"[a physical model] converts protracted time into contracted space" - Alison Isenberg
Climate models make good control Earths because they can travel across some (though not all) of these scales. They’re “interscalar vehicles.” 3 These models are giant bundles of mathematics, expressed as computer code, that try to capture the major forces responsible for climate and examine them in interaction.
Present-day developments related to modeling further enable the distribution of modeling practice across a multitude of actors. First, so-called “modeling interfaces” are becoming more and more popular. Such interfaces enable a modular approach to modeling, in which model code, written by a variety of parties, is coupled and patched together to create a working model, provided these model components meet the standard of the modeling interface. Thus, model components can be combined to create some model that “works” in a pragmatic sense by providing a perceived solution to a problem. As a result, users are tempted to attribute reliability to the model in question, though extensive knowledge of the underlying model components is not required. Second, the increasing popularity of computer simulations in water governance has created a demand for models that can be used by “non-experts.” Such models need to be interactive to be sufficiently appealing and useful in practical settings, meaning underlying calculation rules are simplified to enable interaction with the model in question. Users end up using a model that meets the criteria of practical settings, but such models may not have the scientific rigor needed to create a more complete understanding of water-related phenomena. As the rising popularity of “serious games” shows, models can be praised for their interactive and playful characteristics that enable a wide variety of users to interact with complex systems