Calendar of Events

Events Calendar

Climate Modeling

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 03, 2024, 03:00pm -
Location: Room 330W & Zoom

Speaker:  Professor Alan Robock, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University

Abstract:  The climate system includes Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land surface, biosphere, and cryosphere. Analysis of observations, both in situ and with remote sensing, is an important part of how we do science, but to study the way the climate system behaves, including feedbacks in response to forcings, we use climate models as our laboratory. Climate models are numerical representations of the climate system, and range from the global average energy balance to detailed three-dimensional representations of the time-dependent behavior of the system, run on the fastest computers in the world. Because climate is the statistical representation of weather, and because the atmosphere is a chaotic system preventing accurate forecasts beyond a couple weeks, climate models can only produce an envelope of potential weather realizations. Therefore, we typically conduct multiple simulations starting with slightly different initial conditions to produce a statistical representation, including extremes, of potential climate states. In this talk, I will describe climate models and give examples of how they are used to study the impacts of volcanic eruptions, of anthropogenic emissions of gases and particles producing global warming, and of smoke that would result from nuclear war, producing nuclear winter.

Host:  Amit Lath