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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 10 | Copyright
Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 4215-4240, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-11-4215-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Methods for assessment of models 17 Oct 2018

Methods for assessment of models | 17 Oct 2018

BGC-val: a model- and grid-independent Python toolkit to evaluate marine biogeochemical models

Lee de Mora1, Andrew Yool2, Julien Palmieri2, Alistair Sellar3, Till Kuhlbrodt4, Ekaterina Popova2, Colin Jones5, and J. Icarus Allen1 Lee de Mora et al.
  • 1Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth, PL1 3DH, UK
  • 2National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
  • 3Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK
  • 4NCAS, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AH, UK
  • 5NCAS, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Abstract. The biogeochemical evaluation toolkit, BGC-val, is a model- and grid-independent Python toolkit that has been built to evaluate marine biogeochemical models using a simple interface. Here, we present the ideas that motivated the development of the BGC-val software framework, introduce the code structure, and show some applications of the toolkit using model results from the Fifth Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). A brief outline of how to access and install the repository is presented in Appendix , but the specific details on how to use the toolkit are kept in the code repository.

The key ideas that directed the toolkit design were model and grid independence, front-loading analysis functions and regional masking, interruptibility, and ease of use. We present each of these goals, why they were important, and what we did to address them. We also present an outline of the code structure of the toolkit illustrated with example plots produced by the toolkit.

After describing BGC-val, we use the toolkit to investigate the performance of the marine physical and biogeochemical quantities of the CMIP5 models and highlight some predictions about the future state of the marine ecosystem under a business-as-usual CO2 concentration scenario (RCP8.5).

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Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on the Earth's weather, ice caps, land surface, and ocean. Computer models of the Earth system are the only tools available to make predictions about how the climate may change in the future. However, in order to trust the model predictions, we must first demonstrate that the models have a realistic description of the past. The BGC-val toolkit was built to rapidly and simply evaluate the behaviour of models of the Earth's oceans.
Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on the Earth's weather, ice caps, land...
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