CRESCENDO – Coordinated Research in Earth Systems and Climate: Experiments, kNowledge, Dissemination and Outreach

CRESCENDO will improve the science based foundation of European Earth System Models (ESM) to produce robust, credible and trustworthy climate projections for the coming century within the framework of the World Climate Research Program’s (WCRP) 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The use knowledge and data produced by an ensemble of ESMs will support the development of effective climate change policies and will contribute to the resilience and competitiveness of European Countries.

60 months from 11/11/2015 to 30/10/2020

General aims

CRESCENDO projects brings together 7 European Earth System Modelling (ESM) teams and 3 European Integrated Assessment Modelling groups to improve the process realism and future climate projection reliability of ESMs, while evaluating and documenting the performance quality of these models using a project-developed and openly-available community ESM evaluation tool (ESMValTool).

In the framework of the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), CRESCENDO will contribute to the development of a new set of socio-economic/land use/emission scenarios and will apply the project ESMs to these new datasets in order to generate an ensemble of novel and advanced Earth system projections, by sampling a range of plausible future development pathways.


CMCC will be involved principally in the application of the CMCC Earth System Model v2 (CMCC-ESM2) to investigate the changes in the fully coupled system considering both past and future development pathways of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and land use change. A significant effort will be put also in the improvement of physical and biochemical processes to develop next generation of ESMs and the necessary tools to evaluate their performance quality and projections reliability.

Expected results

The main outcomes of CRESCENDO include:

  • An improved set of European ESMs that more realistically represent key biogeochemical and natural aerosol processes, as well as interactions between these processes with the physical climate.
  • A community evaluation tool that supports routine benchmarking of ESMs, quasi-operational analysis of ESM projections and process-oriented evaluation methods.
  • A set of emergent constraints on key Earth system feedbacks, combined with quantification of the radiative forcing of those feedbacks in a common framework and units.
  • A coordinated ensemble of ESM projections based on the CMIP6 Model Intercomparison Projects (C4MIP, LUMIP, LS3MIP, OCMIP and AerChemMIP), saved on the ESGF and provided in a supported manner to climate impact assessment and regional downscaling projects.


The project is structured into 5 Research Themes (RT) that addresses a science or dissemination goal of the project.

RT1 focuses on improving the process realism of each ESM components (namely, terrestrial, marine and atmospheric), while RT2 will apply a process-level evaluation for the RT1 improvements. RT3 will evaluate the fully-coupled ESMs and develop the ESMValTool. RT4 focuses on the design of new socio-economic scenarios as part of ScenarioMIP, while RT5 emphasizes the dissemination activities by saving CRESCENDO data to the ESGF and delivering the use of projections in impact assessment, adaptation and mitigation.

  • CNRS-IPSL - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaft e. V. represented by Max-Planck-Institute für Metereologie und Biogeochemie
  • CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici
  • METO - Met Office Hadley Center
  • UNEXE - University of Exteter
  • KNMI - Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
  • Met. No - Norwegian Meteorologiacal Institute
  • SMHI - Sveriges Meteorologiska och Hydrologiska Institut
  • Uread - University Of Reading
  • Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l'Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile
  • MF-CNRM - Météo France - Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques
  • UEA - University of East Anglia
  • University of Hamburg
  • ETH Zurich - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
  • Universitetet I Bergen Organisasjonsedd
  • Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment
  • Lund University
  • PIK - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Natural Environment Research Council - National Oceanography Centre
  • CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
  • IIASA - Internationales Institut fuer Angewandte Systemanalyse
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute

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