Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP)

Climate models are created to help scientists understand how the climate changes from the past, looking toward the future. The models are simulations of various climate change scenarios, integrating the real science of the Earth System to construct a realistic depiction of how the climate has changed and will continue to change. The results of these models are shared with the public through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Assessment Reports. CMIP employs the multi-model approach to contextualize the sequence of climate change resulting from both natural variability and radiative forcing. In 2021, in conjunction with the IPCC sixth assessment report (AR6), the novel CMIP6 models were released. CMIP6 modeled about 100 different scenarios from 49 groups and the results indicated significantly higher climate sensitivity compared to CMIP5. It can be concluded that this sensitivity projects a warmer climate of about 0.4C this century. The ultimate goal for CMIP is to standardize the simulations run by the models in order to compare models directly, better understand projections, and use the results to inform future scenarios, scientists, and the public.

As part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) organized under the auspices of the World Climate Research Programme’s (WCRP) Working Group on Coupled Modelling (WGCM) many hundreds of climate researchers, working with modeling centres around the world, will share, compare and analyze the latest outcomes of global climate models. These model products will fuel climate research for the next 5 to 10 years, while its careful analysis will form the basis for future climate assessments and negotiations.

A Short Introduction to Climate Models

Date aired: 21 June 2017

About: This short movie gives insight into the world of climate modelling, particularly WCRP’s initiative CMIP. It stresses the importance of sharing, comparing and analyzing the outcomes of global climate models to deliver high quality climate information, serving as the basis for climate assessments and negotiations.