CMIP5 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project

The fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), run by the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, provides a multi-model context for:

  • assessing the mechanisms responsible for model differences in poorly understood feedbacks associated with the carbon cycle and with clouds,
  • examining climate “predictability” and exploring the ability of models to predict climate on decadal time scales, and
  • determining why similarly forced models produce a range of responses.

CMIP5 promotes a standard set of model simulations in order to:

  • evaluate how realistic the models are in simulating the recent past,
  • provide projections of future climate change on two time scales, near term (out to about 2035) and long term (out to 2100 and beyond), and
  • understand some of the factors responsible for differences in model projections, including quantifying some key feedbacks such as those involving clouds and the carbon cycle.

Under the World Climate Research Programme, the Working Group on Coupled Modelling established the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project as a standard experimental protocol for studying the output of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. CMIP provides a community-based infrastructure in support of climate model diagnosis, validation, intercomparison, documentation and data access. This framework enables a diverse community of scientists to analyze GCMs in a systematic fashion, a process which serves to facilitate model improvement. Virtually the entire international climate modeling community has participated in this project since its inception in 1995.


Author or Affiliated User:

Related Organizations:

  • Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI)

Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Modeling tool

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