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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model experiment description paper 05 Jun 2019

Model experiment description paper | 05 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Designing and Documenting Experiments in CMIP6

Charlotte Pascoe1,2, Bryan N. Lawrence2,3, Eric Guilyardi2,4, Martin Juckes1,2, and Karl E. Taylor5 Charlotte Pascoe et al.
  • 1STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK
  • 2National Centre of Atmospheric Science, UK
  • 3Departments of Meteorology and Computer Science, University of Reading, UK
  • 4LOCEAN/IPSL, Sorbonne Université/CNRS/IRD/MNHN, Paris, France
  • 5PCMDI, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA

Abstract. Earth system modelling relies on contributions from groups who develop models and from those involved in devising, executing, and exploiting numerical experiments. Often these people work in different institutions, and they may communicate primarily via published information (whether journal papers, technical notes, or websites). The complexity of the models, experiments, and methodologies, along with the diversity (and sometimes inexact nature) of information sources can easily lead to misinterpretation of what was actually intended or done. In this paper we introduce a taxonomy of terms for more clearly defining numerical experiments, put it in the context of previous work on experimental ontologies, and describe how we have used it to document the CMIP6 experiments. We describe how this process involved iteration with a range of CMIP6 stakeholders to rationalise multiple sources of information and add clarity to experimental definitions. We demonstrate how this process has added value to CMIP6 itself by a) helping those devising experiments to be clear about their goals and expected methodology, b) making it easier for those executing experiments to know what was intended, c) exposing inter-relationships between experiments, and d) making it clearer for third parties (data users) to understand the CMIP6 experiments. We conclude with some lessons learned, and how these may be applied for any modelling campaign as well as future CMIP phases.

Charlotte Pascoe et al.
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Status: open (until 31 Jul 2019)
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Charlotte Pascoe et al.
Charlotte Pascoe et al.
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Latest update: 16 Jun 2019
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present a methodology for documenting numerical experiments in the context of an information sharing ecosystem which allows the weather, climate, and earth system modelling community to accurately document and share information about their modelling workflow. We describe how these concepts have been applied to the design phase of CMIP6, improving not only the documentation of CMIP6, but also improving the experiments themselves. CMIP6 is Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project.
We present a methodology for documenting numerical experiments in the context of an information...