High Definition Clouds and Precipitation for advancing Climate Prediction - HD(CP)2


The lack of understanding of cloud and precipitation processes is arguably the foremost problem of climate simulation, and by inference, prediction. High Definition Clouds and Precipitation for advancing Climate Prediction (HD(CP)2 is a BMBF-funded initiative for addressing this cloud-precipitation (CP) problem. HD(CP)2 leverages rapid developments in simulation and measurement science to provide both new insights and alternative strategies, for resolving or circumventing the CP roadblock. HD(CP)2 aims specifically for these broad goals:

  • Improved Climate Predictions: to significantly improve the CP representation in climate models.
  • Quantification of Uncertainty: to quantify how much of the imprecision in current climate projections one can expect to eliminate through an improved CP representation.
  • United Research Effort: to establish expert teams, consisting of members from many different institutions, that investigate critical scientific questions.
  • A Great Leap: to place national research efforts at the forefront of international efforts to harness new breakthroughs in environmental computing and sensing.

To achieve these goals HD(CP)2 is a coordinated initiative to: (i) realize, (ii) evaluate, and (iii) statistically characterize and exploit the purpose of both parameterization development and CP feedback analysis. This is done with ultra-high resolution (100 m in the horizontal, 10-50 m in the vertical) regional hind-casts over time periods (3-15 y) and spatial scales (1000-1500 km) that are climatically meaningful. In its second funding period (April 2016 - March 2019) HD(CP)2 is based on cross-cutting modeling and observational efforts that extend the current area of investigation (Germany) to the Tropical (Barbados) and Northern Atlantic. Observation campaigns with MPI participation are NARVAL-II and NAWDEX. Moreover, the project centers around striking meteorological questions (in so-called synthesis projects), such as the influence of urbanization and aerosols on CP.

Figure: The current HD(CP)2 target region. This figure also shows a truly unprecedented observational network that our project seeks to synthesize and exploit for evaluating the HD(CP)2 model, and for generating insights in its own right as to the structure and statistics of CP processes.

The strategy and philosophy of HD(CP)2 is centered around ultra-high resolution simulations with the ICON model as it is further developed in the project. Knowledge from the observational and synthesis projects flows back to the model developers, creating a steady flow of information to advance the model simulations. The development of this local area, high resolution variant of the ICON model is also extremely relevant for MPI-M and allows a larger variety of applications of the MPI-M Earth System Model in the future. In HD(CP)2 more than 100 scientist from 19 institutes all over Germany join to improve the understanding of clouds and precipitation and implement this in current climate prediction models.

At MPI-M, the following scientists are directly funded by HD(CP)2. More details can be found at our Opens external link in current windowproject page

Steering Committee: Björn Stevens
Project Coordination: Wiebke Schubotz
Model Development (M): Matthias Brück
Observations (O): Lutz Hirsch
Land Surface Heterogeneity (S4): Christopher Moseley
Clouds and Convective Organisation (S5): Rieke Heinze, Cathy Hohenegger