ESA hosts new office to coordinate global climate modelling push

By the European Space Agency

The Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) brings together modelling centres from around the world, with the goal of benchmarking, comparing and improving climate model simulations and future projections.

Climate models are an important tool for scientists to understand our past climate and provide projections of future change. As such, they are in increasing demand as part of efforts to avert global warming and reduce risks associated with environmental change. To meet this demand, the World Climate Research Programme will open a new international office in the United Kingdom on 1 March 2022 that will coordinate the programme’s Climate Model Intercomparison Project.

The Climate Model Intercomparison Project is a large activity with 140 models from 52 institutions representing 26 countries. For the latest cycle alone, CMIP6, the volume of data downloaded reached over 28 petabytes and will only continue to increase.

The project provides crucial impetus to climate science and the outputs provide foundational model datasets used by climate assessments that contribute to global climate negotiations and decision-making – as recently demonstrated in CMIP6 which was used extensively in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report.

In recent years, use of CMIP products and the demands on participating research groups has grown significantly to support not just these global climate negotiations, but also national climate assessments, climate services and private sectors striving to manage exposure to future risks and realise opportunities.

The new office will be hosted alongside ESA’s Climate Office at its European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications facility in the UK, and will take the lead in coordinating scientific and technical planning, as well as stakeholder engagement.

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