Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

In Retrospect

Half a century of robust climate models

A classic paper in 1967 reported key advances in climate modelling that enabled a convincing quantification of the global-warming effects of carbon dioxide — laying foundations for the models that underpin climate research today.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Some key developments in climate estimates and models.


  1. Manabe, S. & Wetherald, R. T. J. Atmos. Sci. 24, 241–259 (1967).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Tyndall, J. Phil. Mag. 22, 169–194; 273–285 (1861).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Arrhenius, S. Phil. Mag. 41, 237–276 (1896).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Callendar, G. S. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 64, 223–240 (1938).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Keeling, C. D. Tellus 12, 200–203 (1960).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Möller, F. J. Geophys. Res. 68, 3877–3886 (1963).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Manabe, S. & Strickler, R. F. J. Atmos. Sci. 21, 361–385 (1964).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Forster, P. M. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 44, 85–106 (2016).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Manabe, S. & Bryan, K. J. Atmos. Sci. 26, 786–789 (1969).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Manabe, S. & Wetherald, R. T. J. Atmos. Sci. 32, 3–15 (1975).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Hansen, J. et al. Science 213, 957–966 (1981).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Ramanthan, V. J. Atmos. Sci. 38, 918–930 (1981).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  13. Silvers, L. G., Stevens, B., Mauritsen, T. & Giorgetta, M. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst. 8, 1330–1344 (2016).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Piers Forster.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Climate science: The 'pause' unpacked

Climate science: Ocean circulation drove increase in CO2 uptake

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Forster, P. Half a century of robust climate models. Nature 545, 296–297 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing