The Granularity of Climate Models

As an engineer schooled in the slide rule era, I have been trying to educate myself about the nature of climate models. The details of the specific construction of the models have been hard to find. I am old enough that I have been through the evolution of computers and calculators from those earliest HP scientific models that cost $400 in 1972 dollars. Computers are not electronic brains -- they are just very fast electronic slide rules and adding machines. So I want to figure out the thinking process behind the models.As a summer intern in the thermodynamics department at Grumman Aerospace, I did computer modeling of the air conditioning system of the A-6E aircraft. Getting that program to run took a lot of debugging, but when it finally started to go, it used two minutes of computation time on Grumman's biggest computer before the time allotted to a summer intern expired. They needed that computer for other things, such as landing men on the moon! The summer intern's project would...(Read Full Article)