The most important aspect of any climate modeling project is the analysis of simulation results. For most global climate models, preparing model output for analysis can be as involved as the initial simulation setup. This preparation of model output for analysis is referred to as post-processing, and it involves several steps. Variables of interest must first be extracted from the large binary files that are a GCMs raw output, and then averaged over meaningful time intervals or geographic areas (e.g., summer temperature or precipitation over land areas). Finally, the values are scaled to standard meteorological units (e.g., degrees Celsius) and converted to formats that can be read by desktop software programs.
Since post-processing tasks can be so time-consuming, they are typically performed by professional programmers. Thus, while post-processing may be a resource limitation for research labs, it is probably more of an insurmountable obstacle for middle schools, high schools and many undergraduate institutions faced with the same needs.
In order to tackle this problem, EdGCM automates a number of the most-used post-processing programs, and contains a user-friendly interface, the Analyze Output window, to perform any steps that can’t be entirely hidden. Tasks handled by Analyze Output include:
Since it is likely that a user will want to examine only selected climate variables and not the full list available, the Analyze Output toolbar has a special feature that allows the creation of sets. When a Variable Set is created only those variables in the set are shown in the interface, which vastly reduces interface complexity when it is not desired. The sets are fully customizable, and multiple sets can be created to emphasize different aspects of a simulation’s results (e.g. Hydrological Variables, Energy Balance Variables, etc.)