Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Atmospheric Component of Models
SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN creating models of the climate and atmosphere on a systematic basis for more than a century. However, only with the development of powerful computational devices has a sophisticated simulation of the atmosphere started to become possible. The accurate modeling of turbulent liquids and gases, of which the atmosphere is of course composed, remains one of the most difficult tasks facing scientists studying the Earth. The problem is made more difficult by the lack of accurate and complete data dating back more than a few decades. Despite these difficulties, researchers have become able to create models that do represent the major features and changes of the atmosphere with a high degree of confidence. The degree of sophistication inherent within the atmospheric component of climate models is revealed by the number of data points on the surface (the horizontal element) as well as the number of layers considered in ...