What is CMIP and CORDEX?

Climate Indicators (CI) are available in the two tools of Climate Information; the Site-Specific report and the Data Access platform. The CI are calculated from ensembles of Global and Regional Climate Models (GCM, RCM). The GCM and RCM are designed by the two largest Inter-comparison projects from the climate science community to predict climate change.

What is CMIP5?

CMIP5 is the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5. CMIP is the standard experimental protocol for studying the output of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. CMIP provides a community-based infrastructure that supports climate model diagnosis, validation, inter-comparison, documentation and data access. This framework enables a diverse community of scientists to analyse the global models in a systematic fashion, a process which helps make models better. The international climate modelling community has participated in this project since it began in 1995.

What is CORDEX?

CORDEX is the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling experiment (CORDEX). CORDEX is responsible to advance and coordinate the science and application of regional climate downscaling models through global partnerships. The project office is hosted by SMHI since 2009.

Both CMIP and CORDEX

  • Are international collaborations between scientific institutions.
  • Are diagnostic Model Inter-comparison Projects (model development)
  • Evaluate how realistic the models are in simulating the recent past.
  • Provide projections of future climate change.

Both CMIP5 and CORDEX are endorsed by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Information from CMIP5 and CORDEX experiments are summarised in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, starting from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5). CORDEX experiments are used often in regional assessment reports. There are some differences between the projects, such as resolution (Figure 1). 

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CMIP and CORDEX summaries
Figure 1: Main aspects and differences between CMIP5 and CORDEX