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MAPP CMIP6 Task Force Concludes Three Year Initiative


Starting in 2019, MAPP organized the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) Task Force to coordinate research activities targeted toward the development of climate projections. The CMIP6 Task Force links researchers across 13 funded projects from the FY19 21st Century Integrated U.S. Climate Predictions and Projections funding opportunity, to facilitate communication, coordination, and synthesis of research results.

The core membership of this Task Force were from universities and NOAA and other Federal centers and laboratories. Members of the Task Force also included invited scientists from across the community with interest and expertise in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project.

The CMIP6 TF was led by Ben Livneh (University of Colorado, Boulder), and co-led by Angie Pendergrass (NCAR), Kate Marvel (Columbia University, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), and Ryan Rykaczewski (NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center). 

Three Key Thematic Areas of the CMIP6 Task Force

The CMIP6TF organized around three primary themes: Water in the West, Cold Climate Processes, and Combined Extreme Events, and held a virtual ‘Write-a-thon’ event during summer 2020 that brought together researchers to explore collaborative themes and target input for the fifth National Climate Assessment (due 2023). 

“The TF helped CMIP6 research projects by identifying common issues and discussing approaches towards solutions,” said task force lead Ben Livneh. “For example, a few research topics that were frequently debated were strategies for integrating projections from models of differing climate sensitivity, whether and how to present central tendencies across models, and how these assumptions affect portrayals of compound hazards. A frequent logistical issue faced by multiple projects was the acquisition of CMIP6 model data, which was felt to be somewhat more difficult than previous CMIP initiatives and some approaches were shared.”

The TF organized a number of meetings with leaders of the fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) and provided input and perspective on projections and model handling issues. One TF co-lead, Kate Marvel, is serving as the lead of the NCA5 Climate Trends chapter, while another, Angie Pendergrass, is serving as an author on the Climate Processes chapter. One of the main outcomes of this task force is a special journal issue focusing on CMIP6 science in the journal Earth’s Future. The issue includes a broad range of analyses that leverage simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6). 

When asked about his time as the task force lead, Ben Livneh says, “It was an honor to serve as the lead of the TF, together with really dedicated co-leads. I found discussions with the TF to be stimulating and was humbled by all the great science being done by my esteemed colleagues!”

To learn more about this task force, please visit our homepage.



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