Could we control our climate?
Could we control our climate?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Could we control our climate?

5.1 Climate models

The answer is that scientists use models to estimate to what extent each suspect and red herring affects the climate. A model is simply something that represents something else.

Climate models are mathematical equations that represent part, or all, of the Earth system. Most climate models are extremely complex, with many thousands of equations. These are too complicated for humans to calculate, so they are calculated by computers.

You will study these complex climate models more later. For now, it is enough to say that these state-of-the-art computer models are designed to represent, or simulate, all important aspects of the climate system. Climate models enable climate scientists to assess how the Earth system responds to different factors. They provide us with a means of carrying out virtual experiments on the climate system: by changing the various inputs, we can simulate a wide range of possibilities.

CLI_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371