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  • Author or Editor: M. Vertenstein x
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James W. Hurrell, M. M. Holland, P. R. Gent, S. Ghan, Jennifer E. Kay, P. J. Kushner, J.-F. Lamarque, W. G. Large, D. Lawrence, K. Lindsay, W. H. Lipscomb, M. C. Long, N. Mahowald, D. R. Marsh, R. B. Neale, P. Rasch, S. Vavrus, M. Vertenstein, D. Bader, W. D. Collins, J. J. Hack, J. Kiehl, and S. Marshall

The Community Earth System Model (CESM) is a flexible and extensible community tool used to investigate a diverse set of Earth system interactions across multiple time and space scales. This global coupled model significantly extends its predecessor, the Community Climate System Model, by incorporating new Earth system simulation capabilities. These comprise the ability to simulate biogeochemical cycles, including those of carbon and nitrogen, a variety of atmospheric chemistry options, the Greenland Ice Sheet, and an atmosphere that extends to the lower thermosphere. These and other new model capabilities are enabling investigations into a wide range of pressing scientific questions, providing new foresight into possible future climates and increasing our collective knowledge about the behavior and interactions of the Earth system. Simulations with numerous configurations of the CESM have been provided to phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and are being analyzed by the broad community of scientists. Additionally, the model source code and associated documentation are freely available to the scientific community to use for Earth system studies, making it a true community tool. This article describes this Earth system model and its various possible configurations, and highlights a number of its scientific capabilities.

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Gerhard Theurich, C. DeLuca, T. Campbell, F. Liu, K. Saint, M. Vertenstein, J. Chen, R. Oehmke, J. Doyle, T. Whitcomb, A. Wallcraft, M. Iredell, T. Black, A. M. Da Silva, T. Clune, R. Ferraro, P. Li, M. Kelley, I. Aleinov, V. Balaji, N. Zadeh, R. Jacob, B. Kirtman, F. Giraldo, D. McCarren, S. Sandgathe, S. Peckham, and R. Dunlap IV


The Earth System Prediction Suite (ESPS) is a collection of flagship U.S. weather and climate models and model components that are being instrumented to conform to interoperability conventions, documented to follow metadata standards, and made available either under open-source terms or to credentialed users.

The ESPS represents a culmination of efforts to create a common Earth system model architecture, and the advent of increasingly coordinated model development activities in the United States. ESPS component interfaces are based on the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), community-developed software for building and coupling models, and the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) Layer, a set of ESMF-based component templates and interoperability conventions. This shared infrastructure simplifies the process of model coupling by guaranteeing that components conform to a set of technical and semantic behaviors. The ESPS encourages distributed, multiagency development of coupled modeling systems; controlled experimentation and testing; and exploration of novel model configurations, such as those motivated by research involving managed and interactive ensembles. ESPS codes include the Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM), the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM), and the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS); the NOAA Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) and the Modular Ocean Model (MOM); the Community Earth System Model (CESM); and the NASA ModelE climate model and the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, version 5 (GEOS-5), atmospheric general circulation model.

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J. E. Kay, C. Deser, A. Phillips, A. Mai, C. Hannay, G. Strand, J. M. Arblaster, S. C. Bates, G. Danabasoglu, J. Edwards, M. Holland, P. Kushner, J.-F. Lamarque, D. Lawrence, K. Lindsay, A. Middleton, E. Munoz, R. Neale, K. Oleson, L. Polvani, and M. Vertenstein


While internal climate variability is known to affect climate projections, its influence is often underappreciated and confused with model error. Why? In general, modeling centers contribute a small number of realizations to international climate model assessments [e.g., phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5)]. As a result, model error and internal climate variability are difficult, and at times impossible, to disentangle. In response, the Community Earth System Model (CESM) community designed the CESM Large Ensemble (CESM-LE) with the explicit goal of enabling assessment of climate change in the presence of internal climate variability. All CESM-LE simulations use a single CMIP5 model (CESM with the Community Atmosphere Model, version 5). The core simulations replay the twenty to twenty-first century (1920–2100) 30 times under historical and representative concentration pathway 8.5 external forcing with small initial condition differences. Two companion 1000+-yr-long preindustrial control simulations (fully coupled, prognostic atmosphere and land only) allow assessment of internal climate variability in the absence of climate change. Comprehensive outputs, including many daily fields, are available as single-variable time series on the Earth System Grid for anyone to use. Early results demonstrate the substantial influence of internal climate variability on twentieth- to twenty-first-century climate trajectories. Global warming hiatus decades occur, similar to those recently observed. Internal climate variability alone can produce projection spread comparable to that in CMIP5. Scientists and stakeholders can use CESM-LE outputs to help interpret the observational record, to understand projection spread and to plan for a range of possible futures influenced by both internal climate variability and forced climate change.

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