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Laskaris
06-04-2012, 03:03 AM
I have recently become enamoured with creating realistic (hopefully!) climate models for my fictional worlds. While it is fun to do so by hand using tutorials like this one (http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/climate_cookbook.html#wind), I would love to have software to assist me in this. Is there such a program?

I have looked at Fractal Terrains (http://www.profantasy.com/products/ft.asp), but its "climate model" does not simulate atmospheric currents or oceanic currents - so it really isn't much of a climate model to speak of, and the climates it generates are very unrealistic (no deserts, no differences in climate between west coasts / east coasts of continents, no rain shadows, and so on).

There is a program called EdGCM (http://edgcm.columbia.edu/) (Educational Global Climate Modeling), but that one only works for Earth. You can't use any maps / elevation data sets of your own with it.

A search told me that a guild member was planning to create a realistic climate model program a few years back, but it never got past the alpha stage.

So, if anyone knows of some software, I would be very grateful.

xoxos
06-05-2012, 03:33 PM
it's in the cards for my current masterpiece, but i'm sure the results will be far from realistic as i will be satisfied with 'autogenerated' with facility for manual augmentation. ta for the edgcm link :)

my sentiment is that realism in simulation is something our referential culture encourages us to believe in, otherwise we wouldn't trust the authority of our academic predecessors, and they wouldn't get paid. irl simulation is much more plausible for small, finite systems. something like a planetwide climate i don't think we can approach given our current means. i'd say you're safe enough to employ a level of imagination and artistry, as science has yet to prove that these things aren't a factor in determining the nature of reality :) it's probably significantly easier by the 4th or 5th implementation.

Laskaris
06-05-2012, 05:54 PM
it's in the cards for my current masterpiece, but i'm sure the results will be far from realistic as i will be satisfied with 'autogenerated' with facility for manual augmentation. ta for the edgcm link :)

my sentiment is that realism in simulation is something our referential culture encourages us to believe in, otherwise we wouldn't trust the authority of our academic predecessors, and they wouldn't get paid. irl simulation is much more plausible for small, finite systems. something like a planetwide climate i don't think we can approach given our current means. i'd say you're safe enough to employ a level of imagination and artistry, as science has yet to prove that these things aren't a factor in determining the nature of reality :) it's probably significantly easier by the 4th or 5th implementation.

I agree that we can't hope to come up with a perfectly realistic climate model because we don't understand Earth's climate very well yet. Climate science is a relatively young science, and our sample size for Earth-like planets is 1.

Still, I think it should be quite doable to make a climate model which, with the help of a simple atmospheric circulation model, a simple ocean currents model and a few other basic things, produces plausible Earth-like worlds. Worlds you can look at and say: "Yes, I can believe that an Earth-like world with these continents and oceans would have the climate zones distributed like this."

If you would like some feedback on the climate generation for your current masterpiece, let me know. I am not a climate scientist, but I know a humble little bit about the subject and might be able to help with an idea or two.