EGU24-12558, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Recent developments in the Earth System Model evaluation tool

Bouwe Andela1, Birgit Hassler2, and Manuel Schlund2
Bouwe Andela et al.
  • 1Netherlands eScience Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (
  • 2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

ESMValTool (Earth System Model eValuation Tool) is open-source, community-developed software for the evaluation of Earth system models, mainly in the context of multi-model analyses, e.g. the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). ESMValTool provides a large number of “recipes” that reproduce published figures, for example, some of the figures found in reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ESMValCore, the framework powering ESMValTool, provides capabilities that make it easy to work with data produced for CMIP as well as related observational and reanalysis data, e.g. discovering, downloading, and preprocessing these data. Here, we present new features that have been added to ESMValCore and ESMValTool in the past year.

Improved computational performance: it is now possible to use Dask Distributed to run the tool and almost all preprocessor functions are now using Dask arrays, resulting in lower memory use and faster computations. This enables the analysis of higher-resolution datasets, such as those expected for the next round of CMIP. Further performance improvements are planned this year as part of the ESiWACE3 service project.

New recipes and better-looking results: several new analyses have been added, including recipes for reproducing figures from the IPCC’s Fifth and Sixth Assessment Reports and generic recipes for monitoring and evaluating Earth System Model simulations. The webpage displaying the results of a recipe run now looks better and allows for interactive filtering.

More datasets: more observational and reanalysis datasets can now be converted to the CMIP data request standard using the tool. Grids used in the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) are now better supported.

Communication: the ESMValTool tutorial at has been updated, more Jupyter notebooks are available to demonstrate the use of ESMValCore, and there is a new, open-source website at

How to cite: Andela, B., Hassler, B., and Schlund, M.: Recent developments in the Earth System Model evaluation tool, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12558,, 2024.

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supplementary materials version 1 – uploaded on 13 Apr 2024
  • CC1: Comment on EGU24-12558, Till Kuhlbrodt, 15 Apr 2024 Reply

    Hi Bouwe et al., great to see the progress with ESMValTool. I'm specifically interested in the analysis of the ocean model components. How far do the ESMValTool capabilities go here? Is is straightforward to analyses 2D and 3D ocean variables, including calculation of multi-model means? 

    Thank you


    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Bouwe Andela, 15 Apr 2024 Reply

      Thanks for your question! 2D variables should be straightforward with the currently available release. For example, the figure in the middle of the poster shows a multi-model mean and percentile calculation on sea surface temperature, a 2D ocean variable, for all models available in CMIP6. With the upcoming v2.11 release (scheduled in early May), 3D variables should also work with relatively low memory requirements.


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