As modeling capability has advanced, the need to quantitatively evaluate Earth System Models (ESMs) has also grown. To address this, Working Group on Coupled Modeling (WGCM) of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) has initiated a series of Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIP). In preparation for the IPCC Sixth Assessment, the CMIP Phase 6, CMIP6, was launched. A brief summary can be found in the following overview presentation (CMIP6FinalDesign_GMD_160603.pdf).

The organization of CMIP6 is more distributed than was the case in previous rounds. It contains twenty individual Model Intercomparison Projects (MIPs), each focused on a specific area of Earth system science. In addition, there is a set of fundamental (or DECK) experiments which will be run for each model in order to characterize its performance, and provide a reference point for the various MIP experiments. See the World Climate Research Programme website for more details on CMIP6 and the underlying MIPs that constitute CMIP6.

The UK contribution to CMIP6

CMIP6 will be an important application of UKESM models. CMIP6 aims to improve our understanding of, and ability to simulate, key climate phenomena and future climate change using a coordinated multi-model approach. In CMIP6, UKESM1 and other climate models from around the world will be integrated using a common set of experiment protocols to address a range of key science questions.

The UK contribution to CMIP6 will come from the Met Office, NERC centres and UK universities and is being coordinated through a number of thematic groups (see the article in Newsletter No 2:UK Plans for CMIP6for more information) currently working on tasks such as:

  • ensuring model components meet the technical requirements for CMIP6;
  • providing technical support for model runs, data conversion and delivery;
  • sharing good practice (including experiment setup) across MIPs and coordinating MIP numerical experiments.

More detailed information about CMIP6 workshops and UK preparations for CMIP6 is available on the Met Office website (

For more information about the UK CMIP6 workshop held on Feb 27th in Oxford, please visit