General Circulation Models: Applications for Nuclear Waste Repositories

by Wayne M. Wendland, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, United States,

Abstract: Numerical models have long been used to relate causal and response functions in the natural environment. Some 20 years ago, one-dimensional, multi-causal models of earth temperature evolved, providing a means to predict temperature as a function of change in solar output, greenhouse gases, etc. Depending upon the model, warming predictions due to greenhouse varied from about 0.7 to 2.9°C (Schneider, 1975). The advent of fast computers with large memories has permitted the development of three dimensional general circulation models (GCMs) which generate a variety of climate parameters for the earth's surface, based on a radiation budget, atmospheric constituents, the resulting general circulation, and certain specified meteorological parameters. Such models are playing a prominent role in day-to-day forecasting, and modeling the effect of double current CO2 concentrations on the spatial and temporal distribution and magnitude of temperature and precipitation.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Mathematical models | Thermal pollution | Numerical models | Parameters (statistics) | Three-dimensional models | Temperature effects | Spatial distribution | Computer models | North America | Colorado | United States

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