Modelling class/workshop

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Revision as of 11:54, 31 July 2013 by Anu074 (talk | contribs)

Brainstorming Agenda

  1. Opening up the session
  2. When should this class be held? (10 min)
    • The suggestion from students was November-December (say before AGU fall meeting), is that too optimistic?
  3. Topics of the class and time plan (20 min)
    • Should something be added or taken away?
    • Does the time plan seem reasonable? Is the order of things reasonable, is there too little time?
  4. Lectures (30 min)
    • We would suggest to have two sessions each day. Each sessions would have approximately 3 lectures and assigned organisers (who know the topic). They could then keep the lectures on their own or invite someone else to speak.
    • Assigning organisers/speakers
  5. Sensitivity studies (40 min)
    • We would probably need approximately 5 tasks
    • Should be relatively easy to set up and run, but at the same time interesting enough
    • Suggestions include: different grids, time stepping (probably not possible), slab ocean vs full ocean etc.
  6. Wrapping up (15 min)
    • Does everyone know what to do to make this happen?
    • Suggestions or other ideas we should still consider?
  7. Next meeting (5 min)
    • Probably one short meeting required with everyone involved before the class starts


Many of us are using modelling more or less extensively as a part of our thesis and even if one wouldn’t be using any model, it would be very beneficial to have some knowledge about running simulations. Also it is relatively easy to get access to different model codes in general and even set up an experiment. However, it might be often be that the user doesn't understand all (or maybe any of) the issues related to the set-up and in the worst case one might try to interpret some model artefacts as meaningful results. We hope this course could give some insight in these issues.

This class would use the NorESM model and could benefit its development

The idea in short

  • Run some rather simple sensitivity tests which tell something fundamental about model behaviour
    • Test different grids
    • Different time stepping?
    • Solar radiation, land-use, Coriolis parameter, slab vs. full ocean
  • The analysis of the results would be probably interesting, but not in the main role of this course.
    • However, students would deliver a short report and a seminar (reports could be at least a in house source for validation)

Learning outcomes

  • Learn some fundamentals of different type of models
    • What type of questions can be answered with full climate models, ocean/atmosphere stand-alone etc.
  • Learn some fundamentals about the dynamics
    • Examples could be
      • Why is the Gulf Stream in displaces southward in the models?
      • Why is there no MJO in the model?
    • One sometimes comes across statements like 'don't pay too much attention to that feature, models/this specific model never gets it right' or 'yeah, I know that thing, that's just an artefact' and this seems to often be some 'known' issues, but where do they come from (and (how) do we know)?
  • Conservation of properties
    • Why models conserve/don't conserve some properties, why should/shouldn't they, and why do we even care?
    • First steps about model validation
  • Learn how to set-up and run a sensitivity test with a climate model

On-line resources

Time Plan

  • One week intensive lectures and setting-up
    • 3-5 days of lectures (some overlap with setting up the model)
    • 2-3 days of setting up the model experiments (some overlap with the lectures)
  • Period of one month for running the experiments and analysing the data
  • 1 day for the final seminars (arranged as webinar)
    • In addition also a short written report with the main findings

Detailed Time Plan [suggestions for Organisers]

  • Day 1
    • Session 1
      • Different types of models for climate research: from energy balance to earth system approach (advantages, disadvantages)
    • Lunch
    • Hands-on session with energy balance model
    • Session 2
      • EMICs and Aqua-planet models (Where have they be used, what can they be used for?)
  • Day 2
    • Session 3
      • Typical ESM set-up
    • Lunch
    • Session 4
      • Typical issues with ESM set-up's
  • Day 3
    • Session 5
      • Atmospheric component (short intro to different options, typical advantages and disadvantages, example cases?)
    • Lunch
    • Setting up the experiments
  • Day 4
    • Session 6
      • Ocean component (short intro to different options, typical advantages and disadvantages, example cases?)
    • Lunch
    • Setting up the experiments
  • Day 5
    • Session 7
      • Sea-ice component (short intro to different options, typical advantages and disadvantages, example cases?)
    • Setting up the experiment
    • Lunch
    • Session 8
      • Other components (land, carbon-cycle, land-ice) (short intro to different options, typical advantages and disadvantages, example cases?)


Tore Furevik: typically around 50 Knok + travel and accommodation for all participants. This covers travel and accommodation for one or two lecturers plus some lecture fees at standard UiB rates.

Questions to find out and solve

  • Might be computer expensive, data storage?
    • The computer time shouldn't be much of a problem
    • Since the data storage is also short term it's probably not an issue
  • Lecturers?
    • The best experience with NorESM is already in-house, here are some names with couple of outside guys
    • Bergen: Mats, Ingo, Helge, Odd-Helge, Mehmet, Thomas
    • Oslo: Lars Petter Røed
    • Boulder: Cindy Bruyere
  • Examples of the somewhat similar ones out there already?
    • Stockholm University is offering a class titled "introduction to climate modelling"
    • The University of Helsinki/Finnish met institute is offering a class, where they choose a different model each time and do some specific tests and write a short report. This class is also offered as a web-course for anyone interested.
    • There is also a the European Earth System and Climate Modelling School lead by the NCAS & MPI-M, the length is similar.