Penn State NASA

Goals and Learning Outcomes


Goals and Learning Outcomes


On completing this module, students are expected to be able to:

  • explain how general circulation climate models work;
  • describe the different emission scenarios that are used for future model predictions and distinguish their relative impact;
  • evaluate regional climate model predictions for the worst-case emissions scenario;
  • assess how scientists communicate model predictions to policymakers.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What does GCM stand for?
  • What does the typical model grid look like?
  • What are the inputs that drive models?
  • What is the significance of pressure in models?
  • Key to this module: What is the economic and environmental bases for the four main emission scenarios, A2, A1B, B1, and B2?
  • What is the main driver for each scenario and how does it change in the next century?
  • Predicted temperature increase for each scenario in 2100?
  • Which part of the globe warms the most and which the least under the different scenarios?
  • Under A2, how much does the US warm in summer and winter?
  • What parts of the US become drier under A1B and A2?
  • Globally, where does stream flow decrease most drastically under A1B?