Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Publication Date
15 May 2024

Systematic and objective evaluation of Earth system models: PCMDI Metrics Package (PMP) version 3



Systematic, routine, and comprehensive evaluation of Earth system models (ESMs) facilitates benchmarking improvement across model generations and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of different model configurations. By gauging the consistency between models and observations, this endeavor is becoming increasingly necessary to objectively synthesize the thousands of simulations contributed to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) to date. The Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) Metrics Package (PMP) is an open-source Python software package that provides quick-look objective comparisons of ESMs with one another and with observations. The comparisons include metrics of large- to global-scale climatologies, tropical inter-annual and intra-seasonal variability modes such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO), extratropical modes of variability, regional monsoons, cloud radiative feedbacks, and high-frequency characteristics of simulated precipitation, including its extremes. The PMP comparison results are produced using all model simulations contributed to CMIP6 and earlier CMIP phases. An important objective of the PMP is to document the performance of ESMs participating in the recent phases of CMIP, together with providing version-controlled information for all datasets, software packages, and analysis codes being used in the evaluation process. Among other purposes, this also enables modeling groups to assess performance changes during the ESM development cycle in the context of the error distribution of the multi-model ensemble. Quantitative model evaluation provided by the PMP can assist modelers in their development priorities. In this paper, we provide an overview of the PMP, including its latest capabilities, and discuss its future direction.

Lee, Jiwoo, Peter J. Gleckler, Min-Seop Ahn, Ana Ordonez, Paul A. Ullrich, Kenneth R. Sperber, Karl E. Taylor, et al. 2024. “Systematic And Objective Evaluation Of Earth System Models: Pcmdi Metrics Package (Pmp) Version 3”. Geoscientific Model Development 17 (9). Copernicus GmbH: 3919-3948. doi:10.5194/gmd-17-3919-2024.
Funding Program Area(s)