillingham welcomes participants in this YCEI sponsored workshop that brings together climate change scientists and economists whose modeling efforts hinge on the need to accommodate anticipated climate change in a warming world.  

He sets the stage for the day’s conversations by reviewing the just released IPCC 5th Assessment Report, some of its findings, and the unique language that the IPCC uses to describe uncertainty in climate sensitivity, the key parameter that concerns economists and climate scientists.

Deriving Local Climate Information from Global Models

A farmer in the central USA and a fisherman in Maine will not experience global warming in the same way.  Dynamic interactions between cities, deserts, and forests mean that a rise in the global mean temperature doesn’t imply uniform warming of the planet.  As climate change advances, wind patterns and ocean currents will shift; the sea may swell in some places, while rivers run dry in others.  Global climate models make predictions on too broad a scale to recognize many of these effects, leaving policy makers unable to prepare their communities.  

Credibility of Regional Climate Model Projections of Future Climate: Issues and Challenges

Linda Mearns has served as lead or co-convening lead author on several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace prize. Mearns is director of the Weather and Climate Impacts Assessment Science Program and a senior scientist in NCAR’s Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences.


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