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Climate modeling

Construction of a mathematical model of the climate system of the Earth capable of simulating its behavior under present and altered conditions. The Earth's climate is continually changing over time scales ranging from hundreds of years to a few years. Since the climate is determined by the laws of classical physics, it should be possible in principle to construct such a model (Fig. 1). The advent of a worldwide weather-observing system capable of gathering data for validation and the development and widespread routine use of digital computers have made this undertaking possible, starting in the mid-1970s.