general circulation model (GCM)

A general circulation model (GCM), a type of climate model, is a mathematical model of the general circulation of a planetary atmosphere or ocean and based on the Navier–Stokes equations on a rotating sphere with thermodynamic terms for various energy sources (radiation, latent heat). These equations are the basis for complex computer programs commonly used for simulating the atmosphere or ocean of the Earth. Atmospheric and oceanic GCMs (AGCM and OGCM) are key components of global climate models along with sea ice and land-surface components. GCMs and global climate models are widely applied for weather forecasting, understanding the climate, and projecting climate change. Versions designed for decade to century time scale climate applications were originally created by Syukuro Manabe and Kirk Bryan at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey.[2] These computationally intensive numerical models are based on the integration of a variety of fluid dynamical, chemical, and sometimes biological equations.

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