CMIP6 – Coupled Model Intercomparison Project

The objective of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) is to better understand past, present and future climate changes arising from natural, unforced variability or in response to changes in radiative forcing in a multi-model context. An important goal of CMIP is to make the multi-model output publically available in a standardized format. In fact, climate research centers worldwide (more than 30 research centers are involved in this activity today) provide their simulation output following common protocols not only in terms of radiative forcing path but also in terms of data format. The CMIP output is the base to draw up the regular (about every 7 years) Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. CMIP began in 1995 and CMCC participates to this effort since 2008 when SINTEX-G model was involved in CMIP3 simulations. CMCC-CM model, instead, was used for the provision of the simulations following CMIP5 in 2013.

We now reached the 6th phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6)  and CMCC is going to participate with the new model CMCC-CM2 (Cherchi et al, 2018) in its different configurations. Table 1 shows the four main configurations that CMCC is using to run CMIP6 experiments. Different horizontal resolutions are considered: SR (Standard) with atmosphere and ocean at 1 degrees, HR (High) with atmosphere at 1 degree and ocean at ¼ of degree; VHR (Very High) with both atmosphere and ocean at ¼ of degree.  HR4 and VHR4 versions are the High and Very High Resolution (relative to the atmosphere component) versions with the atmospheric component in its CAM4 configuration. On the other hand, the Standard Resolution is the one used with atmosphere component in its CAM5 configuration both in the Climate Model CMCC-CM2-SR5 and Earth System Model CMCC-ESM2-SR5.  Based on the different experiments, a different number of simulated years is expected for each of the model configurations (Table 2).

A series of deck experiments is expected within CMIP6 by all of the modelling groups, intended as 1979-2014 AMIP, Pre-industrial control, 1%yr CO2 increase and abrupt 4xCO2 increase simulations. An additional Historical simulation (linking pre-industrial run to 2014) is also expected. In addition, a series of 23 Endorsed MIPs has been defined and CMCC is going to participate to the ones mentioned in Table 2.  A detailed description of CMIP6 proposed experiments is provided here.

Table 1: CMCC-CM2 model configurations participating to CMIP6.

Table 2: Estimate of simulated years by CMCC-CM2 within CMIP6.

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