This is the most recent version of The Very, Very Simple Climate Model. You can use it to explore how the rate of carbon dioxide emissions affects the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and Earth's climate. You can also explore scenarios for future climate using the model with more detailed instructions. Using the Very, Very Simple Climate Model in the classroom? If so, check out the Educators Guide to the Very, Very Simple Climate Model.

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Click here to download a copy of the Climate Model software. (On a Windows PC, right-click on the link, then "Save as..." to save the file to your local hard drive; on a Macintosh computer, hold down the Control key while clicking the link, then "Save as...")

This interactive was built using Flash, so you will need the Flash plugin from Adobe installed in your browser to view the interactive.

Background Information

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses an approach similar to the one employed in this simple model when preparing their future climate projections based on much more sophisticated, supercomputer-based climate models. Check out our "Compare IPCC Scenarios Interactive" to find out more about the range of likely future scenarios used in the IPCC projections.

New feature: click the Show Warming Limit Targets checkbox to display lines on the temperature graph that show:

  • average global temperature in the pre-industrial era (about 13.8° Celsius or 56.8° Fahrenheit)
  • temperature "limit" which many scientists think we should not exceed in order to avoid dangerous impacts of climate change; 2° Celsius above the pre-industrial level