Reviews – Climate & Weather Simulations & Games

This list includes educational simulations, games and virtual labs spanning topics in climate, weather, and atmospheric science education. This list is a subset of my larger list of simulations, games and virtual labs for STEM education. I have a list of dozens of resources that I am in the process of porting over from an older web site, which I will be adding to this list throughout the spring of 2020.

Layers of Earth's Atmosphere

Atmosphere Layers

Earth’s atmosphere is composed of a series of layers with different properties. Some of the planets and moons in our Solar System also have atmospheres with layered structures comparable to Earth’s. This self-paced, online lesson provides an overview of layers of the atmosphere – on Earth and beyond! Click the image below to begin your exploration of atmosphere layers! Some of the diagrams of layers of the atmosphere used in this lesson are copyright of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) …
BBC Climate Challenge

BBC Climate Challenge

In the Climate Challenge role-playing policy game, you are the leader of the European Union. Select policies to reduce carbon emissions while retaining enough popularity to remain in office.
CIMSS & WeatherWise apps - Precipitation Type

CIMSS & WeatherWise Weather & Climate Apps

This large collection of web apps covers a broad range of topics in weather, climate, and the atmospheric sciences. A visual menu on the CIMSS site and a topic outline on the WeatherWise site both link to an overlapping set of interactives created by faculty at the University of Wisconsin.
Climate Change Mitigation Simulator

Climate Change Mitigation Simulator

Choose your priorities and select mitigation strategies to meet your goals with this simple climate change mitigation simulator.
Climate Interactive Logo

Climate Interactive

Climate Interactive has created several simulations and role-playing games related to climate science and policy. Their simulation models include: En-ROADS (energy policy), C-ROADS (international policy), and ALPS (Agriculture and Land Policy Simulator). Their role-playing simulation games include: Climate Action Simulation, World Climate Simulation, and Agritopia (agricultural policy).
  • Creator: Climate Interactive (an independent, not-for-profit think-tank that grew out of MIT Sloan in Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • Cost: free

Concord Consortium

Concord Consortium – Climate & Atmosphere

The Concord Consortium has several educational models that explore topics in climate, air pollution and air quality, the water cycle, and other aspects of atmospheric science. Resources include: Global Climate Change Model, Hurricane Explorer Model, Air Pollution Model (aerial), Air Pollution Model (cross-section), Hydraulic Fracturing Model, Water Model, Land Management Model, and Sunlight, Infrared, CO2 and the Ground.
EdGCM educational climate model


EdGCM is a research-grade Global Climate Model (GCM) with a user-friendly interface that is suitable for use by students and can be run on a personal computer.
Extreme Event Role-playing Simulation

Extreme Event Role-Playing Simulation

Role-playing simulation for groups in which players assume roles as city leaders to prepare for and react to a natural disaster. Two scenarios: coastal city struck by hurricane or inland city with river flooding. Low-tech and high-tech (using laptops or tablets) variants available; also uses cards.
KCVS Climate Solutions

KCVS Climate Solutions

In the Climate Solutions simulation you make choices that determine humanity’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during the 21st century. Select options for electricity production and use, transportation, land use, buildings, and materials. Try to reduce GHG emissions by eliminating “wedges” from the emissions graph.
Monash Simple Climate Model

Monash Simple Climate Model

A full climate model, simplified for educational use. Includes numerous example scenarios and challenge exercises for students; some involve depictions of alien worlds from science fiction movies and books!
NOAA Games - Planet Arcade - Whale Migration

NOAA Games “Planet Arcade”

This collection features several games and puzzles from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Most of the resources are related to water, the oceans, and aquatic environments.
SciJinks Hurricane Hero game - screenshot

SciJinks Weather Games

The games section of the SciJinks web site features games, simulations, and other multimedia about weather, satellite meteorology, and Earth science. The site is developed by the NASA Space Place team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).