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General Circulation Models of Climate


A reading titled ‘General Circulation Models of Climate’ by Spencer Weart hosted on the website of Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics. This reading is a supplement to the book titled, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’ by Spencer Weart. It summarises the complexity of Earth System Models and challenges in creating a single global climate model. The reading gives details of the first model calculation by Syukuro Manabe, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2021, on how Earth’s average temperature would rise a few degrees if the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is doubled.

Students will learn about General Circulation Models, the Earth System and its complexity, and methods of weather and climate prediction.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What are the various Earth System Models?
  2. Why is it difficult to have a comprehensive climate model that accurately predicts climate behaviour?
About Tool
Tool Name General Circulation Models of Climate
Discipline Physics, Earth Sciences  
Topic(s) in Discipline Climate Models, Climate Physics, General Circulation Model, Modelling, Earth System Models, Greenhouse Gas Models, Climate System
Climate Topic Planetary Energy Balance
Type of tool Reading
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Spencer Weart  
Hosted at Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics
Access Online/ Offline
Computer Skills Basic


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