How do we know that climate change is an emergency? How did the scientific community reach this conclusion, and what tools did they use to do it? This book tells the story of climate models, tracing their history from nineteenth-century calculations on the effects of greenhouse gases, to modern Earth system models that integrate the atmosphere, the oceans, and the land using the full resources of today’s most powerful supercomputers. Drawing on the author’s extensive visits to the world’s top climate research labs, this accessible, non-technical book shows how computer models help to build a more complete picture of Earth’s climate system. Computing the Climate is ideal for anyone who has wondered where the projections of future climate change come from – and why we should believe them.
Steve M. Easterbrook is Director of the School of the Environment at the University of Toronto, where he teaches courses on environmental decision-making, systems thinking, and climate literacy. He received a PhD in Computing from Imperial College London in 1991. In the 1990s, he served as lead scientist at NASA’s Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility in West Virginia, where he worked on software verification for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. He has been a consultant for the European and Canadian Space Agencies, and a visiting scientist at many climate research labs in the United States and Europe.