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CRESCENDO Scientists Organise Earth System Model Evaluation Workshop, Aspen Global Change Institute, 30th July – 4th August 2017

By Peter Cox (UNEXE, UK).

CRESCENDO was heavily-involved in a highly-creative workshop on Model Evaluation at the Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI) this summer (http://www.agci.org/event/17s2 ). The workshop was co-directed by Veronika Eyring and Peter Cox of CRESCENDO, in partnership with Peter Gleckler (Lawrence Livermore) and Greg Flato (Canadian Climate Centre). Its aims were closely aligned to some of the key goals of CRESCENDO, namely to ‘contribute to reducing the spread of climate projections by enabling more complete evaluation of model outputs against observations, and by identifying Emergent Constraints – observable aspects of the contemporary Earth System that are most closely related to future projections’.

Figure 1: Participants at the workshop on Model Evaluation at the Aspen Global Change Institute, 30th July-4th August 2017.

There were 30 invited workshop participants including 6 from CRESCENDO (Chris Jones, Ruth Lorenz, Bettina Gier, Mark Williamson, in addition to Veronika Eyring and Peter Cox). AGCI workshops have a wonderful atmosphere, which is promoted by the excellent resident team (led by John Katzenberger – 4th from left in the group picture,  and Emily Jack-Scott – taking the picture), and is aided by the fact that the whole meeting is held in a tent within a nature reserve. The topics discussed included model evaluation tools, systematic biases, emergent constraints and model weighting. The outcomes of the workshop are being summarised in a Perspective on “The multiple and growing benefits of confronting climate models with observations”, for submission to Nature Climate Change before the end of this year. The workshop was part-funded by CRESCENDO alongside NASA, WCRP, ESA and others.

Figure 2:  Taking a break from the energetic discussions at the Maroon Bells.

Figure 3: Honour and privilege: a dog’s life in Aspen.

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