Coordinating climate modeling to stimulate climate science

In a commentary recently published in AGU Advances, Prof. Bjorn Stevens, Director of the Climate Physics Department of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, shares his perspectives on the future of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, or CMIP.

The coupled model inter-comparision project, or CMIP, started around thirty years ago, as a way for a handful of groups, including the one at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, to compare a new class of climate models they were developing. Over the years these models have matured, and the programme of model intercomparison that CMIP organizes has grown into an estimated $3B quasi operational use of a research infrastructure to support climate services and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Prof. Stevens argues that using a research infrastructure to support an operational activity — whether it be in support of IPCC or the growing need for climate services — short-changes society and suffocates scientific creativity. Based on his experiences in helping to design CMIP6, Stevens concludes that by decoupling CMIP from the IPCC assessment cycle — by creating a separate operational infrastructure to provide routine climate projections — CMIP can regain the agility it needs to articulate and support cutting edge scientific research.

Original publication

Stevens, B. (2024). Aperspective on the future of CMIP. AGUAdvances, 5, e2023AV001086.


Prof. Dr. Bjorn Stevens
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
bjorn.stevens@we dont want