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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 9 | Copyright

Special issue: Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) Experimental...

Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 3461-3482, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-9-3461-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Model experiment description paper 28 Sep 2016

Model experiment description paper | 28 Sep 2016

The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6

Brian C. O'Neill1, Claudia Tebaldi1, Detlef P. van Vuuren2,3, Veronika Eyring4, Pierre Friedlingstein5, George Hurtt6, Reto Knutti7, Elmar Kriegler8, Jean-Francois Lamarque1, Jason Lowe9, Gerald A. Meehl1, Richard Moss10, Keywan Riahi11,12, and Benjamin M. Sanderson1 Brian C. O'Neill et al.
  • 1National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO 80305, USA
  • 2Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), The Hague, the Netherlands
  • 3Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 4Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 5University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  • 6University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 7Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 8Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Potsdam, Germany
  • 9Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
  • 10Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 11International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria
  • 12Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Abstract. Projections of future climate change play a fundamental role in improving understanding of the climate system as well as characterizing societal risks and response options. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) is the primary activity within Phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) that will provide multi-model climate projections based on alternative scenarios of future emissions and land use changes produced with integrated assessment models. In this paper, we describe ScenarioMIP's objectives, experimental design, and its relation to other activities within CMIP6. The ScenarioMIP design is one component of a larger scenario process that aims to facilitate a wide range of integrated studies across the climate science, integrated assessment modeling, and impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability communities, and will form an important part of the evidence base in the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. At the same time, it will provide the basis for investigating a number of targeted science and policy questions that are especially relevant to scenario-based analysis, including the role of specific forcings such as land use and aerosols, the effect of a peak and decline in forcing, the consequences of scenarios that limit warming to below 2°C, the relative contributions to uncertainty from scenarios, climate models, and internal variability, and long-term climate system outcomes beyond the 21st century. To serve this wide range of scientific communities and address these questions, a design has been identified consisting of eight alternative 21st century scenarios plus one large initial condition ensemble and a set of long-term extensions, divided into two tiers defined by relative priority. Some of these scenarios will also provide a basis for variants planned to be run in other CMIP6-Endorsed MIPs to investigate questions related to specific forcings. Harmonized, spatially explicit emissions and land use scenarios generated with integrated assessment models will be provided to participating climate modeling groups by late 2016, with the climate model simulations run within the 2017–2018 time frame, and output from the climate model projections made available and analyses performed over the 2018–2020 period.

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The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) will provide multi-model climate projections based on alternative scenarios of future emissions and land use changes produced with integrated assessment models. The design consists of eight alternative 21st century scenarios plus one large initial condition ensemble and a set of long-term extensions. Climate model projections will facilitate integrated studies of climate change as well as address targeted scientific questions.
The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) will provide multi-model climate...
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