Models and Trends

Climate models are often described as if they are a crystal ball that reveals the future. Scientists know that things are a little more complicated than that. Global climate models are good at predicting key trends such as global average temperature over the long term. Shorter-term fluctuations, such as those caused by El Niño events, can cause observations to diverge from models. Regional impacts and temperatures also don't always match the global average. The content below will provide helpful context into long-term climate trends, and how models work to reproduce them. For more on the underlying processes, see the Plantary Systems page.