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Title: The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6

Abstract

Projections of future climate change play a fundamental role in improving understanding of the climate system as well as characterizing societal risks and response options. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) is the primary activity within Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) that will provide multi-model climate projections based on alternative scenarios of future emissions and land use changes produced with integrated assessment models. Here, we describe ScenarioMIP's objectives, experimental design, and its relation to other activities within CMIP6. The ScenarioMIP design is one component of a larger scenario process that aims to facilitate a wide range of integrated studies across the climate science, integrated assessment modeling, and impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability communities, and will form an important part of the evidence base in the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. Furthermore, it will provide the basis for investigating a number of targeted science and policy questions that are especially relevant to scenario-based analysis, including the role of specific forcings such as land use and aerosols, the effect of a peak and decline in forcing, the consequences of scenarios that limit warming to below 2°C, the relative contributions to uncertainty from scenarios, climate models, andmore » internal variability, and long-term climate system outcomes beyond the 21st century. In order to serve this wide range of scientific communities and address these questions, a design has been identified consisting of eight alternative 21st century scenarios plus one large initial condition ensemble and a set of long-term extensions, divided into two tiers defined by relative priority. Some of these scenarios will also provide a basis for variants planned to be run in other CMIP6-Endorsed MIPs to investigate questions related to specific forcings. Harmonized, spatially explicit emissions and land use scenarios generated with integrated assessment models will be provided to participating climate modeling groups by late 2016, with the climate model simulations run within the 2017–2018 time frame, and output from the climate model projections made available and analyses performed over the 2018–2020 period.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [1];  [8];  [1];  [9];  [10];  [1]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), The Hague (Netherlands); Univ. of Utrecht (Netherlands). Copernicus Inst. for Sustainable Development
  3. German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberfaffenhofen (Germany). Inst. of Atmospheric Physics
  4. Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
  5. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  6. ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Inst. for Atmospheric and Climate Science
  7. Potsdam Inst. for Climate Impact Research (PIK) (Germany)
  8. Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter (United Kingdom)
  9. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Pacific Northwest National Lab Joint Global Change Research Inst.
  10. International Inst. for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg (Austria); Graz Univ. of Technology (Austria)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1360743
Grant/Contract Number:
FC02-97ER62402
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geoscientific Model Development (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Geoscientific Model Development (Online); Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1991-9603
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

O'Neill, Brian C., Tebaldi, Claudia, van Vuuren, Detlef P., Eyring, Veronika, Friedlingstein, Pierre, Hurtt, George, Knutti, Reto, Kriegler, Elmar, Lamarque, Jean-Francois, Lowe, Jason, Meehl, Gerald A., Moss, Richard, Riahi, Keywan, and Sanderson, Benjamin M. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.5194/gmd-9-3461-2016.
O'Neill, Brian C., Tebaldi, Claudia, van Vuuren, Detlef P., Eyring, Veronika, Friedlingstein, Pierre, Hurtt, George, Knutti, Reto, Kriegler, Elmar, Lamarque, Jean-Francois, Lowe, Jason, Meehl, Gerald A., Moss, Richard, Riahi, Keywan, & Sanderson, Benjamin M. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6. United States. doi:10.5194/gmd-9-3461-2016.
O'Neill, Brian C., Tebaldi, Claudia, van Vuuren, Detlef P., Eyring, Veronika, Friedlingstein, Pierre, Hurtt, George, Knutti, Reto, Kriegler, Elmar, Lamarque, Jean-Francois, Lowe, Jason, Meehl, Gerald A., Moss, Richard, Riahi, Keywan, and Sanderson, Benjamin M. 2016. "The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6". United States. doi:10.5194/gmd-9-3461-2016. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1360743.
@article{osti_1360743,
title = {The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6},
author = {O'Neill, Brian C. and Tebaldi, Claudia and van Vuuren, Detlef P. and Eyring, Veronika and Friedlingstein, Pierre and Hurtt, George and Knutti, Reto and Kriegler, Elmar and Lamarque, Jean-Francois and Lowe, Jason and Meehl, Gerald A. and Moss, Richard and Riahi, Keywan and Sanderson, Benjamin M.},
abstractNote = {Projections of future climate change play a fundamental role in improving understanding of the climate system as well as characterizing societal risks and response options. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) is the primary activity within Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) that will provide multi-model climate projections based on alternative scenarios of future emissions and land use changes produced with integrated assessment models. Here, we describe ScenarioMIP's objectives, experimental design, and its relation to other activities within CMIP6. The ScenarioMIP design is one component of a larger scenario process that aims to facilitate a wide range of integrated studies across the climate science, integrated assessment modeling, and impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability communities, and will form an important part of the evidence base in the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. Furthermore, it will provide the basis for investigating a number of targeted science and policy questions that are especially relevant to scenario-based analysis, including the role of specific forcings such as land use and aerosols, the effect of a peak and decline in forcing, the consequences of scenarios that limit warming to below 2°C, the relative contributions to uncertainty from scenarios, climate models, and internal variability, and long-term climate system outcomes beyond the 21st century. In order to serve this wide range of scientific communities and address these questions, a design has been identified consisting of eight alternative 21st century scenarios plus one large initial condition ensemble and a set of long-term extensions, divided into two tiers defined by relative priority. Some of these scenarios will also provide a basis for variants planned to be run in other CMIP6-Endorsed MIPs to investigate questions related to specific forcings. Harmonized, spatially explicit emissions and land use scenarios generated with integrated assessment models will be provided to participating climate modeling groups by late 2016, with the climate model simulations run within the 2017–2018 time frame, and output from the climate model projections made available and analyses performed over the 2018–2020 period.},
doi = {10.5194/gmd-9-3461-2016},
journal = {Geoscientific Model Development (Online)},
number = 9,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

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  • Projections of future climate change play a fundamental role in improving understanding of the climate system as well as characterizing societal risks and response options. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) is the primary activity within Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) that will provide multi-model climate projections based on alternative scenarios of future emissions and land use changes produced with integrated assessment models. In this paper, we describe ScenarioMIP's objectives, experimental design, and its relation to other activities within CMIP6. The ScenarioMIP design is one component of a larger scenario process that aims to facilitate amore » wide range of integrated studies across the climate science, integrated assessment modeling, and impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability communities, and will form an important part of the evidence base in the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. At the same time, it will provide the basis for investigating a number of targeted science and policy questions that are especially relevant to scenario-based analysis, including the role of specific forcings such as land use and aerosols, the effect of a peak and decline in forcing, the consequences of scenarios that limit warming to below 2 °C, the relative contributions to uncertainty from scenarios, climate models, and internal variability, and long-term climate system outcomes beyond the 21st century. To serve this wide range of scientific communities and address these questions, a design has been identified consisting of eight alternative 21st century scenarios plus one large initial condition ensemble and a set of long-term extensions, divided into two tiers defined by relative priority. Some of these scenarios will also provide a basis for variants planned to be run in other CMIP6-Endorsed MIPs to investigate questions related to specific forcings. Harmonized, spatially explicit emissions and land use scenarios generated with integrated assessment models will be provided to participating climate modeling groups by late 2016, with the climate model simulations run within the 2017–2018 time frame, and output from the climate model projections made available and analyses performed over the 2018–2020 period.« less
  • A better understanding of the role of sea ice for the changing climate of our planet is the central aim of the diagnostic Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6)-endorsed Sea-Ice Model Intercomparison Project (SIMIP). To reach this aim, SIMIP requests sea-ice-related variables from climate-model simulations that allow for a better understanding and, ultimately, improvement of biases and errors in sea-ice simulations with large-scale climate models. This then allows us to better understand to what degree CMIP6 model simulations relate to reality, thus improving our confidence in answering sea-ice-related questions based on these simulations. Furthermore, the SIMIP protocol provides a standardmore » for sea-ice model output that will streamline and hence simplify the analysis of the simulated sea-ice evolution in research projects independent of CMIP. To reach its aims, SIMIP provides a structured list of model output that allows for an examination of the three main budgets that govern the evolution of sea ice, namely the heat budget, the momentum budget, and the mass budget. Furthermore, we explain the aims of SIMIP in more detail and outline how its design allows us to answer some of the most pressing questions that sea ice still poses to the international climate-research community.« less
  • Coordinated experimental design and implementation has become a cornerstone of global climate modelling. Model Intercomparison Projects (MIPs) enable systematic and robust analysis of results across many models, by reducing the influence of ad hoc differences in model set-up or experimental boundary conditions. As it enters its 6th phase, the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) has grown significantly in scope with the design and documentation of individual simulations delegated to individual climate science communities. The Coupled Climate–Carbon Cycle Model Intercomparison Project (C4MIP) takes responsibility for design, documentation, and analysis of carbon cycle feedbacks and interactions in climate simulations. These feedbacks aremore » potentially large and play a leading-order contribution in determining the atmospheric composition in response to human emissions of CO 2 and in the setting of emissions targets to stabilize climate or avoid dangerous climate change. For over a decade, C4MIP has coordinated coupled climate–carbon cycle simulations, and in this paper we describe the C4MIP simulations that will be formally part of CMIP6. While the climate–carbon cycle community has created this experimental design, the simulations also fit within the wider CMIP activity, conform to some common standards including documentation and diagnostic requests, and are designed to complement the CMIP core experiments known as the Diagnostic, Evaluation and Characterization of Klima (DECK). C4MIP has three key strands of scientific motivation and the requested simulations are designed to satisfy their needs: (1) pre-industrial and historical simulations (formally part of the common set of CMIP6 experiments) to enable model evaluation, (2) idealized coupled and partially coupled simulations with 1 % per year increases in CO 2 to enable diagnosis of feedback strength and its components, (3) future scenario simulations to project how the Earth system will respond to anthropogenic activity over the 21st century and beyond. This study documents in detail these simulations, explains their rationale and planned analysis, and describes how to set up and run the simulations. Particular attention is paid to boundary conditions, input data, and requested output diagnostics. It is important that modelling groups participating in C4MIP adhere as closely as possible to this experimental design.« less
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  • The phrasing of the first of three questions motivating CMIP6 – “How does the Earth system respond to forcing?” – suggests that forcing is always well-known, yet the radiative forcing to which this question refers has historically been uncertain in coordinated experiments even as understanding of how best to infer radiative forcing has evolved. The Radiative Forcing Model Intercomparison Project (RFMIP) endorsed by CMIP6 seeks to provide a foundation for answering the question through three related activities: (i) accurate characterization of the effective radiative forcing relative to a near-preindustrial baseline and careful diagnosis of the components of this forcing; (ii) assessment ofmore » the absolute accuracy of clear-sky radiative transfer parameterizations against reference models on the global scales relevant for climate modeling; and (iii) identification of robust model responses to tightly specified aerosol radiative forcing from 1850 to present. Complete characterization of effective radiative forcing can be accomplished with 180 years (Tier 1) of atmosphere-only simulation using a sea-surface temperature and sea ice concentration climatology derived from the host model's preindustrial control simulation. Assessment of parameterization error requires trivial amounts of computation but the development of small amounts of infrastructure: new, spectrally detailed diagnostic output requested as two snapshots at present-day and preindustrial conditions, and results from the model's radiation code applied to specified atmospheric conditions. In conclusion, the search for robust responses to aerosol changes relies on the CMIP6 specification of anthropogenic aerosol properties; models using this specification can contribute to RFMIP with no additional simulation, while those using a full aerosol model are requested to perform at least one and up to four 165-year coupled ocean–atmosphere simulations at Tier 1.« less