Screen capture from the CESM website

Community Earth System Model (CESM)

This expert-level climate model simulates past, present, and future conditions for atmosphere, ocean, land, land-ice, and sea-ice environments.

Important Notice for Using Climate Projections

Climate projections can be useful for making decisions about the future, but the limitations of climate models make it easy to misinterpret or misuse their results. Be aware that:

  • Climate projections are not predictions. Projections are based on assumptions about future human emissions of greenhouse gases and other policy choices.
  • Climate projections do not attempt to predict the timing of meteorological events such as storms, droughts, or El NiƱos. The location and timing of future extreme weather events cannot be deduced from climate model projections.
  • Projections vary from model to model: the best projection dataset for one location and purpose may not be the best for other situations. Considering a range of projections may help you gain a more complete picture of potential future risks.
  • The increased spatial resolution of statistically downscaled projections available for temperature and precipitation may not be available for all parameters. In addition, increased resolution does not necessarily equate to greater fidelity or reliability.

For decisions involving the use of climate model projections, you may want to consider seeking expertise.

This fully coupled global climate model provides state-of-the-art computer simulations of the Earth's past, present, and future climate states. The model allows researchers to conduct fundamental research.

The most current release is called CESM2, which contains support for CMIP6 experiment configurations. Scientific validation of CESM consists of a multi-decadal model run of the given component set at the target resolution, followed by scientific review of the model output diagnostics. All scientifically supported component sets are also accompanied by diagnostic and model output data.

Starting with CESM2, releases are available through a public GitHub repository. Access to the code requires both git and Subversion client software in place that is compatible with GitHub and the project's Subversion server software. Users will need access to the command line clients git (v1.8 or greater) and svn (v1.8 or greater but less than v1.11).

Last modified
5 May 2021 - 3:54pm