Model Configurations

Generally, a 'model configuration' refers to the:

  • horizontal resolution and type of grid (e.g., rectilinear, curvilinear, nodes)
  • vertical resolution and coordinate (e.g., pressure, height/depth, hybrid, eta, sigma, stc.)
  • physics employed
  • time stepping scheme
  • method used to formulate the equations (e.g., finite difference, spectral, finite volume, finite element, ...)
  • boundary and initial conditions
  • coupling with other models (if any); e.g., slab or fully coupled ocean models; AMIP (Use observed sea surface temperatures as lower boundary); land model)

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 15 Jul 2013. "The Climate Data Guide: Model Configurations." Retrieved from

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