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CLIMATE MODELS ARE quantitative representations of the earth, its atmosphere, and the ways in which they interact to influence the climate. Models range from the comparatively simple to the extremely complex and their range, complexity, and predictive power have increased significantly in the 21st century as computational power has increased. The ability of scientists to create sophisticated climate models is of several magnitudes of order beyond what was possible even a few years ago.

Scientists use mathematical formulae, combined with the modeling ability of computers and available data sources, to create an understanding of how climate and weather effects work in different parts of the atmosphere. The purpose of the models is not just to understand atmospheric interactions, however, but to predict how they will work ...

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