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A model Earth

Hands-on at the exhibit

  • Watch and touch future climate simulations in our Projecting Globe (Puffersphere) and learn about different aspects of the Earth’s climate and its evolution over this century
  • Take our quiz and find out who knows the most about the climate system and climate change!
  • Have a go at our 3D puzzle - pick up seven different pieces representing different components of the Earth’s climate system, and put them in the right places to build up your own Earth system model!

Find out more

Climate change is real. People are causing the climate to change at rates never seen before, by emitting huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, converting forest into farmland and urban areas, and changing the environment in numerous ways. If this doesn’t slow down, it will have enormous consequences for the Earth’s system - the physical climate, biological and chemical systems including ecosystems and biodiversity, and socio-economic development across the planet. To limit global warming to the temperatures stated in the 2015 Paris Agreement, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, and fast.

The Earth’s climate system is extremely complex. Our research  is working to understand it, by developing highly sophisticated models called Earth System Models, or ESMs - mathematical representations of the global climate system. These are run on supercomputers to simulate both the past and future climate, and to understand and predict how the Earth’s climate may evolve over the coming century. They accurately represent both the physical climate and the range of biological and chemical processes and interactions that make up the Earth’s system.

Together with the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), the Met Office and several UK universities, we have developed the first UK national Earth system model (UKESM1). This model will enable the UK to stay at the forefront of scientific research into climate change, and will provide scientific evidence to support UK and international policy addressing the risk of global climate and environmental change.

Find out more at the Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme, and the Crescendo Project (which includes two video-animations).

Presented by: National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), British Antarctic Survey (BAS), National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM), British Geological Survey (BGS), Met Office Hadley Centre, University of Reading, University of Exeter and University of East Anglia.