6. Why are climate models important?
Understanding past, present and future climate and combining this knowledge with climate models helps to determine natural as well as man-made influences on the climate system of the past and the future (also see“How are climate models validated? How are they tested?”). Climate projections are helpful in assessing the impact of future climate change and assist decision-makers to prioritize environmental issues based on scientific evidence (Fig. 1).
Therefore, it is important to continue to collect data and improve recent models to increase their accuracy and refine our knowledge of the climate system. Climate models have the ability to influence the way communities and policy-makers plan for the future. These models are our best chance at finding ways to mitigate the dangerous effects of climate change.