EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model evaluation expectations of European ESM communities: results from a survey

Jerome Servonnat1, Eric Guilyardi2, Zofia Stott3, Kim Serradell4, Axel Lauer5, Klaus Zimmerman6, Fanny Adloff7, Marie-Claire Greening3, Remi Kazeroni5, and Javier Vegas4
Jerome Servonnat et al.
  • 1CEA - LSCE - IPSL, Physics, Gif sur Yvette CEDEX, France
  • 2LOCEAN - Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Jussieu, Paris, France
  • 3Assimila Limited, Reading, UK
  • 4Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Earth Sciences - Computational Earth Sciences Group, Barcelona, Spain
  • 5Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 6Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Norrköping, Sweden
  • 7National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading, Department of Meteorology, Reading, United Kingdom

Developing an Earth system model evaluation tool for a broad user community is a real challenge, as the potential users do not necessarily have the same needs or expectations. While many evaluation tasks across user communities include common steps, significant differences are also apparent, not least the investment by institutions and individuals in bespoke tools. A key question is whether there is sufficient common ground to pursue a community tool with broad appeal and application.

We present the main results of a survey carried out by Assimila for the H2020 IS-ENES3 project to review the model evaluation needs of European Earth System Modelling communities. Interviewing approximately 30 participants among several European institutions, the survey targeted a broad range of users, including model developers, model users, evaluation data providers, and infrastructure providers. The output of the study provides an analysis of  requirements focusing on key technical, standards, and governance aspects.

The study used ESMValTool as a  current benchmark in terms of European evaluation tools. It is a community diagnostics and performance metrics tool for the evaluation of Earth System Models that allows for comparison of single or multiple models, either against predecessor versions or against observations. The tool is being developed in such a way that additional analyses can be added. As a community effort open to both users and developers, it encourages open exchange of diagnostic source code and evaluation results. It is currently used in Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects as well as for the development and testing of “new” models.

A key result of the survey is the widespread support for ESMValTool amongst users, developers, and even those who have taken or promote other approaches. The results of the survey identify priorities and opportunities in the further development of the ESMValTool to ensure long-term adoption of the tool by a broad community.

How to cite: Servonnat, J., Guilyardi, E., Stott, Z., Serradell, K., Lauer, A., Zimmerman, K., Adloff, F., Greening, M.-C., Kazeroni, R., and Vegas, J.: Model evaluation expectations of European ESM communities: results from a survey, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15681,, 2021.


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