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Developing the next generation of Earth System Models

Actions should address in a novel way one or more of the competing demands that surround the advancement of ESMs (e.g. improved process realism, large ensemble of predictions, improved model resolution, etc.). Actions should aim to develop innovative and effective approaches that add to or better represent Earth system processes linked to climate change. Actions should further explore novel ways of coupling existing models (e.g. ice-sheet dynamics) with ESMs and where appropriate, improve synergies with reduced complexity carbon-cycle, atmospheric composition and climate models. Actions are encouraged to explore linkages with relevant integrated assessment models. Actions may also devise new data assimilation methods that will demonstrably improve ESMs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 10-12 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Please note that this topic is part of the lump sum funding pilot scheme. Funding for grants awarded under this topic will take the form of lump sums as defined in Commission Decision C(2017)7151 of 27 October 2017[[

]]. Details of the lump sum funding pilot scheme are published on the Funding and Tender Portal[[

]] together with the specific Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sums[[

]] applicable.

Earth System Models (ESMs) are essential tools for supporting climate policy-making and the Paris Agreement implementation. Ensembles of scenario-based runs are widely used for designing and evaluating mitigation pathways and goals. However, notwithstanding the increase in their performance, ESMs still have several areas of improvement around predicting capability, process realism, capacity of resolving epistemic uncertainty, needs of parametrisation, reduction in systematic biases, time and resolution. Following-up a long-lasting tradition of various EU Framework Programmes to provide substantial support for ESM development, it is time to re-launch the challenge to address the competing demands around the development of ESMs.

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • improved models for the provision of climate services;
  • increased confidence in climate projections;
  • sustaining European leadership in climate science and Earth System Modelling;
  • supporting the operationalisation of the Paris Agreement with a view to delivering effective climate action;
  • informing major international scientific assessment reports (e.g. IPCC).