Observations and Earth system models: A synergistic relationship

Andrew Yool (NOC), I. Allen (PML), C. Jones (NCAS / UKMO), T. Tyrrell (Southampton) and Paul Halloran (U. Exeter)

A key uncertainty when trying to understand climate change lies with the interactions and feedbacks between major planetary components such as the atmosphere, ocean and biota. Earth System Models (ESMs) offer one route to understanding such interactions, by attempting to represent all of the Earth’s major components, coupling between these components and the feedbacks that may result. ESMs therefore play a key role in informing policymakers how, when and where climate change may manifest, as well as helping guide stakeholders to mitigate the future risks associated we these changes. 

This session will provide a forum for marine research, encompassing the broad range of uses to which ESMs are applied and the observations that inform them. This will include work focused on the development and evaluation of particular Earth System components, process studies of particular ES interactions, and synthesis studies that investigate behaviour and feedbacks between different ESMs (for instance, within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, CMIP). A backdrop to the session is the observational evaluation of the UK's contribution to CMIP6 and the next IPCC Assessment Report, the UKESM1 model.