Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Documenting Numerical Experiments in Support of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6)

TitleDocumenting Numerical Experiments in Support of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Volume13
Number5
Pages2149-2167
Abstract / Summary

Numerical simulation, and in particular simulation of the earth system, relies on contributions from diverse communities, from those who develop models to those involved in devising, executing, and analyzing numerical experiments. Often these people work in different institutions and may be working with significant separation in time (particularly analysts, who may be working on data produced years earlier), and they typically communicate 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 experiments of the sixth phase for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). We describe how, through iteration with a range of CMIP6 stakeholders, we rationalized multiple sources of information and improved the clarity of 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 their implementation, (b) making it easier for those executing experiments to know what is intended, (c) exposing interrelationships 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 to future CMIP phases as well as other modeling campaigns.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.5194/gmd-13-2149-2020
DOI10.5194/gmd-13-2149-2020
Journal: Geoscientific Model Development
Year of Publication: 2020
Volume: 13
Number: 5
Pages: 2149-2167
Publication Date: 05/2020

Numerical simulation, and in particular simulation of the earth system, relies on contributions from diverse communities, from those who develop models to those involved in devising, executing, and analyzing numerical experiments. Often these people work in different institutions and may be working with significant separation in time (particularly analysts, who may be working on data produced years earlier), and they typically communicate 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 experiments of the sixth phase for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). We describe how, through iteration with a range of CMIP6 stakeholders, we rationalized multiple sources of information and improved the clarity of 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 their implementation, (b) making it easier for those executing experiments to know what is intended, (c) exposing interrelationships 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 to future CMIP phases as well as other modeling campaigns.

DOI: 10.5194/gmd-13-2149-2020
Citation:
Pascoe, C, B Lawrence, E Guilyardi, M Juckes, and K Taylor.  2020.  "Documenting Numerical Experiments in Support of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6)."  Geoscientific Model Development 13(5): 2149-2167.  https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-13-2149-2020.