Climate and Earth System Model Development

Demand is growing for climate models to provide more accurate simulations of present climate and more credible and reliable predictions and projections of future climates at increasingly high resolution. Improving current modeling and prediction capabilities is crucial to NOAA’s mission to respond to the societal need to better predict and project climate variability, particularly extremes and drought. Meeting this demand requires that progress in model development accelerate. In this respect, a recent National Research Council study (National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling, 2012) makes a number of important recommendations regarding advancing climate modeling that will help guide future modeling development efforts.

MAPP Program investments in climate and Earth System model development include:

  • State-of-art climate and Earth System model evaluation leveraging on the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) Experiments. This includes research done as part of the MAPP CMIP5 Task Force (projects run FY11-FY13) and evaluations by the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies jointly funded by NOAA, NSF and NASA (funded during FY09-FY13).
  • Climate Process and Modeling Teams (CPTs for short; for more information visit that bring together field experimentalists and remote sensing experts, process modelers, and global-scale modelers to tackle the most persistent and vexing problems in how global models represent key processes.
  • Research as part of MAPP-Climate Test Bed partnership (MAPP-CTB Execution Agreement) to test and evaluate research advances for improved NOAA operational climate modeling.
  • The Climate Model Development Task Force is an initiative of NOAA's MAPP Program in partnership with the Climate Test Bed to achieve significant advances in NOAA's climate models in support of improved predictions. The Task Force brings together scientists from universities, research laboratories, and NOAA's centers and labs and builds-on MAPP funded research activities. It is envisioned that the Task Force will work in synergy with internal climate model development efforts at NOAA''s research laboratories and centers and will emphasize research contributing to the development of the next-generation operational climate forecasting system via Climate Test Bed activities.


Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.