Some supercomputers can do more than 80 million calculations an hour! How fast could you do your math homework if you had a supercomputer?
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of UCAR Digital Image Library
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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
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
You might also be interested in:
Frozen water is found in many different places on Earth. Snow blankets the ground at mid and high latitudes during winter. Sea ice and icebergs float in the chilly waters of polar oceans. Ice shelves fringe...more
Global climate models are used to predict what will happen to Earth’s climate in the future. Groups like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) compare the results from several different...more
In the last decades, computers have become a normal part of life. They are used to send e-mail, write a school report or look up recipes. They are used to keep track of the balance in your bank account....more
The Antarctic Peninsula, the part of Antarctica furthest from the South Pole, has been warming rapidly, five times faster than the global average. Since 1945, the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed about...more
Some scientific problems and processes are so complex that you need SUPERCOMPUTING power to tackle them! Just what is a supercomputer? A supercomputer is a computer that is among the largest, fastest or...more
Energy from the Sun is very important to the Earth. The Sun warms our planet, heating the surface, the oceans and the atmosphere. This energy to the atmosphere is one of the primary drivers our weather....more
For more than 100 years, scientists have wondered if cycles on the Sun and changes of the energy received at Earth because of those cycles affect weather or global climate on Earth. It is now thought that...more