How Reliable Are Climate Models?

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 27 December 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
thumbnail image: How Reliable Are Climate Models?

Currently, in climate research the impact of global climate change regionally and in the medium term it is of major importance. This will play a large role in the next world climate report, because societies having to adjust to climatic changes should know which specific changes they must expect.

Dörthe Handorf and Klaus Dethloff, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI), Potsdam, Germany, have evaluated the quality of the 23 most important climate models. Whereas short-term weather forecasts are now very reliable, none of the models evaluated is able today to forecast the weather-determining patterns of high and low pressure areas. The probability of a cold winter or a dry summer, for example, cannot be reliably predicted.


It will not be enough to increase the pure computer power, also work on understanding the basic processes and interactions in the atmosphere has to be continued. The Arctic is one of the most important drivers of our climate and weather. It also is one of the regions in which the climate is currently changing the most. Future research of the sicentists work will focus on collecting data in the Arctic.


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