Development and application of innovative simplified modelling environments

The SeRC Climate Community is involved in the development and application of various modeling and diagnostic environments used around the world.

To aid in the development and analysis of complex climate models, the SeRC Climate Community has been active in the development and application of simplified modelling and diagnostic environments which isolate complex processes. One such simplified model is the IFS Column Model, a reduced-complexity representation of the atmospheric component of EC-Earth run at a single longitude-latitude point to assess the impact of column-wise processes such as radiation and clouds. Application of this column model to the Arctic showed that mixed-phase clouds are inaccurately represented, leading to possible biases in EC-Earth simulations. Another project is CliMT (, a modelling environment using the python programming language to provide a standardised, object-oriented API through which a range of different model components can be flexibly combined. CliMT is currently used by some 20 groups around the world. Most recently, it was used to diagnose radiative forcing and feedbacks in a suite of climate model simulations, showing that climate sensitivity (the response of climate to increased greenhouse forcing) may strongly depend on climate state.


• Engström, A., J. Karlsson and G. Svensson (2014) "The Importance of Representing Mixed-Phase Clouds for Simulating Distinctive Atmospheric States in the Arctic." J.  Climate 27 265-272.

• Caballero, R. and M. Huber (2013) "
State-dependent climate sensitivity in past warm climates and its implications for future climate projections." 
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110, 14162-14167.