Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Atmospheric General Circulation Modeling

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_354

Definition of the Subject

This entry provides a brief introduction to the computer models of the atmosphere used for climate studies. The concepts of atmospheric forcing and response are developed and used to highlight the importance of clouds and aerosols to the climate system and the many uncertainties associated with their representation. Many processes that are important to the accurate representation of clouds and aerosols for climate are subgrid scale, and present both physical and computational challenges in atmospheric modeling. Other factors contributing to uncertainties in models are discussed, and some remaining challenges in atmospheric models are introduced.


This entry provides a brief description of models of the atmosphere used for climate studies. These models can be part of a coupled climate system model or  Coupled Climate and Earth System Models, as described by Gent elesewhere in the section Climate Change Modeling and Methodology, but they can also be...

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I would like to thank Sarah Fillmore for her editorial help and my colleagues at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research for their willingness to share their expertise, knowledge, and model results with me over many years.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA