Plans for CMIP6

by Colin Jones and Jeremy Walton.

An important application of UKESM models will be the next round of the World Climate Research Program’s Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). CMIP6 aims to improve our understanding of, and ability to simulate, key climate phenomena and future climate change using a coordinated multi-model approach. Read more about how 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.

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Release of the Global Coupled 3 (GC3) model

by Jane Mulcahy, Keith Williams and David Walters.

Global Coupled configuration 3 (GC3) is the most recent global coupled science configuration of the Met Office Unified Model (UM) and will be the physical model upon which the UK Earth System Model version 1 (UKESM1) will be developed. GC3 contains numerous improvements to physical parameterisations across the UM components and includes a new, more advanced aerosol scheme, GLOMAP-Mode. Read more about the improvements that have been made in this latest UM science configuration.

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An overview of the Land Ice in UKESM1

by Robin Smith.

One of the most novel developments in the UKESM project will be the incorporation of interactive models of continental-scale ice sheets. UKESM will include the options for ice sheets that interact in a physically consistent way both with the atmosphere above and also the ocean underneath the ice shelves, making it a world-leading model in this area of science. Read more about BISICLES, UKESM’s ice sheet model and the progress being made on its implementation into UKESM1.

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NCAS Research Forum on UKESM

An NCAS Research Forum was held at the University of Oxford on 1 December 2015. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the status of UKESM1 model development, and to look at the project’s near-term plans and priorities. The meeting included presentations from the UKESM core group on the design of the model and technical aspects of its architecture (mainly focussed on the trade-off between complexity and computational speed). In addition, there were several science talks on the component models including atmospheric chemistry and aerosols, ocean biogeochemistry, the terrestrial carbon cycle and vegetation and continental ice sheets. The forum gave NCAS scientists an opportunity to interact with members of the UKESM core group, to improve their understanding of the model’s features and to make suggestions for further development.

Please see the NCAS UKESM Forum for more information about the forum, including copies of all presentations and a detailed report on the meeting.

NERC LTSM funding for UKESM

The UKESM project recently received funding under the new NERC Long Term Science Multi-centre (LTSM) program. The UKESM LTSM secures funding for all present NERC members of the UKESM core group and also expands the core group by a further 3 scientists. In addition to the core group, the LTSM will also support a number of scientists located at the 8 participating NERC centres to work on UKESM-related research, primarily analysing and evaluating UKESM1 simulations or further development of UKESM component models towards a future UKESM2 model. The LTSM is coordinated by Prof. Colin Jones, NCAS and head of the UKESM core group. All 8 NERC centres contribute to the UKESM project. Met Office members of the core group continue to be funded by the Met Office Hadley Centre and will also actively contribute to the LTSM science goals. The project begins in April 2016 and will run for 5 years.

The UKESM LTSM proposal (PDF, 734KB) is also available.

More information on all the LTSM projects funded by NERC is available.

For details of a webinar scheduled for 7 April to introduce the LTSM projects to the wider NERC research community are also available.

Upcoming events

2nd UK-CMIP6 workshop: is planned for 17-18 May 2016, to be held at the Met Office in Exeter. The workshop will build on the 1st UK-CMIP6 meeting held in June 2015 and will present and discuss progress towards a UK community contribution to CMIP6 using both UKESM1 and HadGEM3-GC3. The workshop will bring together Met Office, NERC centre and UK university scientists engaged in CMIP6 and aims to finalise plans for coordinated CMIP6 simulations to start in late 2016. For more details please contact Jeremy Walton.

GC3 Assessment Workshop: A 2 day model assessment workshop on the 15-16 June 2016 will form part of this year’s UM user workshop. If you are interested in being involved in the assessment and would like more information, please contact Keith Williams.