Envisioning Climate Change Using a Global Climate Model

Betsy Youngman, Phoenix Country Day School, betsy.youngman@gmail.com
Mark Chandler, Columbia University, NASA GISS, mac59@columbia.edu
Linda Sohl, Columbia University, les14@columbia.edu
Mark Hafen, University South Florida,mhafen@cas.usf.edu
Tamara Ledley, TERC, Tamara_Ledley@terc.edu
Steve Ackerman, University Wisconsin, stevea@ssec.wisc.edu
Steve Kluge, steve.kluge@gmail.com

Published: January 2010. Last Updated: April 2011.


EdGCM sample Maps of the changes in a) temperature and b) snow and ice coverage predicted for the year 2100 using the EdGCM software running the most extreme IPCC scenario, A1F1 from a "control simulation" The "control simulation", also run using the EdGCM, approximated the climate for the period 1951-1980 using 1958 greenhouse gas values. Click on the maps for a larger image.

In this chapter, you will run the climate modeling software, Educational Global Climate Modeling Suite (EdGCM), to visualize how temperature and snow coverage might change over the next 100 years. You will begin by running a "control" climate simulation to establish a baseline for comparison. After this first simulation, you will run a second "experimental" simulation. Then you will compare and contrast the changes in temperature and snow and ice coverage that could occur due to increased atmospheric greenhouse gases. Next, you will choose a region of your own interest to explore. You will compare your modeling results with those documented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) impact reports. Through working with EdGCM, you will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the process and power of climate modeling.

This chapter is part of the Earth Exploration Toolbook. Each chapter provides teachers and/or students with direct practice for using scientific tools to analyze Earth science data. Students should begin on the Case Study page.

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