The Computational Future for Climate Change Research

Warren M. Washington
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO 80305

The development of climate models has a long history starting with the building of atmospheric models and later ocean models. The early researchers were very aware of the goal of building climate models which could integrate our knowledge of complex physical interactions between atmospheric, land-vegetation, hydrology, ocean, cryospheric processes, and sea ice. The transition from climate models to earth system models is already underway with coupling of active biochemical cycles. Progress is limited by present computer capability which needed for increasingly more complex and higher resolution climate models versions. Some of the climate change history, scientific successes, and difficulties encountered with supercomputers will be presented.