Introduction to Climate Change and Climate Models

  • Mrinmoy MajumderEmail author


Climate change is defined as the change in the weather pattern of a region. The models which are employed to predict climate change of the future are collectively called as climate models. The present note describes the formation, structures, and working principles of global as well as regional climate models. The note also describes the climate change scenarios that are presently created.


Climate climate models global warming IPCC 



The authors would like to state that the above article is only for education purpose. The concepts are well discussed in different literatures. The reason for addition was merely to educate readers about development of climate models.


  1. Antoine D, Morel A (1995) Modeling the seasonal course of the upper ocean pCO2 (i): development of a one-dimensional model. Tellus 47B:103–121Google Scholar
  2. Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (2009). Retrieved from
  3. Bacastow R, Maier-Reimer E (1990) Ocean-circulation model of the carbon cycle. Climate Dyn 4:95–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bintanja R (1995) The Antarctic ice sheet and climate. Ph.D. thesis, Utrecht University, UtrechtGoogle Scholar
  5. Boucher O, Lohmann U (1995) The sulfate-CCN-cloud albedo effect: a sensitivity study with two general circulation models. Tellus 47B:281–300Google Scholar
  6. Chin M, Jacob DJ, Gardner GD, Foreman-Fowler MS, Spiro PA (1996) A global three-dimensional model of tropospheric sulfate. J Geophys Res 101:18667–18690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Climate Prediction (2009) Regional Climate Models. Retrieved from on 28 July 2009
  8. Collins M, Tett SFB, Cooper C (2001) The internal climate variability of HadCM3, a version of the Hadley Centre coupled model without flux adjustments. Climate Dyn 17:61–81. doi: 10.1007/s003820000094 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. De Wolde JR, Bintanja R, Oerlemans J (1995) On thermal expansion over the last one hundred years. J Climate 8:2881–2891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dickinson RE, Meleshko V, Randall D, Sarachik E, Silva-Dias P, Slingo A (1996) Climate processes. In: Houghton JT, Filho LGF, Callander BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A, Kattenberg A, Maskell K (eds) Climate change 1995: the science of climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 193–227Google Scholar
  11. Foley JA, Prentice C, Ramankutty N, Levis S, Pollard D, Sitch S, Haxeltine A (1996) An intergrated biosphere model of land surface processes, terrestrial carbon balance, and vegetation dynamics. Global Biogeochem Cycle 10:603–628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fujihara Y, Tanaka K, Watanabe T, Nagano T, Kojiri T (2008) Assessing the impacts of climate change on the water resources of the Seyhan River Basin in Turkey. J Hydrol 353(1–2):33–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gordon C, Cooper C, Senior CA, Banks H, Gregory JM, Johns TC, Mitchell JFB, Wood RA (2000) The simulation of SST, sea ice extents and ocean heat transports in a version of the Hadley Centre coupled model without flux adjustments ([dead link]). Climate Dyn 16:147–168. doi:10.1007/s003820050010.
  14. Gregg WW, Walsh JJ (1992) Simulation of the 1979 spring bloom in the mid-Atlantic bight: a coupled physical/biological model. J Geophys Res 97:5723–5743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harvey LD (1992) A two-dimensional ocean model for long-tern climate simulations: stability and coupling to atmospheric and sea ice models. J Geophys Res 97:9435–9453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harvey LDD (2000) Global Warming: The Hard Science. Prentice Hall, HarlowGoogle Scholar
  17. Haywood JM, Roberts DI, Slingo A, Edwards JM, Shine KP (1997) General circulation model calculations of the direct radiative forcing by anthropogenic sulfate and fossil-fuel soot aerosol. J Climate 10:1562–1577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Held 1M, Suarez MJ (1974) Simple albedo feedback models of the icecaps. Tellus 26:613–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hotchkiss RH, Jorgensen SF, Stone MC, Fontaine TA (2000) Regulated river modeling for climate change impact assessment: the Missouri river. J Am Water Resour Assoc 36(2):375–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hoffert MI, Callegari AJ, Hseih CT (1980) The role of deep sea heat storage in the secular response to climatic forcing. J Geophys Res 85:6667–6679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoffert HI, Callegari AJ, Hseih CT (1981) A box-diffusion carbon cycle model with upwelling, polar bottom water formation and a marine biosphere. In: Bolin B (ed) Carbon cycle modeling, SCOPE 16. Wiley, New York, pp 287–305Google Scholar
  22. Huybrechts P, Oerlemans J (1990) Response of the Antartic ice sheet to future greenhouse warming. Climate Dyn 5:93–102Google Scholar
  23. Huybrechts P, Letreguilly A, Rech N (1991) The Greenland ice sheet and greenhouse warming. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 89:399–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical sciences basis, retrieved on on 30th April, 2009
  25. Jones A, Slingo A (1996) Predicting cloud-droplet effective radius and indirect sulphate aerosol forcing using a general circulation model. Q J Roy Meteorol Soc 122:1573–1595Google Scholar
  26. Ko MKW, Size ND, Wang WC, Shia G, Goldman A, Muecary FJ, Murcaray DG, Rinsland CP (1993) Atmospheric sulfur hexafluoride: sources, sinks, and greenhouse warming. J Geophys Res 98:10499–10507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kogan ZN, Kogan YL, Lilly DK (1996) Evaluation of sulfate aerosol’s indirect effect in marine stratocumulus clouds using observation-derived cloud climatology. Geophys Res Lett 23:1937–1940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Krishnakumar K (2009) Climate change scenario. Proceeding of NATCOM 2 Workshop, organized by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, PuneGoogle Scholar
  29. Lal M, Ramanathan V (1984) The effects of moist convection and water-vapor rediative processes on climate sensitivity. J Atmos Sci 41:2238–2249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Langner J, Rodhe H (1991) A global dimensional model of the tropospheric sulfur cycle. J Atmos Chem 13:225–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lohmann U, Feichter J (1997) Impact of sulfate aerosols on albedo and lifetime of clouds: a sensitivity study with the ECHAM4 GCM. J Geophys Res 102:13685–13700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Melillo JM, McGuire AD, Kicklighter DW, Moore B III, Vorosmarty CJ, Schloss AL (1993) Global climate change and terrestrial net primary production. Nature 363:234–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Merritt WS, Alila Y, Barton M, Taylor B, Cohen S (2006) Hydrologic response to scenarios of climate change in sub watersheds of the Okanagan basin, British. J Hydrol 326:79–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mendoza VM, Villanueva EE, Garduño R, Nava Y, Santisteban G, Mendoza AS, Oda B, Adem J (2008) Thermo-hydrological modelling of the climate change effect on water availability in two hydrologic regions of Mexico. Royal Meteorol Soc 29(8):1131–1153Google Scholar
  35. Muluye GY, Coulibaly P (2007) Seasonal reservoir inflow forecasting with low-frequency climatic indices: a comparison of data-driven methods. Hydrol Sci J 52(3):508–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Najjar RG, Sarmiento JL, Toggweiler JR (1992) Downward transport and fate of organic matter in the ocean: simulations with a general circulation model. Global Biogeochem Cycle 6:45–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Osborn TJ, Wigley TML (1994) A simple model for estimating methane concentrations and lifetime variations. Climate Dyn 9:181–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Oschlies A, Garcon V (1999) An eddy-permitting coupled physical-biological model of the North Atlantic, 1, sensitivity to physics and numerics. Global Biogeochem Cycle 13:135–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Oschlies A, Koeve W, Garcon V (2000) An eddypermitting coupled physical model of the North Atlantic 2. Ecosystem dynamics and comparison with satellite and JGOFS local studies data. Global Biogeochem Cycle 14:499–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Peng L, Chou M-D, Arking A (1982) Climate studies with a multi-layer energy balance model. Part I: model description and sensitivity to the solar constant. J Atmos Sci 39:2639–2656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pham M, Muller J-F, Brasseur GP, Granier C, Megie G (1996) A 3D model study of the global sulphur cycle: contributions of anthropogenic and biogenic sources. Atmos Environ 30:1815–1822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Plochl M, Cramer W (1995) Coupling global models of vegetation structure and ecosystem processes. Tellus 47B:240–250Google Scholar
  43. Pope VD, Gallani ML, Rowntree PR, Stratton RA (2000) The impact of new physical parameterizations in the Hadley centre climate model – HadAM3” ([dead link]). Climate Dyn 16:123–146. doi:10.1007/s003820050009.
  44. Prather M, Ibrahim AM, Sasaki T, Stordal F (1992) Future chlorine-bromine loading and ozone depletion in United Nations Environment Programme Staff (eds) Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1991. World Meteorological Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  45. Rastetter EB, McKane RB, Shaver GR, Melillo JM (1992) Changes in C storage by terrestrial ecosystems: how C-N interactions restrict responses to CO2 and temperature. Water Air Soil Pollut 64:327–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Roth D (2006) Hydrometeorological prediction center. Unified Surface Analysis Manual. Retrieved on 2006-10-24Google Scholar
  47. Sarmiento JL, Slater RD, Fasham MJR, Ducklow HW, Toggweiler JR, Evans GT (1993) A seasonal three-dimensional ecosystem model of nitrogen cycling in the North Atlantic euphotic zone. Global Biogeochem Cycle 7:417–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stewart P, Le CF, Vemuri SR (2006) (Anticipated) Climate change impacts on Australia. Int J Ecol Dev 4(W06)Google Scholar
  49. Stocker TF, Broecker WS, Wright DG (1994) Carbon uptake experiment with a zonally averaged global ocean circulation model. Tellus 46B:103–122Google Scholar
  50. Trenberth KE (ed) (1992) Climate system modeling. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  51. UniSci (2001) Climate model will be first to use a geodesic grid. Retrieved from on 30 July 2009
  52. Van Minnen JG, Goldewijk KK, Leemans R (1996) The importance of feedback processes and vegetation transition in the terrestrial carbon cycle. J Biogeogr 22:805–814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Members VEMAP (1995) Vegetation ecosystem modeling and analysis project: comparing biogeography and biogeochemistry models in a continental-scale study of terrestrial ecosystem responses to climate change and CO2 doubling. Global Biogeochem Cycle 9:407–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Verbitsky M, Saltzman B (1995) Behaviour of the Esat Antractic ice sheet as deduced from a coupled GCM/Ice-sheet models. Geophys Res Lett 22:2913–2916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wang C, Prinn RG, Sokolov A (1998) A global interactive chemistry and climate model: formulation and testing. J Geophys Res 103:3399–3417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wright DG, Stocker TK (1991) A zonally averaged ocean model for the themohaline circulation, I. Model development and flow dynamics. J Phys Oceanogr 21:1713–1724CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Water Resources EngineeringJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Regional Center, National Afforestation and Eco-development BoardJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations