GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

NOAA GFDL Climate Research Highlights:

Summaries, Graphics and Animations

about these summaries, images and animations and connections to the IPCC 2007 report

Scientific research conducted at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) figures prominently in climate change assessment studies, such as those assembled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United States Climate Change Research Program (US CCSP). On this web page, we provide links to short summaries, high resolution graphics, and animations that describe some of GFDL’s recent research highlights regarding climate change – results that illustrate and complement findings reported on in the IPCC WG1 Summary for Policymakers released on 2 February 2007.

At GFDL, our research focuses on developing and using state-of-the-art climate models and computer simulations to improve our understanding of the behavior of the atmosphere, oceans, and the global climate system. And though a picture may be worth a thousand words, we find that our graphics are best understood when one reads a bit about them and the related research. So we encourage you to look over our brief GFDL Climate Model Research Highlights summaries (available from links on this page in printer-friendly PDF formats) as well as our graphics and animation galleries. In many cases, the summaries indicate how the featured NOAA GFDL climate model-based research relates to key statements contained in the IPCC Working Group 1 (WG1) Fourth Assessment Report (also referred to as IPCC AR4).

Links are provided below to direct you to the summary related to the images or animations of choice. Those short summaries include contact information that can direct you to GFDL scientists with expertise in each particular topic.

These graphics are considered to be in the public domain, and thus can be downloaded freely. We do request that if these images are used in publications or media broadcasts credit be given to “NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory” or at least “NOAA GFDL“.

For more information about our climate research, including videos and audio podcasts, check out the

Climate Change, Variability & Prediction Group’s Electronic Media Web Page.

noaa gfdl climate research highlight topics

increasing understanding … addressing uncertainties


[NOAA bullet] patterns of greenhouse warming


[NOAA bullet] the shrinking arctic ice cap


[NOAA bullet] will the wet get wetter and the dry drier?


[NOAA bullet] greenhouse ocean warming delayed by aerosols


[NOAA bullet] a tropical atmospheric circulation slow-down


[NOAA bullet] sahel drought: past problems, an uncertain future


patterns of greenhouse warming


[Global Warming graphic (small)]

the shrinking arctic ice cap


 [Arctic Sea Ice simulation (small)]

will the wet get wetter and the dry drier?


 [GFDL CM2.1 Global Precipitation Change (small)]

greenhouse ocean warming delayed by aerosols


[ocean heat content graph (small)]

a tropical atmospheric circulation slow-down


[Walker Circulation schematic (small)]

sahel drought: past problems, an uncertain future


  • graphics and animation gallery[being rebuilt – April 09]
[Sahel Drought graphic (small)]


Additional climate research overviews on other pages include:

climate impact of quadrupling co2

early 20th century global warming

global warming and hurricanes

summertime heat index values &

co2-induced warming