Albedo: The ability of an object or surface to reflect light and radiation.
AtmosphereOcean coupled models: GCMs containing separate atmospheric and oceanic models that can interact and to form a more complete representation of climate.
Climate: the sum total of
weather averaged over a long period of time  usually years  and across a large
section of the Earth.
Convection: Vertical distribution of heat and energy in the atmosphere. Thunderstorms are a common result of very strong convection.
Dynamic equations: The fluid dynamics equations that govern the atmosphere.
Electronic Numerical
Integrator And Computer, or ENIAC : The first electronic,
digital computer, used in the late 1940's.
Fast Fourier Transforms: A mathematical algorithm used to help solve complex equations such as partial differential equations.
Grid box: The area in a model where the atmosphere is represented. Data in the grid box is interpolated from the nearby grid points.
Grid points: Imaginary locations in a model where calculations determine variables such as air temperature, humidity, and wind vectors.
Mesoscale models: Numerical models that allow scientists to examine small areas.
Numerical Weather Prediction: Using numerical models to assist forecasters in making weather forecasts.
Parameterization: A technique that modelers employ to replace highly complex climatic processes or processes that occur on too small scales to be fully represented in a GCM by more simple representations.
Radiation balance: The equation that describes incoming solar radiation (shortwave) vs. outgoing (longwave) radiation emitted by the earth and atmosphere. The balance is currently shifting due to the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Regional scale models: Numerical models that focus on a certain area that is much larger than a local area, but much smaller than the whole globe; these are usually capable of using finer resolution than typical GCMs.
Spectral conversion: Transforming complex mathematical equations to more simple representations as waves.
Time step: The time that passes in a model before the variables are updated. The mechanism that allows the model to propagate through time.
Troposphere: The lowest level of the atmosphere where most of the world's weather occurs.
Weather: Relatively local
perturbations in the state of the atmosphere over a relatively short period
of time, as opposed to climate, which is the sum total of weather averaged over
a long period of time and across a large section of the Earth.
