Modeling Components

Global climate models represent the only tool available to assess future impacts of changes in global radiative forcing (e.g., increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, presence of sulfate aerosols, and changing land-use characteristics) on climate. Global climate models all project the global mean temperature of the planet to increase over the next 100 years, but at different rates depending on the model. Approximations used in climate models and lack of fine-scale resolution are sources of these differences in global mean quantities. Uncertainty in our understanding of future scenario climates used for studying impacts on agriculture arises first from disagreement among global climate models, and second from lack of a clear and preferred path to translate changes in the global climate down to the regional and local scales.

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