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Climate Models, XXX = YYY-Wowza!
Sorry shirtless firemen, climate scientists could take over the sexy calendar market in 2014.

A big set of brains is sexy, especially when those brains are busy trying to save the world. That’s why this Kickstarter campaign is going behind the scenes of climate science and making pin-ups of some very comely climatologists. Oh yes, they’ve got brains that go all the way up ... to the atmosphere. Introducing the 2014 “Climate Models” calendar.

The project, a love child between Rebecca Fowler and Francesco Fiondella, two science communicators at Columbia University, hopes to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter by November 27 so it can start printing the calendar in time for the New Year’s rush.

Nicolas Vigaud

Charts, graphs, and lengthy equations might be irresistible to the 13 featured scientists—who work for Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies—but the researchers understand that turning on the broader public to climate science sometimes takes showing a little leg.

Projections of how global warming will manifest over the next century can be scary, and the science behind melting glaciers, sea-level rise, crippling droughts, and all-around wacky weather can be intimidating. So these climatologists are flashing their pearly whites to help bring climate modeling out of the abstract and show the human faces behind the data.

The next time you look on your wall and wonder why April is starting to feel like July, what happened to ski season, or why your daffodils are blooming early, you’ll remember all the modelers out there crunching numbers and trying to pencil in what we may face in the future. The calendar reminds us of the past, too, by marking the dates of “weather and climate events that live in infamy,” and it even lists the scientist-of-the-month’s favorite datasets. Prrrr. 

Come hither, and learn about what these fetching folks do:

Tufa Dinku

There’s the dapper Tufa Dinku, improving how satellites measure precipitation patterns in Africa.

Allegra LeGrande

And there's Allegra LeGrande wearing not-so-sensible shoes for studying glaciers. 

Dorothy Peteet

When wading through wetlands and taking ancient sediment samples to see how plants respond to climate change, a short skirt might come in handy for paleoecologist Dorothy Peteet (as does her sexy southern accent).

Richard Seager

Some of the interests of this tall-drink-of-water, Richard Seager, include the causes of multi-year droughts and how the ocean and atmosphere interact to influence climate.

Jason Smerdon

Looks like Jason Smerdon drops it like it’s hot on the dance floor … and then drops knowledge about climate variability over the last 2,000 years.

Lisa Goddard

Lisa Goddard brings the glam to El Niño forecasting ...

Tony Barnston

... and Hollywood should call the tux-sporting Tony Barnston for a film about running computer programs over and over and over again to get those forecasts for seasonal sea surface temperatures right.

Kátia Fernandes

And let’s not forget the cover girl, Kátia Fernandes, who examines how climate and fire interplay in the Amazon rainforest. Is that an extinguisher in her hand, or is she just happy to see us? (It's an extinguisher.)

But which of our models will claim the title of Miss … er … Dr. August, the month that usually brings the steamiest, sultriest heat? Well, you’re just going to have to buy the calendar to find out.

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Melissa Mahony is's senior editor. She previously worked at Wildlife Conservation magazine, blogged about energy for SmartPlanet, and has written for many publications about science and the environment. MORE STORIES ➔