The typical global climate model is controlled and started (initialized) through a combination of computer programs and Unix shell scripts. EdGCM removes this layer of complexity by placing overall control of the climate model into a single toolbar palette that manipulates the various components of the software suite.

The toolbar contains controls, similar to those on a DVD or CD player, which allow the user to start, stop, pause, rewind, and extend simulations. It also contains a “run list” showing the names of all experiments that have been previously set-up and are available for running. As installed, EdGCM comes with several pre-set simulations that can be run, duplicated, or modified. Additional controls appear in the toolbar depending upon which EdGCM components and features are currently open. This way the toolbar is kept uncluttered, yet useful controls are always available.