Earth system models for the future: ESM2025
ESM2025, an ambitious European project on Earth System Modelling, now official started on 1 June 2021. It is funded with more than €11 Mio from the European Commission's H2020 program and coordinated by Météo France-CNRM. The ESM2025 consortium is composed of specialised scientists from 19 European institutions, including Earth system scientists and model developers, experts in artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as specialists in climate education and science-policy dialogue. The Max Plank Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC) participates with Dr. Sönke Zaehle and Dr. Nuno Carvalhais, who will contribute with their expertise in terrestrial biogeochemistry and machine learning, respectively.
“Earth system models (ESM) compute interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes relevant for the global climate, and thereby help us to understand past, present and future states of the Earth”, explains Dr. Sönke Zaehle, director at MPI-BGC. The new ESM2025 project aims to develop the next generation of Earth System Models by integration of new components and representation of their interactions. This is important to predict changes in the Earth system over time in response to anthropogenic activity such as fossil fuel emissions and human land-use. In this regard, the work by Dr. Zaehle’s team will contribute to improved understanding of land nitrogen cycling, which is essential for more reliable projections of future feedbacks between the land biosphere and climate.
Another important component of the project is the improvement of key climate processes through the use of artificial intelligence. Dr. Carvalhais will follow hybrid modelling approaches including machine learning for model development. “This will take us a big step forward in providing improved climate simulations which are relevant for the development of mitigation and adaptation strategies”, says Carvalhais. These improvements are needed to support societal transformations necessary to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change.