Reading: 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 the Tool

Tool NameGeneral Circulation Models of Climate
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Models, General Circulation Model, Modelling, Earth System Models, Greenhouse Gas Models, Climate System
Climate TopicPlanetary Climate, Planetary Energy Balance
Type of toolReading
Grade LevelHighschool, Undergraduate
Developed bySpencer Weart
Hosted atCenter for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics
AccessOnline/ Offline
Computer SkillsBasic