EdGCM, or the Educational Global Climate Model, is a suite of software that allows users to run a fully functional 3D global climate model (GCM) on laptops or desktop computers (Macs and Windows PCs). Teachers, students and others can learn-by-doing to design climate experiments, run computer simulations, post-process data, analyze output using scientific visualization tools, and report on their results. All of this is done in the same manner and with the same tools used by climate scientists.
The Global Climate Model (GCM) at the core of EdGCM was developed at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and has been used by researchers to study climates of the past, present and future. EdGCM makes it possible for people to use the GCM without requiring programming skills or supercomputers. Major components of the software include:
- A graphical user interface to manage all aspects of working with the GCM.
- A searchable database that organizes experiments, input files, and output data.
- Scientific visualization software for mapping, plotting and analyzing climate model output.
- An eJournal utility to help create reports or instructional materials (including images).
- Automated conversion of graphics and reports to html for web publishing.
EdGCM also comes complete with 6 ready-to-run climate model experiments:
- 2 modern climate simulations
- 3 global warming simulations
- 1 ice age simulation
and educators have great flexibility in constructing their own scenarios to satisfy specific curricular requirements. EdGCM scales for use at levels from middle school to graduate school, making it a unique tool for bringing a real research experience into the classroom.