IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

Figure 1.4. Geographic resolution characteristic of the generations of climate models used in the IPCC Assessment Reports: FAR (IPCC, 1990), SAR (IPCC, 1996), TAR (IPCC, 2001a), and AR4 (2007). The figures above show how successive generations of these global models increasingly resolved northern Europe. These illustrations are representative of the most detailed horizontal resolution used for short-term climate simulations. The century-long simulations cited in IPCC Assessment Reports after the FAR were typically run with the previous generation’s resolution. Vertical resolution in both atmosphere and ocean models is not shown, but it has increased comparably with the horizontal resolution, beginning typically with a single-layer slab ocean and ten atmospheric layers in the FAR and progressing to about thirty levels in both atmosphere and ocean.