New Computer Model of Global Climate


Capping two years of research, a nationwide group of more than 100 scientists from DOE Laboratories, Academia, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research has created a powerful new computer model to simulate the Earth’s climate. The model is more accurate than its predecessors and handles higher-resolution information for such variables as ocean currents and land-surface temperatures. The new model, called CCSM-2 (Community Climate System Model, version 2) is funded by NSF and the DOE’s Office of Science. Researchers will use the model to probe the details of how climate works and to experiment with “what-if” scenarios to predict possible future climate changes. Researchers also plan to look at past climate; for example, performing an extended, multi-century simulation to uncover the mechanisms of past climate shifts. The new model was unveiled in June at the annual CCSM workshop in Breckinridge, CO, which was attended by nearly 300 scientists from the all over the world.