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This simulation, produced by the Community Earth System Model (CCSM), provides new knowledge about Earth's climate.
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Image Courtesy of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

New Computer Model Advances Climate Change Research

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado has released powerful new computer software so scientists can study climate change in much more detail than ever before. The Community Earth System Model (CESM) will be one of the main climate models used in the next research report put out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The new model will help scientists understand some of the critical mysteries of global warming, including:

The CESM is one of about a dozen climate models around the world that can be used to study the many components of Earth's climate system, including the oceans, atmosphere, sea ice, and land cover. The CESM was developed by a large community of scientists and is freely available to researchers worldwide.

"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 group of scientists that developed the model.

Climate scientists rely on computer models to better understand Earth's climate system because they cannot conduct large-scale experiments on the atmosphere itself.

Last modified August 20, 2010 by Becca Hatheway.

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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