Slide 12 : Different types of climate models
It is often convenient to regard climate models as belonging to one of four main categories:
energy balance models (EBMs)
one dimensional radiative-convective models (RCMs);
two-dimensional statistical-dynamical models (SDMs)
three-dimensional general circulation models (GCMs).
These models are listed in increasing order of complexity and computational intensity.
It is useful to remember that one need not always necessary to use the most complex model.
Using a simpler model allows more runs to be carried out as sensitivity tests to assess the accuracy of modelling assumptions. Each of the different model approaches therefore plays an important role in determining our understanding of the interaction of climatic processes.