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Climate Modeling: A Meteorologist’s Crystal Ball

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Humans can’t foresee the future, but with climate modeling, meteorologists can come pretty close. Right now, the power of climate modeling is needed more than ever. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, extreme weather events – like heat waves and severe storms – are happening more frequently. Here’s how climate modeling can help: 

What is climate modeling?  

Climate modeling is like an extension of weather forecasting. While weather models make predictions over specific locales and short timespans, climate modeling looks into the future with a bird’s eye view. Analyzing longer timespans, they predict how conditions will change in a region over the coming years and decades.  

With the help of supercomputers – the processing power equivalent of hundreds or even thousands of laptops – meteorologists and other experts look at complex earth systems, and they analyze and predict things like ocean circulation and melting glaciers. 


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