Predicting changes: Modelling the climate system

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    Climate models are computer simulations of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans which scientists use to help them understand the behaviour of the climate system. The models divide the atmosphere into a grid of boxes at different altitudes. Using mathematical equations based on physical laws, the models simulate the conditions of each grid box over time, calculating the atmospheric conditions within each box and the flows and interactions with neighbouring boxes. The simulations generate information which enables scientists to investigate how the climate system works and how it may respond to changes.