Climate modeling uses simple to highly complex mathematical formulas and computing power to simulate climate system processes. Climate-related processes often occur beyond the physical or temporal scale for laboratory experiments. Climate events such as El Nino occur over millions of acre-feet of water, or the retreat of entire continental ice sheets may take hundreds of years. Climate modeling simulates the behavior found in climate processes using state-of-the-art computer technology to provide timely results for analysis. The analyses of the climate model outputs use observed climate data (i.e., temperature or ice-core records) for comparison and basic knowledge of the climate system to understand the results. Climate modeling is used to understand past and current climates, or to predict future climates.

Essential components of climate modeling are boundary ...

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