: Here you will find clear descriptions of what you just saw, how they know what they said they knew, why they know it to be trustworthy information. Finally we will ask the question, "So what!" and explore why the information is important.
In this clip from a 2009 interview, climate modeler Jerry Meehl explains how climate models work, what they are used for, and what we can learn from them. This interview was conducted by AGCI during a workshop on Advanced Climate Modeling and Decision-Making Support of Climate Services, held in Aspen, Colorado.
Dr. Jerry (Gerald) Meehl is a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His research interests include studying the interactions between El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the monsoons of Asia; identifying possible effects on global climate of changing anthropogenic forcings, such as carbon dioxide, as well as natural forcings, such as solar variability; and quantifying possible future changes of weather and climate extremes in a warmer climate. He serves as chair of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Climate Research Committee, chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawaii, co-chair of the Community Climate System Model Climate Change Working Group, and co-chair of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Working Group on Coupled Models (WGCM).
Reflect on the clip using these questions. Then, record your thoughts in a science journal or discuss them with a friend.
Materials: Notebook, paper and pencil or dedicated computer file where you can keep your work.
Models come in a variety of forms in addition to computer models. They can be as simple as an equation for how fast a car will go from one place to another or a terrarium with a lamp used to demonstrate plants responses to different temperatures, and are used by a variety of people from physicists to ecologists to engineers and others. Using the following science journal template (a 7 part process) to answer the questions that follow and learn more about models:
At the 2009 workshop where this interview was conducted, Jerry Meehl also gave a scientific presentation: Issues for Climate Prediction and Climate Services. The complete PowerPoint for this presentation can be found on the AGCI website.