When climate activists say you should listen to the science they usually
refer to reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC is an Intergovernmental organization (IGO) providing an objective summary of scienctific results regarding climate change, its impacts and its reasons. The simulation of future climate is one
fundamental pillar within climate research. But what is behind it? How does the science sector look like? How do we gain these insights, what does it mean?
This lecture aims at answering these questions. In particular, it
provides an overview about some basic nomenclature for
a better understanding of what climate modelling is about.
The following topics will be addressed:
- Who does climate modelling?
Which institutes, infrastructures, universities, initiatives are
behind it and which are the conferences climate scientists go to. What
background do climate scientists have?
- What is the difference between climate projections and weather
predictions? Why is it called a climate projection
and not climate prediction? While climate scientists are not able to
predict weather at a specific date in a decade, why does it
still make sense to propose general trends under certain conditions?
- What is a climate model, what is an impact model and what is the
difference between these? What are components and features
of the different kind of models? Here, some examples will be shortly
presented (e.g.atmosphere, ocean, land, sea ice).
- Quite a few models are open source and freely accessible. If there is
time I will shortly show you how you
could install an impact model (example mHM) on your local PC. How
accessible is the data used for the projections
for the IPCC reports?
- Overview over the used infrastructure (for example JUWELS, a
supercomputer in Jülich), programming languages, software components