Climate models are used to simulate changes in the climate that have occurred in the past as well as to make seasonal predictions and climate projections. Scientists can work on coarse spatial scales using global climate model output at a resolution of about 250kmx250 km. Alternatively, they also have the option to work on finer spatial scales enabling a better representation of topographical features such as mountains and coastlines. This is achieved through the use of regional climate models, which can provide simulations at a resolution as high as 25kmx25km over the whole of Europe.
Using climate models combined with observational data, scientists can assess the ability of the models to represent climate variations in space and time and to attribute recent changes in climate to man's impact on the environment.
Model data can also be used to make predictions and projections of climate impacts on seasonal-to-decadal and longer timescales.