Global climate models

Global climate models (GCMs) are mathematical representations of the Earth’s climate system that simulate the processes affecting weather and climate. The spatial resolution of GCM simulations varies among models and ranges from 60 to 410 km.

The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) is a global framework for analyzing the output of GCMs. Simulations from phase 5 of this project (CMIP5) were used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the development of their fifth assessment report. At the time of writing, there is simulation data from around 48 GCMs available in the CMIP5 archive.

Development of climate projections and/or climate scenarios may consider outputs from all available CMIP5 GCMs or a selection, depending on context and requirements.