Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CRESCENDO (Coordinated Research in Earth Systems and Climate: Experiments, kNowledge, Dissemination and Outreach)
Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2018-10-31
CRESCENDO aims to increase the scientific capabilities and realism of 7 European ESMs through targeted improvements to a range of key processes. These will be evaluated against observations and the improved ESMs applied in the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Analysis of the ESMs will deliver an improved understanding of how the coupled Earth system operates and, in particular, its sensitivity to changing external forcing, such as future increases in anthropogenic emission of CO2. The ESMs will provide a coordinated set of state-of-the-art Earth system projections for the coming century and beyond.
IPCC AR5 highlighted that a new set of policy-relevant questions can be addressed by ESMs, such as; the level of CO2 emissions compatible with a given climate stabilization target. ESMs are also increasingly of interest to investigate climate mitigation policies (such as Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage, BECCS) and the co-benefits of addressing climate change and air quality challenges in combined manner. To increase our overall confidence in future projections made by ESMs, CRESCENDO targets a systematic improvement in our ability to evaluate these models against observations.
In addition to the CMIP6 DECK and historical runs, 4 groups have also begun future projections, following the scenarioMIP Tier 1 emission scenarios. The other 3 groups will begin these future projections early in 2019. Simulations are also now occurring for the other MIPs targeted by the project (C4MIP, AerChemMIP, LUMIP, LS3MIP and OMIP).
CRESCENDO scientists have been actively engaged in the international effort to design CMIP6 exercise, as well as developing the science and experiment protocols for the six MIPs at the core of CRESCENDO. These have led to peer-reviewed papers documenting their overall design and experiment protocols.
The 3 Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) groups have completed all the Historical (1850-2015) and Tier 1 and Tier 2 scenarioMIP (2015-2100) emission and land use data sets required by CMIP6. This data has been delivered in a standard format to the CMIP6 input4MIPs website.
Work has continued using the new science of emergent constraints to reduce uncertainty in future climate change feedbacks and in the overall future warming response to increasing CO2. We have also continued developing methods for weighting future climate change projections, aiming to give weight in a multi-model projection ensemble to models that are unrelated to each other in their development history and perform well for the climate change features of interest, when evaluated for the same feature against observations over the recent past.
The CRESCENDO dissemination team has been very active presenting at COP and in Brussels at the EP, and produced two policy documents on potential pathways for realizing the 2015 Paris Agreement. The CRESCENDOschools Network has been established and ran an open call for school students to developing an innovative approach to communicating about climate change and potential solutions. This call was won by a school in Albania who presented their work at the 2018 Climateurope Festival in Belgrade.
The use of ESMValTool for a coordinated evaluation of the CMIP6 multi-model ensemble is a significant advance on CMIP5. ESMValTool now runs directly on CMIP6-compliant data stored on the ESGF and can therefore make rapid multi-model inter-comparisons as data becomes available. This facility will be used by the IPCC AR6 Working Group I Technical Support Unit (TSU).
The set of future projections produced by CRESCENDO are based on a more complete representation of the Earth system than earlier data sets and will, therefore, provide more believable projections of the Earth system response to future CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the new CMIP6 emission scenarios, developed by CRESCENDO scientists, are each based on a specific socio-economic development pathway (so-called Shared Socio-economic Pathways), increasing the utility of the resulting projections for analysis across physical climate change, climate change impacts and mitigation science. These projections will underpin much of the IPCC AR6 process.