New Climate Computer Model Advances Research

A new and powerful computer model released by the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will help study climate change in far greater detail.

The Community Earth System Model (CESM) will be one of the primary climate models used when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) make their next assessment of our planet’s climate, and is the latest in a series of NCAR based global models that have been developed over the past 30 years.

“With the Community Earth System Model, we can pursue scientific questions that we could not address previously,” says NCAR scientist James Hurrell, chair of the scientific steering committee that developed the model. “Thanks to its improved physics and expanded biogeochemistry, it gives us a better representation of the real world.”

The National Centre for Atmospheric Research writes;

The new model’s advanced capabilities will help scientists shed light on some of the critical mysteries of global warming, including:

  • What impact will warming temperatures have on the massive ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica?
  • How will patterns in the ocean and atmosphere affect regional climate in coming decades?
  • How will climate change influence the severity and frequency of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes?
  • What are the effects of tiny airborne particles, known as aerosols, on clouds and temperatures?

The CESM is one of about a dozen climate models worldwide that can be used to simulate the many components of Earth’s climate system, including the oceans, atmosphere, sea ice, and land cover. The CESM and its predecessors are unique among these models in that they were developed by a broad community of scientists. The model is freely available to researchers worldwide.

It will most certainly be fascinating to see the outcomes of these models over the next several years, and continue to see them grow. Read more at the NCAR website.

Image Source: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

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