Modelling climate and the nature of climate models: A review

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Abstract

A new structural framework for climate models is presented. Four basic model types are discussed: general circulation models, energy balance models, one dimensional radiative convective models and two dimensional zonally averaged dynamical models. The fundamental importance of three primary processes in the climate system-radiation, dynamics and surface processes-is underlined and the degree to which each of these mechanisms is incorporated in each model is highlighted.

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