The simulator project is obviously much simplified in comparison to a real atmosphere and has been created in order to provide a resource that investigates some of the processes of climate change, primarily and initially the greenhouse effect. Although there are plenty of written information sources available on the internet and in books, often accompanied by pictures, graphs and sometimes animations, few resources allow interaction, encouraging experimentation.
It is often left to the imagination to formulate an understanding of how the processes work.
For teachers and lecturers the simulator might be used as part of a lesson plan and a point of discussion. For students it may help to untangle the language used in text books by producing visual scenarios of the texts you read.
The simulator does not try to predict temperatures nor produce tables of data. The idea would be to understand the processes and to go from there onto further study and research. Some links have been provided to aid that research.
How does the simulator 'model' the atmosphere?
It uses a very simple heuristic method similar to (non-heuristic) atmospheric layering models used in some climate models. There is a branch of atmospheric models called Radiative-Convective Models that break the atmosphere into layers and calculate the radiative energies transported between layers. Since warm gases in the atmosphere rise through the layers, an 'RCM' would also compensate for convection. The simulator is very very loosely based on this type of model.