Monday, August 23, 2010

CESM: New Community Earth System Climate Model

The National Center for Atmospheric Research's (NCAR) new Community Earth System Model (CESM) is now able to study climate change in far more detail, and it will soon be employed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assess the state of so called "global warming."

One of about a dozen climate models worldwide that can be used to simulate the many components of Earth's climate system, CESM should help answer some critical questions regarding the state of the climate, 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?
So how does it work?

The CESM builds on the original Community Climate System Model and enables scientists to gain a broader picture of Earth's climate system by incorporating more influences. Using the CESM, researchers can now:
  • Simulate the interaction of marine ecosystems with greenhouse gases
  • Assess the climatic influence of ozone, dust, and other atmospheric chemicals
  • Gain a better understanding of the cycling of carbon through the atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces
  • Review the influence of greenhouse gases on the upper atmosphere
  • Pursue a much wider variety of applications, including studies of air quality and biogeochemical feedback mechanisms
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