Sophisticated computer models help climate scientists estimate future climate change. How do climate models work? How are they tested? What causes climate change? How will our decisions affect the climate? Explore answers to these questions in an interactive exhibit on climate modeling, part of the Earth Lab gallery. Classroom-ready modules from this exhibit are available free of charge on our Teacher Resources page.
Climate change has increased concern over possible large and rapid changes in the physical climate system, which includes the Earth's atmosphere, land surfaces, and oceans. Some of these changes could occur within a few decades or even years, leaving little time for society and ecosystems to adapt.
Learn how society can better anticipate sudden changes and emerging impacts in a new report from the National Research Council, “Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises.” View potential abrupt impacts of climate change in an online image gallery.