The 2020 UKESM General Assembly went fully online for our two day meeting. Whilst we may have missed out on meeting face-to-face this year, it did mean that we had between 80 to over 100 participants in the sessions – from as far as New Zealand, Australia and South Korea.

Recordings of the talks are now available on the UKESM YouTube channel

Day 1 – Overview of Progress of UKESM and Invited Talks

Review of the progress of the UKESM project over the past year – Colin Jones, UKESM Slides Part 1 Slides Part 2

Including: UKESM1 in CMIP6, data availability on the CMIP6 ESGF, development of UKESM1.1, interactive ice-sheet configuration, UKESM1-hybrid model, potential UKESM2 developments, ESMValTool update and UKESM dissemination and engagement.

Rowan Sutton, NCAS, outlined the 2nd NERC Long Term Science Multi Centre (LTSM) programme. Slides

To provide a broader perspective on some policy related science areas there were four Invited Talks:

  • Investigating abrupt, potentially irreversible changes in the Earth system. Tim Lenton Slides
  • Allowable carbon budgets for meeting key policy targets. Chris Jones Slides
  • The mitigation potential of non-CO2 Short Lived Climate Forcers and potential co-benefits for regional air quality. Fiona O’Connor Slides
  • Assessing aggressive climate mitigation strategies. Cat Scott 

International perspectives on future priorities for Earth system modelling and science were provided by:

Olivier Boucher (IPSL)


Jean-François Lamarque (NCAR/CESM)

To wrap up the first day, Jane Mulcahy (UKESM) presented a summary of the key points that were presented and discussed over the day.

Questions, comments and discussion were captured through the Chat in Zoom and in the Google documents below, which have given an opportunity for speakers to respond to the questions that were not able to be answered during the meeting.

Discussion document for Day 1:

Day 2 – Science Talks and Summary/Discussion

Most of Day 2 was dedicated to short science talks related to UKESM developments or using the generated datasets in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIPs).

Science Talks (A) – Slides – Science Talks A

Introduction to the session – Colin Jones

  1. Evaluation of sulfur species in UKESM1 – Catherine Hardacr
  2. Bounding global aerosol radiative forcing of climate change – Nicolas Bellouin
  3. An emissions-driven simulation of the methane cycle with UKESM – Gerd Folberth
  4. Evaluation of aerosol in the UKESM against an ensemble of satellite observations – Adam Povey
  5. Tropospheric ozone burden and budgets in AerChemMIP experiments – Paul Griffiths
  6. UKESM volcano-climate experiments: comparing impacts from satellite-based (CMIP6-GloSSAC) and microphysically-consistent (SMURPHS/ACSIS) Pinatubo forcing datasets – Graham Mann
  7. Earth System Music: the creation and reach of music generated from UKESM data – Lee de Mora

Science Talks A – Discussion document:

Science Talks (B) – Slides – Science Talks B

Introduction to the session – Rob Parker

  1. Using CryoSat-2 estimates to analyse sub-grid scale sea ice thickness distribution in HadGEM3 simulations for CMIP6 – David Schroeder
  2. Future contributions to sea-level rise from interactive ice sheets in UKESM1 – Robin Smith
  3. Atmospheric blocking and Greenland melt – Victoria Lee
  4. Future ocean melting of the interactive Antarctic ice shelves in UKESM – Antony Siahaan
  5. Coupling interactive fire with atmospheric composition and climate in the UK Earth System Model – João Teixeira
  6. Coupling fire into UKESM – Chantelle Burton
  7. Preserving uncertainty in fire model parameterisation – Douglas Kelley

Science Talks B – Discussion document:

Science Talks (C) – Slides – Science Talks C

Introduction to the session – Jeremy Walton

  1. UKESM data processing on JASMIN from 19,000km away – Jonny Williams
  2. UKESM-hybrid: focusing resolution where it’s most needed – Marc Stringer
  3. Time-dependent regional features of ocean heat uptake in CMIP6 ESMs – Till Kuhlbrodt
  4. Evaluating stratospheric ozone and water vapor changes in CMIP6 models from 1850–2100 –   James Keeble
  5. A perturbed parameter ensemble of UKESM-A to understand aerosol forcing – Leighton  Regayre
  6. Climate and Earth system change at different levels of global mean warming – Rob Parker

Science Talks C – Discussion document:

Summary and discussion – Colin Jones 

The last part of the open meeting was for an open discussion. The UKESM has 10 months to run until the end of its funding. The following areas are priorities for the next 10 months:

Continue data submission to ESGF across MIPs

Complete “evaluation/analysis” papers

Emphasize analysis of future projections (UKESM1 in the context of CMIP6 multi model)

Identify keep weaknesses in UKESM1 and start to develop methods to address these for UKESM2

e.g. Historical temperature record : mid-century cold bias

       Historical temperature record : post 1991 excessive warming trend -> links to high TCR/ECS ?

       Other pressing problems?

Ensure UKESM1-fast and –hybrid are working acceptably: scientifically.

An application is being made to UKRI-NERC for a one-year extension to the UKESM project to build on and continue the work in the project, and also to address some additional areas of work.

In the longer term UKRI-NERC will have a funding call for Long Term Science Multi-centre programmes in 2021, which could enable UKESM to be developed further. The process for this funding opportunity was presented in Rowan Sutton’s talk.

Summary and discussion of future priorities for UKESM – Discussion document: