Climate Modeling Community



Climate change is a research area at the forefront of public attention and with challenging problems. The most prominent tools used are climate models that describe the coupled land-atmosphere-ocean system, based on the laws of physics. Climate models are utilized to understand fundamental processes underlying climate change and variability and to project future changes.

Climate modeling research makes extensive use of e-Science based tools. Global Climate Models or Earth System Models are complex model systems consisting of several sub-models for land, ocean, atmosphere, ice, vegetation etc. The modeling systems become more and more complex and the basis of the systems, the atmosphere and ocean models, are fluid dynamics models using the Reynolds equations and sub-grid scale parameterizations, which are central for the climate problem. The climate is determined by the general circulation, but the climate change forcing and feed-backs depend on the processes that need parameterization. Adequate sub-grid scale descriptions of the fundamental small-scale processes both from physical and numerical points of view are crucial.

Earth System Models generate significant amount of output data that need to be accessible for a large community to assess the climate variability and change but also to evaluate the systems performance with relevant observational data. When improving parameterizations or adding more sub-models it is essential to ensure that the model performance is not degraded by cancellation of opposing errors. Also changing horizontal and vertical grid resolution must be done carefully to maintain the performance.

Regional and global climate modeling is currently strongly developing, funded by strategic grants also to the Bert Bolin Centre for Climate Research at SU, and also including scientists at KTH and Rossby Centre, SMHI. Research performed within the Bolin Centre aims to provide improved understanding of key processes in the climate system, interactions between climate subsystems and improved descriptions of some of these key phenomena in climate models. Attention is also given to assessments of climate model performance and scenarios for important regions, which directly addresses information needs expressed by society.



Research environment

The SeRC Climate Modeling community consists of researchers, graduate students and application experts working on multiple aspects of climate modelling across several departments at SU, KTH, the Rossby Centre at SMHI and NSC. There is considerable synergy with the Bolin Centre SRA. At SU, Gunilla Svensson (Professor) and Rodrigo Caballero (Professor) act to coordinate climate modelling research and maintain interaction with the Bolin Centre. Other senior staff at SU are Kristofer Döös (Professor), Annica Ekman (Associate Professor), Agatha De Boer (Associate Professor) and Qiong Zhang (Associate Professor). At SMHI, the Head of the Rossby Centre Erik Kjellström  is involved as well as Klaus Wyser and Uwe Fladrich. Hamish Struthers is a climate modelling application expert at NSC and plays an important coordinating role.

Relevant national collaborations:

  • MERGE, Lunds universitet

Most close international collaborations:

  • Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
  • European Centre for Medium range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
  • National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

The research within climate modeling demands large computer resources both for computations and storage. Presently the Bolin and Rossby centres conduct much of their research work on the Lindgren facility at PDC and on Triolith at NSC.



Overall research goals

The long-term research goal is to contribute to solving important outstanding problems in the area of climate modeling. More specifically, we are devoted to improve the performance of EC-Earth. In particular, we aim at:

  • Contributing to the research that is the basis for the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) reports.
  • Simulating and analyzing the climate of today, the past and future.
  • Improve the performance of EC-Earth ESM in terms of parameterizations, numerical performance and expanding to cover more parts of the Earth System.