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Understanding Climate Change

The Complexity of Climate Modeling

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Components of the NCAR-based Community Climate System Model (CCSM)
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Now in its third generation, the CCSM is one of the world’s most sophisticated and widely used models of global climate. This graphic illustrates the many components included in the CCSM, ranging from cirrus and stratus clouds to ocean currents and soil moisture. These components are also typical of many of the dozen or so climate models at other major research centers around the globe. (Illustration by Paul Grabhorn, ©UCAR. News media terms of use*)

A text version suitable for printing is also available here.


*News media terms of use: Reproduction to illustrate this story and nonprofit use permitted with proper attribution as provided above and acceptance of UCAR's terms of use. Find more images in the UCAR Digital Image Library.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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(Winter-Spring 2007)