3 May 2014
I use atmospheric models everyday, and without them the forecast you see on TV or online everyday would be worth little beyond about 48 hours (it would not be very accurate within that time period either). These days, a seven-day forecast will verify much better than a three-day outlook was in the 1970’s, and the improvement continues. Unfortunately, some people see these models as untrustworthy black boxes, and have little understanding of how they work.
I frequently hear statements along the line of “if you can’t forecast the weather for the next day, how can you tell what the climate will do in a hundred years?” The answer of course, is that we CAN forecast the weather for the next day, and the data proves it beyond doubt. Now, watch Gavin Schmidt explain why we can be very confident about predicting what the climate will do in a hundred years as well.