2018 WCRP workshop: The Earth’s Energy Imbalance and its implications (EEI)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 to Friday, November 16, 2018
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Event Description: 



WCRP workshop

“The Earth’s Energy Imbalance and its implications”

13 – 16 November 2018, Toulouse, France


The abstract submission was closed. Notification to authors early of August.


Scientific Organization Team:
• Karina von Schuckmann, Mercator Ocean, France (local organiser)
• Remy Roca, LEGOS, France (local organiser)
• Tristan L’Ecuyer, University of Wisconsin, USA (local organiser)
• Benoit Meyssignac, LEGOS, France (local organiser)
• Boram Lee, WCRP, Switzerland
• Michael Sparrow, WCRP, Switzerland
• Gerhard Krinner, IGE, France (CliC)
• Detlef Stammer, University of Hamburg, Germany (CLIVAR SSG)
• Sonia Seneviratne, ETH, Switzerland (GEWEX SSG) / Jan Polcher (tbc)
• Graeme Stevens, JPL, USA (GEWEX SSG)
• Andrea K. Steiner, WEGC, University of Graz, Austria (SPARC)
• Kevin Trenberth, NCAR, USA
• Till Kuhlbrodt, NCAS, University of Reading, UK


  • 18. May 2018: Abstract submission open
  • 13. July 2018: Abstract submission closed
  • End of July 2018: Notification of authors

The Earth’s energy imbalance is a topic developed by the CLIVAR research focus “Consistency between planetary energy balance and ocean heat storage” (CONCEPT-HEAT) that has grown in scope to embrace the relevant activities of the WCRP Core Project, in particular GEWEX (https://www.wcrp-climate.org/learn-core-projects). CONCEPT-HEAT has been active for 4 years, and will declare success at the end of 2018, as the activity is expanded to become more WCRP-wide.

Goals, Objectives and Expected Outcome:
The main objective of the workshop is to initiate a new WCRP-wide activity and to thus strengthen and extend the community on the Earth’s energy imbalance through a community wide discussion on links across all the WCRP Core Projects and relevant activities. The expected outcome is to identify research goals and opportunities focused on the Earth’s energy imbalance, and synthesize the various aspects across WCRP, through:· Discussion and reporting on how the CONCEPT-HEAT topic could evolve into a WCRP topic, together with research goals and priorities.· Strengthening future international scientific collaborations with experts concerned with the flow of energy through the climate system, and its implications for climate variability on multiple time scales. ·Developing plans for future assessments of the Earth Energy Imbalance and its variability with the aim of documenting uncertainties, assessing their implications for prediction, and identifying future observational needs.·Developing a community paper on the Earth energy imbalance, or equivalent (e.g. a special issue).

Workshop Specifications:

The workshop will take place over 3.5 days. It is an open event for all experts of related fields; the expected maximum number of participants is about 80 persons. The program is organized under four sessions, which build on oral presentations (invited & abstract submissions) and posters. The first three sessions will additionally contain working topics - organized by solicited working group chairs - aiming to specifically define common future steps to advance in climate science. The work of these groups will contain:
  I. Smaller and separated working group discussions guided by a working group chair
 II. Common panel discussions, with group chairs as panel members, and session chairs as moderators.
More precisely, a set of overarching questions will be provided for each working group discussion (to be developed by the workshop scientific organizing team) to be addressed by split working group discussions. Each working group will be chaired by one expert, who will lead the discussion, and there will be a rapporteur. Working group chairs will build the plenary session aiming to guide consensus of the specific discussion. The last half-day will be reserved for the synthesis session 4 supported by the reporting from the different working group chairs, and informed by the scientific organizing team.

Program Overview


Session 1 – Global estimates of Earth’s Energy Imbalance
Topics include ocean heat content (OHC), land and cryosphere heat storage and energy balance, atmospheric heat storage and movement, Top of Atmosphere (TOA) net flux, ocean and land surface energy balance, and physical budget constraints on EEI. All topics include results from observations, reanalyses, and models. Discussions on the synthesis and EEI assessment activity are also included in this session, where future steps of these activities will be discussed. 
Working topic I: Improving estimates of the global Earth Energy Imbalance
  1. What are the main challenges to global Earth Energy Imbalance estimates?
  2. Which are the key scientific questions that will advance our understanding and improve the closure of the Earth Energy Budget?
  3. How could a global EEI assessment evolve and how should it be best organized?

Session 2 - Regional Energy Budgets and Energy Transports
This session is focused on quantifying energy and water balance over specific regions, including land, ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere on annual, interannual and longer time scales. The role of global scale climate modes such as ENSO (recharge-discharge model) and their impact on ocean heat content, sea level rise and global mean surface temperature for regional energy budget constraint approaches will be discussed. Application of closure constraints for increased knowledge on atmospheric and oceanic heat transport (e.g. AMOC) and structural biases in flux datasets are included in the discussion.  Cryosphere energy storage and balance, especially in the Arctic and Antarctic, will also be highlighted in this session, which will help to quantify how much energy has gone into melting ice and thawing permafrost.
Working topic II: “Global framework for regional water-energy budget constraints”.
  1. Which are the key regions for the evaluation of regional energy budget constraints?
  2. What are the key scientific questions and challenges for regional energy budget constraints?  What specific regions should be targeted?
  3. What precision is required to establish energy budget closure on regional scales and what scientific questions motivate these requirements?
  4. How should the regional Energy budget constraint method evolve and how should it be best organized?

Session 3 - Earth energy imbalance evaluation and budget closure for climate models and reanalyses
This session focuses on evaluating Earth’s energy imbalance and achieving budget closure in climate models and reanalyses. In particular, the conservation of heat in models will be discussed here, including neglected heat sources/sinks (e.g. iceberg melting). Implications of anomalous heat storage for climate projections, decadal prediction and seasonal forecast, including regional changes related to decadal climate variability and global teleconnections can be discussed in this session. The vertical distribution and the temporal evolution of ocean heat content in models are tackled in this session. This includes the comparison to observational data and suggestions to GCOS with regards to needs to better constrain the heat budget.
Working topic III: Conservation of heat in Earth system models and constraints from the Earth’s energy imbalance.
  1. What are the main challenges for conservation of heat in Earth system models?
  2. Which are the key scientific questions to advance our understanding and to obtain improvement of the Earth Energy Budget closure in Earth system models? Which underlying processes need to be better understood?
  3. Which are the scientific key recommendations to improve the evaluation and assessment of the Earth’s energy imbalance in Earth system models?

Session 4 -Wrap-up and way forward
The objective of this short session is to summarize the first 3 sessions outcome and initiate the discussions on the way to sustain a community activity on EEI, in phase with the strategy and implementation of the renewed WCRP.  

Logistic information:

Village by CA Toulouse 31, 31 Allées Jules Guesdes, 31000 Toulouse
Map showing the 5 min. Walk from the Metro & Tram station “Palais de Justice” to the meeting venue.

Transportation in Toulouse: 
All itinerary can be found under this link: https://www.tisseo.fr/en
From/to the airport Toulouse Blagnac: 

  • Check the above tisseo link: either TRAM (goes directly to the “Palais de Justice” station close to the venue), or by bus+metro; price is less than 2 euros when the TRAM is used; 8 euros when the airport bus is used.
  • By taxi, and the taxi station can be found in front of the airport. The price ranges between 20 to 30 euros (depending on arrival times) from the airport to the city center.

The meeting venue is in about 15 mins' walking distance from the city center (area around “Place du Capitol”), and a huge number of hotels can be found in this area.
Link to the tourist office of Toulouse, where you can find the list of hotels in Toulouse: https://www.toulouse-visit.com/prepare-your-stay/Place-to-sleep
A short list of hotels where we could find some pre-reservations (and good deals):

  1. Crown Plaza Toulouse, 7 place du Capitole - 31000 Toulouse, France
    Webpage: https://www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/us/en/toulouse/tlsfr/hoteldetail?...
    Reservation - by email : hicptoulouse@alliance-hospitality.com
    Use the reservation document (download here), and add the code “WCRP EEI” in the subject.
    Important to note:
    Reservations should be done as soon as possible, and no later than the 13thof September
    The price is 135 euros/night (+ 2,95 euros/night local city tax), breakfast included
    The price is only valid under the condition that you book a minimum of 4 nights, and in between the period 12.-17. November.
    Any cancellation after 19th October 2018 will be fully charged on the credit card given.
  2. Hotel Royal Wilson, 6 rue Labéda 31000 Toulouse, France
    Reservations: by email, contact@hotelroyalwilson-toulouse.com
    Single: 77 euros
    Double: 80 to 87 euros
    Twin: 99 euros
    Few rooms available, reservation should be done as soon as possible.
  3. Hôtel Le Grand Balcon, 8-10 Rue Romiguières, Toulouse, France
    price lower than 1.), please contact directly the hotel for availability
  4. CITIZ hotel Toulouse, 18 Allées Jean Jaurès, 31000 Toulouse
    Price for Monday 12.-Friday 16.11. : 130 euros (single, breakfast included)
    Taxe de séjour : 2.42 euros per adult
    Price for weekend: 99 euros (single, breakfast included)
    Taxe de séjour : 2.42 euros par adulte
    Pre-reservation of 15 rooms until the 7th of August, use the code “WCRP EEI” for your reservation, and contact hotel directly.