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
To figure out the future of climate
change, scientists need tools to measure how Earth responds to change. Some
of these tools are global climate models. Using models, scientists can better
understand how the Earth works and how it will
react to change in the future.
Global climate models (GCMs) use math to describe how the Earth works. Supercomputers
are needed to run large global climate models. These speedy computers can sometimes
do more than 80 million math problems in an hour.
Climate models usually try to take into account all the parts of the Earth
For more information about climate models, visit the following pages:
What will the next century bring? According to scientists, it is likely that
temperatures will rise 1.8 to 4.0°C (3.1 to 7.2°F) in the next 100 years
if we continue to let more greenhouse gases loose in the atmosphere. A smaller
amount of warming (0.6°C or 1.0 °F) over the past century has caused
disruptions to the planet. So, more warming over the next century would likely
cause many more changes to Earth.
Last modified September 23, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.
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The Winter 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
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