This image, based on simulations produced by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)-based Community Climate System Model (CCSM), shows the possible extent of Arctic sea ice by the year 2040. The model indicates that the extent of late-summer ice could begin to retreat abruptly within several decades.
Created in 1983 by NCAR, CCSM is a supercomputer-based system used to model Earth's climate and to project global temperature rise in coming decades. The freely available global atmosphere model is available for use by the wider climate research community. Using CCSM, scientists can anticipate the impact of such events as continued carbon dioxide emissions or volcanic eruptions on global temperatures. As the model becomes more refined, they will be able to determine the probability that certain regions in coming decades will face a warmer climate or more intense precipitation events. CCSM is also an important tool for paleoclimatologists who want to glean insights into ice ages and other major climate events in the past.
CCSM is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Administration of the CCSM is maintained by the Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). To learn more, visit the CCSM Web site.
Credit: Steve Deyo; ŠUniversity Corporation for Atmospheric Research