Modeller vs. modeller

We recently got a request from Tom Cole, a water quality researcher, to explain some of the issues in climate modelling seen from his perspective as a fellow numerical modeller. His (slightly paraphrased) questions are the basis for this post, and hopefully the answers may provide some enlightment for modellers and non-modellers alike!

(NB. The answers refer specifically to the GISS climate model for which I have first hand knowledge, but apply more generally to the other large scale models too. Apologies in advance for some of the unavoidable technicalities…)

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