Climate and Earth system modelling

Definition

Climate and Earth system modelling is the use of mathematical representations of key components and properties of the atmosphere, ocean and biosphere to construct computer models. These models – which can range significantly in their complexity, depending on their intended application – are used to simulate important aspects of the Earth system and indicate how they may change in the future.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    In our own solar system, Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold and Earth is just right. Simulations show that making an icy planet habitable is not as simple as melting its ice: many icy bodies swing from too cold to too hot, bypassing just right.

    • Andrew P. Ingersoll
  • Correspondence |

    • Gavin A. Schmidt
    • , Jeff Severinghaus
    • , Ayako Abe-Ouchi
    • , Richard B. Alley
    • , Wallace Broecker
    • , Ed Brook
    • , David Etheridge
    • , Kenji Kawamura
    • , Ralph F. Keeling
    • , Margaret Leinen
    • , Kate Marvel
    •  & Thomas F. Stocker
    Nature 547, E16–E17
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Discriminating the climate impacts of half-degree warming increments is high on the post-Paris science agenda. Here we argue that evidence from the observational record provides useful guidance for such assessments.

    • Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
    • , Peter Pfleiderer
    •  & Erich M. Fischer
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Successful projection of the distribution of surface temperature change increases our confidence in climate models. Here we evaluate projections of global warming from almost 30 years ago using the observations made during the past half century.

    • Ronald J. Stouffer
    •  & Syukuro Manabe
  • Comments and Opinion |

    How clouds respond to warming remains the greatest source of uncertainty in climate projections. Improved computational and observational tools can reduce this uncertainty. Here we discuss the need for research focusing on high-resolution atmosphere models and the representation of clouds and turbulence within them.

    • Tapio Schneider
    • , João Teixeira
    • , Christopher S. Bretherton
    • , Florent Brient
    • , Kyle G. Pressel
    • , Christoph Schär
    •  & A. Pier Siebesma