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 policy makers.
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?