In 1989, the U.S. Department of Energy established PCMDI project at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to organize international earth system modeling inter-comparison projects. Without PCMDI’s leadership, the highly successful and influential series of Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIP) would not have been possible. CMIP enabled the broad climate science research community to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Earth System Models. CMIP transformed the state of knowledge about climate and the Earth system and the ability of models to simulate their behavior.
While PCMDI is best known for its support of international model inter-comparisons, it also conducts world-leading research using the multi-model output database, observational data, and additional targeted simulations on detection and attribution of climate change, cloud-climate feedbacks, and cloud processes. PCMDI’s efforts help the DOE Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) modeling project and major modeling centers to improve model accuracy and prediction through the development of multi-model performance metrics. Model representations of clouds and surface-atmosphere exchange are evaluated with DOE ARM observations through the Cloud-Associated Parameterization Testbed.