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Climate Prediction

An animation of CM2 Global Coupled Climate Models (CM2.X) average decadal July maximum daily surface air temperatures for the 21st century.  These data are from the "B1" emissions scenario of the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In this scenario, global concentrations of carbon dioxide are allowed to stabilize at 550 parts per million (PPM) by the end of the 21st century (current 2012 levels are at about 395 PPM).  This image was produced with the Grid Analysis and Display System (GrADS) and ImageMagick.

Climate prediction is similar to numerical weather prediction, but the forecasts are for longer periods. Special numerical models are used to alter trace atmospheric gases (carbon dioxide and methane, for example), sea ice and glacier cover, changes in incoming solar radiation, and a host of other parameters.

The following climate prediction datasets are available.

  • CM2 Global Coupled Climate Models (CM2.X)
    CM2.X consists of two climate models, which were designed to model the changes in climate over the past century and into the 21st century.
  • Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5)
    The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) coordinates global analysis of climate models under the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). CMIP5 is in its fifth iteration. Data are available through the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) website.