About the project

EarthClim -- Integrated Earth System Approach to Explore Natural Variability and Climate Sensitivity -- is a multi-institutional, coordinated climate research project in Norway, funded by the Research Council of Norway for the period 2011-2014.

EarthClim gathers Universities and research institutes from Bergen, Oslo and Tromsø. Central to EarthClim is to improve, implement and verify climate processes in the Norwegian community Earth System Model (ESM) NorESM that are of particular importance at high latitudes, and consequently for polar climate. As the tropics are central for global heat and moisture budgets, as well as for generating major climate variability modes, analysis of climate feedbacks, responses and sensitivities incorporates lower latitudes as well.

As choice of method, the model development, testing and analysis is based on (but not limited to) NorESM. NorESM is unique notably through the state-of-the-art aerosol-cloud scheme and the isopycnic coordinate ocean component, and it contributes to the much desired climate model diversity in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due 2013/14.

The large range in climate sensitivity and its long tail create a possibility of strong future warming and hinders a quantification of emissions reductions needed to meet future temperature targets. In EarthClim, climate sensitivity and climate feedback mechanisms, based on but not limited to NorESM, will be quantified with respect to its climate sensitivity. The carbon cycle feedback will be given particular consideration.

A fundamentally different method to quantify the climate sensitivity is to use the observed temperature record and estimates of net radiative forcing and fast feedbacks. This quantification has been difficult due to the large uncertainties related to short-lived components; in particular aerosols and clouds. To improve this a better quantification of the aerosol effects in NorESM will be sought.

To further explore the sensitivity of the climate system, the natural variability and spatial variations in the response will also be investigated.

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Research objectives

-- To firmly establish NorESM as a state-of-the-art computer model for the simulation of the global climate and associated Earth System processes through sustained development, validation and analysis

-- To quantify the magnitude of internal climate variability and distinguish internal variability from externally forced variations using long term observations and climate simulations

-- To improve the estimates of RF by increasing the degree of explicit treatment of aerosols, clouds, short-lived gases and their interactions in NorESM

-- To quantify and analyse responses and long-term feedbacks in the climate system, and in particular to assess relationships between regional forcing patterns and responses, including non-linear responses, and the climate sensitivity

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The Norwegian Earth System Model, NorESM

The Norwegian Earth System Model -- NorESM -- is a global, coupled model system for the physical climate system, which can be run with various degrees of interactions with bio-geo-chemical processes in the earth system. NorESM is developed as a nationally coordinated effort, organised through EarthClim, funded by the Reseach Council of Norway.

NorESM is based on the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) and Community Earth System Model (CESM) projects operated at NCAR on behalf of UCAR in USA.

NorESM differs from CCSM in the following aspects: The full core version includes own developed code for chemistry-aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions in the atmospheric module (CAM4-Oslo); an isopycnic coordinate ocean model developed in Bergen and originating from the Miami Isopycnic Coordinate Ocean Model MICOM);the HAMburg Ocean Carbon Cycle (HAMOCC) model developed at the Max-Plank-Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg and adapted to the isopycnic ocean model framework.

NorESM has contributed with climate simulations to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). See CMIP5 Data Access and Availability or contact the EarthClim consortium for model data.

See also NorESM wiki.

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Participating institutions

Uni Research AS (UNI Res, Bergen, administrative responsible)
Bjerknes Centre, Univ of Bergen (UiB, Bergen)
CICERO Center for Intern Climate and Environmental Research (Oslo)
Norwegian Meteorological Institute (met.no, Oslo)
Meteorol and Oceanogr Section, Dep of Geosciences, Univ of Oslo (UiO, Oslo)
Norwegian Computing Center (NR, Oslo)
Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU, Kjeller)
Norwegian Polar Institute (NP, Tromsø)

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Contact information

Helge Drange (co-leader)
Department of Geophysics/UNI Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
University of Bergen
Allegt. 70
5007 Bergen

    Phone:  +47 55 58 26 02 (work)  +47 97 74 05 89 (mobile)
    Fax:    +47 55 58 98 83 (work)
    E-mail: helge.drange@gfi.uib.no
    URL:    http://www.gfi.uib.no  /  http://www.bjerknes.uib.no

Øystein Hov (co-leader)
The Norwegian Meteorological Institute
Gaustadalléen 30 D
P. O. Box 43, Blindern
Oslo N-0313

    Phone:  +47 22 96 33 60 (work)  +47 95 06 00 31 (mobile)
    Fax:    +47 22 96 30 50 (work)
    E-mail: oystein.hov@met.no
    URL:    http://met.no

Andrea Volbers (project manager)
UNI Bjerknes Center for Climate Research	
Allegaten 55	
5007 Bergen	

    Phone:  +47 55 58 98 02 (work) 
    Fax:    +47 55 58 98 83 (work)
    E-mail: Andrea.Volbers@uni.no
    URL:    http://www.bjerknes.uib.no

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