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We now offer the Cool It! card game in our Science Store. Cool It! is the new card game from UCS that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change.
Some supercomputers can do more than 80 million calculations an hour! How fast could you do your math homework if you had a supercomputer?
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Modeling the Future of Climate Change

Predicting how our climate will change in the next century or beyond requires tools for assessing how planet responds to change. Global climate models, which are run on some of the world's fastest supercomputers, allow scientists to better understand how the Earth works and how it will react to changes in the future.

Global climate models use hundreds of different mathematical equations to describe processes and interactions in the Earth system. The mathematical equations for a large climate model require quick supercomputers that perform many calculations rapidly, often more than 80 million calculations an hour.

The most sophisticated climate models take into account five important components:

For more information about climate models, visit the following pages:

What will the next century bring? According to scientists Tom Wigley (NCAR) and Sarah Raper (Climate Research Unit, England) there is 90% probability that temperatures will rise 1.8 to 4.0°C (3.1 to 7.2°F) in the next 100 years as a result of human influences, assuming continued greenhouse gas emissions. To put this amount of warming into perspective, remember that in the past century, a smaller temperatures rise of only about 0.6°C (1.0 °F) has been able to disrupt many aspects of the Earth system.

Last modified September 23, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.

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The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA