Volume 78, Issue 41 p. 445-451
Free Access

Intercomparison makes for a better climate model

First published: 03 June 2011
Citations: 70


Global coupled climate models are elaborate numerical/physical formulations of the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and land which are “coupled” together and interact to simulate the three-dimensional distribution of the climate over the globe. Such models are used to make projections of future climate change due to human activity. Simulation results are widely used to identify vulnerabilities and to study societal impacts that have policy implications. It is clearly important for the scientific community to systematically assess the simulation capabilities of these models.

The climate modeling community is doing so in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) which is an assessment of the “state-of-the-art” in global coupled climate modeling. This activity is being organized by the World Climate Research Programme under the auspices of the Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) project.