Modelling class/workshop

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Revision as of 13:46, 13 August 2013 by Anu074 (talk | contribs)

Brainstorming agenda and notes

  1. Opening up the session notes with bold
  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?
    • It was decided that January would be better
      • Anything outside the 13-15th would work. Best would be either 6th-10th or 19-23th of January 2014
  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?
    • See the learning outcomes
  4. Lectures/lecturers (40 min)
    • We would suggest to have two sessions each day. Each sessions would have approximately 2 lectures and assigned organisers. They could then keep the lectures on their own or invite someone else to speak.
    • Sessions could be also workshop type: 1 lecture after which discussion about the topic based on the lecture and some previously assigned literature.
    • See the learning outcomes
      • The workshop type lecturing was supported
    • Assigning organisers/speakers
  5. Sensitivity studies (20 min)
    • 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, land-use etc.
    • Is this feasible?
    • It was decided that although most interesting for some, it should not be part of this class
      • There is a ResClim downscaling class planned for next summer (more hands-on)
  6. Wrapping up (15 min)
    • Does everyone know what to do to make this happen?
    • Suggestions or other ideas we should still consider?
    • Named people will contact outside lecturers
    • Students will have a short meeting together to see if the plan is suitable and to discuss the structure a bit
  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 model set-up just to be able to read the literature and analyse the data. 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.

The idea in short

  • Learn how different processes are represented in different types of models
    • Why and what does it mean in terms of using the model
  • Additionally for those who are interested
    • Run some rather simple sensitivity tests to get an idea how these things work in practise
    • Test different parameterizations, grids, solar radiation, land-use, Coriolis parameter, slab vs. full ocean
    • This could be done with 'tutor' idea, people who have previous modelling experience would join together with the less experienced ones

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, regional scale etc.
  • Process approach: go trough some of the most challenging aspects in modelling and how are they solved in different type of models and what consequences does this have
  • Topics:
    • Model set-up/design, 1st day, how to build a model
      • Basic equations
      • Discretizations (Mats: unstructured grids, volume vs spectral, dis/advantages)
      • approximations (non-hydrostatic vs hydrostatic)
      • resolution
      • coupling
      • predictability (Francois Counillon)
      • super-parameterizations
      • Boundary conditions
      • Initialization
      • Conservation of properties
    • Parameterizations for missing [physical] processes (rest of the week)
      • Convection (Mats, Thomas T knows Steve)
      • Mixing (Mehmet, Robert Hallberg, Alistair Adcroft, Markus Jochum)
      • Topography (Pål Erik Isachsen)
      • Internal waves (Jonas Nycander, Jarle Berntsen)
      • Surface (Thomas knows a guy)
      • Radiation (Thomas T)
      • Cloud microphysics (Trond Iversen, Jon-Egill Kristjansson, from Oslo)
    • Special topics for 1-1/2 day depending on time/lecturers
      • sea-ice/land ice/carbon (Petra, Kerim, Pierre Rampal, Cristoph Heinze)
  • Note: it's obvious that each of these topics could be made into a semester long class, so some narrowing down has to happen.

On-line resources

Time Plan

  • One week intensive lectures and optional setting-up
    • ~5 days of lectures
    • Optionally
      • 1-2 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)

Detailed Time Plan [suggestions for Organisers]

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9-10 General Intro Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture
10-11 Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture
11-12 Discussion Discussion Discussion Discussion Discussion
12-13 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
13-14 Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture
14-15 Discussion Discussion Discussion Discussion Discussion
15-16 Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture Lecture
16-17 Discussion Discussion Discussion Discussion Discussion

Monday topics General intro: Taxonomy of models, What models are out there and what are they used for. Predictability, philosophy of models


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

  • 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.