Earth System Models divide the earth's surface into square or rectangular shapes. These gridcells specify the model spatial resolution and the ability of the model to make precise calculations over particular regions. Small features such as islands are usually merged with ocean areas within the same gridcells. Despite its representation as a square or a rectangle, model gridcells can have curved shapes due to the curvature of the Earth's surface in order to fulfill all the globe. To facilitate the idea of their size close to the equator, the gridcells are shown here as rectangular shapes with the corresponding length in kilometers.
Click on the model name to display its resolution.
Model gridcells are usually in the order of hundreds of kilometers in width and length. Depending on the model, the form of the gridcell varies, as well as the placement of these gridcells on the surface of the globe. Geographical features with sizes below this resolution are considered uniform by the models, that apply the same value for the whole surface.
Small features such as islands are usually contained in a bigger gridcell. However, some gridcells' edges are located along the island in its horizontal or vertical axis. In this way, different stations belong to different gridcells and therefore are considered differently when estimating present and future projections of climate related variables.