Sunday, August 10, 2008

Report Assesses Accuracy of Climate Models

In order to better understand the Earth's current climate change and our ability to predict future impacts, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program just released a report analyzing various climate modeling systems used by some of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet.

The report assessed the models' ability to simulate the Earth's climate, reproduce observed climate features and their sensitivity to changes in carbon dioxide levels (CO2 is a major contributor to global warming).

The report found that while vast improvements in modeling technology have been made over the last decade, there are still challenges, such as less accuracy with smaller geographic areas. Therefore, taking the average of a set of models is the most accurate way to take measurements and determine climate change predictions, rather than relying simply on one climate model: "No current model is superior to others in all respects."

This is helpful for us lay people to take note of as well - to understand whether the latest report or prediction on global warming comes from multiple models or only one.

Read the entire report here.

Department of Energy and Science Daily

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