Jul 4, 2024

Help unlock the next generation of climate model evaluation and benchmarking

CMIP Model Benchmarking Task Team co-leads, Birgit Hassler and Forrest Hoffman, provide an introduction to the task team’s vision for a Rapid Evaluation Framework.

The CMIP Panel has approved the concept for a new Rapid Evaluation Framework (REF), proposed by the Model Benchmarking Task Team, for the CMIP AR7 Fast Track focused on supporting the next IPCC Assessment Report 7 (AR7) cycle. Now the Panel are looking to the global community to resource and implement this ambitious vision.

The CMIP International Project Office is now actively seeking engagement with organisations who have an interest in supporting this high impact contribution to the AR7 assessment process.  With a likely ambitious timeline expected to be announced at the IPCC-61 Plenary in July, dedicated funding and resources are required to ensure timely delivery of a robust and reliable framework.  It is anticipated it will be required to be fully operational by May 2025 and ready in time for publication of the first AR7 Fast Track data.

The task team have developed an outline of the framework (see Figure 1), which is designed to be open source and modular, with immediate focus on delivery of a rapid evaluation for the AR7 simulations but envisaged to build upon existing community evaluation packages. The framework scope includes an application programming interface (API) for executing metrics generation from those community evaluation packages, across the globe.  Tool developers and providers are encouraged to enter the details of their packages into the Model Benchmarking and Evaluation Tools database.  This will be used for early consultation to ensure compatibility and ease of integration. 

Figure 1 Outline of the vision for the Rapid Evaluation Framework

The framework will improve the availability of, and global access to, evaluated simulations as well as supporting community efforts to reduce the carbon footprint. Certain emergent characteristics – such as climate sensitivity, ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity), TCRE (transient climate response to cumulative emissions), and others – could be pre-computed in a standardised manner supporting users including IPCC author teams. 

The framework will support analysts to select models and simulations suitable for their research before downloading data or starting their own assessment. The task team will work with the community to identify critical diagnostics for AR7 Fast Track simulations and expect to expand the framework and add new visualisation and analysis capabilities for future model intercomparison activities.

So, whether you are a funder, software developer or member of the model evaluation and benchmarking scientific community, you can have a vital role in advancing and delivering this vision for the next generation of climate model benchmarking. Help us to deliver a dynamically configured set of society-relevant metrics and diagnostics, providing results direct to climate scientists, the international climate policy and impacts communities, stakeholders, and interested members of the public.

NOTES

Funders interested in financially supporting the Rapid Evaluation Framework should contact the Director of the CMIP International Project Office, Eleanor O’Rourke. Contact details are available at: https://wcrp-cmip.org/cmip-governance/project-office/ 

For all other enquiries, please check the Frequently Asked Questions section.  If the information you require is not there, you can submit a question on the form provided at https://wcrp-cmip.org/faqs/.

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