20 Jan '12, 4pm

How do Climate Models Work?

How do Climate Models Work?

Posted on 21 January 2012 by climatesight Guest post by Kate from Climate Sight . This is a climate model: T = [(1-α)S/(4εσ)]1/4 (T is temperature, α is the albedo, S is the incoming solar radiation, ε is the emissivity, and σ is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant) An extremely simplified climate model, that is. It's one line long, and is at the heart of every computer model of global warming. Using basic thermodynamics, it calculates the temperature of the Earth based on incoming sunlight and the reflectivity of the surface. The model is zero-dimensional, treating the Earth as a point mass at a fixed time. It doesn't consider the greenhouse effect, ocean currents, nutrient cycles, volcanoes, or pollution. If you fix these deficiencies, the model becomes more and more complex. You have to derive many variables from physical laws, and use empirical data to approximate certain va...

Full article: http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1233

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