WCRP-WWRP-THORPEX Model Evaluation and Development Survey - Overview


Errors in climate (ocean-atmosphere-land-ice) and NWP general circulation models substantially limit the skill of climate and weather predictions on a wide range of space and time scales. Identifying these errors and understanding their root cause constitutes a prerequisite for the planning of model improvement activities. On the other hand, translating the wealth of results from process studies, observational campaigns etc. to model improvements is a non-trivial issue for the modeling community.

For this purpose, we propose to initiate a "bottom-up survey" about the key deficiencies of regional and global NWP and climate models. This survey includes problems identified in operational NWP and seasonal prediction centers as well as deficiencies that climate modelers and analysts of CMIP3 simulations have identified for the current generation of models. The priorities identified by the survey will be the basis of model development/improvements across the entire WCRP Projects and activities, and also through its partnership with WWRP, IGBP and ESSP. WCRP is also currently examining the scope and structure of its modeling activities and the outcome of this survey will also inform these decisions/discussions.

We are asking modelers, analysts and process-orientated panels and international projects six targeted questions - see the template overleaf. The success of the survey in identifying priorities and opportunities depends on the involvement and enthusiasm of the participants in the survey either by sharing results and/or identifying actions to be taken.

The main purpose of the survey is to provide input to the strategic planning for model improvement activities that could be coordinated through the various working groups, projects and panels of WCRP. Suggestions for such coordinated activities are welcome. Results from this survey will be reviewed and discussed at the next WGCM and WGNE meetings. The information collected by this survey, including details, links and references on relevant ongoing and new activities (regional observational studies, observations, process modeling studies, theory, etc) will be made available by means of a community resource website and a white paper will synthesize the outcomes of this survey and make recommendations on where international coordination is needed for the development of the next generation of models.