Although scientists now accept global warming as incontrovertible, humans continue to alter the composition of the atmosphere, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels. Climate models, which can provide an early warning of climate change, increasingly are called upon to help determine what environmental changes the climate may bring in the coming decades and centuries. While several types of numerical models help atmospheric scientists simulate earth systems, modern climate models, or General Circulation Models (GCMs), are a unique subset. They are designed to maximize capability in simulating general atmospheric circulation as well as interannual oscillations such as El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and forecasting climatic trends decades or even centuries in advance.
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