ICHEC Contributes to the IPCC AR6 Report

CMIP6 EC-Earth Annual 2 metre Temperature Projections (2071-2100 vs 1981-2010: change); (a) SSP1-2.6, (b) SSP2-4.5, (c) SSP3-7.0 and (d) SSP5-8.5. In each case, an average is taken of the ensemble members r6i1p1f1, r9i1p1f1, r11i1p1f1, r13i1p1f1 and r15i1p1f1. Photo: ICHEC
Aug 11 2021 Posted: 14:47 IST

The IPCC have published their landmark AR6 report on climate change which states: It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.”

Wednesday, 11 August 2021: ICHEC, Ireland’s high-performance computing authority, established in and hosted by NUI Galway, completed a large ensemble of global climate simulations which comprise Ireland’s contribution to the international Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The datasets and results were included for assessment in the recently released IPCC AR6 Reports. The simulations place Ireland amongst leading international scientific researchers on climate change. 

ICHEC’s work was carried out in collaboration with Met Éireann and is funded by the EPA, Met Éireann and the Marine Institute. The global climate simulations, carried out by ICHEC, are described in this report. 

The future global climate was simulated using the EC-Earth climate model, which was developed by a consortium of European institutes, of which ICHEC is a member. The updated CMIP6 climate projection data provide more detailed projections of the future global climate and will lead to a better understanding, not only of the physical climate system, but also of the climate impact on the environment and societies.

Visualisations of EC-Earth global projections can be seen here; 2m temperature changeprecipitation and September sea ice fraction. “Spiral animations” of the full CMIP6 global temperature datasets can be viewed here and here.

The large datasets (~1500TB) are hosted on the ICHEC ESGF (Earth-Systems Grid Federation) node for sharing with the international community and will feature in many future studies on the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change. Since 1995, the CMIP has co-ordinated climate model experiments involving multiple international modelling teams. The CMIP project has led to a better understanding of past, present and future climate, and CMIP model experiments have routinely been the basis for future climate change assessments carried out by the IPCC. ESGF is an international effort of climate centres with a mission to support CMIP and future IPCC reports.

The climate team at ICHEC are currently running regional climate models to dynamically downscale the global CMIP6 data to provide detailed climate projections for Ireland (https://tinyurl.com/u2m8sk2y). These simulations are run on the ICHEC supercomputer, Kay. This research, and the resulting regional projections, will continue to inform national climate change policy such as the various governmental sectoral adaptation plans.

Commenting on the results of the work, Dr Paul Nolan, Climate Science Programme Manager, ICHEC, said: “The global climate projections comprise Ireland’s contribution to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project and the results were included for assessment in the recently released IPCC AR6 Reports. In addition, the large datasets are shared with the international community and will feature in many future studies on the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change.”

Alastair McKinstry, Environmental Programme Manager, ICHEC, said: “The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project experiments are a crucial part of the IPCC AR6 report. At ICHEC, the EC-Earth results are standardised and published via the Earth System Grid to enable automated comparisons with observations and other model projections from international climate modelling institutes. The standardisation and sharing of data have been key to quantifying the uncertainty in the climate projections and enabling the attribution of extreme events to climate change.”

Professor JC Desplat, ICHEC Director, said: “ICHEC has the modelling capabilities, high-performance computing resources and international reach to ensure Ireland can participate in CMIP modelling experiments. This research ensures Ireland remains at the forefront of global climate change research and continues its involvement with future Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects and IPCC reports. Our climate projections, combined with those of the international community, will inform global climate policy over the coming years. Requirements for participation in CMIP include an internationally respected model, access to a powerful supercomputer and substantial data storage resources. ICHEC currently meets these criteria in its ability to participate in projects of this scale.”

For more information about ICHEC, visit: www.ichec.ie.

Marketing and Communications Office


Featured Stories